St. Norbert and Chastity
Chastity is a flower which a Religious of the Order of Prémontré must always carry and preserve; for like a precious pearl in a crown must his chastity be; well known and of good repute, and shining forth in all his actions. – St. Norbert
In our own day chastity is little discussed; ridiculed by the world and extolled rarely even amongst some Christians. Yet chastity was the way Christ lived, it was the crown of His Holy Mother and the example of all the saints. In today’s society, described by our recent popes as a ‘culture of death’, the witness of chastity is an important antidote to the symptoms of that culture.
Our Holy Father Norbert had spent much of his early years at court and amongst the society of the world. He knew all too well the dangers posed to chastity. Yet St. Norbert recognised chastity as the great virtue that it is and on account of this he was most zealous in his defense of it.
The late Pope John Paul II called upon us, as an Order to always “witness to the world around the values which are eternal and transcendent.” As religious men and women we are called upon to live the life of consecrated celibacy; a life of sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom of God. Our lives therefore should indeed be ones of witness, even when we are ridiculed. St. Paul wrote in his first letter to the church at Corinth; “the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God.”
Let us pray then that all priests and religious may continue to uphold the virtue of chastity, not only in their own lives, but in the universal call to chastity to which Christ has called all Christians. Let us pray too for single people, for married people and for all families, especially our own, that God will, through the intercession of St. Norbert, grant them an abundant outpouring of grace.
V) Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
R) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray,
Awake O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, was guided in order that, filled with the same Spirit, we may love what he loved, and live as he taught us. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.