After listening to a few other podcasts discussing fatherhood vs. priesthood, Fr. David weighs in on the topic as well.
Back a few weeks, talking with a group of guys about Confession. Now, they were talking about confessions they had given and ones I hadn’t received; but will still talk in as much generalities as I can, because this is an area that needs to be addressed to priests and that the laity could hear, too.
As they were talking, they mentioned bad advice they had been given in the confessional (and I’ve both given and received bad advice in such a place, so not casting aspersions, here), when they mentioned something that caught my ear. As many men do, there is a struggle with the ‘solitary sin.’ The advice given was along the lines of ‘find a girlfriend, get married, this problem will go away.’
This is terrible advice! And if you have ever gotten such advice, I am sorry.
Priests: If you have ever given this advice, please stop!
Why? The following reasons:
- This problem can have deep roots that need to be addressed, it doesn’t just ‘go away’ upon marriage. Explore with the penitent the ‘why’ of the thing, as that is what is going to help it go away. And it takes work for this problem to go away, and a whole helping of God’s Grace; by giving rather shallow advice, you are depriving the penitent of both of these aspects.
- This advice is demeaning to women and to married life. Intimacy in married life is not about an outlet for sexual urges, it is a sign of the deep spiritual, emotional and physical connection that exists between a husband and wife. And she is worth more than just being a sexual play toy for her husband. Please read the Theology of the Body!
- Not all men (nor all women) are called to marriage. By giving such advice, they are all being lumped into something to which they may not be called, discretion is a better part of valor, here.
Anywho, this hit a nerve with me and really seems to miss the mark as to what Confession ought to be about. I’m constantly learning how to be a better confessor, hope this helps some of the brothers to do the same.
I’m stuck at home and Fr. David is wondering about civility in public discourse, and we chat anyway!
How do we draw back the unaffiliated? By giving them something they can only find in the Mass: Transcendence.
My apologies for the late posting, but Fr. David and I recorded over a number of topics: spiritual bypass, the Inner Mom Voice, and a mention of a new Blessed who is younger than both of us!
How do we reach out to those who are unaffiliated with religion?
Fr. David and I share notes from a busy week and a bit of a reflection on the Philippians Letter and the ongoing rise of the Nones in our country.