The Book of James in the Holy Bible tells us that “the wisdom, that is from above, first indeed is chaste,” again showing us how the Holy Bible sets the virtue of chastity above other virtues.
James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom, that is from above [Heaven], first indeed is chaste, then peaceable, modest, easy to be persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits, without judging, without dissimulation. And the fruit of justice is sown in peace, to them that make peace.”
The fact that chastity is especially valued among the different virtues in the Bible, as well as that it is described as a more perfect and blessed life is completely rejected or ignored by almost all Protestants and other heretics. Since their life is sensual and directed to pleasing their own flesh, sensuality and selfishness, they reject the inherent value and goodness of practicing chastity inside or outside of marriage and refuse to speak about its value since they themselves have decided to live a life for their flesh, rather than for the spirit. Not only that, but a lot of these heretics actually tries to get people to have as much sex and sexual pleasure as they can, thus directly contradicting the chaste words of the Holy Bible with their foul and unchaste teachings.
St. Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 6:7: “Now, there are three professions in the holy Catholic Church: there are virgins, widows, and the married. Virgins produce the hundred-fold, widows the sixty-fold, and the married thirty-fold. One bears more, another less, but they are all kept in the heavenly barn and happily enjoy eternal bliss. Therefore, while the virgins think of Mary, the widows consider Anne, and married women reflect upon Susanna, they should imitate the chastity of those women in this life so that they may merit to be united and associated with them in eternity. Good virgins, who want to be such not only in body but also in heart and tongue, are united to holy Mary with the rest of the army of Virgins. Good widows, not voluptuous, loquacious, inquisitive, envious, haughty ones, serve God as blessed Anne did by fasting, almsgiving, and prayers, and together with St. Anne are united with the many thousands of widows. Moreover, married women who have observed mutual fidelity and have neither known anything outside of themselves nor even themselves except with the desire for children, if they continually give alms and observe God’s precepts as well as they can, will merit happily to be associated with holy Job, Sara, and Susanna, along with the patriarchs and prophets.”
Marriage hinders many from being saved according to the Gospel of Luke
Indeed, it is a little known truth today, but marriage and the marital life can be so dangerous to our own spiritual welfare that Our Lord in The Gospel of Luke even warned about that some people who enter marriages are hindered from being Saved and enter Heaven due to their marital life, thus showing to us that virginity and chastity is very necessary and beneficial for salvation.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke in a parable, saying: “A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: ‘I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused.’ And another said: ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused.’ And another said: ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame.’ And the servant said: ‘Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.’ And the Lord said to the servant: ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of those men that were invited, shall taste of my supper.’ And there went great multitudes with him. And turning, he said to them: ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.’” (Luke 14:16-27)
Haydock Bible Commentary explains Luke 14:16, saying: “By this man [who was inviting the people to the supper in Heaven] we are to understand Christ Jesus, the great mediator between God and man. He sent his servants, at supper-time, to say to them that were invited, that they should come… We may remark, that the three different excuses exactly agree with what St. John says: All that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh, and concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life [1 John 2:16]. The one says, I have married a wife, by which may be understood the concupiscence of the flesh; another says, I have bought five yoke of oxen, by which is denoted the concupiscence of the eyes; and the pride of life is signified by the purchase of the farm, which the third alleges in his justification. (St. Augustine, de verb. Dei.)”
Those people who thus will be hindered from entering the Great Supper (Heaven) and be cast into Hell for all eternity, are all those people who put something or someone before God, or who loved God less than He was worthy to be loved. The things that this parable enumerated as hindrances to salvation, that is, earthly pleasures and possessions and earthly wives or acquaintances, are the most common causes of why people are damned in this life. Thus, “he who said, "I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come" [Luke 14:20] to the divine supper was an example to convict those who for pleasure’s sake were abandoning the divine command [of loving God and that which is above above everything else]; for if this saying is taken otherwise, neither the righteous before the coming of Christ nor those who have married since his coming, even if they be apostles, will be saved.” (The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XII, Section 90)
Our Lady of Fatima (1917): “The sins of the world are too great! The sins which lead most souls to hell are sins of the flesh! Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much. Those who serve God should not follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same. Many marriages are not good; they do not please Our Lord and are not of God.... Oh! Men must do penance! If they amend their lives Our Lord will still pardon the world; but if they do not, the chastisement will come! Priests should occupy themselves only with the affairs of the Church! They must be pure, very pure.” Mother Godinho asked her (Jacinta): “Do you know what it means to be pure?” “Yes, Yes. I know to be pure in body means to be chaste, to be pure in mind means not to commit sins; not to look at what one should not see, not to steal or lie, and always to speak the truth, even if it is hard.”
In the case of the wife or a spouse, many couples perversely love the sexual pleasure they derive from the marital act, and this happens since the vehemence and force of the sexual pleasure is so strong and acts just like a drug which places the person into a state of bliss of pleasure, thus making it very hard to control without actually starting to love the physical fleshly pleasure, just like drug addicts love their pleasure, which is a kind of idolatry of the flesh. All acts which hold great pleasure is extremely easy to become addicted to, and sexual pleasure of course works in the exact same way too. That is why we see so many use pornography or commit adultery, masturbation or fornication. When one has chosen to become addicted to the sexual pleasure or high, whether it be by masturbation, pornography, or by indulging in the marital act with one’s spouse too often or in an inordinate or unlawful way, it will always become extremely difficult to get free from. The sexual pleasure is so addictive that sexual addicts who are also drug abusers have testified that while their drug abuse was comparatively easy to quit, their sexual thoughts and desires remains and tempts them every day. Thus, it is obvious that it would have been much better for these people if they had remained chaste and thus viewed the sexual pleasure as more of an abstract pleasure rather than to be guilty of, and commit sexual idolatry. St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians correctly explains that those who become subject and controlled by their covetousness (as in the case of those who are lustful) are serving idols, their idol being the sensual pleasure: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean,or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)
Haydock Commentary wisely explains Ephesians 5:3-5 thus: “Verse 3.Covetousness. The Latin word is generally taken for a coveting or immoderate desire of money and riches. St. Jerome and others observe, that the Greek word in this and divers other places in the New Testament may signify any unsatiable desire, or the lusts of sensual pleasures; and on this account, St. Jerome thinks that it is here joined with fornication and uncleanness [i.e., sexual sins]. --- Verse 5.Nor covetous person, which is a serving of idols.It is clear enough by the Greek that the covetous man is called an idolater, whose idol is mammon; though it may be also said of other sinners, that the vices they are addicted to are their idols. (Witham)”
If these people would have only subdued their flesh a little through small penances, their sins, bad marriages and eternal damnation could have easily been corrected or averted. “Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain. And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one. I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air: But I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Haydock Commentary explains First Corinthians 9:24-27: “Verse 25. He refraineth himself [from all things], &c. [If the athlete] Curbs his inclinations, abstains from debauchery, or any thing that may weaken him, or hinder him from gaining this corruptible crown [of human glory], how much more ought we to practice self-denials for an eternal crown? --- Verse 27.I chastise [my body], &c. Here St. Paul shews the necessity of self-denial and mortification to subdue the flesh, and its inordinate desires. (Challoner) --- Not even the labors of an apostle are exemptions from voluntary mortification and penance.”
Indeed, Our Lord Himself in the Holy Gospel shows us the necessity to never place our love for family or friends above our love for God since they are many times opposed to virtue or the faith: “Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.” (Matthew 10:34-40)
Haydock Commentary explains Matthew 10:32-40: “Verse 34.I came not to send [peace, but the sword], &c. That is, dissension and war, in order that the false peace of sinners may be destroyed, and that those who follow me, may differ in morals and affections from the followers of this world. The sword, therefore, is the gospel, which separates those parents who remain in infidelity. (Menochius) It must be observed, that the gospel does not necessarily of itself produce dissensions amongst men, but that Christ foresaw, from the depravity of man’s heart, that dissensions would follow the propagation of the gospel. (Haydock) --- Indeed before Christ became man, there was no sword upon the earth; that is, the spirit had not to fight with so much violence against the flesh; but when he became man, he shewed us what things were of the flesh, and what of the spirit, and taught us to set these two at variance, by renouncing always those of the flesh, which constantly endeavor to get master over us, and follow the dictates of the spirit. (Origen)”
“Verse 35.I am come to set a man at variance [with his family], &c. Not that this was the end or design of the coming of our Savior; but that his coming, and his doctrine would have this effect, by reason of the obstinate resistance that many would make, and of their persecuting all such as should adhere to him. (Challoner) No one can be connected with the earth and joined to heaven. Those who wish to enjoy the peace of heaven, must not be united to the lovers of this world by any connection. (Baradius)”
“Verse 37.[He that loveth father or mother more than me] Is not worthy of me, &c. That is, is not worthy to be my disciple, and to enjoy my kingdom. (Menochius)”
“Verse 38.[And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me], &c. There are two kinds of crosses which our Savior here commands us to take up: one corporal, and the other spiritual. By the former, he commands us to restrain the unruly appetites of the touch, taste, sight, &c. By the other, which is far more worthy our notice, he teaches us to govern the affections of the mind, and restrain all its irregular motions, by humility, tranquility, modesty, peace, &c. Precious indeed in the sight of God, and glorious is that cross, which governs and brings under proper rule the lawless passions of the mind. (St. Augustine)”
“Verse 39.He that findeth [his life, shall lose it], &c. That is, he that findeth in this life pleasures and comforts, and places his affections upon them, will certainly soon lose them. For Isaiah says, (Chap. xl, ver. 6) All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof as the flower of the field. The grass is withered, and the flower is fallen.… (St. Ambrose) But if he continues moderately happy as to temporal concerns till death, and places his affections on them, he hath found life here, but shall lose it in the next world. But he that shall, for the sake of Christ, deprive himself of the pleasures of this life, shall receive the reward of a hundred fold in the next. (Haydock)”
“It is not expedient to marry” for many people in this world according to the Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew gives us a good account of the superiority of chastity over marriage, and explains how many men refuse to accept to see the biblical truth that “it is not expedient to marry” for many in this world.
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the Apostles, saying: “‘And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication [or adultery], and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.’ His disciples say unto him: ‘If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.’ [And Jesus] said to them: ‘All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mother’s womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.’ Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said to them: ‘Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such.’ And when he had imposed hands upon them, he departed from thence.” (Matthew 19:9-15)
Douay Rheims Bible Commentary explains Matthew 19: “Verse 9.[whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication]. In the case of fornication, that is, of adultery, the wife may be put away: but even then the husband cannot marry another as long as the wife is living. --- Verse 11.All men take not this word. That is, all receive or accept not the gift of living singly and chastely, unless they pray for the grace of God to enable them to live so, and for many it may be necessary to that end to fast as well as pray: and to those it is given from above.”
Haydock Bible Commentary goes on to explain Our Lord’s words about chastity in Matthew, Chapter 19 thus: “Verse 11.All receive not this word, To translate all cannot take, or cannot receive this word, is neither conformable to the Latin nor Greek text. To be able to live singly, and chastely, is given to every one that asketh, and prayeth for the grace of God to enable him to live so. (Witham) All cannot receive it, because all do not wish it. The reward is held out to all. Let him who seeks for glory, not think of the labor. None would overcome, if all were afraid of engaging in the conflict. If some fail, are we to be less careful in our pursuit of virtue? Is the soldier terrified, because his comrade fights and falls by his side? (St. Chrysostom) He that can receive it, let him receive it. He that can fight, let him fight, overcome and triumph. It is the voice of the Lord animating his soldiers to victory. (St. Jerome) --- Verse 12.There are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs, for the kingdom of heaven. This text is not to be taken in the literal sense; but means, that there are such, who have taken a firm and commendable resolution of leading a single and chaste life, in order to serve God in a more perfect state than those who marry: as St. Paul clearly shews. 1 Cor. 7. 37, 38. (Challoner) Thus St. Jerome on this place, and St. Chrysostom where they both expressly take notice, that this grace is granted to every one that asketh and beggeth for it by prayer. (Witham) To the crown and glory of which state, let those aspire who feel themselves called by heaven.”
The infallible word of God is clear that “it is not expedient to marry” for many people in this world and that “all men take not this word”. Our Lord then goes on to inspire and urge all to try to become chaste by teaching us that: “there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.” The reason why Our Lord teaches that “it is not expedient to marry” for many people in this world is that most people who marry in this life fall into grievous habitual sins of the flesh with their spouse by performing mortally sinful, non-procreative or unnecessary sexual acts (such as masturbation of self or of spouse, foreplay, oral and anal sex, and sensual touches and kisses) which they would not have done if they would have remained single.
Sexual pleasure works very much the same as any pleasure in this world, but some good examples of pleasures that can be compared to it is the pleasure that people get from alcohol or drugs. Now, if a man has never taken drugs or alcohol he cannot know anything about their effects, and thus, he cannot desire these pleasures at all. The consequence of this lack of desire is that there is no desire to abuse either alcohol or drugs at all. Sexual pleasure affects a man in a similar way. If a man have not had a venue to act on his sexual desire, nor looked longingly and with desire on a woman, always choosing to turn his eyes down in humility every time a woman came near him, his sexual desire will remain more of an abstract or theoretical pleasure. But a man who marries a woman and starts having sexual relations with her (allowing his eyes to fixate on a woman with sensual desire) does not have this advantage of having sexual pleasure remain an abstract or theoretical pleasure, and consequently, the possibility of him getting tempted to commit sins of impurity with either his own wife or with some other woman, is immediately increased. And as always, the sensual fire almost always begins through the eyes when a person is not careful enough to control or consider where he or she is looking.
A person who drinks wine will always be more tempted to drink more than what is lawful than a person who does not drink at all. This example absolutely proves that it is not good for all men and women to marry, for most people in this world abuse the God given power of procreation in their genital parts by committing unlawful sexual acts with their spouse or with another person than their spouse. If they would have remained unschooled in the ways of sexual pleasure, or chosen to remain in the angelic state of chastity, their way to Heaven would have been infinitely more easy, but since their desire was to please their own flesh: the door to Heaven was closed and the door to Hell and eternal torment and suffering was opened. “For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.… No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:21, 24)
Indeed, today there is a virtual blackout of Our Lord’s teaching in the Holy Bible about the inherent dangers of marriage and the potential that the sexual act has to damn a person, and almost no one seem to even know or acknowledge this fact about the marital life even though it is clearly taught in the same Bible that millions or billions of people read during their life.
But this is not something new, since lustful and blind people have always existed. The main difference from before, however, is that today, this ignorance seem to rule almost the whole society, whereas before, a considerable part of the world cherished and extolled chastity, purity and virginity as a more blessed and pure lifestyle, which is also why many married spouses vowed chastity with each other in order to prepare to meet the Lord in chastity and purity. This is also proven by the fact that sins of impurity, such as masturbation, was generally considered bad, filthy or evil by almost all people before in time, and not like today, as something good or normal.
In this context, St. Jerome explains the holy Bible’s words about the inherent danger of marriage and the marital sexual act, showing quite clearly from the Holy Scripture that the marital act can endanger the salvation of our souls, unless we are really careful.
“I have said in my book, [Ag. Jov. 1:7] "If it is good for a man not to touch a woman, then it is bad for him to touch one, for bad, and bad only, is the opposite of good. But, if though bad it is made venial, then it is allowed to prevent something which would be worse than bad," and so on down to the commencement of the next chapter. The above is my comment upon the apostle’s words: "It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." [1 Cor. 7:1-2]... "Notice the apostle’s carefulness. He does not say: ‘It is good for a man not to have a wife,’ but, ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman’; as if there is danger in the very touching of one – danger which he who touches cannot escape." You see, therefore, that I am not expounding the law as to husbands and wives, but simply discussing the general question of sexual intercourse – how in comparison with chastity and virginity, the life of angels, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" [1 Cor. 7:1].” (St. Jerome, Letter XLVIII, To Pammachius, c. 394 A.D.)
When one actually sees how many of the books of the Bible and the Saints there are that actually teaches about the inherent dangers of marriage and the marriage act, as well as the doctrine of the necessity of chastity and sexual purity for both the married and the unmarried, and that even the married must practice chastity from time to time, one can understand that it is a spiritual problem behind the reason for why so many people can read the same biblical books and texts as others without actually understanding a whiff of the words they read. It is sad, but their filthy and sensual life blinds them from seeing and understanding what the words they read actually mean. In truth, it is a biblical fact, “...as Paul also says of those who are absorbed in marriage that they aim to "please the world." [1 Cor. 7:33] Again the Lord says, "Let not the married person seek a divorce, nor the unmarried person marriage," [1 Cor. 7:27, 32-36] that is, he who has confessed his intention of being celibate, let him remain unmarried.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata or Miscellanies, Book III, Chapter XV, Section 97)
In contrast to virginity or chastity, “Conjugality, on the other hand, runs completely away from Christ by reason of the surging of corruptible flesh and worldly cares of every kind; or it only slightly approaches God.” (St. Gregory of Nazianzen, In Praise of Virginity, PG 37, 563A) St. John Chrysostom, the inspired interpreter of the Apostle Paul, writes in the same spirit concerning the admission of marriage: “So, do not prefer over virginity that which was admitted because of your weakness. Rather, do not even put them on the same level.” (St. John Chrysostom, “On Virginity” 15, PG 48, 545)
St. John Chrysostom comments on this passage (in Matthew 19) from the Bible and explains Our Lord’s words about the greatness and perfection of a life of total and perpetual chastity:
“But what is, “If such be the case of a man with his wife?” That is, if to this end he is joined with her, that they should be one, or, on the other hand, if the man shall get to himself blame for these things, and always transgresses by putting away, it were easier to fight against natural desire and against one’s self, than against a wicked woman.
“What then saith Christ? He said not, “yea, it is easier, and so do,” lest they should suppose that the thing is a law; but He subjoined, “Not all men receive it, but they to whom it is given,” [Matt. 19:11] raising the thing, and showing that it is great, and in this way drawing them on, and urging them.
“But see herein a contradiction. For He indeed saith this is a great thing; but they, that it is easier. For it was meet that both these things should be done, and that it should be at once acknowledged a great thing by Him, that it might render them more forward, and by the things said by themselves it should be shown to be easier, that on this ground too they might the rather choose virginity and continence. For since to speak of virginity seemed to be grievous, by the constraint of this law He drove them to this desire. Then to show the possibility of it, He saith, “There are some eunuchs, who were so born from their mother’s womb, there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men, and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Heaven’s sake,” [Matt. 19:12] by these words secretly leading them to choose the thing, and establishing the possibility of this virtue, and all but saying, Consider if thou wert in such case by nature, or hadst endured this selfsame thing at the hands of those who inflict such wanton injuries, what wouldest thou have done, being deprived indeed of the enjoyment, yet not having a reward? Thank God therefore now, for that with rewards and crowns thou undergoest this, which those men endure without crowns; or rather not even this, but what is much lighter, being supported both by hope, and by the consciousness of the good work, and not having the desire so raging like waves within thee.
“For the excision of a member is not able to quell such waves, and to make a calm, like the curb of reason; or rather, reason only can do this.
“For this intent therefore He brought in those others, even that He might encourage these, since if this was not what He was establishing, what means His saying concerning the other eunuchs? But when He saith, that they made themselves eunuchs, He means not the excision of the members, far from it, but the putting away of wicked thoughts. Since the man who hath mutilated himself, in fact, is subject even to a curse, as Paul saith, “I would they were even cut off which trouble you.” [Gal. 5:12] And very reasonably. For such a one is venturing on the deeds of murderers, and giving occasion to them that slander God’s creation, and opens the mouths of the Manichæans, and is guilty of the same unlawful acts as they that mutilate themselves amongst the Greeks. For to cut off our members hath been from the beginning a work of demoniacal agency, and satanic device, that they may bring up a bad report upon the work of God, that they may mar this living creature, that imputing all not to the choice, but to the nature of our members, the more part of them may sin in security, as being irresponsible; and doubly harm this living creature, both by mutilating the members, and by impeding the forwardness of the free choice in behalf of good deeds.
“These are the ordinances of the devil, bringing in, besides the things which we have mentioned, another wicked doctrine also, and making way beforehand for the arguments concerning destiny and necessity even from hence, and everywhere marring the freedom given to us of God, and persuading us that evil deeds are of nature, and hence secretly implanting many other wicked doctrines, although not openly. For such are the devil’s poisons.
“Therefore I beseech you to flee from such lawlessness. For together with the things I have mentioned, neither doth the force of lust become milder hereby, but even more fierce. For from another origin hath the seed that is in us its sources, and from another cause do its waves swell. And some say from the brain, some from the loins, this violent impulse hath its birth; but I should say from nothing else than from an ungoverned will and a neglected mind: if this be temperate, there is no evil result from the motions of nature.
“Having spoken then of the eunuchs that are eunuchs for nought and fruitlessly, unless with the mind they too practise temperance, and of those that are virgins for Heaven’s sake, He proceeds again to say, “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it,” at once making them more earnest by showing that the good work is exceeding in greatness, and not suffering the thing to be shut up in the compulsion of a law, because of His unspeakable gentleness. And this He said, when He showed it to be most possible, in order that the emulation of the free choice might be greater.
“And if it is of free choice, one may say, how doth He say, at the beginning, “All men do not receive it, but they to whom it is given?” That thou mightest learn that the conflict is great, not that thou shouldest suspect any compulsory allotments. For it is given to those, even to the willing.
“But He spake thus to show that much influence from above is needed by him who entereth these lists, whereof He that is willing shall surely partake. For it is customary for Him to use this form of speech when the good work done is great, as when He saith, “To you it is given to know the mysteries.”
“And that this is true, is manifest even from the present instance. For if it be of the gift from above only, and they that live as virgins contribute nothing themselves, for nought did He promise them the kingdom of Heaven, and distinguish them from the other eunuchs.
“But mark thou, I pray, how from some men’s wicked doings, other men gain. I mean, that the Jews went away having learnt nothing, for neither did they ask with the intent of learning, but the disciples gained even from hence.” (St. John Chrysostom, Homily 62 on Matthew, Chapter 19, Section 3)
Just like in the days of St. Jerome, Noah or Lot, people talk about the joys of marriage and the world, but totally ignore its dangers, since their sensuality controls their life: “You set before me the joys of wedlock. I for my part will remind you of Dido’s sword and pyre and funeral flames. In marriage there is not so much good to be hoped for as there is evil which may happen and must be feared. Passion when indulged always brings repentance with it; it is never satisfied, and once quenched it is soon kindled anew. Its growth or decay is a matter of habit; led like a captive by impulse it refuses to obey reason.” (St. Jerome, Letter CXXIII, To Ageruchia, Section 14, A.D. 409)
Our Lord’s and Lady’s warning in the Bible and to the children at Fatima in 1917 confirms this point in great detail, clearly placing emphasis on the fact that marriages in the final days of the earth will be oriented towards pleasing sensuality and selfishness: “