Chapter II




  1. v“Ten Commandments” vs. “Counsels”
  2. vThe discipleship sayings of Jesus are for followers, i.e., for all Christians.
  3. vOnly in the 12-13 centuries were the charisms of the religious lifestyle named as “Poverty, Chastity and Obedience” and religious began taking “the three vows.”
  4. vVatican II changed the order to “Chastity, Poverty and Obedience.”
  5. vThe Claretian Experience


1. Terminology

1. “Chastity

It is the oldest, most common term. Defined as virtue which regulates the sexual instinct, subordinating it to the life of faith?          & consequently excluding any sin.

Chaste means freedom from sin, does not mean abstaining from sex.

a)   chastity of married persons: proper use of sex in marriage.

b) Chastity of RL mean commitment not to marry,& perfect continence. Hence term needs to be modified (cf. Vatican II): “Chastity consecrated to God” “Chastity for the sake of the Kingdom”

2. “Virginity”

Defined by Aquinas as ” chastity belonging to these men &women who, through fidelity made for a religious reason, have never voluntarily experienced sexual pleasure.” Easily confused with physical state, especially of women.

3. “Continence”

Defined as “partial or complete abstention from sexual activity.” (Emphasis is on physical.)

Hence to designate RL modifiers are used:

  • perfect continence
  • perfect & perpetual continence for the sake of the Kingdom.

4. Celibacy

Designates state of remaining unmarried, especially for religious motives. “Celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom” seems to be the best term in reference to RL. Designates a state of life, a lifestyle, not a limited physical condition.

“Celibacy” is the basic relationship making RL community and mission possible. “Free from … to be Free for ….” Cf. Mt. 10 -12; 1 Cor. 7ff.

The renewed Claretian Constitutions give positive motives (nos. 20,21) as well as safeguards (no. 22).

Claretian Directory: nos. 55-62

    • 55-61 “spiritual” means.
    • 62 “natural” means
    • Prophetic: “O santo o loco” (Saint or “nuts”)

(A detailed Commentary of this chapter is given in Our Project of Missionary Life, Commentary on the constitutions, Vol.2 pp. 265-315).