Publisher: Ignatius Press (1987)
Paperback (148 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2015 Re-Reading, Read 2015
Father Thomas Dubay, one of the foremost authorities on the religious life, discusses one of the most important but not fully appreciated or understood charisms of the consecrated life, the charism of virginity. Although the idea of virginity is unpopular and even despised in modern society, Dubay emphasizes that the importance of evangelical virginity is rooted in its Biblical foundation, both in the Old and New Testaments.
Examining in detail what the call to virginity is and how it is integrated into the whole of consecrated life, Dubay presents his study in such a way as to be of importance to men as well. Noting that a woman, because of her feminine nature and traits, can image and live the Church’s wedded relationship to Christ more realistically, Dubay points out that men with the celibate charism are also members of the virgin Church that is wedded to Christ, just as in the Old Testament the People of God was a virgin bride wedded to Yahweh. The common and distinct elements of male and female consecrated love are fully captured in these pages.
First of all, I love this book. This is probably close to the tenth time I have read this book. I first read it when I was in high school before I entered the convent. I read it while I was with the Sisters. I read it after I left. I also read it twice this summer. I have read this book a lot and I love it.
This book talks about those who have been given, by God, the grace to live a virginal or celibate life. This book, first published in 1987, is still relevant today and often recommended to those discerning religious or consecrated life. The book is mainly written about the vocation of consecrated virginity but also talks about religious life as well.
Father Thomas Dubay begins by speaking of the world today and the presuppositions this book makes. He then defines exactly what he means when he writes of gospel virginity so that everyone is on the same page. He then proceeds to talk at length about the things that make up this vocation such as permanent fidelity and prayer. He even speaks on the signs that one is called to this vocation.
This is a great book and I love the way Father Thomas Dubay writes. I connect so much with his writing. I would recommend this book to anyone discerning a vocation as well as to the family and friends of anyone discerning. It is such a great resource.
I am going to end this review by sharing some of my favorite quotes with you:
Gospel virginity is a love affair of the most enthralling type. It is a focusing on God that fulfills as nothing else fulfills.
You are a thirst in the flesh, an incarnated thirst. You yearn for endless beauty and joy, endless love and delight, endless security and happiness – and an immortality in which to enjoy it all. … You and I are thirsts for God. We are thirsty with a thirst that nothing, absolutely nothing finite ever quenches.
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