Third, it implies a divorce of love from the crazy vigor and cheerfulness of youth. Young people should be oriented toward love; that is natural.
We wouldn’t have them read articles proving the superiority of a way of life they cannot imagine. For the problem is bigger than that, or more fundamental. It isn’t enough that no one prevent them from going outdoors, just as it isn’t enough right now that no one prevents our young people from holding hands, delighting in the company of the opposite sex, courting, and marrying. Dancing, I know, is another one of those games that used to be passed along by the young to the young, but that’s long ceased to be the case. Where can our young people go to have innocent fun, not just alongside the other sex, but specifically for mingling with them, meeting them, flirting with them, searching for one of them to love? I’m deeply interested in theology, but most people aren’t.
Now all we’re left with are the epileptic jerks of disconnected “partners” on a strobe-lit stage, all conversation made impossible by noise from hell, or the embarrassing slow-dancing, which you can hardly engage in with somebody you are only beginning to get to know. They used to sponsor basketball games, for both the players and the people who’d be in the stands cheering them. Where are we nudging them gently along toward marriage and the sweetness of that life? The “theology” they drink in comes from Mass, from prayer, and from—note this well! It comes from learning to love someone forever, under the canopy of the Church; it comes from the vow at the altar, and the child in the cradle, and the daily charities and forbearance of married life, life in a real and precious society.
It is when the couple will plant orchards whose fruit they themselves will not enjoy—while tasting the fruit that has been made available to them by their parents and grandparents.
The married couple, open to bearing and raising children, assume wholly new relations to the world around them.
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