My spiritual director recently gave an interesting metaphor for contemplation. He described contemplation as that moment when the waters of a lake are stilled and one is able to witness the beauty of the night sky reflected on the waters. In such still moments, the water becomes like glass and one can see the moon and the stars as if they were within reach.
Often, our interior life resembles more the turbulence of a storm. Instead of peace and tranquility, we encounter disorder and confusion. Most especially, this happens with our sexuality. Perhaps we have heard about chastity, but what we experience is strong urges and attractions that seem to overpower us. We can come to two false conclusions. We can either believe that chastity is impossible or that to be chaste we have to get rid of our sexual drive.
The truth is that our sexual desire needs to be educated and directed, not destroyed or manipulated. It is an incredible gift from God, and when it is properly oriented, it becomes a great source of vitality and joy. This is true for married couples, single people, or those dedicated to a life of celibacy. For all walks of life, chastity is the inner harmony by which we properly experience the joy of our sexuality.
When our inner life has the harmony that God intends, we experience God and see reality with clarity. We resemble the still waters of a lake, in which our emotional life and our drives are not unfortunate consequences of being human, but rather vehicles for sanctity. Of course, there will still be trials and temptations. However, instead of being sources of frustration, these trials become moments of grace in which we learn to rely less on ourselves and more on God.
So I want to encourage you to pursue chastity with zeal and enthusiasm. Let it be a guiding principle that helps you to live the life God intended, a life of happiness marked by the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
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Thank you for wonderful information I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.
Thanks for comment. I could provide you with some citations on what I based this article on, but I am not sure how much it would help. In articles, I tend to synthesis sources that may not appeal to modern audiences. For example, many of the ideas in this article are taken from lectures at the seminary integrated with ideas from the Philokalia (a work of Eastern Monasticism).
Great post! ‘The Joy Of Chastity’ helped me a lot! And indeed, when properly directed it becomes a vehicle for sanctity! How wonderfully put!
Thank you for the post!