53 & Celibate Again: Tending The Verdant Garden Of My Soul


One of the reasons I am in love with Mr. Right (whom I met on CatholicMatch) is that he is constantly tending my soul.

How can he can pull off such a feat? Easy! You see, his secret is that he lives his faith every day.

He not only lives his faith, but he shares it with everyone he meets. His ultimate goal is to make it to heaven and that’s a whole lot harder than passing a camel through the eye of a needle, or so I’ve been told.

Mr. Right shared with me that he hasn’t always been this way. Many years back he had what I call an ah-ha moment. That is, he saw the light. No, it wasn’t a stop and go light; it was just a realization that we have the one true faith in Catholicism. 

Now I have a beautiful yard with many pretty flowerbeds, but sometimes when I’m a bit on the lazy side, I like to just ignore the weeds and kind of pretend they’re not there, if you know what I mean. 

The problem with that situation is that I then have to spend a whole day outside with a spade in one hand and a garbage can at the ready. Ugh! 

Talk about hot, dirty and disgusting work, just to look at a couple of beautiful flowers.

But if you ask me, the sight of those unencumbered flowers is worth every minute of the work. I love summertime in my yard. The sights, sounds and smells are enough to make my brain spin.

As you may already know, dating is kind of like my garden. For instance, when I’m with Mr. Right, I want to smell him, look at him and taste his kisses. I simply can’t get enough of him.

The problem is that since I was married before, I’ve been around all the bases, including homeruns. So when Mr. Right and I started dating, my body was used to operating at full tilt – kind of like being on autopilot. 


The thing is I’m not married to Mr. Right, so I had to take myself off of autopilot and operate on manual again.

My body’s saying, “Bummer!” And why wouldn’t it? It’s used to the good life!


‘Mama said…’

So, where does that leave me?  It’s kind of embarrassing when at age 53 you can’t run the bases, yet you know your own married children are at home doing that very thing. Just like that old song, “Mama said there’d be days like this, there’d be days like this, my mama said!”

Now, back to the enchanting Mr. Right… I’ve known him long enough now to have had the best parts of his faith take root in my own soul. I’ve become a regular in the confessional.  No, not because I’ve been running the bases, but because he cares for my soul and has helped me see the redemption and healing power of reconciliation.

Little by little the weeds in my soul have been picked and discarded, and in their place penance is being offered up in reparation for my sins.

A while back Mr. Right gave me a wonderful rosary CD of the sorrowful mysteries. The narrator on the CD states that “anytime good and evil meet, there will be sin.” That line is imprinted in my brain because it seems a whole lot like my garden: When the soil is not monitored, weeds will inevitably spring up.   

I have a little plaque on my bedroom wall that I’ve had since childhood, which reminds me of the faith lessons that Mr. Right has taught me.  It states, “One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.”  

That Mr. Right, he’s a keeper!





  1. Michael-780154 October 6, 2013 Reply

    Wow! Very nice reading for those of us who have been married before… and for those who may be interested in us now. This is a great blog entry that is still finding readers a couple years after it was posted. Thank you, Barb!

  2. Juliana-737101 May 22, 2012 Reply

    Hi Ivev been widowed twice once when Iwas 35 and another when Iwas 62 Marriage was always special to me and both times I waited to have sex before marriage Each marriage had it good points and problems yet the commitment I made to each kept me centered on Christ and both partners had a faith belief that allowed us to pray together I be lieve what Bishop Sheen stated yrs ago ” it take 3 to be married “and with that I believe it takes three to date too (taking Christ with you make s the difference )

  3. Diana-432592 September 14, 2011 Reply

    What a beautiful post! You have given much hope to many who wonder if such men really exist! Thanks for your honest sharing of your struggles, hope and joy!

  4. Maria-689654 September 13, 2011 Reply

    Chastity is a very difficult act to follow. I am a very sensual person and being chaste is a cross I carry for God. I offer every difficult moment for the salvation of the souls in purgatory. There is a Mr. Right here on CM! I am trying to be obedient…it is not easy.
    Barb, you are so blessed…Best Wishes!!!

    • Barb-505508 September 13, 2011 Reply

      Thanks so much Maria! He is out there you know, your Mr. Right. Trust me on this one. When I pray in my local adoration chapel, God whispers to me that all is good and that I am headed in the right direction with Mr. Right. Life is good!

  5. Bel-559366 September 13, 2011 Reply

    Someone told me I can’t find a practicing Catholic man (especially here in NZ) who doesn’t practice celibacy. I replied “There’s a few left on CM.” That someone said “No, they are gays.” lol

    That someone told me “You think funny, you talk funny.”

  6. Stacey-101742 September 12, 2011 Reply

    I am appreciating this time in my life , to tend to my own soul . I keep learning things all the time. My heart longs for that special connection and there have been those times when my body remembers , but then I look for Jesus face, or Mother Marys face , and remember my blessings that I have now and how much they love me and have helped me . but I hope to find the Mr. Right for me and visa versa . Someone to love and appreciate .

  7. Astrid-613871 September 11, 2011 Reply

    Barb, I really like this; you tell it the way it is. I also like the WAY it is for you. I can honestly say if Mr. Right was ready to commit to me today, I would send him to read this story. He would have to be special because my additional piece is that I am in process (applied for an annulment). But if Mr. Right was willing to be there to nurture my soul in waiting; then with out a doubt I would have to say he would be a Prince Charming too!

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess September 12, 2011 Reply

      Thanks Astrid! Only God could have sent Mr. Right into my life. Being widowed so early was very difficult for me and I prayed daily that God would send me a man who would love me as much as I would love him. I am simply amazed at how he answered my prayers with the most loving, giving gentleman that he did.

  8. Mary-272665 September 8, 2011 Reply

    What a delightful and truth filled post, Barb! Thank you for writing it!

  9. Maria-696350 September 5, 2011 Reply

    I can fully relate to your story. We live in a world that has depreciated sexuality to such an extent that it has lost it’s true meaning. The reason the church teaches us to abstain from pre or extra marital sex is that our union with our soulmate is a Holy Sacrament, a recreation of the Trinity, a moment of such sanctity, love and beauty that in the moment when we truly surrender ourselves to our spouse we become joined spiritually as well as physically. We truly become one. I believe that it is a moment attended to by God and witnessed by the angels, so how can we even chance that it be less than sublime or eternal. I have been married, but God willing, I will only ever be married again IN the Church and it will be forever. That is worth waiting for The Lord to lead me to my Mr. Right and worth cherishing every moment to make that ultimate union all that our Lord meant for it to be.

  10. Carol-749454 September 5, 2011 Reply

    Barb, we must be twins separated at birth. Our outlooks are right on. Place God first and he will guide you…It looks like he’s been doing just that. You are headed in the right direction. He’ll place weeds within the garden, but you have enough insight to know what is a beautiful flower and what isn’t. A true relationship is work, but is worth the effort. Mr. Right found a beautiful flower in you.
    God has blessed you both and I wish you every best! Some are asking if you have a twin… I’d like to know if Mr. Right has a twin brother? 🙂 God bless you ~ Carol

  11. Patrick-606389 September 4, 2011 Reply

    Celibacy the spice of life

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess September 4, 2011 Reply

      Right you are Patrick! A perfect challenge to say the least, but then who ever said making it into the kingdom was going to be a piece of cake.

  12. Jim-397948 September 4, 2011 Reply

    Barabara…do you have a twin sister I can meet???

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess September 4, 2011 Reply

      Sorry Jim, no sisters, only two crazy younger brothers! And I love them to pieces.

    • NOREEN-104377 September 5, 2011 Reply

      ???? Twin sister? What am I missing?

  13. Cate Perry
    Catherine Perry September 4, 2011 Reply

    Barb, how wonderful. God bless you both!

    • Barb Tess
      Barb Tess September 4, 2011 Reply

      Thank you so much Catherine. I am the luckiest lady in the world to have found such a treasure of a man. Sometimes good girls do finish first!

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