virtue of chastity

Latin: castigare, to chastise

So called because its exercise is the chastising of the flesh and its special concupiscence. It belongs properly to all Christians. To be saved one must subject the flesh to the spirit, and consequently that strongest of the desires which war against the soul. All spiritual writers agree that chastity is a special gift of God, always obtainable, but only by prayer and mortification. In religion the matter of the vow is conterminous with that of the virtue in its highest degree, so that lightness of matter cannot excuse from mortal sin the least delight deliberately sought or admitted.