Chastity August 15
Our dedication to the proclamation of the Kingdom and the realization of brotherhood under God calls for a life of chastity, which opens us totally to others in love and friendship (Const. 11.2).
The Old Testament does not seem to go beyond considering a “virgin” simply as a young unmarried girl, which really says nothing about sexual relations. In the New Testament, there are few references to virginity, of which the two most significant are the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, and the 144,000 “virgins” (faithful disciples) in the Book of Revelation who follow Christ. In Christian ascetical history, virginity in the strict sense of never having sexual relations became the symbol of availability for God. Although all who are consecrated to chastity in religious life are not necessarily virgins in the strict sense, there is nonetheless a “virginity of heart” that is proposed as an ideal. Since entering religious life, religious of both sexes remain “empty” for the love of God and God’s people. They pass on physical fecundity in favor of the fecundity of charity. Far from being diminished, they grow in heart toward a universal love of all people and give birth to the Kingdom of God.
If God asks for a limb, give it. (Bayombe)