I apologise in advance if I sound blunt or rude; I’m not trying to be. I’m just deeply concerned about these questions; call it scruples.
To the first,
Right; such works for occasions of sexual temptation as a general rule, but can we really say that the only thought we should commit to sexuality is that which arises once married? This part of chastity I understand.
Well, you squeezed ten question marks into three a question post!
- If marriage … body.
I concur with the first sentence.
To the second, I’d say that to marry for this reason to the exclusion of the procreative, or with no intention of procreation, is disordered. Nevertheless, the precendent for marriage in part as a “remedy for concupiscence”, as Trent would say, is Scriptural.
Self-examination, determining that one has not been gifted, as St Paul, with the capacity for celibacy, could arguably be key to the discernment processes for marriage, and a reason to marry.
Mutual assistance and the begetting and education of children being bound up in that, of course.
- Courtship … years.
Indeed; I had thought this a very individual thing; I know many people who pronounce doctrinally on both sides a universal rule for length of courtship, but I’ve always hesitated to take up any such position.
- In pondering marriage, … other.
Lust is thoughts leading to physical desire, and is not an action. Thoughts of marriage should concern one with all aspects of the relationship, and not just the sexual union. We live in a sex-soaked society, and a preoccupation with sexual union clouds the thoughts of many.
If lust is sinful it is certainly an act of the will to direct one’s mind. No sin is passive.
I never considered the sexual union to exclusion; it is just patent that the other considerations of marriage are not occasions of sin, but it is not apparent that any consideration at depth of the sexual aspect is not an occasion of sin; hence I wished to narrow the question to what was in dispute.
I would suggest that you peruse some of Jason and Christina Evert’s books on chastity and relationships. Speak with your priest about these moral questions. it almost sounds like you are feeling a sexual attraction toward someone else and have doubts about your motives.
I have a spiritual director as to my own life, but I find myself surrounded by strongly opinionated people who disagree with what my spiritual director has advised as to these questions. Hence I find myself descending into the curious territory of scrupulosity, which for me has the added bonus of leading me to actual sin (by way of despair) in occasions where I feel I have already sinned (but in fact am only suffering of scrupulosity).
All vice is a perversion or disorder of a natural and good desire. Sexual desire as such is not evil
I heard a priest once give the advise that you should be friends for a year, and that if you’ve courted for 6 months and are still at the “Oh I just don’t know” stage, that its better to just move on than to prolong the courtship and that engagement should last about a year. However I know several people, including myself, who didn’t stick with the ideal and I think we can get caught up so much with ideals that we eventually lose the point.
I agree. Also, needless ideals, it seems to me, beyond the moral code, serve as false yardsticks for the spiritually reflective and can lead to scrupulosity.
2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
Lust is not sexual desire itself nor it is all sexual desire outside of marriage. Being sexually attracted to one another is a positive thing and not an evil thing. The problem is that we are lustful creatures and we struggle to practice self control.
Right. And I think we would be aided in practicing self-control who are headed marriagewards if there were some way to direct our thoughts in patient confidence towards the proper end of our desire, without constantly suspecting ourselves of lust. I don’t mean fantasising about marriage; rather understanding the ordered variety of the desire which we are experiencing, and, rather than trying to stifle the desire together with its excess, direct it towards its proper end.
A courtship is a time of discerning. … sex.
I don’t think the question of sex outside of marriage was addressed in my questions. I don’t mean to sound blunt, but responses like this (which frequently attend such inquiries as I make on this topic) leave me feeling quite depressed, wondering whether anyone sees what I’m getting at.
Of course one does not commit unchaste acts outside of marriage.
But how does one deal with one’s sexual desire in mente while discerning marriage?
God designed … relationship.
Thanks for the responses; I’m sorry if I came off as blunt; these questions just drive me to distraction. Perhaps I did not word them adequately, in which case I hope my further replies have helped to clarify what is my line of inquiry.