An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church

An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian Church

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1884 edition. Excerpt: ...drawn by a disciple in the fifteenth qentury of a shining light of the Carthusian order in the monastery of Vallis Dei, near Seez in Normandy. He had every virtue, he was an earnest reader and transcriber of MSS., and he practised mortifications even greater than those prescribed by the severe rules of the order. He rarely slept on the couch provided for each brother, but passed his nights in prayer on the steps of the altar. In the hair shirt worn next his skin he cultivated lice and maggots so assiduously that they were often seen crawling over his face, and he scourged himself for every unhallowed wandering thought. He had preserved his virginity to old age, and his life had been passed in the church, yet in his daily confessions he accused himself of every sin possible to man, and he rigorously performed whatever penance was assigned to him. With all this maceration, the flesh would still assert itself, and he was tormented with evil desires which the sharp cords of the discipline failed to subdue. His office of procureur of the abbey required him to make frequent visits on business to the neighboring town, and he never left the gates of his retreat without lamenting and expressing the fear that he should not return to it the same as he left it.1 If we consider what might have been effected by the energies of thousands of men such as this, had those energies not been absorbed in lifelong asceticism, we may conceive in some measure the retardation of human progress wrought by the influence of monachism. Another result which may fairly be attributed to the ascetic teachings of the church is the slow growth of population during the mediaeval period. Notwithstanding the gross and flagrant disregard of the rule, it was impossible to immure in...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 318 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 17mm | 572g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • Miami Fl, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236510054
  • 9781236510051