Through a candid and challenging look at celibacy, Father James Lex provides a compelling and emotional portrait of the Roman Catholic priesthood at the dawn of the vocation s third millennium.
A lifetime struggle with celibacy is a lifetime struggle to stay whole inside a jealous marriage. As with any marriage, Lex s marriage to the Church has been a creative interplay of weakness and strength, of finding and asserting power, and of knowing how and when to submit. This book is the story of any of America s more than 47,000 active and more than 20,000 inactive priests. It is a book about learning the rules and unlearning them...about learning to love and to let go... about forgiveness and yearning... about the choices people make every day. Fifty Years in a Jealous Marriage presents a balanced look at the challenges facing priests, as it chronicles the transformation of a young, naive, eager-to-please seminarian into a mature and surprisingly sane Roman Catholic priest.
This is not a how-to-do-it book but a how-to-live-it guide that is not only good for everything that ails humans but also has important side-effects, such as a deeper sense of peace about one s own life and a renewed confidence in the power of love.
Professor emeritus at Loyola University (Chicago)
Frequent essayist in the National Catholic Reporter and the New York Times
Winner of the Catholic Book Award in 1968 and 1969
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