Better to Marry Than to Burn?

Does this mean that if a single person ever masturbates they must get married? A literal reading seems to imply this, yet it seems absurd. We would be making sure anybody that ever burned (masturbated) has to get married. Also, I read of priests that have to practice self control and sometimes fail and masturbate.
I write this as a non Catholic, I just want to hear what you guys think?

If it sounds absurd, it probably is absurd.

We need not be in a big hurry to marry off our 12-year-old sons.

My point is, since it sounds absurd to take literally, what indeed does it actually mean?

I think this verse is more applied to those in relationships. As in, if you date for 4 years before getting engaged, that’s 4 years+engagement that you have to get into trouble.

My memory is rusty, but as I recall hearing, St. Paul was dealing with a theological environment where some people were claiming that marriage and marital sexuality was sinful. At the same, the people that committed to that view were engaging in a lot of non-marital sexual sin. I believe that’s the same background that elicited the remark about not denying each other marital rights. There was a great deal of prejudice against marital sexuality that St. Paul was fighting against.

So, what St. Paul might be saying is not that you need to get married right this minute, but that it is morally OK to marry and that it isn’t more holy to be a sexually impure single person rather than to be a chastely sexual married person. I think, given the context, that he was talking more about the choice between marriage and celibacy as a lifelong vocation rather than talking about the precise timing of marriage.

If that makes any sense?

1 Corinthians 7:8-9

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

It seems pretty obvious. Celibacy is the preferred state in life but it you can’t control yourself it is better to marry and have a spouse provide for your needs.

So, if a priest falls into the sin of masturbation, it proves that they should not be a priest?

Catholic seminary takes a long, long time. Hopefully, by the time a man gets to be a priest, he should have a reasonable handle on dealing with his sexuality. And if he doesn’t, he should not accept ordination.

“The median age of men ordained to the priesthood in 2013 is 32…”

usccb.org/news/2013/13-080.cfm

By 32, one ought to have figured out how to manage one’s sexuality. (I know my future husband got some very good advice from some Oratorian priests.)

No, it just proves they are sinners just like anyone else. They go to confession too.:thumbsup:

So,my here must be a difference between 1) falling into the sin and arising, and 2) it being a case of (as Paul says) not controlling themselves. Do you see what I mean?
Is there some level of loss of control that would qualify for being out of control, and as such being required to marry?
Again, I am not Catholic, not debating against Catholic teaching. Just wanting to know for my own interpretation.

By the time a person is a Priest the marriage ship has sailed, and it has always been so from the time of the apostles; a married man could be ordained, but an ordained man never could marry.

One should not be ordained who has not developed, by Gods grace, the virtue of chastity, but if one is ordained who has not chastity, then it is to late to seek marriage to save oneself from sin. Such a person has no choice but to tackle that vice head on by prayer and fasting.

Is there some level of loss of control that would qualify for being out of control, and as such being required to marry?

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence or Virtue], therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” -Will Durant, condensing Aristotle in The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers

If the hypothetical priest in question has a habit of sexual sin and is unwilling to break that vicious habit by self mastery through prayer, fasting, and such other spiritual remedies as the Church and her saints and doctors have recommended, then it would be advisable to seek marriage.

P.S. He does not ever give them a precept to marry but only says “let them marry”. :slight_smile:

It is true that by the time one is ordained, the marriage bus has sailed.

But the man has had over a decade to leave seminary, if he needs to, and catch that bus.

By ordination he should know how to manage his body consistently with holiness.

ICXC NIKA.

I noticed that as well. It’s hard to jump into his original context.

Your Title is misleading…Why didn’t you give the biblical citation which has nothing to do with masturbation?

Burt Macklin gave the quote :

1 Corinthians 7:8-9

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.

But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
St. Paul doesn’t imply what you do for the term, burn.
,

Right.

That’s the only sensible answer! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

What does Paul imply by “burn with passion”, in your opinion?

You didn’t ask me, but I’d say, having trouble with chastity. There are LOTS of different options in that category.

He says for the unmarried & widows, it is good to stay unmarried, but if they cannot control themselves, they should marry.

To me, this means that they should not have illicit relations with each other but should get married.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.