Erik Varden (Photo: Lupe de la Vallina)

Erik Varden: broadening desire

In the March issue of Tracce, the Norwegian bishop speaks about the search for love in today's world. The key to living it. And why Mary Magdalene would be “an excellent patron saint for the twenty-first century.”
Anna Leonardi

If in The Shattering of Loneliness he took us on a journey of discovery of God as an answer to the cry of our time, in his latest book, Chastity, Erik Varden addresses a bold theme, which to today's world may sound like a cold gust from a distant era. The two titles actually have a much deeper correlation than might seem. "Chastity is a fullness," explains the author, a Trappist monk and, since 2020, Bishop of Trondheim in Norway. "It is an attitude towards things and people that springs forth when the human heart is invested by that embrace that heals and fulfils its most radical expectations. That is why it is reductive to equate chastity with 'not doing' and 'not being'. It is a state of grace. And a virtue for everyone.” These are words that suggest a way forward in an ultra-secularised society, where relationships between people can turn into a swamp when they are used to fill a void, rather than to share a superabundance. (...)

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