What is Chastity?

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When most people hear the word chastity, they sometimes mistakenly think of abstinence or celibacy. Abstinence refers to temporarily refraining from activities that are pleasurable, which may include sex. Celibacy refers to the choice to live in an unmarried state, avoiding all sexual activity. Both abstinence and celibacy are right for some people at some times in their life, but not for all people at all times.

The virtue of chastity, on the other hand, is for everyone. Chastity is not about saying “no” to sex. Chastity is about saying “yes” to God’s plan for our sexuality. No matter where he is in his life, a chaste person masters his sexual feelings, and knows how to express them at the proper times. What are the “proper times?” Only when we understand what sex is for and how it affects our bodies and souls can we truly know, and be able to love others in a way that leaves us truly happy and fulfilled.

Check out the resources below to learn more about what chastity is and how you can learn to practice it in your own life.