Re-printed from Our Franciscan Fiat
Today’s responsorial psalm and alleluia verse can easily be tied into the next evangelical counsel in our series, that is chastity. In the psalm, we say: “The Lord takes delight in his people.” Shortly thereafter, Christ’s words: “I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last,” continue the theme.
Our Dillingen Franciscan constitutions continue this strain when they say: “…we respond to Christ’s love for us with our undivided personal love for Him.”
He delights in, chooses, and loves us first. In living consecrated chastity, we find our delight in Him, love Him, and respond to His love. There are several other beautiful points that our Constitutions offer regarding chastity that I would like to share.
May I pause here to share a little story?…
When I was a postulant, I was asked to type our Rule and Constitutions so we would have it on file electronically. I had typed the entire Rule and was part way into the Constitutions when the computer gave me trouble. I had backed it up on a CD but the CD was scratched. Consequently, I had to re-type all I had already done. Needless to say, I was quite familiar with our beautiful directives by the time I entered novitiate.
Anyway, back to the references to chastity found therein:
From our Rule:
“Professing chastity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, they are to care for the things of the Lord and they have nothing else to do except to follow the will of the Lord and to please Him. In all of their works the love of God and all people should shine forth.”
“This love for Christ does not decrease our love of others, but rather, strengthens it.”
“Only a constant turning to God enables us to live in purity of heart and body.”
“We obligate ourselves by virtue of the vow to consecrated chastity in a celibate life for the sake of the Kingdom of God.”
“Our celibate life in consecrated chastity is a sign of the loving union between Christ and the Church. It gives witness for the absolute priority of God in this life and for the new order of salvation in the coming Kingdom of God.”
A final quote that I find especially inspiring and encouraging is: “Trusting in the faithfulness of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we have the courage to accept this life in consecrated chastity and celibacy for the sake of God’s Kingdom, in Poverty and in obedience.”