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Getting more out of life through chastity

Getting more out of life through chastity

Former musician David was living with his girlfriend until he felt the call to chastity. He is now studying for the priesthood at Oscott seminary.

 

Yesterday I spoke with sixth-formers on my pastoral placement.

 

After some banter I said ‘can I ask you a deep question?’ they were interested so I asked ‘what would you say love is?’

 

The group were thoughtful and said things like ‘feeling a connection’ or described infatuation, but the only male in the group said quietly ‘love is when you would die for someone’.

 

This humbled me to see a young man speak so boldly. It proves that even in our party culture, there are still young men with noble hearts that seek to give of themselves.

 

My attitude at 18 years old was not so noble.

 

I was preoccupied with music and all my focus was on carving out a reputation in the music scene.

 

At the time, I would have been pleasant and even generous to a certain extent, but always with concern for how it would benefit me and my plans. I was self-centred to the core; I did not have a living relationship with Christ.

 

I had a bravado attitude to women and knew nothing of what it meant to love authentically.

 

As I entered my mid-twenties, the budding music career fizzled out and I began to work part time at a secure mental health unit.

 

I was fortunate to get this job as I was still irresponsible and unreliable.

 

But this work had a huge impact on my life. I began to experience intense suffering of others.

 

The reality of suffering cut through the shallow selfishness of my life.

 

God had begun to heal me through their wounds. Coming back to the Faith was not an overnight job. I was in a whirlwind romance and this had blinded any discernment of God’s will in this situation.

I always disregarded the Church’s moral teaching as irrelevant and out of touch.

But I could not settle and experienced the highs and bitter lows of self-willed relationships.

I wasn’t sure about the Church, but I always believed in Jesus and desired to know Him.

Turning to chastity

I came across Catholic websites from the US and heard talks by Jason and Crystalina Evert.

My eyes and ears were opened to the real message of chastity. I learned the simple truth of marriage. To really love someone is to do what is best for them.

Real love is honest. Real love sees the dignity in the other person.

Therefore, to say ‘I do’ with my body but ‘not ready to marry you yet honey’ is not honest.

It is a contradiction and plays with the other person’s heart.

I could see how lust had blinded me, kept me from God and affected my decision making.

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God’.

I read Dawn Eden’s The Thrill of the Chaste, where a rock journalist from New York describes her journey to the truth of chaste love.

I was still living with my partner and this left me in a predicament: do I marry her and do things properly or were we ever meant to be in this relationship?

I knew the answer and made the hard decision to leave.

It wasn’t long before I sensed a strong call to the priesthood and enter seminary at St Mary’s College Oscott, Birmingham.

Today, with the grace of God I can strive to love deeply and be there for others.

It has not been easy but, with the prayers of Our Lady and the power of the sacraments, living to love is fulfilling.

It has already bared much fruit in my life and will one day, please God, continue to do so as a priest. 

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