The sense of pre-marital relations
How should the relationships preceding marriage be fulfilled to their true end?
How must the relationships that precede the marriage, so that they fulfill its true end, the constitution of a stable family, built on the fidelity of a love conjugal open to life?
"Relationship or premarital relations", if we adhere to the etymological meaning of the words, it simply means the own relationships of the people who intend to marry in a more or less near future. If marriage is a natural, divine institution, and, for the baptized, a great sacrament, forced to say that premarital relations are good and necessary for all who feel called to marriage.
On the other hand, it happens that the greatest words are suffering from barbaric manipulation. Love, which is the name of God, is used to designate acts of the lowest condition. "Premarital Relations", which would mean a time of sanctification with a view to the sanctity of marriage, sounds instead to denial of all moral norms, in the relationship between two people who perhaps have the vague purpose of spending someday for something that remembers some moments of married life.
How must the relationships that precede the marriage, so that they fulfill its true end, the constitution of a stable family, built on the fidelity of a conjugal love open to life?
Normally, those who have a marriage vocation, one day they come to the "crush". When Normally, those who have a marital vocation, one day the "crush" comes to them. When falling in love, the masculinity of the boy and the femininity of the girl, they discover each other and themselves in a new, unsuspected way, surprisingly joyful, perhaps dazzling. Many times it is the first conscious contact with the cosmic beauty of Creation, transfigured in the light of the new love; which, well thought, cannot be more than a gift from God, which leads to Him: "Today I have seen it, I have seen it and it has looked at me: today I believe in God!" It is logical.
Face and cross
But it must be noted that everything human has been affected by that sin of origin, which explains the double side of every historical event: always, to a "face", accompanies a "cross". And everything human-all the good of human life-must be saved, needs redemption. Fortunately, God wanted to save all that was lost; and he has done it through his Cross. Without the cross there is no salvation, nor can there be happiness, nor lasting joy, nor clean and noble love between a man and a woman. To be and remain so and to become an inextinguishable ember, it must also pass through the cross: it must be enjoyed on the cross, from the cross. "True love demands to get out of itself, to surrender. True love brings joy: a joy that has its roots in the shape of a cross". (1)
The "Rosy" that the crush or infatuation extends over all the things, does not take long to lose sight. But this is not to say that the reality is worse than it has been seen: it is better, to embrace it wholly, with its face and with its cross: spring with the summer, the autumn, the winter... and eternity.
To a large extent, the "cross" (touchstone of the quality of courtship) is the sacrifice of concupiscence, which wants to anticipate events and enjoy fruits that do not yet exist. It is, if you want to talk like that, a "cross", but also a "light", a light that prevents falling into the big lie that aims, at least in large part, to identify love with the genital relationship. If the couple has carnal relations of the conjugal type they eliminate the essential difference between marriage and any other kind of union. They confuse an essentially provisional state with a definitive one, to which they have not yet legitimately agreed. They commit an error of dire consequences, which the experience, from Adam, teaches without interruption.
The most serious thing about the unhinged premarital relationship is, of course, the offense to God. He has abundantly warned of the evil that such behavior encloses. We underline this.
But other serious things also happen. One of the most prestigious contemporary psychiatrists, Victor Frankl, in his work psychoanalysis and existentialism, says that "even in the love between the sexes is not the corporal, the sexual, a primary factor, an end in itself, but simply a means of expression. Love can exist substantially, even without the need for it. Wherever possible you will want it and seek it; but when the resignation is imposed, the love will not be cooled or extinguished... Authentic love does not need, in itself, bodily or awakening or to be realized, but it is used for both things". We apostille: it is logical, since the one who is love, God, is pure spirit.
We do not forget the corporeal, sensitive dimension of human nature. However, this joyful experience, which Frankl points out, remains true: "for those who love, the physical, sexual relationship is only a means of expressing what constitutes true love, that is, the relationship spiritual, and, as a means of expression receives its human consecration, precisely, of love, of the spiritual act to which it serves as an exponent ".
Learning to love with the soul
Postponing the satisfaction of sensual impulse is achieved something that will gravitate to the present and even more in the future: deepening the spiritual dimension of love, which is called to stay above all physical or psychic avatars that a life you can have it. The sacrifice that continence implies, teaches to love with the soul, with the mind and with the will, which is the most perfect and dignified thing in a man. This sacrifice is the first great donation that is due to the loved one, the first manifestation of truly personal love.
The false "proof" of love
Sometimes one of the couples, more often than not, at least until recently, demands from the other the bodily surrender as "proof of love". Now, as has already been said, a love that demands proof of pleasure is signing its death sentence. The very thing of love is "giving", not "taking" or "possessing". It has not yet been a dream that a woman has been able to approach her boyfriend by accessing requests of this kind. The only intelligent answer would be to increase the distance and put the supposed love on the familiar touchstone.
Two modes of delivery
"Sexual delivery -writes Giambattista Torelló- can be the realization of love, but never proves it. Is clear that all who meant to demand as proof of something timeless and unique a thing that is outdated and in any way original -especially in the form of premarital sexual relationship, always overburdened with anxiety, unbridled curiosity and considered as a benefit extraordinary- has renounced the right to be treated and loved as a man. Corporeity, as we have already indicated, makes love not only through sexual intercourse but also by continence: they are two means of delivery. All depends on that man, sacrificing his selfishness in favor of the person loved -a man of God, God in man-, reaches an oblation of himself without reservation, which is, at the same time, his existential plenitude".
It has been said that nothing is as dangerous to man as to pass all the illusions of a long life in a short time. The one who takes what is not yet his without waiting for it to be really - not only in desire - will see the illusion prematurely exhausted. The same thing will happen to him as to the people that Petrarch talks about in his Trionfo, "for which it is done at night / before the afternoon comes".
"Purity? Ask. And they smile. They are the same that go to the marriage with the body withered and the soul disenchanted" (2). "Love is sacrifice", wrote Pemán, "and to be happy you have to know how to look at the flowers without starting them". What happens if they are started? That a short time later it is in its hands a faded flower, withered, without mystery and charm, without aroma and color, moth-eaten. How many close the doors to charm and illusion without knowing what they are or if they exist. They have reached old age without knowing the generous and clean seethe of the young heart, newly released. And they go with a dull mind, with enormous passions; without spiritual sensitivity or vigor to overcome the smallest difficulties or discomforts that life carries with it. They have fled the saving cross and everything has become an unbearable cross. Instead of growing in love, it grows in them the boredom, the boredom, the anguish, nausea, or other similar niceties, the patrimony of the philosophies and attitudes without God.
Why not now and yes later?
Before reaching the marriage, the relations between boyfriends must be chaste, of total continence concerning the full sexual relationship, and of course, also regarding the acts which naturally tend to the complete genital satisfaction. It is not necessary to put acts whose natural consequence is something that is to be avoided. I must not throw a huge stone against a fragile glass if I do not want to break it; and if I throw it, as much as it proclaims that I didn't want to break the glass, I wanted it. So if you put acts that arouse a passion extemporaneous or adulterated, is that they want their consequences, or should be recognized that does not work rationally, to the extent and height of the personal dignity of the children of God.
Why is it not lawful before marriage that which in marriage may be blessed and holy? This is an interesting question. This is not an exception. Many life things "what" depends on "how" or "when". "How" and "when" often modify "what", transform it deeply.
The flow of the river by its channel is placid and fecund. When he gets out of there, more than a river, he is an inordinate power, a cruel monster that destroys everything in his path. Water is healthy according to "how" it is. If contaminated, one drop may be enough to carry to the cemetery.
In human behavior, "what" we do depends in large part on "how" and "when" we do it. Concretely, if genitality is used in the legitimate context that is proper to it, at the service of authentic love, ordered to live, then not only is it a good thing, but it can be holy. On the other hand, as J. Leclerq writes, "those who seek physical enjoyment before marriage almost inevitably drag themselves to focus their feelings on him and thus arrive at marriage, seeing first of all in the other an instrument of pleasure that marriage always allows use at will Change of vision after marriage is very difficult The search for sexual enjoyment before marriage inclines the spirit to see in it no more than a personal and natural satisfaction in itself, which makes it difficult for oneself to understand it in the whole of life ". It is precise, and relatively easy, to change before, but much more difficult afterward.
A report by the Union International des Organismes Familiaux held a few years ago in München, said: "Full sex, and also the caresses that produce an orgasm, have a fascination in lovers that prevents them normally check and appreciate the other elements of marriage harmony, especially psychics and spiritual ones. It often follows the disappointment after the wedding, which is all the more serious as the despised factors can hardly recover afterward. On the contrary, when psychic and spiritual adaptation occurs with full awareness, the base is stronger, and sexual experience booster within marriage is enriched and rejuvenated more and more".
Sense and meaning of the marital relationship
Continuing with the argument that we started in our previous article, remember:
1) The peculiar biological structure of complete physical sexual union manifests with dazzling clarity that is intrinsically ordained to procreation. Even in the case of sterile marriages, there is no lack of such ordination, in the same way, that the blind's eyes, however blind they may be, remain eyes "to see"; all its structure and context, in what is healthy, is intrinsically ordained to the vision.
As here it is about "human" procreation, it involves the education of the children who are conceived. And, the dignity of the person, requires that they be in the bosom of a real family, that is to say, with sufficient guarantee of stability and possibilities of adequate education. Which is only fulfilled in the indissoluble marriage.
The natural essential ordination of complete physical sexual union explains that it is ethically good only within legitimate marriage, open to procreation.
2) The natural, profound, oneness significance of the act is that of a full, unreserved and, consequently, definitive personal surrender. Which only really happens through the marriage commitment celebrated according to the divine plan. Let's insist: in the treatment between people, "to give the hand" is not the same as "to give the hoof". To shake hands is a spiritual event. The hand is not just a piece of meat, bones, nerves, veins, and fingernails. To shake hands is to give something of the personal nucleus. For the same reason, the total delivery of the body is also the total delivery of the person. Which only makes sense in marriage.
Of course, you can shake hands without friendship, but then it is an unworthy gesture of man, a betrayal of his essence that we call hypocrisy. Likewise, the conjugal union can be done with hypocrisy, when all that is intended is to enjoy as bodies without a soul, in a subhuman way. But is true what the Magisterium of the Church says: "The acts with which the husbands unite intimately and chastely among themselves are honest and dignified, and, executed in a truly human way, signify and favor the reciprocal gift, with which they enrich each other in a climate of joyful gratitude". (3)
Precisely because of this spiritual significance and the purpose of the conjugal act, the same union is illegitimate and contrary to the nature of the activities outside the scope of the indissoluble marriage union. The Complete physical sexual union means, in effect, to become "one flesh", which in biblical language means "as one man", or, if preferred, as a single person.
Moreover, the guarantee of fidelity, is clear, cannot be founded on the human will alone, in a simple desire for fidelity, as big and strong as it may seem or is: only the faithfulness of God is infallible. The human will and fidelity must also be redeemed, supported by the most faithful Will of God. There is only a certain hope: that which is based on divine Love. In this the lovers must be founded to bring to a good port, God willing, the path they have taken together.
- 1. J. Escriva de Balaguer, Forja, núm. 28.
- 2. J. Escriva de Balaguer, Camino, núm. 120.
- 3. VATICAN Council II, Gaudium et spes, núm 49.