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Dating - What's Too Far?

In today’s culture it often seems as though dating has become more of a common past-time and less a search for a suitable marriage partner. Because of this, along with the general decline of moral standards in society, it is often the case that unmarried couples become so physically involved with one another that they can no longer clearly see what is appropriate and modest behavior before God. This is unfortunate, because it is difficult to discern a life-long marriage partner when the eyes of the couple are clouded by uncontrolled sexual passions and desires.

Among dating couples who do desire to live in the grace of God, some of the common questions asked are, “What are we allowed to do?” “Have we gone too far?” “Have we sinned?” There are some general rules that unmarried couples should abide by in order to foster the virtues of chastity, charity and self-control in the relationship so that the couple can truly come to know one another and God’s Will for them.

First of all, we must look at the actions of the couple itself.
There are two very different kinds of actions.

Directly Stimulating Actions

The first is the action that is, by its very nature, so closely related to the sexual desires that they serve no other purpose except to stimulate and arouse the persons involved. Some examples of these would be: prolonged and passionate kissing, impure embracing or petting, and sexual intercourse.

These actions are always gravely wrong between unmarried people, and no “good intention” can ever make them right. If the action is committed intentionally and with sufficient reflection, then it is a mortal sin. If there is no reflection, as can happen sometimes when an impure action occurs without any forethought or intention at all, one does not sin mortally. However, it does not change the fact that the act itself was gravely wrong and one should be very careful not to let it happen again.

Indirectly Stimulating Actions

The second kind of action is anything that is in and of itself morally good or neutral, which does not have as its sole purpose the stimulation of the sexual passions. Some examples of these would be: dancing with a boyfriend/girlfriend, holding hands, kissing, affectionate or friendly embracing. While these acts are good or neutral in and of themselves and serve another purpose entirely, they can still have the effect of causing one to become aroused.

Is this then sinful? For every person, the answer can be different, according to his or her intent for doing the action.

Impure Intent

Any boy who has the intention of dancing with a girl in order to become aroused, or in order to arouse her, has already sinned against chastity and charity even though the dance itself might have been morally neutral. His intent was impure. Another example would be if that same boy found that while affectionately embracing his girlfriend he became aroused, and he continued to embrace her with the intent of further arousing himself or arousing her, even though the embrace itself was nothing at all impure.

Pure Intent

The boy who modestly kisses a girl and becomes aroused, but does not intend the arousal has not sinned even venially. Nor does he sin if he remains aroused, but does not will or desire the arousal. However, as soon as he begins to enjoy the arousal or desire it, then it is time to stop whatever action is causing the arousal, even if it is a morally good or neutral action. To continue would be to commit sin.

Near Occasions of Sin

Since people are different, different things can be for them near occasions of sin. By near occasion of sin we mean anything that “sets the stage” TO sin. For example, a couple may know from experience that every time they sit alone in the dark watching movies, the situation between them almost always tends to “go too far.” For the sake of their souls then, it would be prudent for them to watch movies with the lights on, or with other friends in the room.

What if they continue doing what they know causes them to sin gravely? Then that too would be sinful, since intentionally putting oneself in an occasion of sin is a sign that one is willing to flirt with disaster—one is willing to sin, if it “just happens.”

There are three basic things to keep in mind while dating:

Never seek out anything solely for the pleasure it brings to us. To do these would be a violation of chastity because we lack control of our sexual desires and appetites, and a violation of charity because we see the other person as an object to our pleasure.

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

DECEMBER 1
ST. EDMUND CAMPION
St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was a great speaker. 

DECEMBER 2
ST. BIBIANA
St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times. 

DECEMBER 3
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER
St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.

DECEMBER 4
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE

St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian family

DECEMBER 5
ST. SABAS

St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.

DECEMBER 6
ST. NICHOLAS

St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.

DECEMBER 7
ST. AMBROSE

St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul.

DECEMBER 8
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY

Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.

DECEMBER 9
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO

St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him.

DECEMBER 10
ST. JOHN ROBERTS

St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.

DECEMBER 11
ST. DAMASUS I

ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.

DECEMBER 12
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico.

DECEMBER 13
ST. LUCY

St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.

DECEMBER 14
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.

DECEMBER 15
ST. NINO

St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.

DECEMBER 16
ST. ADELAIDE

St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.

DECEMBER 17
ST. OLYMPIAS

St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.

DECEMBER 18
ST. FLANNAN

St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.

DECEMBER 19
BLESSED URBAN V

Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard.

DECEMBER 20
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS

St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.

DECEMBER 21
ST. PETER CANISIUS

ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer.

DECEMBER 22
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS

The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.

DECEMBER 23
ST. JOHN OF KANTY

St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk.

DECEMBER 23
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE

St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701.

DECEMBER 24
ST. CHARBEL

St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.

DECEMBER 25
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS

The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.

DECEMBER 26
ST. STEPHEN

St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.

DECEMBER 27
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE

St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.

DECEMBER 28
THE HOLY INNOCENTS

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.

DECEMBER 29
ST. THOMAS BECKET

St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.

DECEMBER 30
CST. ANYSIA

St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.

DECEMBER 31
ST. SYLVESTER

St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.

 
ABOUT ARCHANGELS
SAINT MICHAEL
St. Michael the Archangel Story
History of St. Michael the Archangel Prayer
St. Michael the Archangel Prayers
St. Michael the Archangel Apparitions
The Chaplet of St. Michael Archangel
Novena to St Micheal the Archangel
Litany of St. Michael the Archangel


SAINT GABRIEL

St. Gabriel Prayer

SAINT RAPHAEL

St. Raphael Prayer
 
PHOTO OF THE MONTH


Tour of the Relics of the Passion
(International Center for Holy Relics)
www.HolyRelics.org

 
REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
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EVENTS
Holy Relics of Advent in Hawaii
Miles Christi Women's Retreat

NEWS
The Sacrament of Marriage
Bishops Shield Pope Against BBC Assault
Much Work Remains in Many Areas

Vatican Appeals for Least Developed Countries

MAINPAGE ARTICLE
Immaculate Conception of Mary
Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast of St Jude the Miraculous Saint
Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima


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TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
ROSARY REPARATION FATIMA

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