- Maria Greco
Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love.
St. John Paul ||
Young love is a beautiful thing. To fall in love with another soul is wonderful and joyous. However, for love to be love it must be both sacrifice and suffering. Love is not mere feelings.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." Corinthians 13:4-8
More and more young couples today base their relationship off of feelings and find nothing wrong with pre-marital sex. There is immense reasoning why the Lord has reserved sex solely and strictly between a married man and woman only. One of the common arguments in opposition to the demands of chastity is that if I'm in love why not? The "why not" is because sex is sacred and designed solely for the married man and woman. The "why not" is because sex is where new life is formed and is not simply for pleasure but rather to bring forth life. The "why not" is because a couple who are simply dating or even engaged are not yet one flesh. To engage in sex before marriage would be a grave mortal sin. However, it's important to remember that "...chastity doesn't stop when you're married it continues."
The 21st generation has become a society where people idolize pleasure and convenience. The tragedy of contraception has wreaked havoc on souls and brought chaos and confusion to families. Women using contraception have become objects whether they realize it or not. Couples want the pleasures of sex without the fruit of their union, namely the possibility of having a child. It is saying yes to pleasure but no to God.
Marriage between a man and a woman is holy and sacred. The two souls share complete openness with the other and hold nothing back. The two souls are not afraid of sacrifice and they can give themselves to the other with no shame. The married couple is called to be a similar union of how Christ is to the Church, His Bride and Christ being Himself the Bridegroom. Our Lord having given himself completely to the Church, His Bride has done so despite the tremendous cost which was His precious life. This is the same demand a wife has to her husband, and a husband to his wife: complete self-surrender and sacrifice.
Chastity is a way of life. It is a virtue that must be practiced and nourished by prayer. Without chastity, there is no true love. Love is a choice. Love is to will the good of the other no matter the cost. Love is going outside of oneself to accommodate and ensure the well-being of the other. Pure love is totally self-less. Being self-less is a demand and at times a struggle, but the fruit of this sacrifice is true joy and peace which can only come from God. "Genuine love is...demanding. But it's beauty lies precisely in the demands it makes. Only those able to make demands on themselves in the name of love can then demand love from others."
St. Josemarie Escriva
Chastity is fidelity first and foremost to God and fidelity to the spouse. Chastity is "the virtue that moderates the desire for sexual pleasure according to the principles of faith and right reason. In married people, chastity moderates the desire in conformity with their state of life; in unmarried people who wish to marry, the desire is moderated by abstention until (or unless) they get married; in those who resolve not to marry, the desire is sacrificed entirely.
Chastity and purity, modesty and decency are comparable in that they have the basic meaning of freedom from whatever is lewd or salacious. Yet they also differ. Chastity implies an opposition to the immoral in the sense of lustful or licentious. It suggests refraining from all acts or thoughts that are not in accordance with the Church's teaching about the use of one's reproductive powers. It particularly stresses restraint and an avoidance of anything that might defile or make unclean the soul because the body has not been controlled in the exercise of its most imperious passion."
Let us strive after chaste lives with the grace of God because it is only possible with the grace of God, and in doing so may have "life and have it in abundance." John 10:10
St. Josemarie Escriva, pray for us.