Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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When a person is tempted of his virginity/chastity, St. Paul tells us it is better to marry than to burn with passions (i.e., better to marry than to be exposed to temptations).
This is not relevant in the Synexarium with saints who were exposed to this temptation. For example, St. Moses the Moses, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Baseba, St. Martha the Ascetic..., when they all repented of their sins, the spiritual fathers did not encourage them to marry but immediately took them to the desert and placed the monastic garb on them knowing that in the desert, they will find peace and salvation for their souls.
When a person is tempted, should he follow St. Paul's advice (as it is better to marry than to be exposed to temptations and passions) or should he follow the steps of the previous saints and seek the desert because in the desert is peace and tranquility? Does it depend on the duration of the temptation? If he keeps himself busy with work, then there is no room for temptation, and if there is, it is a passing temptation. How does a person differentiate between "burning with desires and better to marry" than with an episodic desire that comes and then passes. Even if a person keeps himself busy with work and still desires passion, then would this be a sure sign to get married?

There is no doubt that when one experiences the bitter taste of beingaway from God, he/she can sincerely thereafter desire to abandon all the vanities of the world in order to reconnect with God at a closer level in His peace and tranquility. Thus, the Synexarium introduces the readers to these many saints that have gone from one extreme to the other. While on the one hand, they achieved the infamous status as sinners, they now have achieved the honorable status of the righteous and saints.

St. Paul addressed the many concerns of the new converts and other debates of the time. He was ecstatic to remain celibate, whileothers hadfound that their spirituality was lacking without alife partner.Both are blessed.There is an inner feeling that will either be agreeable to marriage, celibacy, or monasticism.Through the prayers and guidance of the confession father,muchlight can be shed on these important life decisions. It is not that one path is just generally better than the other, but rather that one path is better for you personally than the other.

Being proactive and productive is preferred over laziness and idleness, whether one is married, celibate, or a monastic. Just because one is married does not mean he/she will not wander into fantasy and sinin the mind and heart. The same applies for the celibate and the monastic. Therefore, one must always be guarded, especiallythe inner self thathas the ability and potential toentertainboundless sins. Let your energy be consumed in prayer, service, and spiritual growth, alongside with professional and educational advancement that does not impede on your spiritual commitments.

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