This should be an ongoing concern for all of us. We should do whatever we can to promote it, fighting it out to live it properly ourselves and helping others to do the same.
While it is not the most important virtue, chastity nevertheless plays a very crucial role in developing a truly human, let alone, Christian life.
Chastity is a product of love and a producer of love which, in the end, is the very essence and purpose of our life. It is a love that comes from God and is a living participation of God’s love. What chastity does is to incarnate that divine love in our bodily dimension, and in particular, our human sexuality.
Let us remember that our body, together with our spiritual soul, is an essential constituent of our humanity. Both body and soul are meant to be in perfect unity, such that the body is properly spiritualized, and our spiritual soul is also duly materialized. That’s because we are neither purely material bodies nor purely spiritual souls.
But what do we have at the moment? The obvious answer is that the body is left to pursue its own dynamics, practically unguided by our spiritual soul that should also be anchored on spirit of God, the ultimate source of our life and the ultimate lawgiver of our human nature.
Chastity has become a rare species that is fast facing extinction if nothing drastic is done about it. Nowadays, for example, you can hardly find anyone who is seriously trying to live chastity. Gone are the days when you can meet young, unmarried people who at least are trying to live chastity in perfect continence.
The typical youngster in the street is most likely blighted with all forms of unchastity, and they don’t seem to mind it anymore. Sexual anomalies and perversions seem to be the new normal nowadays. It can even be said that things are being reversed. Those who try to live chastity are considered as abnormal.
The hot-button issue of gender, for example, is basically a crisis in chastity. The same with the issue of abortion which is not so much a socio-economic-political or ideological issue as it is a moral issue involving chastity.
And by the way, the number one killer in the world in the year that just ended is not Covid nor cancer, but abortion.
Recent studies indicate that 42.7 million abortions were performed last year, while 8.2 million people died from cancer, 5 million from smoking, and 1.7 million from HIV/AIDS. Covid only accounted for 1.8 deaths.
We really need to actively promote this virtue of chastity that puts us in the proper footing to develop our humanity, let alone, our Christianity. Chastity, while involving a lot of vigilance and self-discipline given our wounded condition, actually gives us true joy and peace.
It helps greatly in making us see things more objectively, fairly and globally. It helps us to live the indispensable theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. It greatly contributes to our work ethic since it is a good antidote to laziness, idleness and complacency. It helps us to relate with everyone properly despite our unavoidable differences and conflicts.
Without chastity we would be easy prey to our human weaknesses, the wayward allurements of the world, and the wiles of the devil. Let us spread the Good News about this virtue.*