What is Chastity?
Happy Thursday Ladies!
Alright ladies! Here it comes! This week's combating virtue is...
Man does that word ever have a lot of baggage! What do I mean by that? This is one of the virtues that has been extremely skewed and misinterpreted, and given a certain kind of reputation that is not even close to what it truly means.
I wanted to quote a really beautiful definition from the Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine:
“Chastity if the virtue that enables one to use one’s sexual powers properly. The chaste person is in control of his or her sexual desires rather than being controlled by them. Chastity frees one from being dominated by one’s sexual passions. Necessary for both the married and unmarried, chastity is rooted in deep respect for the other person, who should never be used as a means to satisfy one’s sexual desires. The power of sexuality allows one to make a gift of oneself to another. Again, chastity is the virtue that allows one to make a proper use of that power.”
I know that was probably very wordy but it really brings the true and real perspective of what chastity really is. Many times when we think of chastity we think “no sex before marriage”, but that is the definition of celibacy. Chastity goes deeper and focuses on the virtuous integration of body and soul with regard to sexuality (USCCB).
It is for everyone, everywhere, all the time! Married, single, religious…EVERYONE!
It is the virtue that allows us to become that true gift of self that we are called to be for the other. It helps us learn what it means to love, truly love as God loves. This is why it is not just focused on a part of our life. “It involves our whole life, our whole person, our whole being!” (Sr. Helena Burns).
Chastity in one word can be summed up as... STRIVING. Striving to live a life of true authentic love for the other.
Today I want to leave you with this thought for the day:
“How can I be a gift of myself to those around me?” This can be to your family, your friends, your spouse, your co-workers or even a random person you encounter.
Come Holy Spirit and teach us how to love!
Walking Together, Sandra