Can I wear a chastity rings after assault?

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katie_mack

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I was raised in the Catholic Church. When I was sixteen, I was raped by a high school classmate. This is the only intimate encounter I have had before or since, as I was/still am saving myself for marriage. I spent several years after that away from the Church but have since returned to attentind mass and other activities.

A friend gave me a chastity/purity ring for my last birthday. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but is it appropriate for me to wear such a thing since I’m no longer pure?

Katie
 
If you were raped completely against your will, I believe that God would still consider you a virgin.
 
You’re still a virgin in my eyes. Besides, the chastity rings symbolize your own commitment to chastity, which you’ve kept.
 
I think the inquirer deserves a response that takes into account the facts–and that doesn’t try to sugar-coat them.

A woman who has been raped is no longer a virgin. Virginity is not a matter of attitude or mind but of physical fact. That one’s virginity was lost involuntarily and through a crime does not change the fact that it was lost. Thus, it is not a service to say that a woman who was raped can think of herself as a virgin or can be regarded as a virgin by others.

I understand why some would want to comfort her by saying that she really is still a virgin, but she will see through that and won’t be satisfied with it.

What she can do is affirm interiorly that she never willed the loss of her virginity and that she has maintained a purity of heart. Her purity of heart was not damaged by what happened to her, and it is the purity of heart that should be emphasized here.

I don’t see any harm in her wearing the ring. There would seem to be no misrepresentation involved. The ring symbolize one’s intention, and she all along has had the right intention: to be chaste.

Someone took away something she had, her virginity, but she retains something that no one can take away without her consent, her chastity. That is what she should be reminded of.
 
Sweetheart please see a good couselor. A Christian or Catholic counselor if you can find one. You are pure, you are not the one who committed the sin, you are the victim of it. But it has damaged you and you need help to repair that damage. You will find that while you believe that you have overcome the incident it colors who you will allow yourself to become intimate with in the future. You will only allow yourself to be courted by people who are not full of the Spirit because you won’t feel worthy of someone who is full of the Spirit. And you deserve someone who is in full communion with the Church. Please take those steps now before you damage yourself for something that you didn’t do, that you didn’t cause, and that wasn’t in any way your fault. You haven’t given yourself away.
 
Hi-
Here is a Saint and Martyr who can help you. Ask her to intercede on your behalf.
catholic-forum.com/saints/saintd01.htm

Here is a St. Dynphna prayer from scborromeo.org/prayers/dymphna.htm
:angel1:
I turn to you, dear virgin and martyr, confident of your power with God and of your willingness to take my cause into your hands. I praise and bless the Lord for giving you to us as patron of the nervous and emotionally disturbed. I firmly hope that through your kind intercession He will restore my lost serenity and peace of mind. May He speak to my heart and reassure me: “My peace I give you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.”
Pray for me, dear St. Dymphna, that my nervous and emotional turmoil may cease, and that I may again know serenity and personal peace.
Amen.
:gopray:
 
I too, am a victim of sexual abuse, and I had to deal with these kind of thoughts…“Am I still pure?” “What will God do with me?”…regardless of the scientific aspects of whether you’re a “true” virgin or not-you were forced to do something against your will, and that means that you did not have the intention of “giving yourself away”. I would wear the ring as a symbol of your strength for surviving what some only have nightmares about (I wear a koala necklace that my brother got for me when he was in Australia). I consider you to be a virgin, because you DIDN’T want it! And, I’m sure that the God does the same. And, I am not “sugar-coating” anything, I just know how hard it is to maintain your dignity.

When I was about 7 or 8 years old and up until I was 15 (I’m 17 now) I was abused by someone that I trusted, and I hated it. I felt like garbage, and I didn’t know what to do (what made things especially difficult was the fact that I’, male, and I always thought that this kind of stuff didn’t happen to males…I do not like karma!). That was when I started to explore “God”, and what do you know? I find my way here! I’m glad that you had a religious upbringing-that was something that I didn’t have.

Peace,
Chance “Poprox”
 
Karl Keating:
A woman who has been raped is no longer a virgin. Virginity is not a matter of attitude or mind but of physical fact. That one’s virginity was lost involuntarily and through a crime does not change the fact that it was lost. Thus, it is not a service to say that a woman who was raped can think of herself as a virgin or can be regarded as a virgin by others.
Virginity is more than an unbroken hymen though. Sex is an act of both body and will, a complete giving to each other, and that doesn’t happen in rape.
 
Spiritually you are a virgin and that’s what matters.
 
Catholic Cadet:
Virginity is more than an unbroken hymen though. Sex is an act of both body and will, a complete giving to each other, and that doesn’t happen in rape.
I think you made an excellent point there. While technically, Mr. Keating is right, I think you bring up a very important point.

Bump!
 
Chastity is a virtue. You said you still have the intention to save yourself for marriage. I don’t see anything wrong wearing those rings.
 
“Chastity is a virtue”

Exactly. Even non-virgins can become chaste and make themselves pure through their chastity. Purity and chastity are not only for virgins, they are virtues for everyone.
 
Someone needs to find the passage where St. Augustine talks about the nuns and virgins who were raped during the sack of Rome. He spoke favorably for their retaining their chaste status. I could find the passage, but my Fathers CD-ROM is with my other 'puter.

DaveBj
 
it is a chastity ring… not a virginity ring.

Wear it, unless it causes you pain to do so.
 
While you are no longer physically a virgin, you were also not given a choice about this fact. I see nothing wrong with your wearing chastity rings.

"I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but is it appropriate for me to wear such a thing since I’m no longer pure? "

I would also like to back up Maggie in saying that you really should see a counselor, preferably a Catholic one. I hope that one day you will see that you are pure in your heart and have chosen to be pure in body as well.
 
Karl Keating:
Someone took away something she had, her virginity, but she retains something that no one can take away without her consent, her chastity. That is what she should be reminded of.
Karl makes an excellent point, virginity and celibacy are not the same as chastity. Review the CCC it has a wonderful explanation
 
Karl Keating:
I think the inquirer deserves a response that takes into account the facts–and that doesn’t try to sugar-coat them.

A woman who has been raped is no longer a virgin. Virginity is not a matter of attitude or mind but of physical fact. That one’s virginity was lost involuntarily and through a crime does not change the fact that it was lost. Thus, it is not a service to say that a woman who was raped can think of herself as a virgin or can be regarded as a virgin by others.

I understand why some would want to comfort her by saying that she really is still a virgin, but she will see through that and won’t be satisfied with it.

What she can do is affirm interiorly that she never willed the loss of her virginity and that she has maintained a purity of heart. Her purity of heart was not damaged by what happened to her, and it is the purity of heart that should be emphasized here.

I don’t see any harm in her wearing the ring. There would seem to be no misrepresentation involved. The ring symbolize one’s intention, and she all along has had the right intention: to be chaste.

Someone took away something she had, her virginity, but she retains something that no one can take away without her consent, her chastity. That is what she should be reminded of.
I think we ought to try and ban Karl from posting. He’s a thread killer. 😉 I mean now how can we possibly add anything meaningfull to this, he says it all. :yup:
 
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DaveBj:
Someone needs to find the passage where St. Augustine talks about the nuns and virgins who were raped during the sack of Rome. He spoke favorably for their retaining their chaste status. I could find the passage, but my Fathers CD-ROM is with my other 'puter.
Nobody took up my challenge, so I went hunting last night at work and found this. It is the complete text to Book 1, Chapter 18, of Augustine’s City of God.
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AUGUSTINE:
THE VIOLENCE WHICH MAY BE DONE TO THE BODY BY ANOTHER’S LUST,
WHILE THE MIND REMAINS INVIOLATE

But is there a fear that even another’s lust may pollute the violated? It will not pollute, if it be another’s: if it pollute, it is not another’s, but is shared also by the polluted. But since purity is a
virtue of the soul, and has for its companion virtue, the fortitude which will rather endure all ills than consent to evil; and since no one, however magnanimous and pure, has always the disposal of his own body, but can control only the consent and refusal of his will, what sane man can suppose that, if his body be seized and forcibly made use of to satisfy the lust of another, he thereby loses his purity? For if purity can be thus destroyed, then assuredly purity is no virtue of the soul; nor can it be numbered among those good things by which the life is made good, but among the good things of the body, in the same category as strength, beauty, sound and unbroken health, and, in short, all such good things as may be diminished without at all diminishing the goodness and rectitude of our life. But if purity be nothing better than these, why should the body be periled that it may be preserved? If, on the other hand, it belongs to the soul, then not even when the body is violated is it lost. Nay more, the virtue of holy continence, when it resists the uncleanness of carnal lust, sanctifies even the body, and therefore when this continence remains unsubdued, even the sanctity of the body is preserved, because the will to use it holily remains, and, so far as lies in the body itself, the power also.

For the sanctity of the body does not consist in the integrity of its members, nor in their exemption from all touch; for they are exposed to various accidents which do violence to and wound them, and the surgeons who administer relief often perform operations that sicken the spectator. A midwife, suppose, has (whether maliciously or accidentally, or through unskillfulness) destroyed the virginity of some girl, while endeavoring to ascertain it: I suppose no one is so foolish as to believe that, by this destruction of the integrity of one organ, the virgin has lost anything even of her bodily sanctity. And thus, so long as the soul keeps this firmness of purpose which sanctifies even the body, the violence done by another’s lust makes no impression on this bodily sanctity, which is preserved intact by one’s own persistent continence. Suppose a virgin violates the oath she has sworn to God, and goes to meet her seducer with the intention of
yielding to him, shall we say that as she goes she is possessed even of bodily sanctity, when already she has lost and destroyed that sanctity of soul which sanctifies the body? Far be it from us to so misapply words. Let us rather draw this conclusion, that while the sanctity of the soul remains even when the body is violated, the sanctity of the body is not lost; and that, in like manner, the sanctity of the body is lost when the sanctity of the soul is violated, though the body itself remains intact. And therefore a woman who has been violated by the sin of another, and without any consent of her own, has no cause to put herself to death; much less has she cause to commit suicide in order to avoid such violation, for in that case she commits certain homicide to prevent a crime which is uncertain as yet, and not her own.
DaveBj
 
Ok, this is important. First of all, if it was an assault, you are still pure. What makes you not pure is when you do something against God’s will, which you have not done in that respect. If something like that happens, it’s against your will and you have not sinned at all, which means you are still totally pure. I really hope that you think about that.
Second, and much less important, I’ve always thought that the ring was a symbol of your intentions; most people wear it after they take a ‘vow of purity’, meaning they wish to live a chaste life. It doesnt necessarily mean that you are a virgin, just that from the point that you put the ring on, you will stop yourself from going to far with anyone.
 
It is perfectly possible to live a chaste life even if prior you have lost your virginity, whether forcibly or otherwise. This is because, in Christ it is possible to change the perameters of the heart and desire union with Him in every way. The confession of wilful acts brings about forgiveness and in this forgiveness we are again set on the road with Christ or what is the point of confession? I myself have after having had a child, have resolved to remain as pure as is possible after losing one’s virginity, this is not a simple vow of celibacy, this is a commitment to remain chaste for the rest of my life if and until I marry, or what was the point in my repentance? The healing power of Christ does not make me a virgin now, that can never be, but my attitude and resolve to keep myself chaste in the future is what He has done, it is my past He has healed and therefore healed my present and my furture. I consented to sex outside of marriage, I sinned, but you did NOTHING wrong. What was, is and always will be yours is your virginity because you did not GIVE it freely, it was TAKEN. This isn’t a post made to make someone feel better, it is about compassion though and that is utmost in my mind and heart for you. When you stand before Christ, He won’t ask you about that time of your life and condemn you, He will ask the person who did this to you, why He thought he could harm a child of God? You were sinned against. The sin is not yours to own.

Hold in your heart your chaste life and remember it is the grace of God that has helped you to maintain that and what this man did to you has not taken one inch of your grace away. God Bless you and much peace to you xxx
 
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