Friday, February 8, 2013

The Universality of Chastity

Catholics are placing a great deal of emphasis on the issue of “same-sex marriage.” The reason for this is simple: the very concept of chastity is under assault today, and same-sex marriage is the aspect of Christian morality undergoing the greatest assault.
But it is foolish to concentrate solely on chastity for homosexuals as the source and summit of Christian sexual morality, or to pretend that chastity for homosexuals is the only worthwhile application of chastity. Chastity is a universal virtue, and the confusion regarding marriage is in large part because of the abject failure of many "good Christians" to practice the virtue.
There are many heterosexual Christians who treat relationships as a means to engage in physical pleasure, sex as a toy, and who blithely engage in adultery and extramarital relations. Because of this, “the sanctity of marriage” has become a joke in the secular mindset. 
If those who are supposed to uphold Christian ideals mock them in practice, why would those who do not believe those ideals and those who undergo greater temptations practice those ideals which "good Christians" reject?
Every Christian are called to practice the virtue of chastity – to use the great gift of our sexuality to honor God and our neighbor. This call to chastity has different obligations for those in specific states of life. Those who are single are called those of the opposite sex in thought, word, and deed. Those who are dating are also called to respect their significant others, discerning whether their relationships are to lead to the great good of marriage. Those who are engaged are called to prepare themselves for marriage and for union with their spouse. Those who are married are called to fidelity with one another, to devote themselves totally and completely to one another in all ways, including the most intimate.
Everyone is called to chastity, and those who successfully live out their calling of chastity are better and happier people for doing so. 
Which is precisely why so many of us, even Christians, shun chastity and other virtues. We run from joy as fast as possible; we fear the true peace that happiness might bring and the temporary sensory privations that virtue might entail, and seek the cold comfort of mediocrity that immorality provides. 

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