A MAN may come to discover that the state in which he finds himself

placed, is not the one for which he was evidently intended by the

Maker. We do not all receive the same gifts because our callings are

different; each of us is endowed in accordance and in harmony with the

ends of the Creator in making us. Some men should marry, others may

not; but the state of celibacy is for the few, and not for the many,

these few d
pending solely on an abundant grace of God.

Again, one may become alive to the fact that to remain in an abnormal

position means to seriously jeopardize his soul's salvation; celibacy

may, as for many it does, spell out for him, clearly and plainly,

eternal damnation. It is to no purpose here to examine the causes of,

and reasons for, such a condition of affairs. We take the fact as it

stands, plain and evident, a stern, hard fact that will not be downed,

because it is supported by the living proof of habit and conduct;

living and continuing to live a celibate, taking him as he is and as

there is every token of his remaining without any reasonable ground for

expecting a change, this man is doomed to perdition. His passions have

made him their slave; he cannot, it is morally impossible for him to do

so, remain continent.

Suppose again that the Almighty has created the state of wedlock for

just such emergencies, whereby a man may find a remedy for his

weaknesses, an outlet for his passions, a regulator of his life here

below and a security against damnation hereafter; and this is precisely

the case, for the ends of marriage are not only to perpetuate the

species, but also to furnish a remedy for natural concupiscence and to

raise a barrier against the flood of impurity.

Now, the case being as stated, need a Catholic, young or--a no longer

young--man look long or strive hard to find his path of duty already

clearly traced? And in making this application we refer to man, not to

woman, for reasons that are obvious; we refer, again, to those among

men whose spiritual sense is not yet wholly dead, who have not entirely

lost all respect for virtue in itself: who still claim to have an

immortal soul and hope to save it; but who have been caught in the

maelstrom of vice and whose passions and lusts have outgrown in

strength the ordinary resisting powers of natural virtue and religion

incomplete and half-hearted. These can appreciate their position; it

would be well for them to do so; the faculty for so doing may not

always be left with them.

The obligation to marry, to increase and multiply, was given to mankind

in general, and applies to man as a whole, and not to the individual;

that is, in the common and ordinary run of human things. But the

circumstances with which we are dealing are outside the normal, sphere;

they are extraordinary, that is say, they do not exist in accordance

with the plan and order established by God; they constitute a disorder

resulting from unlawful indulgence and wild impiety. It may therefore

be, and it frequently is the case, that the general obligation to marry

particularize itself and fall with its full weight on the individual,

this one or that one, according to the circumstances of his life. Then

it is that the voice of God's authority reaches the ear of the unit and

says to him in no uncertain accents: thou shalt marry. And behind that

decree of God stands divine justice to vindicate the divine right.

We do not deny but that, absolutely speaking, recourse to this remedy

may not be imperiously demanded; but we do claim that the absolute has

nothing whatever to do with the question which is one of relative

facts. What a supposed man may do in this or that given circumstance

does not in the least alter the position of another real, live man who

will not do this or that thing in a given circumstance; he will not,

because, morally speaking, he cannot; and he cannot, simply because

through excesses he has forgotten how. And of other reasons to justify

non-compliance with the law, there can be none; it is here a. question

of saving one's soul; inconveniences and difficulties and obstacles

have no meaning in such a contingency.

And, mind you, the effects of profligate celibacy are farther-reaching

than many of us would suppose at first blush. The culprit bears the

odium of it in his soul. But what about the state of those--or rather

of her, whoever she may be, known or unknown--whom he, in the order of

Providence, is destined to save from the precariousness of single life?

If it is his duty to take a wife, whose salvation as well as his own,

perhaps depends on the fulfilment of that duty, and if he shirks his

duty, shall he not be held responsible for the results in her as well

as in himself, since he could, and she could not, ward off the evil?

It has come to such a pass nowadays that celibacy, as a general thing,

is a misnomer for profligacy. Making all due allowance for honorable

exceptions, the unmarried male who is not well saturated with

spirituality and faith is notoriously gallinaceous in his morals. In

certain classes, he is expected to sow his wild oats before he is out

of his teens; and by this is meant that he will begin young to tear

into shreds the Sixth Commandment so as not to be bothered with it

later in life. If he married he would be safe.

Finally what kind of an existence is it for any human being, with power

to do otherwise, to pass through life a worthless, good-for-nothing

nonentity, living for self, shirking the sacred duties of paternity,

defrauding nature and God and sowing corruption where he might be

laying the foundation of a race that may never die? There is no one to

whom he has done good and no one owes him a tear when his barren

carcass is being given over as food to the worms. He is a rotten link

on the chain of life and the curse of oblivion will vindicate the

claims of his unborn generations. Young man, marry, marry now, and be

something in the world besides an eyesore of unproductiveness and

worthlessness; do something that will make somebody happy besides

yourself; show that you passed, and leave something behind that will

remember you and bless your name.