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A Short Instruction on Marriage

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Written by Basil on 10/15/2004 11:40 PM. Filed under:

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Update: How silly of me. The file is now in a directory that isn’t password protected. Oy.

Journeyman James posted a great little article from a Synodal priest on marriage. It is only three pages, but it sums up concisely a healthy view of love and marriage in the modern world. Almost the entire article is made up of points that confirm conclusions I have come to independently over the years.

Jim posted the Microsoft Word document he received from a mailing list for Orthodox Women. (Or maybe that Laura received?) In any case, I converted the document to a PDF file: Towards Marriage: An Orthodox Christian Viewpoint, Priest Andrew Phillips.

Two points especially impressed themselves on me:

  1. Marriage and monasticism complement each other, and the believer must choose one or the other in order to pursue spiritual perfection.

    For an Orthodox Christian there can be no difference between monasticism and marriage, inasmuch as the aim of both of them is the same: to lead us to salvation through the overcoming of the passions. There comes a point, however, in the life of any young man or girl when he or she decides which of these two ways to pursue.

  2. The contemporary attitude toward love dates back to medieval courtly love.

    Since the days of the troubadores, at the very end of the eleventh century, the Devil has been inventing a false kind of love, and replacing true Christian love with it. This pseudo-love, in fact just a mask for sexual indulgence, is known as romanticism. The knight and the lady of medieval times are but the ancestors of the violence and sex of modern times.

    (C. S. Lewis wrote about courtly love, and he tried very hard to avoid it in his relationship with Joy Davidman.)

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One Response to “A Short Instruction on Marriage”

  1. Erich Says:

    This is a very interesting post for me, being married. However, historically speaking, the second statement could be broadened. The contemporary notions of love surely do have roots in the medieval courtly love notion, but have been carried even further by the Romanticism that served as a backlash against the rationalism of the Enlightenment. I’d say, in terms of intellectual origins, popular and contemporary notions of love have not changed a whole lot since that movement.