Posts filed under: virgin

chocolateelia:

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chocolateelia:

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Hi, Father Shane! I have a question about Mary and her marriage to Joseph. Was it a "real" marriage? I mean because marriage is a sacrament and the substance of the sacrament would be the couple uniting (wedding night), was Mary and Joseph's marriage not a sacrament? - Anonymous

An interesting question! Marriage between baptized persons is a sacrament, but neither Mary nor Joseph were baptized. (There’s a theological quibble there regarding whether Mary’s Immaculate Conception accomplished the same ends as baptism, but she certainly wasn’t baptized in the conventional sense before marrying Joseph. Some of the Church Fathers speak of marriage in the Old Testament as being a sort of proto-sacrament or quasi-sacrament, but in doing so they’re setting off the difference between Christian sacramentality and that which prepared the way for it.)

Actually, the indispensable element that “makes the marriage” is the exchange of consent between the spouses (see Catechism 1626). Consummation of the marriage is, in Canon Law (canon 1141), a requirement for indissolubility — “A marriage that is ratum et consummatum can be dissolved by no human power and by no cause, except death” — but not a requirement for marriage itself.

Hope that helps! Don’t worry, Mary and Joseph are still the greatest example for married couples, even though their marriage was awfully special…

God bless you!

- Father Shane

What role does the hymen have in virginity? - Anonymous

I’m afraid I’m not the right person to go into detail on this for you, especially not publicly, but I’m sure you can find someone better-suited to that.

I would just mention, though, that sometimes our culture assumes that virginity is the highest ideal, whereas actually it’s chastity we should be most concerned about. It’s possible to sin even gravely against chastity and modesty while still retaining physical virginity. (Nothing that can’t be forgiven in Confession, of course!) I wrote something about that a little while back that you might find interesting.

God bless you!

- Father Shane

It was Saturday, not yet dawn; he was coming in pursuit of God and his commandments. And as he drew near the little hill called Tepeyac it was beginning to dawn. He heard singing on the little hill, like the song of many precious birds; when their voices would stop, it was as if the hill were answering them; extremely soft and delightful, their songs exceeded the songs of the coyoltotl and the tzinitzcan and other precious birds.

Juan Diego stopped to look. He said to himself: “By any chance am I worthy, have I deserved what I hear? Perhaps I am only dreaming it? Perhaps I’m only dozing?. Where am I? Where do I find myself? Is it possible that I am in the place our ancient ancestors, our grandparents, told about, in the land of the flowers, in the land of corn, of our flesh, of our sustenance, possible in the land of heaven?”

He was looking up toward the top of the hill, toward the direction the sun rises from, toward where the precious heavenly song was coming from. And then when the singing suddenly stopped, when it could no longer be heard, he heard someone calling him, from the top of the hill, someone was saying to him: “JUAN, DEAREST JUAN DIEGO.” Then he dared to go to where the voice was coming from, his heart was not disturbed and he felt extremely happy and contented, he started to climb to the top of the little hill to go see where they were calling him from.

And when he reached the top of the hill, a Maiden was standing there. She called to him to come close to her.

— from the Nican Mopohua

necspenecmetu:

Jusepe de Ribera, The Immaculate Conception, Altarpiece of the Convent of the Agustinas Descalzas, 1635

I was reading an old Catholic book that said nuns are required to be virgins before entering the convent, but I thought it used to be a common practice for wealthy widows to become nuns? - Anonymous

That may have been an occasional local practice (I wasn’t aware of it), but you’re right that consecrated life has traditionally been open to all who are willing to (and are free to) embrace celibacy from that point forward. There is nothing essential about virginity in consecration, and you’re right that it was in fact quite common for widowed aristocratic women to enter the convent. (Sometimes they were forced into it for political reasons, which certainly wasn’t the idea either; in other cases it was a lifelong dream that could only be realized at that point.)

Being a consecrated virgin is another story; there it has traditionally been required that one actually still be a virgin.

Read #21 of JP2’s Vita Consecrata for a wonderful look into the theology of virginity and celibacy in consecrated life.

God bless you!

- Father Shane

I once saw a person saying that virginity is our most precious gift from God, but also saying that we should stop being so focused on sex. What I've gleaned from looking through Catholic teachings and interpretations of teachings is that, we live in a sex-saturated culture and we should try our best to not let that affect our morals and actions. But, to focus on virginity and to glorify it.. isn't that the same? Isn't that focusing on sex? I keep reading about how we are more than just sex, but aren't these same people focusing on sex by glorifying virginity as the most precious thing? I always understood life as the most precious thing that God gave us - by allowing his only son to die for our sins, God allowed us to live. So isn't life our most precious gift? Isn't focusing on virginity so much the same as focusing on sex so much? - Anonymous

Yes, I agree entirely with you. Life — both the natural kind that comes at birth but especially the supernatural kind that comes at Baptism — is what lasts forever and what we can constantly give away.

Virginity, on the other hand, lasts for a while and is only given away once… it’s precious in that sense but isn’t the point of our lives.

Actually, chastity is something that’s far more important than virginity. It is the virtue by which we live out our sexuality in the way we’re supposed to (single, married, celibate, etc.); no matter what the state of your virginity, chastity is something you’re definitely called to live.

Some resources on chastity:

Yes, there is more to life than sex! Any priest can tell you that, and so can the saints in heaven, where they “neither marry nor are given in marriage” (Matthew 22:30).

God bless you!

- Father Shane

Hi Father I just wanted to ask you what you thought about Women being priests? I'm a woman and I don't believe a woman should become a priest. I came across a Facebook pic of a woman priest and I felt that it was wrong. (Episcopal priest) - Anonymous

Oh, well, I think what the Church thinks, which is pretty clear.

The key is simply that it’s not about “career.” Seminaries turn guys away all the time because they don’t appear to have a genuine calling (something that is determined through careful discernment over time). It’s simply not something you do because you “want” to… it has to be something that God wants, whether you respond reluctantly or enthusiastically to his call of love.

Here’s something interesting that Cardinal George wrote recently. As you’ll see from the last paragraph, he wrote it as part of a larger discussion of gay “marriage,” but I include that paragraph anyway because it really does all fit together.

In the Old Covenant, God espouses his people, Israel; in the New Covenant, Christ is the bridegroom of his church. In the apostolic churches — Catholic and Orthodox— the ordained priest represents Christ, the invisible head of the church, to all the baptized faithful who are members of Christ’s body. Ordained priesthood is historical and sacramental or symbolic before it is functional. Women can obviously do anything priests do, and often do it better; but women cannot “represent” a bridegroom. In Christ, the eternal Son of God, women are daughters of our heavenly Father, equal to men in baptism and often surpassing them in holiness, as the calendar of canonized saints bears witness. But the practice of the church from the time of Pentecost, interpreting the will of Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has reserved priestly ordination to baptized men. They are called to be fathers in the family of God. The nature of the sacrament of Holy Orders is given to the church; and she is not free to change it.

Five hundred years ago, the major Protestant Reformers rejected the sacrament of Holy Orders. For them, the invisible headship of Christ is not made visible in his church. Baptism is therefore the only sacrament of Christian priesthood. In Catholicism, in order to complete the visible portrayal of the relationship between Christ and the church, there is a rite in which a woman is called to represent not Christ but his body, the church. The ceremony is a consecration of virgins living in the world. Theirs is an ecclesial vocation, and the Archdiocese of Chicago is enriched by their lives. They are not women religious and do not live in community or take religious vows. They are consecrated in a ceremony that resembles ordination, although it is not sacramental. In it and in the women who are so consecrated, the church comes to a clearer understanding of herself as virgin and mother, the bride of Christ. Men may not be consecrated virgins; they cannot be a public representation of the bride of Christ. The Catholic symbol system is consistent, even when not well accepted!

With the same nuptial imagery, and in accord with the natural moral law, the church recognizes that marriage is between a man and a woman, for life and for the sake of family. Marital union is based on a man and a woman becoming “two in one flesh.” Without such self-giving union, marriage is impossible. A marriage that is not or cannot be consummated in sexual union is recognized as invalid in both church and civil law. Genuine love and deep friendship are possible without two persons becoming “two in one flesh,” and love and friendship should always be respected and encouraged. But sexual activities separated from the context of the marital union are inconsistent with the order of human nature itself.

Make sense?

Personally I think the “Women should never be priests because they could never keep confessions secret!” line that I’ve heard from plenty of women is a little sexist…

God bless you!

- Father Shane

Cohabitation

Another excellent article from the audaciously named magazine “Salvo: Society Sex Science”…

Try Before You Buy? Not if you are looking for a marriage that will endure inevitable trials

jordansartmuseum:

Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Annunciation. ca. 1344.

Gold and tempera on panel.

Pinacoteca Nazionale. Siena, Italia.

Any devotion, however small, will please Mary, provided it be constant.

— Saint John Berchmans, SJ (died in 1621 at the age of 22)

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.

uckennails:

La Guadalupana. 

Posted on March 3, 2011

Reblogged from:

Notes: 10 notes

Tags: #virgin, #mary, #catholic,

A priest friend sent this to me, clipped from Jason Evert&#8217;s newsletter:

Two out of three high school students lose their virginity before they graduate.
The average age at which children are first exposed to Internet porn is eleven years old. 
Twenty-two percent of teenage girls admit to electronically sending or posting pornographic pictures of themselves.
How to combat this problem?
1. Choose your friends wisely- good friends should inspire you, not bring you down.
2. Strong Sacramental life- regular Confession and a deep Eucharistic devotion as a means of grace and of developing a strong love for Christ. 
3. Pray a decade of the rosary every day for the virtue of purity.
4. Allow your mom/wife or dad/husband to automatically receive a copy of every website you visit and put a strong filtering system on your computers- ACCOUNTABILITY!
5. Practice self-control with your eyes and imagination and in other areas such as food and drink.
6. Avoid those movies and television programs which will provoke this temptation. 
7. Pope Benedict XVI has recommended spiritual direction, especially for young people! If the problem is serious, seek professional help.


Mary most pure, pray for us!

A priest friend sent this to me, clipped from Jason Evert’s newsletter:

  • Two out of three high school students lose their virginity before they graduate.
  • The average age at which children are first exposed to Internet porn is eleven years old
  • Twenty-two percent of teenage girls admit to electronically sending or posting pornographic pictures of themselves.

How to combat this problem?

1. Choose your friends wisely- good friends should inspire you, not bring you down.

2. Strong Sacramental life- regular Confession and a deep Eucharistic devotion as a means of grace and of developing a strong love for Christ. 

3. Pray a decade of the rosary every day for the virtue of purity.

4. Allow your mom/wife or dad/husband to automatically receive a copy of every website you visit and put a strong filtering system on your computers- ACCOUNTABILITY!

5. Practice self-control with your eyes and imagination and in other areas such as food and drink.

6. Avoid those movies and television programs which will provoke this temptation. 

7. Pope Benedict XVI has recommended spiritual direction, especially for young people! If the problem is serious, seek professional help.

Mary most pure, pray for us!

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