Practicing religious chastity

Observing chastity
With singular care, Religious should preserve chastity as a treasured gem. Everyone knows that in the present condition of human society the practice of perfect chastity is made difficult, not only because of the prevalence of depraved morality but also on account of false teachings which glamorize excessively the merely natural condition of man, thereby pouring poison into his soul. An awareness of these facts should impel Religious to stir up their faith more energetically -- that same faith by which we believe the declarations of Christ when He proclaims the supernatural value of chastity that is sought for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is this same faith which assures us beyond doubt that, with the help of divine grace, we can preserve unsullied, the flower of chastity. (Papal Writings, 23 May 1964).

Only the love of God -- it must be repeated -- calls in a decisive way to religious chastity. This love moreover makes so uncompromising a demand for fraternal charity that the religious will live more profoundly with his contemporaries in the heart of Christ. On this condition, the gift of self, made to God and to others, will be the source of deep peace. Without in any way undervaluing human love and marriage -- is not the latter, according to faith, the image and sharing of the union of love joining Christ and the Church? -- consecrated chastity evokes this union in a more immediate way and brings that surpassing excellence to which all human love should tend. Thus, at the very moment that human love is more than ever threatened by a "ravaging eroticism," consecrated chastity must be today more than ever understood and lived with uprightness and generosity. Chastity is decisively positive, it witnesses to preferential love for the Lord and symbolizes in the most eminent and absolute way the mystery of the union of the Mystical Body with its Head, the union of the Bride with her eternal Bridegroom. Finally, it reaches, transforms and imbues with a mysterious likeness to Christ man's being in its most hidden depths. Thus, dear brothers and sisters, it is necessary for you to restore to the Christian spirituality of consecrated chastity its full effectiveness. When it is truly lived, for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, consecrated chastity frees man's heart and thus becomes "a sign and stimulus of charity as well as a special source of spiritual fruitfulness in the world.'' Even if the world does not always recognize it, consecrated chastity remains in every case effective in a mystical manner in the world. (Papal Writings, 29 June 1971).

Type Classification:
F: Exceptional strategies