Good question! There are a few basics that Scripture gives us, though a lot of it is still veiled in mystery for us here below.
We already know that there is no more marriage in Heaven: “When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven” (Mark 12:25). Jesus presents this as the solution to why none of her previous husbands is married to the woman who married seven brothers, so though our loved ones are hopefully there in Heaven, marriage ends with the death of the first spouse.
We also know that, once a priest, you’re a priest “forever” (Hebrews 7:17). Somehow, Holy Orders puts a sign and seal on one’s soul that lasts into eternity. (Baptism and Confirmation do also, of course!) Holy Orders, of course, is only for deacons, priests and bishops, not religious brothers and sisters.
If you’re understanding the message of 1 Corinthians 7:25-38, that might be a sign that you’re being called to what’s “better.” Jesus himself implies that the message of celibacy isn’t given to all to understand, but “Let anyone accept this who can” (Matthew 19:12).
May God bless you abundantly as you seek the place he’s preparing for you in his Kingdom!
- Father Shane
Sure! Actually, most of the orders are primarily dedicated to forms of work that don’t include parishes, though most orders have some of their priests dedicated to helping out dioceses by running parishes.
The Jesuits, the Franciscans, the Dominicans… they’re all mostly dedicated to missionary work — and members of all can be sent anywhere in the world — but all administer a smattering of parishes.
Have you had any contact with any order in particular? You could of course start by googling all kinds of things about missionary work, but sometimes God has already bumped you into something in your life that is like a seed that can germinate into a fuller appreciation and then a deep love as you get to know them.
God bless you in your journey!
- Father Shane
I cannot fail to express my gratitude for the great gift of missionaries, who devote themselves completely to proclaiming the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I also thank the Lord for priests and consecrated persons, who give themselves totally so that Jesus Christ will be proclaimed and loved. Here I would like to encourage young people who are called by God to commit themselves with enthusiasm to these vocations: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). To those who leave everything to follow him, Jesus promised a hundredfold as much and eternal life besides (cf. Mt 19:29).
To be a priest of the Most High God is the most beautiful work that any of us could ever hope to do on this earth.
The North American College’s soccer team just qualified for the Clericus Cup finals…
If you don’t know what that means, read this…