Feeling like a loser for being chaste? Yes, very much so, if you know anything about attending a modern university. I feel like I get this pounded into me very often…They all seem to be having a great time…
I am a divorced woman considered a senior citizen. How do you meet a man, and when he wants it to become physical, you can’t because of your religion? You never hear from that man again or for that matter any other man. It gets pretty lonely.
It’s this very issue that I believe has kept me on the sidelines for so long. I’m not sure that if I fell truly in love with a man that I would be able to remain chaste. So instead I don’t get involved and I know this is not the answer…
These are all comments readers posted in response to an article I wrote last year about how difficult it can be to live a chaste single life.
It’s true, we live in a very sexed-up society and with all the sexual messages accosting you at any given moment, whether it’s a billboard, a song you hear, or the scantily-clothed woman walking down the street, it is easy to feel you are somehow “missing out” if you have committed to being chaste. But, do you ever feel deep down inside there is actually some piece to this puzzle that is being missed? Something contrary to the casual sex culture you know is true but cannot find the words to articulate? If so, you are absolutely correct.
The missing piece to the puzzle is easily found in Pope St. John Paul II’s ingenious work, Theology of the Body. It is the key to transcending the view of sexuality through the lens of the world and discovering it instead through the eyes of truth. It would change your entire perspective on sex dramatically, and I contend your every day life would be infiltrated with a joy you cannot get from any other source on sex.
Theology of the Body is actually a collection of 129 lectures Pope John Paul II gave between September 1979 and November 1984. The Holy Father began presenting these lectures almost immediately after he was elected pope because he knew there needed to be a deeper anthropology, a deeper understanding of who the human person is. We, as a society, needed a deeper understanding of what God has revealed through the bible about the meaning of man and woman. He especially wanted to provide a deeper understanding about the human person and re-read the truths of Pope Paul VI’s groundbreaking encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which discussed the critical issue of contraception in the modern world but had not been well received.
But it’s apparent that many people either have not heard about Theology of the Body, or haven’t read it, which is a tragedy. Point in case, a recent study titled, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life suggests that out of all the fallen-away Catholics polled, 56% left the faith because they were unhappy with the teachings on abortion, and 48% were unhappy with the teachings on birth control. Translated, they don’t understand the roots of these issues. If they did, they would not only understand, but rally against these atrocities. John Paul II’s work in this arena sheds the light of truth on human sexuality that puts all these issues into their proper perspective.
So the bottom line is, we can accept the false notion society spreads that the Catholic Church’s admonition to remain celibate until marriage is negative, antiquated, and taking all the fun out of life, or we can do something wildly radical, like discover the truth about sex and the Catholic Church’s attitude toward it through the teachings contained in Theology of the Body. If people only knew the truth, they would experience an unexpected joy, and a freedom which the lies of the casual sex culture just cannot compete with.
It’s exciting to know that love is not just a yearning we have. It’s not just an itch to be scratched or a need to be met. Love is our calling, our purpose in life. We have been created to love. Searching for someone we can love is what we are supposed to do. But, instead of seeking self-gratification through casual sex, you can experience a greater happiness by showing your date affection that says I respect you. You are worth something to me. I will not treat you like an object.
If you are not familiar with the concepts contained in Theology of the Body, I encourage you to pick up either a copy of that or a copy of These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body by Emily Stimpson. My bet is you will begin to see the meaning and purpose of sex and human love in an entirely different light.
I look forward to receiving your comments and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.