O Lord and master of my life...

...take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity

Now of course we almost always assume that the meaning of chastity revolves around sexuality, but it doesn't. The definition has simply to do with purity - purity of mind, heart, soul, and body. One needn't use too many of their mental faculties to generate a rather long list of impurities that we may opt to partake of or engage in.

I suspect that the essence of purity is a certain lack of self-awareness, or perhaps better: a proper understanding of self. Our Lord told us that all of the Law was summed up with simply loving your neighbor as yourself and loving God. Simple as this may seem, it is clearly complex in its day to day application...at least it is so in my life. Loving someone other than yourself as you do yourself is profound...very profound, for I see in my own life that I have only begun to plum to depths of my self-love. There is little doubt, I am terribly fond of myself and would likely be arrested for stalking or worse if I were to love my nieghbor as much as I love myself...now I'm really off track.

Once in a great while I may get a hint of what it means to love others...those fleeting and strange moments when I really do think more about the needs or wants of others without considering what my needs and wants are. That is a moment of purity...a moment of chastity.

But we ought not to forget about the "pop" understanding of the term. It is also a moment of chastity when I chose not to take a further look at the revealing dress a woman at the bus stop has opted to wear, or when I do NOT click on that link that will take me to the html red light disctrict.

Chastity is a broad blanket, tuck us in Lord.


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