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Not the Destination...

Marriage is a journey, not a destination...

Love becomes a triumph

DSC_0625 Picture by Joseph Ambuul 2018

Below is the incredibly touching testimonial of a young French lady who, with her fiancé, chose abstinence until their wedding.

It didn't come naturally to her, though. After high-school, she had fallen into prostitution to make ends meet. She had been raped several times and was living with her boyfriend, soon to be fiancé.
She now writes to her priest:

 

Dear Father,

Before we parted, I spoke to you of my joy of chastity as fiancés, and it is this I am addressing in this letter.

Even when we had begun seriously discussing our future as a couple, I was not ready to see the importance of abstinence. I considered it old fashioned and I was resigned. Since we had already ‘done it,’ why stop? It was too late.
The little voice of my conscience whispered, though, that this was not the way things ought to be done. But I preferred not to listen to it. So be it, too bad for me, I would never live that, the wait for one man, for my man.

Only when he had proposed did a bolt of understanding go through me like lightning. I wanted to be pure for him, beautiful, and white, like my wedding dress.
I did not want a lie, a party for appearances sake, to pretend. I wanted to live that princess dream, that beauty of total self-giving. I wanted to wear my white dress not just because it was pretty but because of what it represented.

And I realized: what gift would I have left to offer him if I had already given everything? What gift can I give that only he will have, that will make him unique in my eyes, just as I will be in his? What makes our love so different from what we’ve already lived?
And I did not want to live in the regret of not having done things the right way.
I knew that our union as a couple would be tarnished without this wait, that our future would suffer for it.
And this—this is absolutely essential—to live this feeling of having repaired the past.

I have no shame in my life, and no guilt in showing off our chastity. It’s not old fashioned! It’s not cheesy! It’s courageous.
And people are surprised. They ask themselves questions, ask us questions, and in this world where the body is damaged, put on display like an object, it is past time to make our bodies witnesses to Love.
Let me reassure the most hesitant. No, people do not mock us. No, it is not shameful, if WE are not ashamed, if they see the joy on our faces, and see how beautiful it is to save yourselves one for the other. It is an absolute gift, rare and challenging.

Sex before marriage is, it must be recognized, quite taboo. Either we dare not ask the question, or we do not believe in abstinence, or we maintain a front, an illusion. Ether way it is more than rare that couples nowadays live in complete abstinence before marriage, Catholics included, and it is just as delicate a subject to talk about our ‘falls’ during the engagement.

Quite honestly, I had no idea how I would live this decision.  I had a vague feeling that it could be ‘good’ to be chaste, but I had no idea what was truly at stake, and no one had ever spoken to me of it. Truly, no one. Of all the married couples that I know, young or less young, for that matter, and of all the religious teachings I heard, none was able to speak to me enthusiastically about the beauty of preserving yourselves for each other. Some of you will say that I simply didn’t listen well. And yes, it was often repeated to us that it’s important, that it’s God’s will, that it muddies the waters of a relationship… So, yes, we’ve heard it all for a long time, over and over. And honestly, it has no more impact. We live it as an obligation, like a difficult chore.

But I had never heard that abstinence could be a source of joy, of growth, and, forgive me, but that abstinence is a sensual experience, in its beauty. Love becomes a triumph. I never found any couples, living together, who shone with joy at the chance to once again recover that innocence and vulnerability.

And yet… I can sing for myself the praises of this magnificent gift! And what joy! What happiness! To have my body blessed, to have known that intimacy with my fiancé. I can confirm how sweet it is to be chaste. How happy this waiting made us, how we felt washed clean. I have never in all my life been so respected by a man. He never speaks of it, but this choice, this respect of chastity, together, is the greatest mark of respect that I have felt as a woman.

You know, I am head over heels for him. But not only that. He makes me proud. Proud of myself, because he allows me to live a true, unblemished chastity, and helps me battle against my weaknesses. I have never felt more in control of my drives. I am rediscovering myself! And I am so very proud of him, of his support, and his will that never weakens. He is my pillar.

And so, Father, I beg you, tell other engaged couples that this is a magnificent adventure, that it is funny, and sweet, and that it is an infinite well of tenderness, to be chaste. Because waiting a few little months, that is nothing compared to a life together. This wait makes us enthusiastic, feverish, even, and solid partners for whatever comes next. And when it is with the right person, chastity is no longer a dead weight, no longer an impossible goal, or a frustrating chore. It elevates us, unites us, and grants us the intimacy of each other’s hearts.

I am beaming, a fiancée chaste and fulfilled.
I am filled with joy.
I wish you a good week, father, in union with the prayers of Our Lady.

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