He who labors as he prays lifts his heart to God with his hands. —St. Benedict of Nursia
Started by Geremia, May 04, 2018, 10:55:43 AM
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QuoteVirginity is good, I acknowledge this. And, furthermore, it is better than matrimony; I also acknowledge this. And if you like, I will add even more to this: Just as the heavens are to the earth, so are the angels to men. And it is necessary to add something further.After all, the angels, since they do not take wives nor husbands, they are not made up of flesh and blood nor do they live on earth; they do not feel the stimuli of sensuality, they do not need to eat nor drink, they do not experience the attractiveness of sensual music nor the charm of beautiful bodies, nor other similar things. But just as the sky free from clouds shines magnificently at midday, so also the angelic nature, free from all concupiscence, necessarily remains lucid and radiant.But the human lineage, although inferior to those spirits by nature, puts its own energies into play and strives with effort, as much as it can, to emulate them [the angels]. In what way? The angels do not marry. Neither does the virgin...You see how excellent virginity is, and how it makes the dwellers of this earth similar to those citizens of heaven. And with the aid of non-material virtues, it does not permit the defeat of those who are clothed with flesh, making even those who are men emulators of the angels.To you [heretics], the lot of the evil servants awaits you, while the virgins of the Church have reserved for themselves many and great possessions, which no eye as seen nor ear has heard, and no human understanding has grasped.
QuoteX. The detractor of marriage does harm to virginity.[...]3. Is virginity a good? Yes, I fully agree. But is it better than marriage? I agree with this, too. If you wish, I will illustrate the difference like this: virginity is as much superior to marriage as heaven is to earth, as the angels are to men, and, to use far stronger language, it is more superior still.For the angels, if they do not marry and are not given in marriage, [cf. Matt 22:30 and Luke 20:36] are not a mixture of flesh and blood. They do not pass time on earth and endure trouble from the passions. They require neither food nor drink. Sweet song cannot appease them, nor can a radiant face win them over, nor any other such thing. Their natures of necessity remain transparent and brilliant, with no passion troubling them, like the heavens at high noon clear and undisturbed by any cloud.XI. Virginity makes angels out of men who sincerely pursue it.1. But mankind, inferior in its nature to blessed spirits, strains beyond its capacity and, in so far as it can, vies eagerly to equal the angels. How does it do that? Angels neither marry nor are given in marriage; [Matt. 22:30] this is true of the virgin. [...][...]2. Do you grasp the value of virginity? that it makes those who spend time on earth live like the angels dwelling in heaven? It does not allow those endowed with bodies to be inferior to the incorporeal powers and spurs all men to rival the angels.But this applies in no way to you [heretics], who dishonor so great a virtue, who slander the Lord and call him wicked. The punishment of painful slavery will await you; but the virgins of the Church will meet with many magnificent blessings that will surpass the comprehension of the human eye, ear and thought.
QuoteOnce this universe was created and disposed as much as possible for our respite and benefit, God shaped man, for whom He had created everything. Once man was formed, he lived in Paradise and while in that place there is no mention of marriage whatsoever. He needed a companion, so woman was given to him. But even so, matrimony still did not seem necessary. It still did not exist and they lived very happily in Paradise as if it were Heaven, without knowing marriage, rejoicing in the familiar treatment with God.Far from their souls was the ardor of concupiscence, the desire for conception, the pains of birth and any lascivious thought; rather, they lived their lives adorned with virginity as if it were a transparent stream that flowed from a crystalline spring....However, after that first period, they disobeyed the command of God and were transformed to dust and ashes. They also lost that happy life and the charm of virginity, which left them, abandoning them as God also abandoned them. When they were free from the slavery of the Devil and adored their Lord, they rejoiced in their virginity, which served as a greater adornment than the crowns and gilded robes of kings.But, after falling captive, stripped of their regal garments and divested of their sacrality, they received as punishment the corruption of death, divine wrath, pain, a life of misery and, together with this, marriage appeared, this vesture of slavery and death. For, as St. Paul says, 'the man who has a woman must concern himself with the things of the world' (1 Cor 7:33) .
Quote3. When the whole world had been completed and all had been readied for our repose and use, God fashioned man for whom he made the world. After being fashioned, man remained in paradise and there was no reason for marriage. Man did need a helper, and she came into being; not even then did marriage seem necessary. It did not yet appear anywhere but they remained as they were without it. They lived in paradise as in heaven and they enjoyed God's company.Desire for sexual intercourse, conception, labor, childbirth and every form of corruption had been banished from their souls. As a clear river shooting forth from a pure source, so were they in that place adorned by virginity.[...]5. [...] Nevertheless, nothing either thwarted or hindered that happy life, which was far better than this. But when they did not obey God and became earth and dust, they destroyed along with that blessed way of life the beauty of virginity, which together with God abandoned them and withdrew.3 As long as they were uncorrupted by the devil and stood in awe of their master, virginity abided with them. It adorned them more than the diadem and golden raiments do kings.However, when they shed the princely raiment of virginity and laid aside their heavenly attire, they accepted the decay of death, ruin, pain, and a toilsome life. In their wake came marriage: marriage, a garment befitting mortals and slaves.6. "But the married man is busy with this world's demands." [1 Cor. 7:33]
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