CHOICE OF A MATE
[continued from yesterday]
...Next, compatibility of temper must be examined.
It is easy to discern. Quarrels during time of courtship may be reasonably excused from time to time. The proverb that true love never runs smoothly implies that, in the common estimation of mankind, lovers' quarrels are a part of the business of love-making among those who are not angels.
But there are some lovers whose courtship seems to be one perpetual quarrel, one everlasting carping, jealous insinuation, and complaint. Obviously such a life would only be accentuated in the marriage state, and the sooner the engagement is broken off the better for both parties.
The question of health, too, ought not to be overlooked. In earlier days the Church spoke more explicitly on the matter, though now she leaves it to the parties themselves to decide. The cases in which the difficulty most frequently arises are those of insanity and consumption. As a counsel of perfection it is well in such circumstances to abstain from matrimony.
But where this abstention is fraught with moral danger, then the advice of a medical expert should be sought. Parents have a duty toward their prospective offspring as well as to themselves. The science of heredity is anything but an exact science.
As for consumption, the treatment of it has now been so vastly improved that very many consumptive people may now marry without serious danger either to each other or to their offspring. Those, however, who contemplate such a marriage ought always to consult a specialist previously.
The questions of age, social standing, and wealth, may not be overlooked. Certainly many happy marriages have taken place between persons far removed from each other in age, fortune, and position. These, however, are exceptions rather than the rule. A young person will not naturally seek a much older one with a view to matrimony. But the cases of those hunting after a larger fortune and higher position are only too frequent. And it is these who come to grief in married life.....
From Marriage and Parenthood, The Catholic Ideal
By the Rev. Thomas J. Gerrard
Author of "Cords of Adam," "The Wayfarer's Vision," ETC.
Copyright, 1911, by Joseph F. Wagner, New York.