Moments of Love with Mary
– The Spiritual Letter Box –
I have just had an experience which I won’t forget for a long time. I am only twenty years old.
How is it that so many seemingly distinguished young men are looking for women simply to satisfy their carnal appetites? I was always careful in the choice of the young man I would meet for discussions or when working in study groups.
One evening, one of these groups organized an evening out at a club; there was dancing, drinking… well, almost an orgy. What a disappointment!! Are there still some girls who will resist the inappropriate advances of a friend, of a man who just wants to be a lover? What I saw upset me, and what I just managed to escape upsets me even more!
Have we reached a point where we can no longer trust anyone? I look at my parents, so happy, so distinguished, and I wonder if I will ever know their happiness when I consider the young people of today. I am so disillusioned. Even some of my best girlfriends have disappointed me terribly. Do any young men “really” exist who can maintain their dignity at all times? Must we really sacrifice everything, as they claim, because they insist on having their pleasure? I have never understood so well the meaning of a conversation between anxious parents which I recently overheard by accident, “The youth of today are eaten by corruption. Drink and drugs are creating havoc. The world is rotten…”
I came across your review in a hospital where I was visiting a girlfriend. It occurred to me to write to you for a little reassurance, as this experience is bothering me in my studies which I want to carry on seriously.
Your letter indicates that you are still suffering a certain emotional turmoil. Continue to cherish your ideal in spite of this experience which could have been fatal for you. Somewhere there is an upright young man who, like you, is searching for the ideal spouse with whom to share his life.
True, these disturbing adventures upset us and cause much soul-searching. But are you not happy to have come out of it with your wings intact? This has been an invaluable experience which will serve to heighten your caution.
With regard to the conversation you overheard, you must keep this in mind, setting things in their proper perspective: if, on the one hand, we consider this wave of independence which is generating the noisy refusals to submit to authority whether it be family, religious or civil, and if we consider how this group of thoughtless youth, with their empty slogans, whose religious principles are only a bothersome crust on their soul, is evolving, then obviously there is reason to be worried and to assert that this group is morally depraved and is headed for ruin. But, on the other hand, there is a group of strong souls and hardy characters, the flower of youth, that has grown and evolved under the loving care of conscientious parents. One day they will take over, and their predecessors will be happy!
In a healthy, encouraging atmosphere redolent of virtue, this group is preparing for its future with a seriousness that is interesting and with a maximum of security.
There has never been a time when uncontrolled passions have not wrought their havoc. Thus, the careless indifferent life has always led to disorders of all kinds, drawing into them those of weak character or who have had a poor formation.
You can be sure there are still girls who live so as to love in the proper manner, and whose moral formation holds promise for a bright future. You will not find these precious pearls decorating a dance hall. Their whole life is dedicated to seriously preparing themselves for a role they consider to be dignified and noble. As for yourself, remain confident and upright. You will never regret it.
(Review, “L’Armée de Marie”, volume II, no. 9, June 1973)