Virginal Love ~ The Single Vocation in the World


Painting by Gregory Frank Harris

by Fr. Dominic J. Unger, O.F.M., 1958, The Mystery of Love for the Single

Virginal love is not an impediment to the full realization of one’s personality. It is not only no hindrance to the fullest attainment of one’s final end, but it promotes that attainment as nothing else can.

It not only does not hinder the realization of a perfect personality; it is, very positively, the completion, the sublimation, the perfection of human personality.

The reason is this: perfect chastity makes it possible for man and woman to possess most fully and completely in this world the God who alone can be the fully satisfying object of man’s essential faculties, which otherwise is possible only in the heavenly life. God and Christ must be loved above all else, and everyone and everything must be loved in and through Christ and God.

Precisely in perfect chastity is this twofold love possible to the highest degree in this world. In perfect chastity man and woman can love God with an undivided love.

They are, then, not bachelors and spinsters because they love so little; they are virginal spouses of Christ because they love so much, so ardently, that no creature can fully satisfy their longing for loving and being loved. They are, in short, on fire with love for God.

This is the essence of the mystery of love for the single in the world. The perfection of one’s own personality is the primary reason for choosing the life of perfect chastity.

It is not the only reason. This vocation is not a selfish one. True, the adversaries object that people who deliberately remain single in the world are selfish in not marrying and rearing children who could be a boon to society. That is missing the point entirely.

Those who forego marriage and practice perfect chastity do so precisely because, besides securing their own salvation, they can be a great blessing to the Church and society at large.

Precisely because such single men and women are so beneficial to the Church and are such a power for the Church’s apostolate do the heretics oppose them and persecute them. The persecutors of the Church of all times are the greatest witnesses to the social blessing that perfect chastity has been, is, and will be.

Nor is the fact of their being persecuted an argument that the vocation is not healthy for society. Christ was the one who foretold that His Church, His virginal Spouse, would be persecuted. But she is persecuted only inasmuch as her members are persecuted, not merely in her hierarchical members, in bishops and priests, but also, and very much so, in her virginal lay members.

Precisely these have produced the most beautiful flowers of purity and martyrdom in the early Church, as for example, St. Agnes and St. Agatha.

If, then, the virginal lovers of Christ are persecuted so much, that is a clear and irrefutable argument that they are very much a part of the true Church of Christ, their Virgin Mother and Model. They are, in this point, very much like Christ Himself.

Lastly, such a vocation to virginal love in the world will be no detriment to vocations to the priesthood or to the religious life. That needs no proof as far as those are concerned who remain of necessity unmarried, because these should not or cannot choose the priestly or religious vocation.

But it is true even in regard to those who freely choose to be virgins in the world, though they might have the qualifications for other vocations. The God who grants the vocations to the virgins in the world will see to it that there will always be sufficient vocations in the other states of life.

Such virginal souls will themselves be instrumental in leading many others to the altar or into the convent. In fact, some may eventually choose such a vocation themselves precisely because they prepared for it by the virginal life they lived in the world.

One may encourage such as are thinking about perfect chastity in the world to consider the priestly or the religious vocation, especially in view of the great shortage in these vocations. But these latter vocations must be chosen freely.

If one still thinks that one can fulfill God’s will by a single life in the world, one is free to choose that vocation. To do so is not to have a low esteem of the priesthood or of the religious life.

Just as to praise and foster vocations to the single life in the world is not a belittling of the priesthood or of the religious life. To esteem silver is not to despise gold; to extol clarinets is not to denounce denounce violins; to praise violets is not to damn roses.

Words of St. Paul: Don’t be anxious; instead, give thanks in all your prayers and petitions and make your requests known to God, and God’s peace which is beyond all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)

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This booklet contains practical advice on the subjects of dating and choosing a spouse from the Catholic theological viewpoint. Father Lovasik points out clearly what one’s moral obligations are in this area, providing an invaluable aid to youthful readers. Additionally, he demonstrates that Catholic marriage is different from secular marriage and why it is important to choose a partner who is of the Catholic Faith if one would insure his or her personal happiness in marriage. With the rampant dangers to impurity today, with the lax moral standards of a large segment of our society, with divorce at epidemic levels, Clean Love in Courtship will be a welcome source of light and guidance to Catholics serious about their faith.



A Frank, Yet Reverent Instruction on the Intimate Matters of Personal Life for Young Men. To our dear and noble Catholic youths who have preserved, or want to recover, their purity of heart, and are minded to retain it throughout life. For various reasons many good fathers of themselves are not able to give their sons this enlightenment on the mysteries of life properly and sufficiently. They may find this book helpful in the discharge of their parental responsibilities in so delicate a matter.

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