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Against concupiscence Print E-mail
By John Paul II   
Monday, 17 January 2011

The conviction that the virtue of continence is set against the concupiscence of the flesh is correct, but it is not altogether complete. It is not complete especially when we take into account the fact that this virtue does not appear and does not act abstractly and therefore in isolation. But it always appears and acts in connection with the other virtues (nexus virtutum), and therefore in connection with prudence, justice, fortitude and above all with charity.

In the light of these considerations it is easy to understand that continence is not limited to offering resistance to the concupiscence of the flesh. But through this resistance it is open likewise to those values, more profound and more mature, inherent in the spousal significance of the body in its femininity and masculinity, as well as in the authentic freedom of the gift in the reciprocal relations of the persons. Concupiscence of the flesh itself, insofar as it seeks above all carnal and sensual satisfaction, makes man in a certain sense blind and insensitive to the most profound values that spring from love and which at the same time constitute love in the interior truth that is proper to it.
 
 

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