Marriage and the Family

Fr. Joseph Noonan O.F.M.

It is truly amazing that there are some things in this world that ought to be so basic in their understanding, yet are either knowingly ignored or remain culpably ignorant by so many. The distorted and perverted ideas of a few concerning marriage and family have changed the foundations of society.

If one were to ask the average couple prior to their marriage what the primary purpose of marriage is, how many could answer correctly? I believe we may reasonably assume not nearly as many that should. The prevailing notions and lifestyles of today's society provide us with more than sufficient information so that certain conclusions may be drawn.

The answer to the question above is most likely to be a selfish one. That is, to satisfy the lower passions. In today's terms it means to engage in sex with few or no limits whatsoever. Anything beyond this (in their mind) is merely incidental. A result of this pagan mentality is what I've heard numerous times and find utterly disgusting. That one or more of their children is as "accident!" To correct such an erroneous attitude, the couple ought to realize that to engage in the marital right means to be responsible for their actions. There should be no "accidents."

Such neo-pagans ought to take the example of Tobias and Sara seriously. St. Raphael (the archangel) was advising Tobias to take Sara for his wife. Tobias was reluctant because he knew that she had been married seven times previously (for Tobias was a relative of Sara) and all seven husbands had died. St. Raphael then explained why the seven men had died. "Then the angel Raphael said to him: Hear me, and I will show thee who they are, over whom the devil can prevail. For they who in such manner receive matrimony, as to shut out God from themselves, and from their mind, and to give themselves to their lust, as the horse and mule, which have not understanding, over them the devil hath power." (Tobias: Chapter 6; Verses 16 & 17)

St. Raphael then explained how he could avoid such an end. "But when thou shalt take her, go into the chamber, and for three days keep thyself continent from her, and give thyself to nothing else but to prayers with her. And on that night lay the liver of the fish on the fire, and the devil shall be driven away. But the second night thou shalt be admitted into the society of the holy Patriarchs. And the third night thou shalt obtain a blessing that sound children may be born of you. And when the third night is past, thou shalt take the virgin with the fear of the Lord, moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayest obtain a blessing in children." (Tobias: Chapter 6; Verses 18-22)

After obtaining the permission of Sara's father to marry her, Tobias did as he was instructed by St. Raphael. "And Tobias remembering the angel's word, took out of his bag part of the liver, and laying it upon burning coals. Then the angel Raphael took the devil, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt. Then Tobias exhorted the virgin, and said to her: Sara, arise, and let us pray to God today, and tomorrow, and the next day: because for these three nights we are joined to God: and when the third night is over, we will be in our own wedlock. For we are the children of saints, and we must not be joined together like heathens that know not God. So they both arose, and prayed earnestly both together that health might be given them. And Tobias said: Lord God of our fathers, may the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and the fountains, and the rivers, and all thy creatures that are in them, bless thee. Thou madest Adam of the slime of the earth, and gavest him Eve for a helper. And now, Lord, thou knowest, that not for fleshly lust do I take my sister to wife, but only for the love of posterity, in which thy name may be blessed for ever and ever. Sara also said: Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, and let us grow old both together in health." (Tobias: Chapter 8; Verses 2-10)

One may read at the conclusion of the book of Tobias how, indeed, Tobias and Sara were blessed, for he lived to be ninety-nine years old and saw his grandchildren to the fifth generation.

I've quoted at length to illustrate two points: 1.) the primary purpose of marriage; 2.) The proper manner in which to prepare for the married state.

As the primary purpose of marriage is that of procreation, this means that every couple ought to enter into a marriage with the intention of having and raising children. The number of children ought to be determined by God alone.

There are those that desire and have large families. This is good, for large families are indeed a blessing of God. Those, though, that have no children or one or two, assuming they have in no immoral way restricted the conception of a child may certainly be at peace with themselves. It is an interesting thought, though, how God determines the number of children in a given family. How often has it been seen where a couple that desires a large family have but one or two children. On the other hand, there are those that never expected to have more than three or four children, yet have eight, nine or more. From a Catholic standpoint, it indeed is a matter that ought to rightfully be left up to Divine Providence.

The attitude which must be avoided at all costs is that of artificially restricting the number of children. Birth control, whether by pill or mechanism has become such an accepted part of today's society, that to mention its wrongfulness means to immediately bring down what seems an unending torrent of scorn upon the rightful objectors. The extent of this immoral brainwashing would seem to be best illustrated in how the pill is openly and brazenly given to teen-age girls to prevent "unwanted pregancies" and the condom is given to teen-age boys. Chastity, purity, and abstinence are ideals and virtues meant for the "dark ages" of the past in the minds of these incarnate devils.

The pill has allowed several generations of women to be as disgustingly promiscuous as they wish, to the point that it has tragically made common whores of a greater percentage of women, even though few would care to admit it. The honor and dignity of the women is today something that has not only been forgotten, but is unfortunately mocked by the "equal rights crowd." Strange, indeed, how these feminists clamor for their rights on one hand and yet lower themselves below that of cattle and swine on the other.

Men cannot be considered innocent in this matter as so many would like to think. They either promote the pill behind the scenes (some I'm sure have been so bold as to do it openly), or make regular use of the condom. In either case they prove to be nothing more male prositutes.

The astute individual has seen an all too similiar pattern in the fashion industry. Rightful complaints have come forth for years about the immoral wear of women, yet how many will place the blame on the real perpetraters of this perversion-the male designer.

Catholics, especially over the past four decades are just as guilty of these crimes as the rest of society. It is truly a scene that one can hardly describe in words, to see and hear so-called Catholics caught up in the erroneous whims of the day, racing to see who will be the first to grovel in the gutter in imitation of his more honest pagan neighbor.

The Catholic hierarchy will have a high price to pay in face of such debauchery, considering the deafening silence that has been witnessed worldwide on one hand, and the open promotion of it on the other.

(To be continued)

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