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  #1  
Old Apr 14, '08, 7:12 am
Fitswimmer Fitswimmer is offline
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Default Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

I'm wondering if anyone here is struggling with this issue. According to Church teaching, if one is not married, then one must be living a Chaste life. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is-the rule is the same.

So, trying NOT to get into yet another debate on sexuality-how do those of you living a chaste life deal with living in a world that looks upon that life sort of like this:

How do you handle conversations with co-workers about significant others if you don't have one? How do you deal with the questions: "aren't you married YET??"

I find it difficult sometimes to live so differently from the rest of the world. Any suggestions??
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  #2  
Old Apr 14, '08, 8:14 am
kitkatty kitkatty is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

I think your question is more a question of living the Christian life as the Church tells us to live it then so much about only about chastity, though that is certainly a large part of the issue. It`s just like everything else in the Christian lifestyle that goes against what seems to be the cultural norm at any given time; there is almost always going to be some conflict and the conflict is within ourselves sometimes as with the culture. The things you might think go against the grain, are just the things that might appeal to our lower nature. The thing here to do I think is when this happens always follow the wisdom of the Church even when it`s hard or you really don`t understand. This is where prayer and humble obedience come in even when you just don`t completly understand why this. No, it is not easy in this culture, particularly in the workpklace where most of the people you have to spend most of the day with think you`re the oddity but there are lots of us in that situation. Just keep fighting the good fight, use prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures. Don`t know if this is any help but my lousy 2 cents worth anyhow!
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Last edited by kitkatty; Apr 14, '08 at 8:17 am. Reason: spelling
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  #3  
Old Apr 14, '08, 9:11 am
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JimR-OCDS JimR-OCDS is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Well first off, do as Scripture says; "make no provisions for desires of the flesh." Romans 13:14

In todays world, you must be vigilant. Stay out of porn sites on the Internet. Have nothing to do with them.

Pay attention to what you're viewing on TV and at the movies.

Most of all, receive the sacraments and pray for the grace to avoid sin.

In all, if you fail, remember God's mercy and turn to Him for forgiveness.

Its not easy, I know. But as you age and mature, it does become easier, by the mere fact that you will change biologically and as you mature spiritually, it becomes easier to live a chaste life.

Jim
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  #4  
Old Apr 14, '08, 9:33 am
dang71 dang71 is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

it can be difficult when nobody around seems to care about being chaste. there are a lot of times at work when "the guys" start talking about guy things, and i need to either tactfully steer the conversation or physically remove myself from the location. i make great pains not to be the "shoving his religion down my throat" guy, so i take the quieter, non-confrontational route. i don't hide my faith, but i don't force it either. most people are decent and do respect my decisions, but there are some lighthearted jabs every now and then just try to live by the example, not by the bible-thumping. i find people respect the example more than the sermon.
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  #5  
Old Apr 14, '08, 10:48 am
blessedtoo blessedtoo is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

No doubt a lot depends on your age and your gender (not orientation). As a woman in her 50's, I don't get the same questions or attention that a younger woman or a younger man might get regarding marital status or sexual behavior. HOWEVER, because I lived the life of a hedonistic sinner who was quite the braggart, my friends KNEW my private life quite intimately. Yes, they were scandalized when I returned to the Church. They did ask questions at first. I would simply reply that as a faithful Catholic, I was now obedient to Church teaching regarding morality. They didn't get it at first - lots of awkward moments revolving around gift giving and greeting cards - but now, 5 years later, they understand.

It's definitely harder for younger folk who will likely be interrogated more frequently by friends and even family. Patience is required here as it takes time for people to really grasp such a committment. It's so completely foreign in this culture to be devoted to ANYTHING so completely. With time you will probably find the questions will diminish. Use the opportunity to witness to those in the darkness. Your example can be very powerful.
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  #6  
Old Apr 14, '08, 10:54 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
I'm wondering if anyone here is struggling with this issue. According to Church teaching, if one is not married, then one must be living a Chaste life. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is-the rule is the same.
actually Church teaching is the EVERYONE must live a chaste life according to their state in life. Married couples must be faithful, open to life etc., priests must remain celibate and all unmarried people must refrain from sexual activity. All of us must avoid activities, viewing, reading, fantasies that excite sexual thoughts and impulses at the wrong time, or that degrade sex or people. Yes, it is nearly impossible in a sex-saturated society to avoid such things unless rather extreme measures are taken to limit temptations, whether TV, movies, music, companions, places etc.

there are laws on the book to protect employees from sexual harrassment on the job, so if they apply in your case, it would be a service to the whole company to have recourse to them.
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  #7  
Old Apr 14, '08, 11:51 am
Fitswimmer Fitswimmer is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

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Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
actually Church teaching is the EVERYONE must live a chaste life according to their state in life. Married couples must be faithful, open to life etc., priests must remain celibate and all unmarried people must refrain from sexual activity. All of us must avoid activities, viewing, reading, fantasies that excite sexual thoughts and impulses at the wrong time, or that degrade sex or people. Yes, it is nearly impossible in a sex-saturated society to avoid such things unless rather extreme measures are taken to limit temptations, whether TV, movies, music, companions, places etc.

there are laws on the book to protect employees from sexual harrassment on the job, so if they apply in your case, it would be a service to the whole company to have recourse to them.
it's not really harassment-it's just not fitting in. Everyone talks about husbands and kids-and that's just not going to happen for me. I'm old enough that I don't get questioned as much anymore, now it's more like being an island. I don't have anything in common with most folks, so they just don't interact with me. Most of the time it's fine, but it does get lonely sometimes and I guess that's what prompted my post.
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  #8  
Old Apr 14, '08, 12:36 pm
ElizabethAnne ElizabethAnne is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Fitswimmer,

What I have to offer you is just a little story that, from my perspective, illustrates the problem.

One summer I subletted a four-bedroom apartment from a gal I met and lived for three months with three guys. One day they came back to the apartment with a strange mask they bought at a thrift shop. They hung it up and one of them commented (a joke), "We're going to sacrifice virgins to it."

I replied, "Then, I better watch out."

They were visibly shocked speechless. Apparently, they had assumed I was sexually active. And despite the fact that they regularly talked about having sex, the mere mentioning of the fact that I did not made them uncomfortable.

My advice? Be unapologetically you. People are shocked? Let them be shocked and hopefully the experience will help them realize that there are real flesh and blood people living the Christian life. Please know that there are so many others out there going through what you're going through!

And now what do I shock people with? Being married and following the Church's teaching on contraception. Next on my list? Having more than two children.
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  #9  
Old Apr 14, '08, 5:58 pm
BarbaraTherese BarbaraTherese is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
I'm wondering if anyone here is struggling with this issue. According to Church teaching, if one is not married, then one must be living a Chaste life. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is-the rule is the same.

So, trying NOT to get into yet another debate on sexuality-how do those of you living a chaste life deal with living in a world that looks upon that life sort of like this:

How do you handle conversations with co-workers about significant others if you don't have one? How do you deal with the questions: "aren't you married YET??"

I find it difficult sometimes to live so differently from the rest of the world. Any suggestions??
I was married for 15 years before my marriage broke up and chaste celibacy did not come easy.........it was a real struggle for a while but nowadays (over 35 years later) it is not at all problematic. I think I overcame the biggest hurdle once I realized that I was struggling in the main with psychological conditioning - I was conditioned to having a husband and not sleeping alone, I was conditioned to having someone to care for under my roof, and I was conditioned to the attitudes in society that one has a husband, life partner or a boyfriend, or at least open to one of these relationships. Nowadays if anyone comments on the fact that I am alone, I simply say "and not looking either" and this has always been my 'stock standard' answer. I rarely need to comment any further than that. It is only with close friends that I share my actual reasons. While there can be some laughter and comments, it is usually only that once, or it could be with me that any laughter or comments no longer has any effect on me at all. There is much truth in "practise makes perfect" while initially the "practising" may be difficult.
If questioned by your co-workers could you say "the right one hasn't come along yet"?

Blessings this Easter...........Barb
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  #10  
Old Apr 15, '08, 7:51 am
tessi tessi is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
it's not really harassment-it's just not fitting in. Everyone talks about husbands and kids-and that's just not going to happen for me. I'm old enough that I don't get questioned as much anymore, now it's more like being an island. I don't have anything in common with most folks, so they just don't interact with me. Most of the time it's fine, but it does get lonely sometimes and I guess that's what prompted my post.
I'm having the same problem. I don't fit in. I try to aviod their conversations (they already know how I think), sometimes I get depressed for the isolation and the things I hear and I cry, but I can not find any other way to deal with it except praying.
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  #11  
Old Apr 15, '08, 4:03 pm
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MarieVeronica MarieVeronica is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
How do you handle conversations with co-workers about significant others if you don't have one? How do you deal with the questions: "aren't you married YET??"
You might try responding simply.. "Not everyone in this world is called to marriage. If it's God Will, I will marry. Until then, I don't worry about it".

On the subject of "curious co-workers".. once, a woman I worked with years ago.. asked me very bluntly and crudely.. "What kind of birth control do you use?". I was shocked.. but somehow, the words were given to me.. "I'm a Catholic, and unmarried. I'm celibate". That pretty much put the clamp on further questions like that.. at least, in regards to me. lol. I'm sure my reply to her probably made its way around the office I worked in, at that time.

In retrospect.. it's a good thing that the Holy Spirit took over and spoke for me. Left to my own devices.. I'm sure I would have yelled "MIND YER OWN BEESWAX, LADY".. such was my shock, at her outrageous question.

Hang in there!
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  #12  
Old Feb 19, '10, 9:47 am
pauluscoenenus pauluscoenenus is offline
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Cool Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

I've been reading the book "The Courage to Be Chaste" by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. He covers a lot of issues surrounding being single and chaste in today's world. It was written 25 years ago or so, but is still very applicable, I've found it very helpful.
He particularly gives suggestions on how not to lead a lonely chaste life, too. Which I am still working on, myself.
Anyway, you can read an excerpt from it, if you go to "google books" and type in a search for the title. I think you can buy it new from barnes and noble, i found a used copy thru abebooks.com.
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  #13  
Old Feb 19, '10, 7:05 pm
Sanctifiable Sanctifiable is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
I'm wondering if anyone here is struggling with this issue. According to Church teaching, if one is not married, then one must be living a Chaste life. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is-the rule is the same.

So, trying NOT to get into yet another debate on sexuality-how do those of you living a chaste life deal with living in a world that looks upon that life sort of like this:

How do you handle conversations with co-workers about significant others if you don't have one? How do you deal with the questions: "aren't you married YET??"

I find it difficult sometimes to live so differently from the rest of the world. Any suggestions??
I personally could care less what the world thinks....if the world thinks its bad then its good. I get alot of strange looks because most know I don't have a girl friend I just let them think what they want because there is no way they'd understand so its pointless to try and explain. I just live my life.

One thing that always gets me is people keep talking about how do priests live celibate lives and they don't realize that if your single you too are supposed to be celibate.
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  #14  
Old Feb 19, '10, 7:56 pm
shondrea shondrea is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Haven't really had to deal with it. In high school, I was a loner that no one really talked to, and now, I still don't get to socialize much. In fact when I DO tell people., they generally tell me GOOD< stay that way, or you;ll get one of these! ANd points to their baby.


I do have uncomortable memories of my entire home ec class my senior year discussion their birth control. And I'm not kidding, ALL the girls o.0
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  #15  
Old Feb 19, '10, 10:34 pm
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aspirant aspirant is offline
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Default Re: Living a Chaste Life-against the grain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
According to Church teaching, if one is not married, then one must be living a Chaste life. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is-the rule is the same.
As puzzleannie has rightly pointed out, the Church teaches that everyone is supposed to be living a chaste life according to their current state in life, both the married and unmarried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
how do those of you living a chaste life deal with living in a world that looks upon that life sort of like this:
By trying to be the best person I can be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
How do you handle conversations with co-workers about significant others if you don't have one?
Most of my coworkers are married, some are unmarried. We generally take a healthy interest in one another's lives and encourage each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
How do you deal with the questions: "aren't you married YET??"
A marriage is not an abstraction, but a union of two particular persons. I've never understood single people who say "I want to be married," as if marriage doesn't involve another person. My reaction has always been "Married to whom?" When people asked me if I wanted to marry, I would always answer "If I find someone I want to marry, sure. If I don't, then no."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitswimmer View Post
Everyone talks about husbands and kids-and that's just not going to happen for me.... I don't have anything in common with most folks, so they just don't interact with me.
I enjoy conversations with other people, both married and unmarried, about their lives. I want to share my friends' sorrows and joys and spend time with them when we're able. I don't feel like our lives have to be the same for us to be friends, nor do they.

I guess I don't really understand married people who don't have unmarried friends, nor unmarried people who don't have married friends. If all the people you know interact only with people in their own state of life, I'd recommend looking for others.
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