The Parable of the Faithful Virgin

faithful nunIn 1962, a young woman, taken with a divine love for the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, forsook everything and joined a strict convent, so that every day she might have many and frequent sacrifices to offer God, her Love, as a chaste spouse to a much beloved husband.  And all the other catholic nuns in the convent did the same.

Then came a Bishop, who, being in admiration for the art of statuary and the aesthetics of the Renaissance, donated to all the convents in his diocese, a copy of the Statue of St. David, King of Israel, as crafted by Michelangelo.

At first, the Mother Superior of the Convent objected, saying to the Bishop: that kind of art is not appropriate in a convent of consecrated virgins. But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “If you want my favor and blessing, you will not spurn my gifts!” And so the Mother Superior relented, and took the statue.

When the Bishop came the next year to visit the Convent, he asked, “Where is the statue I donated?”  The Mother Superior said, “I did not have the money for a pedestal which would properly display the statue, so it is being stored temporarily in the lumbar room (i.e. the storage room).”  But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “If you want my favor and blessing, you will not spurn my gifts!”  And so the Mother Superior relented, and bought a pedestal and set the statue up.

In the third year, the bishop came to visit the Convent, again, and asked, “Where is the statue I donated?”  The Mother Superior said, “I could not think of where such a statue might be placed, worthy of its full artistic effect. So it is for the time being set up in an unused chapel, at the back of the Convent.”  But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “If you want my favor and blessing, you will not spurn my gifts!”  And so the Mother Superior relented, and moved the Statue to the courtyard.

At this, the nuns of the Convent all objected, saying, that such artwork was not appropriate for the courtyard of a Convent.  But the Mother Superior said, “Don’t be puritanical, after all, it is only a statue of St. David!”  And so all the nuns relented, and ceased their complaints.  Except one faithful virgin, who out of meekness guarded her eyes, and never looked upon the statue again.

In the fourth year, the bishop came to visit the Convent, again, and asked, “Where is the statue I donated? Why have you dishonored it?”  The Mother Superior said, “Your Excellency, I have placed it in the most visible part of the Convent, so that all the nuns can see it daily.”  But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “If you want my favor and blessing, you will not spurn My gifts!”  And so the Mother Superior relented, and moved the Statue to the main Chapel of the Convent.

At this, the nuns of the Convent, though they were fewer in number, all objected, saying, that such artwork was not appropriate for the main chapel of the Convent.  But the Mother Superior said, “Don’t be puritanical, after all, it is only a statue of St. David!”  And so all the nuns relented, and ceased their complaints.  Except one faithful virgin, who out of meekness guarded her eyes, and never walked on that side of the Chapel again.

In the fifth year, the bishop came to visit the Convent, again, and asked, “Where is the statue I donated? Why have you dishonored it?”  The Mother Superior said, “Your Excellency, I have placed it in the most visible side-niche of the Chapel, so that all the nuns can see it daily during Mass and Office.”  But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “If you want My favor and blessing, you will not spurn My gifts!”  And so the Mother Superior relented, and moved the Statue to the main altar of the Chapel.

At this, the nuns of the Convent, though they were much fewer in number, all objected, saying, that such artwork was not appropriate for the main altar of the Chapel Convent.  But the Mother Superior said, “Don’t be puritanical, after all, it is only a statue of St. David!”  And so all the nuns relented, and ceased their complaints.  Except one faithful virgin, who out of meekness guarded her eyes, and never looked up at the main altar again, taking her seat in the last pew furthest from it.

In the sixth year, the bishop came to visit the Convent, again, and asked, “Where is the statue which I donated? Why have you dishonored It?”  The Mother Superior said, “Your Excellency, I have placed it above the main altar so that the nuns of our Convent cannot but see it daily during Mass and Office.”  But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “If you want My favor and blessing, you will not spurn My gifts!”  And so the Mother Superior relented, and required that each nun renew her vows of chastity, while kneeling before it.

At this, the nuns of the Convent, who were now only a few, all objected, saying that such a statue should never be the object of their vow of chastity. But the Mother Superior said, “Don’t be puritanical, after all, it is only a statue of St. David, from whom came Christ Our Lord”.  And so all the nuns relented, and remade their vows before it. Except one faithful virgin, who out of meekness guarded her eyes, and made her vows with her back to it.

At this the Mother Superior said, “That will not do, Sister! Either make your vows facing the statue or get out of my Convent!”  And so, at that, the one and only faithful nun was kicked out of the Convent.

In the seventh year, the bishop came to visit the Convent, again, and asked, “Where is the Statue which I donated? Why have you dishonored It?”  The Mother Superior said, “Your Excellency, I renew my vows monthly at the feet of your statue.”  But the Bishop demurred, and replied, “Where have all the nuns of this Convent gone?”  And, the Mother Superior replied, “I do not know, they all got the idea in their head that it would be more pleasing to God for them to marry, and so they left the Convent and married men from the village.”  “All of them? exclaimed the Bishop in dismay.  “Yes, all of them”, said the Mother Superior, “All, that is, except one rigorist, antiquarian, neo-pelagian, who thought looking at the statue of a nude man was against her vow of chastity and virginity! Imagine that”.  To which the Bishop said, “Incredible!”

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And Our Lord’s disciples, hearing this, asked Him to explain this parable, and He said, “Just as a consecrated virgin is to My Sacred Heart, so are the Catholic Faithful who eschew error and falsehood, especially in regards to all which I taught them. For I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  And all who come to Me shall find Life.  But all who deny Me by their words, deeds or omissions, I too shall deny before the Throne of My Father in Heaven.  Let this be a warning to each of you! Let him who has ears to hear, hear!”

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Editor’s Note: This parable is, of course, a fiction, but I would bet that if such a Bishop ever existed, if he would ever encounter such a nun in the street, still wearing her habit, he would demand that she sign an act of reconciliation before that Statue as a prerequisite for being readmitted to full communion.

N.B.:  For those who don’t understand what the Statue represents, simply read the documents of Vatican II from beginning to end.

 

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