Hello Father Angelo,
I have two more questions to ask you, mostly out of curiosity.
Sexual relations between husband and wife must be open to the transmission of life, so are preliminaries allowed if after them the relationship is nonetheless open to procreation?
Last question: after committing a mortal sin, I obviously feel the need to confess; during the time that passes from sin to confession, I feel that Satan tempts me much more than he normally does, and that is true even after I confess, albeit less so. Is this possible, or is it just an impression?
I thank you immensely for the Service you carry out via the Internet, I remember you in prayer to the Lord and to Mary Most Holy.
1. Regarding your first question, the answer is yes as long as it is a true act of love and not simply an outpouring of lust.
St. Paul reminds us: “[He wants] each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honourable, not giving way to selfish lust like the pagans who do not know God. He wants nobody at all ever to sin by taking advantage of a brother in these matters; the Lord always punishes sins of that sort, as we told you before and assured you. We have been called by God to be holy, not to be immoral” (1 Thes 4:4-7).
2. It is interesting to read the note from the Jerusalem Bible to these words: “[He wants] each one of you to know how to use the body that belongs to him in a way that is holy and honourable”.
It says: “the body that belongs to him: both one’s own body and the body of one’s wife, as it is in many rabbinic texts and in 1 Pt 3:7”.
3. Regarding one’s own body to be used with holiness and honor, the Jerusalem Bible refers to other passages in the Scripture that enlighten us because they remind us that conjugal intimacy must also be a path to sanctification.
About one’s own body, it quotes 1 Thes 5:23: “May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may you all be kept safe and blameless, spirit, soul and body, for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
And then, 1 Cor 6:9-11: “You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God. These are the sort of people some of you were once, but now you have been washed clean, and sanctified, and justified through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the Spirit of our God”.
It also quotes Rom 12:1: “Think of God’s mercy, my brothers, and worship him, I beg you, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God”.
And finally, 1 Cor 6:19: “Your body, you know, is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you since you received him from God. You are not your own property”.
4. Regarding the body of the wife, the Jerusalem Bible refers to 1 Pt 3:7: “In the same way, husbands must always treat their wives with consideration in their life together, respecting a woman as one who, though she may be the weaker partner, is equally an heir to the life of grace. This will stop anything from coming in the way of your prayers”.
5. Finally, what you experience after committing a mortal sin corresponds to what St. Thomas Aquinas says: “Now the devil is the enemy of man’s salvation, which man acquires by Baptism; and he has a certain power over man from the very fact that the latter is subject to original, or even actual, sin” (Summa theologica, III, 71, 2).
And again: “By the sin of man the devil takes power over man and over all things that are for his use, to the detriment of him” (Commentary on the Sentences, IV, d. 6, q. 2, a. 3, 1).
6. Likewise, after having confessed you feel greater strength because, through the absolution of sins, both sanctifying grace and sacramental grace are communicated to you.
Now, the sacramental grace of confession is a partaking of the victory of Christ over sin.
It cannot be forgotten that this sacrament was instituted on the evening of the resurrection day, when Jesus breathed on his disciples, saying: “Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22-23).
Now, the resurrection of Christ marks his victory over the demons.
I thank you for the questions, I remember you in prayer and I bless you.