Love is a radical decision

“Desiring love is not weakness. Weakness consists in conforming with something less than love” (Crystalina Evert).

Chastity is a heroic virtue. It’s absolutely necessary when preparing for marriage as well as in married life. Why? Because chastity isn’t just abstinence. It’s not denial but self-control of our sexuality. It’s self-control that enables us to love someone fully, not just their body but their entire self. Precisely for this reason, true Christian chastity entails overcoming selfishness, the ability to make sacrifices for the good of others, nobility and loyalty in service and love. Indeed, through the virtue of chastity, man breaks the shell of his selfishness and learns to give himself totally—in body and soul—and unconditionally.

We need warriors who fight bravely in this crusade and do not fall into the sensuality the world leads us to. Guard your eyes, thoughts, desires, gestures and presence. May everything you think, say and do be for God’s glory and praise. The Lord desires to live in our hearts, which is why it’s important to keep them clean and pure.

How can I give myself to someone if I’m not in control of myself?

In the world’s eyes, chastity is seen as a series of rules and prohibitions established by the Church, and which take your freedom away. Yet it’s the exact opposite. Chastity is freedom. A person is freer when he has more control of himself and is capable of deciding and choosing what is good. Chastity makes us possess our freedom and be in control of ourselves. Do you think a drunk person is free when he decides to have a beer? Of course not. The same thing happens with someone who can’t control his impulses. That person isn’t free to use his body. We also have to keep in mind that the freer one is, the more possible it is to love 

How to practice this virtue?

First of all, virtues don’t grow separately; they’re interrelated. Therefore, if we strive to live the rest of the virtues, we’ll see how it’s a lot easier to reach our goal. If I usually let myself get carried away by what my body wants or by what I feel like having and don’t practice diligence and self-control in small things, when I have to put something more serious into practice it’s going to seem impossible. An example of a little exercise would be not eating everything I like or eating something that I don’t like, choosing the worst place, the worst cup without complaining, or to help clean up the kitchen even though I really don’t feel like it and no one helps. Even if it’s very difficult for you say, “Lord, I feel like I’m dying,” but do it for Him. Another important thing that can help order our passions is keeping order in our daily life and keeping our schedule (having a fixed bedtime and time to get up in the morning).

Lastly and most importantly, what gives us the most strength is the Eucharist. We need to receive the Lord every day. Without Him, we can’t do anything. He is waiting to unite Himself to us. He wants us to seek Him and ask Him for help. He is dying to help us. It’s also necessary to spend time during the day in silence in His presence because, even though we don’t usually realize it, the Holy Spirit acts and the Lord writes in our hearts. This is why we have to open our hearts to Him and ask Him sincerely to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, to teach us to love and to give us the desire to be chaste and pure.

Besides these small guidelines, we have to fight not to go with the flow and use common sense. Let me be clear: even if you go to Mass often and pray a lot, if you put your head in the lion’s mouth it’s probably going to bite you. We are stained by sin and very weak. The best thing to do is avoid dangerous situations and always be around people. Another thing I haven’t mentioned yet: hold on tight to your rosary and go to confession frequently. This will give you a lot of strength. Remember that if you choose to live your relationship well, it’s not going to be easy. Chastity is often a heroic sacrifice. Like Padre Pio used to say: “He who begins to love must be ready to suffer.”

If until now I haven’t lived chastely or have even lost my virginity, can I start living chastely? Of course! GOD MAKES ALL THINGS NEW. God can forgive anything. Look at St. Augustine. If he’s a saint, all of us can be saints. Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

It’s normal that you feel weak, think you can’t do it and see that the world’s current drags you along and you don’t know how to be strong. You’re right. You can’t. You can’t alone. But if you take the Lord’s and Our Blessed Mother’s hands you can. We have to turn the Them constantly to ask Them for strength and to take our weakness and transform it.

“If I should fall a thousand times a day, a thousand times a day I will begin again, with new awareness of my weakness, promising God to amend my life” (Venerable Bruno Lanteri).


Elvira

Hello! My name is Elvira Vaqué. I am from Valencia (Spain), and I am currently studying nursing. I entered as member of the Home of the Mother of the Youth in 2018. A few months earlier, I went on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and the Lord changed my heart. Though I was raised Catholic, my faith was weak and I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord. Before, I considered the saints quite distant, belonging to the past and extinct. How stupid! We are all called to become saints, and that should be our goal. In our day to day, we should ceaselessly strive for holiness. I am very weak, and this is obviously not a walk in the park. Though it can be difficult and tiring at times, as someone once told me, “To love is to give of oneself...” How true! I often fall, but I know that the Lord is there to pick me up and help me. Now He is the one who guides my life. The Lord is so good, and He loves us so much! Pray for me, that the Lord may keep me faithful and give me strength, because if it all depended on me… bad news.