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Archive for September, 2011

Register for Family Honor’s online course! Semester begins Jan. 3!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

We face a culture that is confused about the meaning of true love, the purpose of the family, the dignity of life, and God’s gift of sexuality. Knowing who we are in the eyes of God and understanding the unique plan He has for our bodies is the bedrock of our personal self-worth as well as how we treat others. Only by restoring the nature and dignity of the human person will our society find true freedom to love and discover the individual fulfillment that God desires for each of us!Learn more about “The Truth and Meaning of Sexuality, Love & Family” here!

Chastity vs. Abstinence?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Are Chastity and Abstinence the same thing? NO

Is Chastity good and Abstinence bad? NOT REALLY

Let’s look at this comparison chart to see some of the differences between chastity and abstinence.

Chastity
Abstinence
Identity related – Who I am Chastity is becoming a virtuous person in every aspect of who I am. I reverence God’s gift of sexuality. Behavior related – What I do Abstinence is a conscious decision I make to abstain from sexual behavior / sexual intercourse.
When I practice chastity, I say “Yes” to channeling sexual desire into loving actions. When I abstain, I say “No” to sexual desire.
When I live chastity, I gain self–mastery When I practice abstinence I practice self-denial.
When I practice the virtue of chastity I receive a gift from God, a grace – the fruit of a spiritual effort. The practice of abstinence helps me learn to wait – to delay gratification.
Chastity helps me become more Christ-like. I imitate the purity of Jesus. Abstinence is an act of my will that avoids acting on sexual desire and passion.
Chastity is a virtue for my whole life whether I am single, married, or vowed religious. Abstinence can be a right choice for me at a particular time in my life.


So then, abstinence is a good behavior in its own right. Abstinence actually can be the restraint needed to better practice the virtue of chastity. But because chastity is a virtue it is so much more than abstinence.

Chastity is living with our sexual desires rightly directed. To love another sexually is to respect the dignity of the person, to reverence the gift of his body, and to restrain oneself in a manner that always puts the good of the other ahead of one’s own desire.

As Pope John Paul II said, “Chastity frees love from selfishness and aggression.” If Christ-like love is the purpose and meaning of our life as sexual persons then chastity is one of the virtues that enables us to fulfill our purpose.

What can help us grow in the virtue of chastity? What can help us grow in all the moral virtues related to chastity like, modesty, humility and purity of mind and heart?

First of all, it is important to grow in your faith and relationship with Jesus Christ through study: Religious Education classes, Youth Group, retreats, books, and good websites. Prayer and regular Mass attendance and receiving the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist are essential for growing in virtue.

And as a reminder here are some Practical Tips for Chastity for Girls and Guys.

Practical Helps for Chastity for Guys
Practical Helps for Chastity for Girls
Choose friends who share your values.
Hang out with guys who will help you make good choices.
Be proud of practicing chastity and share it with your friends.
Choose friends who share your values.
Make friendships that will help you make good choices.
Be proud of practicing chastity and share it with your friends.
Don’t be a fool and depend on yourself alone.
Become a young man of prayer and stay near to Christ.
Receive Eucharist and Reconciliation often. God always forgives.
Have purity and modesty in your thoughts, words and actions
What you see & hear you will start to think; what you think will lead to how you act.
Choose books, music, & movies about pure friendship & romance. Fill your mind & heart with goodness.
Be modest and respectful in conversations, texting and on-line.
Show others the real YOU! SPICE (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional)
Your SEX is who you are as a man, not something you do.
Develop each of the spokes on your SPICE wheel.
When your self-esteem “tire” is low remember the “rim” – your true worth.
Advertise your SPICE! Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, Emotional, YOU!!
Develop each of your SPICE petals; rejoice in and realize your uniqueness as an image of God.
Your SEX is who you are as a woman, not something you do. Present the total YOU to others.
What you look like may be what guys notice first, but how you act is what they remember most.
Keep your thoughts, words and actions clean and pure
Garbage in/Garbage out! Seeing & hearing Thinking Actions.
Use clean language and be respectful in your talk, texting and on-line.
Walk away from friends who talk disrespectfully about sex, women or the body.
Sacraments and daily prayer will give you strength to practice virtue.
Receive the Eucharist and Reconciliation often. God always forgives.
Tune out and turn off unchaste media.
Have the courage to leave a movie, change a channel, put down a magazine, get off-line, or delete a text message if it is not respectful and chaste.
Guard your hearts and minds.
Remember Jesus and Mary are with you always, wanting what’s best for you.
Tune out and turn off media messages that promote immoral, unchaste behavior.
Have the courage to leave a movie, change a channel, get offline, & delete a text message if it is not respectful.
Guard your heart and mind.
Remember Jesus and Mary are with you always wanting what is best for you.
Get used to saying “NO!”
Say “No” to temptation by getting involved. Get busy with athletics, projects, service or friendships.
Involve yourself in activities that use your talents and share your gifts with others.
Be involved, be helpful, and be busy. Chastity is about loving well by making a gift of yourself to others.
Treat girls with respect and reverence as images of God.
Remember that a girl’s body is God’s dwelling place. Treat her with respect.
Expect her to treat you with respect.
Treat boys with respect and reverence as images of God.
Remember that a boy’s body is God’s dwelling place. Treat him with respect.
Expect him to treat you with respect.
Your life is a gift from God; make a gift of yourself back to God and others by the way you love.
Love is more than a feeling. Love is a decision; a choice to treat everyone with respect, reverence and restraint.
Your life is a gift from God; make a gift of yourself back to God and others by the way you love.
Love is more than a feeling. Love is a decision; a choice to treat everyone with respect, reverence and restraint.


Also for a good explanation of chastity check out these videos!
Why Chastity: http://www.youtube.com/user/jasonevert#p/c/128EFC02351EB007/24/UOKlBs9Tdjc

What is Chastity?: http://www.youtube.com/user/jasonevert#p/c/128EFC02351EB007/25/BZajdR6Q-Lw

What’s the difference between Chastity and Abstinence?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Do Chastity and Abstinence mean the same thing?  NO

Is there a difference between Abstinence Education and Chastity Education?  YES

You may be hearing a lot about abstinence or abstinence-based education. Maybe you are wondering if this is the same as the chastity-based education that families receive in Family Honor programs.

First of all, abstinence-based education programs are not all on the same page. The goal of Abstinence-until-Marriage programs is to educate young people and create an environment within communities that supports teen decisions to postpone sexual activity until marriage.

Abstinence “but” or Abstinence “plus” programs claim to emphasize abstinence and delaying sexual activity but in addition these programs teach young people about how to use contraceptives and may also teach teens about types of non-intercourse sexual behavior like mutual masturbation to avoid pregnancy.

How is a Chastity Program different? Let’s first look at the difference between Chastity and Abstinence.

 

Chastity
Abstinence
Identity related – Who I am Chastity is becoming a virtuous person in every aspect of who I am. I reverence God’s gift of sexuality. Behavior related – What I do Abstinence is a conscious decision I make to abstain from sexual behavior / sexual intercourse.
When I practice chastity, I say “Yes” to channeling sexual desire into loving actions. When I abstain, I say “No” to sexual desire.
When I live chastity, I gain self–mastery When I practice abstinence I practice self-denial.
When I practice the virtue of chastity I receive a gift from God, a grace – the fruit of a spiritual effort. The practice of abstinence helps me learn to wait – to delay gratification.
Chastity helps me become more Christ-like. I imitate the purity of Jesus. Abstinence is an act of my will that avoids acting on sexual desire and passion.
Chastity is a virtue for my whole life whether I am single, married, or vowed religious. Abstinence can be a right choice for me at a particular time in my life.

 

So then abstinence is a good behavior in its own right. Abstinence actually can be the restraint needed to better practice the virtue of chastity. But because chastity is a virtue it is so much more than abstinence. Chastity is living with our sexual desires rightly directed.

To love another sexually is to respect the dignity of the person, to reverence the gift of his/her body, and to restrain oneself in a manner that always puts the good of the other ahead of one’s own desire. As Blessed John Paul II said, “Chastity frees love from selfishness and aggression.”

Chastity Education programs teach that the virtue of chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person. Chastity reverences that God’s plan for sexual intercourse is twofold:  bringing forth new life and bonding a man and woman in a lifelong committed marriage.

Family Honor is a Chastity Education program provider that has a dimension unlike any other program. Family Honor programs provide opportunities for parents and their children to come together to learn about chastity and God’s gift of sexuality. Family Honor programs empower parents to be the primary sexuality educators of their children by giving them hope, tools and a plan for guiding their young person in living a virtuous life – a life that brings real joy, peace and fulfills their God-ordained purpose to love others with Christ-like love.

For some additional audio and video resources on specific topics, visit http://www.chastity.com/research/audio/video-vault/audiovideo-vault.

For practical tips to help your child practice the virtue of chastity, see the Practical Helps for Chastity for Guys and Girls under the Teen Tab on this website.

Family Honor presents “Real Love & Real Life” in Mt. Pleasant, SC!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

On September 16 and 17, a team of Family Honor presenters traveled to Christ Our King parish in Mt. Pleasant, SC, offering South Carolina’s first Real Love & Real Life program of the year in the Charleston, SC area. Twenty-six families participated in this unique, interactive and fun event. Parents and students participated in skits and games; learned a variety of communication techniques and what it means to be a good listener; and had time to focus on specific topics of conversation within their family. Teens also came to understand what real love is all about; learned the value of taking small steps when it comes to future dating; and found out more about God’s gift of sexuality.

Christ Our King is a long-standing host site for Family Honor and is currently utilizing the organization’s Real Love & Real Life program as part of Confirmation preparation for their 8th grade students.

“Very educational, open, friendly, easy-to-understand and fun!”

That is one of many enthusiastic comments made by parents who participated in Family Honor’s Real Love & Real Life program. When asked what they liked most about the program, here is some of what the parents said:

  • Real Love & Real Life told us that we all have value because we are His children and we are all an image of God.
  • Real Love & Real Life addressed the issues head on;
  • Real Love & Real Life had friendly and committed presenters;
  • Real Love & Real Life teaches children to respect themselves;
  • Real Love & Real Life gave me an opportunity to hear my daughter’s concerns;
  • Real Love & Real Life’s TEEN presenters provided great role-models for the students;
  • Real Love & Real Life opened up communication between me and my child for the future;
  • Real Love & Real Life offered us the ability to talk about sex and family.

When teen participants were asked what they liked most about the Real Love & Real Life they responded with some of the following comments:

  • I liked the way the presenters talked about developing in all areas of life through SPICE;
  • I learned what chastity means, how to live chastely and to respect my body;
  • It was great to learn about life, real love and being created in God’s image.

For more information on how to bring a Family Honor program to your parish or diocese, please contact us at 803-929-0858.

Am I a Good Father?

Friday, September 30th, 2011

by Brian CaulfieldEvery man who has a child wants, deep down, to know the answer to this question. And he wants the answer to be: Yes, I am a good father.But how do we dads find the answer we are looking for? Fathers come in all descriptions, with different temperaments, gifts, abilities, habits, virtues and ways of relating and getting the job of fatherhood done. There is no single or simple definition of a good father.Yet this can be a good thing. We are free to be a good father in the way that we think best – hopefully, in the way that God calls us to be – and we can use our uncertainty to always seek improvement. If we’re a good dad today, we can be a better one tomorrow. We can always be open to learning more and changing for the better.To help you with the job of reflection and self-assessment, Fathers for Good has put together an informal survey. The 14 questions, culled from input from a wide range of fathers, are designed to help you figure where you are as a father, and how you can grow in your role. You can find the survey here. Don’t worry, this is a self-evaluation. No one else will see your score, and we are not collecting responses. One father who took the evaluation said it was like going through an examination of conscience. That’s the idea.It might be helpful to go over a few of the questions to highlight some of the virtues needed to be a good father, and the pitfalls that can wreak havoc on your life and the life of your children.Let me start with a little self disclosure. The question I score lowest on is: “I control my temper when disciplining.” When one of the dads I asked for input suggested that this be put in the survey, I said, “Ouch!” I am usually a pretty even-tempered guy and not too much can get me riled. But when one of my boys is persistently disobedient or simply does not listen, I can lose my cool, and send out flares of anger. I would never get that angry over the bad behavior of another child, or even the betrayal of a long-time friend. But when my own children act out, it hits me in the gut – they are the offspring of my own flesh, a reflection of my soul – and I sometimes react without thinking; the very thing I tell them not to do.This is not to say that fathers should be totally emotionless when correcting or disciplining. Sometimes a little controlled anger can get the attention of your kid and force him to think twice before misbehaving again. But the key word is “controlled.” Your anger should not become the dominant message in the discipline, so that the actual corrective message is drowned out by the shouting or the bile rising in your eyes. Your child should not feel demeaned or belittled by your anger. Rather, your child should sense the fairness that tempers your discipline, so that he develops his own internal control through witnessing your example.Another absolutely vital issue is pornography use. All men should avoid porn, but fathers should be especially careful in this area. Studies have shown that a large majority of children older than 10 have been exposed to porn, many of them by discovering racy magazines stashed away at home, or happening upon their dads viewing porn on the internet. Not only can porn harm your child’s self-image and sexual development, it also harms your wife. It is, quite simply, a form of infidelity that has no place in family life.Another challenge on the survey is: “I pray with my children, and for them.” St. Katharine Drexel, who was born to a wealthy Philadelphia family and founded a religious order dedicated to serving Native and African Americans, told this very moving story about her father. When she was a girl, she was looking for her father, who was a successful businessman. She was very disappointed when she couldn’t find him in the large house, and wondered what he could be doing that was more important than being with her. One of the servant girls took her by the hand, brought her to the maid’s entrance to her parents’ room and silently ushered her in. Her father was on his knees, his head on the bed, praying fervently, still dressed in his fine business clothes. This quiet witness impressed the young Katharine, and was a strong influence on her decision to use her inheritance for founding a community dedicated to the poor.Sound too pious or impossible for an “ordinary” dad? Let’s not fool ourselves. God has called us to be the father of our children, knowing each hair on their heads as he entrusts these immortal souls to our human care. This is serious business, and we need to pray often and earnestly. Am I a good father? The answer begins with prayer.pastedGraphic.pdf(The views expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Headline Bistro or the Knights of Columbus.)http://www.headlinebistro.com/en/columnists/caulfield/062110.html

Family Honor profiled on EWTN! Watch the interview here!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

On September 21, Family Honor’s Executive Director, Brenda Cerkez, was a guest on EWTN Live! Fr. Mitch Pacwa talked with Brenda about a variety of topics including building parent-teen relationships, communication techniques, being a good listener, chastity education, and whole-person development.

Brenda shared with Fr. Mitch and the viewing audience about Family Honor programs as well as becoming a Family Honor presenter.

In additional to several questions from the studio audience, Brenda answered questions from all over the United States including Florida, Ohio, and Wyoming!

You can see the entire interview here.

Family Honor’s Linda Gaviria on local Catholic program, Raleigh, NC

Friday, September 30th, 2011
Family Honor on In Person with Dina Marie Show, Portland OR

Friday, September 30th, 2011

From July 19

Family Honor on WNOP Radio, Cincinnati, OH

Friday, September 30th, 2011

From July 22, 2011

Family Honor on Kresta in the Afternoon

Friday, September 30th, 2011

From July 25, 2011

Family Honor on Kresta in the Afternoon