LIFE WITHIN MARRIAGE
provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." (Rom 13:14) When St.
Paul said this, he was not talking to monks but to people living in the
world. The man in the world should not have more than the monks except for
those things that pertain to a wife. This concession is given him but
little else should be. In everything else, he must behave like a
is not only for monks. If it were so, God would have ended the world long
ago. But no, the Church has countless saints from the world who have
If it were not
possible to combine monastic life with marriage, everything would come to
destruction. How can marriage be an honorable state unless the Beatitudes
could be practiced within it?
Those who are married
can live the monastic life. How? The Apostle tells us how: if, while
having wives, you behave as if you do not have any; if you take no pleasure
in your possessions; if you deal with the world as if you were not dealing
with it (1 Cor 7:31); if you realize that marriage is not bad in itself,
but can be misused by your free will just as it is not wine which causes
drunkenness, but excessive indulgence in wine.
Homily on Hebrews, 7, 4