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Bible verses that support chastity after marriage April 25, 2014

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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A commenter left a comment yesterday that really touched me, describing how she had suffered to leave a second marriage that was not in consonance with the Canon or Moral Law (that is not a direct quote, but that is what I took from the comment).  I still do not have the words to express my admiration at such great depth of faith.  People who make the choice to follow Church Law after a marriage ends in divorce are to be so highly commended.  I was inspired by what I read yesterday.

To help people whose marriages end in divorce or through death, I thought I would point out a few Bible verses that speak to the value to remaining chaste and celibate after one’s marriage ends.

There is an entire book of the Bible that centers on a widowed woman, the Book of Judith.  I especially recommend the Canticle of Judith, Judith Chapter 16.  Throughout that chapter but especially towards the end, Judith’s voluntary acceptance of a life of chastity, eschewing many offers for marriage (for she was a beautiful and wealthy woman) for the greater glory of God, is constantly extolled.  Due to her perfection in virtue, she was chosen by God to be a savior of her people, defeating the evil Assyrian general Holofernes and preventing the annihilation of the state of Judah.

Another valuable verse, which also is so vital in the tragic “debate” taking place in the Church on how to deal with those who divorce and remarry, is St. Matthew Chapter 19, verses 1-12.  This is where Christ plainly states that divorce and remarriage is a sin (so long as the original marriage was valid), but He also states, in verses 11-12:

Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’ s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.

This applies to those who voluntary choose celibacy for life, and those who choose it after their marriage ends.  Let he that can take it, take it.

Another verse that supports celibacy in widowhood (or, though it was not so common then, after divorce) is 1 Timothy 5 3-7:

Honor widows, that are widows indeed.  But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God. But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God, and continue in supplications and prayers night and day.

For she that liveth in pleasures, is dead while she is living.  And this give in charge, that they may be blameless.

The notes for the Haydock Study Bible, for Judith XVI:31, claim that Judith was a widow indeed, as St. Paul relates above.  That is, she is the perfect model of widowhood, chaste, living deep in prayer before the Lord, offering her life for the glorification of God and of His Church.

I pray you find these useful!  If you have more suggestions, please make them.

 

Comments

1. psychthomist - April 27, 2014

Thank you! As a woman whose husband left her very soon after we had our marriage convalidated after waiting two years for my husband’s (we married in the Episcopal Church in 96 and I did not return to my Faith until 2006) annulment, I need all the support I can get!

I will not date, will not even consider giving up receiving the True Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Eucharistic Lord for a human relationship…I am praying for all those who might be damaged by even the perception that our pontiff would think it harmless to take communion while in the state of mortal sin.

I feel I must do something to help other divorced Catholics see the value and beauty in remaining celibate for the rest of their lives, unless the spouse were to return and reconcile. I especially am convicted that the damage done to the children (I have two boys, 16 and 14) when the mother starts dating or remarries is another reason to consecrate oneself to the Lord for life! My mother had several male partners after she divorced my dad in 1972 (both Catholics but living in Berkeley CA, need I say more?) and my poor brother never even remotely recovered from the mostly unintentional damage done to him…Pray for him and for all children damaged by divorce and especially by remarriage!

I thank God that I know my faith well enough to not only be preserved from error in this area, but to positively revel in the glory of being able to serve Him in prayer and sacrifice as a “consecrated” divorcee for the rest of my life! And to try to raise my boys the best I can until I can maybe run away to a monastery when they are adults!


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