Since the earliest centuries, the Church has celebrated the virtue of virginity. Though unswerving in its defence of the sacrament of marriage, priests and religious orders have shunned this physical bond in pursuit of a singular service to Jesus Christ. Like St Paul and the Early Fathers, these men and women consider sexual abstinence to be no great sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel message.
Such a consecration of the whole body to God is so rarely appreciated within our contemporary culture. Modern society scorns even the sanctity of the marital state as the necessary framework for human intimacy, so the concept of virginity or celibacy makes no sense whatsoever. Not since the days of classical Greece and Rome has an age gloried more in its excesses. Liberty is confused with liberalism, and lewdness is practised under the auspices of civil rights, with little or no mention of the need for individual responsibility. The results are physical disease, and a moral and social decay which affects the young barely before they have reached the threshold of adulthood. Indeed, it is a sad indictment of our society when our teenagers are made to feel inferior by their peers if they do not rid themselves of their innocence at the earliest possible opportunity. What have we come to when virginity and abstinence are so despised?
But for all those who choose to follow this path, the Queen of Virgins will walk with them always. The same grace of God that preserved the chastity of Our Lady shall be dispensed with bountiful measure to that soul which sees no shame in abstinence outside of wedlock, or which gladly shuns the marital covenant entirely for the sake of a covenant with Christ. Christ will be the sole satisfier of their hunger, the sole quencher of their thirst, and all that will occupy the mind is the pursuit of deeper prayer, and the glorious mysteries of the most holy faith. Such souls lose nothing. And what they gain is beyond human reckoning.
“You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come. For people will be…lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.”
1 Timothy 3:1,4