Chastity and Repression
I think it is ironic that those who disagree with the Church on issues of sexuality think she is repressing her children in some way, as if being allowed to sleep with whoever you want whenever you want is somehow superior to exercising self control. I’ve read the argument before that people are just animals and there is no reason to expect that they should resist their primal urges to sex, whenever they feel the urge. Seriously? One of the things, among many, that separates people from animals is our ability to control our basal urges, instincts, and emotions. It’s an insult to people on a whole to think that self control is an impossibility, especially regarding the urge to mate. Mastery of one’s urges is a mark of maturity, not of freedom, and we generally think of those who don’t have control over themselves as delayed or deprived in some way.
Those who dissent from the Church on issue of sexual immorality, will often urge those struggling with purity to leave the Church and define their own rules as to what is good and right. For practicing Catholics, though, this is as insulting as being told that the Church is repressing their sexuality. For many Catholics, religion is as important as- if not more important than- any other aspect of their identity. Many embrace their Catholic identity, putting that before any other adjectives they might use to describe themselves. The irony is that they are, in fact, being told to repress themselves, the deepest level of themselves that is searching for God.
Mother Church asks for chastity from all her children, regardless of age, gender, state in life, sexual orientation, and vocation.Sometimes the way chastity is expressed is different in one vocation from another, but that doesn’t mean that the standard of chastity is any less strict for that person. Like any good mother the Church knows what is best for her children and doesn’t set rules to prohibit her children from fun, but for their temporal good and the eternal good of their souls. Chastity is a virtue to be strived for, not a burden to be carried.