There is not ONE list of Seven Virtues. One list contains courage and another chastity. Chastity is on the list that matches the Seven Sins: so chastity is the opposite of lust.

Here is a definition from Webster 1913:

1. The state of being chaste; purity of body; freedom from unlawful sexual intercourse.

She . . . hath preserved her spotless chastity. T. Carew.

2. Moral purity.

So dear to heaven is saintly chastity, That, when a soul is found sincerely so A thousand liveried angels lackey her. Milton.

3. The unmarried life; celibacy.



4. Literature & Art


“Freedom from unlawful sexual intercourse”? That would imply freedom from being sexually assaulted or raped, wouldn’t it?  That is a bit different from the definition of chastity from now:

1. the state or quality of being chaste


And so I look up chaste:

adjective, chaster, chastest.

1. refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous.
2. virgin.
3. not engaging in sexual relations; celibate.

4. free from obscenity; decent:

chaste conversation.

5. undefiled or stainless:

chaste, white snow.
6. pure in style; not excessively ornamented; simple.
7. Obsolete. unmarried.
I hear that there are men in our government who will not dine alone with a woman other than their wife. I am at the point where I want to say, if a man can’t control his libido and take responsibility for his own chastity, I don’t think he should be allowed a job in our government and I certainly don’t think he should have any power over whether we go to war. He has no self control around women? He fears a woman tempting him? He thinks women are angels who preserve chastity or devils who tempt? Out with him, fire him, impeach him. Women are people just as men are and I am tired of men wanting women to carry the responsibility for morality. Learn to control yourself. Chastity is YOUR responsibility as a civilized human being, and if you can’t do it, step down.
When I chose my A to Z theme as 7 Sins and friends last year, I was thinking of the sins as emotions: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed and Sloth. I don’t think of chastity as the opposite of lust: I would think of the opposite of lust as disinterest in sexual activity. So chastity is not a word that I would think of as an emotion. The “moral purity” and “undefiled or stainless” definitions seem more about thoughts than about emotions. It interests me that from 1913 to the present the definition has changed from celibacy to virgin because those words have different meanings to me. One could be celibate and not a virgin, and one could also be “undefiled or stainless” and be attacked. I think that I am barely scratching the surface of complex archetypes and ideas that change.
The photograph is my plum tree, five days after the previous photograph. I am glad that my plum tree is not chaste and produces such beautiful blossoms and plums.

3 thoughts on “chastity

  1. I agree with all you have written but have to say, Oh, your PLUM TREE!

    I think I told you I lost two of mine last year and I knew I would grieve them at this time of year…my first spring without those stunning blossoms. I am so sad and so happy to see yours flourish.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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