The way the Catholic Church speaks of chastity and the promises it gives a person who is striving for it has been speaking so deeply in my heart that I felt compelled to write another reflection.
Chastity offers freedom from sinful or utilitarian motives, we [knowingly or unknowingly] use sexual intimacy for. Chastity allows our heart and soul to appreciate, more profoundly, the person we are in a committed relationship with.
If you can’t understand that, think about a time you felt used and unloved in a relationship, and you knew it.
That hurt is excruciating to a person’s soul and I don’t wish that on anyone. My hopes are that this article will help you understand why glorifying sexual intimacy in marriage allows a person to experience the most sincere and purest love. Here we go:
Many people in life can make me feel good, and it’s normal for me to desire that. People are always going to give me emotional bliss in life, it just happens. And the way my boss makes me feel special is different than the way my parents do. Likewise, my spouse’s love will be different than a friends love. Simply put, any person, with their qualities and attributes, will spur a spark in me.
And one way we experience this spark is by way of sexual stimulation. Any sight of a quality you find attractive or the seduction of the senses stimulates you, spontaneously. Yet, sexual experiences go away overtime and many people possess the qualities you get stimulated by (and may even have it in a higher degree).
So in good conscience, after reading that, the point is: qualities, attributes, and feelings are all repeatable.
A person, however, will never be repeatable.
So if every relationship (even the choice to indulge in pornography) comes with a temptation to sexual seduction, then the person who can’t say no to those temptations reveals to the person they marry, “this act of love means nothing.”
In his book, The Love that Satisfies, Christopher West summarizes this point in another way saying, “If any real care I have for each person gives way in the end as him or her being an instrument for my sexual pleasure, than he or she can be easily replaced in such a function.”
That is precisely why infidelity—and ones in the heart (porn)—leave a person devastated. Infidelity says to the other person, “I am repeatable. I am replaceable.”
Chastity allows your body to experience a spark of sexual desire purely rooted in an appreciation and affection for who a person is. From that, you convinces yourself that “saving this desire for when I’m ready and able to make a verbal exchange of my vows of love, in a commitment that promises this person my ‘forever’ (marriage) is such an ample act of love.”
Chastity inspires you to say, “I long for your good.”
Whereas anything on the contrary says, “I long for you as a good.”
Italian ethicist Rocco Buttiglione says, “Only the value of the person can sustain a stable relationship. Values of sexuality are wasted away in time and are exposed to the danger of disillusion. But this is not the case for the value of a person…which is stable and in some way infinite. When your love develops and reaches the person, then it is forever.”
My heart is exploding out of my chest, is yours?
That is the love we all want.
AGAIN: SAYING YES TO CHASTITY MEANS THIS;
I KNOW AND LOVE THE VALUE, DIGNITY, AND BEAUTY I AND OTHERS HAVE, AND I KNOW SEXUAL INTIMACY IS THE GREATEST LOVING UNION ON EARTH, SO I REFUSE TO VIOLATE THAT WITH FALSE INTENTIONS.
How much more attractive is it to be able to have someone hold you in their arms, look you in the eye, and say “you’re worth waiting for.”
As much as we don’t want to wait until marriage, we also don’t want a spouse who couldn’t say no to their sexual desires.
Again, this is hard to do and takes continuous effort. Keep the continuous practice and prayer, and remember you can start over with chastity at any moment in your life!
Inviting God in your heart to resurrect your desires progressively aligns you closer to understanding love. It allows you to one day embrace sexuality with your spouse without feeling used or like an object of someones pleasure. And, this practice brings us closer to God in the greatest of ways.