Tag Archives: Virginity

The Following of the Eternal Son of God requires Virginity, Chastity and Celibacy

by Br. Alexis Bugnolo

This week in the Octave of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity is a very apt time to remind ourselves of the great truth that eternal salvation in Christ requires that we be conformed to the Most Holy Trinity, because salvation consists first of all not in the concession of some created gift, but in the gift God gives of Himself to those who love Him.

And to receive this gift, it is necessary for all, not only to believe in Christ fully and with perseverance, detracting nothing from His Teaching, but the following of Jesus Christ, Our Savior, Who is the Way for all who wish to be saved to arrive at that Salvation.

For this reason, I wish to address a growing controversy in the Church, that of priestly celibacy, which touches upon the wider question of the role of virginity, chastity and celibacy in the Church.

For the most part, these debates and discussions revolve around the wrong center of focus: historical practices or pragmatic considerations: when such an such a practice began or began to be widespread, or the utility of having clergy and religious free from the duties of married life.

The true center of focus, however, is Jesus Christ. Because it is because all discipleship in Christ requires that the Christian follow Christ, all discipleship in Christ requires that we personally accept the renunciations He made for our salvation, in some proportion or degree of suitability to our state in life.

Thus, a priest is essentially and vocationally bound to imitate the Lord Jesus in His abstention from marriage: a thing Jesus  Christ did, not just as man, to be of service or to show us the way of mortification, nor even to teach us chastity in the ministry, or to give an example of self control, but for an even higher and eternal reason.

Because, the Eternal Son becomes a priest from the moment of His incarnation, wherein He is invested with the humanity which He will break in the Expiatory Sacrifice of the Cross, when His Body and Soul will be separated in death. Thus, for such an August Sacrifice, it was a necessity of religion that He offer the most pure flesh and blood and soul to God His Father.

Likewise, women religious are called to a life of virginity, because by the absolute removal of all occasions of impurity, they might illumine the world with the purity of Christ Jesus, who did not even dare let His eyes wander about among the crowds of faithful who followed Him.

This too is the reason why male religious are called to a life of chastity, so that their dedication to the following of Christ as the Servant of God be found also in their flesh by a perpetual purity of life which touches upon mind and body.

And all these forms of purity are also apt in their proper times and places even for the laity, who have not the vocation to be virgins, religious or clergy: because in this way every Christian at some point in his or her life, gives living example of their discipleship to Christ.

And all these practices aim for something eternal, both as regards likeness and reward, which is the most important truth we should keep in mind.

Because in the Eternal Trinity, God the Father alone generates. The Son does not generate. Therefore, the Eternal Son is the archetype of all purity, chastity, celibacy and virginity. He joins Himself to no One in an act of generation or procreation.

The work of generation of Christians too is likened to the Most Holy Trinity, because just as it pertains to the Holy Ghost to inspire men to faith and salvation, all those who are involved in the work of converting and saving souls, directly or indirectly, should avail themselves of the assistance of the Holy Spirit, not the works of the flesh.

For this reason, virginity, chastity and celibacy are essential to the Catholic Faith, the true Faith without which no one can be saved; and we should all strive not only to inculcate the appreciation of these holy works as the most authentic exterior work which testifies to Faith, Hope and Charity, but to live them in our lives, as appropriate to the times and places and states of life of our lives.

For by doing so, we by living like the Eternal Son, merit in the most worthy way to share in His Eternal Inheritance, which belongs to Him, as a Son faithful to His Eternal Father and entirely satisfied in worshiping and contemplating that Paternal Magnificence.

And this explains why the Saints affirm that God promises the certitude of Eternal Salvation only to virgins, the chaste, and the faithfully celibate.