Virginia Mervar

Summer lovin’

By  Virginia Mervar, Youth Speak News
  • June 27, 2014

School is finally out, and with the beach, the sun and all the adventure plans, it’s the perfect time for some sweet summer lovin’. However, summer romances tend to be about feeling good and having fun instead of authentic love.

It’s not impossible to meet your future spouse in the summer, though I have found it rare for summer flings and hook-ups to develop into loving relationships. A fling skips the entire foundation of friendship that a loving relationship needs in order to flourish, and this fleeting relationship is built on an immediate spark that will eventu-ally extinguish. Romance alone is not enough for a relationship to work; it needs authentic love, and the best place to find that love is in God.

While reading a number of blogs from the Chastity Project web site (founded by Theology of the Body speakers Jason and Crystalina Evert), I’ve found the secret to having an amazing summer that is full of life and love. With Theology of the Body becoming more popular among young Catholics, it is easy to immediately associate purity and love with chastity. This as-sociation isn’t bad; however, it can become confusing when one is watching summer romances in films such as Grease or The Notebook that pull on the heart strings but aren’t pure or chaste.

Chastity is the virtue that applies to one’s sexuality, and yes, involves abstaining from sex before marriage. But it also involves self-restraint, modesty and total purity. The beauty of chastity is that it is not a list of restrictions but guides that allow you to live and love freely, and if a relationship is built with the foundation of chastity, love will grow so much stronger from that foundation. Living chastely leaves oneself open to experience authentic love. It allows one to give love and receive love in ways that won’t lead to heartbreak and loneliness.

Chastity, powerful as it is, is not the only criteria for having a summer — and hopefully a lifetime — full of love: charity is also key to unconditional and authentic love. Living charita-bly extends beyond romance. It includes loving one’s self and neighbour with kindness and self-lessness, creating a lifestyle habit that will extend to the ones you love most. So instead of looking for a summer fling, seek to live the virtues of chastity and charity, which is answering God’s call to live freely and fully, all for love and all for God.

Unconditional and authentic love is the love God has for us and ultimately who God is. God is love, and since we were made in His image and likeness, we were made in love, by love and for love. As St. Paul writes, “love is patient, love is kind, it is not rude or self serving... Love never ends.”

If love never ends, everyone not only deserves more, but is made for more than a relation-ship that stops when September starts.

(Mervar, 18, is a first-year English and Religion student at the University of Toronto.) 

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