The following is a post to urge those who are in the single state to fight hard to retain their their purity during courtship. It is so important to preserve purity before marriage…and always!!
Purity Is Beautiful
From Clean Love in Courtship by Father Lovasik
Faith tells you that the use of sexual powers according to the will of God is something beautifully sacred, but the exercise of that same power in any way whatsoever outside of marriage is a desecration; just as the Mass itself is the most glorious thing in the world when said by a true priest, but is sacrilege of the worst kind when some imposter goes through the same ceremonies.
The Christian attitude towards the body is one of great reverence —reverence for something our Lord wishes to be sacred.
Your body is your soul’s helpmate in its quest for God. St. Paul says, “Your bodies are members of Christ – . . you are Christ’s.” For all these reasons you cannot use your body as an instrument of sin. That body is destined to rise with Christ in glory.
At Communion Jesus plants in it anew the seed of the Resurrection. Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost, for God dwells in your soul through sanctifying grace. That temple should never be desecrated by sin.
Chastity is the moral virtue that controls the expression of the sexual appetite. In the unmarried it excludes all voluntary expression of the sexual appetite for sexual pleasure. Unchastity is grievously wrong because its evil lies in the use of a faculty outside the purpose and plan of God and nature.
The faculty of sex has been bestowed upon man primarily for the propagation of the race. It is to be used only in the family and not for the benefit of the individual; otherwise it is a grievous crime against nature, and abuse of a noble faculty, a violation of God’s holy law.
The virtue of purity is beautiful and most pleasing to God. The angels have no need to fight impurity. Man must wage war against the sins of the flesh, and if he remains pure in the face of these temptations, he becomes greater than the angels.
Love purity as a great treasure and the fairest adornment of your soul. Let the desire for complete sinlessness get into your bloodstream. It will have beneficial influence on your whole character, giving you a sense of self-control, a confidence that will enable you to look the world straight in the eye. You will command respect of others.
That, is the reason why a decent young man really respects the young woman who quietly refuses to be “pawed over” and “necked”; he wants a wife who has kept pure. A decent girl breathes a sigh of relief when she finds that a young man respects her as a human being, as a friend, and as a lady.
There is nothing so beautiful and so powerful as virtuous loveliness. Riches, high position, physical beauty—none of these entrances as does sinlessness. Self-control, purity, exalts the soul while preserving it from defilement.
A clean heart is a happy heart. Chastity imparts a beauty and loveliness entirely distinct from mere natural perfection of feature and grace of body.
In the exercise of chastity you need not be prudish or be on the lookout for evil. On the contrary, your virtue, sustained by the Sacraments and prayer, will become your protector from vice.
Guarded by the innocence of your life and the prudent exercise of modesty and dignity, you can meet your friends and enjoy their companionship in a wholesome and unaffected manner.
On the other hand,the vice of impurity is ugly. It is a tyrant. Once you surrender to it, you will find that it will eat away your ideals of moral goodness and will make you afraid of the open.
It will breed selfishness of the worst kind. It will weaken your will and make your reason a slave to mere physical instincts, when it should be their master.
God hates impurity because it is an ugly vice; God loves purity because it is a beautiful virtue, a reflection of His own infinite beauty and sinlessness.
Impurity Is Forbidden
The Natural Law Forbids Impurity.
God has stamped this law upon our very being and it is expressed by our conscience and a feeling of shame when we are guilty. To seek indulgence in the sex appetite without regard to its purpose, namely, bringing children into the world, is a crime against nature and the lowering of ourselves to a level below that of a beast.
This purpose is lawfully sought in the state appointed by God, and that is the married state. The soul and reason must rule the body and its animal appetites. The man who thinks sensual pleasures an end in themselves to be sought quite lawfully whenever desired will himself end in a corrupt heart, an enfeebled mind, and a paralyzed will, his whole character ruined. He is a slave of the devil!
God’s Moral Law Forbids Impurity.
Chastity is a virtue, and impurity is a vice. God forbids this vice in the sixth and ninth commandments: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”
Christ Forbids Impurity.
“Whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5, 28.)“If thy right eye scandalize thee (is an occasion of sin to you), pluck it out and cast it from thee.
For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body go into hell.” Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5, 8).
A few years back we had a wonderful priest come and talk at our Traditional Family Weekend about courtship, purity, etc. Our good friend, Rob Heschmeyer, thankfully recorded that sermon. We listen to it periodically with the kids and pass it on to those who have never listened to it.
Here is a good sermon from Vertias Caritas on Company Keeping: https://www.veritascaritas.com/podcast/company-keeping/
Gather your young adults around, make some popcorn and listen up! It is a fantastic privilege to have such sermons available!
Alice von Hildebrand – “St. Francis de Sales tells us that pious women should be well-dressed, but this doesn’t mean they must become slaves of fashion. There’s a way of dressing which is attractive, even elegant, but at the same time modest and simple. More importantly, attractiveness shouldn’t be reserved for guests and those you meet outside the home, while you ‘let yourself go’ when you’re at home. The moment a couple marries, they should begin to try always to be at their best for each other, physically (and above all) spiritually.” The Privilege of Being a Woman, http://amzn.to/2p2Oyrr (afflink)
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A great read thank you!!!!!!
This. Exactly this. With the world as it is, especially the law, it is more important than ever.
I am not able to access to link to the sermon you reference at the end on romans10seventeen. I would love to listen to it with my daughter if you are able to fix the link I would be very greatful! I do really enjoy your reflections, thank you.
I couldn’t find the original talk but I included a link to another very good one that is on a great Youtube channel full of sermons!
as a regular visitor of your blog and I often find your posts thought-provocing. I’m not Catholic but getting really interested to it. Also, I’m from Germany so please ignore my quite imperfect English.
I just listened to the talk featured in the post and disagree with some points he made/wonder what your opinion is.
First of all he often mentions the importance of fathers/families. What is one supposed to do, if there is no intact family, or the family just doesn’t care? How are you supposed to approache courting in that case?
Secondly he files “gazing” under sinful. But isn’t it important that future husband and wife have a desire for one another? Isn’t it rather a breeding ground for future sin to disregard bodily desire and realise later that one really isn’t into the spouses body and starts a life of frustration and self-hate (because one can’t love the spouse as one is supposed to)? I think especially in our time of omnipresent nudity it is naive to hope, that pure spiritual love will be sufficient to hope the contary. Also there are some biological factors playing into this – assessing the other persons compatibility with ones immune system (as happens in kissing) and fertility – which I consider being fascinating features that god put into his creation. Mutual – also bodily – attraction is a cornerstone of a working marriage to my opinion.
Third he talks about limiting confident talk. How is that supposed to work? How can you build the deep trust you need to vow an lifelong vow? How is one supposed to learn about deep character faults or merits if not by talking confidently and observing the behaviour? How can you talk about things that a future spouse does need to know, but aren’t supposed for a broader audience? Maybe he has a porn-addiction, or malformations? It infuriates me to think that a bride will just get to know things like this after the wedding, just because they weren’t supposed to get to know each other because of purity reasons. It sounds like extremely bad advice and a recipe for divorce and resentment.
I would love to read an answer by you 🙂
HI again, Anna, I found the original sermon I had on this post. Here is the link if you are interested: https://www.veritascaritas.com/podcast/company-keeping/
You have some thought-provoking questions! I hope I can be of some help.
As far as fathers of the families not being present or the family caring….this is difficult. To expose your children to others who are trying to live a serious Catholic lifestyle would be important. Also, to listen to sermons and the like on this sort of thing, with your children, is valuable. Then it is not just Mom saying it. And then…not to get discouraged. Many of us come from less-than-ideal circumstances and, if the effort and prayer is there, God meets us more than half-way! (As a side note, to show respect to their father…this makes it easier for the kids to listen to Mom.)
As far as gazing and the like….Gazing is not sinful but needs to be kept in check. Young love is a beautiful thing. But it is also a passionate thing and just what it is….YOUNG…inexperienced…fragile. One thing leads to another and so the less “electricity” the better. I don’t think we need to get Jansenist about it, but strict is good. Ah! A fine line to walk!
Your last concern….about the couple talking about stuff. I think it is most important that the couple talks and talks and talks…..about vital things. Not intimate things…but things that matter…children, education, likes and dislikes, etc.
Even though our couples have been chaperoned, they get plenty of time to talk. They also talk on the phone, though not too late at night. They DO need to get to know one another….
Which brings me back to the “electricity” part. The less physical the courtship, the more the head can reason. Once the physical starts to escalate, it is harder to make good decisions.
It is a precarious yet precious time….much joy but much caution.
Maybe the sermon came off too stringent. Courtship is such a short time compared to a lifetime of marriage. It needs to be done right so this difficult road they are about to travel is started on the right foot.
Father realizes that love is joyful and beautiful. But not if the scars of serious sin threaten it!
God bless Anna! Nice to have you here. 🙂