Fr. Tom Morrow speaks on Christian courtship

BY KATHLEEN STUBBS

STAFF WRITER

The Rev. Tom Morrow spoke with Franciscan University students on how to “rehabilitate the beautiful language of affection,” on Sept. 22. Morrow’s talk, “Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World,” took place in the Gentile Gallery.

 

Sophomore Drew Pultorak said that he had read Morrow’s book – which the talk was entitled after – and hoped to learn more about dating from the event. Pultorak said that he wanted to learn how to be “the best man for my girlfriend.”

“Affection is a beautiful love language,” said Morrow during his talk. “Unfortunately, the world has commandeered affection into sex.”

Morrow has worked with many couples who struggled with chastity in their relationships. Frequently, the problem is that the couples start with intimacy, which is good, but then end up seeking pleasure as an end in itself, Morrow said.

“Unchaste activity discourages quieter loves such as friendship, affection and agape,” said Morrow. In order to help those in a relationship learn to be chaste, he suggested the following strategy: “If you want intimacy, I encourage you to hug a lot. Mega hugs and micro kisses.”

Morrow brought up the work of Plato, Bl. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and C.S. Lewis’ “The Four Loves” in his talk. Morrow said that the word “affection” is similar in translation to the word “tenderness,” which is an important element in a relationship. Morrow said that the Greek word eros, according to Plato, is the desire for the good, beautiful and true of the other person, not just sexually, but for the whole of the person.

“Guard your heart, even in a courtship,” was Morrow’s final advice to Franciscan students. Even if you think you are 100 percent certain that you are going to marry a particular person, even if everything is just right, do not let your heart go completely. Despite what you may think, you may not end up marrying that person.

For people who are single, Morrow said, “If you live singleness well and with grace, you may become a better candidate for marriage.”

After the talk, Kristin James, a first-year graduate student, said that she liked Morrow’s sense of humor. “Courtship is such a serious topic, some people get worked up about it,” she said, but Morrow lightened the mood.

Senior Andrea Fredrickson added that Morrow was “a fantastic author and speaker.” “This is an important topic for people in the Church to know about, whether single, in a relationship, or married,” she said.

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