I took my teen son to a camp a few summers ago that happened to be Christian based. Our family is not religious, but the camp looked wonderful and welcoming and we felt confident he’d have a good time.
As my son participated in the various activities, I spent a good amount of time wandering the camp and noticed a lot of the older teens wearing a thick pewter ring with some Latin inscription on the outside. It had an old, almost primitive look to it, and I took a liking to it. I later noticed it on sale at the camp store. My son wasn’t interested in the ring, but I bought one for myself and began wearing it around camp.
My mother-in-law, who is a very committed Catholic, worked as camp nurse and noticed the ring on my finger and asked: “Do you know that the inscription on the outside of the ring means?”
I didn’t. The outside of the ring was inscribed…
And as I examined the ring more closely I noticed an inscription on the inside of the ring that said:
“Thou wilt be pure”
Noticing my puzzled look, my mother-in-law explained that Christian teens wore the ring as a sign of their commitment to remain a virgin until marriage–to remain “pure.”
I laughed so hard.
A less ambiguous translation for “esto castus” is…
And the fact my son wasn’t interested in the ring isn’t lost on me 🙂