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Part Three

The integrity of the person

2338

The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of

life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the

person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It

tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.

125

2339

Chastity includes an

apprenticeship in self-mastery

which is

a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man

governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be domi­

nated by them and becomes unhappy.

126

“Man’s dignity therefore

requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and

drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses

in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity

when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses

forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his

diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited

to this end.”

127

2340

Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal prom­

ises and resist temptations will want to adopt the

means

for doing

so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations

that confront him, obedience to God’s commandments, exercise of

the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. “Indeed it is through

chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity

from which we were fragmented into multiplicity.”

128

2341

The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of

temperance,

which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of

the senses with reason.

2342

Self-mastery is a

long and exacting work.

One can never

consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort

at all stages of life.

129

The effort required can be more intense in

certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed

during childhood and adolescence.

125 Cf.

Mt

5:37.

126 Cf.

Sir

1:22.

127

GS

17.

128 St. Augustine,

Conf.

10, 29, 40: PL 32, 796.

129 Cf.

Titus

2:1-6.

1767

2015

1809

409