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Reflections: Catholic Life Section (Chastity)

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Reflections: 

Catholic Life Section:

Chastity

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Chastity

 

Category
Quotation

Chastity

"He said to me, 'They are accomplished. I (am) the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.'" (Rv. 21:6-8)

"[C]hastity is sacred to our Lord" (Sequence)

"And did not the law call chastity the great vow?" (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Love the purity of a chaste life, because Christ is the Son of a virgin." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Make it your object, therefore, to keep your tongue chaste as well as your eyes." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"In the banquet-hall chastity is hard to keep." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"Vigilance and prayer are the safeguards of chastity." (St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle)

"We Christians regard a stain upon our chastity as more dreadful than any punishment, or even than death itself." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), 2nd century A.D.]

"Let the manner of your life be adorned by chastity, sobriety, and moderation" (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"It is easy to achieve chastity, if we will, if we withdraw ourselves from those things that are injurious" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"[N]o virtues are worthier or more excellent than merciful loving-kindness and unblemished chastity" (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The sorrow of regretful affection is a good guardian of chastity, guilt cannot find an entrance if vigilance be not wanting." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Only a person who knows how to be chaste will know how to love in marriage or in virginity." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"Don't say that you have a chaste mind if you have unchaste eyes, because an unchaste eye is the messenger of an unchaste heart." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Chastity is self-restraint, and the mastering pleasures which fight, just as in war the trophies are most honorable when the contest is violent, not when no one raises a hand against us." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Why should I continue the praise of chastity in more words? For chastity has made even angels. He who has preserved it is an angel; he who has lost it a devil." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"To the degree that a person weakens chastity, his or her love becomes more and more selfish, that is, satisfying a desire for pleasure and no longer self-giving." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"It is the saying of a very learned man, that chastity must be preserved at all costs, and that when it is lost all virtue falls to the ground. This holds the primacy of all virtues in woman." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"But so long as the will retains under its authority the other members, without which the members excited by lust to resist the will cannot accomplish what they seek, chastity is preserved, and the delight of sin foregone." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"As to those who are married, it is quite true (although the mass of men cannot perceive it) that they stand greatly in need of chastity, for in them it lies not in total abstinence from carnal pleasures, but in self-control amidst the pleasures." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"[P]arents should also consider any attack on the virtue and chastity of their children as an offence against the life of faith itself that threatens and impoverishes their own communion of life and grace (cf. Eph. 6: 12)." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"[I]t is that the virtue of chastity most of all makes man apt for contemplation, since venereal pleasures most of all weigh the mind down to sensible objects, as Augustine says (Soliloquia i, 10)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"If the fashion of thy soul is avarice, put on another fashion and come in. Put off thy former fashion, cloke it not up. Put off, I pray thee, fornication and uncleanness, and put on the brightest robe of chastity. This charge I give thee, before Jesus the Bridegroom of souls come in and see their fashions" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"For wickedness is so manifest, that all men are its accusers, even those who follow after it, while such is the quality of virtue, that it is admired even by those who do not emulate it. For even the fornicator will praise chastity, and the covetous will condemn injustice, and the passionate will admire patience" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Now as moderation, so chastity, is an ordinary effect of love. If a man love his own wife as he ought to love, even though he be never so much inclined to wantoness, he will not endure to look upon another woman, on account of his affection for her. 'For love,' (Cant. viii. 5.) saith one, 'is strong as death.' So that from no other source doth wanton behavior arise than from want of love." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"For some who find themselves in situations where chastity is offended against and not valued, living in a chaste way can demand a hard or even a heroic struggle. Nonetheless, with the grace of Christ, flowing from his spousal love for the Church, everyone can live chastely even if they find themselves in unfavorable circumstances." (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"Nor is it enough to fly from sin; every Christian ought to shine with the splendor of virtue so as to be pleasing to so great and so beneficent a guest; and first of all with chastity and holiness, for chaste and holy things befit the temple. Hence the words of the Apostle: 'Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are' (1 Cor. iii., 16-17): a terrible, indeed, but a just warning." (Pope Leo XIII, "Divinum Illud Munus", 1897)

"For fine linen (byssus) springs from the earth with glittering show: and what is designated by fine linen but bodily chastity shining white in the comeliness of purity? And it is also twisted for being interwoven into the beauty of the ephod, since the habit of chastity, then attains to the perfect whiteness of purity when the flesh is worn by abstinence. And, since the merit of affliction of the flesh profits among the other virtues, fine twined linen shews white, as it were, in the diverse beauty of the ephod." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"[I]t should be noted, as indeed the Fathers and Doctors of the Church teach, that we can more easily struggle against and repress the wiles of evil and the enticements of the passions if we do not struggle directly against them, but rather flee from them as best we may. For the preserving of chastity, according to the teaching of Jerome, flight is more effective than open warfare: 'Therefore I flee, lest I be overcome.' Flight must be understood in this sense, that not only do we diligently avoid occasion of sin, but especially that in struggles of this kind we lift our minds and hearts to God" (Pope Pius XII, "Sacra Virginitas", 1954)

"It is better then to suffer in stomach than in soul, to rule the body than to serve it, to lose one's balance than to lose one's chastity. Let us not lull ourselves with the delusion that we can always fall back on penitence. For this is at best but a remedy for misery. Let us shrink from incurring a wound which must be painful to cure. For it is one thing to enter the haven of salvation with ship safe and merchandise uninjured, and another to cling naked to a plank and, as the waves toss you this way and that, to be dashed again and again on the sharp rocks." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"Especially let us train them in chastity, for there is the very bane of youth. For this many struggles, much attention will be necessary. Let us take wives for them early, so that their brides may receive their bodies pure and unpolluted, so their loves will be more ardent. He that is chaste before marriage, much more will he be chaste after it; and he that practiced fornication before, will practice it after marriage. 'All bread,' it is said, 'is sweet to the fornicator.' (Ecclus. xxiii. 17.) Garlands are wont to be worn on the heads of bridegrooms, as a symbol of victory, betokening that they approach the marriage bed unconquered by pleasure. But if captivated by pleasure he has given himself up to harlots, why does he wear the garland, since he has been subdued?" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"If we run on, if we look to none of those things that are set before our eyes, if we consider nothing but how we may escape from those who would hinder us, we shall be able to retain with all security what we have seized. Hast thou seized on chastity? Tarry not; flee beyond the reach of the devil. If he sees that he cannot overtake thee, he will cease to pursue; as we, when we can no longer see those who have robbed us, despair of the pursuit, and do not pursue, nor call on others to stop thief, but suffer them to escape. So do thou run vigorously at the beginning, and when thou art beyond the reach of the devil, he will not afterwards attack thee, but thou wilt be in safety, securely enjoying those unspeakable blessings, which God grant that we may all obtain through Jesus Christ our Lord. To whom with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, be glory, power, honor, and worship, now and for ever, and world without end. Amen." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Concerning chastity, He uttered such sentiments as these: 'Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart before God.' And, 'If thy right eye offend thee, cut it out; for it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into everlasting fire.' And, 'Whosoever shall many her that is divorced from another husband, committeth adultery.' And, 'There are some who have been made eunuchs of men, and some who were born eunuchs, and some who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake; but all cannot receive this saying.' So that all who, by human law, are twice married, are in the eye of our Master sinners, and those who look upon a woman to lust after her. For not only he who in act commits adultery is rejected by Him, but also he who desires to commit adultery: since not only our works, but also our thoughts, are open before God." (St. Justin Martyr)

"But let us all by God's grace run the race of chastity, young men and maidens, old men and children; not going after wantonness, but praising the name of Christ. Let us not be ignorant of the glory of chastity: for its crown is angelic, and its excellence above man. Let us be chary of our bodies which are to shine as the sun: let us not for short pleasure defile so great, so noble a body: for short and momentary is the sin, but the shame for many years and for ever. Angels walking upon earth are they who practice chastity: the Virgins have their portion with Mary the Virgin. Let all vain ornament be banished, and every hurtful glance, and all wanton gait, and every flowing robe, and perfume enticing to pleasure. But in all for perfume let there be the prayer of sweet odour, and the practice of good works, and the sanctification of our bodies: that the Virgin-born Lord may say even of us, both men who live in chastity and women who wear the crown, I will dwell in them; and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. To whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"It is also necessary to put before young people the consequences, which are always very serious, of separating sexuality from procreation when someone reaches the stage of practicing sterilization and abortion or pursuing sexual activity dissociated from married love, before and outside of marriage. Much of the moral order and marital harmony of the family, hence also the true good of society, depends on this timely education, which finds its place in God's plan, in the very structure of sexuality and the intimate nature of marriage. Parents who carry out their own right and duty to form their children for chastity can be certain that they are helping them in turn to build stable and united families, thus anticipating, insofar as this is possible, the joys of paradise: 'How can I ever express the happiness of the marriage that is joined together by the Church, strengthened by an offering, sealed by a blessing, announced by angels and ratified by the Father... They are both brethren and both fellow servants; there is no separation between them in spirit or flesh... Christ rejoices in them and he sends them his peace; where the couple is, there he is also to be found, and where he is, evil can no longer abide.'" (Pontifical Council for the Family)

"The word chastity is employed in two ways. First, properly; and thus it is a special virtue having a special matter, namely the concupiscences relating to venereal pleasures. Secondly, the word chastity is employed metaphorically: for just as a mingling of bodies conduces to venereal pleasure which is the proper matter of chastity and of lust its contrary vice, so too the spiritual union of the mind with certain things conduces to a pleasure which is the matter of a spiritual chastity metaphorically speaking, as well as of a spiritual fornication likewise metaphorically so called. For if the human mind delight in the spiritual union with that to which it behooves it to be united, namely God, and refrains from delighting in union with other things against the requirements of the order established by God, this may be called a spiritual chastity, according to 2 Corinthians 11:2, 'I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ'. If, on the other hand, the mind be united to any other things whatsoever, against the prescription of the Divine order, it will be called spiritual fornication, according to Jeremiah 3:1, 'But thou hast prostituted thyself to many lovers.' Taking chastity in this sense, it is a general virtue, because every virtue withdraws the human mind from delighting in a union with unlawful things. Nevertheless, the essence of this chastity consists principally in charity and the other theological virtues, whereby the human mind is united to God." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: Modesty/Proper Dress [Pg.] | Virginity | Marriage, Family & Home [Pg.] | Marital Relations | Marriage Not Equal to Virginity | Living Together Without the Sacrament of Matrimony | Pleasure is Momentary | Sinful Desires Forbidden | Love / Charity | Celibacy / Chastity (Topical Scripture) | Priests & Vocations Section

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