|The positive sense of Christian chastity|
Christian Chastity is founded on the most absolute love, as it entails an openness to the divine love that indicates to us that we are more than sex. Chastity purifies and sanctifies the human being in all his persons, including the deepest layers of his personality. But the original sin makes that the sexual activity, that by its nature is an act of personal union, easily becomes selfish and as also the insensibility is selfish, to cultivate the chastity is to cultivate especially the charity, that is to say, the love also in its supernatural dimension. But this is the fruit of God's grace, so we cannot achieve it with our forces, but it is God who gives it to us if we do not oppose and collaborate with Him for the obedience to the divine commandments, the practice of moral virtues and fidelity, the path to prayer.
The reason is clear: the Christian life is to love God and neighbor (Mc 12, 28-34; Mt 22, 34-40) and the great problem of our life is the struggle between our generosity and our selfishness, being, therefore, all lacking a rejection of grace and a manifestation of selfishness and existential failure because man is faced with a problem that is always the same: how to overcome loneliness and achieve union with others. Love is indispensable to anyone who wants to reach its fullness. Therefore, morality regulates the use of sex in the double dimension of personal growth and interpersonal relationship, not staying in the realm of what is permissible or prohibited, but indicating what are the norms of conduct building personality and without the which, sexual instinct leads to antisocial and irrational actions.
Chastity is not ignorance. Moreover, this is a danger because it does not allow it to be protected or prepared for the problems that arise. In the education of chastity, it is necessary to highlight the values that are enclosed in marriage and virginity. What is required is a progressive initiation, which will put the spiritual and moral values before the eyes. Those who have become accustomed to loving one another and themselves leaning on the love and grace of God, are hardly allowed to be blinded and degraded by instinct. It is certainly clear that simple instinct is radically insufficient to regulate ethical behavior, as human sexuality is not governed by automatic behavior.
The human being is free, but he also has to learn to be, because the responsibility is only gradually acquired. Sexual language should be learned little by little, without dramatizing the imperfections or errors of childhood or adolescence, to assume sexuality to put it at the service of the interpersonal relationship and human maturity. Therefore, Christian chastity assumes not only the mastery of instinct but also an attitude of religious respect for sexuality, with its end not another but holiness (Rom 6.19; 2 Cor 7.1; Ef 5.3).
The positive sense of chastity must be put forward to all, but especially to adolescents so that they do not see in premarital chastity something that diminishes personality or does not recognize man's deep desires. In marriage chastity favors love, opposing only to selfish pleasure that prevents love from reaching all its human dimension, ie be a spiritual love, free, generous and free towards the other person, which has its maximum expression in the sexual act conjugal, which is the physical-physical union of a man and a woman who are husband and wife, love each other and put their bodies at the service of the other. In that act, chastity assumes sexual pleasure itself in an ethically positive way, placing it at the disposal of love and generosity, with a faithful, stable, definitive and fruitful union. Whoever does not understand these elementary truths should not marry, because without chastity there is no true maturity or conjugal love.
The same can be said of the self-chastity of the priestly or religious life, which must be based on a generous love that involves dialogue and spiritual treatment with God, the Virgin, and others.
It is clear from what is said that chastity tries to reach the full integration of instincts and sexual impulses in the harmonious construction of the person. This construction is not only the individual dimension, because our life has, as we know, a social structure and is through interpersonal relationships as we achieve full maturity.