Friday, November 03, 2006

"The Courage to be Chaste"

Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!
A blogger asked me, "What do you think of the book 'The courage to be Chaste' by Benedict Groeschel?" Thanks for the question. Very good book! Fr. Groeschel is a Franciscan Friar of Renewal and a psychologist. He has written many spiritual books, and gives talks all over the country on spirituality and psychology. In "The Courage to be Chaste", Fr. Groeschel gives brilliant spiritual and psychological insights about the virtue of chastity, and how to live it in the modern world. I use much of his wisdom from the book in my teaching and counseling about chastity, especially the root causes for unchaste behavior (loneliness, anxiety, etc.).

Here are some excerpts from the book:

"A chaste life should gradually open a person to greater understanding and acceptance of others, especially of those who are conflicted and troubled by their own sexuality. A mature chaste person is not threatened by the sexual problems of others; he or she can be objective without being scandalized.

A chaste person shoulde experience gradual detachment from the narcissism and self-seeking which are so easily reinforced by sexual indulgence.

A single person who is at peace should have love to share and give away. We have already seen (earlier in the book) the importance of generosity in the life of the single lay person or religious. Loving friendships with peers, with the young and the old, are not a chore for the mature celibate; they develop spontaneously. Perhaps the greatest gift of a chaste life based on love is forgiveness toward those who are jealous of the freedom and spontaneity which chastity brings. Persons who have failed to reach a decision to be chaste, either in marriage or the single life, will instinctively be jealous of the chaste person's freedom and peace. They often spend a lot of time picking the chaste apart, hoping to find some chink in their armor. Sooner or later the chaste person will achieve the confidence to go beyond such conflicts" (p. 107).

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