“Duty-bound,
Aeneas, though he struggled with desire
To calm and comfort her in all her pain,
To speak to her and turn her mind from grief,
And though he sighed his heart out, shaken still
With love of her, yet took the course heaven gave him
And went back to the fleet.”
The Aeneid IV, Virgil

Sometimes we just have to turn back to the fleet. Even when every fiber of our being seems to say otherwise. Maybe we are already married; or maybe we are not ready to be pursue marriage. In either case, a new romantic attraction, in all aspects, must be rejected.

Aeneas was still in love with Dido. But the intervention of Zeus has shown him that his affair with Dido has been an infidelity to the divine plan—not to mention infidelity to Dido herself. Upon seeing his mistake, he responds with conviction; though belated, his ‘no’ to romantic attraction is fitting, and necessary.

Eros has an important place in life. But true love is always measured and directed by right reason. Eros too often pushes beyond the bounds of reason, thereby tending to destroy itself, or even us. Just saying no to eros is sometimes the true path of love.

See my longer reflection, Just Saying No to Eros, today at Aleteia.

Virgil (70-19 B.C.) is the great Roman poet, author of The Aeneid and The Georgics. In the Divine Comedy Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through hell and purgatory.

This Wednesday Quote originally posted at Bacon from Acorns.

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John A. Cuddeback is a professor and chairman of the Philosophy Department at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, where he has taught since 1995. He received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from The Catholic University of America under the direction of F. Russell Hittinger. He has lectured on various topics including virtue, culture, natural law, friendship, and household. His book Friendship: The Art of Happiness was republished in 2010 as True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness. His writings have appeared in Nova et Vetera, The Thomist, and The Review of Metaphysics, as well as in several volumes published by the American Maritain Association. Though raised in what he calls an ‘archetypical suburb,’ Columbia, Maryland, he and his wife Sofia consider themselves blessed to be raising their six children in the shadow of the Blue Ridge on the banks of the Shenandoah. At the material center of their homesteading projects are heritage breed pigs, which like the pigs of Eumaeus are fattened on acorns, yielding a bacon that too few people ever enjoy. His website dedicated to the philosophy of family and household is baconfromacorns.com.