Transalpine Redemptorists : If possible, choose to remain in unmarried chastity.
His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry. Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given... He that can take, let him take it.
This is the teaching of St John Chrysostom, Origen, Theophylact, Euthymius, St Jerome, St Augustine, St Ambrose, Tertullian and others:
Jesus Christ and St Paul advise every believer to live in unmarried chastity.
"Christ in this place, as well as St. Paul (1 Cor. 7:7), gives the counsel of continence to every believer. For nothing is counselled except what is in man's power and good pleasure with God's grace, which truly he offers and provides for all who ask it."
(Cornelius A Lapide on St Matthew XIX, Vol. 2., pg 330.)
Note, counsel, not command.
Look at the words of - here is one of the authorities cited in the article - St Chrysostom:
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 labour. 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)
Note well, in his day there was no Third Republic or French Revolution with universal drafting. Signing up for being a Roman miles was certainly (once Paganism was gone) laudable, but it was optional.
This means that chosing the better path in this question is also optional.
That is what is meant by calling it an advise.
I wonder how many years Church men have the right to single someone out and pray he stays in opportunity of heeding this advise, when he has stated again and again he does not want to?
If between a date in I think June 1996 and some date in 1999 or early 2000 I had married or in any other respect won a girl named Christina, I would have preferred that to monastery. If I had after eviction gone to a monastery I would have been then, before that date in 1999 or 2000, obliged to ask for entry, and if admitted do a year's novitiate.
In that date 1999 or 2000, I got an answer from a monastery, the vow in question was not obliging. Just not to repeat it.
I haven't. From that answer on, I date my resolution to marry, and to NOT consider me as in any way, shape or form bound to getting to a monastery. Why? Because it was the second time I tried to keep the vow even by the monastic way, where the first lemma of the vow was in fact not even monastic at all.
"to either win Christina or enter Le Barroux or another monastery of traditional rite".*
I did neither, but I was impeded in all my attempts to do either.
Since then, I have a fear, later even hatred for the priests who have done everything for me to remain without my choice celibate, like praying as if supporting my own prayers for a celibate life. The majority of my prayers 1996 to 1998 were for Christina, not for monastery.
Any priest who is willing to tell me "oh, you are not married, why not become a monk?" deserves a punch on the mouth - except as I am a layman it would be a sacrilege on my part to give him that punch, and as I am baptised I can get excommunicated for sacrilege.
Any pastor of the sects which deny there is any kind of even counsel (as in real counsel, applicable perfectly if you are one of those who feel for following it) to monastic life, their sheepfolds do not include Catholic ladies, married or marriageable.
Witham is very clear that there is no universal OBLIGATION.
He that can receive it, let him receive it. Some think that to receive, in this and the foregoing verse, is to understand; and so will have the sense to be, he that can understand what I have said of different eunuchs, let him understand it; as when Christ said elsewhere, he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. But others expound it as an admonition to men and women, not to engage themselves in a vow of living a single life, unless, after a serious deliberation, they have good grounds to think they can duly comply with this vow, otherwise let them not make it. 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)
And in other words, not granted to all those who feel ill at the thought of so praying.
Some graces one must ask for, however one might feel. If I had been a sodomite by inclination, which I am not, I would have had to ask not to live after that inclination. But there are two ways of asking that. One was the way examplified by Josh Weed. That he is a Mormon, alas, is no reason whatsoever to deny that his solution is Catholic. Certain habits indicating directly I should better quit them by marrying (let's not be gross again in same paragraph by being explicit) I have prayed for to quit. But between quitting them and not yet being married, it takes a toll on my good mood. It is a strain on the body. It is for me not the happy life described by the Redemptorists of Papa Stronsay. I do not doubt it is a happy life for those who have earnestly prayed for it. I am saying I have, most of the time, not done so. And it is not so for me.
There are priests who will here think "well, if he hasn't the sense to pray for it, we'll do it for him, and we'll especially discourage any girl interested in him from detaining him from a vocation, even if he doesn't feel it".
When I read, in Belloc, the story of La Vallière, mistress of Louis XIV, I got the impression it was a pre-marital love interest of his, that he would have married her instead of the Spanish Princess if she hadn't gone into a monastery. I felt, if I had been Louis XIV, I would have been damned of that had been done to me. I would have become a persecutor of the Church to revenge myself for the sadistic wanton wounding of my heart. It seems after what I have seen since, I was mistaken about La Vallière. It was a mistress he entertained by adultery. If I didn't misread Belloc, his chapter "The Annealing of the Heart" in his biography or monography over that king is mistaken.
I was able to pray the rosary, when I was hoping, either that priests were not praying or acting that way - or that God would not hear them.
And while not praying the rosary, I am also not praying the Lord's Prayer, also not praying "sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris".
It is a credit to what importance God sees in the Catholic Priesthood that any priest so praying should have so far succeeded in keeping me from marriage, and God even made their opponents their tools. If Mormons, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and a few more hadn't been acting as if Catholicism were a kind of phase they hoped to get me out of (by prayer, by discussion, by imposed therapy, you name it, even by seduction), if people hating the message of my blogs had not been hoping to rearrange my opinions through seduction with possibly marriage, if there had not been rumours about my blogs being a kind of monastic venture I would normally leave off for paid work once I decided to marry - as if it were inherently impossible for me to get paid for what I write, rather than they putting obstacle after obstacle in my way, I would already have had a Catholic wife and been living off what I write.
Catholicism and Orthodoxy are in a way twin religions. My first instinct when at all deciding to convert, was to become Catholic. One of my motives was, I had read how Russian Orthodox had been forcing people (notably false Dmitris) into monasteries.
If Catholic clergy do the same, and say so, I must count them as apostates. If anyone does so behind my back, I must hope both that God counts them as apostates for it, and that God does not count me as guilty of saluting an infidel because seeking a Communion with someone who was hiding his behaviour from me.
Hans Georg Lundahl
* I answer that, The obligation of a vow proceeds from the will: because "to vow is an act of the will" according to Augustine [Gloss of Peter Lombard on Psalm 75:12. Consequently the obligation of a vow extends as far as the will and intention of the person who takes the vow. Accordingly if in vowing he intend to bind himself not only to enter religion, but also to remain there evermore, he is bound to remain in perpetuity. If, on the other hand, he intend to bind himself to enter religion for the purpose of trial, while retaining the freedom to remain or not remain, it is clear that he is not bound to remain. If, however, in vowing he thought merely of entering religion, without thinking of being free to leave, or of remaining in perpetuity, it would seem that he is bound to enter religion according to the form prescribed by common law, which is that those who enter should be given a year's probation. Wherefore he is not bound to remain for ever. Summa Theologiae, II-II, Q189, A4. So, if I had either in any meaningful sense won her (friendship, conversion or marriage : seduction would have fulfilled the vow, but in a manner I thought unworthy) or done one year of novitiate, I would have been free to be a married man, if not with her with someone else. If we go back to A3 : Hence it follows that he who binds himself to enter religion is under an obligation to enter religion according as he intends to bind himself by his vow: so that if he intend to bind himself absolutely, he is obliged to enter as soon as he can, through the cessation of a lawful impediment; whereas if he intend to bind himself to a certain fixed time, or under a certain fixed condition, he is bound to enter religion when the time comes or the condition is fulfilled. - The condition of not winning Christina, I would have counted as actualised by the time I was impeded from staying in her neighbourhood. Eviction from my apartment = going off to Le Barroux by any means at hand. I was impeded from doing that. By psychiatry. And I am NOT now going off to a year of novitiate. Now, the canon law of St Thomas' time would have granted me the right to marry under three conditions, apart from the obvious one of having won Christina. 1) Novitiate. 2) Failing to keep vow despite trying, twice, literally trying to enter monastery twice after a vow primarily directed to that. 3) Papal dispensation. I count myself as dispensed according to the second alternative. I was for those years amply trying to fulfil the vow, including obviously by trying to win Christina - sth made difficult because she was a minor. The canon law of 1917, if such it be, does not even give any rule for that kind of vow, since it was neither a perpetual and solemn one, nor a "votum privatum coram communitatem". It cannot become "coram communitatem" and thus more obliging, just because I have been forced to tell my story./HGL ** Yes, I know, you were a great counseller for the option I reject.