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.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"Happy is the youth, because he has time before him to do good. "
St Philip Neri

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