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Faith/Spirituality Forum: Premarital Sex

by Catherine Frakas 01 Aug 2001

Premarital Sex QUESTION from Michael February 18, 2001 I have a question concerning modern day interpretation of sex before marriage. I am currently in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend for over a year. I am Catholic, and she is Protestant. We both have what I would consider a strong relationship with God, and try to live our lives the best we can.
Although the distance is very hard, we love each other very much. When we do get to see each other, although we do try to avoid it, passion sometimes gets the best of us and we engage in premarital sex.
I know it has been condemned in the Bible, and I know the Catholic Church frowns upon any/all sexual arousal before marriage. Although we do try to avoid intercourse, the passion is sometimes too great. That combined with the fact that we both truly WANT to have sex, is what sometimes breaks down our resistance to the temptation. We love each other very much, and we plan to marry someday, however we don't want to (and sometimes can't) wait until we marry to have intercourse.
My question is if there has been any modern day discussion within the church about the subject. Has anything changed since the printing of the Bible? During the times when we do give in to temptation, must I go to confession every time? Is asking for forgiveness and strength to be stronger the next time enough? If we continue to have sex, is that enough to be sent to hell?
I love God and I understand His laws. I want to do what is right, but I also want to love my girlfriend with the passion that I feel when I am with her. What is your suggestion?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on April 26, 2001 Dear Mr. Michael:
Take a cold shower!
Nothing has changed. God says: True love waits. God is the same yesterday , today, and forever and the morality of sexuality will never change. This morality is wrapped up in the very essence of who we are as human beings.
I wrote extensively on this subject a couple of times before.
Article 1
Article 2
Article 2
As to your other questions, Yes, you must go to confession each time you fall. Fornication is a GRAVE sin. You must be sincere in wanting to avoid fornication. and you must take steps to avoid it -- such as never be alone together. You have to be serious about wanting to avoid fornication, or your confession will not be a good one.
But even with this sincerity and seriousness, you may fall -- you are human, we all are. When you do, confess again. God is faithful to forgive no matter how many times you fall -- but you must be serious about wanting to stay pure and to avoid the near occasion of sin.
One of the best things would be to NEVER be alone with each other, if the temptation is too great. Better to have a chaperon than to risk your soul to hell.
It is also better to have a chaperon that to spit on the love you have with your girlfriend, because that is what you do each time you fornicate with her. You spit on her and soil her and yourself. And you spit on God. That is something I would try to avoid.
We will be in prayer for you both.
P.S. I know what you are going through. When I was Protestant and engaged way back in my teen years, we had the same problem. God loves you and he has provided you with a way out of sin.... go to confession as needed, WORK to avoid the near occasion of sin.
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