If I had a nickel every time I heard “emotional chastity,” I would have enough money to buy a patent, copyright that phrase, and make millions of dollars.
But you know what? I’ve never heard someone talk about it concerning religious vocations. If someone has, please, please, please, please let me know because I know there are 7 billion people in the world, and most of them are smarter than I am.
But until then, I will write about emotional purity (because chastity is physical, so that term doesn’t even make any sense) for those women discerning religious life.
Okay, now you might be thinking, Caitlin, how does a women discerning religious life struggle with emotional purity? I mean, she doesn’t have a boyfriend, she can’t pick wedding colors, she can’t ponder kid names, and she can’t worry about giving too much of herself away.
True, minus the boyfriend part because, if you are seriously discerning religious life, you are dating Jesus.
So, you can’t daydream wedding colors or kid names, but you know what you can be emotionally impure about? Habits and religious names.
A habit is a wedding dress that you get to wear FOREVER, and there is something incredibly exciting about the thought of having a saint (or two) claim you and lend their name to you. I’m not going to geek out too much about this…because it would be emotionally impure.
Furthermore, what is the most attractive part of a religious vocation? Radically giving yourself to Christ, totally and completely renouncing the world. Do you know what the really means? Your GPA really doesn’t matter, the degree you’re earning might not matter, the amount of money you make probably doesn’t matter.
I mean, regardless of vocation, it’s pretty easy to sit in class and think, Yeeeeeeah in eternity, this probably doesn’t matter.
But there is the dilemma. How do I live in this world, but not be of this world?
So, here’s what you do, you make rules. And if you are like me, you make them, think they are great, break all of them, and start again.
1. You can’t sit in chapel forever. Seriously, I know it’d be the best thing ever, but you have obligations that Christ is calling you to. So move that butt.
2. At the same time, you need time with Him. Make a schedule and be that person who writes in time with Jesus (1 hour). Dating people spend time together, so if you are dating Jesus, you best be spending time together.
3. Focus on the present. I suck at this. Enjoy your vocational status as it is right now. Give thanks for the things you can do now that you might not be able to later on.
4. Run to Mary, she knows.
5. Remember that Jesus didn’t start His public ministry until He was 30. Do you think He was sitting around dreaming about what was to come? No, He was getting work done!
6. Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified Matthew 28:5. He knows we are trying and He honors and adores our attempts.