Sometimes couples that are deeply in love may consider themselves “soulmates.” I’m not sure exactly what that term means, or what the Catholic Church’s view on the concept is. If it means that it is two people sharing the same soul, then that would be theologically wrong, obviously, but I’m not so sure that the term means that. Can someone please explain this concept to me, and what the Catholic Church says about it. Thank You.
No, the concept of ‘soulmate’ is not theologically sound IMHO.
First, the concept connotes that there is only one person we are destined to mary, only one we are truly meant to be with. This is incompatible with free will.
Second, the Church teaches that widows/widowers may marry again and the concept of a “soulmate” is incompatible with this as well.
Obviously the term “soulmates” cannot be taken literally. I think what most people mean by it is that two people were “meant for each other.”
But even that is not correct, either psychologically or spiritually, if it means that there is only one right person for someone to marry. Two persons, through mutual marital commitment, may become soulmates to each other by continually evidencing their love through their actions.
This is a fantasy of a secular culture looking for meaning in their lives. By saying that there are soul mates it assumes that you can know the person you are meant to be with based on your emotions towards that person. Hogwash! That only works while both people are emotionally/physically attracted to each other. Humans are constantly changing and the only way a relationship works in the log run is for those two persons to act out of love for each other, sacrifice for each other.
This idea also excludes the binding power of God in Christian marriage, it is God who unites the souls AFTER marriage, not before.
This is also used as an excuse for some to violate their marriages when a more attractive physically/emotionally person comes their way.
This is my off the cuff thinking, I may be able to give a better response once I’m off work.
As a catholic person I find no personal conflict in the concept of soul mates. But I may not have the correct notion of a soul mate but I would consider my soul mate to be a person who I can connect with to almost every aspect of my soul or my being. They understand me easier than others, like there is this deep connection. I haven’t met a soul mate yet.
Keep in mind soul mates aren’t alway a spouse they could be a close friend same or opposite sex. However people generally consider the word “soul mate” to be romantic.
However I do think there can be more than one soul mate in a sense, not dozens but maybe a few. It would make sense if you believe in destiny/ God’s plan for you that you would have a soul mate out there IF God has plans for you to marry.
This is my whole philosophy/perception on the topic:
God knows all and is omnipresent. I do believe in free will but we also sort of have a destiny since God knows the future. So it isn’t wrong to think that your “destined for a certain person” But say you are and you meet him/her and something happens that you least expect (death, anullment, ect.) , that could also be your destiny “God’s plan” to take you to another avenue to perhaps the person you are meant to be with if God intends that.
I personally think that the term soul mate is acceptable if you mean a deep connection with that person to the soul which every marraige should for that extent. It doesn’t eliminate problems but you work them out with each other as one through rough times and good times.
I’m only 20 but I am certain that I would like to feel that deep connection with my future wife while dating for more than year so I know it’s not just infatuation/romance. It’s a prerequisite for me.
I had once thought I met a soul mate and I dated her for 5 months. She lied and cheated on me and left me. I was devastated and saw no sense of why God would put me in that situation, why he would make me think I met “the one” then it fails. But I found out that I learned a lot from that experience and I am much much stronger emotionally because of it that I can take with pride into my next relationship.
Thats why I believe everything has a reason, a purpose, a destiny. God is in control. It’s not all random chance or chaos. Yes you have free will and on earth and in our dimension/ plane of existence it is free will, but from God’s point of view, he sees everything as one at one time “omnipresent” So he knows what happened, what is happening and what is going to happen with everything. Therefore for our lives and experiences as people and God’s children, certain things are meant to happen and we do not know why, only God does.
If it means that God wants you to marry that person and not someone else, it seems a valid idea. We are destined by God for certain things (though how this fits in with free will is a mystery). For example, several of the prophets said thay were destined for their mission before they were born. And how about Joseph and Mary, the married couple who raised Jesus? Was their marraige an accident of events?
But if it means that we will always be loving, always be without any conflict, and always help each other grow, there would be very very few couples like this. What about what Joseph went though when he learned Mary was pregnant, causing him to plan on putting her away? In every marraige there is some trouble, even problems beyond our control, and in fact this is an important way of growing spiritually, by learning love, patience, and causing the couple to turn to God.
I thank you for your replies. It seems as if the definition of “soulmate” is what makes someone regard it as theologically sound or not, and we still don’t have a clear definition. So, perhaps we should take the ambiguous term, “soulmate” out of the equation, and focus on the issue of whether God wills certain people to marry each other, or whether God merely wishes for those who get married to remain married, yet has no preordained plans for certain couples to marry. If he has plans for certain couples to marry, it still gives those individuals the free choice to accept or reject God’s intentions, whether willingly and knowingly, or unwillingly and unknowingly. So…
I believe in Divine Providence, that nothing is "by chance." While God wills for certain things to happen, in His way, on His timing, we also need to align our freewill with what we believe to be God's will, and be open and obedient to what we genuinely believe He is revealing to us, including a wise choice of if we should get married, and if so, who to marry, and when to get married. While a man and a woman are not officially united together as one before God, until they officially become married, in a valid marriage, I believe that they should still feel a deep soul connection prior to marriage (as opposed to mere physical/emotional infatuation) in order to justify believing that it is in fact God's will for them to get married. While such people may still be wrong, as God sees the whole picture properly, without bias; while we only see a part, and may see it improperly, with bias, we should obviously act in accordance to that which we genuinely believe to be God's will, as best as we can discern it.
Thus, yes, I do believe that God wills certain couples to marry, as their marriage and subsequent children, and further descendents are part of His plan.
If I am viewing something incorrectly, here, I greatly would appreciate respectful correction.