Indeed, one will often see when reading the lives of the saints how their worldly family and friends (inspired by the devil or the world) tried in every way possible to dissuade them from adopting the heavenly and angelic lifestyle of chastity, and in some cases, their family or friends even tried to physically hinder them from dedicating their lives to the perpetual service of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For instance, when St. Thomas Aquinas chose to become a Dominican friar (c. 1245) he met with: “severe opposition from his family… St. Thomas was literally captured by his brothers and imprisoned in the family castle… The most dramatic episode of his imprisonment, came when his brothers sent a temptress to his quarters. As soon as St. Thomas saw that the girl’s intention was to seduce him, he ran to the fireplace, seized a burning stick and, brandishing it, chased her from the room with it.Then he traced a cross on the wall with the charred wood. When he fell asleep soon afterward, he dreamed that two Angels came and girded him about the waist with a cord, saying: ‘On God’s behalf we gird you with the girdle of chastity, a girdle which no attack will ever destroy.’” (33 Doctors of the Church, p. 367)
St. John the Apostle was loved by Our Lord with a special love because of his great love for chastity and purity
It is related by the Holy Abbot Joseph, in The Conferences of John Cassian (c. 420) how Our Lord Jesus Christ loved the Blessed Apostle St. John with a special love above the other Apostles because of his virginity and great purity: “This also, we read, was very clearly shown in the case of John the Evangelist, where these words are used of him: "that disciple whom Jesus loved," [John 13:23] though certainly He embraced all the other eleven, whom He had chosen in the same way, with His special love, as this He shows also by the witness of the gospel, where He says: "As I have loved you, so do ye also love one another;" of whom elsewhere also it is said: "Loving His own who were in the world, He loved them even to the end." [John 13:34,1] But this love of one in particular did not indicate any coldness in love for the rest of the disciples, but only a fuller and more abundant love towards the one, which his prerogative of virginity and the purity of his flesh bestowed upon him.” (Conference 16, Chapter XIV, On Friendship)
Referring to one of the legends associated with the wedding feast at Cana, Alcuin, an eminent educator, scholar, and theologian born about 735; died 19 May, 804, reported that the bridegroom at that wedding feast was none other than St. John the beloved apostle. Having seen the miraculous power of Jesus in his changing water into wine, John left his bride in order to follow Jesus. Of course, St. John did so before consummating his marriage, thus preserving his virginity. (Alcuin, Commentarium in Joannem, Book 1, chapter 2, verse 8, PL 100:771-772)
Indeed, as we can see, the purity of the most beloved Apostle of Our Lord and his renunciation of this world is clearly put forth in his writings: “Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17) Thus, from the beginning, Our Lord Jesus Christ taught St. John and the Holy Apostles those wondrous words of chastity and purity that are found in Holy Scripture, inspiring them to not love the world or its empty and fleeting pleasures, telling them to leave the marital life and sexual relations behind in order to be able to perfectly embrace Our Lord and their priestly duty.
“The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great” (1256-1302) reveals the following interesting and marvelous information about chastity and the virginity of St. John the Apostle, and how all those who faithfully persevere in chastity until their death are especially loved and honored by Our Lord in Heaven: “On another occasion during the same feast [of St. John], as the Saint took great satisfaction in the frequent praises which were given to the [same] Apostle for his perfect virginity, she asked this special friend of God to obtain by his prayers that we might preserve our chastity with such care as to merit a share in his praises. St John replied: "He who would participate in the beatitude which my victories have won, must run as I ran when on earth." Then he added: "I frequently reflected on the sweet familiarity and friendship with which I was favored by Jesus, my most Loving Lord and Master, in reward for my chastity, and for having watched so carefully over my words and actions that I never tarnished this virtue in the slightest degree. The Apostles separated themselves from such company as they considered doubtful, but mixed freely with what was not (as it is remembered in the Acts, that they were with the women, and Mary the Mother of Jesus); I never avoided women when there was an opportunity of rendering them any service, either of body or soul; but I still watched over myself with extreme vigilance, and always implored the assistance of God when charity obliged me to assist them in any way. Therefore these words are chanted of me: In tribulatione invocasti me et exaudivi te [Thou calledst upon me in affliction, and I delivered thee](Psalm 80:8).
“For God never permitted my affection to render anyone less pure; wherefore I received this recompense from My beloved Master, that my chastity is more praised than any other Saint [after Our Lord and Our Lady]; and I have obtained a more eminent rank in Heaven, where, by a special privilege, I receive with extreme pleasure the rays of this love, which is as a mirror without spot and the brightness of eternal light. So that, being placed before this Divine love, whose brightness I receive each time that my chastity is commemorated in the Church, my loving Master salutes me in a most sweet and affable manner, filling my inmost soul with such joy, that it penetrates into all its powers and sentiments like a delicious beverage. And thus the words, Ponan te sicut signaculum in conspectu meo [I will make thee as a signet in my sight, for I have chosen thee] (Haggai 2:24), are sung of me; that is, I am placed as a receptacle for the effusions of the sweetest and most ardent charity."
“Then St. Gertrude, being raised to a higher degree of knowledge, understood by these words of Our Lord in the Gospel, "In My Father’s house there are many mansions" (John 14:2); that there are three mansions in the heavenly kingdom, which correspond with three classes of persons who have preserved their virginity.
“… At Communion, as she [St. Gertrude] prayed for the Church, but felt a want of fervor, she prayed to Our Lord to give her fervor, if her petitions were agreeable to Him; and immediately she beheld a variety of colors: white, which indicated the purity of the virgins; violet, which symbolized confessors and religious; red, which typified the martyrs; and other colors, according to the merits of the Saints. Then, as she feared to approach Our Lord because she was not adorned with any of these colors, she was inspired by the Holy Ghost, "who teaches man wisdom," to return thanks to God for all those who had been elevated to the grace and state of virginity; beseeching Him, by the love which made Him be born of a Virgin for us, to preserve all in the Church to whom He had vouchsafed this favor in most perfect purity of body and soul, for His own honor and glory; and immediately she beheld her soul adorned with the same shining whiteness as the souls of the virgins.” (The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude, Book 4, Chapter 4 & 56)
St. Chrysostom explains that the only profitable thing for us to do while on this earth is to shun the perishable and carnal, instead searching for the heavenly and eternal, and this glorious path of shunning the earthly and carnal that reaches all the way into Heaven is most perfectly walked on by all those who have adopted the pure life of chastity like the Apostles and the other chaste servants of Christ, thus freeing themselves from many earthly and carnal troubles: “Is it a fine thing to build one’s self splendid houses, to have servants, to lie and gaze at a gilded roof? Why then, assuredly, it is superfluous and unprofitable. For other buildings there are, far brighter and more majestic than these: on such we must gladden our eyes, for there is none to hinder us. Wilt thou see the fairest of roofs? At eventide look upon the starred heaven. ‘But,’ saith some one, ‘this roof is not mine.’ Yet in truth this is more thine than that other. For thee it was made, and is common to thee and to thy brethren: the other is not thine, but theirs who after thy death inherit it. The one may do thee the greatest service, guiding thee by its beauty to its Creator; the other the greatest harm, becoming they greatest accuser on the Day of Judgment, inasmuch as it is covered with gold, while Christ hath not even needful raiment. Let us not, I entreat you, be subject to such folly, let us not pursue things which flee away, and flee those which endure: let us not betray our own salvation, but hold fast to our hope of what shall be hereafter: the aged, as certainly knowing that but a little space of life is left us; the young, as well persuaded that what is left is not much. For that day cometh so as a thief in the night. Knowing this, let wives exhort their husbands, and husbands admonish their wives; let us teach youths and maidens, and all instruct one another, to care not for present things, but to desire those which are to come.” (St. Chrysostom, Hom. XLVII in Jn.; PG 59.268-270)
The Holy Bible teaches that those who do not remarry after their spouse have died become “more blessed” through their chastity, and that the ministers of the Lord cannot remarry after their wife have died as well as that all of them must be totally “chaste”
The Holy Ghost and the Church from its foundation insisted on the inherent goodness and virtue of chastity, and of abstaining from remarriage after the death of one’s spouse by requiring that the men who wanted to become ministers of the Lord had been married only once in order for them even to be able to become bishops, priests or deacons: “A faithful saying: if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. It behoveth therefore a bishop to be blameless, the husband of one wife, sober, prudent, of good behavior, chaste, given to hospitality, a teacher... Let deacons be the husbands of one wife... ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee: If any be without crime, the husband of one wife...” (1 Timothy 3:1-2,12; Titus 1:5-6)
Douay Rheims Bible Commentary explains that the meaning of the words of one wife “is not that every bishop should have a wife (for St. Paul himself had none), but that no one should be admitted to the holy orders of bishop, priest, or deacon, who had been married more than once.” Indeed, Holy Scripture itself teaches that a widow will become more blessed if she do not remarry, which confirms this teaching of God and His Church: “But more blessed shall she be, if she so remain, [that is, a widow] according to my counsel; and I think that I also have the spirit of God.” (1Cor. 7:40) This proves to us, once and for all, that God wants both men and women to stay unmarried after their spouse have died and that their virtuous life is “more blessed” when compared to those who get married again.
While there is no sin in remarrying after the death of one’s spouse for those who are not ministers of the Lord, the Church’s insistence on the inherent spiritual goodness for both men and women to turn to chastity and purity after one’s spouse has died is quite obvious, and only the most desperate liars and deceivers (like protestants and other heretics who wants to flout this infallible biblical rule in order to remarry while calling themselves priests or ministers of God) can even dare to deny this obvious biblical truth.
Tertullian (160-220 A.D.), although married, perceived marriage as a state in which carnal desire could easily lead people away from God. His teaching about sexuality can be read in his work called “Exhortation to Chastity.” There he lists three forms of virginity. The ideal form was “virginity from one’s birth.” Next there was “renunciation of sexual connection,” a form of virginity undertaken after a man and a woman contracted marriage which the Church extols as the highest form of heroic virtue married couples can practice. The third form of virginity consisted in “marrying no more after the disjunction of matrimony by death.” (Tertullian, Exhortation to Chastity, in Ante Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV)
This final form of virginity was to be accomplished in two stages. In the first stage the husband would try to cut down marital activity to a minimum. Then, when his wife died, he would refrain from remarriage. Tertullian’s work called “To His Wife” advised widows “to love the opportunity of continence” and he viewed a second marriage as “repeating the servitude of matrimony,” a rejection of “the liberty offered by the death of one’s spouse.” Married couples had to live in a state of life where marital relations were expected. After the death of a spouse the survivor was spiritually better off because he or she was no longer subject to the Pauline requirement of rendering the “marriage debt.” Since second marriages were “detrimental to faith” and “obstructive to holiness,” it is safe to say that Tertullian saw scant spiritual goodness in remarriage when he compared this state of life with the angelic life of chastity.
St. Methodius, Banquet of the Ten Virgins (c. 311 A.D.): “But we must now examine carefully the apostle’s language respecting men who have lost their wives, and women who have lost their husbands, and what he declares on this subject. "I say therefore," he goes on, "to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." Here also he persisted in giving the preference to continence. For, taking himself as a notable example, in order to stir them up to emulation, he challenged his hearers to this state of life, teaching that it was better that a man who had been bound to one wife should henceforth remain single, as he also did. But if, on the other hand, this should be a matter of difficulty to any one, on account of the strength of animal passion, he allows that one who is in such a condition may, "by permission," contract a second marriage; not as though he expressed the opinion that a second marriage was in itself good, but judging it better than burning. … Thus also the apostle speaks here, first saying that he wished all were healthy and continent, as he also was, but afterwards allowing a second marriage to those who are burdened with the disease of the passions, lest they should be wholly defiled by fornication, goaded on by the itchings of the organs of generation to promiscuous intercourse, considering such a second marriage far preferable to burning and indecency.”
People living in chastity are “the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” according to the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse
The Book of Revelation or The Apocalypse is remarkable in its description of future tribulations that await humanity. It does, however, also describe how a select few who are “the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb… [who] were purchased from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”
Apocalypse 14:1-5 “And I beheld, and lo a lamb stood upon mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the noise of many waters, and as the voice of great thunder; and the voice which I heard, was as the voice of harpers, harping on their harps. And they sung as it were a new canticle, before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the ancients; and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty-four thousand, who were purchased from the earth. These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins. These follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were purchased from among men, the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb: And in their mouth there was found no lie; for they are without spot before the throne of God.”
These words are remarkable and an outstanding and irrefutable proof of the greatness of the virtue of chastity. The honor God gives to those who practice chastity or virginity is especially described in these words: “And they sung as it were a new canticle, before the throne, and before the four living creatures, and the ancients; and no man could say the canticle, but those hundred forty-four thousand, who were purchased from the earth.” Notice how no one “could say the canticle” but those who practiced the virtue of chastity or virginity. This, of course, totally rejects and demolishes the heretical position that living in chastity is nothing special compared with marriage, thus showing us once again that chastity is an especially holy and good deed.
St. Jerome writes, “‘These are they who sing a new song [Rev. 14:3] which no man can sing except he be a virgin. These are the first fruits unto God and unto the Lamb,’ [Rev. 14:4] and they are without spot. If virgins are the first fruits unto God, then widows and wives who live in continence must come after the first fruits—that is to say, in the second place and in the third. … It is in your power, if you will, to mount the second step of chastity. [2 Tim. 2:20, 21] Why are you angry if, standing on the third and lowest step, you will not make haste to go up higher?” (The Letters of St. Jerome, Letter XLVIII, To Pammachius, Section 10, 11, A.D. 394)
Following Our Lord in perfection, purity and holiness, “Out of each tribe, except the tribe of Dan, the place of which is taken by the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand virgins who have been sealed are spoken of as future believers, who have not defiled themselves with women. And that we may not suppose the reference to be to those who have not had relations with harlots, he immediately added, "for they continued virgins." Whereby he shows that all who have not preserved their virginity, in comparison with the pure and angelic chastity and of our Lord Jesus Christ himself, are defiled.” (St. Jerome, Against Jovinian 1:40, A.D. 420) Simply said, those who choose to live in chastity greatly increases their chance of reaching Heaven, which is also why the Holy Scripture teaches us not indulge our sensual appetites: “Go not after thy lusts, but turn away from thy own will.” (Ecclesiasticus 18:30) And so, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11)
Widows and all those who have vowed their chastity to Our Lord must remain pure and chaste until their death, or else they will have “damnation” according to the Holy Bible
In St. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy, St. Paul gives Timothy great and edifying lessons concerning widows, and also explains to him that those who have vowed their chastity and whole self to Christ as his or her eternal Spouse must continue in this state until their death, or else they will have “damnation”.
1 Timothy 5:1-3, 5-6, 9-13, 15: “[Entreat] Old women, as mothers: young women, as sisters, in all chastity. Honor widows, that are widows indeed… But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God, and continue in supplications and prayers night and day. For she that liveth in pleasures, is dead while she is living… Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband. Having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbor, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows avoid. For when they have grown wanton in Christ, they will marry: Having damnation, because they have made void their first faith. And withal being idle they learn to go about from house to house: and are not only idle, but tattlers also, and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger should marry, bear children, be mistresses of families, give no occasion to the adversary to speak evil. For some are already turned aside after Satan.”
Haydock Commentary explains these verses: “Ver. 2.All chastity refers to the heart, eyes, ears, words, looks, with the precautions of times and places. --- Ver. 5.She that is a widow indeed, and desolate, (destitute of help, as the Greek word implieth) may be maintained; and then let her be constant in prayers and devotions night and day. (Witham) --- Every Christian soul is a widow of Jesus Christ, who has been forcibly torn from her: and in her communications with heaven she ought to offer up an afflicted and humbled heart—the heart of a widow. It is thus she will avoid the dangers of the world, and secure true life in unchangeable felicity. (Haydock) --- Ver. 6.For she that liveth in pleasure, (i.e. that seeks to live in ease and plenty) is dead while she is living, by the spiritual death of her soul in sin. (Witham) --- Ver. 11. As for the younger widows, admit them not into that number; for when they have grown wanton in Christ, which may signify in the Church of Christ, or as others translate, against Christ; when they have been nourished in plenty, indulging their appetite in eating and drinking, in company and conversation, in private familiarities, and even sometimes in sacrilegious fornications against Christ and their vows, they are for marrying again. See St. Jerome. (Witham)”
“Ver. 12.Having, or incurring and making themselves liable to damnation, by a breach of their first faith, their vow or promise, (Witham) by which they had engaged themselves to Christ. (Challoner) --- Ver. 13.Idle, &c. He shews by what steps they fall. Neglecting their prayers, they give themselves to idleness; they go about visiting from house to house; they are carried away with curiosity to hear what passes, and speak what they ought not of their neighbor’s faults. (Witham) --- Ver. 14.The younger (widows) should marry. They who understand this of a command or exhortation to all widows to marry, make St. Paul contradict himself, and the advice he gave to widows [in] 1 Corinthians vii. where he says, (ver. 40.) She (the widow) will be more happy if she so remain according to my counsel; [i.e., in chastity] and when it is there said, I would have all to be as myself [that is, in a chaste and unmarried state]. He can therefore only mean such young widows, of whom he is speaking, that are like to do worse. Thus it is expounded by St. Jerome to Sabina: "Let her rather take a husband than the devil." And in another epistle, to Ageruchia: "It is better to take a second husband than many adulterers." St. Chrysostom on this verse: "I will, or would have such to marry, because they themselves will do it." See also St. Augustine, de Bono viduitatis, chap. viii. (Witham)”