While looking around, I’ve found an article by a well-renowned lay doctor of canon law (who nonetheless has sat on tribunals, so he knows cases first-hand). There’s no fire and brimstone, no heavy preaching and not a single rule of canon law is cited. Thus I thought it might be a good read especially for those of us who are young and have been brought up in good Catholic families or in ortherwise somewhat “sheltered” environments, without being exposed to many of the evils that happen in life. The article is written in a caring tone, although it’s not wishy-washy. Here’s a snip:
First, it helps to recall the image of the Church as our holy mother, one whose love for us knows no bounds. Any mother worthy of the name wants her children to avoid harm and live happy lives. Thus, a caring mother gives direction and advice, she guides her children’s feet into good, and warns them against the bad. But for the most part, a mother tends to spare her children the gory details of* why* bad things are bad, and even details as to just* how* bad they really are, lest her children be unnecessarily frightened, scandalized, or drawn by a prurient interest toward such behavior. I think there is some of this maternal attitude at work in the Church’s warnings against, say, drug and alcohol abuse. The teaching that such things are wrong is clearly given. At times, additional elaboration on the dangers of such activities are given, but like a mother, there are not usually presented the depth of the depravity that chemical addition entails.
The subject is important because it’s a recurrent theme here: people hoping that the young lady or gentleman will change or wondering why the family or friends have a problem with him or her, as well as romantic interests going back and forth on being reliable (in being able to marry and have a proper marriage and family) or not. It doesn’t contain too much substantive information, but it shows some important directions.