Dear Teenage Girl,
I have been asked several times recently how to ‘reach you’ with the wisdom and power of Chastity. Each time, my response has been “I am not quite sure.” You already know that you can get pregnant and/or an STD from sex. But, these facts are not very convincing when you are in the heat of the moment.
“Deep within yourself listen to your conscience which
calls you to be pure. … Passing encounters are
only a caricature of love, they injure hearts and mock Gods plan.”
Blessed Pope John Paul II
I also will never tell a girl that she will be damaged in some way if she does have sex outside of marriage. Although unchaste behavior does injure our relationship with ourselves and with God, that message is just not very loving. So, how do we reach you with the Truth?
I am going to try to draw a picture for you. No, actually several pictures. The first is a picture of your future which I will draw from the deepest desires of your heart. The second is a picture of how you are designed (biologically, emotionally, spiritually and physically). And the third picture will help you connect the first and second picture.
The First Picture
I don’t think your exact age right now really matters. You could be 12, 14 or 18 years old and I think this first picture will look familiar to you. It is a picture of the future you are hoping to have. It includes love, trust, family, life and faith. Do you know why I believe this? Because logically I don’t think anyone hopes for hate, betrayal, being alone, death and doubt.
So, close your eyes and picture your future painted from the desires of your heart. It includes a husband, right? And children, right? This is normal. This is healthy. God put those desires there for a reason. The picture you painted of your future is beautiful.
“Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour.”
1st Peter 5:8
Keep that picture in the front of your mind as you navigate through the next 10 or so years because you will be challenged. Hatred, betrayal, loneliness, death and doubt stand ready to enter your life.
The Second Picture
Wow, that last sentence was quite a Debbie Downer statement wasn’t it? I included it because I think you are old enough to hear the Truth.
There are tripping hazards in your future and you need to know about them. In order to see and avoid these tripping hazards, you need to first understand how you are designed; how we are all designed. So let me paint the second picture for you.
You have a body and a soul. This is true whether you are a Catholic or an atheist, male or female. If you are a human person, you have a body and a soul. In order to accept the gifts of love, trust, family, life and faith, your body and your soul must be in harmony with each other. Your body and soul cannot be significantly disconnected.
“In the absence of chastity, a person is easily seduced into doing things that are beneath his dignity, things that are shameful, things that do not accord with who he truly is”
Angelic Warfare Confraternity
Here are the things that disconnect your body and your soul:
1. sex outside marriage 2. allowing anyone to use your body 3. doing things that are beneath your dignity 4. contraception 5. immodest dress 6. immodest language and 7. entertainment and media which glorifies the 6 prior things listed
Chastity is a powerful virtue and is required in order to keep your body and your soul in harmony. Chastity, simply put, includes saving sex for marriage and remaining open to life within marriage (not contracepting). When contraception is used, it is a violation of our design and dignity and it is a violation of the virtue of Chastity.
Contraception. Oh, yes, I went there. As a teen, you will most likely be tempted and maybe even pressured to go on the pill. It would be better for you, precious teenage girl, to create a child in the heat of the moment than it would to be on birth control and get used by boys/men for the next 10 or 20 years.
It is very hard to admit to ourselves when we are being used. We want to believe that the boy we are intimate with is not using us, that he loves us and that we have a future with him. But, as Blessed Pope John Paul II stated, these are “passing encounters” and are “only caricatures of love.” “Deep within yourself”, you know this. And, I am so sorry to inform you, so does everyone else.
Even if you do not believe you are being used, you need to know that sex is designed to create babies within the Sacrament of Matrimony. When you disconnect sex and babies and sex and matrimony, you disconnect your body and our soul. So please avoid this tripping hazard so you can accept the good gifts that God has for you!
“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
I have wonderful news for you! God knows who your husband is! So, doesn’t it make sense for you to stay close to the One that has the inside scoop on your future? Stay close to Him in the Sacraments (Confession and the Holy Eucharist received at Mass), in prayer, Eucharistic Adoration and in Sacred Scripture. The grace from the Sacraments and this closeness with God will strengthen you in your commitment to Chastity.
“Either God or Satan is in the bridal chamber.”
Alice von Hildebrand, Man and Woman: A Divine Invention
Chastity is a life-long virtue (not just a teen virtue). It means to honor our bodies by protecting the holiness of the marital embrace (the Holy of Holies). Sex is only for marriage and we must remain open to life if we want to enjoy this closeness with God.
I sincerely remember being a teenager. We want love and affirmation. We believe every other girl our age has a perfect life. We experience rejection. This desire for love and affection as well as the hurt of envy and rejection are not limited to your teenage years so you might as well strengthen yourself as soon as you can! How?
“…Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies…” Hebrews 9:4
“…the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the Holy of Holies…” Exodus 20:33
If I could transport myself back to my teen years, it would help to know that I was covered by a veil. Please go here to read about The Veil and Superabundance. Although the veil is just a metaphor, I think you can follow the concept. God knows who your husband is and He will arrange your marriage if you stay close to Him and commit to chastity. Because you are covered by a veil, only your husband will be able to ‘see’ you. All other guys will, thankfully, reject you. This will be frustrating and painful but oh so rewarding when you realize that, in your husband’s eyes, you are the girl of his dreams.
As it instructs us in sacred scripture, be ‘asleep’ in the will of God and do not ‘stir things up’ until the Lord says it is time.
“I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up, nor
awaken my love, until it pleases.”
Song of Songs 8:4
Hold on to these pictures, dear Teenage Girl! Remain chaste. Remain asleep and refrain from stirring. Hope in the Lord. Wait on Him.
God love and bless you!
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