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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Boy Talk

Of course it rained. We only had a little leak, because it was only a little rain.

Our thoughts on St. Maria Goretti solicited this question:

So many pure saints... Only sometimes I, as a male, may ask: what about some patron saint of "male" chastity? I mean, I do take St Cecilia, St Maria Goretti, et al. as patrons for my own purity... But sometimes I would like an example of my same gender. May I think in the great St. Joseph. Any other ideas?

St. Joseph is an excellent thought! You are a good patron saint matcher. Sometimes you have to think outside the box. For example, I think whatever else St. Vincent de Paul might have up his sleeve as a patron saint, he is also the patron saint of pirates. He was kidnapped by pirates once. I'm not sure anyone needs a patron saint of pirates, but if they do, he's your man. Pirates need someone to help them not be pirates.

I digress.

Another reader also suggested St. Aloysius, who is the official patron saint of chastity. Was he ever chaste! Chaste with a side of prude. St. Aloysius took a private vow of chastity at age nine. He would not look a woman in the face, even his own mother. We love him! He's also the patron saint of choir boys.

There is, however, a whole avenue of chaste saints that goes unexplored. I would go with any of the saints who were hermit monks. I would put forth this theory, which I've held for sometime, which is that the whole reason they became hermit monks was to remain chaste.

The first famous hermit monk is St. Anthony the Hermit. There were other hermits before St. Anthony, but he outdid them all by living in the desert proper. He was really out there on his own. He wanted to follow Jesus more perfectly but he found it too difficult to remain sin free while hanging around other people.

Now think about this. What were these other people doing all the time that was so sinful that it would tempt him so much? Usury? Stealing? Being disrespectful to their parents? I think it's a little obvious what the problem could have been. So he removed the temptation altogether by living on his own in the middle of nowhere.

Unfortunately for him, a bunch of people followed him. But fortunately for him, they were all men and eventually they, and people like them, formed themselves into monasteries.

What was St. Simon Stilites really doing up on that pole? Why sit on top of a pole for years and years? Why keep getting a taller and taller pole? What's up with that?

Chastity, drove him up a pole. That's my theory.

If you wear a hair shirt, you really can only think about the hair shirt and offer up your suffering. It takes your mind off of things on which your mind might otherwise dwell. Hair shirts, tall poles, life on the desert. It's all about chastity.

That's my theory, anyhow.

I realize there is much more to it than that. Life on the desert gives one a lot of time to devote to God and prayer and meditation and contemplation. I get that.

I'm really liking your idea of St. Joseph, though. He needed a bit of angelic prodding, but he really came through in a big way.


Jade Dunlop said...

What about St. Dominic Savio? He was a pretty chaste guy.

Anonymous said...

I love that chastity is back "in". I think it's partly because younger folks can see how much suffering sleeping around has caused their parents. All those broken hearts over and over again, not to mention what devestating effect it has on the kids. I'm also seeing teens stop sleeping around after one of their friends has an abortion. It really rips them apart--they're never quite the same.

The Pope had it right with HumanVitae. If you start sleeping around, you become nothing more than a sex object which will be used by others--not loved. How sad!

There's something deep about knowing you and your spouse have only been with each other. It seems to become more and more important as they years go by, and other folks are falling into divorce. Anyway, I'm glad chastity is back "in"!

DePorres said...

There is a saint-in-the-making that I think you would like to know more about---Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who lived in Italy 1901-1925. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II May 20, 1990. There is a lot of info about him, including 3 books written by his sister about him. The first one is A MAN OF THE BEATITUDES by Luciana Frassati. He is a great saint for a young man (or young lady!)

Anonymous said...

Not looking at a woman including your mother because of chastity is not chastity.It might be continence with isn't truly a virtue. Chastity is a VIRTUE. True chastity is something that comes with alacrity, with ease and with JOY.
You want a patron for chastity? Try St. Dominic de Guzman! He is called "ivory of chastity". On his deathbed he told the friars that he was still a virgin and then also confessed that he preferred the conversation of younger women rather than old ones!
Chastity should make you MORE human not less.
Some of the Desert Fathers are great examples of this. My favorite is the story of the monks walking through town and there is a beautiful woman (prostitute) who needs to go across a stream. The elder monk carries her across to the astonishment of the others. Much later he notices their discomfort and asks them what is the matter. When they tell him he says, "I carried that woman acros the water and left her there but you are still carrying her!"

Anonymous said...

I hope you can get your roof tarped/fixed before the January rains! If you use realllllly ugly tarp to patch maybe the McMansions will chip in for a new roof for you so you won't be bringing down the neighborhood!

mel said...

LOL...I also sin far mor frequently when I am around other people. :)

father michael said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog, Sister! My mom loves your blog and thinks I've hit the big time with your comment.

I will be checking out and posting your posts on chastity.

Life Is Beautiful said...

I know he is not officially a saint, but what about Alessandro Serenelli as a model of chastity? Particularly chastity after conversion from porn addiction. I know Maria Goretti prayed for him to be in heaven with her, and his life afterwards was a model of contrition. I feel he has helped me in my battles, just as I know St. Maria has helped me too. Yes, he did a bad thing. But so did King David, Moses and countless others. I believe St. Maria would be happy if he was invoked, especially for guys.