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Life in Christ

563

2343

Chastity has

laws of growth

which progress through stages

marked by imperfection and too often by sin. “Man . . . day by day

builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he

knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of

growth.”

130

2344

Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also

involves a

cultural effort,

for there is “an interdependence between

personal betterment and the improvement of society.”

131

Chastity

presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the

right to receive information and an education that respect the moral

and spiritual dimensions of human life.

2345

Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a

grace,

a fruit of spiritual effort.

132

The Holy Spirit enables one whom the

water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.

133

The integrality of the gift of self

2346

Charity is the

form

of all the virtues. Under its influence,

chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery

is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to

become a witness to his neighbor of God’s fidelity and loving

kindness.

2347

The virtue of chastity blossoms in

friendship.

It shows the

disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his

friends,

134

who has given himself totally to us and allows us to

participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of

immortality.

Chastity is expressed notably in

friendship with one’s neigh-

bor.

Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite

sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual

communion.

130

FC

34.

131

GS

25 § 1.

132 Cf.

Gal

5:22.

133 Cf.

1 Jn

3:3.

134 Cf.

Jn

15:15.

2223

2525

1810

1827

210

374