April 10, 2010

Hugh's Advice to the Unchaste

What shall you pay to the Lord your God for your virginity, which you vowed and after the vow lost?...Is there something else which may be paid for this, so that the debt may be paid and so great a vow fulfilled? If there is nothing else which may be paid for this, there is no salvation for those who vowed this and cannot pay it after it was lost....Let him who dares, say this? I neither presume nor wish to do so. Let him beware who should should wish to say this, lest perhaps he raise a danger in himself. What other thing? Pay your penance. Pay your humility. For virginity of the flesh pay humility of the heart. For broken flesh break your heart....it will suffice. (De Sacramentis, 2.12.6, Deferrari's translation)

The Master is speaking to consecrated virgins and religious, but his wisdom is easily applied to those who know falls from the chastity proper to other states of life as well.

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