This post is so good. It is comforting advice and something to hang on to all through our married life. Parents who are open to life will often wonder how to make ends meet. We need to keep in mind what Father had to say to this young woman.
Marriage Without Children
I am 20 years of age, and am to be married in June. I have a very serious problem.
My fiancé is making about $130 a month and I am making about the same.
You can see that after we are married we shall both have to work to make ends meet. I have heard so much about birth-control that it has been worrying me terribly.
We are both Catholics and do not want to practice birth-control. We want to have children, but I can’t see how we can for at least two years. How could my future husband support any children, let alone myself, on $130 a month?
As to putting off our marriage, we have been going together for two years, and recognize the danger of waiting any longer.
This problem has worried many a young couple about to be married. Some it has led into habits of sin against marriage from the very beginning.
It is for all such couples that this answer is given. The issue is very clear.
On the one hand you have an opportunity to obey a grave law of God when this is difficult, and in so doing to trust yourselves to His loving and provident care, to rely on the friendship with Him that you will thereby win.
On the other hand you may foolishly decide on a certain period of serious disobedience to God, thereby renouncing any help that God could give, inviting His punishments, and trusting only in yourselves and your sins to provide for your future.
The folly of the latter course becomes clear from many angles. A couple about to be married do not know whether God will let them have children. They do not know whether they will live long enough to have children. They do not know in what strange and unusual ways God might raise their economic status before a baby could be born.
They should know, if they are Christian, that God is all powerful, infinitely loving toward His friends, intensely interested in their marriages, incapable of permitting any cross or trial to afflict them without a wise reason.
They should know that without God they are helpless, and that they choose to do without God by adopting practices of birth-control. Together the couple in our case is making about $260 a month.
Even if she becomes pregnant at once, the wife ordinarily would be able to continue working for four or five months.
Before a baby comes, the husband should be able to get a raise or two in salary, or to find a better paying job. They should be able to save something out of their combined salaries.
For any uncertainty that remains, they should have a fund of confidence in God that leaves sin out of the question. To start married life with sin is to make a failure out of marriage from the beginning.
Catholic Girl’s Quandary
“I am engaged to be married. My boy friend is not a Catholic, but he consented to go with me to my pastor to make arrangements for our wedding.
When he found out from the priest that he would have to promise that all our children would be brought up as Catholics, he told me that he would never sincerely make such a promise. Now he wants me to marry him before a justice of the peace.
I love him dearly and cannot give him up. Isn’t there something I can do about this?”
What should be done to meet a situation of this kind should have been done long before the impasse arose, long before any promises of marriage were given.
The very fact that you don’t know what to do indicates quite clearly that you entered upon company-keeping and permitted yourself to be propelled towards marriage without any clear, Catholic sense of proportionate values.
Now the fact that you are in love makes you want to find some way out of the duty you owe to God. For either of two reasons a courageous and well-informed Catholic girl would tell the boy in your case that she could not marry him.
The first reason is that he insists that she abandon a principle that must be rooted in the conscience of every Catholic girl, viz., that she must transmit her faith to her children.
The second reason is that he wants her to enter what would be an invalid marriage for her. To give in to a fiancé on either of these points is fatal to the soul of a Catholic.
A truly Catholic girl has such dangers as these in mind from the outset of her friendship with any man. She does not easily enter into company-keeping with a non-Catholic because of them. If she does start going with a non-Catholic, having a good reason for so doing that is stronger than the advice of the Church, she lets him know from the outset how firm is her own faith and how impossible for her is any compromise of its principles.
She tries to transmit some of her convictions, and their logical foundations, to her boy friend. If she finds him indifferent to all religion, or opposed to her religion, she becomes aware at once that marriage to him would be most unhappy.
The great tragedies of life begin with statements like yours.
What you are really saying is this: “I am in love with a man. I must abandon God to possess him. Can’t you suggest something that will let me have this man anyway?
It would do much in the home if all the members of the family were to be as kind and courteous to one another as they are to guests. The visitor receives bright smiles, pleasant words, constant attention, and the fruits of efforts to please. But the home folks are often cross, rude, selfish, and faultfinding toward one another. Are not our own as worthy of our love and care as is the stranger temporarily within our gates? -Fr. Lasance, My Prayer Book
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