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Is the physical impulse to reproduce involuntary?

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#1 Christopher


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Posted 28 August 2008 - 02:34 AM

Dear All to Christ,


Glorious Feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary to all !!!

I would very much appreciate your insight into the text from St. Gregory Palamas below, regarding reproduction . . . understanding the anatomy [and procreation] we have is 'in light of the Fall' . . . I am asking for any cross references that may further enlighten my darkness regarding the word of the Glorified Father, Gregory Palamas . . . I hope my words make sense. Please forgive me.


For the physical impulse to reproduce is involuntary and does not obey the law of our mind, although some people do bring it forcibly into subjection, and others chastely give rein to it solely for the purpose of begetting children. It brings with it the signs of original condemnation, being synonymous with corruption and producing children who will obviously perish, and it is the passionate urge of human beings who did not retain the dignity assigned to our nature by God, but have become like beasts.


#2 Paul Cowan

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 01:26 AM

I am reading Elder Joseph the Hesychast. It's driving me nuts I can't find the exact phrase I was wanting to share here, but basically, the holy elder was a virgin from birth in mind, soul and body and never struggled with passions of the flesh and was chaste in all things. Until one day. He was beset with trials and temptations almost beyond bare. He used what he called the "stick of obedience" (this is the term I can't find) on himself to help him think/pray away the tremptations. He said he was black and blue from the waste down. This would be the example of bringing it forcibly into subjection.

He was to the point of total exhaustion after 8 years and giving up when he prayed once more for deliverance and was allowed to see the demon of fornication. In his words

He was just as our Fathers describe, with a bald, filthy head and little horns sticking up, a pale face, round red eyes full of wickedness, and his body filthy and covered with bristles like a wild boar's![...] there was only the feel on my hands of the roughness of his skin and his stench, like sulpher and slime,

At this point he was forever relieved of this passionate influence.

So as monastics must work ever so hard to forcibly bring this temptation under control married people "should" only give in to the begetting of children. The original condemnation and passionate urges within us must be put into subjection of our "higher" order and not give into our base impulses as do the beasts.

May God through the prayers of His virginal mother and all the saints save us all.


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