Widows must live in mourning for the rest of their lives?


#1

Salvete, omnes!

I recall somewhere in Paul’s writings (can’t recall chapter and verse, please do help!) that Paul basically says that, when a woman becomes a widow, she should basically go about in sadness and mourning for the rest of her life. He seems to suggest that she should no longer fully enjoy life or go out and have fun, etc.

Again, ifs omeone could help me out with chapter and verse here, that would be great.

In any case, for those know to what I am referring, is this interpretation of that passage correct? Am I misreading it?

I mean, after all, we are told today that different people grieve differently and that some people get over things quicker than others. Are those who do get over things like this very quickly to be chastized then, or, at the very least, to be considered disordered and their behavior to be corrected? Or, rather, are they simply to make the appearance of perpetual grieving so that there will be no scandal caused if they don’t to those who would expect them to do so?

Tibi gratias.


#2

You are referring to:

1Cor7[6] I say this by way of concession, not of command.
[7] I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
[8] To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do.
[9] But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

This is an exhortation, not a command. St. Paul wants people to live first for God and to first consider giving themselves totally to his service before considering any other calling, such as marriage. He puts it quite forcefully–Paul never said or did anything by halves, but no where does he command anyone to not have fun or not to marry. He simply believes it best to be devoted to God rather than do anything else. And many a widow has done exactly that and become great saints. And others have married again and also become great saints. It’s just that we are to put God and his call on our lives first above everything else. :slight_smile:


#3

Misty’s posts are all the same:

  1. “I think the Bible says X but I’m not sure, maybe someone can find it for me;”

  2. “I interpret Bible passage X - which I can’t even find - to mean something no one else thinks, and I will show you all how smart I am by saying so;”

  3. “I will ignore the context of the Bible quote (that I can’t find anyway) and will ignore the fact that Catholicism is based on more than the Bible.”

I’ve seen this movie a million times. Pass. It’s a waste of time.


#4

St Paul wrote about widows in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9,39-40 and 1 Timothy 5:3-16. I don’t see anything there saying that they should live in mourning for the rest of their lives.


#5

Of course widows don’t have to be in mourning for the rest of their lives. If the Catholic Church taught this, then you would see Catholics following it - you would know it was a teaching.

How soon a widow remarries is not anyone else’s business, so no, they shouldn’t be discourged or treated as though they have a disorder.

Common sense should always be applied.

Lou


#6

No.
You are mistaken, op.
I was a widow. I remarried.
The Church rejoiced with us at our Nuptial Mass.

Try some solid Catholic reading instead of trying to interpret on your own…


#7

I am having trouble locating any verse that says anything remotely like what you describe.

If you could perhaps be more specific…


#8

If you can’t even find it, how could you be “misreading” it? :confused:

I mean, after all, we are told today that different people grieve differently and that some people get over things quicker than others. Are those who do get over things like this very quickly to be chastized then, or, at the very least, to be considered disordered and their behavior to be corrected? Or, rather, are they simply to make the appearance of perpetual grieving so that there will be no scandal caused if they don’t to those who would expect them to do so?

Tibi gratias.

Why not use something like “Bible Gateway” to look up the passage, first of all, to make sure you’re remembering it correctly. Then, if it seems to say what you thought you remembered, that’s a good time to ask questions.

As far as I know, Catholics are permitted to remarry after the death of a spouse, and as a matter of taste, I think one waits about a year before starting to date again (if only to allow time to clean house and clear out the dead person’s things to make room for a new person to be living there), although I’m sure the Church doesn’t have any specific rule one way or another.


#9

Thank you.


#10

If the basis for your question is Scripture then please try to quote book, chapter, verse. Its hard to debate something nobody can find.


#11

First off - being a widow in the early Church, as in Judaism, was considered to be both a disadvantageous situation (ie, they often had to live off alms or their kids’ support) and a position that was specially loved and protected by God. Even the pagan Romans thought of widows as a symbol of virtue; a chaste and reserved widow was an “univira” (a woman of only one husband) despite all the problems involved with being alone.

A widow who remained faithful to her dead husband (and thus protected her kids’ inheritance from Dad, and prevented those nasty stepfamily problems common in the ancient world) was in a position to be able to pray more, and to be heard by God. And indeed, a lot of saints are widowed women.

Therefore, there was such a thing as the “order of widows” in the early Church. Like vowed virgins, the widows funded by the Church (and sufficiently old enough to be inspirational and not tempting) were specially blessed/consecrated to their service. As a sign of this, they sat up front in the women’s section.

(And actually, some bishops still consecrate widows, albeit it’s pretty obscure in the West.)

Widowers didn’t get the props and goodies, but it was generally acknowledged that a “husband of one woman” was superior in spiritual status (assuming all else was equal) to a man who remarried. This shows up in Paul’s comments to Timothy on who would make a good bishop.

On the other hand, it was perfectly normal for a widow or widower to remarry, during most periods of the Church, especially if it was done for the sake of giving children a provider or caretaker.

There were a few times when remarriage after a spouse’s death was frowned on, however. If you read the Fathers, a lot of them felt that if God took your spouse, obviously He wanted you to be a widow or widower, and that it was grabby to get remarried as a matter of course, or just because you wanted sex. (And to be fair, a lot of young widows and widowers were unfairly pressured by their families to remarry, so defending widowed singleness was important.) So there was a good deal of argument over whether second marriages ought to be allowed to Christians; or if it were just a nice form of serial polygamy, like pagan/Jewish divorce and remarriage.

But Paul’s comments about “It’s better to marry than burn” have won out, overall.


#12

Maybe that is because it does not exist. :wink:


#13

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