The family provides temperance. By governing man’s natural appetites in accordance with right reason, the family restrains those yearnings for pleasures and delights that most powerfully attract the human heart. It not only bridles the passions, but it allows man to properly enjoy legitimate marvels and delights.
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To use the comparison of Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, we might liken our experience of the world to a harp with a universe of marvelous notes created by God to be enjoyed by men. The quality of the notes depends upon how each of us plays our own harp.
When we practice intemperance, we are dominated by stress, nervousness, or obsessions that distort and warp the sound of the notes. The family introduces elements of temperance and control that allow us to play the notes correctly and hear all the marvels of harmony our harps have to offer. This temperate “playing” of the harp in accordance with the plan of God is where each one discovers the true joys of life and ultimately develops an appetite for Heaven.