Those who have taken vows of chastity, says St. Ambrose, are living the life of the angels now—the life we will all live after the Resurrection. There is a special brightness reserved for them in Heaven.
But you who have taken the vow already, chasten your bodies more strict- ly, and do not allow yourselves to loosen the reins of desire even after those things that are permitted. You should not only turn away from an unlawful connection, but despise even a lawful look.
Remember, in whichever sex you are, whether men or women, that you are leading on earth the life of angels: for the angels are neither given in marriage nor marry (Mark 12:25). This is what we will be like when we have risen again. How much better are you, who before death begin to be what all of us will be after the resurrection!
Keep your proper degrees, for God keeps for you your honors. The resurrec- tion of the dead is compared to the stars that are set in Heaven. One star differs from another star in glory, as the Apostle says; so also is the resurrection of the dead. In one way virginity will shine there, in another wedded chastity will shine there, after another holy widowhood will shine there. They will shine in different ways, but all will be there—the brilliance unequal, the Heaven the same. –St. Ambrose, Sermon 82 on the New Testament, 3IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Even if I’m not called to a vow of chastity myself, how can I help and encourage the people in my community who are leading on earth the life of angels?
Lord, send your angels to guard all your holy deacons, priests, bishops, monks, and nuns throughout the world.
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