Friday, August 21, 2015

More than a rule

Image from Etsy.
I am always pleased when celebrities speak for chastity, because it gives the virtue a popularity boost, if you know what I mean. But I've always had the feeling that something crucial is missing in such stories. For one, the tone in which they are written sounds like they're saying: "It's so unusual that people still follow this rule lol." I guess we can credit them for trying, but chastity is more than a "rule."

Missing thing #1 - It's not just for singles
In the media, it seems only singles are qualified to be chaste. In reality, it doesn't mean that when you get married, chastity flies out the window. Chastity is a virtue for life; it is important for everyone whether they are single or married. It is not exclusive to singles and the religious.

Married people are chaste when they treat sex as it should be: a gift that unifies the couple that should be open to life, exclusive, and self-giving.

Missing thing #2 - It's not just "no sex"
Another media treatment I notice is that "no sex" is considered the only qualification for chastity. In truth, for a person to have the virtue, he should be chaste in thoughts, words, and actions. It should shine from a person's very being. Even one's choice in clothing should be a result of living chastity. Modesty is not called the "little sister" of chastity for nothing.

Missing thing #3 - It's not just for Christians
Frankly, I get annoyed when the media point out that celebrities who promote chastity are Christian, as if it's only for Christians. Chastity is for everybody because it is a virtue. No person is exempt from having certain virtues just because they don't practice some religion.

Love better, live better
Chastity is one of those virtues that sets the tone or creates a foundation for other virtues to develop. If a person practices chastity, he finds it easier to practice so many other virtues: self-mastery, modesty, thinking of the others, charity, patience, generosity, responsibility, respect... without chastity, all these virtues fall flat, much like having beautiful, expensive furniture but in a room that is very dirty.

More than a rule, chastity is a quality that takes struggle and discipline to acquire, but once you start fighting to have it, it disposes you to love better. You just love better because you respect the other person, you are willing to wait for the right time, you are open to life, and you wholeheartedly commit yourself to this person (and to your would-be children)--till death do you part.

Just because "not many people practice it anymore" doesn't mean chastity should be treated like a funny abnormal thing. On the contrary, it is a very beautiful thing, something everyone must work hard for, because it leads to true happiness.

"The superior man thinks always of virtue; the common man thinks of comfort."-Confucius