Pactus

marriage

Quis est autem habens uxorem, qui eo modo utatur uxore, ut non excedat legem liberos procreandi? ad hoc enim data est: convincunt te tabulae quae scribuntur in matrimonio. pactus es quemadmodum duceres: sonat tibi scriptura pactionis: liberorum procreandorum causa. non ergo accedas, si potes, nisi liberorum procreandorum causa. si modum excesseris, contra illas tabulas facies et contra pactum. nonne manifestum est? eris mendax, et pacti violator: et quaerit in te Deus integritatem templi sui et non invenit; non quia tua usus es, sed quia immoderate usus es. nam et vinum de apotheca tua bibis, et tamen si sic bibis, ut inebrieris, non quia re tua usus es, ideo non peccasti: donum enim Dei convertisti ad corruptionem tuam.
(Augustine, Serm. 278.9)

Who is there that has a wife, and that uses his wife in such a way that he does not go beyond the law of procreation? Because that’s why she is given: the contracts which were drawn up in marriage convict you. You have agreed on the manner of your marriage, and the writing of this contract rings clear: ‘for the sake of having children.’ So you shouldn’t touch her, if you can manage it, except for the sake of having children. If you pass this limit, you’ll be acting against this agreement and against that contract. Isn’t it obvious? You’ll be a liar and a contract-breaker: God looks for the integrity of His temple in you and He cannot find it – not because you have enjoyed her, but because you have enjoyed her without moderation. You see, you also drink the wine from your store-room, and yet, if you drink so much as to become inebriated, the fact that the wine you enjoyed was yours doesn’t mean you haven’t sinned, because you have abused God’s gift for your own corruption. (tr. David Bauwens)

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