Has anybody read ‘Love and Responsibility’ by Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) ?
I have not yet finished it, but wanted to share a terrific paragraph that jumped out at me yesterday…:
Excerpt from ‘Love and Responsibility’
from Chapter III, “The Person and Chastity”
from section titled “The True Meaning of Chastity”
The objection that chastity is merely negative is then incorrect. The very fact that it is bound up with the virtue of moderation (temperantia) means that it cannot be so. For by ‘moderating’ the feelings and actions connected with the sexual values we serve the values of the person and of love. True chastity does not lead to disdain for the body or to disparagement of matrimony and the sexual life. That is the result of false chastity, chastity with a tinge of hypocrisy, or, still more frequently, of unchastity. This may be strange and startling - but it cannot be otherwise. For recognition and appreciation of the true value of ‘the body and sex’ is conditional on the ‘revaluation’ of which we have spoken: the raising of these values to the level of the value of the person is characteristic of and essential to chastity. Thus also only the chaste man and the chaste woman are capable of true love. For chastity frees their association, including their marital intercourse, from that tendency to use a person which is objectively incompatible with ‘loving kindness’, and by so freeing it introduces into their life together and their sexual relationship a special disposition to ‘loving kindness’. The connection between chastity and love results from the personalistic norm, which - as we said in Chapter 1 - has a dual content: a positive content (‘thou shalt love!’) and a negative content (‘thou shalt not use!’). It is of course true that all human beings have to mature internally and externally - (men in one way, women in a rather different way) - before they are capable of such chaste ‘loving kindness’, before they can learn to ‘savour’ it, since every human being is by nature burdened with concupiscence and apt to find the ‘savour’ of love above all in the satisfaction of carnal desire. For this reason, chastity is a difficult, long term matter; one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit, for the happiness of loving kindness which it must bring. But at the same time, chastity is the sure way to happiness.