Questions about St. Francis De Sales quote

I read a quote by St. Francis De Sales about avoiding temptation and occasions of sin. Here is the quote:

*"When the delectation which follows temptation might have been avoided, and yet has not been avoided, there is always some kind of sin, more or less, according to the time one has dwelt on it, or according to the pleasure one has taken in it.

A woman who has given no occasion to her being courted, but yet takes pleasure therein, is to be blamed if the pleasure she takes arises from the courtship. But, if for example, the gallant who addresses her play excellently well upon the lute, and she takes pleasure not in his courtship, but in the harmony and sweetness of his lute, this would be no sin, though she ought not to continue to indulge in this pleasure, for fear it should lead to her taking pleasure in his courtship."*

Here are my questions:

  1. What is the statement in red trying to say? I don’t understand it.

  2. Is the statement in blue saying that a woman shouldn’t intentionally listen and enjoy the music of a man she has no plans to date?

For other readers of this thread who may want to look up some context, the quotation comes from Introduction to the Devout Life Part 4 Chapter 6.

Here are my questions:

  1. What is the statement in red trying to say? I don’t understand it.
  1. Is the statement in blue saying that a woman shouldn’t intentionally listen and enjoy the music of a man she has no plans to date?

I suppose there are likely several ways to defend this quotation, a couple of which I indicate below. But first let me note that no one is any under obligation to defend every possible quote from every saint. If you like, you can simply disagree with it.

I think the key to understanding the red part may be in this conditional clause: “who has given no occasion to her being courted.” If my understanding is correct, “no occasion to being courted” indicates that the woman has no intention of marrying. If she did, she would need to be courted by somebody eventually, meaning there Is an occasion, at least a theoretical one, where she desires being courted. If that interpretation is correct, then it follows that the woman in St. Francis’s hypothetical example is a woman who has no intention of marrying. In that case, what she is doing in his hypothetical situation is a sin because she is leading someone on: let’s continue flirting, even though I secretly have no intention of it going anywhere.

Regarding the second part, I don’t think he is saying that a woman can never listen to music by a man she doesn’t plan to date. The context indicates against that because it is specifically about a guy who is interested in courting her. He is playing lute music for her as part of his initial efforts to flirt with her. She ought to make it clear that there is no way he could win her over. But if he stops doing it for that purpose, then the situation has changed, and no one is flirting with anyone anymore. So then she can continue to listen to him.

I hope that makes sense. Let me know. God bless!

In modern lingo:

  1. If a guy is hitting on you or flirting with you, don’t take pleasure in it.

  2. If a guy comes to your house late at night singing Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes*, don’t let him stay there “just because you like the song”.

  • if you’re more of a Phil Collins guy, replace with “Sussudio” :stuck_out_tongue:

Francis de Sales, a saint, and a doctor of the Church is unwilling to commit himself to protestantism, even at its infallible degree, works for Rome.

Could you rephrase that, do you think? It’s a bit difficult to understand as it stands.

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