Virtue of Chastity is possible to live – that’s the title of the article I came across the other day.
Talk about a counter-cultural claim.
So many people think they have no choice in the matter, that they have to give in to their carnal demands, NOW! Ironic isn’t it – and paradoxical again – how that’s supposed to be the “freedom”, when it places people in bondage, harms their future marriage, and ends up hurting the self and the other.
I know how hard it can be – I’m a guy, living in a corrupt culture. However, I also know it’s possible and, in a sense, how “easy” it can be. As the article says, it’s as “easy” as avoiding the nearest occasion of sin, be it in thought or where we cast our eyes. You have control over your desires, and not the other way around – this is true freedom.
Sex is great! God invented it. It’s just that love is the greatest thing in the world, even more than sex. “Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2351). So chastity is all about prioritizing love over and above everything else. Chastity, believe it or not, enables great freedom and joy, in and outside of marriage (for chastity is about respecting the spouse too). By retaining one’s dignity and the ability to love, “the virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship” (CCC #2347), and it makes true giving, receiving and reciprocating of love possible – and that’s what we were designed for.