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Introduction to the Devout Life
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CHAPTER XLI. One Word to Maidens.

O YE virgins, I have but a word to say to you. If you look to married life in this life, guard your first love jealously for your husband. It seems to me a miserable fraud to give a husband a worn-out heart, whose love has been frittered away and despoiled of its first bloom instead of a true, whole-hearted love. But if you are happily called to be the chaste and holy bride of spiritual nuptials, and purpose to live a life of virginity, then in Christ’s Name I bid you keep all your purest, most sensitive love for your Heavenly Bridegroom, Who, being Very Purity Himself, has a special love for purity; Him to Whom the first-fruits of all good things are due, above all those of love.

S. Jerome’s Epistles will supply you with the needful counsels; and inasmuch as your state of life requires obedience, seek out a guide under whose direction you may wholly dedicate yourself, body and soul, to His Divine Majesty.

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