Can you give some encouragement and advice for men like me trying their best to practice chastity to not fall into self disgust and feelings of uselessness? Are women inherently more integrated than men? What advice can you give to those of us trying to have holy marriages but are really struggling with our own spouse
Ask Christopher West is a weekly podcast in which Theology of the Body Institute President Christopher West and his beloved wife Wendy share their humor and wisdom, answering questions about marriage, relationships, life, and the Catholic faith, all in light of John Paul II’s beautiful teachings on the Theology of the Body.
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Q1: I have really felt God speaking to me through this podcast and it has been such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
I am 24 years old and am currently in a serious relationship. My girlfriend is amazing. We’ve been making our way through Love and Responsibility together and I’ve been struggling not to fall into self disgust for myself as a man. I have been growing in chastity over this past year and it has been such a journey that I can only thank God for the Grace He has given me. But I’ve found myself doubting the purpose of the male body. Women seem to have an easier time controlling their thoughts and bodies when it comes to physical desire and sensuality. As a man, it has always been hard. I still get thoughts which I try not to entertain. Is there a purpose to these? Can you give some encouragement and advice for men like me trying their best to practice chastity to not fall into self disgust and feelings of uselessness? How can my sensual desires be a gift rather than just a hindrance?
Q2: Could you explain this quote from Saint Edith Stein?
"The relationship of soul and body is not completely similar in man and woman; with woman, the soul's union with the body is naturally more intimately emphasized... woman's soul is present and lives more intensely in all parts of the body, and it is inwardly affected by that which happens to the body."
Q3: I love your marriage and the way the two of you interact and look at each other. What steps have you both taken to have the marriage you have today? What did you do when you were really struggling (individually and/or together)? What advice can you give to those of us trying to have holy marriages but are really struggling with our own spouse - maybe deep wounds from the past they don't address (and possibly don't want to address with you)?
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Christopher and Wendy hope their advice is helpful to you, but they are not licensed counseling professionals. If you are dealing with serious issues, please consult our list of trusted professionals.
Featuring music by Mike Mangione.