After my divorce, I remember scouring the Catechism for information regarding dating and relationships. Frankly, I was looking for a loophole that would allow me to pursue intimate relationships. I rationalized that since I was divorced, there must be certain exemptions for me. I wanted to date again, and I wanted to be intimate. After all, I was now “single” and everyone was telling me this was my ticket to happiness and fulfillment. To my dismay, I didn’t find any loopholes. Instead, I found passages regarding chastity. My reaction was one of disbelief. I recall thinking: “Who is the Church kidding? They are so out of touch with the world today. Chastity is such a medieval concept.” I discarded it and went on my merry way.
After a year of heading down my unchaste path, I realized that it brought me just the opposite of what I expected: emptiness and regret. At this point, I knew I had to make a change in my life–and did I ever! After much soul-searching, I decided to live my faith fully and I committed to a chaste life. It was a huge decision that I was very scared to make. Thank God I did. It was the best decision I ever made. Not only did I gain a tremendous sense of peace in my life, but that one decision made every decision after that align my life closer and closer with God’s will. God’s abundant blessings began to pour into my life. Years later as I reflect back on that difficult decision, I am blown away by God’s incredible plan for me. One I would have totally missed if I continued to follow my plan. Choosing to live my faith was the difference that made all the difference.
Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy. – Catechism of the Catholic Church 2339