[Objection] Gregory says in the Moralia: ‘after the embraces of Leah, Jacob came to Rachel, because every perfect man is first united to an active life, in order to be fruitful, and afterwards is joined to a contemplative life in order to gain rest.’ But the active life consists in keeping the commandments, whereas the religious state is a form of contemplative life. Therefore no one should be encouraged to enter the religious life before he has been trained by keeping the commandments.

[Response] Rachel’s embrace signifies the peacefulness of contemplation, to which even those who follow the [evangelical] counsels cannot immediately reach from the outset, but only after long training in good works. But this peace is more easily reached by the observance of the counsels than by the keeping of the commandments in secular life.

{This is part of a long defence of the practice of allowing teenagers to enter religious life.}

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