Chastity August 8
(The religious) must not suppose that others do not see what he is doing. (Rule of St. Augustine 23).
From the beginning, the Christian commitment has a public dimension. In the full hearing of the community of the Church and, by consequence, of that of the world, the catechumen makes baptismal vows. The Christian identifies with the mission of the Church to be a visible sign of the salvation of Christ in the world. From that moment, the baptized person does not escape the notice of others. One's Christian life becomes a book for the whole world to read. This vocational visibility is increased by religious profession, also a public declaration. The confreres, other Christians and the general public take these words seriously and expect appropriate behavior. Because of the public nature of profession, everyone looks with a critical eye that is sensitive to the least discrepancy, particularly in the matter of chastity. And they find it. There may not be gross manifestations of infidelity on the part of a religious. But observers can notice even subtle changes of behavior born of hidden decisions in the heart. The truth of a person is in the heart and what is in the heart eventually manifests itself, despite oneself. Or does Christ lie when he says, “There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not become known” (Lk 12:2)? And even if acts of infidelity evade human eyes, God sees all. In the end, it is before God that all discrepancy shows itself in complete clarity and where its harmful effects in the public domain will be rectified.
The wind exposes the chicken’s behind. (Bayombe)
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