Monday, 30 July 2012

On the Sanctity of Marriage

By St. Cyril of Jerusalem
[The] Holy Spirit wrought in Elisabeth; for He has in knowledge not virgins only, but acknowledges married women also, so that their marriage may be lawful. 
[If you are] observing chastity, be not puffed up against those who choose the humbler path of wedlock. For marriage is honourable, and the bed undefiled, as the Apostle says. [Heb. 13:4] Were not you who keep your purity born of married persons? Do not, because you have a possession of gold, set at nought the silver. But let also those who are married and use marriage lawfully be of good cheer; those who subject their marriage to laws, not making it wanton by unbounded license; who observe the seasons of abstinence, that they may give themselves unto prayer; [1 Cor. 7:5] who with pure garments bring their bodies also pure to the assemblies of the Church; who have entered into the state of matrimony, not for indulgence, but that they may have a home. And let not those who have been married only once set at nought them who have involved themselves in a second marriage. Continence is indeed a noble thing and admirable; yet we should make allowance for a second marriage, that the weak may not commit fornication. It is good for them if they abide even as I, says the Apostle; but if they cannot contain, let them marry; it is better to marry than to burn. [1 Cor. 7:8-9] But let everything else be put far away from you - fornication, adultery, and every form of incontinence - and let the body be kept for the Lord, that the Lord also may look upon the body. And let the body be nourished with meats, that it may live, and serve without hindrance; but not that it may be given up to indulgence.
Catechetical Lectures 17:7 & 4:25-26

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