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“ARE YOU STRUGGLING AFTER AN ABORTION EXPERIENCE?”

“Are you struggling after an abortion experience?

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Between 7pm and 10pm (seven evenings per week).

All calls are charged at local rates.

ARCH – Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline.”

 
 

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“DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE TO HAVE SEX BECAUSE THE T.V. , MEDIA, ETC. TELL YOU SO?” ON PRE-MARITAL CHASTITY

MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE LEARNING THAT THEY CAN JUST BE THEMSELVES AND DON’T HAVE TO CONFORM TO WHAT THEY PERCEIVE AS SOCIETY’S EXPECTATIONS OF BEING COOL OR NOT BEING CALLED A WEIRDO. SO, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

From the Pastoral Counselling Column (details below)

[Regarding the Sixth Commandment ‘You shall not commit adultery’ and Christian teaching on the sanctity of marriage and sex, our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, respecting ourselves etc.]

QUESTION:

[Dear Friar Rick: My girlfriend and I plan to get married next spring. We understand that many people have sex without being married. We feel embarrassed and out of place and ask ourselves: Are we weirdos for waiting with sex and staying chaste till we are married?]

FRIAR RICK’S ANSWER:

“Dear Weirdos: Are you really asking a man who wears a 13th century long grey robe and has vows of poverty, obedience and celibacy what he thinks constitutes weird? Really! Well, good for you. You’ve come to the right place.

Yes, you definitely are weird. How do I know? Check out the two definitions of the online ‘Urban Dictionary’ which is the arbiter of all things cool! A weirdo is defined as:

1) ‘A person who is considered strange to other people. This person may do strange things, so this person can be considered a ‘weirdo’.’

2) ‘A non-conformist who does not follow trends or a subculture. A true ‘weirdo’ will just do what they feel, and can get along with most people. This person does not actually conform to a stereotype and shouldn’t be labelled.’

YOU ARE IN EXCELLENT COMPANY

If you accept the above definitions of weirdos then you can consider yourself to be in excellent company. You would be in line with Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as well as some of His most famous disciples including my all time favourite weirdo: St Francis of Assisi. What you may find surprising, at least I did, was that you are also in the company of a lot of your friends and neighbours. Let me explain…

[PRESERVING VIRGINITY UNTIL MARRIAGE IS A LOT MORE COMMON THAN ONE WOULD EXPECT IN OUR HIGHLY SEXUALISED CULTURE].

When I was the pastor of a parish in Toronto and worked with couples preparing for marriage there were some who in the course of the preparation admitted that they had been sexually active with one another. Let me state that when it comes to marriage preparation I am very welcoming and accepting of young people. They usually feel pretty safe to be open with me and tell me the truth. Well, to my surprise, there were quite a few couples who sometimes sheepishly acknowledged that they were both virgins. This was a lot more common than I expected in our highly sexualised culture.

PEOPLE ARE LEARNING THAT THEY CAN JUST BE THEMSELVES

It seems to me that the ‘sexual revolution’ of the 60s and 70s and its natural further development over the decades has certainly taken away the taboo feeling around sexuality. It seems to many in society that it’s okay for anyone to do anything with anyone else. No judgements. No shame. Yet I find that young people are in some ways more modest… The message has also been made and heard very clearly, that you don’t have to be sexually active unless you feel ready. Now that doesn’t exactly line up with Catholic teaching, but it moves in the right direction. Young people are learning that they can just be themselves and don’t have to conform to society’s expectations of being cool or not being called a weirdo. So, you are not alone!

ARE YOU WILLING TO BE PROUD OF THE PERSONAL AND RELIGIOUS CHOICE YOU HAVE MADE?

ARE YOU WILLING TO COME OUT OF THE ‘ABSTINENCE’ CLOSET?

Another important paradox for young people today is that in an age of social media where your every breakfast, restroom visit and yawn is documented on Facebook or Twitter, many young adults are also extremely private. So the question then arises, for you as a couple: Are you willing to come out of the ‘abstinence’ closet? Are you willing to be proud of the personal and religious choice you have made to give yourselves sexually only to the person you marry?

Your lifestyle choices may give someone else a reason to question themselves and what they are doing. It could be a graced moment of evangelisation for some of the people around you. Are you willing to take up that challenge? Your ‘Yes’ to pre-marital chastity may have a greater impact than you think on those around you.”
(This article is offered for educational purposes. It should not be seen as a substitute for obtaining counselling.)
– This article entitled “Two Weirdos? – Pre-marital chastity may have a greater impact on society than we think” by Richard Riccioli, OFM Conv. was published in Messenger of Saint Anthony” issue July-August 2013. For subscriptions please contact: Messenger of Saint Anthony, Basilica del Santo, via Orto Botanico 11, 35123 Padua, Italy.

 
 

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