This promise – to only say what you mean with your body – is what chastity rings signify. Normally they are worn by those who plan on getting married and are currently striving to live a chaste single life.
Chastity rings are traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand, holding the place for the wedding ring they will receive from their future spouse.
So here is my advice to you . . . be radical! Don’t go back to your old ways. It’s a sad trend that we go on these awesome retreats, have this amazing experience of God’s power, fall deeply in love with Him, but then leave it all behind when we toss our flip flops to the back of the closet.
What if after St. Paul had his conversion experience with God, he went back to his old ways of killing Christians? That would be weird (and tragic). Then why do we think that we can return to our old ways? You don’t have to sell yourself short. Be different.
God is one creative Creator. He gave us the cosmos, the sun, the moon, and the stars. He gave us the mountains and the seas, volcanoes and icebergs, tropical rainforests and sand-covered beaches. He gave us the humpback whale, the platypus, the giraffe and the dragonfly. God also gave us humanity. God created us male and female – beautifully distinct and wonderfully made in His divine image. God created marriage and God created sex.
Not going to the party makes a much bolder statement. It doesn’t mean you’re judgmental. It doesn’t mean you’re anti-fun or anti-friend. It means you’re pro-God. You might think people won’t notice or won’t care, but you’re wrong. No, the entire school might not take notice but some people will. Your courageous example to step away might be exactly what others need to see to do the same. There are others who, if given another option, would rather not be at the party.
I talk to teenagers just about every day, and the conversations are often the same. They deal with the Bible and what the Church teaches and how challenging it can be to live a holy life in an unholy culture. I’d say that most teens that I talk to are truly looking for the Lord; some, however, are looking less for the Lord and more for the “loopholes.” For instance: “I heard that the Bible doesn’t say drinking alcohol is a sin.”
“Well, no, the Bible does not say that drinking alcohol is a sin,” I respond. I then go on to explain that it does become sinful (very easily), if any of the following happen…
Because we are physical beings, Christ uses physical things to interact with us. In the Gospel He heals through touch and in the Sacraments He gives us Himself through the things He has created. Are you going to let God heal and restore you today?
As the new year began, I was still jobless and doubting that it was God’s plan for me to make such a big move in just a few months. However, I went to daily Mass one day and found myself begging God to help me understand what He had planned for me. I remember praying over and over, “Lord, give me the grace to follow you, even unto death.”
I’m not sure if you know this about me but something rather drastic happened in my life a couple months ago – I found out I had an intolerance for gluten. If you follow me on the Twittersphere (LT_Christina) you’ve probably seen me talk about this. Scratch that, you’ve probably seen me complain and bemoan my gluten-less state while everyone else is so happily eating muffins and bagels and brownies.
As missionaries have always tried to live simply, but as with anything, over time (especially while living in the U.S.) we become more and more comfortable, and it is easy to justify extras. Soon our conviction to live in solidarity with the poor is compromised by settling with a lifestyle that is just a little more simple than that of the others around us . . . not exactly the definition of Gospel poverty!
Read that verse again. It doesn’t say lay down part of our lives. It says lay down our lives, and that means everything, including our money. For us this hasn’t been easy. As we currently seek to purchase our first home, it would be nice to have that extra money to put toward our down payment. But God doesn’t promise this life to be easy. He asks us to trust, and that’s what we do.
St. Paul says in Ephesians 4:4, “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” The reality is that for a lot of us the calling we have received requires us to have “things” in order to carry out what God wants us to do and be who God has made us to be. It’s different for everyone, because everyone has a different calling.
Clothes say something about what we think, what we value. They also influence how we behave and feel. Sunday is special, and God’s House is special. Some things are really important, and our clothing and demeanor ought to reflect this truth.
The exterior reflects the interior, and God definitely deserves the best we have inside and out!
The fact is that every time I see a hero in a movie do something awesome, I want to do the same. However, thinking I’ll hit like Rocky or climb walls like Spiderman is not realistic and will likely get me in over my head. The heroes we look up to train very hard to be ready for the big moment. Firefighters train for a long time before getting on the truck and going to put out fires. The 2008 Olympics wasn’t Michael Phelps’ first time in a pool.