Choose a topic from Part 2B:

152. Virginity

1. Virginity is basically derived from a word that meanswhat is fresh, unseared, untouched by harming influence. Theessential thing in virginity is not a condition of the body, butthe perpetual refraining from the use or pleasures ofsex.

2. Reason requires that external or material goods be usedin a due and proportionate way. Now, the use of sex for thepropagation of the race is necessary, good, natural, reasonable.But such use, while necessary for people in general, is notnecessary for each individual. The race is sufficiently propagatedand assured of continuance and increase, even if a very largenumber of individuals live singly and make no use of sex at all.Hence, virginity is not unreasonable, for it does no harm tothe common good. And if virginity is practiced for a good and holyreason, it is a most noble virtue.

3. Virginity as integrity of the flesh and freedom fromsexual experience is natural to human beings from their birth. Butvirginity as a virtue is that virginity which is freely chosen forthe purpose of serving God more completely, of giving the mind tothe contemplation of divine things in the absence of family caresand with the sacrifice of family joys.

4. Virginity is directed to the good of the soul. Marriageis directed to the propagation of the race. In itself, therefore,virginity is more excellent than chaste marriage.

5. Virginity is the most excellent virtue in thegenus or class of chastity. It surpasses the chastity ofthe married state, and the chastity of widowhood. But it is not thegreatest of all virtues. The theological virtues of faith, hope,and charity are superior in excellence to virginity, as are thevirtues of religion and the fortitude which sustains themartyr.

"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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