Thus summarizes a way of Chastity that I have found particularly significant in my own experience as someone vowing to Consecrated Chastity in the Religious Life. As a result I have limited my scope to particular things that I have found specifically in this context, and have avoided a few others.
I avoided a few frequent Chastity topics like Love, defining love, morality, consequences, and modesty. Because these are important I have included a few resources at the end of this.
I have also not mentioned “Theology of the Body,” which is just about the craze in Catholic circles. I do not mean to diminish its significance, but Chastity (in particular perpetual life-long Chastity) has been a life-form in the Church since before Jesus (like John the Baptist). I draw upon the ages. Theology of the Body has been immensely helpful to many people, and I believe that it is John Paul II’s laudable attempt to articulate a systematic theological vision for sexuality that is accessible. Some of the resources below might touch upon this, as I still believe it significant even if it has nothing to do with my personal experience of chastity.
I have not dealt with pornography, principally because I believe it would merit its own series on the side of this one. Although the websites on the bottom link to filters that I believe are essential even for the individual with the mildest addiction. If I were requested I would perhaps do this issue more justice.
Finally, I have compiled something of a checklist below of some of the important things to look out for in your journey.
1 Life of Prayer – Initially we need to be relating to Jesus, and this should not just be random spontaneous active prayers, but especially regular routine disciplined prayers. We are guaranteed access to Jesus in the Sacraments and the Scriptures. It is also necessary to have grace by these means to be chaste.
2 Friendship & the Saints – It is important that your friendships are not only solace amidst struggle but friends along the journey to God, that in effect want chastity in the same way that you do. Finally, it will be effective to include some of the saints among your friends.
3 Accountability & Spiritual Direction – We need to be transparent before God, and ourselves, and being honest and accountable with others helps. Spiritual Direction is not just for people discerning a Religious Vocation.
4 Self-Awareness – All of these things mentioned, assist us in our self-awareness.
5 Hushed Awe & Reverence – At who God is, who we are, and who everyone else is in God’s vision. It is just so overwhelmingly spectacular to be on this path in God’s providence that we want to treat everything like royalty!
6 Read & Study – Avail yourself to the variety of Chastity resources. Keep it conscientious in your mind to study it and understand what leaders are saying about it. See some of the resources I have linked below.
7 Holy Indignation – Don’t be satisfied with the filth of consumerism. We will need to lesson the pervasive perversions in vomiting out of the media and entertainment industry. We will also need to occasionally fast and abstain from other things that are not necessarily connected to chastity.
8 Advising Others – It is not enough for you to always be fixing yourself, and making yourself more chaste. You will be more effective when you are working with others in their own journey of chastity. This may not necessarily mean becoming a chastity speaker, we all have small although significant areas of influence.
9 Deepening Prayer – After things have gone good for a while, we will need to deepen our prayer. It may feel like prayer got boring, and we will as a result need to be more comfortable with boring prayer. This will require studying more books on the life of prayer.
10 Return – Do not be stagnant with your progress. Progress is not a straight line, but more of a Nautilus shell, an ascending spiral to infinity. It means that we have to constantly check our prayer life, our friendships, our spiritual direction, our self-awareness, and everything else.
11 Holy Indifference – Whereas our previous dissatisfaction with the filth of consumerism should have at least merited disgust and anger, our attitude towards it is slowly transformed. Perhaps when you feel liberated from the cycle of consumerism and junk, your not as personally threatened by it, and kind of don’t care about what popular diva or rapping hustla the media is telling you to like. It does not mean your better, it just means your concerned with God’s ways, and human people rather than fighting for your survival. It is very difficult to explain if you have not gotten there.
12 Relish Life – Enjoy life. Smoke your pipe, Drink your ale. Contextually following periods of abstinence or fasting, we need to feast and enjoy the wonders of this life. Most people want to skip straight ahead to this one. Some people may find that they will never drink again, but what is important is that we laugh and dance and sing and feast in the joy of the grace that God has rained down upon us. Lent is 40 days of Fasting, Easter is 50 days of Feasting, remember that next time someone tells you Christianity is only about rules. We are the only ones with the audacity to relish life. When feasting is an escape, feasting is cowardice. When feasting is a celebration, feasting is courageous.
Chastity dot com – A website put together by Chastity speakers (and couple) Jason & Crystalina Evert.
Real Love dot net – A website by Chastity speaker Mary Beth Bonacci.
Life Teen – a variety of good stuff, not exclusively chastity, though from time to time when it does cover Chastity it will be awesome.
Jackie Francois – Catholic musician Jackie Francois has taken a passion with Chastity talks. Her blog has some insightful stuff.
Good Women Project – Something for the ladies.
Kick Porn off your computer
Blue Coat k9 Web Protection – This is probably the easiest to use web blocker. The most effective thing to do is make somebody else keep the password. It is free.
X3Watch Accountability Software – This is also effective. It sends all the websites you visit to an accountability partner. However, you need a trustworthy accountability partner, and some cash.