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Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Wise and the Foolish

Terry has a wonderful post about virginity and chastity, in the spiritual life, as he quotes his good friend Fr. Mark at Vultus Christi.

Celibacy and chastity and holiness.

Don Marco has an excellent post on the subject, taken from a homily of St. John Chrysostom on the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. Both St. John and Fr. Mark have a marvelous understanding of the primacy of mercy and love in the spiritual life. They point out that both the wise and the foolish virgins obtained a remarkable and exalted grace - that of virginity, chastity, continence, what have you. Both awaited the bridegroom… and when they heard the announcement of his return, only the wise virgins were prepared, while the foolish were not. We all know the story, yet this is what St. John says:

“Virginity then, being a thing in itself so great and so much esteemed among many, lest any man having attained unto it, and kept it undefiled, should think that he hath done all, and so leave the rest undone, the Lord putteth forth this parable, in order to show that if virginity, though it have all else, lack mercy, its owner will have his portion without among the fornicators, among whom Christ doth justly place the heartless and pitiless celibate.

“By the “lamps” spoken of in this parable, the Lord signifieth the actual gift of virginity and holy continency, and by the “oil” gentleness, almsgiving, and helpfulness toward the needy.”
- St. John Chrysostom

Go visit Terry and Fr. Mark and read the rest!

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