A Catholic evangelist discussed chastity’s importance in relationships and the reasons why it is such a difficult virtue to practice in a talk Sunday evening, which was filled with dozens of students who pushed the Gentile Gallery to its restricted capacity limit.
Franciscan graduate and youth minister Everett Fritz addressed common issues with sex in today’s culture and stressed the importance of keeping the correct context of sex. He shared a story of when his wife commented that sex outside of the context of marriage makes no sense.
“If we’re taking (sex) out of its proper context, we’re actually communicating to (our significant other) a falsehood about God’s love,” Fritz said.
Contrary to the secular mindset of sex, Fritz told students that while the road to chastity is difficult, and even though important figures in the Bible have failed, there are ways to recognize and combat lustful thoughts.
“God creates us, St. Augustine said, with about four different faculties: the intellect, the will, the emotions, the passions,” Fritz said. “Your intellect saves your emotions from controlling you. And so one of the first things you must do … (is) form your intellect better.”
Fritz also stressed the importance of the self-giving aspect of love and sex.
“Man does not fully find himself except by making a sincere gift of self,” Fritz said. “Every human person desires one thing … and that’s love … to make a sincere gift of yourself, to will the good of another.”
Fritz ended his talk with words of encouragement for those who have entered into sexual relations, reminding the crowd that losing virginity does not disqualify a person from practicing chastity.
“Jesus says, ‘Behold, I make all things new,’” Fritz said. “At the end of the day, you are absolutely able to be made whole.”
Fritz is the founder of St. Andrew ministries, which is devoted to teaching youth the Catholic faith.
Fritz’s talk was sponsored by Franciscan Life as part of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s annual Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium.