CHOICE OF A MATE
[continued from yesterday]
...Lastly, there is the question of passion and personal beauty. Let it be said at once that passion is not a bad thing in itself. It is only bad when it overrides reason. Let it be said, too, that beauty of form and looks is not a thing in itself to be despised. The Church, in her office of virgins, applies to them the words of the psalmist : "With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign." So long as it is kept in due subordination to the gifts of character and virtue, then it may be prized for what it is worth. Only when opposed to the fear of God is beauty said to be vain, and form fallacious.
The great principle to be kept before one's mind, therefore, in the choice of a mate, is that the Sacrament of marriage is not a crushing or a cramping of human nature, but a perfecting and realizing of it.
If limits have been placed by the law of God, by the law of the Church, by the law of reason, then those limitations of choice are the conditions of a wider and nobler freedom.
If it seems hard to have one's choice limited to a partner of the same religion, remember that that law duly observed will be a safeguard against a multitude of more irksome limitations in the future.
If it seems unfair to have one's choice limited to those who are not of blood relationship, remember that that law duly observed will probably mean salvation from some of the most horrible calamities which can befall the marriage state.
If love seems to have limits set to it by reason, remember that those reasonable limits are the barriers which prevent love from degenerating into mere passion, and insure for it a strong and lasting endurance.
### End of Chapter IV
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.