For this reason Jerome wrote these succinct words, "It is given to those, who have asked for it, who have desired it, who have worked to receive it. In order to acquire this perfect mastery of the spirit over the senses, it is not enough to refrain from acts directly contrary to chastity, but it is necessary also generously to renounce anything that may offend this virtue nearly or remotely; at such a price will the soul be able to reign fully over the body and lead its spiritual life in peace and liberty. Similar Items Related Subjects: For modesty foresees threatening danger, forbids us to expose ourselves to risks, demands the avoidance of those occasions which the imprudent do not shun. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Clement I, stated in these words, "he who is chaste in flesh should not be proud, for he should know that he owes the gift of continence to another. Ambrose, writing succinctly of the consecrated virgin, says, "She is a virgin who is married to God.
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Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XII on Holy Virginity : Vatican Text
We feel the deepest joy at the thought of the innumerable army of virgins and apostles who, from the first centuries of the Church up to our own day, have given up marriage to devote themselves more easily and fully to the salvation of their neighbor for the love of Christ, and have thus been enabled to undertake and carry through admirable works of religion and charity. For virginity is a difficult virtue; that one be able to embrace it there is needed not only a strong and declared determination of completely and perpetually abstaining from those legitimate pleasures derived from marriage; but also a constant vigilance and struggle to contain and dominate rebellious movements of body and soul, a flight from the importunings of this world, a struggle to conquer the wiles of Satan. Apostolic constitutions and bulls Encyclicals Apostolic writings Magisterium. Some have preserved their virginity unspoiled, others after the death of their spouse, have consecrated to God their remaining years in the unmarried state, and still others, after repenting their sins, have chosen to lead a life of perfect chastity; all of them at one in this common oblation, that is, for love of God to abstain for the rest of their lives from sexual pleasure. Pope Pius XII held that papal encyclicals, even when they are not ex cathedracan nonetheless be sufficiently authoritative to end theological debate on a particular question:. She is the image of virginity.