(ML) - Wisdom's Delight in Marriage Love: Followed by Insanity’s Pleasure in Promiscuous Love

ML 488

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488. VIII. THAT ADULTERIES OF THE SECOND DEGREE ARE ADULTERIES FROM LUST, WHICH ARE COMMITTED BY THOSE WHO ARE INDEED ABLE TO CONSULT THE UNDERSTANDING, YET, ON ACCOUNT OF CONTINGENT CAUSES, ARE NOT ABLE AT THE TIME. With the man who from natural is becoming spiritual there are two things, commonly called the spirit and the flesh, which in the beginning combat against each other. And since the love of marriage is of the spirit, and the love of adultery of the flesh, there is a combat between these also. If the love of marriage conquers, it subdues and subjugates the love of adultery, this being done by its removal. But if it happens that the lust of the flesh is aroused to a heat beyond what the spirit acting from reason can restrain, it follows that the state is inverted and the heat of lust pours such allurements over the spirit that it is no longer master of its reason and hence of its duty. This is what is meant by adulteries of the second degree which are committed by those who are indeed able to consult the understanding but, on account of contingent causes, cannot do so at the time. But let examples illustrate. If by cunning arts a meretricious wife captivates a man's mind, enticing him into her bedroom and so inflaming him that he becomes impotent of judgment, and the more if she then also threatens him with disgrace if he does not. So likewise if some meretricious wife is skilled in sorceries, or so excites a man with potions that the burning heat of the flesh deprives his understanding of its freedom of reason. Likewise if a man by soft allurements leads on the wife of another until her will, being inflamed, has no longer any control; besides other similar cases. That these and parallel contingencies alter the grievousness of the adultery and turn the predication of censure to something milder for the seduced man or woman--this, reason both favors and assents to. As to the imputation of this degree of adultery, this now follows.


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