Based on the Writings of St. Joseph Sebastian Pelczar
Receiving holy baptism, the soul opens itself to the love of God. At the same time the Lord Jesus becomes the Spouse of the soul and the soul is made His bride. He espouses the soul with the ring of union with Himself; introduces the soul to His home, that is, the Church; allows participation in His treasures on earth and afterward in His Kingdom in heaven. He does this under the condition that the bride will remain faithful to Him.
“Oh, how great your dignity, O human soul,” St. Joseph Sebastian Pelczar writes, “that you have such a Spouse whose beauty the sun and moon admire. Arise and know how great you are in the eyes of God. Christ, your Spouse, did not spare His blood for you; He bountifully made you rich; He shared with you His Kingdom and raised you to His throne. See how much you should love Him; what ardent thanks you should offer Him; and how faithful you should be to Him in everything.”
The Lord Jesus became the Bridegroom of all. In Him we find the strongest love and support, the surest advice and consolation. He is the example and author of a life both chaste and wholly dedicated to God. Not only is the God-Man alone the purest, but He loves chastity in us as well. He chose for His Mother the Immaculate Virgin; He loved above all others the virgin disciple John; and lastly He recommended virginity as a counsel and means to perfection. Moreover, to all who love chastity, the Lord Jesus gives a bountiful reward and the beatitude of seeing God.
We can say of the religious life that it is similar to the marriage resulting from the wedding vows. Therefore we rightly call religious profession a marriage with Jesus Christ. Entrusting his heart to the bride, the bridegroom eagerly shares with her his goods also. Similarly, the Lord Jesus shares with the person given to Him in religious consecration not only His truth, His grace, His merits, His Mother, and the gifts placed within the treasury of the Church, but He also gives Himself to her in order to transform her into His very self. He asks only our faithful and lasting love, which He promises to abundantly reward in His Kingdom.
Whoever responds to this bridal love of Jesus by undertaking the evangelical counsels, may experience the paradox that confounds others. Renouncing his own will through obedience, he gains true freedom in God. Renouncing the disposal of material goods for the care of the interior life, he is filled with the inexhaustible treasures of God’s grace. Finally, taking the vow of chastity opens him to the wider perspective of complete union with God in love.
By the grace of God, millions of priests, hermits, religious men and women and lay people as well have kept and are keeping chastity. They imitate in this life the chaste, poor and obedient Lord Jesus. He Himself gave these counsels so as to remove the greatest obstacles from those who would embrace them, while at the same time giving the means for resemblance to Him and the way to draw near to Him.
Blessed are the single-hearted for they shall see God (Mt 5:8).