ADMONISHING THE MARRIED
Those bound by wedlock should
learn how to please their consorts without offense to their Maker.
Their involvement in the world should not lessen their desire for the
things of God.
They may rejoice in
present goods, grieve over temporal evils, but ever fix their hopes on
everlasting goods, to the end that they are conscious that the things
here are transitory and what they hope for is permanent.
The thought of heaven
gives strength amidst the evils of this world and prevents deception
amidst the good things of this life. . .Do not love this world
constantly because the world itself is not constant. You cannot put
your love permanently in something that passes away.
If you think of what
others have to endure for you, it will be easy to endure others'
The married must be
reminded that they are united in wedlock for the purpose of
procreation and when they abandon themselves to immoderate
intercourse, they transfer the occasion of procreation to the service
of pleasure. Though this is still within the bounds of wedlock, it
exceeds its rights.
Wherefore, it is necessary
that they should efface by frequent prayer what they befoul in the
fair form of intercourse by the admixture of pleasure.
Marriage is a prescription
not for the spiritually healthy but for the weak. And so, the
pleasures within wedlock is a concession and not a command. And, like
all forms of indulgence, it is a sin but easily forgivable, if you
know how. This sin is not in what is done lawfully but in the lack of
control in doing it.
This truth is well
expressed in the case of Lot when he fled from burning Sodom as if
fleeing the burning fires of the flesh. He went up the mountain
symbolizing the performance of the marriage act only for the
procreation of children and never to indulge in fleshly pleasures.
Most married couples are
unlike Lot. A handful abandon burning Sodom. But hardly do any climb
the mountain. The handful stay in a little village, in between Sodom
and the mountain, called Segor... which the angel said is a place
where conjugal love is by no means condemned.
St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral
Care: Part III, Ch. 27