By Elder Germanos of Stavrovouni
Continence from fleshly passions is the natural state, whereas, on the contrary, falling into fleshly sins is in reality something unnatural. Today however the world has been led astray so much, that it calls light darkness, and darkness light. It characterizes the continent and chaste as `retarded' and `backwards,' whereas those who roll in the filth of fleshly pleasures it considers progressive! It admires and extols them! The age has come, which Anthony the Great mentions, when those who are foolish will see those who are chaste, and they will consider them as insane, not being able to discern that in reality it is they themselves who are insane!
The unnatural deviations of the Sodomites and Gamorrians God punished in an "unnatural" way: with rain, not of water, that is, but of fire and brimstone!
No person, neither a man nor a woman, has ever repented for keeping the command of Christ by keeping themselves in chastity and virginity until their wedding day, and in turn, in chastity and faithfulness towards their legal spouse within their marriage. They have every rich blessing of God that keep these! In contrast, those who do not keep them lose very much.
That which is called "libido" was given by God for an important purpose, and is connected with a "lure". The important purpose is to perpetuate the human race which makes man a co-creator with God, and the "lure" is pleasure.
When a couple walks together blessed with an Ecclesiastical Marriage, then marriage progresses in the will of God. Conversely, when they are deliberately and selfishly separated, then pleasure becomes an end in itself, and the true purpose canceled. This is an abnormal situation! It is an overthrow of what God has set forth, and it is a mortal sin. For such a sin God punished as an example Onan (see Gen. 38:1-10).
Fleshly sins are an exclusively grievous mark of the person of apostasy. When man falls into such sins, he ends up even worse than the animals!
Our body is "the temple of God" (see I Cor. 6:19). For this reason, when we hand it over to fleshly sins, we defile that living temple. And it is written that "if anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." (I Cor. 3:17)
Loving pleasure and loving the flesh cools and wipes out love for God.
In olden times people felt shame when they fell into fleshly sins. Unfortunately today these sins occur without shame. And, with the downhill path we have taken, the time will come when not only will they no longer be considered sins, but they will be praised! O woe and alas, when our society reaches that point!
He who struggles to be pure, avoiding any kind of fornication and lewdness, tastes right now the incorruptibility of the future resurrection!
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos