Sister, I was wondering if you could shed some light on a particular subject. Being a young woman, of course I find the opposite sex very desirable and attractive. To someone who is currently living a chaste life, what does one do with the desires that one has? I know it is not a sin to desire certain things as a female, but since I'm chaste, where is the line drawn? I could just be over-thinking this subject too. I thought perhaps you may have some interesting insight given that you are both a woman AND a religious:)
No, I can't.
I'd like to leave it at that, but I can't do that either.
News flash: religious don't run around talking to each other on this topic. With the exception of our confessors, yammering about our 'desires' is dangerous territory. It can be just another way to wallow in those desires.
It's a conundrum that people often carp about the clergy and religious giving out marriage and sex advice when the clergy and religious are not involved in either. The truth is the opposite. The clergy and religious deal with these issues more than other people do. Way more. Just differently.
We are married, for one thing, to a demanding spouse. And we don't just remain chaste until the right man comes along. We remain chaste forever.
But we don't run around talking about it.
And I'm old. There's that.
The best I can do is at least address where "the line" is. Let's start with a list of things you can't do:
1.Think about sex too much.
2. Have sex with anyone to who you are not currently married.
3. Look at pornography.
We've already encountered one of those lines. For example: "But Sister, how do I tell the difference between art and pornography?" If what you are looking at makes you think about sex too much, it is pornography, even if it isn't pornography, it is pornography for you..
5. Use filthy language. Using filthy language may cause you or the person you are talking with to think about sex too much.
6. Wear clothing that causes other people to sin. When you cause other people to sin, that is a sin you have committed, as you are responsible for the other person's sin.
The Church in Her wisdom understands that you actually can't help but think about sex. Sex will pop into your mind at all hours of the day and night. That's not a sin. That's your brain at work.
But once those thought pop in there, it's your job to pop them right back out again. Say a rosary, take a cold shower, kneel on dried peas. What do you think hair shirts were for?
If any of those things cause you tho think about sex even more because you are a sexual deviant who enjoys pain, don't do those things. Stick to the rosary.
What does one do with the desire one has? Fill your time and your head with the Spiritual and Corporal works of mercy. You're supposed to do that anyhow. Step it up.
If you have any time left over, become a long distance runner. Take up archery. Play ping pong. You have four years til the next Olympics.