Tag Archives: Virginity

Homily: Virgins galore, some wise, some narcissistic idiots

Homily challenge! I like it! Before Mass, I received an email from a friend who challenged me to explain some of the hard sayings of Jesus, conundrums, harshness that is apparently to be found in this parable. Challenges, being put under pressure, make me thrive. I guess I’m pretty fired up in this particular homily, a little extended for a weekday attempt, but I can help it.

If you have any homily/sermon challenges for future attempts of this preacher-man to be faithful to the Holy Spirit, let me know before that Mass by way of a comment on any post whatsoever. The comments are moderated, so out of context to that post comments won’t make it through, but I’ll see then. You never know what will happen.

I was first challenged about this parable of the virgins by a terribly cynical anti-God (literally) very top-of-the-heap official in the Holy See:

  • “Go ahead, George, un-street-smart naive priest that you are: trundle over to Vatican Radio to recording room […], and whatever you spew forth we’ll put up for immediate broadcast around the world. Trundle off now. People will be listening.”

Oooo! Pressure! But not really. Because the only “pressure” I feel for preaching is that I might honor Mary by saying something at least somewhat fitting about the words of her dearest dear Son, Jesus. Anyway, that Vatican Radio thing was something like 25 years ago. I think I about said the exact same thing then as the recording from the other day above.

Here’s the deal:

  • Jesus puts before us life and death. He’s deadly serious. Take a look at how he tortured to death, taking on the punishment we deserve for sin, the worst we can give out, He standing in our place, Innocent for the guilty, having the right, then, in His own justice to have mercy on us.
  • Yes, Jesus is being terribly sarcastic in this parable on our behalf, instructing us on how not to be the foolish virgins and rather how to be the wise virgins. And if that involves “harshness” of instruction on behalf of the foolish, so be it. Maybe it will get them to heaven. But it’s their choice.

By the way, don’t think for a second that – in our fallen human nature – those wise virgins didn’t suffer like hell to remain virgins. Knowing the impossibility of the same if left to their own devices and without grace, they learned instead to depend on God’s good grace, on how to live in God’s good grace, despite the weakness and temptation and darkness of fallen human nature. They learned to be humbly thankful to God: the gift of chastity while remaining in God’s love is in fact a gift from God and is the fruit of love of God.

By the way, don’t think for a second that – in our fallen human nature – those foolish virgins didn’t suffer like hell to remain virgins. But this was not something meritorious. They used this “virginity” so as to put their narcissistic self-congratulatory arrogance in the faces of others, prostituting themselves to “feeling virtuous” before others, “buying the oil, the love of God, at the merchants, the aggressive fallen world. So wrapped up were they that they weren’t even shaken by the extreme sarcasm of the wise virgins, a last ditch effort to stop them from flinging themselves into hell.

To be stark about it, we are not our own saviors; we can buy our salvation. Jesus is our Savior, and He provides this as a gift. Will we receive it, or will attempt to buy it by prostituting ourselves to rationalizations about how it is that we think we are so great apart from God?

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Filed under HOMILIES

05 – Priestly Celibacy Series – Virginity

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Virginity — to be a virgin, comes from virgo (virginis), which is like unto virga, a twig, a slender branch, a young sprouting shoot. In other words, someone young, male or female, who does not know willing sexual intercourse.

Saint John, a priest, Apostle, and Evangelist, uses the word virgin for men in the Apocalypse 14:4. The beloved disciple himself is thought to have always been a virgin. The same word, παρθένος (virgin), is used for the Blessed Mother of God (Luke 1,27, etc.).

Continence, celibacy and chastity can be thought to have primarily negative meanings to which positive spiritual motivations must be added. Virginity has a primarily positive meaning, the pristine, wonderful, lively goodness of men and women who, for even very positive reasons, have not (yet) known willing sexual intercourse (or willing sexual compromise for that matter).

Saint Augustine, not a virgin, came to know chaste, continent celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven more than many virgins.

I should add here that unwilling sexual intercourse, such as being raped, would not disqualify one from being a virgin even in the strict sense. The hymen may be missing for many reasons, including disease or disfigurement or birth defect. Whatever. Can women who have been raped be admitted, for instance, to the order of consecrated virgins? Yes, of course they can. Much has been made of comments to the contrary, but I would bet that those who made such comments did not have rape in mind! Honestly!

What about those who have known willing compromise? Let’s review: Saint Augustine, not a virgin, came to know chaste, continent celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven more than many virgins. Does that make him a virgin? No.

However, I don’t think people should be singled out for a past life. Women who were previously married, but, for instance, their spouse died, and they want to get remarried, don’t want to wear a white dress since that would somehow negate the great married life they had with their beloved who have now died.

But should women who fell in weakness before getting married be forced to wear a non-white dress? That, in my opinion, would be perverse. And what about the men? Honestly!

Also, by the way, our ever virgin Blessed Mother remained a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. Why? There are many reasons. A very important one was the her Son was the Son, by whom we all exist, and with whom we are to be unified as members, so to speak, of His Mystical Body, of which He is the Head. The Blessed Mother is the mother of us all, giving birth to the rest of us in her Son by way of her perfect intercession for us under the Cross, those birth pangs which brought us to see the light of day in the Son of God. She is not the mother of a monster — as I think Saint Bernard said — the mother of only a Head, for instead, she is mother of the whole Christ, the Head, Jesus, and us, the members. This divine work was first wrought by Holy Spirit, not the intervention of man. This divine work continued by the Holy Spirit, not the intervention of man. The virginity of Mary is a sign of all of this.

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Filed under Priesthood, Priestly Celibacy, Priestly Celibacy Series, Vocations

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Pope Francis on Mary’s virginity ed.)

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You have heard recently that it was said that Jesus’ good mom, Mary, the immaculate ever virgin mother of God, had no intention whatsoever of remaining a virgin at all. This is to insult Mary as being stupid.

Consider that when the angel sent to her to announce that she was to be the Mother of the Divine Son of God, she asked how this could be since she knows not man. Mind you, she was betrothed to Joseph, to be married to him, but she is ruling out making babies with Joseph. She knows not man. She will not ever know man. She’s not ever going to give up on being a virgin. She knew absolutely that she was called by God to be virgin forever.

That doesn’t mean that she was ruling out following the command to be fruitful and multiply; that doesn’t mean she was ruling out being a mother.

When the angel explained that she would conceive inside her womb by the power of the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, so that the One who is to be born of her will truly be the Divine Son of God, and when the angel again explained to her that during the very birth that Divine Son of God would be called “Holy” – necessitating that there be no blood offending Jewish purity laws (which would be impossible unless it would be a miraculous birth) – only then did she consent: “Yes!”

So, to repeat, saying that Mary had no intention to remain forever a virgin is to insult her as stupid or as being a liar. We recall what Pope Francis said about insulting one’s mother:

Of course, I have no intention to punch Pope Francis for having insulted Jesus’ good mom. I’ll leave that to Jesus (but see below). I do recall, however, that in mid-January 2015 Pope Francis insulted my mom by telling women generally not to breed like rabbits: as it is, I’m the fourth child of my own mother. She wasn’t a rabbit.

Now, having said all that: I forgive Pope Francis. I assume that he’s had a typical Jesuit anti-Catholic training in the seminary, and that he was taught to be dismissive of the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church and the Councils of the Church. I assume that he thinks that he’s better than everyone before him because he lives today, you know, the old trick of being Promethean and all that, you know, because that’s the trick that everyone who taught him were playing when he was in the seminary. I assume that he’s no theologian, that he thinks it’s nice to speak of Mary as being “normal girl”, that he’s simply a political animal, you know, sincere in his vacuity, but sincere nonetheless. So, whatever. That’s on him. I forgive him.

That I forgive him – I’m his own Missionary of Mercy, right? – that forgiveness doesn’t mean I don’t hate it that people are scandalized, that people are not fed, that the brethren are not at all confirmed in the faith, that the Pope is not the sign of unity. I do hate all that. But I forgive him. And he does say the occasional good thing, you know, now and again. And he has, of course, never abused the gift of infallibility, nor could he.

Here’s the deal: I’ve done much worse. I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God, of the Immaculate ever Virgin Mary by way of my after-the-fact participation in original sin, by way of my own sin. We’re not made more righteous by throwing a tantrum and condemning others. We’re not made more righteous by being cynical and unforgiving.

Regardless of whatever Pope Francis says to insult Mary, I myself will continue to give flowers to the Immaculate Conception, asking that she ask her Divine Son Jesus to forgive Pope Francis for such insults and outrages.

You know what happens then? Then I am peaceful in heart and soul once again. Thank you, Jesus; thank you, Mary.

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Filed under Flores, Mary, Pope Francis