Bonum matrimonii et caelibati
Good of marriage and celibacy
7:1 De quibus autem scripsistis mihi: bonum est homini mulierem non tangere: [n. 312]
7:1 Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me: it is good for a man not to touch a woman. [n. 312]
7:2 propter fornicationem autem unusquisque suam uxorem habeat, et unaquaeque suum virum habeat. [n. 315]
7:2 But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife: and let every woman have her own husband. [n. 315]
7:3 Uxori vir debitum reddat: similiter autem et uxor viro. [n. 320]
7:3 Let the husband render the debt to his wife: and the wife also in like manner to the husband. [n. 320]
7:4 Mulier sui corporis potestatem non habet, sed vir. Similiter autem et vir sui corporis potestatem non habet, sed mulier. [n. 322]
7:4 The wife has not power of her own body: but the husband. And in like manner the husband also has not power of his own body: but the wife. [n. 322]
7:5 Nolite fraudare invicem, nisi forte ex consensu ad tempus, ut vacetis orationi: et iterum revertimini in idipsum, ne tentet vos Satanas propter incontinentiam vestram. [n. 325]
7:5 Do not defraud one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer: and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for your incontinency. [n. 325]
7:6 Hoc autem dico secundum indulgentiam, non secundum imperium. [n. 326]
7:6 But I speak this by indulgence, not by commandment. [n. 326]
7:7 Volo enim omnes vos esse sicut meipsum: sed unusquisque proprium donum habet ex Deo: alius quidem sic, alius vero sic. [n. 330]
7:7 For I would that all were even as myself. But every one has his proper gift from God: one after this manner, and another after that. [n. 330]
7:8 Dico autem non nuptis, et viduis: bonum est illis si sic permaneant, sicut et ego. [n. 334]
7:8 But I say to the unmarried and to the widows: it is good for them if they so continue, even as I. [n. 334]
7:9 Quod si non se continent, nubant. Melius est enim nubere, quam uri.
7:9 But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt.
312. Postquam Apostolus reprehendit fornicarium et sustinentes eum, hic accedit ad tractandum de matrimonio.
312. After rebuking the fornicator and those who upheld him, the Apostle now begins to treat of marriage.
Et circa hoc tria facit.
In regard to this he does three things.
Primo determinat de coniugatis et matrimonio iunctis;
First, he discusses those joined in matrimony;
secundo, de virginibus, ibi de virginibus autem, etc.;
second, virgins, at now, concerning virgins (1 Cor 7:25);
tertio, de viduis, ibi mulier alligata est, etc.
third, widows, at a woman is bound by the law (1 Cor 7:39).
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo instruit eos qui non sunt matrimonio iuncti, utrum scilicet debeant matrimonium contrahere;
First, he instructs those not joined in matrimony whether to contract matrimony;
secundo manifestat quod dixerat, ibi hoc autem dico, et cetera.
second, he clarifies what he had said, at but I speak this by indulgence.
Circa primum duo facit.
In regard to the first he does two things.
Primo manifestat quid circa hoc sit per se bonum;
First, he shows what is essentially good in this matter;
secundo, quid necessarium, ibi propter fornicationem autem, et cetera.
second, what is necessary, at but for fear of fornication.
313. Circa primum considerandum quod in detestationem fornicationis, contra quam locutus iam fuerat, aliqui non habentes zelum Dei secundum scientiam, intantum procedebant, quod etiam matrimonium condemnabant, secundum illud I Tim. IV, 2 s.: in hypocrisi loquentium mendacium, prohibentium nubere. Et quia hoc durum Corinthiis videbatur fidelibus, super hoc Apostolo scripserunt, eius sententiam requirentes, et ideo Apostolus eis respondet: ita reprehendi ea quae facitis. De quibus autem scripsistis mihi, respondeo, quantum ad matrimonium, bonum est homini mulierem non tangere.
313. In regard to the first it should be noted that in their dislike for fornication, against which he had just spoken, some, whose zeal for God was not accompanied by wisdom, arrived at a point where they even condemned marriage. Hence it is said: through the hypocrisy of liars who forbid marriage (1 Tim 4:2ff). Because this seemed harsh to the Corinthian believers, they wrote to the Apostle about it. Therefore, the Apostle answered: I have disapproved of things you do. Now concerning the things whereof you wrote to me, I answer in regard to matrimony: it is good for a man not to touch a woman.
314. Circa quod notandum quod mulier data est viro ad adiutorium generationis: et in hoc differt vis generativa a nutritiva, quia vis nutritiva deservit homini ad conservationem individui; unde bonum est homini nutrimento uti, quia per hoc eius vita conservatur; generativa autem non deservit homini ad conservationem individui, sed ad conservationem speciei. Unde non potest dici quod bonum est homini, ad suum individuum, mulierem tangere, primo quidem quantum ad animam, quia, ut Augustinus dicit in Soliloquiis, nihil sic deiicit animam ab arce virtutis suae, sicut contactus ille corporum, sine quo uxor haberi non potest; et ideo Ex. XIX, 15 dicitur populo accepturo legem Dei: estote parati in diem tertium, et ne appropinquetis uxoribus vestris. I Reg. XXI, 4 dixit Abimelech ad David: si mundi sunt pueri, maxime a mulieribus, manducent panem sanctum.
314. In this matter it should be noted that the woman was given to man as a help in generation, and the generative power differs from the nutritive power in the fact that the latter serves man in preserving him as an individual. Hence, it is good for man to take nourishment, because his life is preserved by it. But the generative power does not serve man as a help in preserving him as an individual, but to preserve the species. Hence, it cannot be said that it is good for a man, as his own individual, to touch a woman; first, in regard to the soul, because as Augustine says in the Soliloquies: nothing so casts a man down from the citadel of his power as that contact of bodies without which a wife cannot be had. Consequently, it is said to the people about to receive the law: be ready by the third day; do not go near a woman (Exod 19:15); and: I have no common bread at hand, but there is holy bread; if only the young men have kept themselves from women (1 Sam 21:4).
Secundo quantum ad corpus, quod vir subiicit per matrimonium potestati uxoris, se ex libero servum constituens. Servitus autem haec prae omnibus aliis est amara. Unde et Eccle. VII, 27 dicitur: inveni amariorem morte mulierem.
Second, as to the body, the fact that a man subjects himself to a woman by marriage and makes himself a slave out of a freedman. This is the most bitter of all servitudes. Hence it is said: I found more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets (Eccl 7:26).
Tertio quantum ad res exteriores, quarum occupatione necesse est hominem implicari, qui habet uxorem et filios nutriendos, cum tamen dicatur II Tim. II, 4: nemo militans Deo implicat se negotiis saecularibus, ut ei placeat cui se probavit.
Third, as to external things with which a man must occupy himself, when he has a wife and children to be fed; whereas it is said: no soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him (2 Tim 2:4).
315. Deinde cum dicit propter fornicationem, etc., ostendit quid circa hoc sit necessarium.
315. Then when he says, but for fear of fornication, he shows what is necessary in this matter.
Primo quantum ad contractum matrimonii;
First, as to contracting marriage;
secundo quantum ad actum matrimonii iam contracti, ibi uxori vir debitum, et cetera.
second, as to the use of the matrimony once contracted, at let the husband render the debt.
316. Circa primum considerandum est, quod actus generativae virtutis ordinatur ad conservationem speciei per generationem filiorum, et quia mulier data est viro in adiutorium generationis, prima necessitas tangendi mulierem est propter procreationem filiorum. Unde Gen. I, 27 s. dicitur: masculum et foeminam creavit eos, et benedixit eis Deus, et ait: crescite et multiplicamini, et replete terram. Sed haec necessitas fuit circa institutionem humani generis, quamdiu oportuit multiplicari populum Dei per successionem carnis.
316. In regard to the first it should be noted that the act of the generative power is ordained to the conservation of the species by the generation of offspring. And because the woman was given to the man as a helper in generation, the first need for touching a woman is for the procreation of children. Hence it is said: male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them: be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth (Gen 1:27). But this need was directed to the formation of the human race, as long as there was need for the people of God to be multiplied by succession according to the flesh.
Sed Apostolus, considerans humanum genus iam multiplicatum et populum Dei iam esse augmentatum, non propagatione carnis, sed generatione quae est ex aqua et Spiritu Sancto, ut dicitur Io. III, 5, praetermisit hanc necessitatem, qua scilicet primitus institutum fuerat matrimonium in officium naturae, et proponit secundam necessitatem secundum quam institutum est in remedium culpae. Quia enim carnalis concupiscentia adhuc post baptismum in fidelibus remanet, licet non Dominetur, instigat homines maxime ad actus venereos propter vehementiam delectationis. Et quia maioris virtutis est totaliter hanc concupiscentiam superare, quam possit hominibus convenire, secundum illud Matth. XIX, v. 11: non omnes capiunt verbum hoc, necessarium est quod in parte concupiscentiae cedatur, et in parte superetur; quod quidem fit dum actus generationis ratione ordinatur, et non totaliter homo concupiscentia ducitur, sed magis concupiscentia subditur rationi.
But the Apostle, considering that the human race had now multiplied and that the people of God were now increased not by fleshly propagation but by the generation which is from water the Holy Spirit (John 3:5), he passed over this necessity whereby marriage had been originally instituted as a function of nature, and proposed a second necessity according to which it was instituted as a remedy for sin. For since carnal desire remains alive in believers even after baptism, although it does not rule, it impels men especially toward venereal acts on account of the vehemence of their pleasure. And because it requires greater virtue to conquer this desire entirely than can belong to men, according to Matthew: not all men can receive this saying (Matt 19:11), it is necessary that this desire be in part yielded to and in part mastered. This, indeed, happens when the act of generation is ordained by reason and man is not totally mastered by the desire, but the desire is rather subjected to reason.
317. Habet autem hoc ratio naturalis, quod homo utatur generationis actu, secundum quod convenit generationi et educationi filiorum. Hoc autem in brutis animalibus invenitur, quod in quibuscumque speciebus animalium sola foemina non sufficit ad educationem prolis, masculus simul nutrit prolem cum foemina; et ad hoc exigitur, quod masculus cognoscat propriam prolem. Et ideo in omnibus talibus animalibus, ut patet in columbis, turturibus et huiusmodi, naturaliter indita est sollicitudo de educatione prolis. Et propter hoc in huiusmodi non sunt vagi et indifferentes concubitus, ex quibus sequeretur incertitudo prolis; sed masculus determinatus determinatae foeminae coniungitur, non indifferenter quaelibet cuilibet, sicut accidit in canibus et aliis huiusmodi animalibus, in quibus sola foemina nutrit prolem.
317. Natural reason teaches that man use the act of generation according as it is suitable for generation and education of children. But in brute animals it is found that in certain species the female alone is not sufficient for the training of the offspring, but the male takes care of the offspring with the female. For this it is required that the male recognize its offspring. Therefore, in all such animals, as doves, pigeons and the like, solicitude for the training of offspring is inspired by nature. Wherefore, in such animals coition is not random and indiscriminate, but a definite male is joined to a definite female, not one to another promiscuously, as happens in dogs and such animals, in which the female alone takes care of the offspring.
Maxime autem in specie humana masculus requiritur ad prolis educationem, quae non solum attenditur secundum corporis nutrimentum, sed magis secundum nutrimentum animae, secundum illud Hebr. XII, 9: patres quidem carnis nostrae habuimus eruditores et reverebamur eos; et ideo ratio naturalis dictat quod in specie humana non sint vagi et incerti concubitus, quales sunt concubitus fornicarii, sed sint determinati viri ad determinatam foeminam, quae quidem determinatio fit per legem matrimonii.
But above all in the human species, the male is required for the education of the offspring, which are attended to not only regarding bodily nourishment, but to a greater degree regarding the nourishment of the soul, as it says in Hebrews: we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them (Heb 12:9). And consequently, natural reason dictates that in the human species coition is not random and uncertain, but is by a definite man to a definite female, who in fact made the arrangement through the law of matrimony.
318. Sic igitur triplex bonum habet matrimonium, primum quidem quod est in officium naturae, prout scilicet ordinatur ad generationem et educationem prolis, et hoc bonum est bonum prolis.
318. Thus, therefore, matrimony has three goods. The first is that it is a function of nature in the sense that it is ordered to the production and education of offspring; and this good is the good of offspring.
Secundum bonum habet prout est in remedium concupiscentiae, quae scilicet coarctatur ad determinatam personam, et hoc bonum dicitur fides, quam scilicet vir servat uxori suae, non accedens ad aliam, et similiter uxor viro.
The second good is that it is a remedy for desire, which is restricted to a definite person; and this good is called fidelity, which a man preserves toward his wife, by not going to another woman, and similarly the wife toward the husband.
Tertium bonum habet, prout in fide contrahitur Christi, quod quidem bonum dicitur sacramentum, inquantum significat coniunctionem Christi et Ecclesiae, secundum illud Eph. V, 32: sacramentum hoc magnum est, ego autem dico in Christo, et Ecclesia.
The third good, insofar as the marriage is contracted in the faith of Christ, is called the sacrament, inasmuch as it signifies the union of Christ and the Church, as it is said: this mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32).