Because within marriage we might just, if we’re lucky and blessed and persevere, reach that point where we have found deep, abiding love and in finding that love we will also have found the path to chastity.
Chastity is not the lack of love, but the fullness of human love.
Chastity is faithfulness in love because we want to be faithful.
Chastity is purity in love because we are disgusted and repulsed by impurity.
Chastity approaches the other with wonder and awe and genuinely desires the best for the other not for oneself
Chastity would even sacrifice oneself for the good of the other.
To develop this level of human fulfillment and maturity take a lifetime of conscious commitment and hard work. It requires repeated repentance after stumbling and falling. It requires attention and devotion and discipline.
Because it takes a lifetime, marriage must be a life long commitment. The problem with modern marriage is that we have come to regard it as a sacrament of self satisfaction rather than a sacrament of self sacrifice. We regard it as a way to have the perfect American dream rather than the way through which we finally learn what chastity is about and therefore what it means to grow in holiness and what it means to grow up into the full stature of the God-man Jesus Christ.
When we commit to marriage as the church intends we go on this journey. When we do our best to obey the church’s teaching on marriage we speed along this path. When we stumble and get up again and repent and try again–each time we draw closer to the goal.
If you are married and if you are still chasing chastity don’t give up.
You are climbing a mountain. Did you think it would be easy?
Further up and further in.