Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Dignity and Worth of Virginity

I read the other day about a nun who gave birth to a baby boy. She had returned to her native land for a visit, and apparently had a tryst with a “childhood flame”, the article said. The article also said she didn’t know she was pregnant, and was surprised to give birth.

We all fall.

Far be it from me to criticize and condemn this woman – though I certainly do not mean to say, “Who am I to judge?” We can certainly judge the wrongness of her behavior. People are tempted in all walks of life, and we all fall at one time or another. Some of us fall many times. There is of course always forgiveness for the contrite and penitent sinner; Our Lord promises that. The key, of course, is being contrite and penitent. Seems to me that that part is often left out when people talk about how Our Lord always forgives.

I was praying this morning, and the thought of that nun came to the forefront. I suddenly felt immensely sad about the whole thing. Now, I don’t know her circumstances, and I can only speak from what I read in one article. Is she contrite and penitent? I don’t know. She named the baby after Pope Francis…I guess I cannot say what that means to her, but I wonder if it has something to do with his perceived leniency for sinful behavior.

At any rate, I think we can make some generalizations about the state of our society based on that.

Virginity is not prized any longer. Maybe that’s a no-brainer, but it hit me hard this morning as I was thinking about that nun. A nun, of all people, should understand the dignity and worth of virginity.

Virgin martyrs have died horrible deaths to preserve their virginity!

But nowadays, many people seem to believe virginity is overrated. After all, they seem to think, virginity is only useful for protecting a woman from becoming pregnant, right? Since artificial contraception can accomplish the same thing, what’s the point of virginity? What’s the point of purity? In my experience, most people assume that a young man and young woman who have been “dating” for some time will soon live together. It is assumed they will engage in sexual intercourse. It is assumed that they will use some form of very effective birth control. It is assumed that when they are “ready” for children, they will get married and then the woman will become pregnant.

This all practically makes me weep, especially with regard to that nun. For a nun, virginity is a pledge of betrothal to Our Lord. HE alone is her Spouse.  And with such a Spouse, how could one even be tempted to be unfaithful to Him?! Yes, yes, I know temptations of the flesh are severe and difficult to avoid and overcome. Still… Our Lord!

I just do not know what else to say. I feel so sorry for that nun: that she seems not to understand the gravity of her offense; that she seems not to feel contrition for her act. (Maybe she does, though; the media certainly will not even ask that question!) She traded her purity and her betrothal to Our Lord for an illicit sexual act. She said she “feels more like a mum than a nun” - as well she should; she is, in fact, now a “mum”, and that precludes being a nun, doesn’t it? (There are exceptions, but let’s leave that alone for now; the exceptions I’m thinking of are qualitatively different from the one this particular nun exemplifies.)

Sigh. The state of our Church! The state of the faithful!

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.


  1. May I suggest that the use of the word "virginity" may be confusing for people thinking about religious life? Religious are not required to be virgins, they are required to be chaste.

  2. That is true. Perhaps I confused the issue. But I was thinking about virginity, and I suppose I tend to think that most young women discerning religious life would be virgins. Perhaps I'm wrong about that...especially in this day and age.