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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Catholic Discussion => Topic started by: Ashman618 on May 14, 2013, 05:35:01 PM

Title: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 14, 2013, 05:35:01 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Marc1152 on May 14, 2013, 05:43:31 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: mike on May 14, 2013, 05:51:21 PM
What am I reading?
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: LizaSymonenko on May 14, 2013, 05:55:27 PM

Okh!  Seriously?

Let's wait for our married posters to chime in.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Jonathan Gress on May 14, 2013, 05:56:39 PM
Since St Paul talks about spouses abstaining temporarily for the sake of prayer, I think it's understood that we can't expect couples to be praying during those moments. This doesn't make marital relations evil, but I think it shows how marriage can be an impediment to the highest goal of spiritual life, which is unceasing prayer. Presumably this is a reason why monasticism has traditionally been considered a higher way of life for Christians.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: dcommini on May 14, 2013, 05:59:38 PM
Aren't we always supposed to practice unceasing prayer? That being said, I would not necessarily seek out to practice unceasing prayer during that time. Like, "oh hey, relations, time to get my pray on!"


Of course if you do it right, one of you should be praising God anyway :P
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: augustin717 on May 14, 2013, 06:14:13 PM
Pm me about the mechanics. You know inspiration / expiration . Mutatis mutandis.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: mike on May 14, 2013, 06:37:14 PM
Presumably this is a reason why monasticism has traditionally been considered a higher way of life for Christians.

In Roman Catholicism.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 06:44:11 PM
Presumably this is a reason why monasticism has traditionally been considered a higher way of life for Christians.

In Roman Catholicism.

In both Roman Catholicism and in Eastern Orthodoxy, the foundation of monastic life was the same. Monasticism was referred to as the angelic life. Have you ever read the biography of St. Seraphim of Sarov?
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: mike on May 14, 2013, 06:47:49 PM
Presumably this is a reason why monasticism has traditionally been considered a higher way of life for Christians.

In Roman Catholicism.

In both Roman Catholicism and in Eastern Orthodoxy, the foundation of monastic life was the same. Monasticism was referred to as the angelic life. Have you ever read the biography of St. Seraphim of Sarov?

No. But that doesn't change the fact that he estranged himself from his family to pursue Church career. I have same reservations for St. Luke of Crimea.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: William on May 14, 2013, 06:57:09 PM
Many people repeat Jesus' name during relations, actually.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Jonathan Gress on May 14, 2013, 06:59:40 PM
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 07:02:19 PM
Many people repeat Jesus' name during relations, actually.

Yes.

Marriage then truly becomes a triune circle of love: God, husband, and wife.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: mike on May 14, 2013, 07:06:02 PM
However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul.

Who himself was a celibate.

Quote
Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks?

Money and inheritance issues. Ask Cappadotian Fathers (or their fathers).

Quote
Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism

I say it's wrong to perform some monastic LARPing.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 07:08:09 PM

I say it's wrong to perform some monastic LARPing.

What do you have against monasticism? Why all these anti-monastic jabs of yours?

St. Seraphim of Sarov was not estranged from his family.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 14, 2013, 07:10:52 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Jonathan Gress on May 14, 2013, 07:13:02 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Jonathan Gress on May 14, 2013, 07:14:51 PM
Many people repeat Jesus' name during relations, actually.

Yes.

Marriage then truly becomes a triune circle of love: God, husband, and wife.

Hm, I'm wondering if William was being serious.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 07:17:59 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.

I agree. It seems as if people today believe that they must read porn before having relations, when porn actually destroys marital love and is itself a form of adultery.

In Roman Catholicism, the Couple to Couple League, which teaches Natural Family Planning, encourages couples to pray all the time, even during their marital embrace. Praying helps men and women to control their lust and embrace each other in chastity and love. Healthy married couples will still experience ecstatic joy, but it will be heavenly pure love.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 07:20:52 PM
Many people repeat Jesus' name during relations, actually.

Yes.

Marriage then truly becomes a triune circle of love: God, husband, and wife.

Hm, I'm wondering if William was being serious.

I do not think he was joking, but that he was serious. No smilie.

I recall reading in the biography of St. Seraphim of Sarov that he encouraged married couples to pray the Jesus Prayer unceasingly, especially those who had infertility problems. They successfully bore children following his advice.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: mike on May 14, 2013, 07:21:59 PM
We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.

The OP was a joke.

What do you have against monasticism? Why all these anti-monastic jabs of yours?

I'm not anti-monastic. One of my close friends is a novitiate. My aunt (and sister's godmother) is a nun*.

On the other hand I do not share the belief that monastic life is "better" than marriage. These are different paths for different kinds of people. But they lead to God alike.

Quote
St. Seraphim of Sarov was not estranged from his family.

He didn't have one.

*she became a nun after christening my sister
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: dzheremi on May 14, 2013, 07:23:29 PM
(http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/imagebuzz/terminal01/2011/3/15/11/why-is-this-walrus-so-embarrassed-16271-1300202505-10.jpg)

I know, I know...don't worry. It's okay. You clicked on a wrong thread because you are curious. Now what did you learn? That's right...curiousity is not always good...here, have a fish.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 07:25:00 PM
We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.

The OP was a joke.

What do you have against monasticism? Why all these anti-monastic jabs of yours?

I'm not anti-monastic. One of my close friends is a novitiate. My aunt (and sister's godmother) is a nun*.

On the other hand I do not share the belief that monastic life is "better" than marriage. These are different paths for different kinds of people. But they lead to God alike.

Quote
St. Seraphim of Sarov was not estranged from his family.

He didn't have one.

*she became a nun after christening my sister

When I referred to the family of St. Seraphim, I was referring to his mother and siblings.
Of course, since he was never married, but remained a virgin, he never did have any offspring.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: JamesR on May 14, 2013, 07:36:46 PM
I do not share the belief that monastic life is "better" than marriage.

St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: mike on May 14, 2013, 07:43:42 PM
St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.

I'm not him. I'm not bald.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: JamesR on May 14, 2013, 07:46:40 PM
St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.

I'm not him. I'm not bald.

So you reject the authority of St. Paul's teaching?
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: augustin717 on May 14, 2013, 07:52:38 PM
Plus it would be a great reminder of one's own sinfulness to say the prayer during such a time: here I am a most wretched sinner unable to live with my wife as with a sister as Adam did on Paradise or St. John in Kronstadt.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 14, 2013, 07:58:00 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

I think that, once you've actually acquired the prayer of the heart and are able to pray without ceasing, you will understand. Until then, I'm not sure what good an answer to the question does.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 14, 2013, 07:58:51 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.

Amen.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 14, 2013, 07:59:19 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

I think that, once you've actually acquired the prayer of the heart and are able to pray without ceasing, you will understand. Until then, I'm not sure what good an answer to the question does.

Very wise answer.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 14, 2013, 08:37:02 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.



It wasn't a joke, nor am I making fun....

I was just thinking that the Jesus prayer could be a very successful option for someone who has that issue.
I didn't mean to scandalize
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 14, 2013, 08:39:23 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.



It wasn't a joke, nor am I making fun....

I was just thinking that the Jesus prayer could be a very successful option for someone who has that issue.
I didn't mean to scandalize

I don't see how it could be sinful or inappropriate to pray at a time when one is doing lawfully something which God has blessed and commanded.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 14, 2013, 09:25:53 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.



It wasn't a joke, nor am I making fun....

I was just thinking that the Jesus prayer could be a very successful option for someone who has that issue.
I didn't mean to scandalize

I don't see how it could be sinful or inappropriate to pray at a time when one is doing lawfully something which God has blessed and commanded.

Indeed I never thought of it as sinful, although I myself would find it a little awkward but that's just my problem.

My original post was a genuine inquiry as to weather any heavy hitters actually promoted it

The whole male control thing was just because someone suggested it was only for women
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Mor Ephrem on May 14, 2013, 09:33:41 PM
There are so many comments that could be made in this thread (some of my own ideas have already been contributed here, so I can continue to pretend to retain whatever image of sanctity some of you may have of me!).  I will contribute "ask your priest", presuming this is a serious question.  

Also, I'd echo what Shanghaiski wrote above.  When one has obtained the gift of unceasing prayer from God, s/he'll know what to do in their own personal life with such questions.  Until then, it's rather useless to speculate on things above our abilities (perhaps that's another reason why many of us are defaulting to "humor").  Better to focus on bettering our prayer life at the times we pray, and to focus on bettering other activities when we are engaged in them.  "Let the reader understand."  :P   

  
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Jonathan Gress on May 14, 2013, 09:35:36 PM
I didn't mean to say prayer was impossible at such a time. I suppose I would advise against carrying this out with your komboschini in hand. :P
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: minasoliman on May 14, 2013, 09:35:45 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Only the Woman

You don't think it would have a positive benefit on the mans "control" by repeating the Jesus prayer

Maybe I'm being fusty, but I don't like the color of these jokes. We shouldn't be making fun of the Jesus prayer like this.



It wasn't a joke, nor am I making fun....

I was just thinking that the Jesus prayer could be a very successful option for someone who has that issue.
I didn't mean to scandalize

I don't see how it could be sinful or inappropriate to pray at a time when one is doing lawfully something which God has blessed and commanded.

Indeed I never thought of it as sinful, although I myself would find it a little awkward but that's just my problem.

My original post was a genuine inquiry as to weather any heavy hitters actually promoted it

The whole male control thing was just because someone suggested it was only for women

I hope you do understand that Marc1125's post was a joke...and an extremely risque one at that.  So your reply to it was misconstrued as inappropriate. I would have made the same mistake.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: ialmisry on May 14, 2013, 09:51:13 PM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 14, 2013, 10:00:30 PM
From the subject line I was already aware that this was a strange topic

However since I never had sex in the context of marriage sex has never seemed to be a pure and holy thing to me at all but the church it seems, marriage vs. monastic debate aside, affirms marital relations as such.

I was genuinely curious if prayer was ever a part of it, as I'm still trying to sort out my own marriage vs monastic calling.

Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: minasoliman on May 14, 2013, 10:20:09 PM
From the subject line I was already aware that this was a strange topic

However since I never had sex in the context of marriage sex has never seemed to be a pure and holy thing to me at all but the church it seems, marriage vs. monastic debate aside, affirms marital relations as such.

I was genuinely curious if prayer was ever a part of it, as I'm still trying to sort out my own marriage vs monastic calling.


I think Shaghaiski's advice is very good.  No one can really answer this question unless they actually reach a state of unceasing prayer.  Until then, I don't think you need to reach such a high level to figure out your own calling.  Just don't forget to pray that God guide you into whatever He calls you to do.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 14, 2013, 10:28:35 PM
From the subject line I was already aware that this was a strange topic

However since I never had sex in the context of marriage sex has never seemed to be a pure and holy thing to me at all but the church it seems, marriage vs. monastic debate aside, affirms marital relations as such.

I was genuinely curious if prayer was ever a part of it, as I'm still trying to sort out my own marriage vs monastic calling.



I'm not sure it's possible to divide prayer from our lives. Many saints counsel to pray even if one is sinning--that is, in all humility, to ask for God's salvation in the midst of one's own weakness that, eventually, one will turn around.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Jonathan Gress on May 14, 2013, 11:03:15 PM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.

Right. It is marriage in its exalted state that is the model for monasticism. The point is that some here want to denigrate monasticism because they wish to exalt marriage only in its earthly, carnal aspect.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Mor Ephrem on May 14, 2013, 11:21:32 PM
I'm not sure it's possible to divide prayer from our lives. Many saints counsel to pray even if one is sinning--that is, in all humility, to ask for God's salvation in the midst of one's own weakness that, eventually, one will turn around.

While this may take us on a tangent, this is such an important point.  Somewhere in my own "walk", I accepted the supposedly Roman Catholic teaching (supposedly because I'm not sure if it's actually what they teach, but my sources certainly thought so) that, if you are in a state of sin, any spiritual efforts, prayer, fasting, etc., were useless and wasted until one reconciled with God and returned to a state of grace.  Until that time, God wasn't listening to you, so it was pointless to even try.

And with that, whole portions of my life passed without so much as a whisper of a prayer because I figured God wasn't listening if I wasn't "right" in his sight.  And down and down we go...until I came across the Orthodox teaching above.  I'm still recovering, but it's such a help in the spiritual struggle to know that, whether we are "right" or "wrong", God's always waiting to hear us and help us if we approach him with as much humility as we can muster; to know that, though we have to do our part, it is his to show mercy and to save, and he'll do it as long as we cooperate with him, and we can do that at any moment, even now, no matter where we are or what condition we're in. 

No other God is worth believing in.   
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 15, 2013, 12:47:21 AM
I'm not sure it's possible to divide prayer from our lives. Many saints counsel to pray even if one is sinning--that is, in all humility, to ask for God's salvation in the midst of one's own weakness that, eventually, one will turn around.

While this may take us on a tangent, this is such an important point.  Somewhere in my own "walk", I accepted the supposedly Roman Catholic teaching (supposedly because I'm not sure if it's actually what they teach, but my sources certainly thought so) that, if you are in a state of sin, any spiritual efforts, prayer, fasting, etc., were useless and wasted until one reconciled with God and returned to a state of grace.  Until that time, God wasn't listening to you, so it was pointless to even try.

And with that, whole portions of my life passed without so much as a whisper of a prayer because I figured God wasn't listening if I wasn't "right" in his sight.  And down and down we go...until I came across the Orthodox teaching above.  I'm still recovering, but it's such a help in the spiritual struggle to know that, whether we are "right" or "wrong", God's always waiting to hear us and help us if we approach him with as much humility as we can muster; to know that, though we have to do our part, it is his to show mercy and to save, and he'll do it as long as we cooperate with him, and we can do that at any moment, even now, no matter where we are or what condition we're in. 

No other God is worth believing in.   

+1
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: orthonorm on May 15, 2013, 03:11:23 AM
Plus it would be a great reminder of one's own sinfulness to say the prayer during such a time: here I am a most wretched sinner unable to live with my wife as with a sister as Adam did on Paradise or St. John in Kronstadt.

Just when I thought you couldn't top the Rob Dreher comment . . .

You really should write a pillow talk prayer book.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on May 15, 2013, 09:50:25 AM
There are some questions, speculations, and thoughts that we should keep to ourselves - regardless of how strongly they burn in our minds. I believe this question is one of them.


Selam
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: PeterTheAleut on May 15, 2013, 11:24:05 AM
St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.

I'm not him. I'm not bald.

So you reject the authority of St. Paul's teaching?
In the passage you cite, St. Paul also made it very clear that he had no commandment from the Lord on the matter but was only speaking his opinion.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: LizaSymonenko on May 15, 2013, 11:28:55 AM
I do not share the belief that monastic life is "better" than marriage.

St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.

Was St. Paul a monk?

I think the passage reads more like: 

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.  But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:8

He says to remain unmarried.  That does not necessarily demand monasticism. 
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: ialmisry on May 15, 2013, 11:57:14 AM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.

Right. It is marriage in its exalted state that is the model for monasticism. The point is that some here want to denigrate monasticism because they wish to exalt marriage only in its earthly, carnal aspect.
separating marriage from its earthly, carnal aspect does not exalt it.

Related to this issue: there are those who won't have icons in their bedroom for this reason.  We had a number, and a large Crucifix I brought from Jerusalem hanging over our bed.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: ialmisry on May 15, 2013, 11:59:55 AM
I do not share the belief that monastic life is "better" than marriage.

St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.

Was St. Paul a monk?

I think the passage reads more like: 

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.  But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:8

He says to remain unmarried.  That does not necessarily demand monasticism. 

unfortunately the Church in history hasn't dealt well with this issue. Most just assume that after a time either you should by default become a monk or marry whoever is willing.  Neither do well for monasticism or marriage as a whole.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: LizaSymonenko on May 15, 2013, 12:01:24 PM

Ha!

I am a rebel!

Neither nun, nor married....nor at the moment, any wish to do either.

Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 15, 2013, 12:08:21 PM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.

Right. It is marriage in its exalted state that is the model for monasticism. The point is that some here want to denigrate monasticism because they wish to exalt marriage only in its earthly, carnal aspect.
separating marriage from its earthly, carnal aspect does not exalt it.

Related to this issue: there are those who won't have icons in their bedroom for this reason.  We had a number, and a large Crucifix I brought from Jerusalem hanging over our bed.

No icons hmmm.... That never crossed my mind..... So there is a tendency to keep God and the marriage bed separate.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: augustin717 on May 15, 2013, 12:25:14 PM
Quote
From Fr Seraphim Rose "Patristic Understanding of the Place of Sex in the Creation".

It is typically modern to glorify sexual intercourse, but this is disordered, since it puts the carnal before the spiritual. The carnal aspect of sexuality is not sinful, but it is part of our fallen state, just as the other passions are (which are not sinful in themselves, but were not part of our nature in Paradise).
huh, is there a thing of which  Fr. Seraphim didn't convey "the patristic understanding"?
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: jah777 on May 15, 2013, 12:53:42 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Ceaseless prayer is not something you practice.  If you are practicing it you cannot call it ceaseless.  When you acquire ceaseless prayer, your question will no longer make sense to you.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: orthonorm on May 15, 2013, 01:07:36 PM
I do not share the belief that monastic life is "better" than marriage.

St. Paul does when he explicitly stated that would prefer Christians to be monks/nuns, but that marriage exists for the sake of our weakness.

Was St. Paul a monk?

I think the passage reads more like: 

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.  But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Corinthians 7:8

He says to remain unmarried.  That does not necessarily demand monasticism. 


And yet nearly every Christian marries. Guess most have a severe problems with lust.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 15, 2013, 01:37:05 PM
Is it reccomened to practice unceasing prayer (Jesus prayer) during marital relations.

Ceaseless prayer is not something you practice.  If you are practicing it you cannot call it ceaseless.  When you acquire ceaseless prayer, your question will no longer make sense to you.

Well then just take out the word ceaseless, and just keep Jesus prayer cuz people practice the Jesus prayer

So then the question stands if the act of sex in the confines of marriage is pure and holy.... Is t ever recommended to bring prayer into it.

I really didn't think mean to make this that complicated, sorry

Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Luke on May 15, 2013, 08:56:09 PM
There are some questions, speculations, and thoughts that we should keep to ourselves - regardless of how strongly they burn in our minds. I believe this question is one of them.


Selam
+++
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Maria on May 15, 2013, 09:33:42 PM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.

Right. It is marriage in its exalted state that is the model for monasticism. The point is that some here want to denigrate monasticism because they wish to exalt marriage only in its earthly, carnal aspect.
separating marriage from its earthly, carnal aspect does not exalt it.

Related to this issue: there are those who won't have icons in their bedroom for this reason.  We had a number, and a large Crucifix I brought from Jerusalem hanging over our bed.

No icons hmmm.... That never crossed my mind..... So there is a tendency to keep God and the marriage bed separate.


 ::)
Just like Protestants have a work ethic and a church ethic.

God should never be divorced from our lives. He is every present. We cannot hide from Him.
If we cover the icons in our bedrooms, God can still see us.
What is wrong here?
Did not God create male and female? And were not we created good?

Sex is a participation in God's creation. It is holy, but we make it perverse.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Ashman618 on May 15, 2013, 09:35:02 PM
There are some questions, speculations, and thoughts that we should keep to ourselves - regardless of how strongly they burn in our minds. I believe this question is one of them.


Selam
+++

I'm sorry if this question was a sin I beg yours and Gods forgivness
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Mor Ephrem on May 15, 2013, 10:10:59 PM
I don't know if the question was a sin, I certainly don't feel comfortable calling it one.  That said, it's probably one of those things that you should speak with one's priest about, if you were really curious about it for some reason.  He knows you better, and can more accurately gauge what needs to be taught or clarified, what the needs are, etc. 

And, as strange as the question sounds to some of us, priests really have heard it all.  I know one who was approached by a parishioner regarding her and her husband's difficulty in engaging in marital relations--apparently, they (relative newlyweds) never got any sort of sex ed "back home" and they didn't know what to do with each other, and so he had to teach them some "basic mechanics".  They don't teach that in seminary, so I don't know what his research entailed, and I don't want to know.  :P   
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: orthonorm on May 15, 2013, 10:16:16 PM
priests really have heard it all.  I know one who was approached by a parishioner regarding her and her husband's difficulty in engaging in marital relations--apparently, they (relative newlyweds) never got any sort of sex ed "back home" and they didn't know what to do with each other, and so he had to teach them some "basic mechanics".  They don't teach that in seminary, so I don't know what his research entailed, and I don't want to know.  :P    

Sounds like an evangelical match made in heaven!

Or other stuff I won't mention here, I think we've had enough talk about homosexuality.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 15, 2013, 11:00:48 PM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.

Right. It is marriage in its exalted state that is the model for monasticism. The point is that some here want to denigrate monasticism because they wish to exalt marriage only in its earthly, carnal aspect.
separating marriage from its earthly, carnal aspect does not exalt it.

Related to this issue: there are those who won't have icons in their bedroom for this reason.  We had a number, and a large Crucifix I brought from Jerusalem hanging over our bed.

No icons hmmm.... That never crossed my mind..... So there is a tendency to keep God and the marriage bed separate.


All I can say is good luck with that.
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: LBK on May 16, 2013, 05:18:05 AM
Christ is risen!
Roman Catholicism, at least before Vatican II, did have a less sympathetic view of sexuality than Eastern Orthodoxy, e.g. the Western Church followed St Jerome in treating sexual pleasure as intrinsically sinful, while the Eastern view was that it was not sinful in itself, just as no pleasure is sinful in itself. They also required all priests to be celibate, in contradiction to ancient tradition.

However, it is also true that the life of virginity and monasticism has indeed been considered the highest path for Christians, and this tradition goes right back to St Paul. Why do you think we require our bishops to be monks? Marriage is honorable and a type of Christ and the Church, but it is wrong to say that we give it the same status as monasticism (which is, of course, a kind of mystical marriage between a monk and the Church, or between a nun and Christ).
Meditate on the fact that monasticism is likened to marriage and not the reverse.

Right. It is marriage in its exalted state that is the model for monasticism. The point is that some here want to denigrate monasticism because they wish to exalt marriage only in its earthly, carnal aspect.
separating marriage from its earthly, carnal aspect does not exalt it.

Related to this issue: there are those who won't have icons in their bedroom for this reason.  We had a number, and a large Crucifix I brought from Jerusalem hanging over our bed.

No icons hmmm.... That never crossed my mind..... So there is a tendency to keep God and the marriage bed separate.


Heh. Obviously the millions of Russian and other Slavic couples who have hung their wedding icons in the marital bedrooms, now and in past centuries never got the message ...  ;) :laugh:
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: Gebre Menfes Kidus on May 16, 2013, 08:10:14 AM
There are some questions, speculations, and thoughts that we should keep to ourselves - regardless of how strongly they burn in our minds. I believe this question is one of them.


Selam
+++

I'm sorry if this question was a sin I beg yours and Gods forgivness

No, I don't think it's a sinful question. I certainly didn't mean to make you feel bad about asking it. I just think some things are better left to ourselves, or privately discussed with our spiritual father. But heck, this forum is all about asking questions and trying to discern the proper Orthodox answers, so I'm sure that's all you meant to do. No apology necessary, and please forgive me if I made you feel bad about it.


Selam
Title: Re: Ummmmmm strange question
Post by: theistgal on May 16, 2013, 08:14:21 PM
Asking the question may not be a sin, but it might be an occasion of sin for some of the people who read it.  ::)