www.stnickbyz.com - St. Nicholas Church
http://www.stnickbyz.com/?archive&id=1195
Barberton, Ohio, USA   |   December 13, 2019   |   Alio.sk
www.stnickbyz.com - St. Nicholas Church
Our CDs and DVDs TV liturgies
SitemapHome > Archive
Visits(801)
Print | Send tip to friend

19 - CHASTITY

CHASTITY

Why did God create sexuality in man? Is it for procreation only? Bishop Moses, in an old article of Al-Keraza, wrote the following. God created sexuality for the sole purpose of preservation of the race in animals. That is why animals are only sexually active for a few days or a few weeks every year. This period of sexual activity is called “the period of heat”. During this period, the female produces a certain scent that arouses the male. Animals mate during this period, and after that they are not sexually aroused. It is not so in humans, for they are the only members of the animal kingdom that are always in heat! So why is this?
Bishop Moses gives us the answer, it is because God wanted humans to share and enjoy a holy kind of love that is likened to the love of Christ and His Church. Saint Paul says, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:32) This is how St. Paul speaks about the mystery or Sacrament of marriage. It is a great Sacrament, but only because it mirrors the relationship between Christ and the Church. But as holy and as great is the use of sexuality within holy matrimony, its use outside marriage is so abhorable. Saint Paul adds, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4). And again, “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.” (1 Cor 6:18) Sexuality within marriage is uniquely blessed as a sacrament that emulates the love between Christ and His bride, the Church, while sexuality outside marriage is distinct from any other sin, because it defiles the image of love between Christ and the Church. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.” (1 Cor 6:15)
Saint Athanasius the great has a wonderful analogy to contrast sexuality within and outside marriage. He tells us, If a soldier goes out to war and kills twenty of the enemy’s soldiers, he is decorated. But, if in the time of peace he goes out in the street and kills one man, he is condemned. It is the same action, done in different circumstances with completely opposite outcomes.
There is no more evidence that human marital love is blessed than the fact that when God wanted to give us a description of the love between Christ and the Church (or the human soul, the unit of the Church) He gave us this in one book of the Bible called the Song of Songs. It is a book that is often misunderstood and often attacked even as pornographic. But, there is nothing sinful or pornographic about the marital relationship, because it simulates the love between Christ and the Church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Eph 5:25) This is where marital sexuality differs from sinful sexuality. Sinful sexuality is concerned with taking, grabbing, exploiting, self gratification, while marital sexuality is about giving. Marital sexual love should be modeled on the love of Christ to the Church, Who “gave himself for it”. Marital sexual love is about self-giving not grabbing or taking, and that is what makes it holy, because it is Christ-like.
“Flee fornication” says St. Paul, but someone may say, “Easier said than done!”. And I agree, for chastity is the most elusive virtue. You think that you have reached it only to be overthrown once again in its pit.
The Bible tells us about the perils of fornication, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor 6:9-10)
In this sweeping sentence, the Bible condemns all sorts of sexual immoral acts. Fornication means pre-marital sex, while adultery means extra-marital sex. They are two degrees of one sin, except that the punishment is different!A fornicator commits sin against his/her own body and also against his or her partner, while an adulterer commits sin against his/her own body, the partner and the spouse. Note that homosexual acts are also condemned. “effeminate” and “abusers of themselves with mankind” refer to both participants in a male homosexual act.
Lesbianism is also condemned in the Bible, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature.” (Rom 1:26) The Lord adds to this list of sexually immoral acts, all sorts of lustful passions, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt 5:28) It goes without saying that a woman looking with lust upon a man, or a person looking with lust upon someone from the same sex will be as guilty. Today, the list has gotten bigger, for pornography became such a major problem with even little children. Pornography leads to sexual phantasies and masturbation.
While condemning these immoral acts, the Bible does not explain to us how we can fight against them. For this we have to draw on the experience of the Desert Fathers. They are the experts on the subject.


Recent News

July 04, 2019 | Visits(569)
The Art of Spiritual Life Study Group
The Art of Spiritual Life Study Group The aim of this study group is to gain the art of spiritual life through the teaching of Holy Bisho... more »
July 04, 2019 | Visits(554)
Podcast - The art of spiritual life
Podcast - The art of spiritual life We have launched a new podcast - The art of spiritual life - https://artofspirituallife.podbean.com... more »
June 24, 2017 | Visits(2089)
Bishop Milan Lach, Parma's new apostolic administrator
Bishop Milan Lach, Parma's new apostolic administrator Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop, Milan Lach, SJ, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Prešo... more »

Events Calendar

 
Copyright © 2008-2018 St. Nicholas Church
Religion