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