evil of concupiscence, which, indeed, marriage uses aright, but at which even marriage has occasion to feel shame.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book I, Chapter 27.--Through Lust Original Sin is Transmitted.)
St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419: “This disease of concupiscence is what the apostle refers to, when, speaking to married believers, he says: "This is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor; not in the disease of desire, even as the Gentiles which know not God." [1 Thess 4:3-5] The married believer, therefore, must not only not use another man’s vessel, which is what they do who lust after others’ wives; but he must know that even his own vessel is not to be possessed in the disease of carnal concupiscence. … Whosoever possesses his vessel (that is, his wife) with this intention of heart [for the procreation of children], certainly does not possess her in the "disease of desire," as the Gentiles which know not God, but in sanctification and honor, as believers who hope in God. A man turns to use the evil of concupiscence, and is not overcome by it, when he bridles and restrains its rage, as it works in inordinate and indecorous motions; and never relaxes his hold upon it except when intent on offspring, and then controls and applies it to the carnal generation of children to be spiritually regenerated, not to the subjection of the spirit to the flesh in a sordid servitude” (Book I, Chapter 9.--This Disease of Concupiscence in Marriage is Not to Be a Matter of Will, But of Necessity [For the Procreation of Children])
Adultery, fornication and masturbation are examples of bad and damnable lust, hence that it is described as a disease. All kinds of lust or concupiscence (even the lawful kind) is also an evil in marriage and can easily turn into something damnable if husband and wife goes too far (as sadly happens with almost all couples today… even by those who call themselves by the name of Catholic). Just because it’s licit to perform the sexual act for procreative purposes in marriage, does not make the lust caused thereof good or praiseworthy. St. Augustine explains this well in the following quotations:
St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, A.D. 419: “Forasmuch, then, as the good of marriage could not be lost by the addition of this evil [lust]… Since, therefore, marriage effects some good even out of that evil, it has whereof to glory; but since the good cannot be effected without the evil, it has reason for feeling shame. The case may be illustrated by the example of a lame man. Suppose him to attain to some good object by limping after it, then, on the one hand, the attainment itself is not evil because of the evil of the man’s lameness; nor, on the other hand, is the lameness good because of the goodness of the attainment. So, on the same principle, we ought not to condemn marriage because of the evil of lust; nor must we praise lust because of the good of marriage.” (Book I, Chapter 8.--The Evil of Lust Does Not Take Away the Good of Marriage)
And in another place he writes:
St. Augustine, Against Julian, A.D. 421: “I have never censured the union of the two sexes if it is lawfully within the boundaries of marriage. … I do not say that children, coming from an evil [lustful] action, are evil, since I do not say that the activity in which married persons engage for the purpose of begetting children is evil. As a matter of fact, I assert that it is good, because it makes good use of the evil of lust, and through this good use, human beings, a good work of God, are generated. But the action is not performed without evil [lust], and this is why the children must be regenerated [baptized] in order to be delivered from evil [which means that the Original Sin is the cause of lust according to Augustine].” (Book III, Chapter 7, Section 15)
In truth, sexual temptations during lawful procreative relations can also be a cause of sin for many people since it may drive them to go further than what is necessary or lawful, either before, during, or after the marital act, and this is of course also a great evil. These temptations, as we have seen, does not turn into something “good” just because a person is married, for he is still tempted to commit sin. And this is just one of the many reasons that shows why lust and sexual temptations are bad, also in marriage, for they are still defects and occasions of falling into sin and an evil product of the fall, and of original sin. Thus, “original evil is not derived from marriage, but from carnal concupiscence. This is the evil…which spouses use well when they come together only for the purpose of procreation.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 24, Section 54)
Temptations, the sexual pleasure or concupiscence are thus not something “good” or “praiseworthy” but are truly the “evil of concupiscence” and the “disease of concupiscence” that arose as an evil result of the original sin of Adam and Eve, as stated by St. Augustine: “It was, indeed, the sinful corruption which had been sown in them by the devil’s persuasion that became the means of their being born in sin; not the created nature of which men are composed. Shameful lust, however, could not excite our members, except at our own will, if it were not a disease. Nor would even the lawful and honorable cohabiting of husband and wife raise a blush, with avoidance of any eye and desire of secrecy, if there were not a diseased condition about it.” (St. Augustine, On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book II, Chapter 55.--Lust is a Disease; The Word "Passion" In the Ecclesiastical Sense, A.D. 420)
Thus, Augustine could rightly say to Julian the heretic: “You exult over some words from my book, [On Marriage and Concupiscence, Book 1, Chapter 3] that "By the testimony of the Apostle, conjugal modesty is a gift of God," as though the Apostle praised the evil [of concupiscence] you praise, by which the flesh lusts against the spirit, [1 Cor. 7:7; Gal. 5:17] and which conjugal modesty uses well. I answered this in a former book. It is no small gift of God when this evil is so restrained that it is used for nothing unlawful but serves only for the generation of children who are to be regenerated [and thus rescued from original sin and the domination of the Devil through the Sacrament of Baptism]. Its force is not self-moderating, for no one abstains from unlawful acts if he follows its lead. Hence it is praised, not for its disquieting activity, but for the restrained and good use made of it by the individual. When married believers use well that evil from whose guilt they have been freed by the gift of the Savior [through baptism which removes the guilt, but not the effects of the raging lusts], then those born by the gift of that same Creator are not, as you object to me, "made subject to the kingdom of the Devil," but, rather, are prepared to be rescued from it and transferred to the kingdom of the Only-begotten. This is and ought to be the intention of godly married persons: to prepare birth for rebirth. If, however, this evil which parents sense in themselves, the evil against which, in your words, "the legion of the Apostles warred," did not pertain to the children, they would be born without it. But, since they are actually born with it, why do you marvel that they must be reborn in order to be absolved from its guilt, and either be taken from this life free from this evil or be obliged to fight against it in this life, as free men, and be rewarded as victors in the end?” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book IV, Chapter 1, Sections 2-3, A.D. 421)
In truth, the main reason why so many heretics (both in former times as well as today) so fervently defends this wicked heresy concerning foul lust and concupiscence is that they want to defend or justify their unmortified, lustful, unnatural, non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts and desires, which in turn forces them to impiously assert that concupiscence is a good gift given to them by God in order to satisfy their lust instead of an evil effect of original sin that needs to be fought against, quelled and resisted. “But now note for a moment how from this law of sin, whose activity the mortal nature even of celibates is compelled to endure; upon which the chastity of marriage strives to place a rule of moderation; whence the concupiscence of the flesh and the pleasure you praise makes its attacks against the purpose of the will whenever it is aroused, even if it does not accomplish its acts… "Behold," he [David] said, "I was conceived in iniquities and in sins did my mother bear me." [Ps. 50:7] Evilly did Eve give birth, thereby leaving to women the inheritance of [original sin and pain in] childbirth, and the result that everyone formed in the pleasure of concupiscence and conceived in it in the womb and fashioned in it in blood, in it wrapped as in swaddling clothes, first undergoes the contagion of sin before he drinks the gift of the life-giving air. … Should not those first men have blushed, then, at the activity of this concupiscence, which plainly showed that they themselves were guilty, and also foretold that their children would be subject to the sin of their parents? And just as they blushed to leave exposed those parts of their bodies in which they perceived the disobedience of lust, so may you in obedience to the Catholic faith blush to praise what is shameful.” (St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book II, Chapter 6, Section 15)
Just like Julian the heretic did at the time of St. Augustine, so many people in our own days defend and praise the evil disease of concupiscence or lust just like the ancient heretics did, rejecting the ancient teaching of the Holy Bible, Apostolic Tradition as well as “all the honesty of temperance” in their marriages and teachings.
St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book V, Chapter 9:40, A.D. 421: “You think the Apostle’s warning against possessing one’s vessel in the disease of lust refers only to fornication, not to marriage, and thus you remove from the union of the married all the honesty of temperance, so that none could possess his vessel in the disease of lust, no matter what the passion drawing him to this in his wife. For, if you thought there should be moderation there, you could also have censured the excess of concupiscence in marriage itself, and seen that the Apostle’s "disease of lust" signifies this excess, instead of your groundless denial that "his vessel" means a man’s wife. The Apostle Peter in this matter also uses the word when he tells husbands to honor their wives as weaker vessels and as co-heirs of grace, and adds: "See to it your prayers be not hindered." [1 Peter 3:7] He [St. Paul] speaks as his fellow Apostle, who prescribed conjugal temperance for times of prayers [1 Cor. 7:5]… Let Christian marriage hear this, let it not listen to you [the heretics], who would have it not restrain concupiscence, but satisfy it whenever aroused, and thus secure its dominion. Let the faithful of Christ who are bound in marriage hear this, I say, that they may by consent establish times of temperance for prayer; and when, because of their intemperance, they return from prayer to the same habit, they may also know how to say to God: "Forgive us our trespasses." [Matt. 6:12].”
When many of these heretics, such as the protestants and perverted so-called Catholics, hear the arguments from the Holy Scripture and the Saints, they resort into using straw-man arguments and “they argue thus,” says St. Augustine, “‘Is not, then, marriage an evil, and the man that is produced by marriage not God’s work?’ As if the good of the married life were that [evil] disease of concupiscence [i.e. lust] with which they [lustful people] who know not God love their wives—a course which the apostle forbids; [1 Thess. 4:5] and not rather that conjugal chastity, by which carnal lust is reduced to the good purposes of the appointed procreation of children.” (St. Augustine, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 38.--Original Sin Does Not Render Marriage Evil, A.D. 418)
This heretical teaching about concupiscence and original sin that is now held by many people in this world is a teaching that undoubtedly destroys the Christian Faith for many when one considers its ramifications, since if their teaching was really true, God created us in the way we are now with all the evil temptations, suffering and death that we all have to endure in this world. Thus, all of these evils existed from the original creation of God, according to this evil and perverse teaching, which is absurd and impossible since Our Lord and God said in The Book of Genesis that all He created during the first six days of the universe was very good—and evil temptations that tempts us into sins of the flesh as well as the other defects of nature such as death and suffering, are obviously not good. St. Augustine writes concerning this and explains how marriage existed before sin was committed: “Suppose, however, that nature had not been dishonored by sin, God forbid that we should think that marriages in Paradise must have been such, that in them the procreative members would be excited by the mere ardor of lust, and not by the command of the will for producing offspring,—as the foot is for walking, the hand for labor, and the tongue for speech [so the procreative members are for producing offspring].” (On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 40.--Marriage Existed Before Sin Was Committed. How God’s Blessing Operated in Our First Parents, A.D. 418)
Indeed, even after about a thousand years after the lives of the heretics Pelagius, Julian and their followers, the devil through his servants the protestants tried again to corrupt the Church’s changeless doctrine concerning Original Sin. The devil, knowing full well that both married and unmarried lustful people try to excuse their unlawful sexual acts with the excuse that God made their lust or that concupiscence is a good gift from God rather than a punishment due to sin, could not remain silent concerning this doctrine, since he knows how much this doctrine means to people’s understanding of sin and concupiscence. As soon as people start to contradict this doctrine, there immediately opens up an almost infinite amount of perversity, since those who start to hold this heresy, use this heresy to claim that their lust is lawful and God-given. Because of this, the Holy Council of Trent in the 16th century "assembled in the Holy Ghost" in order to quench the flames of heresy against the Church’s doctrine of Original Sin, by infallibly declaring the Church’s definitive position on this matter.
Pope Paul III, The Council of Trent, On Original Sin, Session 5, June 17, 1546, ex cathedra: “That our Catholic faith, without which it is impossible to please God, may, errors being purged away, continue in its own perfect and spotless integrity, and that the Christian people may not be carried about with every wind of doctrine; whereas that old serpent, the perpetual enemy of mankind, amongst the very many evils with which the Church of God is in these our times troubled, has also stirred up not only new, but even old, dissensions touching original sin, and the remedy thereof; the sacred and holy, ecumenical and general Synod of Trent,--lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost, the three same legates of the Apostolic See presiding therein,--wishing now to come to the reclaiming of the erring, and the confirming of the wavering,--following the testimonies of the sacred Scriptures, of the holy Fathers, of the most approved councils, and the judgment and consent of the Church itself, ordains, confesses, and declares these things touching the said original sin:
“1. If any one does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and, together with death, captivity under his power who thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in body and soul, for the worse; let him be anathema.
“2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema:--whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.
“3. If any one asserts, that this sin of Adam,--which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propagation, [procreation] not by imitation, is in each one as his own,--is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath reconciled us to God in his own blood [through the sacrament of baptism], made unto us justice, santification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants, by the sacrament of baptism rightly administered in the form of the church; let him be anathema: For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. Whence that voice; Behold the lamb of God behold him who taketh away the sins of the world; and that other; As many as have been baptized, have put on Christ.”
Saint Augustine in his book “On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin” also elaborates on the fact that Adam and his descendents were rightly condemned to the servitude of the devil for his Original Sin. In truth, “Where God did nothing else than by a just sentence to condemn the man [Adam] who willfully sins, together with his stock [that is, all the descendants of Adam]; there also, as a matter of course, whatsoever was even not yet born is justly condemned in its sinful root. In this condemned stock carnal generation holds every man; and from it nothing but spiritual regeneration liberates him. In the case, therefore, of regenerate parents, if they continue in the same state of grace, it will undoubtedly work no injurious consequence, by reason of the remission of sins which has been bestowed upon them, unless they make a perverse use of it,—not alone all kinds of lawless corruptions, but even in the marriage state itself, whenever husband and wife toil at procreation, not from the desire of natural propagation of their species, but are mere slaves to the gratification of their lust out of very wantonness. As for the permission which the apostle gives to husbands and wives, "not to defraud one another, except with consent for a time, that they may have leisure for prayer," he concedes it by way of indulgent allowance, and not as a command; but this very form of the concession evidently implies some degree of fault. The connubial embrace, however, which marriage-contracts point to as intended for the procreation of children, considered in itself simply, and without any reference to fornication, is good and right; because, although it is by reason of this body of death (which is unrenewed as yet by the resurrection) impracticable without a certain amount of bestial motion, which puts human nature to the blush, yet the embrace is not after all a sin in itself, when reason applies the concupiscence to a good end [that is, for the motive of procreation], and is not overmastered to evil.” (St. Augustine, On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin, Book II, Chapter 43.--Human Offspring, Even Previous to Birth, Under Condemnation at the Very Root. Uses of Matrimony Undertaken for Mere Pleasure Not Without Venial Fault, A.D. 418)
Who but an utterly disgraceful and lustful person could deny that concupiscence or sexual desire is an evil product of the fall and of original sin after seeing all this evidence? “Who can deny this is an evil except one unwilling to hear the Apostle’s warning: ‘But this I say by way of concession, not by way of commandment,’ [1 Cor. 7:6]...”
St. Augustine, Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 16:30, A.D. 421: “Marriage is by all means good in its own kind, but the reason it is good is that it keeps the faith of the marriage bed; that it unites the two sexes for the purpose of begetting offspring; and that it shrinks from the impiety of separation. … After [original] sin, however, and not happily but from necessity, a combat came to marriage, so that marriage by means of its own good must now war against the evil of concupiscence, not permitting it to do anything unlawful, though concupiscence itself, acting now slackly, now with great violence, never ceases to urge marriage to the unlawful, even when marriage makes good use of the evil of concupiscence in the propagation of offspring. Who can deny this is an evil except one unwilling to hear the Apostle’s warning: "But this I say by way of concession, not by way of commandment," [1 Cor. 7:6]...”
Legal marital relations in the Bible is described as a cause of impurity
In the book of Leviticus, the infallible Word of God describes how even legal marital relations between husband and wife makes them impure or unclean, thus describing the marital act itself as the cause of impurity, and not as something “holy” or “good,” as many people nowadays have deceived themselves into believing.
Leviticus 15:16-18,24 “The man from whom the seed of copulation goeth out, shall wash all his body with water: and he shall be unclean until the evening. The garment or skin that he weareth, he shall wash with water, and it shall be unclean until the evening. The woman, with whom he copulateth, shall be washed with water, and shall be unclean until the evening. … If a man copulateth with her in the time of her flowers, he shall be unclean seven days: and every bed on which he shall sleep shall be defiled.”
Douay-Rheims Bible Commentary explains Leviticus 15 thus: “These legal uncleannesses were instituted in order to give the people a horror of carnal impurities.”
As we can read from these verses from Holy Scripture, God describes even legal marital relations as a cause of defilement and impurity between husband and wife and ordains that both of them shall be considered as unclean on the day they had marital relations. Leviticus also prohibits the man from seeing his wife during her infertile monthly cycle, thus diminishing the temptations of both parties. “The woman, who at the return of the month, hath her issue of blood, shall be separated seven days.” (Leviticus 15:19)
However, one must not think that the marital act is evil or impure in and of itself from the moral viewpoint when it is performed for the sake of procreation, but rather that after the fall, the human will or intent almost always yields more or less to concupiscence and self-gratification. St. Augustine explain it thus: “I do not say that nuptial union that is, union for the purpose [or motive] of procreating is evil [or sinful], but even say it is good. But…If men were subject to the evil of lust to such an extent that if the honesty of marriage were removed [such as in the case of most men and women today], all of them would have intercourse indiscriminately [by unnatural and excessively lustful sexual acts], in the manner of dogs...” (Against Julian, Book III, Chapter 7:16, A.D. 421)
The main reason why Holy Scripture defines the marital act as a cause of defilement and impurity is because the sexual act is so potent in giving a person lascivious thoughts and desires—by implanting and defiling the mind with countless unholy and ungodly desires. While the marital act performed for the purpose of procreation is a lawful act, the act still defiles the mind by giving it all sorts of lascivious feelings, pictures or thoughts, and this is also the reason why the Holy Bible directs all spouses who have performed the marital act to consider themselves impure, so that they may seek Our Lord’s help in order to conquer their concupiscences, temptations and thoughts that arises as a result of the marital act.
The only couple who performed the marital act without this curse of concupiscence was the parents of Our Blessed Lady at the time they conceived Her, since Our Lord supernaturally protected them from feeling any concupiscence so that they would not be able to transmit the original sin to Our Lady, who would become the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why Mary was conceived free from original sin from the first moment of her conception in the womb of her mother. Every child would have been born without original sin if Adam and Eve had not sinned. From this we can understand that it is very important for parents to fight against the search for self-gratification in order to draw down abundant blessings and graces from Heaven to themselves and their children.