Protecting Yourself - Emotional Purity

In the sexualized society of today we are continually reminded, no matter the age, to protect yourself - either from babies and/or STDs. We are warned to have safe sex (selfish sex) in which there would be no ‘real’ outcome.

However, the point I’m looking to reach is not about sex, or even the emotional (not excluding physical) attachment when one (two) participates in the act. The point of this post is for those who strive to rid themselves, with God’s graces, of all impurities, specifically emotional impurity (not with the attachment of sex).

Emotional purity can be defined along the two words it’s made up of:
Emotional - arousing or characterized by intense feeling and
Purity - freedom from adulteration or contamination.

Now there were multiple definitions for both words but the one’s that I chose interested me more than the others. What caught my attention was the word ‘adulteration’ in purity’s definition. Adulteration means to render (something) poorer in quality by adding another substance, typically an inferior one. 

And what’s happening when one is emotionally unchaste is the feelings, or ‘arousments’, one gets when either thinking, talking, stalking etc. the person he/she likes and running with them - leaving the person with no control of their feelings.

Obviously, the feelings we naturally get when one encounters the other they are attracted to is not bad - It is not evil. The attraction is good; it’s actually very good. However, it seems that in this generation we were never taught how to deal with these attractions. We are taught to either repress them or let them completely submerge you, with no even distribution.

When you repress these feelings and/or attractions completely they come back full force and when you are submerged in them you are literally suffocating in your own thoughts that you’ve created for yourself. And none of the above is a healthy way of dealing with your feelings and can really hurt you, especially when they no longer become thoughts but actions.

The Confessions of Zoë:

For me, emotional chastity was a really big cross of mine. I never let my thoughts become actions in any way; however, I did do all of the above.

There was this guy (that’s how it all starts out, jk) and I really liked him and the natural attraction I had for him was pure to begin with but then I started to think about him a lot, more than what was necessary, and about ‘us’. I was always left anxious and worried of what might happen in the future and so forth and so forth.

You understand - I thought about him and also of the thoughts of thinking about him way too frequently. It hurt me spiritually and emotionally and as I already stated, I was never left with such peace but worry and doubts.

So what did I do next? I completely repressed him and everything related to him. I didn’t even like hearing his name. I just wanted those feelings to be completely done with and I didn’t want anything to do with them because it was clear to me that drowning myself in thoughts and words was not the path of purity.

But then one fateful day they came back like a thousand of bricks that had babies and brought their babies with them. And dear friends, pure love should never be labeled as such burdens. (Which I think that label is a new one ;) )

So, I went back and forth with these ‘outings’, if you wish, and never found peace with any of them. I was getting beyond frustrated with myself, these feelings and what was God’s purpose through all of this.

And there is still so much in this story that happened, so many thoughts and questions that weren’t expressed, but you can most probably figure them out because I know that I am not the only one who suffered/suffers with this sort of impurity.

So what I did next is the reason why I am able to write this post . . .

I picked up my cross and united it with Jesus’. I wasn’t afraid of letting the selfish feelings go anymore and the ‘what ifs’ that came with them. I started to understand what it meant to love in the truest matter and that is to will the good of another. I started to want what was the best for him, even if that didn’t mean me.

One night I knelt down, with my tiny wall crucifix in my hands, and gave everything I was bearing to Jesus. I gave Him my numerous emotions, I gave Him my thoughts, I begged His will be done no matter how difficult it would be for me to let go and I gave Him the guy.

The cross that I built for myself was united with Christ’s. Not so that I may not have to suffer, but that I wouldn’t struggle through this alone and without redemption. Even though my cross was built because of my feelings towards this guy, I now had the opportunity to offer this cross I was carrying for him and for his holiness. To give my cross to Jesus, and through Jesus, with His help, gave the guy to Him.

I’ve learned that when you don’t emotionally invest in someone(s) your mind is truly not bound with thoughts that are selflessly taking from others. Thoughts that I desire only to think of my husband. And they do not have to be lustful thoughts to be impure, it wasn’t lustful thinking that encompassed me, but rather it was the amount of thinking that encompassed me.

Anywho, that’s my confession and I pray that you truly take to heart what I went through and desire more for yourself, your husband and more importantly your relationship with Jesus.

Now to further along - - -

In the Diary of St. Faustina there’s this section where there are Q and A’s about the vows and the virtues they amplify based on the Catechism of the Vows.
The question asked was “What are the means by which this virtue (chastity) may be preserved?” The answer: “To conquer interior temptations with the thoughts of the presence of God, and moreover to fight without fear. And for exterior temptations, to avoid occasions. There are, in all, seven principal means: to guard the senses, to avoid occasions, to avoid idleness, to remove temptations promptly, to remove oneself from all - and especially particular friendships, the spirit of mortification, and to reveal all these temptations to one’s confessor.”

But it doesn’t stop there - it goes on to guide us on how to preserve the virtue: humility, the spirit of prayer, modesty of the eyes, fidelity to the rule and a sincere devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

All are great means to driving out all the vices of purity and for protecting yourself from getting emotionally attached. The last one though is extremely important, you should find out why.

If people don’t know this about me already - I’m mostly an Augustinian. And to narrow down this whole thing I’m going to ask myself, and you, this questions that St. Augustine asked himself:

What do I love when I love my God?

Generally - Am I loving my God when I am doing this, thinking this, saying this? Am I giving God glory and thanks by my thoughts, words and actions? Am I growing more and more in love with God and if not what’s holding me back?

However, one should never go into despair, for despair doubts God’s infinite goodness, love and mercy on one’s soul. Reconcile and begin anew today - resolve to give glory and honor to God by anything and everything that defines you, even your thoughts.

Protect yourself beginning today.

& - Nunc Coepi - Now I begin.

God bless and Mary protect.

Keep my eyes fixed on You, oh Lord.

"Turn away from the passions of youth, 
concentrate on uprightness,
faith, love and peace,
in union with all those who call on the Lord with a pure heart."
- 2 Timothy 2:22

Ulysses - Josh Garrels