- Why Can’t I Drink Alcohol or Do Drugs ?
Why can’t I stay out as late as my friends do?
Why Can’t Have A Boy Friend?
Why can’t I have the latest gadgets?
Why do you keep treating me as a child?
Why can’t I stay out as late as my friends do?
Why Can’t Have A Boy Friend?
Why can’t I have the latest gadgets?
Why do you keep treating me as a child?
My name is Kate. I’m 32 years old. I’ve never had sex.
When I was young, I always imagined I would be married by 25 and have a brood of kids. Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew to “make disciples,” and I thought it would be cool to take that verse literally and have 12 kids. I wanted enough kids to fill a baseball team, a hockey bench and a big house full of love.
That obviously didn’t happen. Or it hasn’t happened yet. But I love my life. I spent last weekend learning how to scull on the Potomac River. I have good friends, a great family, hobbies and one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.
Do I feel a void because I’m not married and I don’t have children yet? Sure. Do I wish I were having sex? Of course.
But I believe that I’m living a fuller, better life because of my commitment to sexual integrity. I spend all day, every day doing the things that I want to do, because I’m not wasting my time worrying about waking up next to a stranger, contracting a sexually transmitted infection or missing a period.
The truth is, I am able to live the feminist dream because I’m not stressing over the things that sex outside of marriage often brings. And I’m not alone.
The sex lives of millennials
A recent study in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior showed that young people — specifically millennials – are now more than twice as likely to be sexually inactive than the previous generation. Although there are many possible causes for this shift, it’s quite reasonable to believe that this generation doesn’t want the stresses that sex outside of marriage brings — unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, to name a few.
Maybe they realize that a condom doesn’t protect the heart, and that true love is something worth waiting for and fighting for.
Celibacy and chastity, as I have come to understand as a Catholic, are virtues that are practiced with a purpose. Chastity isn’t simply the restraining of one’s desires, nor is it something you just practice before marriage and then disregard after the wedding. Chastity is a lifestyle, centered on freedom and love, that challenges all people to love themselves and to love others in the most perfect way possible.
As a teenager, I read Joshua Harris’s book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” I was enthralled by the view of purity that Harris proposed and decided I would save every act of affection, including kissing, until my wedding day.
Then when this interpretation of chastity was challenged in a “Christian Marriage” course I took in college, I began to understand that chastity goes much deeper than a long list of do’s and don’ts. I started researching the topic in more depth. The result was my college thesis, “Chastity in the Modern World and the Fulfillment of Chastity Within the Catholic Church.”
My thesis was based on the book “Love and Responsibility” by Karol Wojtyla, who would later become Saint John Paul II. In this book, Wojtyla explained that every human being is a sexual being, but that we’re also rational — which means we don’t have to be mastered by our physical desires.
In the case of the single person, chastity does mean not having sex before marriage, but it also means striving toward the perfection of love. We must all aim to love ourselves and to love others in the most perfect way possible — this is chastity in its fullness.
Virtues, including chastity, must be practiced like a new sport or skill. I didn’t just decide to be a master rower and naturally row down the Potomac. I took an intense sculling course and then spent hours upon hours practicing on the water — and I’m still only in the beginner stages. There wasn’t a single Olympian who simply showed up in Rio and won gold. Like sports, virtue takes practice, failure and perseverance.
With chastity, there are days you will struggle and fail. Some days, it will seem simply impossible. But you must always remain faithful and persevere, especially in the difficult moments.
As a Christian, I believe that all things are possible with God, and that has been the bedrock of my journey with chastity. I’ve also surrounded myself with good friends who support me and my beliefs, which has made my journey easier.
While I didn’t get my early marriage or my 12 kids or my big house with a white picket fence, my commitment to sexual integrity has allowed me the freedom to live the life that I want. I am living the life that feminists throughout history fought for.
Through the virtue of chastity — true freedom and the perfection of love — I am living the feminist dream.
Kate Bryan is a writer in Washington, D.C., who has worked for conservative and anti-abortion organizations. Follow her on Twitter @katembryan.
In the past if you were a hooker or porn star, you hid it from family. You wouldn’t want Mom and Dad to know about it. Today’s people are no longer ashamed of anything and they portray their shamelessness using rude words. Please watch Ms Dakota Johnson rudely berating her Mom, Melania Griffith for not having watched her bare ass on TV in “Fifty Shades of Gray.” How much lower can she go ?
Chastity is a much different topic in today’s world than in those of our ancestors. Back when our grandparents or great-grandparents were dating, showing a little too much shoulder or ankle was considered scandalous, let alone flaunting all that on TV or on stage. It was much more common in those days to save sexual relations for after marriage. This practice of abstinence has gone out of style these days, making it much harder for those who do want to save themselves until after marriage to hold to their standards.
But if chastity until marriage is your goal, you are not pursuing a lost cause. Contrary to how television portrays intimate relationships, it’s not inevitable that you fall into bed with your loved one the moment you have some time alone. Here are some tips for keeping in control of your body and your relationships.
1. Make a commitment to each other
Having a vague idea that you’d like to wait to have sex until after marriage won’t be helpful when the temptation arises. You must voice that commitment, talk about it with your significant other, and see if their goal is the same. If it isn’t, you’ll have a much harder time keeping your side of the bargain.
2. Set boundaries
When you realize which direction your relationship is going, take time to talk with each other about how much physical intimacy you’re comfortable with. Each couple might have different ideas about how much kissing, cuddling, etc. they’d like to do prior to marriage.
3. Avoid alone time
When you’re in a close relationship, it seems like all you want is a little alone time. But solitude is the enemy to chastity. When no one is watching is the exact moment you’re most likely to slip up. So be intentional about where and how you spend your time together.
4. Get support from friends and family
Let your other loved ones know what your goal is and invite them to help you live up to it. Instead of making jokes or egging the two of you on, friends and family members can have a significant role in helping you remember your commitment.
5. Be open with someone
Beyond having support from those around you, it might also help to choose a close friend or sibling and ask them to check up on you. Invite them to question you about your dates and how you spend your time with your significant other and commit to be open with them.
6. Avoid talking in depth about intimacy
Though it’s important to be completely comfortable with your significant other and be open with them on all topics of conversation, physical intimacy is one topic that you can save until after marriage. Of course, you can find out how each of you feel on the subject and what your expectations are, but avoid dwelling on the topic. Otherwise, just talking about it might not be enough.
7. Stay out of the bedroom
If you’re really serious about abstinence, then any time spent in bedrooms together tends to be a bad idea. Standing near a bed can lead to sitting on it, which leads to lying on it, and it’s all downhill from there.
8. Dress modestly
This advice is mainly for women: How you dress has a big impact on the boys around you. Men are very visual and tight fitting, low cut, or short clothing can be a bad idea if you have chastity in mind. Make it easier on both of you by wearing modest clothing (i.e. no cleavage, loose-fitting shirts and pants, longer shorts and skirts).
9. Remind each other of your goals
It helps to realign yourselves sometimes with your goals, especially when you begin to lose sight of why you made them in the first place. Speak frequently of why chastity is important to you, perhaps speaking with others who have made the same commitment, so you can hear why they find it so important as well.
10. Find other ways to show your love
Intimacy is only one facet of a loving relationship and should not be the main basis of one. When remaining chaste seems difficult, think of other fun activities you can do together that will bring you closer together in other ways. Some examples might include playing sports, spending time in the outdoors, going to a gym, inviting friends to a picnic, going bowling, or playing board games with the family.
Chastity before marriage isn’t old-fashioned, as modern media likes to portray it. It’s an important commitment between two responsible individuals who realize that intimacy shouldn’t be treated lightly. And if two individuals are careful and committed, they can enjoy a wonderful relationship based on similar interests and shared respect for one another not only until marriage, but for their whole lives afterwards.
Kingston, Ontario — THERE was no mistaking the diagnostic significance of that little red stick inside a deep blue cell: The Auer rod meant the mystery patient had acute myelogenous leukemia. As slide after slide went by, her bone marrow told a story: treatment, remission, relapse, treatment, remission, remission, remission.
I was reading these marrows in 1987, but the samples had been drawn in 1978 and 1979. Median survival of that lethal disease with treatment was about 18 months; however, given that she had already relapsed once, I knew that she had to be dead. Probably someone was being sued, and that was why my hematology colleagues had asked for a blind reading.
Imagining an aggressive cross-examination in court, I emphasized in my report that I knew neither the history nor why I was reading the marrows. After the work was submitted, I asked the treating physician what was going on. She smiled and said that my report had been sent to the Vatican. This leukemia case was being considered as the final miracle in the dossier of Marie-Marguerite d’Youville, the founder of the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal and a candidate to become the first Canadian-born saint.
As in the case of Mother Teresa, who was canonized Sunday by Pope Francis, miracles are still used as evidence that the candidate is in heaven and had interceded with God in response to a petition. Two miracles, usually cures that defy natural explanation, are generally required. For Mother Teresa, the Vatican concluded that prayers to her led to the disappearance of an Indian woman’s incurable tumor and the sudden recovery of a Brazilian man with a brain infection.
The “miracle” involving d’Youville had already been overturned once by the Vatican’s medical committee, unconvinced by the story of a first remission, a relapse, and a much longer second remission. The clerics argued that she had never relapsed and that her survival in first remission was rare but not impossibly so. But the panel and her advocates agreed that a “blind” reading of the evidence by another expert might provoke reconsideration. When my report confirmed what the Ottawa doctors found, that she had indeed had a short remission and then relapsed, the patient, who had prayed to d’Youville for help and, against all odds, was still alive, wanted me to testify.
The tribunal that questioned me was not juridical, but ecclesiastical. I was not asked about my faith. (For the record, I’m an atheist.) I was not asked if it was a miracle. I was asked if I could explain it scientifically. I could not, though I had come armed for my testimony with the most up-to-date hematological literature, which showed that long survivals following relapses were not seen.
When, at the end, the Vatican committee asked if I had anything more to say, I blurted out that as much as her survival, thus far, was remarkable, I fully expected her to relapse some day sooner or later. What would the Vatican do then, revoke the canonization? The clerics recorded my doubts. But the case went forward and d’Youville was canonized on Dec. 9, 1990.
That experience, as a hematologist, led me to a research project that I conducted in my other role, as a historian of medicine. I was curious: What were the other miracles used in past canonizations? How many were healings? How many involved up-to date treatments? How many were attended by skeptical physicians like me? How did all that change through time? And can we explain those outcomes now?
Over hundreds of hours in the Vatican archives, I examined the files of more than 1,400 miracle investigations — at least one from every canonization between 1588 and 1999. A vast majority — 93 percent over all and 96 percent for the 20th century — were stories of recovery from illness or injury, detailing treatment and testimony from baffled physicians.
If a sick person recovers through prayer and without medicine, that’s nice, but not a miracle. She had to be sick or dying despite receiving the best of care. The church finds no incompatibility between scientific medicine and religious faith; for believers, medicine is just one more manifestation of God’s work on earth.
Perversely then, this ancient religious process, intended to celebrate exemplary lives, is hostage to the relativistic wisdom and temporal opinions of modern science. Physicians, as nonpartisan witnesses and unaligned third parties, are necessary to corroborate the claims of hopeful postulants. For that reason alone, illness stories top miracle claims. I never expected such reverse skepticism and emphasis on science within the church.
I also learned more about medicine and its parallels with religion. Both are elaborate, evolving systems of belief. Medicine is rooted in natural explanations and causes, even in the absence of definitive evidence. Religion is defined by the supernatural and the possibility of transcendence. Both address our plight as mortals who suffer — one to postpone death and relieve symptoms, the other to console us and reconcile us to pain and loss.
Respect for our religious patients demands understanding and tolerance; their beliefs are as true for them as the “facts” may be for physicians. Now almost 40 years later, that mystery woman is still alive and I still cannot explain why. Along with the Vatican, she calls it a miracle. Why should my inability to offer an explanation trump her belief? However they are interpreted, miracles exist, because that is how they are lived in our world.
Jacalyn Duffin, a hematologist and historian at Queen’s University in Canada, is the author of “Medical Miracles” and “Medical Saints.”
Article Courtesy of the NewYork Times
The founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers recounts her experiences in Kolkata, which granted her insight into the infinite dignity of all persons — especially abandoned girls.
ROME — St. Teresa of Kolkata, who was canonized by Pope Francis on Sept. 4, had a major influence on Reggie Littlejohn, founder of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an organization campaigning to end forced abortion and gendercide in China.
In an interview with the Register in May, Littlejohn pointed out that, despite the implementation in China of a two-child — rather than one-child — policy at the beginning of the year, forced abortions, mostly of baby girls, will continue on an enormous scale. She also explained how her organization’s “Save a Girl” campaign has saved many lives and how International Planned Parenthood Federation is working “hand in hand” with China’s population-control machine.
In this new interview with the Register in Rome, Littlejohn explains how her experience of working in one of Mother Teresa’s homes for abandoned children taught her the infinite value and dignity of all human life. She also recounts how her first encounter with gendercide took place in India.
What brought you to India to help Mother Teresa in Kolkata?
My husband and I went to Kolkata as part of a trip around the world. I was a student at Yale Law School; he was a student at Yale Divinity School. We both took a year out of school to travel around the world with money I had made as a summer associate working for a big European law firm. It’s amazing you can make enough money in a summer in New York to go around the world for a year. In any case, we were in Kolkata for six weeks, and Mother Teresa was there the whole time.
How did she influence the work you do now?
Mother Teresa began this home, Shishu Bhavan, for babies by picking a baby girl out of a trash can. [Mother Teresa opened the home for abandoned street babies and children in 1955.] In fact, my first contact with gendercide was in India. I was there years before I took my husband. I was there alone in Varanasi, and I wanted to take a boat ride on the Ganges. Just as I was stepping into the boat, I looked down into the water and, there, saw a fully formed, perfectly beautiful baby girl just floating, dead in the water.
How did you react?
I was utterly appalled, and I pointed her out to the boatman. He said, “Don’t worry about it. It’s nothing; it’s nothing.” I will never, ever forget that little baby girl just floating there in the water and the attitude of: “It’s nothing. Don’t look at that; it’s nothing.” So that was my initial encounter with sex-selective abortion or infanticide. This was infanticide; she looked as though she had been born, maybe a month old or something — I don’t know. Mother Teresa began her home for baby girls by picking up one little girl out of a trash can, these lives that are considered to be worthless.
What memories do you have of volunteering there?
I remember working one morning at Shishu Bhavan, and I was given the job of feeding this child who was about three-feet long, weighed about 20 pounds, and her spine was twisted like a dish rag. All of her limbs were going off in different directions. I thought she was maybe about 3 years old. I asked the sister how old she was, and she said about 21 or 22 years old. Her jaw had never really formed, so I was trying to feed her this porridge. She was lying up in bed; I held her head up and the porridge — she’d eat some, but most of it would pour down her chin and rest on her chest. So if I put her head back, the porridge would go out of the sides of her mouth and into her ears and into her hair. A sister was walking by, and I said: “How do I feed her? I don’t know what to do.” The sister said: “You’re doing just fine; that’s the way she eats.”
Then the sister said: “Why don’t you talk to her?” And I realized that, in my mind, because her body was so racked, I just assumed her mind would be the same way. But the sister said she understood English and Bengali, so I thought, “What am I going to say to this young woman?” I couldn’t think of what to say. I finally said: “So how did you find your breakfast?” And she broke into the sunniest smile — there was so much joy and so much love radiating in her smile, and I immediately saw that she was a spiritual giant; and I was a spiritual midget because, in those circumstances, I would never have been smiling like that. She had a smile that could light up the world.
Then I understood Mother Teresa’s position: Every single life, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the disability, is infinitely precious, and everyone deserves to be saved. And I’m so glad I can talk about this young woman because I want her witness to be out there. Her life was worth living because I’m telling you about this, and maybe you’ll tell more people about it. But that’s a huge inspiration for me.
It underlines the dignity of every individual.
The dignity of every individual, and the determination to save them, and that is the bedrock of my determination — to save these girls in China. It’s the impetus. They have an equal dignity to boys and have infinite value. They are infinitely precious, every single one of them.
And that inspiration goes back to Mother Teresa.
Yes, it goes back to her.
Another former porn star has denounced pornography as a most dangerous scourge.
In the wake of Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal and his subsequent divorce by his long-suffering wife Huma Abedin, Pamela Anderson, a former pornstar has drawn a correlation between porn use and wrecked marrages.
She writes in the WallStreet Journal, that Weiner’s scandal should “put to rest” any doubts one might have of “the addictive dangers of pornography.”
Anderson writes that, as a former Playboy model herself, she has “often warned about pornography’s corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father. This is a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness given how freely available, anonymously accessible and easily disseminated pornography is nowadays.”
She referred to pornography as “mass debasement,” “nefarious” and “the dark side of adult sexuality” that has not only “imploded” marriages but destroyed hordes of “talented men.”, and backed up her claims with statistics from the American Psychological Association that show that men who consume porn lead “less satisfactory intimate lives with their wives or girlfriends as a result of the consumption,” and compared these statistics to those of cocaine use by drug addicts to really hammer her message home.
She called pornography “a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness”. And concluded by saying “porn is for losers” and calls it “a boring wasteful and dead-end outlet for people too lazy to reap the ample rewards of healthy sexuality”.
These where the same words DJ Wade used to describe how he felt when his wife discovered his addiction:
One day, my wife, Belinda, pulled me aside and said she wanted to talk to me. She explained that she had seen the Internet History on my computer. She was exposed to all the sites I had looked at and wanted to know why I was looking at these sites. I had no choice but to admit my struggle to her and how long it had been a struggle.
She was crushed and simultaneously furious.
Belinda had every right to experience both of these emotions as I had broken our marriage vows via my pornography addiction and dishonesty. She then asked me what I planned to do about it. I had no answer, which only added to her pain. She then went for the jugular. She looked me square in my eyes and asked me what kind of example I was going to be to my sons. What was I going to say to them when its time to talk sex, lust and dating?
I was beyond embarrassed. I felt worthless. I thought I was a loser. I knew I was a liar.
The porn-saturated brain is fixated on sex, Dr. William Struthers explains, but real sex is intended for intimacy. The pornified brain is ready for multiple partners, images, and sexual possibilities, but it is intended for a narrow focus of exclusive sharing. Porn’s neurological superhighway is built for speed, but satisfying sex is designed for the slow and evolving discovery and appreciation of a loving partner. Porn provides few off-ramps (masturbation) that offer fleeting escapes that hasten the need for more. Meanwhile a committed couple can have long and satisfying encounters with many off ramps for creative expressions of intimacy that are not genitally oriented.
Pornographers promise healthy pleasure and relief from sexual tension, but what they often deliver is an addiction, tolerance, and an eventual decrease in pleasure. Paradoxically, the male patients I worked with often craved pornography but didn’t like it.
How porn hurts marital sex
Pornographers want people to believe that viewing porn is harmless entertainment and that it can even spice up one’s love life, but the opposite is true. Rather than encouraging intimacy, research shows that porn steals it away.
Porn encourages selfishness rather than an exchange of intimacy. Especially among men, who are more visually stimulated than women, porn teaches that women are objects for their lust. Women are just body parts, used for personal gratification.
Pornography trains men to be consumers, to treat sex as a commodity, to think about sex as something on-tap and made-to-order. As Dr. Mary Anne Layden writes, “It is toxic miseducation about sex and relationships.”6
Dr. Judith Reisman summarizes it well: Pornography causes impotence — an inability to function with your own sexual power. “If he has to imagine a picture, if he has to imagine a scene, in order to actually reach the heights of completion with this person, then he’s no longer with his own power, is he? He has been stripped. He has been hijacked. He has been emasculated. He has, in effect, been castrated visually.”
Porn and Erectile Dysfunction
If the concerns above were not enough, many men become so habituated to pornography that they experience erectile dysfunction when they are with their spouse. Rather than performing better, as pornography promises, many men find that they can only achieve consistent and sustained erections with porn.
Drs. Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson explained in Psychology Today that overstimulation with pornography creates changes in the brain that make a man less responsive to the physical pleasure of a real woman and hyper-responsive to Internet porn. Men become sensitized to Internet porn, but desensitized to sex in general, which requires more and more stimulation to achieve arousal. When preparing for real sex, the pornified brain fails to get its dopamine surge and the signal to the penis is too weak to achieve erection. But turn on an Internet device with unlimited pages of novelty, and boom, the plumbing works.
Fast-growing online communities of people who call themselves “Fapstronauts” complain that porn is the root of their problems with ED and premature ejaculation. “Fapping,” slang for masturbating to Internet porn, is causing these people so many troubles they banded together for support. One online community claims 50,000 members, and their goal is to encourage each other to avoid pornography and masturbation for 90 days in the hope of never going back.
Because of the brain’s plasticity, people once consumed by porn can rearrange their neural networks to enjoy only sexual intimacy with their spouse, and studies show these relationships to be the most satisfying.
For instance, male porn users often believe more partners will bring greater satisfaction. But a 2011 study of long-term committed relationships (with a median duration of 25 years) showed the opposite. The study showed that the longer a man was in a relationship, the more likely he enjoyed relational happiness and sexual satisfaction. Women, in turn, enjoyed sex less during the early years of their relationships and experienced greater satisfaction later.
Another study in 2010 showed that couples who delay sex until their wedding night enjoy more stable and happier marriages. They also rated the quality of sex and the satisfaction in their relationships 15% and 20% higher respectively than couples who had premarital sex.
The results of these studies are nothing new, Dr. Weiss says. Studies and surveys of married couples have shown positive sexual satisfaction results for decades.
The research shows that people who have consistent sex inside of a marriage — spiritually connected sex — have the best sexual satisfaction over time. The person that has the most sexual partners has the least level of sexual satisfaction as adults.
Unlike a porn video or a magazine, sex with a real-life committed partner has many points of arousal and satisfaction, from words and tones of voice, to touch, to the temperature of skin, and many other interactions. Yes, dopamine likes novelty. For the porn user that means more porn, but in a committed relationship novelty never has to end.
“Fortunately, lovers can stimulate their dopamine, keeping the high alive, by injecting novelty into their relationship,” Dr. Doidge writes. “When a couple go on a romantic vacation or try new activities together, or wear new kinds of clothing, or surprise each other, they are using novelty to turn on the pleasure centers, so that everything they experience, including each other, excites and pleases them.”
For minds and marriages wounded by porn, great sex and true intimacy will not arrive overnight. Repairing brokenness in marriage requires real work and determination. Building trust takes time.
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