[continued from yesterday]
...Of course there is no reason why young people should not abstain from marriage until they have a living wage, or, having married, abstain from the marriage act, provided this can be done without danger of incontinency. This course, indeed, may be profitably recommended and the Sacraments of the Church will be the best help in carrying it out.
But Satan will be busy amongst those who try it. If it fails, marriage is the remedy in spite of all poverty, marriage and all the normal blessings of marriage, the procreation of children, the avoidance of incontinency, and the promotion of mutual love and affection.
And if eventually the marriage is to be made ideal and despoiled of the stigma of destitution, it can only be by fidelity to the complete ideal of the Church, for it pertains to the complete ideal of the Church that a man should receive as much wages for his labor as will keep himself, his wife, and his family in reasonable and frugal comfort.
The sexual question, therefore, though largely a physical and economic one, is at bottom a religious one. The restraint needful for a happy marriage wants religious illumination and strength. The marriage bond has its likeness in the bond between Christ and the Church, namely, the bond of intense, strong love. The marriage bond is thus something quite distinct from lust. Lust seeks its own animal gratification, regardless of any other end but its own Indulgence.
Love, however, seeks the higher well-being. The love of the married pair then will be tender above all things. It will be selfless to a degree so that the weaker party has every consideration. Whatever sensual pleasure may be incidental to this love, all will be controlled and directed to the higher well-being of husband, wife, and children.
[End of Chapter 7]
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.