Marist Vocations
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The Vows

The Vow of Chastity

It’s about the quality of our relationships

As Mary’s life became life-giving through the power of the Holy Spirit, we look to Mary as a guide in learning to live the chaste life as a response to Jesus’ call. “Jesus calls us to live, as He did, a life wholly given to God and to people. Our accepting to be celibate is our response to His call, and a witness to His Kingdom. This acceptance brings into being a union with God that does not involve a human partner, and establishes us as brothers to all people.
— Marist Constitutions, #20

Celibate Chastity (the state of being unmarried or not in a sexual relationship) makes sense only when it is grounded in the spiritual life and expressed as a gift to God through the Church and to the world. Only when our life of faith and relationship with Jesus is at the center of who we are as Brothers, can celibate chastity make any sense.

Because human relationships are at the heart of a Brother’s life, we are called to be in relationship with those we live with and minister to, in an intimate but non-sexual way. In accepting God’s invitation to live the consecrated life, we gradually become aware that celibate chastity is actually about loving and being life-giving. Over time and through the help of those who form us, we come to realise that a life of celibate chastity is the best way for us to grow as Brothers and to be loving and life-giving men for others.

To choose celibate chastity as a way of life is to make a choice to love generously, widely and inclusively. As in all mature, loving relationships, the focus is on being other-centred rather than self-centred, to be selfless rather than self-focused.  

Michael Mirabella