A little quote from Pope St John Paul II has changed my perspective and my life.
I don’t know where or when he said it but he said, “Chastity is the work of a lifetime.”
I’ve pondered much on that saying and the more I do, and the more I hear confessions (where sexual sin is confessed frequently) the more I begin to understand the mystery of our human sexuality and the marvelously delicate yet marvelously resilient sacrament of marriage.
The problem is this: all of us long to love and be loved perfectly. However, the need to love and be loved is deeply wounded.
It is wounded by many things, and without being too Freudian about it, our sexuality is wounded first by our relationship with our parents. We expect the perfect love we are looking for from Ma and Pa.
Problem is, they are imperfect people and so are we. Even the best parents in the world cannot give us the perfect love that we desire because that can only come from God himself.
Furthermore, if they are imperfect in their giving of love, we are also imperfect in our ability to receive and be open to love. We are afraid of love. We block them out. We misinterpret their love. We get all twisted up in our own selfishness and narrow mindedness.
The imperfect relationship between us and our parents is the foundation for later wounds to love. Each one of us has a different experience of love in the family, but none of us can say it was always perfect all the time, and some of us must admit that it was pretty awful most of the time and more must weep and say that their experience of parental love was hellish all of the time.
Consequently, when we continue to search for love with another person, that search becomes twisted. We seek out the wrong kind of person. We don’t know how to look for a good spouse. We get waylaid by our sexual desire, pornography, promiscuity, rampant immorality and the whole long, sad list of sexual sins and when we get soiled and embroiled in these things it only makes our search for true love even more desperate and difficult.
This is where marriage comes in, and why marriage must be for life. Continue Reading
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