Renewed Purity for the Non-Virgin.


‘Renewed purity’ are words that describe what it means to ‘regain’ one’s chasteness after having lost one’s virginity.

Acquiring renewed purity does not involve a surgical proceedure, nor does it require the use of a preventative ‘aid’ (I’m thinking ‘ middle ages’ and ‘chastity belts’) to ensure that sexual interaction does not take place. For purity to be renewed it is a willingness of self that responds to the call from God to live in sexual purity. It won’t magically take you back to the innocent days of pre-sexual encounter, it won’t ‘repair’ you physically, nor wipe out the memories of sexual promiscuity. But what it will do, is give you back your sexuality, so that you can make better decisions about the way that you live out your life. It isn’t about repression, it doesn’t have to be a struggle, and it certainly isn’t about secularising your personality.

It’s about making a stand.

Since I have 2 children and have had more pre-conversion sexual relationships than I would want to admit to publically, it may seem ironic that I’m discussing an issue regarding purity. I can appreciate that. When I first heard about renewed purity I thought it was a crazy concept, and that it could not be applied to my own life. The opposite was true. In fact, I discovered that I am exactly the kind of person that can benefit enormously from pledging my sexuality to God.

Understanding that there is more to the equation of intimacy than woman and man, that for love to be true, for love to be christocentric, is to accept that God can not be denied a place even in the marital act itslef. In expressing our love in the ultimate form that our bodies can give to one another in sexual union, a complete surrender and unification, a willingness to be more than man, more than woman, but ‘of one body’, we express the very essence of what it means to be united with Christ.

“Marriage is an act of will that signifies and involves a mutual gift, which unites the spouses and binds them to their eventual souls, with whom they make up a sole family – a domestic church”. ~
Pope John Paul II

Reflecting on this thought gave me the opportunity to realise that just because I used to be a certain kind of person didn’t mean that I couldn’t transform areas of my life to reflect who I am now and the person that I have become…As a single woman, do I really want to atempt to find gratification in empty and unfulfilling sex? Do I want to be a notch on someone’s bedpost? Am I so insecure that I need the reassurance of affection through the sexual act? No. Am I worth more than that? Yes.

“The Gospel of Christ constantly renews the life and culture of fallen man, it combats and removes the errors and evils resulting from the permanent allurement of sin. It never eases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. By riches coming from above, it makes fruitful, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and traditions of every people md of every age. It strengthens, perfects and restores(6) them in Christ. Thus the Church, in the very fulfillment of her own function,(7) stimulates and advances human and civic culture; by her action, also by her liturgy, she leads them toward interior liberty”.
Pastoral Constitution ~ GAUDIUM ET SPES

For me, renewed purity is about promising myself to my future spouse (if God so will’s it), entrusting my sexuality to God to take care of, and ensuring that I do everything within my power to ensure that I don’t make this any harder than it need be. Sexual abstinence is one thing, but there are so many other ways of engaging in sexual impropriety..and that’s before we find ourselves in close proximity to a member of the oppposite sex!

TV shows take on a whole new look when you desire to live a christocentric life. There is so little morality portrayed on our television set’s. Music is much the same. On numerous occassions I have started listening to a song and then there’s a line that just sucks out all the enjoyment (for me at least)…I don’t want to hear about how many times a couple engage in frenzied foreplay or when and where they ‘did it’.

Media voyeurism may be a subtle means of penetrating the mind, but it is important to identify it and recognise it seeping into our lives. I don’t perhaps worry about myself so much, I am perfectly capable of seeing and hearing no matter how thinly veiled the sexual over-and- under tone- undertones. It is our children whom are most vulnerable, of course, and yet when they are exposed to sexual referrence on practically every level, we may wonder how to tackle this and perhaps not do so at all.

I’m approaching the Big 40, and I have to say, that it’s much easier now than it was when I was in my teens. I no long associate normality with having a ‘healthy’ singles’ sex life. I don’t feel inferior when acquantances enquire who I’m with (I get so bored with that question) because I now know that I’d rather be with no one, than with the wrong someone.

Of course, the pressure for me as I approach the top of the hill (I say that as if it’s all downhill for the next 40 years after that!) isn’t what it used to be, either. I don’t have to fend off lustful boys at the school disco (though if I told you about the chat up line I received yesterday you would have a fit laughing!).

Being a teen in these times of *eroticulture is harsh.

It’s popular to confuse ‘love’ with ‘sex’, and yet often the ‘love’ we receive in sexual relationships isn’t the kind of love we hope for or need.

What sex should be~

An element of loving one man or woman that you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with… you picture your future and it always includes them… you see Christ in this person, and they help you to reflect Christ’s image in yourself. The ultimate union of man and woman within the confines and sanctity of the Marriage Sacrament.

What sex often is~

A way of seeking/getting attention. A way of feeling wanted/needed. A way of killing boredom. A quick romp that makes you feel dirty and cheap and unloved. A way of contracting a serious STD or AIDS. A way of getting pregnant. A way of increasing abortion statistics. A way of taking control of your own body because you can do what you like with it and no one else is going to tell you any different, “so there!”

What sex can be ~

A gift. A gift of yourself to your future spouse, completely, sexually undefiled by another. The knowledge that your spouse will cherish the gift that you have offered to him/her at your betrothal. A sacrifice at the altar of the Sacrament of Matrimony.

What sex (outside marriage) often is ~

Painful. Brutal. Seedy. Unreciprocated affection. Empty. Lonely. Socially acceptable.

What purity  is ~

Beautiful. A means of developing the relationship that you have with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. A deepening and strengthening of your faith. A rebellion against Satan. A rebellion against a sexed up, secularised world. Socially unacceptable.

I feel for my own children.

What mother doesn’t worry about their children being led astray? I hope that I have done enough to instill in my teenage daughter a sense of the worth and value of her purity. I pray that when tested, she will be able to withstand the temptations of the flesh and say;

“I’m a sheep for Jesus who is my Shepherd, but I’m not a sheep of the world…I will not be led to the slaughter, to the ultimate abattoir!”

or just

“Get real, jerk. I’m saving myself for my husband”, would do.

Nowadays of course, it’s just as ‘uncool’ in our unsacred society as it ever was to maintain your virginity, but at least there are organisations that let you know that you are not alone, and that your sexuality, a beautiful gift from God, is meant only to be expressed within the confines of the marital union. That love can only reach and fulfill it’s ultimate potential in married love.

Above all, sensuality is God-given and beautiful. Often the most precious things in life are worth waiting for. While we’re waiting, we can do some reading…

Great links;

Listen to this fantastic talk given by Peter McFadden; speaking on Pope John Paul’s book ‘Love and Responsibility’

If you don’t have this already, get hold of this book called ‘If you really loved me…’ I purchased a copy for my daughter … but I started reading it myself and it resonated with me so much. Particularly the chapter on renewed purity.

Read up on dating issues and what you should know before you (or your children) start dating

Know where the boundaries lie and make sure you (or your children) know how to avoid difficult dating siutuations.

Read Christian Today’s article on purity.

Guard your purity and join the purity club!

Visit this funky pure love club aimed at teens.

Purchase/read Pope John Paul II’s ‘Love and Responsibility’

Our Lady
as an example of Chasteness

God Bless.

*it might not be a word but I like it.

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38 Responses to Renewed Purity for the Non-Virgin.

  1. Julie D. says:

    Fantastic post.

  2. Lorna says:

    What sex often is ~

    Painful. Brutal. Seedy. Unreciprocated affection. Empty. Lonely. Socially acceptable.

    This part of your post is so sad because it’s often true – mostly in extra marital sexual relationships, but also with the marriage bed.

    And it isn’t what God intended.

    What I do find hard as a non RC -and I am admittedly basing this on what I believe the RC teaches and no expert – is that sex is only about producing children.

    This issue came up on over on martha martha too. I do wonder what damage the result of the RC teaching on believers, when they can’t have another child, or are post menopausal, or they “only” been blessed with one or two kids. And that Mary (and her mother? – I am not at all sure about that) were both virgins as if virginity within marriage is a good thing. I believe 100% in the virgin birth – because it proves that God was the father of Jesus – but the rest makes it seem that sex within marriage is wrong, which is clearly not the case, and which your late Pope (bless him) really tried to teach.

    Sex is the coming together of two people in a beautiful way and should be a fulfilment of what God intended.

    Ephesisians 5 is often used against
    women- the word submit is misunderstood – Yet when we look at the fact that Paul encourages us to submit to each other “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
    I think we can see submission is not about bullying but an act of love.

    The rest of the passage reads (NIV)
    22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
    25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

    marriage and the sexual act is about being united together as a couple …

    For my kids what I would also like to see is a lot more pre-marriage counselling. In spite of what TV and the lives of those in the eyes of the media implies, marriage is a commitment for life – and is hard work – and needs the willingness to put the needs of you as a couple before your own personal needs.

    sorry for long post. Hope you get my meaning amongst all the confusion?

    Be blessed 🙂

  3. ukok says:

    Lorna, some interesting points there. Thanks!

    I’m not sure how much sense this will make, I’ve just woken up!

    Firstly, I would just like to respond that the Catholic Church does not teach that sexual spousal relationships should have the sole aim of procreation.

    While we must be open to conception (using no artifucial means of birth control), couples are free to express their love for one another in the marital union.

    It is the ultimate union between man and woman. Have you ever read ‘Theology of the Body’ written by Pope John Paul II? In it he explains that it sexuality is a gift…if you click on the link ‘Peter McFadden’ in the above post, you will hear how PJII wrote about the importance of sex in the relationship..and in a most beautiful way. Incredibly, he even writes on the topic of sexual fulfillment, and how to be truly united, great care muyst be given to pleasing one another and striving to reach the pek of that sexual union (orgasm), in tune with one another, and not selfishly, or in self gratification. always putting the needs of the other first, even in the marital bed.

    Wow!

    Teaching on those who have been sterilised, are menopausal or unable to have children naturally, does not deprove married couples of having a healthy sex life within the confine of Marriage.

    Though sterilisation is a moral evil, I will here admit to having been sterilised myself. Would this mean that I could not hope to have a fulfilling sexual union with a future spouse? Am I doomed to being single for the rest of my life because no decent Catholic male worth his salt would touch me? No, this is not Catholic church teaching.

    The reason it isn’t true is because even if a ouple is prevented from conceiving a child, they must still be open to it, in their heart and ion their minds and of their faith. Is that too vague? Sex is not just for the fertile.

    An interesting article can be read here, that may better present to you Catholic Church teaching

    http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=3419

    God Bless.

    p.s. your posts are never too long, I always enjoy reading them and am thankful that you take such time to write.

  4. Audrey says:

    Hi Ukok (I miss your blog! Haven’t been really reading the posts due to hectic student life!), that post really helped me understand more about the topic.

    I’m also impressed at what Lorna said, ‘marriage is a commitment for life’. And so is sex. All these while I thought ALL caucasians (except devout Christians) are very open to sex and it’s ok to have sex before marriage. Guess she has proved me wrong. =)

    Stay blessed!

  5. Suzanne says:

    UKOK…thanks for this great post. I may even be showing some of these links to the kids. Some are just too great to pass up on.
    Is there ever enough time in the day to read all of the great information out there now these wonderful kinds of links? How do you ever do it all?
    God bless..

  6. Lorna says:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/docs/doc_view.cfm?recnum=3419

    this was worth reading, but like everything else raises lots of questions too 🙂

    be blessed! I’m off to make supper for my hungry family

  7. alicia says:

    good reply to Lorna – you hit most of the points spot on. I get so irked at those who don’t understand the church’s teaching on being open to life. Theology of the Body is one of the better elucidations thereof,but it isn’t the only one. Sex isn’t just about babies, it is also about bonding. The great heresies of the ages have tended to be either/or about issues, when the correct answer is both and. For example, the contraceptive/free love mentality says that sex is only about bonding/pleasure, and that babies are a nasty side effect to be avoided. The opposite of this is equally untrue and unChristian.
    BTW – there is a book that you might find interesting. It is about sterilization reversal. No, the church does not require sterilization reversal, but does strongly recommend it. Even if it is not effective, it can be healing.

  8. ukok says:

    Audrey, It’s good to *hear* from you!

    Suzanne, I know, I’m thinking about going through these sites with my daughter when I think that she will be receptive enough to learn about this issue.

    Lorna,

    you got questions? that’s fine! 🙂

    Alicia,

    I know that reversal of the sterilisation isn’t required, and it isn’t something that I would consider doing at present. If I were to marry again, then I would discuss it with my spouse and we could go from there. I’d be very interested in knowing the title of the book though 🙂

    And what an great point you make about babies being the unwanted side effect of so many sexual encounters. You can’t have one without the other, being open to life, and being open to giving and receiving pleasure are a perfect balance…take one of these factors away and there is no balance.

    Thanks!

    God Bless!

  9. Gayla says:

    Deb, great post!

    I have struggled in this area so badly. I believe that God has done a miraculous work in me over the past year or so.

    Anyway, have you read Every Woman’s Battle?

    This is a great book. It was such a catalyst for me in the healing process. (not implying that you need healing!) It simply opened my eyes to so much.

    I highly recommend it.

    I also have (in note form) a super teaching on marriage. I wish every young girl could hear it. Instead of just giving them the “don’t have sex before you’re married because God says so” spiel, it explains the beautiful unity God intended it to be.

    Let me know if you’re interested in it, and I’ll e-mail it to you.

  10. ukok says:

    Gayla, I hadn’t heard of the book you mentioned, unless I forgot! It looks good.

    I’d really appreciate you emailing that article also.

    Thanks very much

    God Bless!

  11. Lorna says:

    An aside here – but Alicia I was hurt by your comment. I expect it wasn’t intended … but I do need to say it.

    you wrote: “good reply to Lorna – you hit most of the points spot on. I get so irked at those who don’t understand the church’s teaching on being open to life.”

    I’m sorry that it irks you that some of us dont’ understand the church’s teaching on being open to life – How on earth can we find out what your church does say if we can’t ask questions?

    sigh.

    The book Gayla recommended is very good. I haven’t read it all (only 2 chapters) but a good friend is working through it – and says it’s been very helpful. especially the work books.

    be blessed 🙂

  12. Hector says:

    ukok, what a tremendously insightful post and thread! Fantastic! I have never heard of “Renewed purity.” My mind went to the scene where people wanted to stone a prostitute or adulterer and Jesus so lovingly forgave her and showed the people that they were also sinners. The beauty of God’s love is that he is so merciful regardless of our sins, be them sexual in nature or not.

    By the love, sincererity, and beauty of your post, I truly believe that you are way on your way to a state of renewed purity. I guess our sexual past is just one aspect of oyr on-going purification of our souls. I think this post really hit it with many people.

    Regarding Lorna’s last comment, I have to say that in her comments I have seen of her in many Catholic blogs she has shown a tremendous knowledge and respect for the Catholic faith.

  13. Lorna says:

    My apologies for snapping at Alicia here. I shouldn’t have done it and am sorry

    Deb, your whole post was in one sense about John 8 – where Jesus restored dignity and gave purity back to the woman who had been caught in adultery. His loving words to her were “Neither do I condemn you – Go now and leave your life of sin ” (Rom 8:11 NIV)

    That renewal of our whole selves, the chance to be redeemed into a new life, free from the past, is wonderful.

    Be blessed all of you !

  14. ukok says:

    I have to get ready for Mass right now, but I just want to quickly adress a couple of things.

    Lorna, I didn’t interpret Alicia’s comment the same way that you did. I don’t think that she was trying to hurt you. I’m sure she would not have wanted you to feel hurt by her words. To me, she was clarifying what I had outlined earlier.

    Alicia can speak for herself , but I say these things in her defence because I know that she may not visit for a few days and therefore will not notice your concerns 🙂

    Will repond further when I return home from Mass.

    God Bless !

  15. Barbara says:

    Just saying I visited – but it is 9.20am and I amoff to church in 10 mins –

    Will come back – re-read and comment when my brain is in gear…….

  16. Suzanne says:

    UKOK With respect to this blog and your other previously concerning your past years involved in the cult, etc…have you ever read Prodigal Daughters?
    I believe Ignatius Press has it.
    It was a great book. We read a chapter aloud in a circle one morning with a Confirmation class that I was helping to teach. We went full circle with this one female with her life story and the kids were able to see how futile running here and there is…not that they won’t do some of that, but perhaps it will shorten their trip to know how there are so many others who came back because nothing else worked.

  17. Lorna says:

    ukok, Alicia

    no apology needed.

    I almost certainly responded to something Alicia didn’t say /mean and for that I’m very sorry.

    have a good Sunday 🙂

  18. Jackie says:

    I just want to start by saying that I am not trying to offend or hurt anyone, and if something that I say comes off badly, please know that it was not intended that way. (wow, makes it sound like I’m going to go off on a tangent, don’t worry, I’m not)

    I guess as a non-cathloic Christion I just wanted to stress my confusion with the “no birth control” view.

    I understand that you must be open to childern, but does that mean you cannot be responsible? I have been married for over a year, and although I love my husband dearly, and we have vowed and plan to stay together for the rest of our lives, we are not ready for kids, YET.

    Now the way that I understand the Cathloic Churchs views, is that you have to be ready to have kids when you are ready to get married. This seams like reverse logic to me. I am ready for the commitment of marriage and to have kids with my husband, one day, and I know that if we would have gotten pregnet on our wedding night, we still would love each other and be together. But I don’t understand why it is a bad thing to want to wait untill we are financially ready to have kids. Why is me wanting to finish my degree and get a job, before I have kids seen as a negitive?

    I guess to sum up (and I hope that this post has made sence) I just don’t believe that God tells us, when we get married we have to through caution to the wind. I believe that even when “birth control” was not widely avaliable, people used their own “rythm methods”, does this make them just as wrong as those taking a pill?

    I also believe that I serve a God that does miricles, and if you are susposed to have kids at a certain time, then no pill will stop God from making that happen.

    anyway, once again, I hope this made sence, and that I didn’t offened anyone. I just wanted to say, that I really am confused by the stance of the Cathloic Church.

    Thanks for your time

  19. ukok says:

    Jackie, thanks for posting your comment 🙂

    The Catholic church teaches that we have to be open to life, because this is what God teaches us. God is pro life. Using artificial forms of birth control is alien to our bodies, alien to the Will of God.

    Natural Family Planning is allowed. Many Catholic couples use NFP as a way of spacing the births of their children, but this uses no artificial means and is completely acceptable.

    You are right that the Church expects people to be open to life right from the start, but that is because children are blessings from our Heavenly Father, and we have no right to refuse any gift that he wishes to bestow on us.

    hope this helps 🙂

    Thanks for your comment, I appreciate that you took the time to post your concerns.

    God bless.

  20. ukok says:

    Hector, I read your comment this morning but didn’t have time to respond. I just wanted you to know how wonderful I thought your post to be and that your words of wisdom always bowl me over completely!

    Barbara,

    I know how difficult it is to find the time to comment and to read blogs when you have a hectic home life with so many demands on your time. I’m hoping to have more time tomorrow to visit all the blogs of my fab friends who blog and catch up!

    Lorna,

    I had a great Sunday and I hope you did too.

    (((hug)))

    God Bless.

  21. My Kid's Mom says:

    UKOK:

    Wonderful post – and I am going to print it off so I can go over it again when I have time to do it justice! As a mom of two teenage daughters, this is of utmost concern to me. Thank you so much!!!

    Valerie

  22. Jackie says:

    Thanks UKOK, that does help clear things up for me. I’m not saying I totally agree, but now I can at least say I understand.
    Although, I don’t want to be a “pot stirrer” I was wondering if by saying no “artifical birth control” because of the “artificial” part, does that mean you are not to take in anything artificiall? as in no mediciations for illness? or does this only apply to creating or the stopping of creating new life?

    Thanks again for clearing things up for me.

  23. ukok says:

    Valerie, what a huge compliment (my words in print at last!)! Thanks! I was glad to be of assistance 🙂

    Jackie,

    you’re not pot stirring at all 🙂

    ‘Artificial’ would mean methods of preventing life, in this instance. Life is above all, Sacred. God gave it to us so that we could guard it,nurture it and protect it, not end it… and so when we obstruct God’s blessing us with the gift of life, we are not as faithful and loyal servants, to reject that which he gives.

    Medication is different. It (usually) prolongs the life of the person,or makes life easier to live than it would be without taking it. God has bestowed the gift of knowledge on many scientists so that they may assist us with living…unfortunately there are scientists that abuse their positions by working against the right to life 😦

    Hope this helps!

    God Bless!

  24. Jackie says:

    thanks UKOK, it really does clear things up.

    also thanks for visiting my blog, it’s great to have comments!!

  25. Susan Peterson says:

    Just a little clarification of a minor point. Someone up above..Lorna,I think? said something about Mary’s mother also being a virgin…although she said she wasn’t sure. I think she is referring to the Immaculate Conception and confusing it with the Virgin Birth.

    The Blessed Virgin was conceived through normal sexual intercourse between her parents Joachim and Anne. That is not what “immaculate conception” means. What it means is that Mary was preserved free from sin from the first moment of her existence. The saving grace won for us on the cross by Jesus was applied to her retroactively. This may seem odd, but the Sacrifice on the Cross, as well as occurring at a particular moment in time, is an “eternal moment”…always available to us today (as Catholics we believe that this moment is made present to us at mass, which is what it means that the mass is a sacrifice..it is a making present of the one sacrifice of the cross) God of course is outside of time and he can act at any moment in our time…for instance, I still pray for someone who committed suicide 30 years ago, for him to have the grace to repent on the way down from the bridge he jumped off. God can take my whole lifetime of prayers for this person and use them to give that person to repent in those few seconds. So in the case of Mary, he took the grace won by Jesus on the Cross and applied it to Mary in the instant of her conception. She is thoroughly saved, justified and sanctified… all through Jesus. She is the way a very holy person might be after a whole lifetime of prayer and devotion, only even more so…or the way we will be, if we die believing in Jesus and repentant of our sins, after we are purified in Purgatory and made ready for heaven.

    This is what the Immaculate Conception means. The church came to this belief, meditating on what it meant for God Himself to be growing in her womb, feeling that God incarnate would have to grow in a holy environment and be raised by a holy mother. It came to this belief by deep meditation on the passages in Luke in which Elizabeth calls Mary “full of grace” and Mary says ” All generations will call me Blessed.”

    The points others responded to were more central to your letter and they did well to concentrate on them and respond to them, but since they did that so well, I thought I could clear up this one little point.

    Susan Peterson

  26. ukok says:

    You wrote very well, Susan. Nice to *meet* you and thankyou for your contribution!

    God bless!

  27. Lorna says:

    thanks Susan

    Not sure I got the essense of that teaching but I really appreciate you trying to explain something that is – at best – rather complicated.

    I know the feast of the immaculate conception is Dec 8th – but I’ve never had anyone try to explain it to me

    but Deb
    didn’t THAT quiz ask something on this matter too? I know I got that quite confused wiht the virgin birth too.

    incidentally we non RC Christians don’t have a problem with mary being a virgin –

    my understanding is there isn’t room (or necessity) in our theology for the perpetual virginity teaching.

    Actually in a way I think that goes against all that Deb taught her. It makes sex within marriage a sinful act – and that isn’t – IMHO – how God sees it at all.

    I think the point of Mary’s virginity was not about sin – but about paternity. God was Jesus’ father – not Joseph.

    but anyway

    thank you all for trying to clear this foggy brain of mine.

    be blessed:)

  28. Pingback: Is there such a thing as Renewed Purity? « … Ukok’s Place …

  29. Holly says:

    The whole ‘purity’ thing irks me. It is one thing to promote abstinence before marriage. Ideally that is socially and anthropologically sensible in terms of ensuring children are only born into committed relationships and creating the best situation for them to flourish.
    However, if you are married and have a sexual relationship with your husband and then you are widowed, I don’t think you have lost ‘purity’ and are needing to gain something back to make you fit for a subsequant marriage. And likewise if you have sexual relationships and then find religion and decide you were wrong, I am of the opinion that if you atone in the way your religion requires then the matter is finished with. You are not tainted or incomplete.
    And lastly, this whole ‘purity’ thing is mostly only ever talked about in regards to women (have you ever heard about a man concerned about his purity? I haven’t, and I like sticking my nose into the inner lives of religous people as much as the internet allows ;P ). It strikes me as being part and parcel of controlling women’s sexuality.

  30. Just what I needed to read today.

  31. ukok says:

    if you are married and have a sexual relationship with your husband and then you are widowed, I don’t think you have lost ‘purity’ and are needing to gain something back to make you fit for a subsequant marriage

    I don’t believe that purity needs to be gained back to make me fit for a subsequent marriage. This isn’t something that the Church dogmatically teaches on. This movement towards regaining one’s sexual purity means not only refraining from physical sexual intimacy, but also crosses the psychological and spiritual realm. So, in my case, it is a consistant attempt to refrain from impure thoughts, avoiding near occassions of sin, such as exposure to sexually provocative tv, films, literature, social situations etc.

    In other words, this is a personal choice for me. To say, the Church does not recognise my annulled marriage as being valid and although my children are my life and I can’t and wouldn’t want to deny that they were both born of love that was shared with man/men, if I should marry again, I would hope that my committment to chaste living, my commitment of sustaining my sexual purity since my former marriage was annulled, has enabled me to come to a place spiritually, when having waited for the very first time for God to choose my spouse, I will give myself in love, as God intended for a man and woman to give of themselves, within the context of the Marriage Covenant.

    Also Holly, about what you said about it being primarily women who are concerned with their sexual purity, I have to disagree. There are a great many Catholic men that I know online and in person who live chastely.

    One of the greatest books I read on this was written by a man, I recommended it in another comment on a recent post, it’s called ‘If he really loved me’ by Jason Evert.

    And I highly recommend it!

  32. Lorna says:

    interesting to read this two years on..including or maybe especially the comments 🙂

    what I see is that sins taken to the cross are forgiven – and the shame is taken away – so I think the sexual purity is automatically restored for any extra marital sexual realitionships we have had.

    maybe that’s what Holly meant?

  33. Pingback: My Top Ten Meme « … Ukok’s Place …

  34. sf says:

    you still slept around with men prior to marriage, you can’t pretend it’s all ok.

  35. ukok says:

    sf,

    I’m not pretending it’s okay, i am remorseful and have confessed my sins and been absolved of those sins.

    Mary Magdalen slept around too, but as i recall, Jesus told people not to throw stones at her because they weren’t without sin either.

    Understand what I’m saying?

  36. J says:

    What an AMAZING web post. I so deeply identify with every single thing you said. It’s odd, so many years of my life were spent in the fruitless pursuit of the one thing I might have had had I simply honored myself and the Lord with enough strength of spirit: Real, honest-to-God, knock your socks off, wondrous, unified, bonded, marital love.

    I try not to become mired in the “what ifs” of my ill-begotten decisions. I am working hard to move past those darkened years and to find unfettered joy and comfort in the knowledge that I now respect myself enough (at 37) and following two unsuccessful marriages to save myself for someone whose love is a reflection of God’s own as I hope mine will be a reflection of God’s own love for him.

    I believed after the second marriage ended that that was it for me. That was the most I was going to get out of life, and that the love I deserved; respectful, honorable, pure, and joyful, would never find me because I was “unworthy” or “undeserving.” And I made many mistakes along the way, rooted in that very damaging, self-deprecating mindset.

    I think your words are strong and true, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  37. Pingback: Renewed Purity « trainpraylove

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