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The cross of abstinence.

Each person has his cross and by carrying it he achieves heaven. The cross includes different sufferings, which are created by the imbalances of our nature caused by original sin. Nobody can avoid the sufferings caused by gender, but everyone can and must redirect them into kindness and mutual benefit. Even in the most stable family it is necessary to adjust and restrain chaotic sexual desires.

Sufferings caused by an inability to satisfy sexual desires are most acute in forced celibacy, i.e. when it is not possible to create a family no matter how strongly one might be wishing it. Due to social conditions a man has an advantage: if a girl rejects his proposal, he may try to find another one to marry. A girl is deprived of this right of first initiative (she cannot very well propose to a man!). Therefore a girl is more likely to remain single, either because she doesn’t love those who propose to her or because the man in whom she is interested is not interested in her, or for some other reason.

Celibacy caused by the desire for moral perfection is like a ladder by which one ascends to the highest rank. The sublimation of sexual energy which is inevitably accumulated in the body, although it is not at all an easy thing to do, can only be achieved through this way leading directly upwards. Then a real "transfiguration of Eros" takes place, when the cross of opposing sexual desires becomes a struggle with the "old person" in oneself. All the stress here is put into a free direction of one’s will towards Heaven, which attracts God's spiritual energy to the person.

But unwilful virginity in which the soul does not readily participate will only lead to new suffering. It does not weaken the pressure of sex, on the contrary, it strengthens it, because the soul thirsts for intimate closeness and suffers from lack of it. Does not this kind of celibacy force one to look upon illegitimate cohabitation in a new way, or does it not justify casual relations?

But it is necessary to remember that only in marriage the satisfaction of sexual desires does not bring in any kind of lie or disharmony. On the contrary, illegitimate relations are immutably laden with lie and ruin the spiritual health of a person.

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