Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Good news about sex" - Part II

Here are the rest of my notes from my recent talk in the parish to young adults, "Good news about sex".

III. Sex is pure

All are called to live sexuality as God intends – in a pure way

All (married, religious, single) are called to live chastity

What is chastity and how do we live it?
- chastity is sexual purity

5 ways to live it
1) Pray
2) Sacraments
3) Custody of the eyes
4) Use reason to control sexual desires
5) Read lives of saints / examples of living virtues

How important is chastity?
St Maria Goretti - martyred at age 11 for her commitment to chastity

Christ: Mk 7 (unchastity is among the most serious sins)

St Paul: Eph 5:22 (chastity is 1 of 12 fruits of Holy Spirit)
Eph 5:21 (those who live impurity…”will not inherit the kingdom of God”)

IV. Sex is good

a) Living sexuality the way God intends leads to:

Joy, happiness, peace, freedom

b) Impure thoughts and actions: “slavery” to sin

c) example of someone who was living chastity after many years of unchastity

Freedom v. slavery
Happiness v. sadness
Peace v. anxiety

d) I am a priest (largely b/c of freedom of chastity):
-fervent prayer to the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin Mary for chastity
-daily prayer as priest

e) All should pray and fast for chastity
Fasting – great way to control desires (small matters---> big matters)
- practices / disciplines of saints

Priests: at Mass, especially
Married – for self and spouse
Single – pray for self (at Mass, etc.)
- and for future spouse to be living chastity


At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Custody of the eyes"

What does that mean- no looking at anyone?

At 2:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"chastity is 1 of 12 fruits of Holy Spirit"

What are the other 11?

At 2:25 PM, Anonymous kay said...

Thanks to Google, roll credits at the very bottom, here are the Gifts and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The Gifts and Fruits
of the Holy Spirit
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are the permanent dispositions which help us to live the Christian life and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them.

How many are there and what are they?

There are seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit:

Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord

Why are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit important for us?

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are important for us because they help us to:

make wise decisions about important matters

understand the real meaning of life

advise and help others to make the right decisions

be strong to uphold and do what is right and to condemn and avoid what is wrong

to know the teaching of God and our true destiny

to give true worship and praise to God

to fear offending God who is our loving Father

What are the Fruits of the Holy Spirit?

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are the virtues produced in our lives when we exercise the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

How many Fruits are there and what are they?

There are twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control, Chastity.

When will we know that we are producing these Fruits in our lives?

We will know we are producing these Fruits in our lives when we are loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, generous, gentle, faithful, modest, when we exercise self-control and when we are chaste and pure.


At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Custody of the eyes"

have you ever noticed some men who sit on the beach wearing the dark sunglasses? The ones who think that no one notices that they are observing every attractive female in sight (often sitting with thier own family/wife). Perfect example of LACK of custody of the eyes.

Custody of the eyes: Intentionally avoiding looking at men and/or women in a lustful way. Willing ones eyes not to go there and asking for God's grace to help you do it.

By the way men (and maybe some women too?) you aren't fooling anyone with the roving eyes behind the dark glasses.

My brother says it is human nature to sometimes look briefly once but then you must immediately intentionally look away. Then you must intentionally turn away from any lustful thoughts. Thought that was an interesting guy's perspective.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Custody of the eyes"

so it's not really custody of the "eyes" (as long as there's no lusting, I would think it's okay to acknowledge beauty) that is really the focus but custody of various other body parts (mostly the brain) that really is the point.

At 10:21 PM, Blogger fran said...

"Custody of the eyes"

Probably also refers to steering clear of any objectionable magazines, videos, movies or websites.

At 6:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen other posts when FG referred to the "freedom of chastity" and honestly had no clue what he was talking about (thought it was just good-sounding "priestly talk"). It wasn't until I struggled with something within my marriage and was actually feeling "enslaved" by what I've felt was an unhchaste sexual relationship (I know- sounds awaful, right? I'm truly thankful for anonimity). I couldn't quite put my finger on why I was feeling so badly. I felt stuck in a place that left me feeling like I wasn't true to myself. I think it was b/c I wasn't living within my relationship the way I felt I was meant to, or, I guess, the way in which I felt "called to". I've made some changes, and although things are far from right again, at least now I'm not compromising myself through actions that I just feel are wrong- married or not. It's freed me (at least a bit)from a sense of guilt and shame- the things I couldn't quite put my finger on. Now- I know things will need to change at some point for this marriage to be okay again, but I feel so much better about myself by treating myself with honor and dignity first. When the time is right, the other parts of my marriage will return. When I behaved sexually in way that I don't think God intended for me, that union created negative emotions that did enslave me. I do get it now.

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous riexchqv said...

"lead us not into temptation" from our Lord's prayer.

"help me to avoid the near occasion of sin" from the Act of Contrition.

Back to "custody of the eyes" .......respectfully I would say this quote does not refer to "custody of the brain." I believe it is a matter of self discipline (if this is a major area of temptation for someone) to avert your eyes. If someone is struggling with this sin (lust), certainly, he or she must make acts of the will which do not bring him/her close to temptation.

Sort of like a hungry diabetic hanging out in a fine chocolate store. Chocolate is their favorite treat. They promise just to look. Is this going to help that person resist chocolate? Don't think so. They might resist it but most likely it will create a tremendous desire for something that they should not have.........

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Kelly said...

Modesty is part of living chastity. I have witnessed many priests who try to teach/promote modesty. The response from lay people is often very self righteous, prideful, and to say the least not received well.

Since we have been discussing custody of the eyes, should we not also bring up modesty? I would like to share an example from my life. My high school daughter is going to prom. She went shopping and picked out quite a provactive dress. This is the same girl who holds her virginity as sacred. I asked her what message is she sending by wearing that dress? Certainly not the message that she is trying to live. I also asked her is it fair to demand respect from her date but to flaunt her body in this dress? She was shocked by my questions. She had never even thought about it! So we are eating the money for the skimpy dress and she wants to shop for something more appropriate. BTW she is a fashion plate so this doesn't mean she is going to pick what she calls a "grandma," dress. She is though looking for the middle road. It was quite an eye opener for her. What a great discussion for us.

My point is how women dress sends a message to men. How could it not? Most women/teens long for respect and for someone who wants to get to know them as a person.

At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One small step for womankind and a huge step for your daughter. You scored a huge victory. You must have come at her with just the right tone to have her respond so well.

At 4:37 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

I'm right there with you and the clothing thing (I have 4 daughters), but how about also addressing the entire "prom" event. When my oldest went to prom several years ago- the pressure was on! I had phone calls from parents who wanted to create the "perfect" evening for their kids. It kind of creeped me out, for, although I know prom is a right of passage, they were still kids. I wouldn't allow my son to attend the boy/girl sleepover that followed the after-party, and I actually rec'd a call from the hosting mom with all kinds of assurances about who would be sleeping where. I kept thinking- that's not really my point. It was more about a concept that was being introduced as "okay" by the parents to these kids. It was also the idea that I didn't want my son to be so disrepectful to his date in inviting her to "spend the night" with him. Fortunately, he "got" it. But, the hosting mom got huffy w/me and reminded me that my son would be going to college the following year, and if he hadn't learned how to handle himself by then, I would have a big problem! I kept thinking- it's not a measure of my son's self-control, it's a factor of what I say is okay that is of issue. I trusted my son, as it sounds like you trust your daughter. However, as allowing her to go out in a dress that is revealing sends a message, my supporting boys & girls staying over an entire night together also would send an important message. I wish more parents would remember that life has so many special moments, and none are meant to be rushed. Just let our kids be kids!

At 5:56 PM, Blogger fran said...

I could not agree with you more!! SO nice to know that other parents think the same way.

Often times, I feel like I am living in the Stone Age, regarding how I am raising my children. I too had a parent trying to convince me that the post prom sleepover was harmless. My thought was the same as yours. I trust my daugher, but the message I would be sending by letting her attend would be all wrong! If it's okay to do this now, then why would it NOT be okay when she is in college?

And here is the kicker - in an effort to persuade me how safe it would be in her home, this mom relayed a story about how one of the kids (who had stayed at her house last year) wandered around looking around for a computer in the middle of the night, and was just about to go in to her daughter's room when she spotted him! Hello! I am certainly NOT the one living under a rock here.

I pray that ALL of our children will be safe this prom season, which is fast approaching.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger fran said...

Another thought on "custody of the eyes."

Variety of opinions on this, I understand, but I believe that the eyes and mind/brain do work in tandem.

Yes, one should exert self-control and avert ones eyes from a tempting situation, but it may need to be followed up with exerting self-control over the thoughts which might follow.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous kelly said...

Thanks for all of the encouraging feedback! Yes, it was a very special opportunity to have the dress discussion. The week before I could tell she was struggling with some moral issues. I casually asked her if she would like to go to confession. She said yes and went to our Pastor, Father Lee. She came out of confession and told me that it was absolutely profound. She appeared to be overwhelmed with peace and joy. The dress discussion came a little later, but the Holy Spirit was definately right there with us.

Boy/Girl sleepovers! WHOA! More power to you for saying NO! FYI:
my brother is a juvenile defense lawyer and my other brother is a police officer. Both have advised me: COMMUNICATE with other parents all throughout high school. 2 Reasons: Not all parents are supervising properly, NoT all parents are promoting and PROTECTING their children's safety and chastity.

THey also said many parents will be on the same page as me, but I should never assume that fact. Just thought I would pass along what they had to say.

Stone age mama..........that's me......according to my kids. LOL. They have never called me that but I feel like it sometimes too!

BOY/GIRL sleepovers? Oh my ....here's your sign as they say. Let's just set them up in the most tempting situation of all. Good grief.

Thanks again for all the great encouragement, anon, Fran and Mindy!

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous mindy said...

In preparing to have that “talk” with my daughter, I read something-

There is a paradox about pleasure. If you look for pleasure just for pleasure’s sake, two things happen- it disappears, and it steers you in the wrong direction. The very things that once created pleasure, when they are pursued in a hedonistic way without self-giving, begin to produce displeasure. (It’s true in every instance I can think of, not just in intimate relationships, but they are the easy situations to see truth in this as strong emotions tend to be attached. Even with other of life's pleasures- eating, shopping, etc.- when we do these things for pleasure only, the consequences are poor health, financial instability, etc.) Pleasure is meant to be an outgrowth of living as we are intended.

Casual sex serves to join and sever, over and over again. Casual sex is like tearing off and reattaching a limb. After several times of doing it, no doctor could repair the damage, and you would have destroyed your capacity for having two functioning arms or legs. Casual sex simply destroys capacity for intimacy.

I think all things are good until we ruin them, sex included. I can’t imagine that sex wasn’t intended to be anything but good, but only for marriage. Outside of that union, we’ve taken something good and spoiled it. Wish me luck with my talk hopefully I won’t “spoil” it!!


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