Contemplation on the 6th hour of Holy Wednesday (1)

The soul heated like a burning fire will not be quenched until it is consumed; a man who commits fornication with his near of kin will never cease until the fire burns him up. 17 To a fornicator all bread tastes sweet; he will never cease until he dies" (Sirach 23:16-17)

Youthful lust is wild, but requires many governors, teachers, directors, attendants, and tutors. After all these, it is happiness if it is restrained. For as a horse not broken in, or a wild beast untamed, such is youthful lust. But if from the beginning, from the earliest age, we fix it in good rules, much pains will not be required afterwards; for good habits formed will be to them as a law. Let us not suffer them to do anything which is agreeable, but injurious; nor let us indulge them, as forsooth but children. Especially let us train them in chastity, for there is the very bane of youth. For this many struggles, much attention will be necessary. Let us take wives for them early, so that their brides may receive their bodies pure and unpolluted, so their loves will be more ardent. He that is chaste before marriage, much more will he be chaste after itl and he that practiced fornication before, will practice it after marriage. "All bread," it is said. "is sweet to the fornicator." (Sirach 23:17) Garlands are wont to be worn on the heads of bridegrooms, as a symbol of victory, betokening that they approach the marriage bed unconquered by pleasure. But if captivated by pleasure he has given himself up to harlots, why does he wear a garland, since he has been subdued?

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