Chastity ( Evangelical Counsels Part II)

” The fruits of the Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in each of us as the first fruits of eternal glory.  The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them : Charity, joy , peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self control [and] chastity”.   ( CCC 1832).  ( Gal 5:22-23).

Chastity is an interesting concept.   People have all sorts of interesting notions about chastity, and what it means, or even its application to anyone except possibly a priest, brother or sister.

The mere concept of chastity is so unnatural, unseemly, and unsocial, that it has through the years become legend in jokes, and stories told either at parties or hushed tones to those who do not have any idea of what chastity might be except their concept of the absence of sex.

So let us for a short moment consider the idea of chastity as it relates to priests and religious ( brothers and sisters).

The priest, or religious taking their queue from the Lord himself ( Matthew 19:22) in a supreme act of charity and of love, lays aside the allurements of this world, particularly of the love of any other singular person, in order that he or she would for the sake of the Kingdom of God , be the example of the love of God that burns within them.

The sheer act and release of their free will to the service of God here on earth is a gift of grace.  This act not only brings about an example of Heaven  on Earth, but frees them to love all of mankind and serve everyone in selfless love and mercy.

That quiet self sacrifice begins at their profession or ordination, and then the life long days of self sacrifice, suffering and endurance for our own sake is the task ahead.

Now, let us turn our heads for a moment to the idea of the laity.  The lay man and woman. Chastity ? for Lay people ?    Yes !  Chastity is not the sole domain of Priests and Religious it is for everyone .    It takes on a slightly different context in its application, but it is basically the same idea.    Chastity according to what ever state of life you are in is a virtue to be strived for and praised.

So what does that look like for lay people ?  For people who are single, it means that you may, if you are called to a vocation of the single life, give yourself to God in faith and carry out your vocation in giving yourself in love to all mankind, in the effort of working on your salvation and bringing others with you.   There is dignity in being a single person,  The life of a single person, frees you from the need of serving a few individuals ( a husband, wife , or family) in order that you serve everyone in what ever way you have talents for.

For Married people, if your vocation brought you to marriage, then at the institution of your marriage vows you became one .. one person.. one body.. one flesh.  It is through this mystery, through this vocation that you become chaise with your spouse.  You are faithful in thought , word and action.  Your service to your spouse is a service not only to yourself, but to God and an example to your spouse of the love of God on earth.

What ever your state of life happens to be… what ever you do, or did.. what ever has happened in your past, you can take the virtue of your own chastity, and place it upon the altar in your heart and soul, and lift it up as a gift to God in His service to all the world.

 

May God give you the gift of His peace !

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Chastity ( Evangelical Counsels Part II)”

  1. Brandon Nye Says:

    Nice reflection. My only thought is to actually define “chastity” so that your thought has foundational context for anybody who may come to your blog without solid Catholic catechesis. I like this definition: http://newadvent.org/cathen/03637d.htm

    • brbearsfo Says:

      Thank you Brandon for the added comment. Sometimes these get written early in the morning or late at night so things slip through. Thank you for the comment and for reading !
      God Bless !

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