Chastity is a lifestyle…a way of being, thinking, and loving. It is not old-fashioned or unrealistic. This is the way God wants us to live because it leads to all the other virtues. Purity of body, mind, and soul is fundamental to knowing one’s purpose in life and understanding that everything and everyone God created has value. No matter whether we are single, married, or consecrated to God, we are all called to be chaste…called to be pure as He is pure.
In Love and Responsibility, Pope John Paul II defines chastity as follows:
The essence of chastity consists in quickness to affirm the value of the person in every situation, and in raising to the personal level all reactions to the value of “the body and sex.” This requires a special interior, spiritual effort, for affirmation of the value of the person can only be the product of the spirit, but this effort is above all positive and creative “from within,” not negative and destructive. It is not a matter of summarily “annihilating” the value of “body and sex” in the conscious mind by pushing reactions to them down into the subconscious, but of sustained long term integration; the value of “body and sex” must be grounded and implanted in the value of the person.
What is this really about?
Check out 1Corinthians 13…can we BE LOVE?
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Take out the word “love” and replace it with your own name. Can you challenge yourself to be all the things that love is? To be as God is?
If you get it, you’ll see a change in yourself. Your relationships will be different in the best kind of way because it’s not about you anymore. You’re willing to sacrifice…to get up on the cross with Jesus and “die” to your own selfishness and pride.
And this is where you need to begin…