Fonticulus Fides

Friday, December 12, 2003

Interesting conversation yesterday...

...With a young woman who identifies herself as Catholic, but believes she's better off interpretting the Bible for herself. Consequently, she's established her own moral code which differs from the Church's in quite a few significant areas. She's actually rather proud of her stance on premarital sex -- in a nutshell, it's "Just wait for Mr. Right and then you don't have to wait for the wedding."

I asked her many, many times what made her more qualified to interpret the Bible and establish rules for moral conduct than the Church, but she never answered. Though she did admit that she hadn't yet read the Bible cover to cover, only knew how to read in English, and wasn't all that clear on Catholic doctrine.

I listened to her sweet raptures of love and devotion for her current boyfriend who "will never cheat" and whom she loves so much, she would never marry another, even if he was suddenly killed tomorrow and it meant pining away for him for life. I listened to her tell me that "love is all that you need to keep a marriage alive" and refrained from laughing at her, even though I've been married for 9.5 years and I know better.

I suggested that these days of dating and engagment (whenever that happens) might be a good time for this young woman and her boyfriend to prove their faithfulness to the marital covenant by resisting their greatest temptation -- each other. How valuable such a gift would be to one another! She said she didn't get it.

She claims the best thing she can do is to follow her own heart. I pointed out that the Bible says "The heart is deceitful above all things." She accused me of wishing bad things on her, and I noted that all I wished for her was marital fidelity and everything she would need besides love to make her marriage last for life -- where those bad things?

She ended our conversation abruptly, calling me a know-it-all.

Well. I remember being in my early 20s and in love and thinking I knew what was best for me and not recognizing my own ignorance and lack of experience. It caused me a lot of pain in the end. I pray this girl will be spared the same level of pain.

I'm not surprised she discounted everything I had to say. After all, if a person rejects 2,000 years of wisdom held by the Catholic Church -- with years of "fruit-bearing" to prove its doctrines -- why would she listen to somebody like me?



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