The Virtue of Chastity

Chastity, Temperance, and Modesty
What is chastity?
Chastity is a virtue that means
Virtue means: inner strength or
good habit.
Chastity as an inner strength
helps us to have control over our
sexual energy and drives
The practice of chastity helps us
inappropriate and could be selfdestructive to your life and the
lives of others.
What is Temperance?
Temperance is another virtue
related to the practice of chastity.
Temperance aided by our reason
helps us regulate the sources of
pleasure such as: food, drink, and
The practice of temperance helps
balance in our daily lives by
helping us avoid excesses that
can lead us to an unhealthy life, or
to loose control of our lives
through addictions and unhealthy
attachments to peoples or things.
What is modesty?
Modesty is the practice of delicate
The practice of modesty or
delicate reserve helps us to know
when to refrain from doing
something that is shameful or
inappropriate in nature, that may
disrespect to our bodies and
The practice of delicate reserve
prevents us from engaging in
behavior that is of a disorderly
nature and contrary to our
Christian identity.
People that practice modesty, for
instance, know how to dress in a
way that is not provocative,
sexual, or inappropriate.
The practice of the virtue of modesty
helps us to train ourselves to be
modest in the way we talk or the way
we conduct ourselves both in public or
in private.
Temperance and Modesty are allies of
the virtue of Chastity they help us to
strengthen our resolve to live in a
chaste life.
What is the Catholic view on Sex?
Popular culture has distorted and
ridiculed the Catholic notion on sex.
The Catholic Church teaches that sex
is a gift of God.
Hence, sex is good, holy and ordain to
a purpose.
Sex is a tremendous creative power
given to humanity by its creator.
The misuse of this power has severe
destructive and deadly consequences.
Sex is has been ordained to the
vocation of marriage.
Only in the sacrament of marriage the
gift of sex find its true purpose and
The act of love and the gift of sex
are conducive to two important
dimensions in the sacrament of
procreative aspects of conjugal
Sex outside of the covenant of
marriage is not longer a gift of
life, but rather a destructive
force. An inordinate drive that
leads to lust and sin.
How is faith and the practice of
Chastity related?
• The practice of chastity
strengthens our resolution to
Christian values and morality.
• We call this the Life in Christ.
• The practice of Chastity helps
us acquire a vision of the
human person that is not
blurred nor distorted by selfish
motives or ulterior desires.
Chastity and the states of life
The Christian person is called to
practice chastity in all states of life.
Singled people are to practice chastity
through abstinence (the refraining of
sexual activity before marriage).
Married people are called to practice
chastity by protecting the dignity of the
other through acts of love, respect,
and sacrifice.
This means avoiding behavior that is
unchaste and aberrant to the state of
marriage such as:
swinging, bestiality, pornography,
rape, prostitution, sadomasochism
or any other unnatural, deviant
behavior or anti-value that degrades
and destroy the dignity of the
human person.
What is an acquired virtue?
• Chastity is an acquired
• This means we cannot be
chaste just by wishing to
be chaste.
• We must act and live in a
chaste way.
• This requires a resolution
of the will and intellect
towards the chaste life
and an openness to the
grace of God.
How can we live a chaste life in
today’s society?
• The Christians of today
live in a society that is
countercultural to the
values of the Gospel.
• We live in a secular
society that drift further
and further from the
Lord and his message.
• As Christian we can
become beacons of hope
by walking the walk; by
adopting the faith and the
courage to live as Christ
Practical Tips
To develop the virtue of chastity
we can considered the following
• 1. Renew your way of thinking
• 2. Treat people like people and
not like objects or commodities
• 3. Avoid that which you know
can lead you to act out
• 4. Prayer and the Sacramental
• 5. Allow good relationships
and activities to fill your
emptiness and boredom.
Renew Your Way of Thinking
Renewing our thinking requires the
ability to feed our minds with positive,
healthy images and desires.
It also involves an act of faith in our
inherent goodness. God created us
good. That means we have the
capacity to do and think good things.
If I believe that I am good I will do
good things. If I convince myself
that I am bad, I am going to act
upon that belief.
For instance, if we filled our mind with
lust, filth and negativity our behavior
will be influenced by these things,
leading us to disappointing
Treat people like people not like
objects or commodities
• All of us, deep in our hearts,
desire to be treated and loved
in an authentic, permanent
and respectful way.
• We want this because we are
humans endowed with dignity,
reason and life.
• We know when someone is
trying to hurt us or just using
us to their advantage. We do
not like to be treated like
• Unlike objects we have
feelings and a sense of dignity
• The golden rule is an important
component in living a chaste
• When we are able to see
people as God’s children then,
we will able to love them as
God’s children.
Avoid the near occasion of sin
We become what we do for instance, if
we steal we become thieves.
If we engage in unhealthy behavior our
character eventually is going to become
If we get close to the fire chances are we
might get burnt.
In order to practice chastity we need to
recognize and avoid the situations or
circumstances that we know invite us to
act sexually. This might include certain
places, people or things.
The practice of chastity requires making
appropriate changes in the type of music,
movies or literature we hear, see and
Remember, we will always find what we
are looking for.
Prayer and honesty
• Prayer is the spiritual oxygen
of every Christian person.
• Without a prayer life our spirit
and resolve becomes
disoriented and weak.
• Without God’s grace we
cannot live a chaste life.
• Prayer and the sacraments
predispose our will to the
• If we honestly desire to live a
chaste life God will give us the
tools that we need to fight
Allow good relationships and activities to fill
your emptiness and boredom
To live a chaste life a person needs
to develop good and healthy
relationships and friendship.
A sound social life is essential in the
practice of chastity. Join a young
adult group, a school club, a sport
team or a volunteer group.
Filled in your time with healthy
activities such as sports or exercise.
Remember, an idle life breeds
Develop hobbies or pastimes that
will boast your creativity and keep
your mind focus on things that are
positive and constructive, for
instance: poetry, painting, gardening
and so forth.
• Chastity is a virtue, an inner
strength, a lifestyle.
• We become chaste by living a
chaste life, a day at a time.
• God’s grace, honesty and a
commitment to what is good
are the essential elements that
we need to maintain our
resolve to chastity.
• A healthy body, mind and soul
will produce a healthy
• Remember, an honest heart
will always have an honest
answer and an honest
St Paul the Apostle
• “Finally, brothers,
whatever is true,
whatever is noble,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent
or praiseworthy--think
about such things.”
Philippians 4:8
Prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Take, Lord, all my liberty. Receive my memory, my
understanding and my whole will. Whatever I have and
possess, you have given to me; to you I restore it wholly,
and to your will I utterly surrender it for your direction.
Give me the love of you only, with your grace, and I am
rich enough; nor ask I anything beside.”
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