Chastity frees us
My dearest girls,
Do you ever think you have it all together just to find out that you don't? This was me with the virtue of chastity, the virtue used to battle the vice of lust.
For many years I was under the impression that I shouldn't have sex because it's "bad". That kind of thinking did not get me too far, as I was quickly seeking for male attention starting in highschool. I didn't understand why I should remain abstinent and I didn't have anyone show me.
A few years back, I stopped living in sexual promiscuity and was then shortly introduced to the concept of chastity at a youth group meeting. Here is where I learned that abstinence is only one part of the virtue of chastity, and that sex is actually really good! Living in purity spoke so much to my broken heart as I felt I had lost my dignity, my innocence, my voice and my entire identity in promiscuity.
Now that I was no longer having sexual relations with others, I thought I had the chastity thing down packed. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of the spiritual battle and the heart transformation God was doing.
Then I entered into a relationship. After falling enough times with my partner and on my own, I saw that I didn't quite get what the virtue of chastity really entails. Naturally it is very difficult to live by something that I don't understand on a heart-felt level.
Since then, I have continuously made an effort to better understand chastity through conversation, literature, prayer, and through life experience.
I have learned that chastity is not a set of rules that mom tells you to follow because she was never young and doesn’t get it.
Chastity is a gift that allows us to maintain our dignity and the dignity of those around us.
Through it we are able to respect ourselves and the people around us, which in turn, frees our heart to love.
Through living chastely God is able to transform my heart, day by day. It’s not about reaching the ‘goal’ of chastity and checking it off of the to-do list, right after laundry and before grocery shopping.
It is something that I will be fighting for through my whole life, one day at a time. Initially it can be extremely difficult, but as God transforms my heart He transforms my desires and thus, with a non-stop reliance on Him, the battle becomes easier.
I will continuously deepen my understanding of the love that God created us for.
We can read all the literature we want, but it comes down to this: how badly do we want to live in the virtue of chastity? (1) are we still holding onto something that makes this journey difficult?
Andrew Swafford, citing C.S. Lewis pushes readers to reflect on whether or not we are giving our all in the battle for chastity. “What would happen if we went after chastity and holiness with the same intensity and vigor as we hit the weight room or the track?”
It is about the heart transformation, and the journey that goes with it. If it was easy, we’d become even more prideful than we are and never learn to rely on God(1). May we strive to live in the virtue of chastity, doing everything we can and allowing God to to do the rest.