CatholicHerald.co.uk » Nowadays, chastity is the ultimate rebellion
March 17, 2015 16 Comments
There are several things I like about this article. first it’s always wonderful to see somebody escape from what has become too often a destructive, nihilistic culture and emerge into the light of Grace.
It’s also nice to see this issue presented as a positive, too often it’s thought of as denial, it’s not, as she shows here.
A bit from her article,
Modern-day Tannhäusers are all around us: men and women addicted to pornography; singles seeking love through sex; and spouses desiring pleasure to the exclusion of procreation. Our Catholic faith teaches that a way of forgiveness and restoration is open to them. Yet all too often we give them up for lost, speaking of chastity as if it were a virtue reserved only for virgins. In doing so, we effectively buy into the culture’s lie that slaves to pleasure will never be able to find freedom in Christ. […]
A line in the first chapter jumped out at me: “The most poetical thing in the world is not being sick.” That was my black grace moment. At the time I read those words I was trapped in a vicious cycle. Lonely because I was not loved, I offered myself to “lovers” who did not love me. Chesterton forced me to recognise what I had been trying to suppress: how deeply I longed to experience healing, to have my life ordered from the top down, to know the poetry of not being sick.
With time (and more Chesterton), I began to experience the white grace of conversion. But reluctant to put myself under the authority of any particular denomination, I tried to walk the Christian walk on my own. I soon discovered that changing my beliefs wasn’t enough to change my habits.
It was clear that all the desires I had ever indulged had failed to bring me closer to the love I sought. And it was likewise clear that the only way I would ever receive such love was if I learnt how to give it properly. But how was I to learn?
How indeed. We live in a culture that denies anything has lasting value. Whose catchphrase far too often is “What have you done for me, lately?” And yet lasting values are still here, there’s a fair number of us who know this, maybe not the majority, and certainly not the loudest minority, but we are here.
Admittedly, chastity is not the in thing. But in a society that has ceased to be Christian, that is what makes it so very interesting. Here in the West, Christianity had a good, long run as the prevailing culture and is now once again the counterculture.
Pope Francis gets this. That is why, when he speaks about chastity, he uses the language of rebellion. Addressing young people on the theme of the diocesan World Youth Day 2015 – “Blessed are the pure in heart” – he urged them to “rebel against the widespread tendency to reduce love to something banal, reducing it to its sexual aspect alone … [Rebel] against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes you are incapable of responsibility, that believes you are incapable of true love.”
Continue reading CatholicHerald.co.uk » Nowadays, chastity is the ultimate rebellion.
That may just explain a lot about Pope Francis, maybe he sees something that we don’t, a way of reaching young people, who want something better. I’d like to believe that anyway.
And one that is assuredly true, our culture does not believe us to be capable of responsibility for ourselves, nor does it know the difference between lust and love, and without knowing the difference, society will suffer badly, as will we who become too involved in it.