To escape from our sexuality is to deny our humanity. Our being sexual is an important component of our being human. But to see sexuality is not only to contend with the given (our sex organs) but also to wrestle with its consequences (our sexual identity and our way of expressing our sexuality).
The class discussion in my Spiritual Theology class led me to review my journal and revisit how I viewed chastity then, and if possible, see any semblance of development in terms of how I viewed the subject from how I live it now.
Six years ago, it dawned on me that I was haunted by the fact that I consider some individuals more as compared with everyone. They are more simply because they are my friends.
Studying the provisions on chastity in our Rule, it dawned on me that I am called to exercise a love meant to be shared to everyone. And every time I allow myself to be nourished by the love of certain individuals, I felt a tinge of guilt. This, time and again, I have brought to the knowledge of my spiritual directors in the past, and despite the comforting words “It’s okay to have close friends,” I still could not brush away the guilt.
The teacher’s nagging question ‘Does a lifetime of love seen in me’ has helped me confront myself whether there is or there is none. It helped me realize that the little sacrifices I make in order to uphold the virtue and my vow of chastity contributes to this. Indeed, it is correct to say that there are no simple shortcuts to chastity.
Chastity, I would later grasp, is not a mere destination, but it is, in itself one journey all of us have to make towards wholeness. Indeed, chastity is a way of loving. And in the context of my religious community, I strive to learn not just to love more intimately but also, more universally.
Just like how Jesus loved.
When I was a tad younger, I thought that keeping one’s purity is the be-all-and-end-all of chastity. I found out that I thought wrongly. Now that I know much better, I say that chastity goes beyond thinking of impurity.
Chastity is a beautiful virtue that I need to strive to attain in order to love more, and thus, become more.
I concede to the fact that I don’t know much, and there are certain aspects of this virtue I am not sure about.
But for the meantime, I can well relate with this statement I lifted from the Project of Life of the Salesians, Chastity is “a response to faith; only in it can we altogether understand it.”