Over the centuries, chastity has been called the difficult virtue and Christ's teaching on chastity the difficult commandment. But that is an understatement. When Christ told us that, “without me you can do nothing,” He meant two things. He meant that without the possession of His grace in our souls no one can reach heaven. He also meant that without grace we cannot practice the virtues which He told His followers are necessary to remain in His friendship.

Chastity is of all virtues the one that is the most difficult to practise. St. Augustine says: "Of all the combats in which we are engaged, the most severe are those of chastity; its battles are of daily occurrence, but victory is rare." May God be ever praised, however, Who in Mary has given us a great example of this virtue. By reason of her purity the Blessed Virgin was also declared by the Holy Ghost to be beautiful as the turtle dove: Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle-dove's.

[Cant. 1:9] "Mary," says Aponius, "was a most pure turtle dove." For the same reason she was also called a lily: As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters. [Cant. 2:2] "Mary was compared to a lily amongst thorns, because all other virgins were thorns, either to themselves or to others; but that the Blessed Virgin was so neither to herself nor to others;" for she inspired all who looked at her with chaste thoughts. This is confirmed by St. Thomas, who says, that the beauty of the Blessed Virgin was an incentive to chastity in all who beheld her. 

St. Jerome declared that it was his opinion that St. Joseph remained a virgin by living with Mary; for, writing against the heretic Helvidius, who denied Mary's virginity, he says, "Thou sayest that Mary did not remain a virgin. I say that not only she remained a virgin, but even that Joseph preserved his virginity through Mary."

Except for Christ and His Blessed Mother, the rest of us must either pray constantly to overcome our concupiscence or we shall give in to our irrational drives. Anger and pride and lust, avarice and envy and sloth and gluttony, are not only the names of the seven capital sins. They are the seven deadly enemies of our soul, synthesized by the Apostle in that one simple word, our “flesh.” These drives, irrational, maddening, unreasonable, persistent, are not only urges of the body; they are also urges of the spirit. It is not only that our bodies are fallen, but our nature is fallen, and that means body and spirit. There is no conquering these enemies or even controlling their hostility except by the grace of God to be obtained through incessant prayer.

Prayer for the Virtue of Chastity

Jesus, Fortress of mankind, You are Immaculate as God and Man! Bless me with Your infinite graces, That I may remain in a state of purity. Strengthen my body, spirit and soul To continually reflect Your chastity. Protect my soul in its daily struggles, Guiding it to ponder on Your Godliness. Defend me from the forces of evil, Those that seek to acquire my soul: I am truly Yours forever and ever. Holy is my King, the Conqueror of sin! 


Mary, Mother most pure, and Joseph, chaste guardian of the Virgin, to you I entrust the purity of my soul and body. I beg you to plead with God for me that I may never for the remainder of my life soil my soul by any sin of impurity. I earnestly wish to be pure in thought, word and deed in imitation of your own holy purity. Obtain for me a deep sense of modesty, which will be reflected in my external conduct. Protect my eyes, the windows of my soul, from anything that might dim the luster of a heart that must mirror only Christ-like purity. And when the “Bread of Angels” becomes my food in Holy Communion, seal my heart forever against the suggestions of sinful pleasures. Finally, may I be among the number of those of whom Jesus spoke, “Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God.” Amen
MARIAN VIRTUE-CHASTITY MARIAN VIRTUE-CHASTITY Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 11:55 Rating: 5

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