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Seeking Advice for Seeking Marriage

Started by Kephapaulos, September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PM

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Kephapaulos

I see it paramount about working on myself in preparation for potential marriage prospects.

I see over the years my likes and dislikes and my good traits and flaws and moral defects.

Here are some observations of mine:

1) I have struggled through trial and error to read emotional cues and listen better, but it has been difficult still. It becomes hard to find the right moment to talk and to give the right expression in times of joy or seriousness. I think this might turn many women away. I may just come off too serious and perhaps appear mean and aloof to most women for all I know. I am not exactly the best looking but not the worst either. And this is all in regard to even traditional Catholic women.

2) I still live at home with my mother and stepfather. I feel obligated to take care of them, and it seems the traditional way is to take care of your parents in their old age. They are not traditional Catholics exactly, but they are open to Tradition. At least my mother is. She is definitely the one I worry about the most with her health and all, but I feel restricted sometimes by her opinions about any situations I come across, and perhaps I fear she will be right if I make the wrong decision about something and hence fear such humiliation. She's afraid to lose me because she sees me as the only one who will be there for her. Her mother, my grandmother, did not treat her right growing up as most of her siblings have not as well due to the influence of my grandmother, who has passed on. The influence still persists. My sister also is not necessarily to be relied on always for in time of need. My stepfather and father also are of the middle period babyboomer generation of men who missed the mark on self sacrifice in varying degrees. I do love all my family members and do not mean and am sorry to speak badly about them in any way. They are good people still.

3) I have pondered moving. The problem is where would I find work in an economy that could be in shambles sooner or later? It's hard enough finding another job altogether. I am 38 and work as a banker for a good company right now. I have the weakness of buying books and have a large library of overfilled bookshelves, for I have a silly fear of the internet going down with no access to basic information, most especially on the Catholic faith. I have college debt but have been on a forgiveness program for the federal loans and refinanced the private loans on a fixed rate. I am in a better situation with those now.

4) I could exercise more too. I should also eat healthier. I just need to take more time to do so. Do you recommend any good ways of increasing serotonin?

5) As for particular virtues I want to work more on would be diligence, patience, and chastity (particularly in regard to thoughts and sight).

I should have probably added another flaw or aspect to me. It can be difficult these days to not be shallow, but I can see through looks to how the person acts no matter how good looking they are. I can still observe how well they behave. There is the sweetness of sanctity (or simply a natural goodness) or the stench of sin. I need to be careful because I get tempted to shallowness often.

Strangely, I have received different responses from different priests about my case. I had pursued a vocation through the Dominican order a few years ago by writing to the different groups. Avrillé could not accept me due to college debt, and the SSPX Dominican to whom I wrote had determined I did not have a vocation to the priesthood. I even wrote to the Novus Ordo east and west Dominican provinces to see what would happen. They each responded in turn wanting to talk with me more, but I did not go any further with them.

I went on an Ignatian retreat last year and it seems I could not really be part of the area of religious or priests, and it was thought I should marry.

My own priest at the chapel thought I should marry as well, and he had said to me several years ago that it is because of how I dress that layfolk have thought I should be a priest.

Recently, still being 38, a visiting SSPX priest had told me this year that I am too old for the priesthood or marriage, and he asked me if I would be interested in the religious life.

It has become confusing for me, but I have looked toward marriage still. It is still hard to find anyone. Women do not want to act like women, nor make themselves available and are always too busy. I am not perfect and can always be a better man as well, but it is difficult to find opportunities. I cannot travel often with limited vacation time, but I will see what to do.

Nevertheless, it used to be in days of old in the early Church that priests were older when they were ordained since they were wiser by that time. It was a later thing that the Church ordained men in their twenties and capped off at a certain age, although there have been exceptions.

There seems to me to be a thing in the SSPX that they do encourage more the men and the women in their twenties to get married, which I understand and support, but they do seem to give me the impression that they do not encourage people as much in their thirties to get married. Perhaps that is due to the limitation of being able to have children in regard to age, and I know that couples who marry young can adapt more easily to one and another from the start as time goes. It just not seem fair to me and to be kind of esoteric in some way.

I liked what you had posted, Geremia, about poverty being a good indicator of a potential wife [St. John Chrysostom, De Virginitate, §47 "How woman is a helper in spiritual things."] Also, I believe he had posted in another forum about beauty being a way of eliciting charity [cf. St. Thomas, Sententia Ethic. lib. 9 (properties of friendship) l. 5 (goodwill) n. 5]. I say that in reference to what I wrote here earlier concerning shallowness.

I wish there were more women who liked theology and philosophy as well.

What do you think? Thank you.

Geremia

#1
Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PMIt becomes hard to find the right moment to talk
Perhaps you lack goodwill (benevolentia).
St. Thomas explains how friendships begin, Sententia Ethic. lib. 9 (properties of friendship) l. 5 (goodwill) n. 5:
Quotegoodwill (benevolentia) is called the beginning of friendship, as pleasure at the sight of a woman is the beginning of love for her. For no one begins to love a woman unless he has been first delighted by her beauty. However, when a man is pleased at the sight of a woman's form he does not immediately love her. But it is sign of complete love that he desires her, as if he feels her absence keenly and longs for her presence when she is absent. The same is true of friendship and goodwill, for it is impossible for people to be friends unless they have goodwill first.

Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PM2) I still live at home with my mother and stepfather. I feel obligated to take care of them, and it seems the traditional way is to take care of your parents in their old age.
One is only obliged to take care of his parents if no one else does. Canon Law allows cloistered religious to leave their cloister to help ailing parents only if no one else can.

Also, see Cornelius à Lapide's commentary on Mt. 19:29 {"every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold [Mk. 10:30: 'now in this time', i.e., in the present world, too], and shall possess life everlasting."}. Or, if you marry: Gen. 2:24: "Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh."

Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PM3) I have pondered moving. The problem is where would I find work in an economy that could be in shambles sooner or later? It's hard enough finding another job altogether. I am 38 and work as a banker for a good company right now.
Deo gratias you have work.

Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PM4) I could exercise more too. I should also eat healthier. I just need to take more time to do so. Do you recommend any good ways of increasing serotonin?
Periodic fasting and abstinence increases testosterone levels.

Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PMstill being 38, a visiting SSPX priest had told me this year that I am too old for the priesthood or marriage, and he asked me if I would be interested in the religious life.
You should consider it. Have you read St. Alphonsus' letter "Answer to a Young Man who asks Counsel on the Choice of a State of Life"?

Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PMI wish there were more women who liked theology and philosophy as well.
If they're good enough at it, they become religious. 😄

St. Jerome, in bk. 1 of his Against Jovinianus §47, gives the only source for the philosopher Theophrastus's On Marriage, "worth its weight in gold," in which he answers the question
Quotewhether a wise man marries. And after laying down the conditions — that the wife must be fair, of good character, and honest parentage, the husband in good health and of ample means, and after saying that under these circumstances a wise man sometimes enters the state of matrimony, he immediately proceeds thus
Quote from: TheophrastusBut all these conditions are seldom satisfied in marriage. A wise man therefore must not take a wife. For in the first place his study of philosophy will be hindered, and it is impossible for anyone to attend to his books and his wife. Matrons [married women] want many things, costly dresses, gold, jewels, great outlay, maid-servants, all kinds of furniture, litters and gilded coaches. Then come curtain-lectures the livelong night: she complains that one lady goes out better dressed than she: that another is looked up to by all: 'I am a poor despised nobody at the ladies' assemblies.' 'Why did you ogle that creature next door?' 'Why were you talking to the maid?' 'What did you bring from the market?' 'I am not allowed to have a single friend, or companion.' She suspects that her husband's love goes the same way as her hate. There may be in some neighbouring city the wisest of teachers; but if we have a wife we can neither leave her behind, nor take the burden with us. To support a poor wife, is hard: to put up with a rich one, is torture. Notice, too, that in the case of a wife you cannot pick and choose: you must take her as you find her. If she has a bad temper, or is a fool, if she has a blemish, or is proud, or has bad breath, whatever her fault may be — all this we learn after marriage. Horses, asses, cattle, even slaves of the smallest worth, clothes, kettles, wooden seats, cups, and earthenware pitchers, are first tried and then bought: a wife is the only thing that is not shown before she is married, for fear she may not give satisfaction. Our gaze must always be directed to her face, and we must always praise her beauty: if you look at another woman, she thinks that she is out of favour. She must be called my lady, her birth-day must be kept, we must swear by her health and wish that she may survive us, respect must be paid to the nurse, to the nursemaid, to the father's slave, to the foster-child, to the handsome hanger-on, to the curled darling who manages her affairs, and to the eunuch who ministers to the safe indulgence of her lust: names which are only a cloak for adultery. Upon whomsoever she sets her heart, they must have her love though they want her not. If you give her the management of the whole house, you must yourself be her slave. If you reserve something for yourself, she will not think you are loyal to her; but she will turn to strife and hatred, and unless you quickly take care, she will have the poison ready. If you introduce old women, and soothsayers, and prophets, and vendors of jewels and silken clothing, you imperil her chastity; if you shut the door upon them, she is injured and fancies you suspect her. But what is the good of even a careful guardian, when an unchaste wife cannot be watched, and a chaste one ought not to be? For necessity is but a faithless keeper of chastity, and she alone really deserves to be called pure, who is free to sin if she chooses. If a woman be fair, she soon finds lovers; if she be ugly, it is easy to be wanton. It is difficult to guard what many long for. It is annoying to have what no one thinks worth possessing. But the misery of having an ugly wife is less than that of watching a comely one. Nothing is safe, for which a whole people sighs and longs. One man entices with his figure, another with his brains, another with his wit, another with his open hand. Somehow, or sometime, the fortress is captured which is attacked on all sides. Men marry, indeed, so as to get a manager for the house, to solace weariness, to banish solitude; but a faithful slave is a far better manager, more submissive to the master, more observant of his ways, than a wife who thinks she proves herself mistress if she acts in opposition to her husband, that is, if she does what pleases her, not what she is commanded. But friends, and servants who are under the obligation of benefits received, are better able to wait upon us in sickness than a wife who makes us responsible for her tears (she will sell you enough to make a deluge for the hope of a legacy), boasts of her anxiety, but drives her sick husband to the distraction of despair. But if she herself is poorly, we must fall sick with her and never leave her bedside. Or if she be a good and agreeable wife (how rare a bird she is!), we have to share her groans in childbirth, and suffer torture when she is in danger. A wise man can never be alone. He has with him the good men of all time, and turns his mind freely wherever he chooses. What is inaccessible to him in person he can embrace in thought. And, if men are scarce, he converses with God. He is never less alone than when alone. Then again, to marry for the sake of children, so that our name may not perish, or that we may have support in old age, and leave our property without dispute, is the height of stupidity. For what is it to us when we are leaving the world if another bears our name, when even a son does not all at once take his father's title, and there are countless others who are called by the same name. Or what support in old age is he whom you bring up, and who may die before you, or turn out a reprobate? Or at all events when he reaches mature age, you may seem to him long in dying. Friends and relatives whom you can judiciously love are better and safer heirs than those whom you must make your heirs whether you like it or not. Indeed, the surest way of having a good heir is to ruin your fortune in a good cause while you live, not to leave the fruit of your labour to be used you know not how.

Geremia

Quote from: Kephapaulos on September 05, 2022, 12:43:55 PMI have the weakness of buying books and have a large library of overfilled bookshelves, for I have a silly fear of the internet going down with no access to basic information, most especially on the Catholic faith.
so Dominican 😆
Mirror the e-book library so you can have an offline copy.