Monday, 14 November 2016

Three Chastity Tips from the Teen Trenches

My name is Ettore, I'm 16 and the first of six children. I'm blogging on our family blog about a subject that's close to my heart and often at the forefront of my mind.

Chastity is, I think, the single most difficult struggle for a Catholic young man. Giving in to our temptations promises pleasure and is deeply entangled in our nature as human beings. Sexual sins are dangerous and seductive. At base I suppose it comes from an evolutionary drive that motivates us to procreate and this is a good thing, but when we are not married the struggle is constantly gnawing at us. Sometimes when temptation comes you feel alone and overpowered. 

How is it possible to master something written into your very nature? We have the help of the saints for this and especially the most chaste Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph. 

1. Firstly devote this struggle to either, ask for their help, pray to them and devote yourself to them. The blessed Mother Mary is my help and has taken more steps to help me in this since I started wearing the brown scapular. (I previously wrote a post about the Scapular : I have chosen Mary and Joseph because they are my help, but there are many other saints that will aid your cause.  But most of all Pray the Rosary! 

Is it worth it? We are all called to be saints, and this is no easy thing. We are called to heroic virtue. We can test our mental strength and master our urge. That is true strength. The strength of mind over body. As Catholic men we must take this excess energy and use it for the good and protection of the people around us. It is one of the most difficult and constant temptations put before us but we must take up this cross and follow Christ. "For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others--and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it." Matthew 19:12. We are called to live like eunuchs for the Kingdom of God. No sin is worth going to hell for. Live Chastely for you will be happy and closer to Jesus and his Kingdom.   

2. There are two things that in my experience help greatly with chastity, fasting and service. To tell the truth I stumbled upon the first one and that was because I decided to go on a diet (I know this isn't exactly the same as fasting since a diet is done for the bettering of your physical self rather than the spirit)  but what is the same during a diet and fasting is that you learn self control, something that is essential when it comes to chastity. For example I would come home from college and feel very hungry and ordinarily I'd walk into the kitchen to find the temptation of a doughnut or a chocolate cake, and I would have to fight the physical desire to eat that cake. Although the consequences of eating the cake are only a few extra calories, it really does help and this is why, imagine you decide to start lifting weights (and let's say chastity is a 100 kg weight) would you start straight away with the 100kg weight? No you carefully ease yourself into it, and fasting is like doing 10 kg weights, and slowly slowly it builds your muscles and helps you greatly to lift the 100kg weight of chastity. Saying no to food will help you say no to sexual urges because they are both desires of the flesh and if you master the easier one, it not only helps build your chastity muscles but brings you closer to God. 'Fasting cleanses the soul, raises the mind, subjects one’s flesh to the spirit, renders the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of concupiscence, quenches the fire of lust, and kindles the true light of chastity. Enter again into yourself.'
St Augustine

Secondly service is a very important aspect, the reason men need to be of service is that we need to take the extra energy we are given in our sexuality and direct it towards the more creative task of service, and follow the example given by Christ to use our strength towards service and really be happy. It lowers our selfishness level and I've found that selfishness and lust are intimately intertwined, if you are selfish you are more likely to suffer sins of a sexual nature and vice versa, and this is because you are satisfying your own lust, you are not selflessly giving your love and body to your wife or husband. If you become selfless the selfish acts of sexual immorality will not be a problem.

Be a man - a real man! True strength comes from chastity not from 'going to the gym.' Men need to practice this virtue! It's not easy! it's one of the most difficult journeys for a man to embark on, but it's the most worthwhile! We are called to be heroes, we must have heroic virtue, for our salvation, and for the survival of our faith. The church is often filled with beautiful women, but there are few virtuous men to sweep them off their feet and uphold the Catholic family. The chastity of our men has a profound effect not only on the destination of your soul but on the future of the Catholic family. Ask the Virgin Mary for help, she will not let you down. Be a man, be chaste and pray the rosary.


  1. Brilliant Ettore - I will be sure to show this to me sons when they are older! X

  2. Thank you very much for your blessed article. Could we post this helpful and practise text?

    1. You are very welcome to share it! God bless and thank you for your prayers. Chiara

  3. Congratulations Ettore. And to your parents too. Praying for your sanctity.

  4. Thank you, Ettore! So many young people wander as teens and young adults and they need encouragement to turn their hearts to God.