At the end of his provocative essay, “Sex in Public: How Adventurous Christians Are Doing It,” Stanley Hauerwas articulates a crucial point:
“[W]hat the young properly demand is an account of life and the initiation into a community that makes intelligible why their interest in sex should be subordinated to other interests. What they, and we, demand is the lure of an adventure that captures the imagination sufficiently that for Christians ‘conquest’ comes to mean something other than the sexual possession of another.”
Young people need to see lives lived that are embodied poems which capture their imagination otherwise. And they need to be captivated by stories which powerfully portray another way. Perhaps one could see Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain as just such a story. It would be a start.