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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

who, out of fear of hell, had condemned myself to this prison, 

companion of scorpions and wild beasts, often seemed in 

imagination among bands of girls. My face was pale with fasting 

and my mind within my frigid body was burning with desire; the 

fires of lust would still flare up in a body that already seemed 

to be dead. Then, deprived of all help, I threw myself at the 

feet of Jesus, washing them with my tears and drying them with my 

hair, subjugating my rebellious flesh by long fasts. I remember 

that more than once I passed the night uttering cries and 

striking my breast until God sent me peace." "Our century," wrote 

St. Chrysostom in his _Discourse to Those Who Keep Virgins in 

Their Houses_, "has seen many men who have bound their bodies 

with chains, clothed themselves in sacks, retired to the summits 

of mountains where they have lived in constant vigil and fasting, 

giving the example of the most austere discipline and forbidding 

all women to cross the thresholds of their humble dwellings; and 

yet, in spite of all the severities they have exercised on 

themselves, it was with difficulty they could repress the fury of 

their passions." Hilarion, says Jerome, saw visions of naked 

women when he lay down on his solitary couch and delicious meats 

when he sat down to his frugal table. Such experiences rendered 

the early saints very scrupulous. "They used to say," we are told 

in an interesting history of the Egyptian anchorites, Palladius's 

_Paradise of the Holy Fathers_, belonging to the fourth century 

(A.W. Budge, _The Paradise_, vol. ii, p. 129), "that Abba Isaac 

went out and found the footprint of a woman on the road, and he 

thought about it in his mind and destroyed it saying, 'If a 

brother seeth it he may fall.'" Similarly, according to the rules 

of St. Caesarius of Aries for nuns, no male clothing was to be 

taken into the convent for the purpose of washing or mending. 

Even in old age, a certain anxiety about chastity still remained. 

One of the brothers, we are told in _The Paradise_ (p. 132) said 

to Abba Zeno, "Behold thou hast grown old, how is the matter of 

fornication?" The venerable saint replied, "It knocketh, but it 

passeth on." 

 

As the centuries went by the same strenuous anxiety to guard 

chastity still remained, and the old struggle constantly 

reappeared (see, e.g., Migne's _Dictionnaire d'Ascetisme_, art. 

"Demon, Tentation du"). Some saints, it is true, like Luigi di 

Gonzaga, were so angelically natured that they never felt the 

sting of sexual desire. These seem to have been the exception. 

St. Benedict and St. Francis experienced the difficulty of 

subduing the flesh. St. Magdalena de Pozzi, in order to dispel 

sexual desires, would roll on thorny bushes till the blood came. 

Some saints kept a special cask of cold water in their cells to 

stand in (Lea, _Sacerdotal Celibacy_, vol. i, p. 124). On the 

other hand, the Blessed Angela de Fulginio tells us in her 

_Visiones_ (cap. XIX) that, until forbidden by her confessor, she 

would place hot coals in her secret parts, hoping by material 

fire to extinguish the fire of concupiscence. St. Aldhelm, the 

holy Bishop of Sherborne, in the eighth century, also adopted a 

homeopathic method of treatment, though of a more literal kind, 

for William of Malmsbury states that when tempted by the flesh he 

would have women to sit and lie by him until he grew calm again; 

the method proved very successful, for the reason, it was 


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