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FOR BISHOPS

 

 

HOW TO ADMONISH THE CELIBATE

Those free from wedlock must be admonished to observe heavenly precepts the more strictly since carnal union free them from worldly concerns. This prepares them better for the last days.
Because they have no burden and the more able to do the better things, if they neglect this, they will deserve to be punished more severely.

The celibate who is engaged in worldly things is like a man free from the burdens of marriage but nevertheless takes up its burdens.

Marriage is for those who have not yet vowed what is better, i.e., virginity. For those who have vowed the better, the lesser good which should have been lawful becomes unlawful: "No man putting his hand to the plough and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."

A man, therefore, who has been determined on a more valiant aim, is convicted by looking back, when, relinquishing the greater good, he turns to the good which is less.

St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Care, Bk. III, Ch. 27

 

 

 

 


(11-23-02)

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