Dear Father Angelo,
I am a … years old girl who has been dating a boy the same age two years now. We love each other very much, and we both want to get married as soon as our lives allow us to do so. At the cost of sounding trivial: our love cannot be explained, it is very deep, and we are intimately tied. We both are strong catholic faithful who live the parish’s life. Our only difficulty as a catholic couple is premarital chastity. We are both virgins, yet, at this point in our lives, we wonder: why should we remain in this condition for so long, as getting married is impossible? In fact, we will need at best a few more years to find a job and accumulate enough welfare to form a family, or even just to have our own conjugal home. Right now, we feel like we are forced to repress something that seems beautiful, pure, natural, waiting to figure out why the church judges it so negatively. What is wrong with two people loving each other (in God) and giving each other (in God)?
The answer of the Priest
1. I understand the mutual attraction you feel for each other. God filled you with this form of attraction so that it can act as spring that boosts your love for each other.
However, it is necessary to remember the limits of this friendship, which needs to grow, consolidate, and form.
Love is not merely attraction, but also sharing of thoughts, feelings, desires, mutual involvement in good works.
2. Newly formed couples should use the precious time before marriage to grow their affection for each other in the right direction, that is, to keep it pure. Impurity, in fact, adulterates and destroys the couple’s life.
To avoid any doubt, for pure affectionI mean kindness, punctuality, keeping one’s own word, talking to each other in a friendly way…
3. The same couples must be aware that some forms of affections can lead to erotic and genital involvement, even if not planned. Now, genitality has its own intrinsic meaning. In fact, every genital occurrence is ordered to procreation. The male and female sexual organs are precisely structured for procreation. Their acts last as long as necessary for procreation. One must keep in mind this elementary truth.
4. Therefore, any form of sexual intimacy before marriage exposes to very serious responsibilities, such as those of bringing a child into the world without the stability, including juridical, of the couple.
5. Couples who fall into sexual intimacy before marriage do so in the false belief that, in doing so, they are giving themselves to each other, because they already belong entirely to each other. The truth is that this belonging does not exist. There is a desire to belong, but no real belonging. Real belonging exists only after the “yes” pronounced on the wedding day. Before that “yes”, they are free and do not belong to each other.
Such giving without belonging, and knowing that one does not belong to the other, is a lie placed within love, that is, within that reality which needs to be pure and to remain pure in order to grow stronger and eternal.
6. Contraception is a further sign of the falsification of the meaning of sexual intercourse, since it clearly and unequivocally states the impossibility of a reciprocal donation.
7. A document of the Magisterium of the Church also recalls that such acts of love, polluted by lies and passion, do not nourish love, but rather extinguish it.
The Pontifical Council for the Family writes: “To the same extent that chastity weakens in man, his love becomes progressively selfish, that is, the satisfaction of a desire to please and no longer a gift of self” (The Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality, 16).
And again: “It must never be forgotten that the disordered use of sex tends progressively to destroy the person’s capacity to love by making pleasure, instead of sincere self-giving, the end of sexuality and by reducing other persons to objects of one’s own gratification. In this way, the meaning of true love between a man and a woman (love always open to life) is weakened as well as the family itself. Moreover, this subsequently leads to disdain for the human life which could be conceived, which, in some situations, is then regarded as an evil that threatens personal pleasure” (Ib., 105).
The motivation is obvious: sexual disorder is opposite to true love, to giving oneself. Impurity blocks love in sensuality and can become its grave.
The commandment “you shall not commit adultery” is a divine gift that aims at saving couples from taking a path that would lead to extinguishing their ability to love, to give themselves. At the same time, the same command leads us toward a path toward a pure, lasting joy.
8. Do not stop walking along the path God indicated. Trust Him. Dream of proceeding more and more along this path, the one that will grow your love pure and strong, making it more and more beautiful and attractive.
Walk this path together with your boyfriend, so that you, together, become apostles among those friends of yours whose life is crushed by impure relationships. Those marriages, if marriage even occurs, are weak and usually recover only through miraculous intervention.
I accompany you with my prayer.
I wish you a peaceful and holy Easter and I bless you.