Saturday, July 22, 2017

chastity in marriage

St John Chrysostom makes a great distinction for us today in A Year with the Church Fathers. He tells us that we are ALL called to chastity, not just monks. Even those of us who are married are called to live chaste lives. We are only to have relations with our spouse, and even looking at another woman with lust is tantamount to adultery.

So we all have our burdens to carry, don't we? No matter whether we're single, married, or priests or nuns, we all have to live chastely. None of us can just go around sleeping with whoever we want. Whether we have heterosexual or homosexual attractions, we are to live chastely. It's all of our calling, and all of our privilege to follow Jesus in living chaste lives.

And when you think about it, it applies to more than just sex. We are called to live simply, as well. We might not be called to a life of poverty, like Franciscans, but we ARE called to live simple lives so that we can give more to the poor. We're called to moderation in food and drink, not giving ourselves to gluttony or drunkenness.

Does this sound like it's limiting you? Only in the same way that a fence on a high mountain limits you. It keeps you from plummeting off the mountain to your destruction. It enables you to live a happy, healthy life inside the fence.

God, thanks for calling us to chastity. Please help us to live chastely, and forgive us when we fail.