Conjugial Love (Rogers) n. 155

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155. (13) Chastity cannot be ascribed to people who have renounced marriage by a vow of perpetual celibacy, unless a love for the truly conjugial life is present and remains in them. There is no ascribing of chastity to people like this, because after a vow of perpetual celibacy, they cast aside conjugial love, and yet chastity is applicable only to this love. Moreover, there is still an attraction to the opposite sex in them from creation and so from birth, and when this is restrained and suppressed, it inevitably happens that the attraction turns into a feeling of warmth and in some cases into a state of heat, which, rising from the body into the spirit, torments it and in some people corrupts it. It can happen as well that the spirit thus corrupted in turn corrupts matters of religion and casts them down from their proper internal abode, where they are held in reverence, to an external abode, where they become merely words and gestures. Because of this, the Lord has therefore provided that celibacy of this kind occur only among people who have an external worship, which they are in because they do not go to the Lord or read the Word. In their case, eternal life is not put in peril by conditions of celibacy imposed along with a vow of chastity, as it would be in the case of people who have an internal worship. In addition, many of these people do not enter that kind of life of their own free will, but some do so before they reach a state of freedom arising from reason, and some do so as a result of seductive influences from the world. [2] Among people who adopt that way of life in order to free their minds from the world so as to have time for Divine worship, only those are chaste in whom a love for the truly conjugial life either was present before the celibate state or came into being afterwards and then remained, because a love for the truly conjugial life is the love to which chastity applies. For this reason, too, after death, all monastics are finally released from their vows and allowed to go free, in order that they may be led to choose either married or unmarried life according to the inner prayers and longings of their love. If they then choose to enter married life, those who have at the same time loved the spiritual things of worship are allowed to marry in heaven. But those who choose an unmarried life are sent to others like themselves, who live in the outskirts of heaven. [3] With respect to women who devoted themselves to a life of piety, giving themselves up to Divine worship and thus withdrawing themselves from the illusions of the world and the lusts of the flesh, and who had therefore taken a vow of perpetual virginity, I have asked angels whether they are received into heaven, and whether they become first among the happy there, according to their belief. But the angels replied that they are indeed received, but when they feel the atmosphere of conjugial love there, they become unhappy and distressed. And then, the angels said, they leave or are sent away, some of them going on their own, some after asking permission, and some by being told to go. Moreover, when they are outside the heaven they had been in, a way opens before them leading to companions who had lived in a similar state of life in the world. And then they become no longer distressed but cheerful, and they rejoice with one another.

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