Young Adults

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Why I Chose to be Chaste

I decided very early on in my life that I was going to wait until marriage to have sex. I can’t take all the credit for being some amazingly religious and reverent young man who was destined for greatness in following every verse and commandment I had ever known. Surely being in a private, Catholic school since the third grade [...]

“St. Mary of Egypt” (detail) – Sketch © by Judith Costello“St. Mary of Egypt” (detail) – Sketch © by Judith Costello

Mother Mary and the Other Marys — Saints for Today’s Girls

Imagine living the life of a prostitute from age 12 to 29! Prostitution leaves a woman hardened and scarred. It must surely turn the heart into a stone because sex, which is a God-ordained gift of vulnerable union, has been turned into a crass money-making abuse of the body. So who is the 17-year-prostitute and why should we care? Mary [...]

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The Battle for Purity

The battle for purity is ultimately fought deep in the recesses of the human heart. Our hearts were made to love, but since the Fall, they have been tainted by a desire to use others. This effect of original sin is seen perhaps most dramatically in our encounters with the opposite sex, wherein our hearts often are drawn to the [...]

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Resenting Chastity

Virtue is not something simply lacking in the modern world. It is something many in the modern world actually resent. That’s a point that Pope St. John Paul II – then Karol Wojtyla – makes when beginning his teaching on chastity in his book Love and Responsibility. Why is virtue resented by many people today? First, living the virtuous life is [...]

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Love and… Responsibility?

It is routinely pointed out that about half of all marriages end in divorce. But what is not often discussed is the other half of the equation: the marriages that don’t break up. Are those marriages thriving? Do married couples that stay together feel truly close to one another? Do they achieve true, lasting, personal intimacy? The picture on this [...]

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The Quiet Voice that Calls You

I remember years ago having to write an essay for an English class on the topic, “Why I Write.” I wish I could find the essay and see what I had to say about my reasons for writing back in high school. Although the decade-old assignment is likely tucked in a clutter of papers on a dusty closet shelf somewhere, [...]

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Love & Responsibility — The Law of Gift

How does a person know if he is in a relationship of authentic, committed love or just in another disappointing romance that will not stand the test of time? That’s what John Paul II — then Karol Wojtyla — addresses in the next section of his book, Love and Responsibility, when he discusses the two sides of love. According to Wojtyla, [...]

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Sense and Sentimentality — How Could Mr. Right Turn Out to be So Wrong?

Many young people have had the experience of feeling that they were in love with someone who at first seemed absolutely wonderful, only later to be greatly disappointed in the person, disillusioned about the relationship, and perhaps even down on the opposite sex as a whole. In his book Love and Responsibility, Blessed John Paul II — then Karol Wojtyla [...]

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Avoiding Fatal Attractions

A man eating lunch at a restaurant notices an attractive woman at another table, and is immediately drawn to her beauty. His heart stirs, and he finds himself wanting to see her again. Yet, this is not the first time she has caught his eye. And his attraction to her is more than physical. She works for the same large [...]

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Beyond the Sexual Urge

In our first reflection on Pope John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility, we considered the “personalist principle,” which says that we should not treat other persons merely as a means to an end. In particular, we saw how utilitarianism weakens our relationships by getting us to value people primarily in terms of some pleasure or benefit we receive from our [...]