(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 155

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155. XIII. THAT CHASTITY CANNOT BE PREDICATED OF THOSE WHO HAVE RENOUNCED MARRIAGES BY VOWING PERPETUAL CELIBACY, UNLESS THERE BE AND REMAIN IN THEM THE LOVE OF A LIFE TRULY CONJUGIAL. That chastity cannot be predicated of these is because, after the vow of perpetual celibacy, conjugial love is cast out, though to this love alone belongs the predication of chastity; also because inclination to the sex is still within from creation and thence from birth, and when restrained and repressed, it cannot be otherwise than that this inclination will go off into heat, and with some into burning heat; and this, when it rises up from the body into the spirit, infests and with some defiles it. Moreover, it may be that the spirit, thus defiled, will defile also the things of religion and cast them down from their internal seat where they are in holiness, into mere externals where they become things of the mouth and gesture alone. Therefore it is provided by the Lord that such celibacy exists only with those who are in external worship [alone], being in this because they do not approach the Lord or read the Word. With such men, the injunction of celibacy, with the vow of chastity, does not endanger eternal life as it would with those who are in internal worship. Add to this, that many do not enter into that state of life of their own free will, some entering it before they are in freedom from reason, and some because of causes drawing them away from the world. [2] Among those who adopt that state of life for the separation of their mind from the world that they may spend their days in Divine worship, they only are chaste with whom the love of a life truly conjugial remains, whether it was with them before that state or came after it, it being the love of this life, of which chastity is predicated. It is for this reason that after death, all who have lived in monasteries are finally released from their vows and set at liberty, that they may be brought to choose either a conjugial life or a life apart from the conjugial, according to their interior prayers and the desires of their love. Moreover, those who have loved the spiritual things of worship, if they then enter into the conjugial life, are given in marriage in heaven; but those who choose an extra-conjugial life are sent to their like who dwell at the sides of heaven.
[3] I have asked angels whether women who have devoted themselves to piety and given themselves up to Divine worship, and so have withdrawn from the illusions of the world and the lusts of the flesh and have therefore vowed perpetual virginity, are received into heaven and there become the first among the blessed in accordance with their own belief. The angels answered: "They are indeed received into heaven, but when they feel the sphere of conjugial love there, they become sad and anxious; and then, some of their own free will, some by requested permission, and some by command, they depart and are let out; and when they are outside that heaven, a way is opened for them to their companions who, in the world, were in a similar state of life. Then, from being anxious, they become cheerful and happy in each other's company."


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