[quote="WesternBlot, post:1, topic:269802"]
My fiance and I live together and will be married in September. I am a new Catholic (baptized/confirmed 1 year ago) and one of the major problems I've had is understanding the Church's teaching against pre-marital sex and condom use. I support and understand the birth control issue for Plan B/etc. where a fertilized egg is being blocked/destroyed, but I cannot get on board yet with condoms/pre-marital sex in general being sinful.
That being said, I know the Church teaching. I know that pre-marital sex is a sin, that using condoms is a sin, etc. So here is my question...I engage in both of these acts that the Church teaches as being sinful, yet I struggle with agreeing with the teaching (therefore I continue to engage in the acts). I cannot confess these sins because it would be an empty confession if I do not plan on changing my actions yet. I say yet because if through prayer and meditation I do come to understand and follow this teaching then I will change it. However, this means that I should NOT be receiving Communion at Church, correct? Even though I disagree with the teaching I do understand that according to the Church I am in a state of sin and should not receive Communion. I just wanted to verify that my line of thinking is consistent because I'm not sure on whether to confess these sins if I don't plan on changing them, or whether I should be receiving Communion at all during the next 8 months if we continue having pre-marital sex.
Thank you for any advice, does anyone else struggle with this one teaching?
I struggle with all sorts of things.
There is more than one thing here.
Premarital sex. Sinful. Not supposed to do it.
Artificial birth control in marriage. Sinful. Not supposed to do it.
But the big thing is being in opposition to the teachings of the Church. Every faithful Catholic on earth accepts the teachings of the Church whether he violates them or not. The question is not one of "not being Catholic" if one sins. The question is whether one is living a Catholic life in dissent.
Everybody sins all the time. Jesus said even the just man sins seven times a day. But it is true that we need to accept the teachings as true and acknowledge our sinfulness. In addition, we really do have to have the intention to amend. But that intention is always flawed, because we do sin again. The issue is the present intention and trying. One can at least TRY to follow the teachings of the Church regarding artificial birth control. One can start by educating oneself to NFP with as much of an earnest heart as we can muster in ourselves. We can at least read the literature on why it's wrong; why it's harmful. Even the Popes have written about that.
How about at least taking little steps? That's how we develop ourselves in all ways. You didn't know how to read before you learned. You didn't know how to read major literature while you were in first grade. You didn't know how to do algebra in second grade. You developed yourself by steps all along the way. And, frankly, you need a really good priest-advisor to help you along the way.
I can't advise you spiritually. That's a priest's job. But in my opinion, if you honestly attempt your "baby steps", not necessarily to agree but to obey, and if you confess your latest sins, and at least resolve to take one "baby step", I say you go to Communion as soon as you can thereafter. You'll need the strength it gives.
But rejecting the teachings of the Church because we don't agree with them really is fatal. It's the sin of Lucifer; pride. "I will not serve" he said. Might as well invent your own religion from the ground up if you do that, and you'll never 'grow" in your faith and in your virtue. There isn't a sin on this earth that people can't justify if they set their mind to it.
How about taking some little steps? God does not expect you to become a saint overnight. He does expect you to try within your strength, and to attempt to develop your strength, your trust and your resolve.
And God bless you. I believe you have a good heart.