Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bad confessions are the road to hell for many; and of persons who have made sacrilegious confessions


St. Alphonsus: “Of Persons Who Have Made Sacrilegious Confessions. I. IN the chronicles of St. Benedict it is related that a solitary named Pelagius, who kept sheep for his poor parents, led a life so exemplary that all called him a saint. He lived in this manner many years. After the death of his parents he sold the little property that they had left him and retired into a hermitage. He, unfortunately, consented once to an unchaste thought. After this sin he fell into a state of great melancholy because he would not confess it, lest he should lose the good opinion of his confessor. While he was in this state of melancholy a pilgrim who passed by said to him: "Pelagius, confess your sin: God will pardon you, and your peace shall be restored." The pilgrim then disappeared. After this Pelagius resolved to do penance for his sin, but not to confess it, flattering him self that God would perhaps pardon him without confession. He entered into a monastery, in which he was immediately received on account of his reputation for sanctity, and there led an austere life, crucifying himself with fasts and penances. At last the hour of death came: he made his last confession; as he had always through shame concealed the sin during life, so he also concealed it at death; he received the viaticum, died, and was buried, with the reputation of a saint. On the following night the sacristan found the body of Pelagius out of its grave. He buried it again; but on the second and third nights he found the body out of the grave. He called the abbot, who, in the presence of the other monks, said: "Pelagius, you were always obedient during life; be obedient now also in death. Tell me, on the part of God, if it be the divine will that your body be kept in a particular place?" The deceased, howling, said: "Alas! I am damned for having concealed one sin in confession. O Abbot, look at my body!" And behold! his body appeared like red-hot iron sending forth sparks of fire. All fled away; but Pelagius called back the abbot, that he might remove the consecrated particle that still remained in his mouth. The abbot removed the sacred host. Pelagius then told them to take his body out of the church and to throw it on a dunghill like a dog. It was done as he desired.

“II. In the annals of the Capuchins we read of one who was esteemed a saint, but made bad confessions. Being seized with a grievous illness, he was told to go to confession. He sent for a certain Father, to whom he said, "My Father, you tell me to go to confession; but I will not make any confession." "And why?" said the Father. "Because," replied the sick man, "I am damned; for I have never confessed all my sins; and now God deprives me of the power of making a good confession." After this he began to howl, and to tear his tongue, saying, "Accursed tongue, that would not confess sins when you were able." And thus, gnawing his tongue to pieces, and howling, he breathed forth his soul into the hands of the devil. After death he became black as a cinder, a terrible noise was heard, and the room filled with an intolerable stench.

“III. Father Seraphine Razzi relates that in a city in Italy there was a married lady of noble rank who was reputed a saint. On her deathbed she received all the sacraments, and died with a high reputation for sanctity. After death her daughter, who always recommended to God the soul of her mother, heard one day, while she was at prayer, a great noise at the door. She turned round, and saw a horrible figure all on fire, and exhaling a great stench. At this sight she was so much terrified, that she was on the point of throwing herself out of the window; but she heard a voice saying: "Stop, stop, my daughter: I am your unhappy mother, who was considered a saint; but for some sins committed with your father, which I was ashamed ever to confess, God has condemned me to hell. Do not pray to God for me any more; for you only increase my pains." She then began to howl, and disappeared.

“IV. The celebrated Doctor John Ragusino relates that a certain very spiritual woman practised meditation and frequented the sacraments, so that she was considered by her Bishop to be a saint. The unhappy woman looked one day at a servant, and consented to an unchaste thought; but because the sin was only one of thought, she flattered herself that she was not bound to confess it. However, she was always tortured with remorse of conscience, and particularly in her last illness. But even at death she concealed the sin through shame, and died without confessing it. The bishop who was her confessor, and believed her to be a saint, caused her body to be carried in procession through the whole city, and through devotion got her buried in his own chapel. But on the following morning on entering the chapel he saw a body above the grave, laid on a great fire. He commanded it in the name of God to tell what it was. A voice answered that it was his penitent, and that she was damned for a bad thought. She then began to howl and to curse her shame, which had been the cause of her eternal ruin.

“V. Father Martin del Rio relates that in the province of Peru there was a young Indian called Catharine, who was a servant to a respectable lady. Her mistress induced her to receive baptism, and to frequent the sacraments. She often went to confession, but concealed some of her sins. Just before her death she made nine confessions; but they were all sacrilegious. After her confession she said to her fellow-servants that she concealed her sins. They told her mistress, who, on questioning her, found out that these sins were certain acts of impurity. She therefore told the confessor, who returned, and exhorted his penitent to confess all her sins. But Catharine obstinately refused, and got into such a state of desperation, that she turned and said to her confessor, "Father, leave me; take no more trouble: you are only losing your time;" and then she turned her face to him and began to sing some profane songs. When she was near her end her companions exhorted her to take the crucifix. She answered: "What crucifix? I know not Christ crucified, and I do not wish to know him." And thus she died. So great were the noise and stench during the night, that the mistress was obliged to leave the house. The deceased afterwards appeared to one of her companions, and said that she was damned on account of her bad confessions.

“VI. Father Francis Rodriguez relates that in England, when the Catholic religion flourished in that country, King Augubert had a daughter, who, on account of her rare beauty, was sought by many princes. Being asked by her father whether she wished to marry, she answered that she had made a vow of perpetual chastity. The father obtained a dispensation from the Holy See, but she resolutely refused to accept it, saying that she wished for no other spouse than Jesus Christ. She only asked of her father permission to live a solitary life in his house. The father, because he loved her, complied with her request, and assigned to her a suitable maintenance. In her retirement she began to lead a saintly life in meditation, fasting, and works of penance, frequenting the sacraments, and frequently going to the hospitals to attend the sick. While she lived in this manner she fell sick in her youth and died. A certain lady who had been in her governess, while at prayer one night, heard a great noise, and saw a soul in the form of a woman in a strong fire, and bound in chains, in the midst of a multitude of devils. The soul said, "Know that I am the unhappy daughter of Augubert." "What!" replied the governess; "are you damned after a life so holy?" "Yes," replied the soul; "I am justly damned through my own fault. "And why?" "You must know that in my youth I took pleasure in listening to one of my pages, for whom I had an affection, reading a certain book. Once, after reading the book for me, the page kissed me; the devil began to tempt me, till in the end I committed sin with the page. I went to confession, and began to tell my sin; my indiscreet confessor instantly reproved me, saying, "What! has a queen been guilty of such a sin?" I then, through shame, said it was a dream. I afterwards began to perform penitential works and give alms, that God might pardon me without confessing the sin. At death I said to the confessor that I was a great sinner; he told me to banish the thought as a temptation. After this I expired, and am now damned for all eternity." She then disappeared amid such noise, that the whole world appeared to be falling in pieces, and left in the chamber an intolerable stench, which lasted for many days.

“VII. Father John Baptist Manni, of the Society of Jesus relates that a certain lady had for several years concealed in confession a sin of impurity. Two religious of the Order of St. Dominic passed by the place. The lady, who was always waiting for a strange confessor, entreated one of them to hear her confession. When the Fathers departed, his companion said to the confessor of the lady that while she was confessing her sins he saw many serpents coming from her mouth, but that there was a large, horrible-looking serpent, whose head only came out, but afterwards went back entirely into the lady’s mouth. He then saw all the serpents that came out return again. The confessor went back to the house of the lady, and on entering heard that she had died suddenly. Afterwards, when he was at prayer, the unhappy woman appeared and said to him, "I am the unfortunate person that made my confession to you; I committed one sin, which I voluntarily concealed from the confessors of the place. God sent you to me; but even then I could not conquer the shame of telling it. He therefore struck me suddenly dead when you entered the house, and has justly condemned me to hell." After these words the earth opened, and she fell into the chasm and instantly disappeared.

“VIII. Saint Antony relates that there was a widow who began to lead a holy life, but afterwards, by familiarity with a young man, was led into sin with him. After her fall she performed penitential works, gave alms, and even entered into a monastery, but never confessed her sin. She became abbess. She died, and died with the reputation of a saint. But one night a nun who was in the choir heard a great noise, and saw a spectre encompassed with flames. She asked what it was. The spectre answered, "I am the soul of the abbess, and am in hell." "And why?" "Because in this world I committed a sin, and have never confessed it. Go, and tell this to the other nuns, and pray no more for me." She then disappeared amid great noise.

“IX. In the annals of the Capuchins it is related that a certain mother, on account of having made sacrilegious confessions, began at death to cry out that she was damned for her grievous sins and for her bad confessions. Among other things, she said that she was bound to make restitution to certain persons, and that she had always neglected to do so. Her daughter then said to her, "My mother, let what you owe be restored; I am satisfied to sell all, provided your soul be saved." The mother answered: "Ah, accursed child! I am damned also on your account; for I have scandalized you by my bad example." Thus she continued to howl like one in despair. They sent for one of the Capuchin Fathers. When he arrived he exhorted her to trust in the mercy of God; but the unhappy woman said: "What mercy! I am damned: sentence is already passed upon me, and I have already begun to feel the pains of hell." While she spoke thus, her body was raised to the ceiling of the chamber, and dashed with violence against the floor, and she instantly expired.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, pp. 571-78)

“In the life of Father John Ramirez, of the Society of Jesus, it is related that, while preaching in a certain city, he was called to hear the confession of a girl who was dying. She was of noble birth, and had apparently led a holy life; she went frequently to Communion, fasted, and performed other mortifications. At death she confessed her sins to Father Ramirez with many tears, so that he was greatly consoled. But, after returning to the college, his companion said that while the young lady was making her confession he saw a black hand squeezing her throat. The Father immediately returned to the house of the sick lady, but before entering he heard that she was dead. He then returned to his college, and while he was at prayer the deceased appeared to him in a horrible form, surrounded by flames, and bound in chains, and said that she was damned on account of a sin committed with a young man, which she voluntarily concealed in confession through shame, and that at death she wished to confess it, but the devil induced her, through the same shame, to conceal it. After these words she disappeared, amid the most frightful howling and terrific clanking of chains.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol 15, p. 548)

“A similar misfortune befell a sinner who was damned on account of having deferred his confession. Venerable Bede relates that this man, who had been fervent, fell into tepidity and mortal sin, and deferred confession from day to day. He was seized with a dangerous illness; and even then put off his confession saying that he would afterwards go to confession with better dispositions. But the hour of vengeance had arrived: he fell into a deadly swoon in which he thought that he saw hell open under his feet. After he had come to his senses again, the persons who stood round his bed begged him to make his confession, but he answered: "There is no more time; I am damned." They continued to encourage him. "You are losing time," said he; "I am damned, I see hell opened; I there see Judas, Caiphas, and the murderers of Jesus Christ; and near them I see my place, because, like them, I have despised the blood of Jesus Christ by deferring confession for so long a time." Thus the unhappy man died in despair without confession, and was buried like a dog outside the church without having a prayer offered for his soul.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol 15, p. 528)

“Tell me, my sister, if, in punishment of not confessing a certain sin, you were to be burnt alive in a caldron of boiling pitch, and if, after that, your sin were to be revealed to all your relatives and neighbors, would you conceal it? No, indeed, if you knew that by confessing it your sin would remain secret, and that you would escape being burnt alive. Now, it is more than certain that, unless you confess that sin, you will have to burn in hell for all eternity, and that on the day of judgment it will be made known to the whole human race. "We must all," says the Apostle, "be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ" (i. Cor. v. 10). "If," says the Lord, "you do not confess the evil you have done, I will proclaim your ignominy to all nations; I will discover thy shame to thy face, and will show. . . thy shame to kingdoms" (Nah. iii. 5).” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol 15, pp. 549-50)

St. Alphonsus: “There is a more terrible example related in the "Teresian Chronicles." A girl fell into a sin, which she was ashamed to confess, and afterwards made three sacrilegious Communions. After the third Communion she was suddenly struck dead before the altar. Her countenance appeared, not black, but full of splendor. All cried out; "A saint! a saint!" and her body was carried in procession through the whole neighborhood. But mark what happened, and tremble at the thought of receiving Communion in mortal sin. An angel appeared to a Teresian Carmelite friar, who was in his cell, during the night on which the body of the unhappy girl lay unburied in the church. The angel conducted the Father to the church, and commanded him to open the mouth of the deceased. He opened her mouth, and found the three Hosts that she had received in the state of sin, and placed them in a ciborium. After the removal of the Hosts her countenance appeared no longer bright and resplendent, but black and horrible.”

St. Alphonsus: “It is necessary to communicate; but, as has been said, it is necessary to communicate in a state of grace; otherwise the Communion will become a poison, or rather a halter to strangle the unworthy communicant. St. Cyprian relates that a Christian woman who, in order to conceal herself, had through fear of the persecution done an action contrary to faith, came to the church, and went to Communion without confessing her sin. But what was the consequence? The sacred Host remained in her throat; the throat instantly swelled in such a manner that she began to tremble from head to foot, and so expired.”

St. Alphonsus: “Listen to this example: A boy used often to go to confession; and every one took him to be a saint. One night he had a hemorrhage, and he was found dead. His parents went at once to his confessor, and crying begged him to recommend him to God; and he said to them: "Rejoice; your son, I know, was a little angel; God wished to take him from this world, and he must now be in heaven; should he, however, be still in purgatory, I will go to say Mass for him." He put on his vestments to go to the altar; but before leaving the sacristy, he saw himself in the presence of a frightful spectre, whom he asked in the name of God who he was. The phantom answered that he was the soul of him that had just died. Oh! is it you? exclaimed the priest; if you are in need of prayers, I am just going to say Mass for you. Alas! Mass! I am damned, I am in hell! And why? "Hear," said the soul: "I had never yet committed a mortal sin; but last night a bad thought came to my mind; I gave consent to it, and God made me die at once, and condemned me to hell as I have deserved to be. Do not say Mass for me; it would only increase my sufferings." Having spoken thus, the phantom disappeared.” (The complete ascetical works of St. Alphonsus, vol 15, p. 167)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Why the missionary position is considered as the only appropriate form of sexual intercourse between a husband and wife according to the teaching of the Church

Note: None of the teachings on our site must be deemed absolutely infallibly or true, and the reader must be advised to follow his own conscience. Even if our teachings proclaim this or that position to be true (according to our own interpretation), the reader must understand that this is our own private interpretation of saint quotes and church teachings: dogmas and encyclicals. Whatever the case may be, always follow what you think the church teaches on any matter; and do not trust blindly on what is taught on our site (even if we claim this or that position is a mortal sin) – even if our position may seem true and infallible (you may, however, follow what we teach blindly if you think this is the true position). If you have worries about any position, ask a knowledgeable friend or priest for guidance; and if you have further concerns, ask another priest or even several priests to see what he thinks about this or that position. No one can be forced to believe in any position that is uncertain, and the reader must be advised to follow his conscience. So if you think any position is uncertain according to your own conscience, make a reasonable judgment, and then ask for advice or continue to study the issue until you have made a right judgment – according to your conscience.

Christian moralists, canonists, and theologians from the patristic period onward commonly maintained that only one posture was appropriate and natural for human sexual intercourse.

St. Albertus Magnus the Great, Doctor of the Church, (c. 1206-1280): “Nature teaches that the proper manner is that the woman be on her back with the man lying on her stomach.” (Commentarii in IV Sententiarum (Dist. XXIII-L))

Deviation from this was sanctioned only when illness or physical obesity necessitated or when there was danger of smothering the foetus in the advanced stages of pregnancy.

Many readers will undoubtedly question why the missionary position would be considered as the only appropriate form of sexual intercourse between a husband and wife. The simple answer to this question is because of the natural order of the hierarchy so established by God, because in marriage the husband is the head of the wife.

Ephesians 5:23 “Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the savior of his body.”

The missionary position is simply a bodily manifestation of this. If it were otherwise, the woman would be more like a man (more like the head and in control) and the man more like a woman (more submissive and receptive), which is contrary to nature.

Genesis 1:27 “And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.”

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches the same concept in his “Summa Theologica”:

“These species are differentiated on the part of the woman rather than of the man, because in the venereal act the woman is passive and is by way of matter, whereas the man is by way of agent [in way of acting]...” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Second Part of the Second Part, Q. 154, Art. 1)

Thus, the Catholic Church teaches that any sexual position performed by the spouses where the woman is by way of agent, (that is, when she is more in control of the sexual act with her movements) is contrary to nature and tradition, in addition to the natural hierarchy so established by God.

But there are also other reasons why the Church commonly have recommended only the missionary position. The most obvious reason, of course, is because these other positions or “experimentations” are usually more “exciting” to people who practice them, since it enhances their lust and gives them greater levels of pleasure or enjoyment than they otherwise would have, in addition to making the act more bestial. So that’s why Church tradition holds as contrary to nature those other positions. The Church has as it’s main goal the preservation of morality and the salvation of souls, and not that of appeasing stiff-necked, lust-seeking couples who are searching for new ways to damn themselves. The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, who was well aware of the sexual depravity of humankind, refers to these most obvious reasons in his writings as well:

St. Thomas Aquinas, In Libros Sententiarum, Chapter IV, Section 31, 2, 3: “Marital relations are contrary to nature when either the right receptacle or the proper position required by nature is avoided. In the first case it is always a mortal sin because no offspring can result, so that the purpose of nature is completely frustrated. But in the second case [of inappropriate sexual positions] it is not always a mortal sin, as some say, though it can be the sign of a passion which is mortal; at times the latter can occur without sin, as when one’s bodily condition does not permit any other method. In general, this practice is more serious the more it departs from the natural way.”

St. Thomas Aquinas’ mentor, St. Albertus Magnus the Great, also a Doctor of the Church, taught that to depart from the “natural position” for human intercourse, the husband on top of his wife, was to become like the “brute animals.” (Albert the Great, On the Sentences, 4.31.24) St. Thomas Aquinas elaborated on that concept, teaching that: “by not observing the natural manner of copulation [that is, by not performing only the normal procreative marital act], either as to undue means, or as to other monstrous and bestial manners of copulation,” the married couple commits sin by going “contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I:II, q. 154, art. 11) Since St. Thomas even condemns a procreative sexual act other than the normal marital act, even though it is totally procreative in itself, who but a madman or liar would refuse to admit that the Saint also condemns sensual kisses and touches in marriage, because such acts are not even procreative, and must therefore be infinitely more sinful.

Thomas Sánches, S.J. in De sancto matrimonio sacramento, condemned the reversal of the normal sexual position as against nature:

“This way of going about things is absolutely contrary to the laws of nature… it is not only the position of the person that is being reversed but also their condition: and it is in the nature of things that the male should perform and the female submit. The very fact that the male places himself underneath makes him passive while the woman by putting herself on top becomes active. Who could deny seeing that nature is filled with horror at such a turning upside down?” (De sancto matrimonio sacramento, IX, XIV, I)

“In 1215, the cleric Johannes Teutonicus ...[announced] that there was only one “natural” coital position — what we today call “the missionary position,” a term that was coined in the 1960s — which was also optimal for conception. Attempting any other position was a mortal sin, Johannes opined, involving exotic and unnecessary forms of stimulation. ... Alexander of Hales railed against coitus retro, the rear-entry position, as a mortal sin, for it was coupling “in the manner of brutes.” St. Albert the Great discussed in detail four other forbidden positions: lateral (side by side), seated, standing, and anal sex. 

The handbooks listed recommended penance of bread, water, and abstinence for exotic congress. A consensus on the punishments included the following:
Dorsal sex (woman on top): three years 

Lateral, seated, standing: 40 days 

Coitus retro — rear entry: 40 days 

Mutual masturbation: 30 days 

Inter-femural sex — ejaculation between the legs: 40 days 

Coitus in terga — anal sex: three years (with an adult); two years (with a boy); seven years (habitual); 10 years (with a cleric)
Theologians were divided on the punishment for coitus interruptus, the withdrawal method that frustrated procreation, arguing for a penance of between two and 10 years, while semenem in ore (semen in the mouth) could attract anywhere from three to 15 years. Pierre de La Padule added that sex during menstruation, sex in churches and sex preceded by kissing and fondling were almost as bad as the previously mentioned positions. Masturbation was so common that it only incurred a 10-day penalty for men and 30 days for monks, but women who used “erotic devices” did penance for one year.”

[Sources/Further Reading: Brundage, James A., “Let Me Count the Ways: Canonists and Theologians Contemplate Coital Positions,” Journal of Medieval History, vol. 10, 1984, 81-94; Richards, Jeffrey, Sex , Dissidence and Damnation: Minority Groups in the Middle Ages, New York, 1993] (Tony Perrottet, The Holy Guide To Coital Positions, 2008)
In truth, “Some, then, as we have shown, have tried to go beyond what is right and the concord that marks salvation which is holy and established. … They have abandoned themselves to lust without restraint and persuade their neighbors to live licentiously; as wretches they follow the Scripture: "Cast your lot in with us; let us all have a common purse and let our moneybag be one." [Prov. 1:14] On account of them the same prophet gives us advice saying: "Go not in the way with them, withdraw thy foot from their steps. For not unjustly are nets spread out to catch birds; for they are guilty of bloodshed and treasure up evil for themselves" [Prov. 1:15-18] that is, they seek for immorality and teach their neighbors to do the same. According to the prophet they are "fighters struck with their own tails" (ourai), to which the Greeks give the name kerkoi. Those to whom the prophecy refers might well be lustful, incontinent, men who fight with their tails, children of darkness and wrath… And again in anger at such people he directs that we should "have no fellowship with any one called a brother if he is a fornicator or covetous man or idolater or reviler or drunkard or robber; with such a man one ought not even to eat." [1 Cor. 5:11] "For I through the law am dead to the law," he says, "that I may live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live," meaning that I used to live according to my lusts, "but Christ lives in me," and I am pure and blessed by obeying the commandments; so that whereas at one time I lived in the flesh carnally, "the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God" [Gal. 2:19-20].” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XVIII, Section 105-106)

For those who want to read and learn a lot more on sexual ethics, I can recommend the following interesting and informative article that is absolutely packed with quotes from the popes, saints and fathers of the Church:

Sexual Pleasure, the Various Sexual Acts, and Procreation

Friday, April 28, 2017

A “venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering” according to Our Lord Jesus Christ

As we have already seen, the Church’s official teaching that condemns the statement that “the [normal, natural and procreative] act of marriage exercised for pleasure only is entirely free of all fault and venial defect shows us that all unnatural and non-procreative sexual acts are mortally sinful. This teaching of Blessed Pope Innocent XI, however, does not say that it is only a venial sin to perform the normal, natural and procreative marital act for pleasure only, but merely condemns the unnatural and selfish opinion and heresy that this vile act “is entirely free of all fault and venial defect”. This teaching of Pope Innocent XI does not specify whether even the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure onlyis a mortal or a venial sin, and so, it is still possible that this act could be a mortal sin rather than a venial sin.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Subjects #9, March 4, 1679: “THE ACT OF MARRIAGE EXERCISED FOR PLEASURE ONLY IS ENTIRELY FREE OF ALL FAULT AND VENIAL DEFECT.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI. (Denz. 1159)

Although a venial sin does not separate us from God as does a mortal sin, a venial sin can still lead a person to Hell, since it might cause him to commit other graver sins, and, because he did not care to stop doing what he knew was a danger to his soul, but even took great delight in it, though he knew it was offending God. To consent to deliberate venial sins is of course very bad. We can learn this truth from Jesus Christ Himself, because according to Jesus Christ: “a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.” This shocking truth was expressly revealed to St. Bridget in the following Revelation, in which Our Lord spoke, saying:

Moreover, know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.” (The Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 7, Chapter 27)

According to this definition by Our Lord Jesus Christ, if a person were to commit a venial sin but does not want to or intend to continue committing this sin again in the future, such a person would not be in a state of damnation because of his sin, even if it turned out that he committed it again in the future, because his will at the time was not to continue doing it.

In contrast, if another person has “the intention of persevering” in a venial sin and does not repent with a firm resolution or will to stop doing this sin again in the future, but intends to continue doing it and are unrepentant for his sin, then he is in a state of damnation.

Our Lord’s words are crystal clear that a “venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.” Thus, the venial sin that is practiced “with an intention of persevering” and “if a human being delights in it” is made mortal, and all mortal sins must always be wiped away by perfect contrition and repentance if one wishes to be saved. Unless a person repents and firmly resolves to change and stop doing the venial sin that he had “an intention of persevering” in, he will be damned. So don’t think that you are “safe” just because you’re “only” sinning venially. For the fact of the matter is that you in fact are in mortal sin and will be damned to burn in Hell for all eternity because of the venial sin if you intend to persevere in it! It is thus clear that “the smallest sin, lusted after, is enough to damn anyone from the kingdom of Heaven, who does not repent.” (Jesus speaking to St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 32)

The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, has the following interesting things to say about how a venial sin can become a mortal sin, and about the evil action of choosing sin before choosing to love God:

“The very fact that anyone chooses something that is contrary to divine charity, proves that he prefers it to the love of God, and consequently, that he loves it more than he loves God. Hence it belongs to the genus of some sins, which are of themselves contrary to charity, that something is loved more than God; so that they are mortal by reason of their genus… Sometimes, however, the sinner’s will is directed to a thing containing a certain inordinateness, but which is not contrary to the love of God and one’s neighbor, e.g. an idle word, excessive laughter, and so forth: and such sins are venial by reason of their genus… It is written (Sirach 19:1): "He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little." Now he that sins venially seems to contemn small things. Therefore by little and little he is disposed to fall away together into mortal sin.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Q. 88, Art. 2 & 3, Reply to Objection 1/On the contrary)

And further on, he says:

Whether a venial sin can become mortal? I answer that, The fact of a venial sin becoming a mortal sin… This is possible, in so far as one may fix one’s end in that venial sin, or direct it to some mortal sin as end, as stated above (Article 2). [Excerpt from article 2:] … it happens sometimes that a sin which is venial generically by reason of its object, becomes mortal on the part of the agent, either because he fixes his last end therein, or because he directs it to something that is a mortal sin in its own genus; for example, if a man direct an idle word to the commission of adultery.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part of the Second Part, Q. 88, Art. 4 & 2)

A good example that demonstrates the difference between venial and mortal sin is the sin of drunkenness. For instance, a person who only gets a “little drunk” has committed a venial sin, while the person who gets “drunk” has committed a mortal sin. However, the first moment the person who committed the venial sin of getting a “little drunk” have made up his mind (or intention) to persevere in his venial sin of drunkenness, that is, he has no intention of stopping to commit this sin against God, then this venial sin has turned into a mortal and damnable one because of his deliberate contempt and scorn of the all good God whom he is willfully offending.

These facts, then, demonstrates that all those people who have an “intention of persevering” in performing even the normal, natural and procreative marital act for the sole sake of sensual pleasure are in a state of damnation, and that they would be condemned to Hell for this sin alone. And this is just speaking about those who perform the normal sexual act without any other immoral or sinful act. Today, it is indeed true to say that a huge part of both men and women in the western world not only have an “intention of persevering” in performing the normal sexual act for the sole sake of pleasure until death, which is damnable in itself, but that almost all of them have an “intention of persevering” in committing all kinds of damnable sexual perversions in the sexual act as well, such as masturbation of self or of spouse, foreplay, anal or oral sex, and shameful and sensual kisses or touches on different body parts, etc., which are acts so shameful, detestable and wicked that they scream to Heaven for vengeance! Eternal Hell and insufferable, indescribable torments will rightly and justly be the lot of all those people!

Considering the above facts, for a person then to deliberately and consciously live in venial sin or to commit even a single venial sin (even without an intention of persevering) is of course very bad, since it has always been a wide gateway into committing more grave sins. Many people, for instance, fail to see (or don’t think about) that most mortal sinners (like alcoholics and perverts) did not start out their life in this way. In the beginning, people are generally lured by the Devil by first committing a venial sin, and then, gradually, when he’s got a grip on them and has fooled them and made them comfortable in their sin, he easily inspires them into committing graver sins, such as mortal sins. No person starts out as a rapist or a child molester. This is a gradual process of evolution in wickedness. Therefore, it is of the greatest importance to fight against all venial sins and to do one’s utmost not to consent to them.

A clearer demonstration of this fact can also be found in the following revelation in St. Bridget’s Revelations:

The Son of God speaks to the bride (St. Bridget), saying: “What are you worried and anxious about?” She answered: “I am afflicted by various useless thoughts that I cannot get rid of, and hearing about your terrible judgment upsets me.” The Son answered: “This is truly just. Earlier you found pleasure in worldly desires against my will, but now different thoughts are allowed to come to you against your will.
“But have a prudent fear of God, and put great trust in me, your God, knowing for certain that when your mind does not take pleasure in sinful thoughts but struggles against them by detesting them, then they become a purgation and a crown for the soul. But if you take pleasure in committing even a slight sin, which you know to be a sin, and you do so trusting to your own abstinence and presuming on grace, without doing penance and reparation for it, know that it can become a mortal sin. Accordingly, if some sinful pleasure of any kind comes into your mind, you should right away think about where it is heading and repent.
“… God hates nothing so much as when you know you have sinned but do not care, trusting to your other meritorious actions, as if, because of them, God would put up with your sin, as if he could not be glorified without you, or as if he would let you do something evil with his permission, seeing all the good deeds you have done, since, even if you did a hundred good deeds for each wicked one, you still would not be able to pay God back for his goodness and love. So, then, maintain a rational fear of God and, even if you cannot prevent these thoughts, then at least bear them patiently and use your will to struggle against them. You will not be condemned because of their entering your head, unless you take pleasure in them, since it is not within your power to prevent them.
“Again, maintain your fear of God in order not to fall through pride, even though you do not consent to the thoughts. Anyone who stands firm stands by the power of God alone. Thus fear of God is like the gateway into heaven. Many there are who have fallen headlong to their deaths, because they cast off the fear of God and were then ashamed to make a confession before men, although they had not been ashamed to sin before God. Therefore, I shall refuse to absolve the sin of a person who has not cared enough to ask my pardon for a small sin. In this manner, sins are increased through habitual practice, and a venial sin that could have been pardoned through contrition becomes a serious one through a person’s negligence and scorn, as you can deduce from the case of this soul who has already been condemned.
After having committed a venial and pardonable sin, he augmented it through habitual practice, trusting to his other good works, without thinking that I might take lesser sins into account. Caught in a net of habitual and inordinate pleasure, his soul neither corrected nor curbed his sinful intention, until the time for his sentencing stood at the gates and his final moment was approaching. This is why, as the end approached, his conscience was suddenly agitated and painfully afflicted because he was soon to die and he was afraid to lose the little, temporary good he had loved. Up until a sinner’s final moment God abides him, waiting to see if he is going to direct his free will away from his attachment to sin.
However, if a soul’s will is not corrected, that soul is then confined by an end without end. What happens is that the devil, knowing that each person will be judged according to his conscience and intention, labors mightily at the end of life to distract the soul and turn it away from rectitude of intention, and God allows it to happen, since the soul refused to remain vigilant when it ought to have...” (The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden, Book 3, Chapter 19)

Again, Our Lord’s words are crystal clear: a deliberate venial sin becomes a mortal sin if it’s done with an intention of persevering in it. Our Lord also explained that even a slight sin without an intention of persevering in it “can become a mortal sin” if a person does not do “penance and reparation for it” and if they don’t feel any sorrow for their sin. But why? Jesus goes on to explain that as well, saying that “sins are increased through habitual practice” and that “a venial sin that could have been pardoned through contrition becomes a serious one through a person’s negligence and scorn, as you can deduce from the case of this soul who has already been condemned.” He then proceeds to describe this sorrowful and condemned person that tragically was living in sin even until death: “After having committed a venial and pardonable sin, he augmented [increased] it through habitual practice” and “Caught in a net of habitual and inordinate pleasure, his soul neither corrected nor curbed his sinful intention, until the time for his sentencing stood at the gates and his final moment was approaching.”

Considering all of the above, what then does God think of married couples who come together in the marital act in sinful lust and concupiscence and about those who work on inflaming their sinful lust rather than quieting it?

The Son of God speaks to St. Bridget: “They seek a warmth and sexual lust that will perish and love flesh that will be eaten by worms. … When the couple comes to bed, my Spirit leaves them immediately and the spirit of impurity approaches instead, because they only come together for the sake of lust and do not discuss or think about anything else with each other. … Such a married couple will never see my face unless they repent. For there is no sin so heavy or grave that penitence and repentance does not wash it away. …
“For that reason, I wish to turn to the spiritual marriage, the kind that is appropriate for God to have with a chaste soul and chaste body. There are seven good things in it opposed to the evils mentioned above: First, there is no desire for beauty of form or bodily beauty or lustful sights, but only for the sight and love of God. Second, there is no desire to possess anything else than what is needed to survive, and just the necessities with nothing in excess. Third, they avoid vain and frivolous talk. Fourth, they do not care about seeing friends or relatives, but I am their love and desire. Fifth, they desire to keep the humility inwardly in their conscience and outwardly in the way they dress. Sixth, they never have any will of leading lustful lives. Seventh, they beget sons and daughters for their God through their good behavior and good example and through the preaching of spiritual words.
“They preserve their faith undefiled when they stand outside the doors of my church where they give me their consent and I give them mine. They go up to my altar when they enjoy the spiritual delight of my Body and Blood in which delight they wish to be of one heart and one body and one will with me, and I, true God and man, mighty in heaven and on earth, shall be as the third with them and will fill their hearts. The worldly spouses begin their marriage in lustful desires like brute beasts, and even worse than brute beasts! But these spiritual spouses begin in love and fear of God and do not bother to please anyone but me. The evil spirit fills and incites those in the worldly marriage to carnal lust where there is nothing but unclean stench, but those in the spiritual marriage are filled with my Spirit and inflamed with the fire of my love that will never fail them.” (Jesus Christ speaking to St. Bridget, in the Revelations of St. Bridget, Book 1, Chapter 26)

As we can see, Jesus Christ views such foul, impure spouses as described above as eternally condemned. (But look what nice words He speaks about the spouses who are not governed by their lust in their marital acts!) Therefore, a couple may not do anything before, during or after the procreative act that is against the primary or secondary purpose of marriage: the begetting of children, and the quieting of concupiscence.

So contrary to modern day notion and common opinion (even amongst those who dare to call themselves by the name of Catholic and who should live like angels), a husband and wife are never allowed to “help” themselves with their hands or do other things to enhance their lust and in this way make themselves “ready” before the act as they so call it and their shameful and sinful excuse is. If a couple really believes in God they should pray to God before coming together and God will hear their prayers and make them ready without any further need by the couple to inflame their lust in a sinful way. Lubricants are of course also acceptable and the non-sinful and honorable way to use if there is a problem to complete the marital act. However, lubricants that increase sexual pleasure and that now are being manufactured and sold are of course totally unacceptable.

Likewise, if a woman was not able to quiet her concupiscence before the completion of the procreative act, it is unlawful for her (or her husband) to help herself afterwards. If husband and wife engage in unlawful activities such as masturbation, oral sex, or any other unnecessary or non-procreative evil act, they always commit a mortal sin. Barren couples and people with defects or old age still fulfills the primary end of marriage through normal intercourse by being open to conception and desiring children and not being against conception if it should occur. Husband and wife are forbidden to indulge in all unnecessary sexual acts, that is, to masturbate themselves or their spouse or to fondle with their hands in improper, shameful bodily places (like the genital and breast area) and in this way enhance their lust. Masturbation, lewd or sensual kisses and touches is as forbidden during the procreative act as it is at any other time for any person. To avoid falling into mortal sin, a good husband and wife must learn to pray to God for relief in their concupiscence and lust. (The Most Holy Rosary is also the best weapon to use in order to conquer the Devil’s temptations.) If a pious couple really wants help from God, He will help them and remove the concupiscence and sinful lust from them. It is also many times necessary to offer up penances to God like fasting and eating less tasty food in order to acquire this goal. These small penances coupled with spiritual reading and prayer will help a couple to stem their sinful inclinations, as long as they stay out of mortal and venial sins.

God almost never allows sinners to be freed from their attachment to sin unless they first offer up “penance and reparation for it.” Our Lord is crystal clear that penance is a great necessity for freeing the soul from the bondage of sin.

Jesus Christ speaking to St. Bridget: “But if you take pleasure in committing even a slight sin, which you know to be a sin, and you do so trusting to your own abstinence and presuming on grace, without doing penance and reparation for it, know that it can become a mortal sin.” (St. Bridget’s Revelations, Book 3, Chapter 19)

It is also of the greatest importance that husband and wife are not influenced by the evil and demonic teachings that are rampant in the secular world – even amongst those who dare to call themselves “Catholic” or “traditional Catholic”, or even worse, “Priest” or “Bishop”. These perverted people will tell you things such as, “that almost nothing is wrong in the marital act as long as the primary purpose of the act was achieved at some point. Whatever happens before, during or afterwards, was part of that act and is therefore licit and permitted.” This statement, as we have seen, is clearly false and have been thoroughly refuted by the teaching of Pope Pius XI that condemns all non-procreative sexual acts, as well as from the teaching of Pope Innocent XI that condemns the heretical idea that the marital act performed for pleasure only is without any fault or venial defect.

In truth, all men and women of good will can of course see that the words of Holy Scripture – that prophesies and directly describes our lamentable, evil time where almost universal perversion rules all of society – has been directly fulfilled to the letter by those who hold such perverted views concerning the marital sexual act. “Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts...” (2 Peter 3:3) “Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared...” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

Anyone therefore that agrees with or acts upon the teachings of such demonically inspired people will lose their souls, since they are rejecting the natural law that God has imprinted on their hearts, which tells them that such activities are inherently wrong, evil, selfish, unnecessary, and above all, shameful. “For the things that are done by them in secret are shameful, even to mention.” (Ephesians 5:12)

This is also why Pope Pius XII teaches that a Christian has “a dignity which restrains the excess of sensuality” even in marriage, and non-procreative sexual acts are precisely “excess of sensuality” as they are not necessary for procreation, and thus are excess of sensual desire. Pope Pius XII is clear, as is the Holy Bible, that “sexual excess” is evil and sinful even in marriage and between two married spouses in their sexual acts. In truth, that is also why Our Lord in the Holy Scripture speaks of those who “pervert the gracious gift of our God to sexual excess and deny Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord” (Jude 1:4) and why Pius XII condemns those spouses who tries to make “more intense the pleasure, in the preparation and in the performance of the conjugal union”, and this absolutely condemns all non-procreative sexual acts, such as foreplay and sensual lewd kisses and touches. “This anti-Christian hedonism too often is not ashamed to elevate itself to a doctrine, inculcating the ardent desire to make always more intense the pleasure, in the preparation and in the performance of the conjugal union...”

Pope Pius XII, Address to Midwives, October 29, 1951: “Now, instead, all this is subordinated and ordered to that unique, great law of the "generatio et educatio prolis" [procreation and education of children] namely the accomplishment of the primary end of matrimony as the origin and source of life. Unfortunately, unceasing waves of hedonism invade the world and threaten to submerge in the swelling tide of thoughts, desires and acts the whole marital life, not without serious dangers and grave prejudice to the primary duty of husband and wife. This anti-Christian hedonism too often is not ashamed to elevate itself to a doctrine, inculcating the ardent desire to make always more intense the pleasure in the preparation and in the performance of the conjugal union, as if in matrimonial relations the whole moral law were reduced to the normal performance of the act itself, and as if all the rest, in whatever way it is done, were to be justified by the expression of mutual affection, sanctified by the Sacrament of Matrimony, worthy of praise and reward before God and conscience. There is no thought at all of the dignity of man and of the Christian—a dignity—which restrains the excess of sensuality. No; the gravity and sanctity of the Christian moral law do not admit an unchecked satisfaction of the sexual instinct tending only to pleasure and enjoyment; they do not permit rational man to let himself be mastered to such an extent, neither as regards the substance nor the circumstances of the act.”

For those who want to read and learn a lot more on sexual ethics, I can recommend the following interesting and informative article that is absolutely packed with quotes from the popes, saints and fathers of the Church:

Sexual Pleasure, the Various Sexual Acts, and Procreation

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The marital act performed for pleasure only is condemned as a sin for both the married and unmarried people alike

The Catholic Church teaches that the normal, natural and procreative marital act when it is performed for the sole sake of pleasure, is at least a venial sin, and many times a mortal sin, provided one is not against conception or hinder it from taking place in anyway in either deed or thought.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #9, March 4, 1679: “THE ACT OF MARRIAGE EXERCISED FOR PLEASURE ONLY IS ENTIRELY FREE OF ALL FAULT AND VENIAL DEFECT.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI. (Denz. 1159)

St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 17, A.D. 419: “It is, however, one thing for married persons to have intercourse only for the wish to beget children, which is not sinful: it is another thing for them to desire carnal pleasure in cohabitation, but with the spouse only, which involves venial sin. For although propagation of offspring is not the motive of the intercourse, there is still no attempt to prevent such propagation, either by wrong desire or evil appliance.”

As we can see here, it is at least a venial sin to have normal, natural and procreative marital relations merely for lustful motives, provided that the spouses are open to conception (and do not hinder it in anyway) and no other sinful deed or thought is committed during the act of marriage. From this can be understood that a couple must have a reason (other than carnal pleasure) for coming together without sin during the act of marriage, and this motive is procreation according to the teaching of the Church, since the Church teaches that “There would be no adulteries, and debaucheries, and prostitution of women, if it were known to all, that whatever is sought beyond the desire of procreation is condemned by God.” (Lactantius, The Divine Institutes 5:8, A.D. 307).

The Holy Bible is also clear that spouses when they perform the marital sexual act shall be “moved rather for love of children than for lust, that in the seed of Abraham thou mayst obtain a blessing in children”. (The Holy Bible, Tobias 6:22) Thus, spouses are not to come together for whatever lustful reason or desire they may come to think of—for that would be, at least (if not more than) a venial sin according to the Catholic Church. All venial sins open up the soul to graver sins, and that is why one must always guard oneself very carefully from falling into venial sins.

The Catholic Church’s condemnation of even natural and normal so-called marital relations performed solely for lustful motives shows us that the Catholic Church absolutely abhors and condemns all sexual acts that are unnecessary for conception to occur (such as oral sex or masturbation of self or spouse, before, during or after the marital act). Every unnecessary and non-procreative form of a sexual act (such as sensual kisses, touches and masturbation) are obviously even more evil and depraved than the normal, natural and procreative “act of marriage exercised for pleasure only,” which the Church condemns as a sin even though this act is directly procreative in itself. This clearly shows us that Holy Mother Church absolutely condemns all sexual acts performed for the sake of sensual pleasure that goes above or beyond what is inherent in the marital act itself, and that is necessary for conception to occur.

St. Athanasius the Great (293-373 A.D.): “Which use [of marriage] are you referring to? That in the Law which God allowed by saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth?” (Gen. 1:28), which the Apostle [St. Paul] approved when he said, “Marriage be honorable, and the bed undefiled” (Heb. 13:4); or that which, while popular, is performed secretly and adulterously [even by married people]?. . . The same argument holds with regard to copulation. Blessed is the man who in his youth having a free yoke employs his natural parts for the purpose of producing children. But if he uses nature licentiously [that is, in a sexually excessive, unrestrained, or immoral way], the punishment of which the Apostle writes shall await whoremongers and adulterers (Heb. 13:4).” (First Epistle of Athanasius the Great addressed to the Monk Amun, Quoted in The Rudder, pp. 576-77)

St. Athanasius the Great is very clear that spouses in a marriage who performs acts “secretly and adulterously”, and thus defiles the purity of the marital bed, will be damned. “Marriage is good, as long as sexual relations are for procreation and not for pleasure. … The law of nature recognizes the act of procreation: have relations with your wife only for the sake of procreation, and keep yourself from relations of pleasure.” (St. Athanasius the Great, Fragments on the Moral Life, Section 2)

The Church teaches that all unnecessary and non-procreative sexual acts are sinful before, during and after the act of marriage, and that these acts may never be performed in any circumstance or for any reason whatsoever by anyone. For just as it is blameworthy and sinful to have sexual relations only for sensual pleasure for both the married and unmarried people alike, so too is this true with other pleasures as well, such as “eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only,” and kissing “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss”. This has always been the teaching of the Catholic Church and Her Saints.

Pope Innocent XI, Various Errors on Moral Matters #8, March 4, 1679: “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only, are not sinful, provided this does not stand in the way of health, since any natural appetite can licitly enjoy its own actions.” – Condemned statement by Pope Innocent XI.

Pope Alexander VII, Various Errors on Moral Matters #40, September 24, 1665 and March 18, 1666: “It is a probable opinion which states that a kiss is only venial when performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss, if danger of further consent and pollution is excluded.” – Condemned statement by Pope Alexander VII. (Denz. 1140)

St. Alphonsus Liguori, one of the most well known doctors of the Church, expounds on this teaching of Pope Innocent XI in his masterpiece “The True Spouse of Jesus Christ”, showing us the inherent evilness of acting in accordance to our sensual desires: “Pope Innocent XI Odescalchi has condemned the proposition which asserts that it is not a sin to eat or to drink from the sole motive of satisfying the palate. However, it is not a fault to feel pleasure in eating: for it is, generally speaking, impossible to eat without experiencing the delight which food naturally produces. But it is a defect to eat, like beasts, through the sole motive of sensual gratification, and without any reasonable object. Hence, the most delicious meats may be eaten without sin, if the motive be good and worthy of a rational creature; and, in taking the coarsest food through attachment to pleasure, there may be a fault.” (The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, p. 282)

This condemnation of “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only” and kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” is not only reasonable, but part of the Natural Law, yet it may come as a surprise to many, but this is only because so many commit sins of this nature.

Ask yourself this question: Which is the most pleasurable of the acts of “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only” or kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight”? An honest person can only answer that kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” is a much more pleasurable experience. Since it is obvious that the act of “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only” is a much less pleasurable action than the act of kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” since those who eat or drink “even to satiety for pleasure only” are normally not intoxicated by this inherently evil act as those who perform sensual kisses are, it is clear to all but liars, that if God condemns one unreasonable or unnecessary act that is less pleasurable, he also condemns the other act that is more pleasurable, since it too, is unreasonable and unnecessary.

In truth, since the act of the act of “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only” does not normally make a person intoxicated like the act of kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight”, it is patently absurd to claim that God condemns a much less inherently evil action, while he allows the more intoxicating and pleasurable action to be performed. Since both the act of “Eating and drinking even to satiety for pleasure only” as well as the act of kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” are unreasonable and unnecessary, we can therefore know by natural instinct and thus through the Natural Law, that both of these actions are inherently evil and sinful, but while both are sinful, we can also know that the act of kissing “performed for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” is a much greater sin since it not only is unreasonable and unnecessary, but also shameful and intoxicating.

Indeed, all people who fall into these kinds of sins have become slaves to their passions and do not order their acts in accordance with natural reason, but in accordance with their unmortified desires, like beasts, and yet, even worse than beasts.

St. Augustine, Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 1, Section 24: “Seeing then that… the faithful man descends to both [marriage and food] as matter of duty, and does not fall into them through lust. But how many are there who rush greedily to their eating and drinking, and make their whole life to consist in them, as if they were the very reason for living. For whereas men really eat to live, they think that they live to eat. These will every wise man condemn, and Holy Scripture especially, all gluttons, drunkards, gormandizers, "whose god is their belly." [Phil. 3:19] Nothing but the lust of the flesh, and not the need of refreshment, carries them to the table. … And so in that other duty of marriage, sensual men seek for wives only to satisfy their sensuality, and therefore at length are scarce contented even with their wives. … Nevertheless, if you were to say to such a man, "why do you marry?" he would answer perhaps for very shame, "for the sake of children." But if any one in whom he could have unhesitating credit were to say to him, "God is able to give, and yea, and will give you children without your having any intercourse with your wife;" he would assuredly be driven to confess that it was not for the sake of children that he was seeking for a wife. Let him then acknowledge his infirmity, and so receive that which he pretended to receive only as matter of duty.”

For those who want to read and learn a lot more on sexual ethics, I can recommend the following interesting and informative article that is absolutely packed with quotes from the popes, saints and fathers of the Church:

Sexual Pleasure, the Various Sexual Acts, and Procreation