Here are some highlights:
Who most needs to read your book? Who were you writing for? I ask, in part, because, as I read it, you spoke straight to my heart, so eloquently and deftly.
My prime audience is single Catholic adults who have been chewed up, swallowed and spit out by the dating culture. Having missed the memo on abstinence, they are now seeking a happier way to live and love than what society is offering them. I want them to have the kind of book that I wish had been there for me when divine grace brought me to want to bring my lifestyle in line with God’s will.
But in a larger sense, The Thrill of the Chaste is for everyone who suffers from existential loneliness — which, I think, really means everyone. Deep down, we all long for a person who understands us and loves us perfectly. But even if we find our soulmate in marriage, sooner or later, like the Cher song says, we all sleep alone. What do we do when we realize that no human being will truly satisfy us?
I write for people who suffer this tension of living in the “now and not yet,” and I seek to give them hope through reflecting on how, even in this world, we can experience a foretaste of Christ’s transfiguration of our bodies, as the Catechism says (1000). We experience it through our participation in the Eucharist, in which Christ gives us his own embodied love and shows us how to embody that same divine love to others.
At one point, you say, “Chastity is so out, it’s in.” Why do you think this topic has become such a hot topic? Why is this a topic people should read about, i.e., in your book (instead of just googling or reading chastity blogs)?
Chastity is in because it’s rebellious. Practically the entire culture — certainly the whole of mainstream media, driven by advertising — is geared toward reducing human persons to objects. The chaste individual bucks the system because he or she refuses to buy into this culture of objectification. When we choose to be chaste, we assert our dignity as human persons, whose value is in who we are — not what we do or have done to us, what we wear or what we own.
As far as why it’s better to read a book like mine than to just search online or read chastity blogs, I’ve got nothing against blogs; parts of the original Thrill first appeared on my own Dawn Patrol. But I think that a person who wants to make real and lasting change in his or her life needs to have an in-depth resource that can be consulted and reflected upon over time — a bedside companion, if you will, but of the chaste variety.Read the full interview, and click the tabs at the top of this page for more information about me and my apostolate, including podcasts of talks on chastity and spiritual healing.