Catholic beliefs about individual desire as it pertains to marriage


I have asked this question to several experts on and I have gotten answers that seem supportive however I would like pose this to the forum would you try to answer this for me?

When a Catholic women is trying to decide whom to marry, and her primary point of attraction is marrying the man god would have for her. To what extent, within the catholic teachings, is her personal desire for one man or another important?

Since this question can be quite involved I seek to limit the area of
consideration and thus limit the speculation. A women is in love with a man, he is catholic, but there are seemingly endless obstacles and trials (the obstacles and trails are of a logistic nature and are not the product of sin,deception, abuse or the like) that repeatedly present them self’s over time much to her dismay such that she interprets them to mean that in spite of her love for this man he is not the one god would have for her and thereby abandoning the man and delegating this decision to god.

In my view trials, tribulations, obstacles, and pressure serve god by making us better people, and not intended to have us abandon the very reward we seek. This statement is not meant to color your answer which I expect will be fully supported by dogma, but to give you some idea of what I’m asking.

Thank you for your time.
Keith Williams"


Do you have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? If you read PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST: SECTION TWO:


THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT. You would find an answer. I shall quote some it here.

If you have any questions take a look on this website.


2360 Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion. Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.

2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."143

Tobias got out of bed and said to Sarah, “Sister, get up, and let us pray and implore our Lord that he grant us mercy and safety.” So she got up, and they began to pray and implore that they might be kept safe. Tobias began by saying, “Blessed are you, O God of our fathers. . . . You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; let us make a helper for him like himself.’ I now am taking this kinswoman of mine, not because of lust, but with sincerity. Grant that she and I may find mercy and that we may grow old together.” And they both said, “Amen, Amen.” Then they went to sleep for the night.144

2362 "The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude."145 Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.146

2363 The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.

The conjugal love of man and woman thus stands under the twofold obligation of fidelity and fecundity.

  • Conjugal fidelity

2364 The married couple forms "the intimate partnership of life and love established by the Creator and governed by his laws; it is rooted in the conjugal covenant, that is, in their irrevocable personal consent."147 Both** give themselves definitively and totally to one another**. They are no longer two; from now on they form one flesh. The covenant they freely contracted imposes on the spouses the obligation to preserve it as unique and indissoluble.148 “**What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”**149

2365 Fidelity expresses constancy in keeping one’s given word. God is faithful. The Sacrament of Matrimony enables man and woman to enter into Christ’s fidelity for his Church. Through conjugal chastity, they bear witness to this mystery before the world.

St. John Chrysostom suggests that young husbands should say to their wives: I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.150

I hope this helps.


Thank you so much for this detailed answer.


Your welcome. I was reading this passage last night and it very enlightening.


the person you will marry is the person who you love enough to be able to overlook all thier faults and see only the person whom you are intimately joined until they day you die. I met my wife ten years before I married her, though I wanted to marry her only a few months after meeting her. It took ten years of friendship on and off, for both of us to know for certain, and then when we did our engagement was only 6 months, because we just knew. not based on warm and tingley feelings but based on the ability to work with the faults of that person (and we all have some believe me), and to see inside and out, that which makes a marriage. At our wedding, our readings consisted of Jeremiah 31 - which speaks of the new convenant we have in Christ that is based on love, not on the law, also 1 John, where the apostle who loved Jesus, spoke of God being Love itself, “God is love”, and finally the gospel - Jesus’ prayer at the last supper found in John 17 - that we may all be one, just as He and the Father are one. In essence, a marriage is like our relationship to Jesus in the church - in baptism we are joined to Him, in the Eucharist we are ONE with Him and each other, and so in sex a man and a woman are joined - because the whole purpose and only moral sex that the Church allows is that which produces children - by a man and his wife, sacramentally joined with each other, as Jesus is joined with us in the Church, at the mass, and in the sacraments, We didn’t choose St Paul’s "love is patient, love is kind… " for our wedding ceremony because we wanted to focus on the deepness of marriage, but the verse should be your guide - because we live it every day -
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
if there are oposticles then perhaps it is the right person, but not the right time, all things happen on Gods timetable not our own. if it is the right person, you must wait, I can’t give the answer for that question - you just “have to know.” that without the person, you would be incomplete, empty, and unwhole. He/She would lift you up, and pull you down but you will do it together as ONE being. not seperate. there is no me,. its just we.


I believe you are asking how God’s Divine Will and our human, free will work together.

So, look to the Catechism and theology books on these topics.

God has a permissive will and he will allow us to exercies our free will even when it is not within his Divine Will. Hence Luther. Hence Hitler. Hence any number of bad decisions we make.

But, when we are discerning in prayer, and choosing from among several good alternatives, we are within God’s Divine Will. We are not puppets. He does not have every aspect of our lives predetermined, nor does he micromanage.

So, is there one person God has pre-ordained that you marry and will he throw unlimited obstacles in your way to prevent you from marrying someone you choose? No, I don’t believe he will. Is there a person whom he thinks is best for us? Yes, likely. Will he enlighten our intellect on the matter through prayer? Yes.

Obstacles of a human nature are just that, obstacles. I don’t believe in most cases they are of divine origin, “signs” if you will. I do believe some Saints-- for whom he has a special mission-- receive special graces and special signs. For the rest of us-- we have to figure it out ourselves.


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