from the New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism.

Chastity- the virtue of purity (the moral virtue which controls our inclinations toward sinful pleasures of the body) in thought, word and action.

What are the chief dangers to the virtue of chastity?

  • idleness
  • sinful curiosity
  • bad companions
  • drinking
  • immodest dress
  • indecent books, plays, and motion pictures or television shows

What are the chief means of preserving the virtue of chastity?

  • avoid carefully all unnecessary dangers
  • seek God’s help through prayer
  • frequent confession
  • Holy Communion
  • assistance at Holy Mass

Many fall because they do not avoid dangers. They go to movies which are objectionable, or which only adults should see. They read dangerous magazines, or newspapers. They associate too much with the opposite sex and try to excuse themselves by saying that they have no bad intentions. Good intentions alone are not sufficient. Human nature is very weak where purity is concerned, and we must keep far from all dangers, or sooner or later we shall fall.

The late Father John Hardon, S.J. was once asked about restoring chastity and the return to modesty, and this was his answer:

There is no chance of restoring chastity in the modern world without a return to modesty, especially among women. Immodesty in women’s dress and bodily behavior arouses men’s passions to sins against chastity. In His sermon on the mount, Christ declared that if a man even looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. The immodest attire and physical exposure of their bodies by women is part of the logic of the evil spirit to seduce men to internal and external sins against chastity. This is so true that it has become part of every paganized culture in the modern world. What we call immodesty becomes the accepted standard of a society, as in the United States. We who have the true faith must also have the courage to live up to our faith. On these grounds, the practice of Christian modesty is an apostolic responsibility of professed Catholics. We have the duty to promote chastity by our own practice and promotion of modesty.

More about chasity from Father Hardon can be found here.

2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.131 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.132 CCC

2394 Christ is the model of chastity. Every baptized person is called to lead a chaste life, each according to his particular state of life. CCC

To learn more about the virtue of chastity, read this section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Prayer to St. Joseph

Holy St. Joseph, father and protector of virgins, to whose faithful keeping Christ Jesus and Mary, the virgin of virgins, were committed, by these dearest pledges, Jesus and Mary, I beseech and conjure You that I may always serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity with a spotless mind, a clean heart, and a chaste body. Amen