Courtship - The need of chastity
By Fr. Daniel Pinheiro - One of the factors that drag our right judgment the most, deviating it from adequacy to reality, are disordered passions.
Note from the translator: Fr. Luiz Carlos Lodi da Cruz and Fr. Daniel Pinheiro wrote a good number of articles on Courtship that we are translating now.
General View on Courtship by Fr. Luiz Carlos Lodi da Cruz
Ideal duration by Fr. Daniel Pinheiro
Mutual esteem, sympathy, trust by Fr. Daniel Pinheiro
Agreement in ideals by Fr. Daniel Pinheiro
The need of chastity by Fr. Daniel Pinheiro
Means to be chaste during courtship by Fr. Daniel Pinheiro (coming soon)
We took the freedom to break the articles when they were too big for a single email/post and we added images and headings for easier navigation.
Original in Portuguese here.
The necessary purity between during courtship. Evidently, the first reason to keep chastity in dating is to observe the sixth commandment, avoiding mortal sin and its consequent loss of grace. Our reason recognizes and God teaches us that the union between a man and a woman must have procreation in view. However, procreation is not enough, as it is also necessary to educate the offspring. To bring up children well, there must be marriage. Therefore, the union between a man and a woman must take place only within marriage, so that the first purpose of that union is adequately secured.
The second reason for those in courtship to maintain chastity is so that they make a good choice, a really lucid and free choice. One of the factors that drag our right judgment the most, deviating it from adequacy to reality, are disordered passions. When we judge affected by these passions, our intelligence and our will are as it were drawn to judge in accordance with these passions. Therefore, the lack of chastity between those in courtship will lead them to judge not according to reality, but according to the passions. They will fail adequately to consider mutual esteem, sympathy, trust, and agreement on the ideal they should have. They will tend to judge simply by following the inclination of these unruly passions. Due to passions, they will want to stay together and will easily tend to judge that all the conditions mentioned in the second part are present, or they will not give due importance to these conditions.
We do not want to say here that all passions are disordered, which would be a serious mistake, committed, among others, by the Stoics. We mean that a passion that is not subordinated to reason, a passion that is not directed and ordered by reason, is bad and sinful and affects our judgments. So to have the desire to eat, and to eat a lot, and to satisfy that desire is excellent if we really need to eat. Having the desire to eat a lot without needing it is a desire that must be curbed by reason, so that one does not fall into gluttony. Now, when we often act contrary to reason, we create in our soul an inclination to act in that way, and we rejoice in that way of acting. We strongly tend to judge according to our inclinations, we tend to judge so that our inclinations are favored. If our inclinations are bad, we will judge poorly. If they are good, ordered by reason, we will judge well, following reason.
In this way, when lovers who do not keep chastity will judge regarding the real chance of building a solid and happy Catholic family, they will hardly judge accurately regarding the four conditions mentioned (here and here), but will judge by the continuity of the relationship because, with the continuity , the passions are favoured. The lack of chastity in courtship, in addition to opposing the sixth commandment, makes it difficult to build a solid and truly happy Catholic family, due to the fact that they will hardly consider well: 1) if there is a real esteem for the other, based on true qualities (natural and supernatural); 2) if the sympathy is real or if it boils down to the physical or sensitive aspect; 3) if the other really is someone trustworthy and 4) if they really agree on the Christian perspective of life and marriage. Chastity is indispensable to ensure a good choice, which in turn is necessary to build a Catholic home. If lovers fall into the sin of chastity, they must correct themselves as soon as possible, in order to ensure the state of grace, avoid hell, and in order to ensure a choice made by reason guided by faith and charity. Only a choice made in this way can ensure a good Catholic marriage, a happy marriage.