Chastity Education in Stages: Teen Years

Temptations against chastity will be very strong in the teen years.  "Therefore, suitable advice should always be given regarding how to grow in the love of God and one's neighbor, and how to overcome any difficulties:  'These means are: discipline of the senses and the mind, watchfulness and prudence in avoiding occasions of sin, the observance of modesty, moderation in recreation, wholesome pursuits, assidious prayer and frequent reception fo the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist.  Young people especially should foster devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God'" (Truth and Meaning, 71).

The following video, Blessed are the Pure in Heart, was created for a teenage audience and features the stories of how five saints overcame struggles with impurity.  Just be sure to turn up the volume for quieter parts of the video!
St. Jerome overcame his sinful sexual thoughts by putting his whole heart and mind into lthe wholesome pursuit of learning Hebrew.  St. Rose of Lima learned to observe modesty and humility.  St. Benedict overcame lustful thoughts by throwing himself into a  thornbush to discipline his senses and his mind.  St. Theresa of Avila overcame her emotional struggle of longing for an impure relationship by devoting herself to prayer and focusing on the face of Christ.  Blessed Pier Giorgio's desire to marry a girl his parents did not approve of was threatening their marriage, and so he overcame his desire by frequently receiving the Eucharist and devoting himself to carrying out the Beatitudes.  Lastly, St. Gianna resisted the tempation of sexual sin by researching all movies before going to the theatre.  These saints are wonderful witnesses of chastity and purity for teenagers, and are wonderful saints to ask intercession of.  The means by which they overcame their struggles are practical suggestions for teenagers today, as well.


Deeper understanding of Chastity and Vocations

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A significant aspect of adolescent development in later teen years is a serach to discover one's vocation.  Chastity education in this stage should be aimed at helping the teen learn more about the Vocations of Marriage, Priesthood and Religious Life.  (See the Chastity and Vocations Tab for mor detailed information on this.) 

A deeper study of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body is beneficial for older teenagers, to come to a more complete understanding of their sexuality, and how sexuality is lived as self-gift in marriage.  Jason Evert co-authored a wonderful curriculum called Theology of the Body for Teens which would help parents and catechists lead teens in the search for a deeper understanding of the spirituality of sexuality.  More information on this curriculum is listed as a sub-page under this page about Chastity in the Teen Years (see tabs at the top!).


Resources:

* The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education Within the Family published by The Pontifical Council for the Family  (paragraphs 98-111 deal with later adolescence)