Sometimes we think that it is difficult if not definitel impossible to be chaste. And the reason for such a mistaken opinion is that the word chastity is understood in too narrow a sense. People think that chastity is merely the control of animal passions. Such an idea is false and in any case incomplete.(Gandhi).
Nowadays there is great confusion about chastity and sexuality in general, giving rise to serious consequences in people's relationships. I would like to begin by clarifying, as far as possible, the basic terms namely: sexuality and genitalia.
Sexuality is what makes man and woman different in their physicalness,but also in the different ways of thinking, acting, reacting, loving, crying, rejoicing etc. Sexuality is present in all expressions of human life, it forms its backbone. Genitalia, instead, is the use of sexuality in intercourse, in the entire gift of self (body, psyche and spirit) to and with another person.
Chastity is a term between these two realities.
Chastity is not a limitation nor an amputation of love; indeed love reduced to mere genitality is impoverished, demeaned, and amputated.
Chastity allows genitality have her own place, it expands the heart, and lets tenderness express itself in a completely disinterested love which fills with happiness the one who gives it as well as the person who receives it.
This doesn't mean contempt of the body, but knowledge of it, a way of channelling our own energies and our personal interior treasure, leading them away from selfish narcissism.
Chastity is the correct use of genitalia for the end for which it was given to us. Nobody would dream of cutting a plate or opening a tin of tuna with a small pair of scissors, and if he did, he would be obliged to throw the scissors away. It is true that the term chastity originates from: to keep check on, to control; but in positive language it means that it can teach us the discipline of the heart, with its rules, of the eyes, of language, of the imagination. All this leads to freedom ease, harmony and peace.
Nowadays people easily declare that the human being must accept and satisfy all his physical and psychological demands, it is bluntly affirmed that control over self and personal instincts could lead to excessive strain. This kind of vision considers the human person to be lacking in reason and intelligence, and we know it is not so.
Chastity is order, balance, sovereignty, harmony. It is the foundation for a clear relationship between woman and man, not only in marriage, but in any kind of relationship (friendship, work, family).
There is a total chastity which is real love, because it allows us to prepare ourselves to make a total gift, great, exclusive and ONLY to him/her to whom one is married. It is a gift which once given cannot be taken back in order to give it again to another. This is because the gift is not outside yourself, but it is you yourself and therefore there is no possibility of or right to taking it back again.
There is a relative chastity, that spouses live in married life which excludes the use of genitality as a mere instrument of pleasure. Indeed, because chastity is not something to be practiced only before marriage, as most people think, but also and above all, in married life.
Chastity isn't only a way of expressing what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong. If it were so, it would be a dam easily pulled down. Chastity is a training to overcome any kind of selfish or possessive mentality towards our body or the body of anyone else. Chastity doesn't repress desires, it doesn't ridicule them, nor does it deny them. Rather it orientates them and helps to open us, in a more profound way, to the beauty of our own body and of real love.
Chastity is the secret of joy for everyone and a path for growth lasting a lifetime..