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Truth About Chastity

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This card contains the following text:

The Truth About Chastity

  1. Sex is holy, not a plaything. It should never be trivialized.
  2. Created in the image of God, I can live by reason, not just by urges (as the animals do).
  3. Persons are to be loved, not merely used as objects of enjoyment.
  4. I must not treat persons as objects, even in the mind, left I become a user of persons in practice.
  5. Unchaste activity destroys my most precious friendship, that with God, the source of all happiness.
  6. Unchaste activity brings pleasure but not happiness.
The Freedom of Chastity

Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas taught that the sexual appetite seems to have a life of its own. And, since it listens not only to reason, but to the senses and imagination as well, you cannot deal with it "despotically," that is, command it authoritatively, and expect it to obey. It won't. If you repress it in this way, it will go down into the subconscious, where it will wait for a moment of weakness, and will explode in a spree of sexual activity.

You must rather treat the appetite "politically," that is, you must convince it to not go after wrong activity, by repeatedly presenting the values to be gained by chastity. You must, in a sense, graft reason onto the appetite.

In other words, you must "convert the heart." Only then, when the heart is converted does the will become free of any resentment over refusing illicit sexual activity. By repeating to oneself several times a day the arguments on the reverse side of this card, you can find the peace of true chastity. You don't avoid thinking about the issue, or wait for it to come up, but daily confront your will with these values. Eventually it will surrender to the truth. Of course, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit, chastity requires much prayer.

By Rev. T. G. Morrow. Based on the author's book, Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World (OSV), and Karol Wojtyla's Love and Responsibility (Ignatius Press)