Love is chaste (part one)

by Craig on January 17, 2011

I am single.

I am a man.

I am not a virgin.

But I abstain.

I have for many, many, many years.

But it sounds too fact-y.

There’s no art to it – no romance – no nuances of word or thought. So how can I write about this love – Love being chaste – and say how I feel and make it nuance-y instead of fact-y.

I think…

a little bit of fiction…

historical fiction.

I’m not Catholic – but I have a favorite Saint. A hero really.

Her name was Jeanne (pronounced like “one”,  and with a soft “J”,  and a lingering “n”).

In English we call her Joan.

Joan of Arc.

In French it’s Jeanne,

Jeane d’Arc

a fellow soldier,

a beacon to follow,

an icon of what is precious about the Catholic faith,

and yet, one who so challenged the bounds of the Catholicism of her day, that she could arguably be claimed by Protestants as one of the first Reformers.

She was a dream general,

a designer of world history,

and she was chaste.

Sit back, because this one will take a bit.

Fiction needs room to breath and this is going to have to breath over a few posts, maybe even the whole week. It’s an important love though. I want to let it breath as long as it needs.

So if she were here, and I asked, “Why chastity Jeanne?”

I think this would be the answer…

It’s because I had to fight a war for God and I couldn’t be distracted.

It’s because I needed to talk with God, my Saints, and our blessed Mother.

I had to be in a position to hear their voices.

It’s because I had to lead and set the example.

It’s because our Lord said not to – and I love our Lord.

It’s because it’s God’s body – and mine.

Together, we decide these things.

They all knew better than to try to force this or any other issue with me.

It’s also because I liked the way some men looked at me – but not others. They never thought I could tell, but I could.

Has there been attraction?

Of course.

But that’s not the issue,

I never married and so I always considered myself to be married to Our Lord and I would not have been unfaithful – ever!

I was just a girl. Then at sixteen, suddenly, I was with kings and royal people. Then I had an army – and a war to save my country. They called me “La Pucelle”. It’s French for one who was young and chaste, and when I was thirteen I promised our Lord to remain so.

I had plenty of opportunity to forsake the vow. But I never did. I set up boundaries not to be crossed. I cut off my long hair, which I loved, as much more than a military disguise. I wore men’s clothing, pants, as so much more than just rebellion. It was just necessary – and you know what I mean.

As a soldier, in the middle of an army of men,

I slept every night in my metal armor.

The men removed theirs and slept in their soft “civies”.

The ground was always hard,

the air was cold,

and wrapped in my blanket of steel,

sleep was a stranger.

But love is chaste,

and there’s always a price for love…


Please come back for part two.

This is an important love.

Chastity outside of marriage.

Fidelity inside.

Love on all sides.

In God’s Love.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 17, 2011 at 2:17 am

Beautiful. Can’t wait to read more.


Craig January 17, 2011 at 10:19 am

Thank you Michelle – just thanks – that’s all – almost wrote more – but just thanks. God Bless.


JennaFarelyn January 17, 2011 at 6:48 am

I grew up Catholic, attended Mass until I went away to college after my sophomore year in my hometown. So that’s about 20 years of exposure only to Catholicism. I learned quite a bit about saints. A whole lot about shame and guilt. A lot about reverence. Some about fear.

I think you’re right on about what Jeanne would say. And she is a great example of determination and devotion.


Craig January 17, 2011 at 10:22 am

Thank you Jeni. I think what you are doing with what you have learned is admirable.

And Jeanne? She is a shining example. I heart Jeanne of Arc.


Dawn January 17, 2011 at 8:41 am

Jeane d’Arc has always fascinated me. This is a series I will not miss.

You “fill her out” so beautifully capturing her character with the knowing of a chaste person.

Thanks for sharing,


Craig January 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

Dawn, she was a candle that burned so bright that I’m sometimes not sure a longer life would have been livable. She was born for a cause, for a moment, and she changed the history of the world. So much to admire. Thank you for reading. Really. God Bless.


Debbie January 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

Thank you so much for talking about this love . . .about being chaste. I haven’t heard that word for awhile and you are making it sound lovely. Not impossible. Not with Him. :) God bless you and all the ways He works through you!


Craig January 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

When I was a kid – and heard the words of “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha – I thought the word was “chased”

“to love, pure and chased from afar”


I was wrong – it’s better as “love, pure and chaste”

And it’s possible, and not easy for a single guy – but I’ve lived long enough to that it may also not be easy for married people. To love chaste in marriage involves sex – WITHIN the marriage. That’s a strange sounding thing isn’t it – that chastity involves sex? Hmm. Fidelity is chastity. God bless – thanks for being here Deb.


Renegades January 17, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Chaste is a word one doesn’t hear often in this modern world we are living in.

Thanks for sharing. For being real.

Thanks for praying for me. It’s appreciated. Thank you.


Craig January 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Will keep up the praying until told to stop. the road is long – we need people alongside us who get it – or at least try to – or at the very least pray. God bless you.


Rae January 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm

I love this post! So looking forward to the next one. A beautiful reflection.


Craig January 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Thank you Rae. Your approval means a lot – and is a guarantee I’m on the right track here. God bless.


Eryn {mamahall} January 17, 2011 at 5:22 pm

one word: love.


Craig January 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm

one word: beaming.


Anonymuss January 17, 2011 at 9:29 pm

The chastity you describe here seems to reflect a love that is both exquisitely beautiful and passiontely strong and devoted. What a breathtaking description you have given us! I love this post! I am also looking forward to learning more about Jeanne…thank you, Craig!


Craig January 17, 2011 at 9:31 pm

The chastity thing is ALL about love – all about love. I don’t know how someone can live a chaste life apart from God and love for him – what other reason would be good enough. I know none would have been, or would be, for me. Really glad you like this A. Thank you.


Bonnie Daniel Shelton January 30, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Moving. She has been a favorite of mine since I was a girl, but you use the memory of her for so much more. Thank you.


Craig January 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Bonnie, thank you for reading. I’ve been prepping for Blissdom for a week, then there – now back and recouping – do I haven’t read anyone – sorry – returning to normal now – and thank you for being here :)


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