Saint Josemaría Daily texts

“Chastity is not a troublesome and humiliating burden”

In living holy purity and a clean life, there is a great difficulty to which we are all exposed. The danger is one of becoming bourgeois, either in our spiritual life or in our professional life; the danger - also a real one for those called by God to marriage - of becoming dry old bachelors, selfish; people who do not love. Fight that danger tooth and nail, without making concessions of any kind. (The Forge, 89)

If one has the spirit of God, chastity is not a troublesome and humiliating burden, but a joyful affirmation. Will power, dominion, self‑mastery do not come from the flesh or from instinct. They come from the will, especially if it is united to the Will of God. In order to be chaste (and not merely continent or decent) we must subject our passions to reason, but for a noble motive, namely, the promptings of Love.

I think of this virtue as the wings which enable us to carry God's teaching, his commandments, to every environment on this earth, without fear of getting contaminated in the process. Wings, even in the case of those majestic birds which soar higher than the clouds, are a burden and a heavy one. But without wings, there is no way of flying. I want you to grasp this idea clearly, and to decide not to give in when you feel the sting of temptation, with its suggestion that purity is an unbearable burden. Take heart! Fly upwards, up to the sun, in pursuit of Love!

I have just pointed out to you that I find it helpful in this regard to have recourse to the most holy Humanity of Our Lord, that indescribable marvel where God humbles himself to the point of becoming man, and in doing so does not feel degraded for having taken on flesh like ours, with all its limitations and weaknesses, sin alone excepted. He does all this because he loves us to distraction! He does not in fact lower himself when he empties himself. On the contrary, he raises us up and deifies us in body and soul. The virtue of chastity is simply to say Yes to his Love, with an affection that is clear, ardent and properly ordered. (Friends of God, 177-178)