Chastity speaker equips students with tools for emotional virtue


Your heart was made to love, but your head was meant to lead, renowned author Sarah Swafford said to Franciscan University students in the Gentile Gallery on Sept. 18 during her talk titled “EmotionalVirtue.”

The talk, which began at 9 p.m., was the third of the gift of humansexuality symposium. The Gallery was packed, with both the ground floor and balcony being filled with students. There was a great energy to the room, and the audience was continuously erupting with laughter.

Photo by Sabrina Ariss

In reference to her book “EmotionalVirtue,” Swafford spoke to both male and female students on the topics of pressures of the world, virtues and dating. She also focused on the controlling of one’s emotions and passions.

Swafford referenced a quote from theRev. Robert Barron saying, “…love is not primarily a feeling, though it can be accompanied by feeling. That’s the confusion of our time; confusing love’s feeling with love itself.”

Swafford said emotional virtue is saying, “I desire your good, not for my sake but for yours.” This is the only way chastity and dating makes sense.

Swafford made emphasis on the word “use,” asking the audience to repeat “I will not use you, and I will not let you use me.” She then transitioned into how individuals should focus on figuring out who they want to be, who they’re living for and what they’re living for.

When discussing what makes a man or a woman virtuous, Swafford pointed out that what’s attractive is someone who is striving to grow in virtue. She emphasized that no one can be perfect; however, striving to better oneself is something that everyone should work towards.

“Run into the arms of our Lord and fall into his arms, and let him love you like no other human can,” Swafford said, “…run with him, and when you’ve been growing and you’ve been healing, glance to the side and see who is running with you. And maybe that’s who you’re supposed to be with,” Swafford said.

Swafford ended the talk by wrapping up her main points and closed in prayer. Students then crowded outside the Gallery to meet Swafford and to purchase her book.

Freshman Annie Pfeifer said, “It was bold and authentic … once we get to heaven, all we’ll be is true friends, which is why it is so important to remember this.”

“Striving is what sticks out to me most,” said freshman Kayla Grace Chapman.”It gives us hope and confidence to strive to be perfect, even if we’re never going to achieve it.”