REFLECTION: Chastity today PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 May 2014 11:22

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

Rather than be sceptical, cynical and all negative about it, let’s be hopeful, confident and determined to develop and live the virtue of chastity. Yes, it’s still possible, and in fact is highly possible to live this virtue that nowadays is practically written off as something that all of us should be concerned about.

It’s important that we be positive always in attitude toward any problem we may have. There’s always hope. Worries and pessimism do not help. They add to the burden unnecessarily.

We know that since the fall of Adam and Eve, the whole of humanity has been having problems in this particular department. That should come as no surprise, and in fact should be treated as a given in life.

That’s because our weakened human condition has damaged our integrity. Thus, our different parts and aspects are fragmented, and each one more or less now follow laws that do not anymore come from God, or laws that also come from a broken system, and therefore often clash with each other.

Seriously affected by this loss of integrity is the proper dominion we ought to have with respect to our body. Alienated from God, its true source of life and law, our body, and specifically our sexuality, now goes adrift according to the wind and wiles of instinctual and hormonal urges and other environmental factors. It has lost its anchor and sense of direction.

The peculiarity of the predicament at present is that this problem is becoming more widespread with the advent of the new technologies, and has affected a bigger coverage of people. What we have, without exaggeration, is a real disaster, a genuine calamity that has become, horror of horrors, normal.

The victims are now both younger and older than those in previous generations. Sex addiction has become a more common disorder. The accessibility to pornography has been made much easier. You don’t even have to look for it on the Internet. It just pops up. What used to solitary sins are not sins making use of a network.

It’s good to know these features of the problem so that we would know exactly what to do, how to react, how to protect ourselves. In other words, they make us very realistic about this problem. They can give us a good picture of how big the challenge is for us, and what recourses we have to make to confront it.

Obviously, we have to remember that chastity is first of all a positive and creative virtue, not so much of a negative, defensive and reactionary one. It’s more a matter of growing in love for God and for others. Such growth will make our inordinate sexual urges irrelevant, or at least will rechannel them to a proper end.

For this, we need to make use of both hunman and supernatural means. We need to keep ourselves busy, avoiding idleness, loneliness and complacency. We have to learn to sniff as early as possible the coming of a dangerous occasion, and then try to avoid it without entering into some negotiations unless there’s a good and higher reason to do so.

We have to learn to make our thoughts clean and our desires always healthy and wholesome. Our imagination, feelings and especially passions should be firmly supervised and directed. They just can be left alone to pursue whatever fancy catches them at a given moment.

With the new technologies, we have to make use of some filtering systems so unwanted postings can readily be screened out. We have to make sure that their use is properly managed and not just at the instance of pure curiosity.

And in the event that inappropriate things pop up, we should be ready and quick to defend and protect ourselves. We have to develop a certain immunity to resist and avoid being immediately affected by these postings.

But more important that all this is developing the skill of praying always while using these technologies. Our mind and heart should always be with God and with others even if we have to engage in very technical or mundane tasks.

We need to be glowing with love for God and for others, else there’s no way but to easily fall to the tricks of the flesh. Very helpful in this regard is the exquisite devotion to our Lady, our Mother most pure and most chaste. She truly helps us to gain and keep intimacy with God while immersed in our worldly affairs.

To repeat, there’s always hope in promoting and living chastity today, despite the disaster and calamity it also is now.