“Having fulfilled my obligation to introduce you to life (literally) saving counsel that has come into my hands as a Gift from Almighty God, it is now incumbent upon you to take seriously these matters…” – A father’s letter to his near-adult aged daughter
In January of 1997 my twin girls Madison and Reagan were gifted to me and their mother. For the next 17 years I dreaded the day that would come where the question of “dating” would occur. That day has finally arrived but I am not fearful any longer, now I am hopeful and committed to reigniting that torch carried so magnificently by The Church for nearly 2,000 years. I do however confess that upon composing this letter and subsequent post I initially felt like I was a weirdo of some sort, because we’re led to believe that this cultural sewer is doing just swell without any help from the religious and that our vaunted social scientists and engineers have been furiously programming these times with great care and much success! If 53 million slaughtered1 in abortion mills, 71% of African Americans born out of wedlock2, 45% of whites born out of wedlock and lower to middles class divorce rates reaching nearly 50% for the first-time married3 (the total % is difficult to pin down, estimates are between 41-50%) is “success” then pray tell: what is FAILURE?
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Sociologists with fancy degrees, pseudo philosophers, the political class and the mavens of the culture of death have all weighed in on this phenomena and must bear the weight of this unfolding human tragedy, but their burden is not a capella. As parents, nay as soldiers in the Church Militant, merely complaining is no longer acceptable (not that it ever should have been). Below you will find one man’s effort to reverse these trends in his own family, my family.
The parts of this letter, I sent to my baby girl are all in inset text boxes with grey backgrounds. The remainder of the piece, fleshed out for the Reader’s edification appears as regular and or indented text. READ THE ENTIRE LETTER AS WRITTEN HERE
Dearest Daughter and courtier, You are about to enter a phase of your lives that have been ill explained by me, your parent, your other parent and step-parents, your institutional teaching and support centers and most of all the clergy, which has abdicated this MOST IMPORTANT teaching in the life of nearly all humanity: Marriage and human sexuality. The survival of western civilization and the human race, made in the image of God and serving his plans, is at stake. This is not hubris and is not meant to scare or pressure although once you are acquainted with the horrors of Hell brought on to our souls with but ONE MORTAL SIN, you will fear. (continued below)
St Augustine, quoting Our Lord says that committing a Mortal Sin means committing “death of the soul”, this is what makes it mortal and what makes it damned. If you’ve never read Sister Josefa Menedez”s description of Hell, received in a visit there courtesy of Our Lord, please witness.
“My soul fell into abysmal depths, the bottom of which cannot be seen, for it is immense. . . ; Then I was pushed into one of those fiery cavities and pressed, as it were, between burning planks, and sharp nails and red-hot irons seemed to be piercing my flesh. I felt as if they were endeavoring to pull out my tongue, but could not. This torture reduced me to such agony that my very eyes seemed to be starting out of their sockets. I think this was because of the fire which burns, burns. . . not a finger nail escapes terrifying torments, and all the time one cannot move even a finger to gain some relief, not change posture, for the body seems flattened out and [yet] doubled in two. Sounds of confusion and blasphemy cease not for an instant.
A sickening stench asphyxiates and corrupts everything, it is like the burning of putrefied flesh, mingled with tar and sulfur. . . a mixture to which nothing on earth can be compared. . . although these tortures were terrific, they would be bearable if the soul were at peace. But it suffers indescribably. . . All I have written is but a shadow of what the soul suffers, for no words can express such dire torment.” 4
Think about that next time the subject of Mortal Sin and Hell comes up and someone is insisting it only exists in legend or in metaphor.
When composing his teaching in The Summa Theologica on what most every parent mistakenly believes is permissible these days: kissing, that great Doctor of the Church and famous moral teacher St Thomas Aquinas reiterated Christ, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine and the other Fathers of the Church:
Objection 1. It would seem that there is no mortal sin in touches and kisses.
On the contrary, A lustful look is less than a touch, a caress or a kiss. But according to Matthew 5:28, “Whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Much more therefore are lustful kisses and other like things mortal sins. “By their very intercourse, their blandishments, their converse, their embraces, those who are associated in a sleep that knows neither honor nor shame, acknowledge their disgrace and crime.” Therefore by doing these things a man is guilty of a crime, that is, of mortal sin.5
There is much more to learn from St Thomas on this account when it comes to excuses many parents and school administrators apply e.g. “…oh, c’mon, their just being kids, a little kissing and cuddling to Beyonce is harmless”. But that is not even remotely close to what was understood since before Solomon had “nocturnal pollution” after such an encounter. Thomas answers that ANYTHING that leads to the commission of a Mortal Sin then BECOMES a Mortal Sin. Yes, muscle shirt dads and yoga pant moms, even “…just making out”.
I answer that, A thing is said to be a mortal works. sin in two ways. First, by reason of its species, and in this way a kiss, caress, or touch does not, of its very nature, imply a mortal sin, for it is possible to do such things without lustful pleasure, either as being the custom of one’s country, or on account of some obligation or reasonable cause. Secondly, a thing is said to be a mortal sin by reason of its cause: thus he who gives an alms, in order to lead someone into heresy, sins mortally on account of his corrupt intention. Now it has been stated above (I-II, 74, 8), that it is a mortal sin not only to consent to the act, but also to the delectation of a mortal sin. Wherefore since fornication is a mortal sin, and much more so the other kinds of lust, it follows that in such like sins not only consent to the act but also consent to the pleasure is a mortal sin. Consequently, when these kisses and caresses are done for this delectation, it follows that they are mortal sins, and only in this way are they said to be lustful. Therefore in so far as they are lustful, they are mortal sins.6
(continued from above) I did not receive the benefit of the instruction you are about to receive and I lament that every moment of everyday. You will at least be presented with the opportunity of gaining, in a few short hours, knowledge that will prepare you for the rest of your lives. It matters not if you elect to practice Catholicism or remain practicing paganism, this knowledge can produce in you the roadmap to a life lived as well as it can with our eyes firmly fixed on that most desirous of all human earnings: a blessed eternity.
In the audio lectures below you will hear a great deal about the need for modesty, both in behavior and dress. This is especially true when it comes to “dating” and even more so to the period of time when any of us are in the general population. An attraction to the members of the opposite sex brought on by lust inspiring dress and behavior is likely to lead to lust inspired actions, again we face Mortal Sin in our dress. Look around western civilization today and modesty has nearly vanished as if Lucifer had created some kind of modesty killing bomb and detonated it with regularity. I might be inclined to believe this because the bomb’s Mortally Sinful payload increases in strength and vulgarity with each passing day. Witness this only slightly-retouched cover of a recent Lands End Catalog. (see complete commentary on that tragic episode of cultural decay here) I’ve written extensively on this subject quoting Pope Pius X, Pius XI and others. I’ll quote St Thomas on modesty today because he is exhaustive in his explanations and exceptions (yes, there ARE exceptions).
Question 169. Modesty in the outward apparel, Whether the adornment of women is devoid of mortal sin?
But those women who have no husband nor wish to have one, or who are in a state of life inconsistent with marriage, cannot without sin desire to give lustful pleasure to those men who see them, because this is to incite them to sin. And if indeed they adorn themselves with this intention of provoking others to lust, they sin mortally; whereas if they do so from frivolity, or from vanity for the sake of ostentation, it is not always mortal, but sometimes venial. And the same applies to men in this respect. Hence Augustine says (Ep. ccxlv ad Possid.): “I do not wish you to be hasty in forbidding the wearing of gold or costly attire except in the case of those who being neither married nor wishful to marry, should think how they may please God: whereas the others think on the things of the world, either husbands how they may please their wives, or wives how they may please their husbands, except that it is unbecoming for women though married to uncover their hair, since the Apostle commands them to cover the head.” Yet in this case some might be excused from sin, when they do this not through vanity but on account of some contrary custom: although such a custom is not to be commended.7
If you wish for me to bless your courtship and someday more, you will follow these instructions then discuss with me what you learned and what your questions are. Listen to these four lectures and be prepared to take a quiz on them, knowing what they contain will help preserve you from mortal sin:
Listen to this one FIRST: Dating: 6th and 9th Commandments
SECOND: Kissing a Vocation Goodbye [the Sacrament of marriage IS a vocation and nearly as cherished as Holy Orders themselves]
THIS PUTS IT ALL TOGETHER: Storm Clouds on the Horizon
I love you more than you know otherwise I would leave these subjects to be explained by our sick, demented culture of death. That is not an option. Having fulfilled my obligation to introduce you to life (literally) saving counsel that has come into my hands as a Gift from Almighty God, it is now incumbent upon you to take seriously these matters BEFORE you enter adulthood and reflect on them soberly. Much love and hope, Dad
1. Cited from Life News.com, “NRLC education director Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon estimates that there have been 54,559,615 abortions since 1973 based on data from both the Centers for Disease Control and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, a former Planned Parenthood research arm. Guttmacher receives numbers directly from abortion centers themselves and is the prime source for more current figures because the Centers for Disease Control”
2. See National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 63, Number 2, Table 6. Births to unmarried women, by age and race and Hispanic origin of mother: United States, final 2012 and preliminary 2013 [Data for 2013 are based on a continuous file of records received from the states. Figures for 2013 are based on weighted data rounded to the nearest individual, so categories may not add to total]
4. Quoted from “Way of Divine Love” of Sister Josefa Menendez, 1923
5. See St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question Number 154
7. See St Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question Number 169