For the first time, I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! The concept is simple: Each day in April I’ll be blogging on a topic starting with the letter of the day, beginning with A and progressing to Z by the end of the month. Posts will be short and will relate to my chosen theme: my new coming of age story, Rightfully Ours, released April 1.
C is for Chastity
A man that used to go to our church consistently confused our daughter’s name, calling her “little Chastity.” Not a name on our short list. A beautiful and necessary virtue, for sure, but a lot to saddle a young lady with should she ever fail to live up to her name.
I’ve grown more and more fond of the term “chastity” as opposed to “purity” or other terms used in relation to sexual abstinence outside of marriage. Chastity is a lifelong virtue suited for every age and stage in life. It’s not lost and gone forever. It’s not a restrictive-sounding “thou shalt not.” It’s positive.
I love the how chastity is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man’s belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrity of the gift. (2337)
In Rightfully Ours, Paul and Rachel must learn the value of authentic love, the true treasure they discover together. When their convictions are tested by temptation, will they have the integrity and virtue to be chaste? It’s one thing to profess a certain morality, and it’s another to have that mettle tested when facing the very natural temptations that accompany love and attraction.
What term do you prefer in referring to sexual integrity?