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Pope Francis asks young people to be chaste: “Love is not a romantic feeling”

“I know that we have already won several souls through pleasure. Still, pleasure is His invention, not ours”, confesses the chief demon to the apprentice devil, in the famous fiction by C.S.Lewis (“The Screwtape Letters”). Sexual pleasure is a gift from God, but the Enemy has been effective in convincing people that only by sinning can they find joy in sex.

How do young Catholics date? Even though they are regular participants in Church activities, most of them date exactly like the pagans: having sex. Why? Because his mentality about love and sex is formed by images from movies, soap operas and TV series, much more than catechesis.

And so, they say: “I love my boyfriend (or girlfriend), so there is no problem in having sex with him”. Poor people, they confuse romantic feeling with love! And this is why they always end up disappointed.

In practically pleading for young people to be chaste, in one of his speeches, Pope Francis well knew that he was saying “a word that does not please, an unpopular word”. He was aware that his teaching would go in one ear and go out the other, for many in the audience.

Few young people are really committed to being free from the prevailing cultural conditioning in society. They want to belong to the Church, but without giving up acting like everyone else. They want to pass, to their friends, the image of being spiritual, but posing as moderns.

But we can’t blame only on young people. Many catechesis are a big fail! Certain leaders of youth groups do not even address the issue of sexuality (and thus sin by omission) and others insist on this point in a pathetic and legalistic way.

Trapped between the hedonistic world and church leaders unable to communicate the sense of chastity, young people miss the opportunity to experience the delights of that virtue. Yes, man: perhaps no one has told you, but whoever lives chastity in dating – lives from the heart, not as a weight – is rewarded with a feeling of inexplicable gratification!

The evil one deceives us with the idea that if we are chaste, we will be missing something. It puts suspicion in our hearts, makes us see God as someone who prevents us from living the best of life. Fool, we fall into this trap, and we do not realize that we are distracting ourselves with a pleasure that is nothing compared with the true and great pleasures that chastity can give us.

But this is a joy that only those who have faith can touch. It is the “pot at the end of the rainbow”, which the Lord reserves only for those who have faith in His Word and puts it into practice. I’m not even talking about the precious fruits that you can harvest later, at the wedding (the post would be huge).

Next, read carefully an excerpt that we highlight from a speech by Pope Francis to young people in Turin in 2015.

****

POPE FRANCIS

PASTORAL VISIT TO TURIN

JUNE, 21ST, 2015

But what is love? “Is it a soap opera, Father? What we see on tv programmes?” Some think that that is love. It is so good to speak of love, very beautiful, beautiful, beautiful things can be said. However, love has two axes on which it pivots, and if a person, a young person doesn’t have these two axes — these two dimensions of love — it’s not love. First of all, love is more in works than in words: love is concrete. […]

It’s not love to just say: “I love you, I love all people”. No. What do you do for love? Love gives itself. […]

And the second dimension, the second axis on which love pivots is that love is always communicated, that is, love listens and responds, love is built in dialogue, in communion: it is communicated. […] These two dimensions are very useful to understand what love is, which is not a romantic sentiment of the moment or a story, no. […]

And now, I know that you are good and will permit me to speak sincerely. I don’t want to be a moralist but I would like to say a word that isn’t liked, an unpopular word. Sometimes the Pope must also take risks to speak the truth. Love is in works, in communicating, but love is very respectful of people, it does not use people, that is, love is chaste. And to you young people in this world, in this hedonistic world, in this world where only pleasure, having a good time, and living the good life get publicity, I say to you: be chaste, be chaste.

All of us in life have gone through moments in which this virtue has been very difficult, but it is in fact the way of genuine love, of a love that is able to give life, which does not seek to use the other for one’s own pleasure. It is a love that considers the life of the other person sacred: “I respect you, I don’t want to use you, I don’t want to use you”. It’s not easy. We all know the difficulties in overcoming the “care-free” and hedonistic conception of love. Forgive me if I say something you weren’t expecting, but I ask you: strive to experience love chastely.

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