Choose a topic from Part 3 Suppl:

41. Matrimony

1. Man is by nature both gregarious and political. And, asAristotle says (Ethic. viii 12), he is more stronglyinclined by nature to connubial society than to political society.In a word, man has not only a tendency (as all living bodies have)to propagate his kind, and (as herd animals do) to live with hiskind, he has a tendency to the stable unions of marriage,family, and state. Thus, marriage belongs to thedomain of the natural law. The conjugal union of marriage is aninstitution of nature.

2. The majority of men are called to this conjugal union,but it is not imposed upon each individual as a duty. That manyshould marry is necessary for the common good. Yet the same commongood requires that some should be devoted to the contemplativelife, to which marriage with its duties is a great obstacle.Besides, we have ample teaching in scripture of the excellence ofvirginity; chastity is one of the counsels of perfection. Hence,not all individuals are required to marry. The natural law isobserved if a sufficient number marry to maintain and propagate therace.

3. The conjugal act of man and wife is by no means sinful.Scripture (I Cor. 7:3) says: "Let the husband render the debtto his wife." The opinion that the marital action is sinful isboth mistaken and heretical.

4. The marital act rightly performed by man and wife is anact of virtue, and therefore is a meritorious act.

"A man should keep himself down, and not busy himself in mirabilibus super se."
St Philip Neri

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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"Obedience is a short cut to perfection."
St Philip Neri

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