Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Virgin St Clare

Yet another Virgin! St Clare shared Francis' poverty, she and her sisters wanted to be enclosed and yet mendicants, without land or revenues.

Virginity is about having neither husband nor children. It is about emptiness, desolation and aloneness. It is about an inner craving that will never be truly satisfied in this life. It is meant to produce an inner yearning for spiritual fulfilment that will only be accomplished in the life to come.

No wonder the modern world and even the Church despises continence, virginity and widowhood. For the Christian these things are about a future fulfilment, looking beyond this life. it is about Hope and about the Kingdom that we pray will come.

And yet continence, virginity and widowhood are not about living in a fantasy world but living with that emptiness, that poverty; the acceptance that the Cross. Being crucified with Christ, is the natural state for a Christian.

Will anyone be discussing these things at the Synod?
Has anyone heard a sermon on virginity lately?


RJ said...

Having children is not the only form of fruitfulness, so I'm not sure that virginity must be all about emptiness.

Ttony said...

Father, look here at the draft "On chastity, marriage, the family, and virginity" prepared during preparations for VII and which was chucked out with the other drafts.

(H/t to Matthew Hazell who linked to Fr Joseph Komonchak's translations.

akp5401 said...

Only once have I heard such a sermon (and it was a beautiful one) at the Mass for the Consecration of a lady to the Order of Virgins.

Sue Sims said...

No, I've never heard a sermon on virginity, or celibacy, or chastity. One priest in our parish (a Jesuit one) used, every Vocation Sunday, to tell us how celibates like him didn't understand the difficulties of family life, and how marriage was far more praiseworthy - not a great encouragement to young people to consider the priesthood or religious life. At least, it wouldn't have been an encouragement to any young people who were there, but they weren't.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Chastity gets mentioned once in the Synod documents but no mention of purity or virginity.

Long-Skirts said...


She sat in the pew
Her head bowed down
The basket coming
She made no sound.

Oh, how she wished
To give so much
But alas she had
No Midas touch.

The basket came
She shook with fear
And into the basket
She dropped a tear.

Now tears can’t touch
Like Midas, bold
But dripped from the heart
They’re liquid gold.

Anonymous said...

Surely it is *barrenness" that is about emptiness and frustration. That was the condition of some significant characters in the Old Testament whom God healed so they could become fruitful. But Our Lady was virginal, not barren, and in my understanding her virginity is about *openness* not emptiness. She is exclusively dedicated to God and his Life-giving purposes. So He makes her supremely fruitful without eradicating her virginity. As The Vigin of virgins she is wholly reserved unto God, body and soul, which is why she is "full of grace". Of course, that must have involved sacrifice and suffering in a fallen world, just as it did for her Divine Son, but that isn't what virginity is about.

Cosmos said...

The thing that made Clare and Francis so appealing is that they seemed like their sacrifice was a great pleasure. They so loved God that they didn't want anything else.

One of the reasons that this was possible is because the entire culture acknowledged God. He was a living reality for them.

I feel like the cross Christians in the modern world have to carry is the incessant doubt that we are insane and that all the sacrifice is for naught.

Paul Hellyer said...

Why are all virgins assumed to be female? When is male virginity ever mentioned?
And yes virginity purity chastity are hardly ever mentioned in our parishes. Neither is hell for that matter. What are the priests frightened of ? Upsetting the pelagians?

Sue Sims said...

This essay by Patricia Snow in First Things is superb.


There's also an interview with her on the same topic at http://www.firstthings.com/article/2015/04/dismantling-the-cross