Digging in the Conscience February

Have I made no attempt to discover God’s point of view about the intimacies of married life?

Have I refused to inform myself because an obstinate pride makes me unwilling to admit my ideas on so important a subject have been wrong, or because I shirk the mental labour of recasting my ideas at my time of life?

Do I regard intercourse as a sacramental act arranged and blessed by God; or have I instead a nasty resentful, heretical’ Manichean idea of it, causing me to harbour a secret grudge against God and latent contempt for my partner?

Have I habitually failed in my duty, by giving to intercourse only a reluctant and condescending: acquiescence and by my grudging attitude largely destroyed the value of such acquiescence?

Has my reluctance to give full sacramental and enthusiastic, expression to my love loosened the bond of union (which it is designed to cement) and endangered the continence and, marital fidelity of my partner?

Have I been selfish in the refusal or performance of intercourse? Consulted only, my own, mood, and never attempted to accommodate myself to my partner’s mood or done so only with the pose of a martyr to duty?
Intercourse is a duty whenever either party (1) seriously and (2) reasonably petitions for it. There is no obligation to accede an UNREASONABLE petition; though be it noted a petition is not unreasonable merely because he finds you in an uncongenial mood.


FOR MEN. In the preliminaries of intercourse have I nauseated my wife by complete failure to show a delicate and sensitive consideration for her feelings and desires? Have I ever tried to see intimate married life from her point of view? Refinement and unselfishness make intercourse attractive; crudity and selfishness make it repellant. Have I ever been mean enough to resort to moral compulsion and sowed the seeds of hate?

Have I raised my mind to God during intercourse and humbly thanked Him for this pleasure; this sacramental expression of love, this complement of myself; and the privilege of co-operating with Him in the creation of a human being; or have I instead considered myself “outside the pale” and mentally skulked away from His presence and His love?

Have I been entirely sincere about my reactions to intercourse and not sometimes pretended that they were what I thought (wrongly) that they ought to be and were not?
Have this insincerity been occasioned by a fear `to lose caste’ in my own eyes?

Do I realize that whilst the biological purpose of intercourse is procreation, the psychological purpose of it is the expression and preserving of a unique love, and that in consequence this unique expression of love may, and should; continue even when the biological purpose can no longer be subserved?

Have I interfered with natures course?
If deliberate, this is always a serious sin, no matter how it is done.

Have I formed my own conscience on this question, in direct opposition to the Church’s teaching, and so implicitly repudiated her infallible authority?

A fearfully serious sin, perilous to faith.

Have I deliberately – and on principle! – omitted to mention these sins in Confession; and followed sacrilegious confessions by sacrilegious Communions?
Or have I confessed these sins when I had no genuine determination to amend my life and so nourished a false idea of magical absolution, deceiving myself that as long as I managed to extract absolution from the confessor my sins would be forgiven without amendment?

Have I induced others to follow my example in this and so acted as the devil’s lieutenant and the enemy of Christ?