Today is the birthday of the Church. On Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter, we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and Mary. This great feast marks the end of the Easter season and commemorates the beginning of the Church’s ministry to the world. In the 50 days following the resurrection [...]
Archive for the ‘DFWCatholic “Recommended Reads”’ Category
Recently, a friend stumbled upon the following Facebook question and thread. “Some say marriage is the best. Some say it isn’t worth it. I’ve lived in four different homes in three different states with my soul mate. And we share a car in both our names. Lol. Do we need a piece of paper to [...]
Q – My question is how far is too far in a relationship, that is not marriage? Should it not go past kissing? Or is it ok to show more affection than that? Also If you are married, do all the actions restricted while dating suddenly become ok?!
A – Thanks for the great questions! I will answer your questions in part
PART I – How far is too far is really the wrong question. If I were to re-phrase the question it could basically be “How far can I go until I do something that will harm the other person or myself?” When stated this way it is easy to see that the question doesn’t take love into consideration. True love is choosing what is best for the other despite the cost to myself. If this is the case, then we don’t love another person when we risk harming them in any way in order to satisfy our desires. Love only wants to fight for what is best for them.
Pope JPII defined love as “gift” and the opposite of love as “use”. When we use another person we fail to see them as a true human, but more as an object for our own selfishness. To ask “how far is too far” is to risk using another person. A better question might be – “how close to God can I bring this person?” or “how can I guard this person from harm?”
I have never met a person who asked “how far is too far” who wasn’t struggling with purity. This is because if we are constantly bumping up against a fence, we will eventually break through it or hop over it. The same goes for “how far is too far”, we will eventually break the rules if that is all we have. Too often Catholics have only heard “don’t do it” when it comes to sex. But, this isn’t the best reason not to have sex, and the result is that too many are sexually active outside of marriage.
Sex is something holy and beautiful – when in the right context of marriage. Sex is something intimate and wonderful – between husband and wife. Just like anything good, it can be twisted to be bad. This is what happens in pre-marital sexuality. Pre-marital sex is never about love, but is always about our selfishness. While it may “feel” like love, we would never risk another person’s future, virginity, pregnancy, disease, soul, broken heart, etc. if we loved them.
Another way to re-phrase the question might be to ask “where is the line between sin and not sinning?” Well, it depends on each individual. While all sexual activity (not just intercourse) outside of marriage is sinful, lust is also sinful. This is the deeper issue. When we have a control of what is going on in our hearts, then we will easily see where the line is drawn and will do all we can to avoid even approaching it. You might ask your self if you would act the same way if Jesus (or grandma) was sitting next to you. That might keep some wandering hands where they should be. But, we want to try and change our hearts, not just our actions.
I know there are many Catholics who struggle with their sexuality and controlling their desires, but it is worth it. Here is the reason – you can’t give what isn’t your own. If you don’t have self-control, you can’t give yourself away fully. This means you can’t really love another person by being a gift to them. We can either be in control of our desires or allow them to control us.
Some say that kissing is the problem and many Christians say you shouldn’t kiss until you are married. Now, I am not advocating that kissing someone is sinful at all times, unless you are married. But, we have to realize there is something else going on here. If we cannot kiss another person without lusting for them, we must ask what is in control of our actions – ourselves or our passions? We need to be more careful in choosing love through a mature decision-making. Yes, every heart is different and some can kiss another without lusting, but, there are some objective facts to point out – anything “sexual” outside of marriage is harmful to a relationship and sinful.
Sex should be saved for marriage, where intimacy (of all kinds) is supposed to be. Unfortunately in today’s world, we give our sexuality, our emotions, our bodies, and our lives to people we our not married to. We have lost the depth to what a “simple” kiss really means. We end up deadening our sensitivity to intimacy. To put it another way, I have never met a person who saved sex (of any kind) for marriage and regretted it, but I have met thousands who didn’t keep themselves pure and now do. You will never regret purity. Never. But, you will always regret impurity, eventually. I say, live life without regrets.
Questions to ask:
- Have we invited God’s will into this relationship?
- Is everything we do in this relationship glorifying to God’s name?
- Why are we dating or engaged in the first place?
- Is it to figure out if you should be married or is it because you really “like” each other?
- Are we choosing true love (wanting what is best for the other person despite the cost to myself) or just the feeling of love which comes and goes?
- Do we have self-control or do we allow our passions and desires to rule us?
These questions can help guide you in finding what is best for you, the other person, and ultimately your relationship with God, which is the most important relationship of all. For more on how to date, from a Catholic perspective, check this out.
PART II – So, is everything ok in marriage?
Not if you mean anything that would be contrary to chastity. Most people think chastity is celibacy, but that is not what it means. Chastity is rightly ordering your sexuality to your station in life. This means everyone, single, religious, priests, and married are to be chaste – though all in different ways. A married couple’s chastity means they have sex, but not that “anything goes”.
Chastity is a virtue that allows us to give ourselves to another…remember the definition of love as “gift”. To give everything means we have no selfishness in our love and chastity frees us of selfishness. So, any behavior that is not free, total, faithful, or potentially fruitful is a contradiction to true chaste love in marriage. So, no. Not everything is ok in marriage if it goes against chastity. If you have more specific questions on this part of the answer, you can talk to a campus minister or priest.
I hope these answers help. See this site for more Q&A on these issues.
It must have happened during one of those moments when I wasn’t looking, but there’s no question that it did happen. I’m referring to the disappearance of fractions in communication. Here are two sentences that I recently encountered, not in casual conversation, but in published books: “Babies who were breast-fed had four times fewer respiratory [...]
“There is no such thing as a self-less act.” Those were the words recently hurled at me by one of my students. And I must say that I was taken aback. To clarify, the discussion occurred in an economics course and the topic was self-interest. Most economists acknowledge that our economic choices occur at the margin; that [...]
Another story that the mainstream media has failed to cover…the story of this Christian home school family who came here as refugees from Germany because they were suffering religious persecution. They sought asylum in the US, because they were unable to home-school their children and teach Christian beliefs, and came here to have the freedom to do so.
However, thanks to the DOJ, they lost their appeal in the 6th Circuit Court today. Despite, a US immigration judge ruling in 2010 that the family did face persecution from the German government and granted the Romeike family political asylum. The family moved and settled in Tennessee.
The HSLDA, Home School Legal Defense Aid group founded by Michael Farris, will fight on and appeal this decision to the Supreme Court. Pray they are successful! If not the US is no longer land of the free and home of the brave, but the persecuted.
HSLDA,: “As you may have heard from HSLDA, this morning the Sixth Circuit ruled against the Romeike family. The essence of their opinion is that we will not grant asylum to victims of a nation where the entire nation is subjected to the same rules.
This approach is wrong in two key ways. First, while compulsory attendance laws apply to all Germans, the German government openly says that the reason that they specifically target homeschoolers is because they want to repress religious and philosophical minorities.
Even though we repeatedly brought these statements to the Court’s attention, the opinion makes absolutely no mention of this dramatically important fact.
Second, the fact that the law is universal in character, is no excuse for a denial of human rights. The Court approved the government argument that even if prosecutions violate human rights standards, so long as the prosecution is equally administered to all, it is not a ground for asylum.
We believe this approach dramatically curtails the value of freedom and individual rights. If every member of a nation is denied freedom of speech, and are thrown in jail or have their children removed for speaking out, our nation should give such people asylum.
The same thing should be true for religious freedom and parental rights. Even a nation denies every family parental rights and religious freedom–the United States of America should provide a safe have for those who escape from such repression.
We will fight on. First, we will ask the entire Sixth Circuit to review this three-judge panel’s decision. If that is not successful, we will then appeal to the Supreme Court.”
They came to the US under asylum, to the land of the free, and now are being told they don’t have the right to home school here because they are not eligible for refugee status.
This is outrageous!! If you are unable to practice your faith and live your life in your home, by teaching your children at home, the values and morals you believe, then you are a victim of religious persecution!! If they are forced to return to Germany they could lose custody of their children!!
Perhaps if the family came here illegally the DOJ would be fighting to protect their rights? But perhaps it’s because they are Christian and they believe in the right to home school the Obama admin is going after them??
This is supposed to be America, where we have religious freedom and the right to home school our children without persecution. The Obama administration is once again showing how much they despise Christians and those who prefer smaller government because they see homeschooling as a threat to their Big Govt indoctrination agenda.
New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan made it clear this morning that if Gov. Cuomo proceeds with his plans to strengthen state abortion laws, he will face the wrath of the Catholic Bishops. “I am going to hope that the better natures prevail here, but boy if you come out you can expect us to be [...]
Over 120 years ago there was a family by the name of Carpenter who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The oldest son was named Charles, and while he knew his corner of the state like the back of his hand, he had no conception of the larger world—until his father took [...]
Washington, DC: President Barack Obama has started using parlor-style card tricks to distract the media and the public from the multiple crisis situations rapidly emerging in the early months of his second term. During a press conference yesterday, Mr. Obama was in top “slight-of-hand” form. When pressed on the issue of the likely cover-up in the [...]
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