Oh, Chastity Is Too Hard? Man Up!
“There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Prov. 14:12).
Pornography, masturbation, adultery, fornication, etc. may seem right, but they bring unhappiness in this life and, if one dies unrepentant, eternal damnation in the next.
In his second letter to Timothy, St. Paul wrote, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings” (2 Tim. 4:3).
Let’s be honest. Many of us, myself included, can fall prey to the temptation of listening only to soft words of encouragement, words that one may need to hear after a fall but not before. For many of us, it's time to man up!
In his book Saints in the World, Fr. Jesus Urteaga offers some tough love to a friend who had given up on chastity; He writes:
But sometime later we meet again. You are completely changed. What has happened to you?
Where is that energy, that love which you had, that enthusiasm, that vigor with which you began?
You see me in the distance, and you speak to me only with your silence and downcast eyes.
At last you take courage and speak, and you blurt out some ridiculous explanation: "It was only a mistake, a childish mistake…being chaste is too hard! I can’t do it!"
Well, in reply to such nonsensical reasons, such silly arguments, all I can say is, you coward!
Your eyes blaze and you stare at me, but I’m not afraid to say it again. You coward! You 'can’t'—what you mean is, you don’t want to! With people like you, Christianity would have died out long before the time of the catacombs! . . .
I am telling you right now: there are duties which must not be avoided, regardless of how downhearted or discouraged you may be.
To those who think this advice is too hard, or that the starndards set by the Church are too high, he says the following:
Okay, continue with that out-of-focus, useless life of yours. Let your go-with-the-flow feelings overcome you as usual at the time for getting up.
Go to bed any old time, whenever you happen to feel like it. Make no effort to form a plan of life. Waste time as usual. Spend as much time as you can in idle pursuits.
Let your eyes rest on anything they notice, let your imagination wander freely, and lazy coward that you are, you will soon see how wide are the gates of hell.
Three Truths About Sexual Temptation
1. There is no middle course. Animal or saint: choose! — Fr. Jesus Urteaga
2. Say to your body: "I would rather keep you in slavery than be myself your slave.” — St. Josemaría Escrivá
3. Never despair. Lazarus was dead and decaying: . . . "by now he will smell; this is the fourth day in day," Martha told Jesus. If you hear the inspiration of God and follow it—"Lazarus, come forth!"—you will return to life. — St. Josemaría Escrivá