Presentation on theme: "The Vow of Chastity. Prayer in silence I ask God’s help to relive my own history of living in accordance with the vow of chastity and to recall the helps."— Presentation transcript:
The Vow of Chastity
Prayer in silence I ask God’s help to relive my own history of living in accordance with the vow of chastity and to recall the helps of grace that have come my way through prayer and through community life.
The Vow of Chastity “What pertains to the vow of chastity requires no interpretation, since it is evident how perfectly it should be preserved, by endeavoring to imitate therein the purity of the angels in cleanness of body and mind”. [ Constitutions n. 547]
1. Chastity in the Constitutions Why did Ignatius say almost nothing in the Constitutions about chastity? Was he as some have attributed to him: to naïve? luck of practical experience? to a disembodied idealistic?
2. Possible reasons The Constitutions describe the genesis of the Society as a body – the vow of chastity is not properly formative or distinctive element of the group… This topic was rarely raised in the culture of the time (Benedictine, Dominican, and Franciscan rules mention it only briefly).
3. The meaning of the expression angelic purity It is used by the Fathers of the Church when they speak of the consecrated life. Jesuit is “a man who will run in the path of Christ our Lord” (582), shaped progressively by his vows in the image of the paschal Christ…
4. Chastity as a witness of a total gift of oneself. It express the love of a man “dead to himself, surrendering his self-love, his will, and his owns interests” (SpEx 189), determined to serve God alone (53), and “keeping God our Lord always before his eyes” (547).
5. Life proper to the angel Angelic purity is at the service (in the mission) of “the love which descends from on high (672; SpEx 237, 338); and the companion is to be committed to a total gift of himself, with the lord and for him, to every other person.
6. Angelic purity; concrete meaning It indicates that it cannot be achieved right away. Process that involves a certain orientation and an explicit decision to be made, a path and a history to traverse, a task to accomplish, training and maturing to be undergone regarding sexuality and affectivity.
Conclusion No disembodied or emasculated angelism, no absence or ignoring of sex; But meaning of fullness, of the perfection of all the human vital forces, new life, resurrected, and received in Jesus Christ. Can be done only with the grace of friendship and intimacy with Christ.
For reflection and discussion What has been my experience of living the vow of chastity? Have I experienced the vow of chastity as a gift of God to me? Have I experienced the help of my brothers in the living of this vow? How do I regard superiors; do I have a problem to entrust to them the intimate details of my struggles with chastity?
In the Complementary Norms
CN give a summary of GC 31 decree 16, and GC 34 decree 8. Just read them! (And live them of course)
Traditional fundaments Imitate Christ Obey Christ Trust Christ Sacrifice to him the best Enter the mystery of Lamb’s Weeding
Traditional fundaments A powerful testimony A sign of hope If our chastity is real, joyful, humble…
Is my chastity really a ‘good news’? - for me? - for others?
Availability and mobility
Do celibacy and chastity help me to love more, or less? Better, or worse?
Apostolic fundaments Poor with the poor Job and his friends
Apostolic fundaments Angelic healing role Archangel Raphael healing Tobit…
When have I experienced that chastity was really a help for mission? In what cases have I seen the apostolic dimension of this vow?