Saturday, 2 December 2006

On the Vow of Chastity

I thought I'd put up a copy of the reading I had from the Introduction to the Devout Life by St Francis de Sales. I also had a Gospel reading (Matthew 16:24-27).

"She must offer God her body and chastity by means of a vow. After making her vow she no longer has the power to give up chastity without giving up her title to heaven. Hence she will watch over her vow so jealously that not for a single moment will she let the least thought of marriage enter her heart. In this way her holy vow will serve as a strong barrier between her soul and every project contrary to her resolution.

"A vow not only makes good works done as a result of it more acceptable to God but it also encourages us to put them into practice. It gives God not only the good works that are the fruits of our good will but likewise dedicates to him the will itself, the tree on which all our actions grow.

"By simple chastity we lend our body to God while still retaining the liberty to use it for sensual pleasure at some other time. By the vow of chastity we make him an absolute and irrevocable gift of our body without reserving to ourselves any power of recall. In this way we happily make ourselves slaves of him whose service is better than all royal power.

"Souls who are so happy as to desire to follow this advice should do so prudently, devoutly and firmly, having first examined their resolutions, invoked God’s divine inspiration, and taken counsel of a wise and devout director. Moreover, this renunciation must be made purely and simply with the single intention of turning all the affection of one’s soul toward God and uniting one’s heart wholly with that of his Divine Majesty.

"In God’s eyes nothing can truly merit praise except what is done for his sake."

(St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Third Part. No. 40)


Diane Korzeniewski said...

Hey Mac,

You gotta love St. Francis de Sales.

When you say in your profile that you have taken private vows, do you mean as a Consecrated Virgin?

You can email me through my blog if you would like.

God Bless!


Anonymous said...

Great posting - thanks!

Mulier Fortis said...

Thanks "Anonymous" !

No, Diane, vows taken by a Consecrated Virgin are received by the Ordinary (ie. the Bishop or his appointed representative) which makes them Public Vows.

Mine were private vows: but because I wanted to make it clear to my friends that my state of life was a deliberate choice rather than the "default" position of waiting for Mr Right to appear, I made the vows in church. Canonically they are still "private."

St Anne Line, after she was widowed, took private vows with the permission of her Spiritual Director, and this helped her in her vocation as a housekeeper for Fr Gerard before she was arrested and martyred...

antonia said...


I am very happy to hear you had a joyful & blessed day yesterday!

with lots of love,
God Bless


Mary said...

I am so blessed to have found this (old now) post! I have been called to this same vow of chastity and my spiritual director and I are researching how I should proceed and what form the actual making of the vow should take. It seems I should read Introduction to the Devout Life, a book I was given a few years back but hadn't gotten around to reading yet.

Thank you for this post! Can you help with any direction as to how we should proceed or any other recommended resources?

God bless you!

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