prob. Abbot Porcarius of Lérins, ca.500)


Tr. L. Dysinger, based on J.F. LePree, “Pseudo-Basil's De admonitio ad filium spiritualem: A New English Translation,” The Heroic Age A Journal of Early Medieval Northwestern Europe Issue 13 (August 2010. Latin, PL 103.683d-700a.





[Pseudo-]Basil, Bishop of Cappadocian Caesarea:
Admonition to [his] Spiritual Son



















HEAR, [O my] son, the admonition of your father, and incline your ear to my words, and lend your hearing to me willingly, and listen to what is said with a trusting heart. For I long to instruct you concerning the spiritual military[-service] and in what way you are to fight for your king. Your mind should listen most intently and not permit sleep oppress your soul; rather let it be aroused to vigilance and to studious understanding of my words.  For these words do not come from me, but are brought [to us] from divine sources. For I am not instructing you in novel doctrine[s], but rather in those spoken to me by my fathers. For if you have sent these things into your heart your travels will be guided in peace, no evils of any kind will approach you, and all adversity of soul will depart from you.

Audi, fili, admonitionem Patris tui, et inclina aurem tuam ad verba mea, et accommoda mihi libenter auditum tuum, et corde credulo cuncta quae [685A] dicuntur ausculta. Cupio enim te instruere quae sit spiritualis militia, et quibus modis regi tuo militare debeas.Intensissime ergo audiat sensus tuus, et animam tuam nullus praegravet somnus;  sed ad vigilandum excita eam, et ad studium intelligendi sermonem meum.Verba enim ista sunt ex me, sed prolata ex divinis fontibus. Neque enim nova doctrina instruam te, sed ea quam didici a patribus meis.

  Hanc enim si immiseris in cor tuum, in pace dirigentur itinera tua, nec approximabit ad te ullum malum, sed procul abscedet a te omnis adversitas animae







Chapter 1. Concerning Spiritual Military[-service]

CAPUT PRIMUM. De militia spirituali.





IF you therefore long, [O my] son, to engage in military[-service] for the Lord, you must [serve] only Him. For just as those who engage in combat for an earthly king obey all his orders, so those who engage in combat for the heavenly king ought to carefully keep his heavenly precepts. An earthly soldier is sent to a place that is prepared and ready: he would not dare excuse himself on account of wife and children. Even more ought a soldier for Christ obey his king's commands without any impediment. Si ergo cupis, fili, militare Deo, illi soli militabis. [0685B] Sicut enim qui militant regi terreno omnibus jussis ejus obediunt, sic et qui militant regi coelesti, debent coelestia custodire praecepta. Miles terrenus quocunque loco mittitur, paratus ac promptus est, neque se uxoris vel liberorum gratia excusare audebit; multo magis miles Christi sine aliquo impedimento regis sui debet imperio obedire.
The earthly soldier makes war against a visible army; an invisible army battles unceasingly against you each day. [Earthly armies] fight against flesh and blood; you strive against spiritual vices in the heavenly [army]. [Earthly soldiers] employ worldly weapons against a worldly enemy; you truly require spiritual arms against a spiritual enemy (RB prol. 3). Miles terrenus contra hostem visibilem pergit ad bellum; tecum vero hostis invisibilis quotidie praeliando non desinit. Illi contra carnem et sanguinem est dimicatio; tibi vero adversus spiritalia vitia in coelestibus eluctatio. Ille contra carnalem hostem carnalibus armis utitur; tu vero contra spiritalem hostem spiritalibus armis indiges.

 He wears into battle an iron helmet upon his head, while your helmet is Christ who is your head. He girds himself with a breastplate so as not to be wounded, but as a breastplate you are surrounded by faith in Christ. He casts against his adversary a lance and arrows; you hurl against your adversary divine eloquence and strike him with the words of prophecy, and [thus] you will say, “the lord is my helper and I shall look down on my enemies” (Ps.117.7).

Ille in praelio galeam ferream gestat; sed tua galea Christus sit, qui est caput [0685C] tuum. Ille lorica, ne vulneretur, indutus est; sed pro lorica sis fide Christi circumdatus. Ille contra adversarium suum mittit lanceam et sagittas; tu contra adversarium divina eloquia jaculare, et percutiens eum verbis propheticis dicito: Dominus mihi adjutor est, et ego deridebo inimicos meos (Psal. CXVII).

§15.  Until he undertakes to fight he does not cast his arms away so as not to be wounded by an adversary: in the same way you should never be unarmed because your foe is more crafty than his.

Ille donec pugna geritur, arma a semetipso non projicit, ne ab adversario vulneretur; ita et tu nunquam debes esse securus, quia tuus hostis hoste illius est astutior.

§16.  His foe fights for a [limited] time; but your enemy truly does not stop fighting against you as long as you stand in this course of life . His arms are both laborious and heavy to carry, while your arms are easy and pleasant to carry. When he has overcome his adversary he returns to the home of his wife and children. When your enemy lies prostrate, you will enter the kingdom of heaven with all the saints. He accepts a worldly payment for worldly labor; you, while you truly receive a spiritual reward for spiritual labor.

Illius quidem hostis ad tempus dimicat; tuus vero hostis, quandiu in stadio vitae hujus consistis, tecum pugnare non cessat. Illius arma laboriosa et gravia sunt ad portandum; tua vero arma volentibus portare suavia ac levia sunt. Ille cum superaverit adversarium, ad domum conjugis [0685D] ac liberorum revertetur; tu vero, hoste prostrato, in illud coeleste regnum cum omnibus sanctis intrabis. Ille pro labore terreno terrenum accipit donarium; tu vero pro spiritali labore coeleste recipies praemium.



The monk, who “soldiering for God” casts earthy deeds from himself and does not entangle himself in secular affairs, expects a heavenly reward. “For it is difficult to serve two masters nor is anyone serving Mammon able to bear spiritual arms” (Mt.6.24) “but the yoke of Christ is easy and light” (Mt.11.30). For the latter rejects and casts far from him the sweet and light yoke of Christ and whatever is heavy and onerous to his soul seems sweet and light. Such a man is wounded by his own weapons, and because he loves danger, he goes off to his death. Coeleste enim donum exspectet monachus, qui terrenos actus a semetipso projicit, ne implicet se negotiis saecularibus militans Deo. Difficile namque est servire duobus dominis; nec potest quisquam serviens mammonae spiritalia arma portare, sed jugum Christi suave ac leve a semetipso repellit ac projicit: et quidquid grave et onerosum est animae suae, hoc ei videtur suave ac leve. Istiusmodi vir a propriis armis vulneratur, et cum diligit periculum, incidit ad mortem.

§17.  Consider for which king you have chosen to fight. How much higher is the celestial king than a terrestrial king? How much more excellent is the position of your army than the earthly army? “If you think to build a lofty tower, prepare the expenses for the structure so that having started the building, you may lead it to perfection, lest when to those passing by, you may come into derision and your enemies rejoice about you” (Luke 14:28–30). This tower is not built of stones but from the virtues of the soul nor does the expense require gold or silver but faithful conduct. For earthly wealth stops many from building it.

Tu autem considera [0686A] cui regi te ad militandum probasti; et quanto superius est rege terreno imperium coeleste, tanto praecellentior est gradus excellentiae tuae terreno milite. Turrim excelsam construere cogitas, praepara ergo tibi sumptus ad structuram, ut coeptum aedificium ad perfectum deducas; ne quando praetereuntibus venias in risum, et gratulentur de te inimici tui. Haec turris non ex lapidibus construitur, sed ex virtutibus animae: nec auri, nec argenti indiget sumptibus, sed conversatione fideli: nam terrenae opes plurimum ad aedificandum impediunt.










Chapter 2. Concerning Virtue of the Soul

CAPUT II. De virtute animae.

§18.  One consideration for you, son: nor should you desire to serve one lord, lest you should be eager to please anyone in your life if not that one only. Don’t occupy your mind with diverse things. Separate yourself in all ways from carnal love so that carnal love does not exclude you from the love of God. Expel all vices from your mind so that you can obtain virtues. Hear therefore what the virtues are and the great benefit they bestow on the soul.

Unus profectus sit tibi, fili, si domino uni servire [0686B] desideras, nec alicui in vita tua placere coneris nisi illi soli; nec occupes in diversis rebus animum tuum; sed abscinde a te carnalem amorem, ne a te Dei timorem excludat. Omne vitium expelle ab anima tua, ut virtutes animae conquirere possis. Audi igitur quae sit virtus animae, et quam maximum ei conferat lucrum.

1. It is a virtue of the soul to love God and to hate those whom God does not love.

Virtus animae est diligere Dominum, et odisse quae non diligit Deus.

2. It is a virtue of the soul to pursue patience and to avoid impatience.

Virtus animae est et patientiam sectari, et ab impatientia declinare.

3. It is a virtue of the soul to maintain purity of the body as well as that of the soul.

Virtus animae est castitatem tam corporis quam animae custodire.

4. It is a virtue of the soul to despise vainglory and to treat as contemptible all worldly possessions.

Virtus animae est vanam gloriam contemnere, et omnia caduca calcare.

5. It is a virtue of the soul to pursue humility and to detest the arrogance of pride.

Virtus animae est humilitati studere, et tumorem superbiae abominari.

6. It is a virtue of the soul to embrace the truth and to flee all lies.

Virtus est animae veritatem amplecti, et omne mendacium fugere.

7. It is a virtue of the soul to restrain anger and to repress fury.

Virtus est animae iram [0686C] cohibere, et furorem reprimere.

8. It is a virtue of the soul to love peace and to abhor envy.

Virtus est animae pacem diligere, et invidiam exsecrari.

9. It is a virtue of the soul to turn away from all foolishness and embrace divine wisdom.

Virtus animae est ab omni stultitia declinare, et sapientiam divinam amplecti.

10. It is a virtue of the soul to subject all carnal desire to the soul.

Virtus animae est omnem voluptatem carnis subjicere menti.

11. It is a virtue of the soul to shun avarice and to willingly embrace poverty.

Virtus animae est avaritiam spernere, et voluntariam assumere paupertatem.

§19.  Therefore these virtues you will be able to obtain if you will have neglected worldly cares and will have preferred heavenly things to transitory and worldly things, and if you willingly occupy yourself with the praises of God and you will have meditated upon his judgments intensely day and night. “You will be like a tree which has been planted by rivers of waters” (Psalms 1:3), and all spiritual benefits will arise in you, and instead of being a servant, you will be called a friend of God.

Has igitur virtutes facile poteris obtinere, si saecularium rerum curas neglexeris, et caducis ac terrenis rebus coelestia praeposueris: et si voluntas tua in laudibus Dei fuerit occupata, et judicia ejus die ac nocte impensius meditatus eris; eris autem Tanquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum (Psal. I, 3), et omnes fructus spiritales orientur ex te, et ex servo amicus vocaberis Dei.










Chapter 3.Concerning the Love of God

[0686D] CAPUT III. De dilectione Dei.

§20.  Of all the virtues, love God so that you may please him in all your actions. For if a man joined in marriage hurries to please his wife, a monk ought to please Christ much more in all ways. “Who loves God obeys his precepts” (1 John 2:5). For God does not wish to be loved with words only but with a pure heart and just words. For he who says “I love God” but does not heed his mandates is a liar. For this kind of man deceives himself and leads himself astray. For God is an inspector of the heart, not words, and he loves those who serve him with simplicity of heart. If we love our earthly parents with such affection, because they endured suffering for us for a short time, surely our heavenly father must be loved by us much more. The fact that they loved us was a blessing of Christ who is the best bestower of all things. For before we were born into this world, he, by his providence, prepared our parents for our coming by whose love we might be nourished.

Ex tota igitur virtute tua dilige Dominum, ut in omnibus actibus tuis placeas illi. Si enim qui conjugium contraxerit, festinat placere uxori suae, multo magis monachus omnibus modis debet placere Christo. Qui diligit Dominum, ejus praecepta custodit (I Joan. II). Deus enim non se vult verbis tantummodo diligi, sed ex corde puro et operibus justis. Qui enim dicit: diligo Deum, et mandata ejus non custodit, mendax est (Ibid.). Hujusmodi enim vir fallit semetipsum, et a semetipso seducitur. Deus enim non verborum sed cordis inspector, et diligit eos qui in simplicitate cordis serviunt ei. Si terrenos parentes cum tali affectu diligimus, qui in tam parvo [0687A] tempore pro nobis sustinuerunt laborem, nonne magis nobis coelestis amandus est? Nam et circa nos, quod fuit eorum obsequium, Christi est beneficium, qui omnium dispensator optimus est. Nam antequam nasceremur in hoc saeculo, parentes nobis sua providentia antea praeparavit, quorum obsequio nutriemur.

§21.  But when an infant has been born, a mother’s breasts are filled with milk by the will of God. Therefore, let us love God who fashioned our parents with his own hands, and all the things which daily benefit us, we ascribe to his blessings. For let us love our parents like our own children if they do not prevent us from entering Christ’s service; if they try to prevent this, let the burial rites not be owed to them by us. Christ must be loved above parents because parents do not bestow upon us that which Christ has given us. And who can properly recount his blessings and how much he bestowed upon us and who does not cease from granting us favors daily. For seeing us overwhelmed by numerous sins, God did not abandon us but forgave our transgressions. Nor when we wandered into diverse errors and alienated ourselves from him, did God turn his face from us.

Sed et matris ubera tunc lacte replentur, quando infans fuerit natus. Ergo magis omnibus diligamus Deum, qui nos et propinquos nostros propriis manibus finxit; et cuncta bona quae erga nos geruntur quotidie ejus beneficiis ascribamus. Nam et parentes nostros quasi propria viscera diligamus, si accedere nos ad servitium Christi non prohibent: si autem prohibent, nec sepultura illis a nobis debetur. Christus diligendus est super [0687B] parentes, quia non tribuunt nobis parentes ea quae Christus tribuit. Et quis beneficia ejus congruenter enarret? Vel quantum nobis tribuit, et quotidie praebendo non desinit? Videns enim Deus innumeris peccatis nos obnoxios, non despexit, sed liberavit; nec cum alienati ab eo in diversis erroribus vagaremur, in praecipitium mortis non duxit, sed ad vitam perpetuam revocavit.

§22.  When we were already driven into the precipice of death, he called us to eternal life and when ungrateful for his blessings and we turned from him, he sought us out and when he was sitting on the celestial throne, for our sake he descended to earth and came in such humility that he assumed human form, and he who holds the earth in his fist and measures out the span of heaven with his open hand had no place to rest his head. Although he was rich, he became poor and through him we became rich. And he who will come in the clouds to judge the living and the dead endured the judgment of men. Although he could rest from all his labors, he worked incessantly on our behalf. He is the fountain of eternal life for all those who thirst. Yet when he was thirsty, he had to ask a Samaritan woman for water. He who satisfied our own hunger with his own flesh suffered hunger for us when he was tempted in the wilderness. And he whom the angels serve in heaven with the father deemed himself worthy to serve men on earth. His hand, through which so many virtuous acts were performed, was nailed to the cross for our redemption. To his mellifluous mouth, through which he announced his doctrine of salvation, the impious offered all for food. He who harmed and injured no one was beaten and, although innocent, suffered abuse. And he whose command rose all the dead, by his own will, he suffered death by crucifixion. Therefore he endured all these things so that he might grant us eternal life and although he bestowed endless blessings on us, he required nothing from us except that we love and serve him with our temple unblemished so that he may always dwell in us and we might remain in him. Christ does not demand gold or silver from us. If we have those things, he requires us to distribute them to the needy. He seeks us, he desires us, he wishes to rest in us.

Et cum ingrati beneficiorum ejus fugeramus ab eo, ut Pater clementissimus exquisivit nos: et cum in sede sublimi sederet, nostri gratia descendit ad terras, et in tanta humilitate venit, ut servilem formam assumeret; et qui in pugillo suo continet orbem terrarum, pannis in praesepio involutus est: et qui coelum palma metitur, non habuit ubi caput reclinaret. Cum esset [0687C] dives, pauper est factus, ut nos ditaremur in illo; et qui in nubibus venturus est ad judicandos vivos et mortuos, judicium hominis pertulit; et cum sitientibus sit fons aeternalis, cum sitisset postulavit aquam a Samaritana muliere: et qui in carne propria nostram esuriem saturavit, esurivit cum tentaretur in eremo; et cui ministratur cum Patre ab angelis, hominibus ministrare dignatur: et manus ejus per quas virtutes plurimas operatus est, pro nobis confixae sunt clavis; et ori ejus per quod salutarem doctrinam annuntiavit hominibus, pro cibo fel dederunt: et qui nullum laesit vel nocuit, caesus et opprobria pertulit; et cujus nutu omnes mortui resuscitati sunt, voluntate sua mortem crucis sustinuit. Et ideo haec omnia passus, ut nobis vitam [0687D] aeternam donaret. Et cum nobis immensa beneficia praestet, nihil exigit a nobis, nisi ut templa nostra impolluta ei servemus, ut semper in nobis habitet, et nos permaneamus in illo. Non postulat a nobis aurum, aut argentum, vel quidquid hujusmodi; nam et si fuerint nobis ista, dispertiri egentibus praecipit: nos ipsos quaerit, nos desiderat, in nobis requiescere cupit.










Chapter 4.Concerning the Love of Your Neighbor

CAPUT IV. De dilectione proximi.

§23.  Son, let us approach him and join in his desire. Let us love ourselves and our neighbors. For who loves his neighbor is called a son of God; but who on the contrary hates his neighbor is called a son of the Devil. He who loves his brother has a calm heart; he who hates his brother is surrounded by a great storm. He is a kind man who suffers a wrong and considers it to be of no account; but he who is a wicked man when he hears of his neighbor’s achievements considers them to be insignificant. Who is filled with love proceeds with a tranquil mind and serene face; however, an angry man walks filled with rage.

Accedamus ergo ad eum, et copulemur in affectu ejus, et ut nos ipsos amemus et proximos. Qui diligit, inquit, proximum, filius Dei vocatur. Qui autem e contrario odit, filius diaboli nuncupatur. Qui diligit [0688A] fratrem suum, in tranquillitate est cor ejus; fratrem vero odiens tempestate maxima circumdatus est. Vir benignus etiamsi patitur injuriam, pro nihilo ducit; iniquus etiam proximi actus contumeliam arbitratur. Qui charitate plenus est, serenissimo vultu procedit: vir autem odio plenus ambulat iracundus.

§24.  You, son, pursue kindness in your life and love your neighbor as yourself. Think of each man as your brother so that you may not sin in your life; do what benefits him, not you. For what you don’t want to happen to you, you should not wish to happen to your neighbor. If you see him engaged in good words, congratulate him and express your joy to him. If he should suffer some adversity, share his suffering and make his sadness yours. Expel all malice from your mind and don’t let the flames of hatred trouble your heart. Don’t unleash anger against the weak and those subject to you but always consider them members of your own household. Don’t, on one hand kiss your brother on the lips while on the other hand, plan treachery against him. For a deceitful man speaks peaceful words from his mouth and yet secretly plans to overthrow his neighbor. Therefore by these actions, God is provoked to anger. For purity of mind places one in the presence of God. He casts out everything that is a product of a false heart.

Tu autem, fili, benignitati stude in vita tua, et proximum tuum habeto tanquam unum ex membris tuis. Omnem hominem judica fratrem tuum. Memento quod unus artifex ac verus est qui condidit nos. Non moveas cuiquam scandalum in vita; et non quod tibi utile est, sed illi, facito. Quod tibi accidere non vis, nec ei cupias evenire. Si eum videris in bonis actibus conversantem, congratulare ei, et illius gaudium tuum ducito; et si aliquid patiatur [0688B] adversum, compatere ei, et illius tristitiam tuam deputa: omnem malitiam expelle ab anima tua, et odiorum flammae non comburent cor tuum. Contra impotentem aut subjectum tibi noli iracundia commoveri; sed tanquam tuum membrum proprium eum habeto in omnibus. Ne diligas fratrem tuum simulato corde, nec eum labiis osculans ex alia parte insidias facias ei. Dolosus enim vir pacifica verba profert ex ore, et in abdito mentis supplantare proximum suum meditatur. In his ergo operibus ad iracundiam provocatur Deus. Puritas enim quae placet in conspectu Domini, respuit omne quidquid simulato corde efficitur.










Chapter 5.Concerning the Pursuit of Peace

[0688C] CAPUT V. De studio pacis.

§25.  You, son, therefore send all falsehood far from you and don’t desire to overthrow your neighbor or to hurt or tear to pieces your member. Call your member your brother.

Tu autem omnem simulationem longe fac a te, et ne cupias supplantare proximum tuum, neque mordere aut laniare membrum tuum.

§26.  If, when as a man, you have been angry, do not stay angry until evening, but reconcile yourself to peace and drive all rage from your mind. For who embraces peace in his mind prepares room for Christ because Christ is peace and wishes to rest in peace. An envious man is cursed in many ways. A peaceful man is always in a state of tranquility, an envious man is like a ship when it is tossed by the waves of the sea. A peaceful man possesses an untroubled mind. On the other hand, an envious man is always confused. He who follows peace is safe and protected everywhere; an envious man rages uselessly like an insatiable wolf.

Quod et si quandoque ut homo iratus fueris, ultra solis terminum non producas iracundiam tuam; sed et reconciliare ad pacem, et deprime omnem furorem ab anima tua. Qui enim amplectitur pacem in mentis suae hospitio, mansionem praeparat Christo; quia Christus pax est, et in pace requiescere cupit; vir autem invidus omnibus modis exsecratur. Vir pacificus in tranquillitate est semper cor ejus; invidus autem similis navi cum jactatur a fluctibus maris. Homo pacificus securam possidet mentem: invidus autem in perturbatione est semper; qui autem sectatur pacem, tutus est semper undique ac munitus. [0688D] Nam invidus ut lupus rapax insanit inaniter.

§27.  The peaceful man is like a vine burdened with abundant fruit. An envious man because of wealth is subject to unhappiness and insatiable desire. As much as the peaceful man is pleased rejoicing in the Lord, so the envious man is reduced to poverty, wasting away. While a peaceful man is recognized by his abundance of joy, an envious man is known by his withered appearance and face full of anger. A peaceful man merits the company of angels while the envious man is worthy only to be the comrade of demons.

Pacificus est ut vinea honesta abundans fructu copioso; invidi autem opus indigentia ac miseria detinetur: et quantum pacificus gaudens in Domino delectatur, tantum invidus tabescens ad nihilum redigitur. Ex abundantia laetitiae pacificus homo dignoscitur; ex vultu marcido et furore pleno invidus demonstratur. Pacificus homo consortium angelorum merebitur: invidus homo particeps daemoniorum efficietur: et sicut pax secreta mentis illuminat, ita invidia occulta cordis obcaecat.

§28.  For peace flees from and disturbs all discord and envy is filled with anger. By the splendor of peace, all darkness is dispelled and where envy has settled there is obscurity and external shadows. Follow, therefore, son, the desirable name of peace so that you can acquire the benefits of peace and avoid envy lest you be filled with evil desires. For God made you an animal capable of reason who can distinguish between good and evil so that you may choose the best and avoid what is useless. May you examine everything, keeping all that is good and avoiding every kind of evil.

Pax enim effugat et perturbat omnem discordiam, invidia autem iracundiam cumulat. A splendore autem pacis effugatur omnis caligo; et ubi obsederit invidia, ibi obscuritas et exteriores [0689A] tenebrae. Sectare ergo, fili, desiderabile nomen pacis, ut fructus pacis possis acquirere; et exsecrare invidiam, ne malorum fructibus replearis. Rationabile namque animal creavit te Deus, ut possis discernere inter bonum et malum, ut quae sint optima eligas, et inutilia respuas, omnia examines, quae sint bona teneas, ab omni specie mala abstineas.










Chapter 6.Concerning Patience

CAPUT VI. De patientia.

§29.  Son, seize patience which is the greatest virtue of the soul so that you can climb to the height of perfection. Therefore if you wish to have patience, I first advise you to turn your attention to the divine mandates. Don’t think God’s mandates are false but let your heart always be guarded by them. Don’t let any adversity of the world turn you from the precepts and mandates of God and from the love which is in Jesus Christ; nor should you exalt yourself in prosperous times but exercise moderation in both. Everything that has been inflicted upon you in the name of religion, receive it freely and with obedience. Although it will have been beyond your power, don’t reject or avoid it. But tell faithfully the cause of your inability to him who inflicted it upon you so that although it will have been burdensome to him, by his moderation, it may be lightened so that you may be free from the vice of contradiction. Patience is the grand remedy for the soul; impatience, however, causes destruction of the heart. Through patience, the hope of future possessions is expected and it embraces the visible as well as the invisible.

Fili, patientiam arripe, quia maxima est virtus animae, ut velociter ad sublimitatem perfectionis possis ascendere. Retributionem patientiae tuae ne quaeras ab homine, ut in futuro possis accipere ab aeterno Domino aeternam retributionem. Patientia [0689B] grandis est medela animae, impatientia autem est pernicies cordis. Per patientiam enim exspectatur futurorum bonorum spes; et quod non videtur, quasi quod videtur amplectitur.










Chapter 7.Concerning Moderation and Purity

CAPUT VII. De continentia et castitate.

§30.  Son, may you maintain purity in all things so that you may see God standing in glory. May your heart be cleansed of all pollution. So that you do not allow the enemy to enter you, turn your eyes away from vile and abominable sights and don’t be attracted by the faces of beautiful women lest through such attraction you pay the terrible penalty of eternal punishment. Remember to whom you dedicated your members and don’t mix them together with those of women. Avoid therefore a woman’s love lest her love shut you out from the love of God. Don’t scorn the least and consider them worthless lest you fall little by little. Don’t go to the homes of virgins and spend time with them reciting long and leisurely stories, lest through much talk, both of your minds may be defiled. Don’t receive my words with a closed mind or consider my speech foolish, but believe me and receive my words with joy.

Castum te in omnibus serva, fili, ut videas Dominum in gloria consistentem. Ab omni pollutione mundum sit cor tuum, et ne des inimico aditum eundi ad te. Ab aspectu nefando averte oculos tuos, et ne delecteris pulchrarum vultibus feminarum, ne per talem oblectationem ultima exsolvas supplicia. Memento cui dedicasti membra tua, et ne commisceas illa meretricibus. Reflecte amorem ab amore mulieris, neque ab amore Domini te amor excludat. [0689C] Noli minima contemnere, ne paulatim diffluas in malo. Non te simules simpliciter accedere ad virginum domus, nec velis cum eis uti longis et otiosissimis fabulis, ne per plurimas sermocinationes utrorumque mens polluatur. Noli, fili, graviter ferre sermones meos, nec stultum arbitreris eloquium meum, sed crede mihi et gratanter accipe verba mea.

§31.  If a clerk or a monk will have approached the homes of women unsuitably and allow a virgin to approach them, they risk losing their former reputation and what they freely promised to God they lose. For men of this sort can no longer prepare a mansion in them for the Lord, but they will be abandoned like a dry stick. Did the Lord ever rape anyone of their virginity unwillingly? This gift is offered to Christ voluntarily from one’s own will, already it is not in your will to give nor is it allowed to profane anything promised to God because it is now in Christ’s will. A man will not sin if he has not promised a vow. If however, you have promised a vow, don’t hesitate to fulfill it, because the Lord will require it nor does he wish you to defile your members which were dedicated to him. See therefore that a beautiful body does not seduce you and you lose the beauty of your soul. Don’t gaze upon a woman’s appearance with a wicked eye, lest death enters into your soul through your windows. Don’t listen to their words lest you harbor wickedness in your soul. Don’t desire to touch a woman’s flesh lest by her touch, your heart becomes inflamed and you sink with your soul into perdition. For just as hay which is placed near fire burns, thus, he who touches a woman’s flesh cannot escape the damnation of his own soul, and although he may have escaped with a pure body, he leaves with a corrupt mind and heart.

Si ad feminarum domus importune accesserit clericus vel monachus, et virgo patiatur hujusmodi introire ad se, statim immutant pristinam dignitatem, et quod Domino polliciti sunt sua voluntate amittunt. Nec enim poterunt hujusmodi mansionem in se Domino praeparare, sed desolabuntur ut lignum aridum: nunquid virginitatem Dominus extorquet invite? Hoc enim munus voluntarie Christo offertur [0689D] in propria voluntate. Nec enim licitum est profanari aliquid quod Domino promissum. Non peccabis, homo, si non voveris votum: si enim vovisti, jam ne facias moram reddere illud quod Dominus quasi suum requirit illud a te; nec pollutione vult misceri membra tua, quae sibi jam dedicata sunt. Vide ergo ne te seducat corporis pulchritudo, et decorem animae tuae amittas. Ne improbo oculo tuo intuearis speciem mulieris, ne intret mors per fenestras tuas. Ne aperias aures tuas ad perficienda verba eorum, nec concupisces nequitiam in anima tua. Mulieris carnem non velis tangere, ne per tactum ejus inflammetur cor tuum, et spiritu tuo labaris in perditionem. Sicut enim fenum proximans igni [0690A] comburitur, ita qui tangit mulieris carnem non evadit sine damno animae suae; et licet corpore castus evaserit, mente tamen et corde corruptus abscedit.










Chapter 8. Concerning Fleeing the Love of This World

CAPUT VIII. De saeculi amore fugiendo.

§32.  Tell me son, I beg you, what profit can the soul receive from loving worldly beauty? Surely it is like hay when it has been struck by the heat of summer: it dries up and little by little; it loses its pristine state. The appearance of human nature is also like this. With the advent of old age, every pure beauty of florid youth is destroyed and what you loved before, you now find hateful, and when death comes, then all beauty will be totally destroyed and then you will recognize that what you loved vainly before was merely an illusion. When you have seen an entire body swelling and smelling, surely contemplating it will have struck you with great horror. Surely you will hold your nose, not able to bear the most oppressive smell. After a while, where is all the delight? See if there is anywhere a visible sign of that original appearance. Where is the sweetness of luxury and opulence of banquets? Where are the flattering words which mollify guileless hearts? Where are the sweet words which imparted sorrow to lovers? Where are the immoderate laughter and repulsive jokes? Where is the unbridled and useless joy? As if anything could ever compare to crossing running water.

Dic mihi, quaeso, fili, quis sit profectus animae, amare carnis pulchritudinem? Nonne sicut fenum cum a fervore aestatis percussum fuerit, arescit, et paulatim pristinum decorem amittit? Similis est etiam species humanae naturae: succedente sibi senectute omnis decor pristinus deperit, et quos in amorem sui antea concitabat, postmodum odio eorum afficietur. Nam cum intervenerit mors, tunc penitus omnis pulchritudo delebitur; et tunc cognosces, [0690B] quia vanitas, quod ante inaniter diligebas. Cum videris totum corpus in tumorem et fetorem esse conversum; nonne intuens maximo horrore concuteris? Nonne claudis nares tuas, non sustinens fetorem durissimum? Ubi est postmodum omnis illa oblectatio? Require si est aliquod pristini decoris vestigium. Ubi est suavitas luxuriae et conviviorum opulentia? Ubi sunt blandimentorum verba, quae corda simplicia molliebant? Ubi sunt sermones dulces, qui amaritudinem amantibus infundebant? Ubi est immoderatus risus et otiosus? Ubi est effrenata et inutilis omnis laetitia? Velut fluxus aquae transiens nusquam comparuerunt.

§33.  This is the end of the beautiful body which you loved. This is the end of corporeal pleasures. Turn away therefore your soul from obscene loves and turn your love to the most splendid beauty of Christ so that the rays of his splendor may illuminate your heart and all darkness may be driven from you. This beauty must be loved, son, which usually pours out spiritual joy to souls. This beauty must be embraced in all ways from whence serenity and tranquility is acquired. Let us avoid destructive beauty, lest all kinds of evil be inflicted on us. For many admiring the appearance of women have been shipwrecked from the path of righteousness. Many with their ornaments of pleasure have suffered the destruction of their souls and from the height of perfection; they have been plunged into the depths of Hell. Son, beware of the things which you see cause men to perish. Don’t drink from the cup which has caused the ruin of many. Don’t take food which you have seen causes wickedness to others. Don’t set foot on the journey where you have seen many others shipwrecked. Avoid the snares which you see have captured the rest. Ask the Lord for a prudent heart and watchful mind so that you are not unaware of the deceit and cunning of the devil and your foot may not step into his net.

Hic est finis carnis pulchritudinis quam amabas: hic oblectationis terminus corporis. Reflecte igitur animum tuum ab his [0690C] obscenis amoribus, et omnem amorem converte ad splendidissimam pulchritudinem Christi, ut radii fulgoris ejus illustrent cor tuum, et omnis obscuritas caliginis expelletur a te. Haec pulchritudo diligenda est, fili, quae laetitiam spiritalem amantibus consuevit infundere. Hic decor omnibus modis amplectendus est, unde nobis serenitas tranquillitatis acquiritur. Devitemus perniciosas pulchritudines, ne omnium malorum genera in nos irrogentur. Multi enim admirantes mulierum species, a veritatis via naufragaverunt. Plerique ornamentis earum oblectati, perniciem animarum suarum perpessi sunt, et a perfectionis fastigio in profundum inferni demersi sunt. Caveto ergo, fili, species per quas plurimos cernis periisse. Quaeso ne bibas poculum, unde [0690D] multos perspicis interiisse: ne percipias cibum quem edi in aliorum perniciem videris. Ne incedas iterum, quo naufragium perpessi sunt plurimi. Devita laqueos, per quos captos caeteros senseris. Postula tibi a Domino cor prudens et pervigilem sensum, ut non ignores fraudes et astutias inimici et in retia ejus non incidat pes tuus.

§34.  A wise man does not consider beauty of the body but of the soul. A foolish man however embraces worldly possessions. A wise man spurns a woman full of gestures. A foolish man, however, desiring her is wretchedly cast down. A prudent man averts his eyes from an imprudent woman. However, a foolish man who looks at her excessively is dissolved, like fire dissolves wax. Therefore you, son, look out for wicked sights and false beauty in all ways. For the soul will be hurled down if you pay attention to beauty. Christ is not interested in the beauty of the body but in the beauty of the soul. Therefore, son, possess spiritual beauty because that will please God.

Sapiens non corporis decorem desiderat, sed animae; insipiens homo speciem in carnalibus ornamentis amplectitur. Sapiens vir comptam mulierem respuit, stultus vero concupiscens eam miserabiliter supplantabitur. Vir prudens ab imprudente femina avertit oculos suos, luxuriosus autem vir intuens eam solvetur ut cera a facie ignis. Tu autem cave omnibus modis [0691A] species perniciosas ac falsas pulchritudines, quia deturpatur anima si earum decorem attendas. Christus non in corporis decore, sed in animae delectatur. Illa ergo dilige, fili, in quibus delectatur Christus.










Chapter 9. Concerning the Fleeing of Avarice

CAPUT IX. De avaritia fugienda.

§35.  Son, beware of cupidity and don’t be a slave to the love of money. Turn your heart away from all avarice lest you be condemned as an adulterer and worshipper of idols. Don’t love riches lest you offend him to whom you dedicated your body and mind equally. Don’t desire those things which call you away and separate you from God. Don’t love earthly riches lest you lose the riches of heaven. Many desiring the possessions of another are deprived of their own. The riches of this world are foreign to us for our possession is the kingdom of heaven ( , 251). Don’t seek the possessions of others lest you become a stranger to yours. Be content with daily provisions. Whatever is in excess is a hindrance to your purpose. Cast it out. Don’t desire to become rich lest you fall into temptation and into the snares of the Devil. Beware of avarice because greed has been called by the apostle, “the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). A greedy man has a venal soul. If he finds the time, he commits murder, and like one who pours water on the ground, he pours out the blood of his neighbor. Many struck by the flame of avarice have fallen into the danger of death.

Et ne pecuniarum cupiditati te subjicias, ab omn avaritia declina cor tuum, ut non condemneris sicut adulter et idolorum cultor. Noli amare mammona, ne offendas eum cui membra tua et mentem pariter dedicasti. Ne petas ea quae te avocant et separant a Domino. Noli diligere opes terrenas, ne amittas coelestes. Multi cupientes aliena, et suis privati sunt. Alienatae sunt a nobis saeculi hujus facultates, [0691B] nostra autem possessio regnum coelorum est. Noli appetere aliena, ne a tuis fias extraneus. Quotidianum victum sufficere tibi contentus esto: quidquid superfluum est projice abs te tanquam propositi tui impedimentum. Ne cupias fieri locuples, ne in tentationes incidas, et in laqueos diaboli. Caveto avaritiam, quia radix omnium malorum ab Apostolo nominata est. Pecuniarum cupidus jam animam suam venalem habet: si enim invenerit tempus, pro nihilo perpetrabit homicidium; et sicut qui effundit aquam super terram, ita est ei effundere sanguinem proximi sui. Plerique per avaritiae ardorem in mortis periculum inciderunt. Propter avaritiam Achan cum suis omnibus lapidatus est (I Reg. XV).

§36.  Because of avarice, Achan, the son of Charmi was stoned with all the members of his household (Joshua 7:24–25). Because of avarice, Saul became alienated from the Lord and was finally expelled from the royal heights and destroyed by his enemies. Ahab, because of avarice, seized Naboth’s vineyard and for this sinful act, he was wounded in battle and died (2 Kings 9:21–26). Truly our Lord and savior wished to shut out the love of money from the hearts of the Pharisees but because they were too greedy, they mocked his salutary warnings. For although Christ, who called the rich to heaven, had told they had to sell their riches, avarice did not allow them to enter (Matthew 19:21–24). The breast of Judas so burned with the passion of avarice, he surrendered the Lord who bestowed on him so many blessings, into the hands of the wicked (Matthew 26:14). For a greedy man is similar to an inferno. An inferno will devour all: it is never satisfied. Although all treasures will have flowed upon the greedy, he will not be satisfied. Son, alienate yourself from this vice and freely receive the poor voluntarily. Don’t be idle and lazy but work with your hands so that what you have you may give to the needy. Give with moderation according to your ability. As much as has been entrusted to you will be asked of you. For no one expects from you what you do not possess. It is an abomination before Christ to acquire alms unjustly, but alms faithfully acquired is pleasing to him.

Propter avaritiam Saul alienus a Domino effectus est, et ad [0691C] extremum de culmine regali expulsus est, et ab inimicis suis peremptus. Et Achab propter avaritiam invasit vineam Naboth (III Reg. XXI); et hujus rei gratia in praelio vulneratus defunctus est. Dominus noster et Salvator a corde pharisaeorum volebat pecuniarum amorem excludere: sed quia illi erant cupidissimi, salutaria ejus monita deridebant. Nam et illum divitem cum Dominus vocans ad regna coelorum facultates suas vendere praecepisset, aviditas intrare non permisit (Matth. XV). Et Judae pectus avaritiae ardore exarsit, ut Dominum largitorem sibi cunctorum bonorum in manus traderet impiorum (Matth. XXVI). Avarus enim vir inferno similis est. Infernus igitur quantoscunque devoraverit, nunquam dicit satis est; sic etsi omnes thesauri [0691D] terrae confluxerint in avarum, non satiabitur. Alienum te facito, fili, ab hoc vitio, et voluntariam paupertatem libenter assume. Noli esse desidiosus et piger; sed labora manibus tuis, ut habeas unde tribuas indigenti. Secundum possibilitatem tuam mediocriter porrige: tantum enim expetitur a te quantum tibi fuerit creditum. Nemo enim exigit a te quod ipse minime possides. Eleemosyna cum iniquitate acquisita abominatio est coram Christo, sed acceptum est illi quod fuerit fideliter acquisitum.

§37.  Son, he does not possess the good art of compassion if he has obtained alms in such a manner. For there are some who, plundering others, pretend they are keeping the money as alms and when they oppress others, they pretend to feel sorry for them. But God is not pleased with their words and he curses and abhors their insincere heart. You, son, may give a little from your labors. This will be pleasing and acceptable to God. Don’t boast when you give alms to the needy, nor should you consider yourself better than he to whom you loaned money. But in all your works, humble yourself before God because what is done with pride will not be pleasing to God. However, that which is done with humility is acceptable to him.

Fili, non habet hanc artem misericordiae bonum. Sunt enim nonnulli qui, diripientes aliena, praestare se eleemosynam simulant; et cum alios premant, aliis misereri se fingunt: sed Deus non delectatur [0692A] in operibus eorum, et simulationem cordis eorum exsecratur ac respuit. Tu autem, fili, licet exiguum de tuis laboribus porrigas, hoc gratum est et acceptum coram Domino. Non te velis jactare cum porrigis eleemosynam indigenti; et illo cui feneras ne te arbitreris esse meliorem; sed in omnibus operibus tuis humilia te coram Domino, quia non erit gratum Deo quidquid efficitur cum superbia; quod autem fit humiliter, acceptum est ei.










Chapter 10. On the Pursuit of Humility

CAPUT X. De studio humilitatis.

§38.  Son, pursue humility before all else which is the height of all virtues so that you can climb to the summit of perfection. Since just institutions cannot be completed except through humility. The labors of any many times accomplished through pride are considered to be of no account. A humble man is similar to God and confesses his sin in the temple. The proud man, however, since he is odious to God, is similar to the Devil. The humble man, although he seems most vile in appearance, is glorious in virtues. The proud man, although he seems distinguished and elegant in appearance, nevertheless, by his words, shows himself to be useless and through his mouth and his movements, his pride is recognized; and by his words, his shallowness is made known. He always desires to be praised by man, and for his virtues, which he is a stranger to, he desires to be commended. He does not allow himself to be subject to anyone. He attempts to raise himself to a higher position. But because he cannot obtain it by his own merits, he hurries to obtain it through solicitation.

Fili, prae omnibus humilitati stude, quod est omni virtute sublimius, ut ad perfectionis fastigium possis conscendere: cum justae institutiones non aliter nisi per humilitatem impleantur, et multorum [0692B] temporum labores per superbiam in nihilum deputentur. Vir humilis Deo est similis, et in templo pectoris sui gestat eum. Superbus autem cum sit Deo odibilis, diabolo similis est. Humilis vero licet in habitu videatur vilissimus, gloriosus est in virtutibus. Superbus autem homo, etsi decorus videatur aspectu et clarus, sed tamen inutilem eum manifestant opera ipsius, et per os, incessus et motus dignoscitur ejus superbia, et ex verbis ejus publicabitur levitas ipsius. Cupit semper laudari ab hominibus, et virtutibus, quibus alienus est, se praedicare gestit. Non se patitur cuiquam esse subjectum, sed semper primatum cupit, et ad majorem gradum se conatur immergere; et quod ex meritis obtinere non potest, ambiendo festinat invadere;

§39.  Always walking puffed up, both empty and vain like a ship without a helmsman when it is tossed by the waves, so he is carried around in all his actions. On the contrary, a humble man rejects all earthly honors and considers himself lower than all men. For although he appears insignificant in appearance, he is considered eminent in God’s presence, and when he has carried out all the mandates of God, he says “I am a useless slave,” and he declares he has accomplished nothing and hurries to conceal all the virtues of his soul. But God makes known all his work and discloses his extraordinary accomplishments. God will exalt him and make him renowned, and when he prays, God will provide what he asks for.

 [0692C] ambulans semper tumens ut uter vacuus et inanis. Et sicut navis absque gubernatore cum jactatur a fluctibus, ita et is levis circumfertur instabilis inter omnes actus suos. Humilis e contrario respuit omnem honorem terrenum, et ultimum se esse judicat omnibus hominibus. Nam etsi mediocris appareat in vultu, eminens apud Dominum intuetur. Cum consummaverit omnia mandata Domini, nihil se fecisse testatur, et omnes virtutes animae suae celare festinat: sed divulgat Dominus omnia opera ipsius, et profert in medium, et mirificat gesta ipsius, et exaltabit et clarum faciet eum, et in tempore precum suarum quod postulat impetrabit.










Chapter 11. Concerning Prayer

CAPUT XI. De oratione.

§40.  Moreover, you son, when you approach the Lord to pray, prostrate yourself humbly in his sight lest you request something based purely on your own merits. And if there is any thought of good work in your consciousness, hide it so that with your silence, God may reward you many times over. Quickly reveal your sins so that God may destroy them when you have confessed them. Don’t wish to vindicate yourself when you approach him to pray so that like the Pharisee, you may not escape condemnation. Be mindful of the publicani and pray for yourself as he did and emulate him so that you may receive a pardon for your sins. Don’t pray to God who knows all hidden things with a loud voice. Let the shout of your heart strike his ears lest you draw out before him long words, because excessive speaking will not please God, but only the purest heart. Cast out all malice from your heart and whatever anger you harbor against your brother, relinquish it.

[0692D] Et tu, fili, cum accesseris ad precandum Dominum, prosterne te humiliter in conspectu ejus. Ne postules quidquam, quasi ex gratia meritorum tuorum: et si est tibi etiam conscientia boni operis aliqua, cela illam, ut te silente multipliciter restituatur a Deo; et peccata tua cito produc in medium, ut deleat Dominus illa, cum confessus fueris ea. Nec te velis justificare cum ad orandum accesseris, ne sicut Pharisaeus ab illo exeas condemnatus. Memento publicani, vel qualiter pro se oraverit (Luc. XVIII), et aemulare eum, ut veniam peccatorum tuorum invenias. Non clamore vocis orabis eum qui occultorum est cognitor, sed clamor cordis tui pulset aures ejus. Ne longitudinem verborum protrahas [0693A] ante eum, quia non in multiloquio, sed ex mente purissima placabitur Dominus. In tempore orationis omnem malitiam cordis projice abs te, et remitte si quid habes adversus proximum tuum.

§41.  There is a certain kind of serpent when he goes to drink water, before he approaches the spring, he vomits all his poison. Imitate therefore the cunning of this serpent and cast out all the most poisonous venom from your soul. Forgive your fellow servant the debt of 100 denarii so that you may be forgiven the debt of 10,000 talents, and as much as you desire to be God, be more like your fellow servant. In addition whatever work you have begun to do, first call upon God and don’t forget to give thanks when you have finished it.

Est denique quoddam genus serpentis, quod cum vadit ad bibendum aquam, antequam accedat ad fontem evomit venenum: imitare ergo hujus serpentis astutiam, et omne venenum amarissimum projice ab anima tua. Remitte conservo tuo centum denarios (Matth. XVIII), ut tibi dimittatur debitum decem millium talentorum; et qualem cupis erga te esse Dominum, talis esto ipse erga conservum tuum. Quodcunque opus inchoaveris, primo invoca Dominum, et ne desinas gratias agere cum perfeceris illud.










Chapter 12.Concerning Vigils

CAPUT XII. [0693B] De vigiliis.

§42.  Seek God and call upon him with all your heart and you will find him. Nor when you have possessed him should you let him go so that your thoughts will be filled with his love. Pursue this goal in your life so that you may offer pure prayer to God, lest superfluous thoughts thoroughly trouble your heart; nor should your mind be drawn into diverse places. For remember you are standing under the scrutiny of God who knows the heart’s secrets and the hidden places of the mind. Be vigilant in God’s sight during prayer and psalms. Don’t let sleep overwhelm your soul, and don’t let your thoughts and speech be discordant, but they should be in agreement and your words should reflect both. “Just as it is not possible to serve two masters,” (Matthew 6:24) thus it is not possible for duplicitous prayer to reach the ears of God.

Quaere Dominum et invenies eum, nec dimittas cum tenueris, ut copuletur mens tua in amorem ejus. Hoc stude in vita tua, ut orationem puram offeras Deo. Cogitationes non conturbent cor tuum, nec in diversis locis vel rebus rapiatur mens tua. Memento enim te, fili, sub Domini conspectibus stare, qui occulta cordis prospicit, et abdita mentium novit. Vigilanter ergo assiste in conspectu Domini in tempore orationis vel psalmorum. Non te opprimat somnus animae, et ne dissonans sit sensus et lingua, sed consonantia sint, et utrorumque proferant verba. Sicut impossibile est servire duobus dominis, ita nec duplex oratio poterit ascendere ad [0693C] Dominum.

§43.  You should not be idle nor at leisure any time during the day as well as night. It is proper for you to stay alert so that you can easily flee imminent temptation. For if vulgar thoughts trouble your heart and compel you to do what is forbidden, let them be driven from your soul by prayers and vigils. For prayer is the grand protection of the soul. Through the purest prayers, all those things which are most useful to us are granted by God and all those things harmful are driven far from us. During psalms and spiritual songs, sing vigilantly before the Lord so that you can notice easily the virtue of the psalms. All hardness of the heart will be softened by their sweetness. Then you will have a sweet voice and you will sing, “How sweet your elegance is in my voice and like honey in my mouth” (Psalms 119:103). But you won’t be able to feel this sweetness unless you sing with the greatest vigilance and wisdom. For the mouth will taste food. Thoughts differ from words. For just as flesh is nourished by carnal food, so the interior man is fed and nourished by divine eloquence. But you will need all these holy vigils, son, and avoid useless vigils. Those vigils are useless which wound and cause the soul to perish, if anyone will have kept vigils around scandalous thoughts and attempt to commit some wicked deed. But you avoid such vigils so that you can aspire to be holy in all your acts and it is appropriate for you to keep vigils in all your movements. Lest when overwhelmed by sleep, you desire eagerly to please men. You should not attempt to please anyone except God himself. In the works which you consider to do, consider God first. Examine diligently what you think is favorable to God and is right before God to carry it out. If, in fact, it has been discovered to be against him, expel it from your soul. Dispel all your meddlesome thoughts daily and if you feel yourself laden with the guilt of sins, flee immediately to penance.

Ne tibi ullum tempus, fili, otiosum vel vacuum transeat; tam in diebus quam in noctibus vigilare te convenit, ut imminentem tentationem facilius effugere possis. Si enim cogitationes sordidae conturbaverint cor tuum, et si te coarctaverint quod est illicitum perpetrare, per orationes ac vigilias depellantur ab anima tua. Oratio munimentum grave est animae. Per orationes purissimas omnia nobis quae sunt utilia tribuuntur a Domino, et cuncta quae noxia sunt procul dubio effugantur. In tempore psalmodiae sapienter psalle, fili, et spiritales cantus vigilanter cane coram Domino, ut virtutem psalmorum facilius possis advertere. Omnis namque duritia cordis eorum dulcedine mollietur; tunc dulces habebis fauces, gaudensque cantabis: [0693D] Quam dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua, Domine, super mel et favum ori meo (Psal. CXVIII)! Sed non poteris sentire hanc dulcedinem, nisi cum summa vigilantia ac sapientia cantaveris. Fauces enim, inquit, escam gustabunt, sensus autem verba discernit. Sicut enim ex carnalibus escis alitur caro, ita et divinis eloquiis interior homo pascitur ac nutritur. Sed in his omnibus vigiliis sanctis indiges, fili. Hae sunt namque vigiliae inutiles, per quas laeditur et deperit anima, cum vigilaverit quis circa cogitationes turpissimas, vel ad gerendum contrarium aliquid, vel ad perpetrandum facinus. Sed tu talibus insiste vigiliis, ut possis effici sanctus. In omnibus actibus et moribus tuis convenit te vigilare, [0694A] ne quando oppressus somno placere hominibus gestias. Praeterquam Domino soli ne studeas placere alteri. In omne opus quod cogitas facere cogita Dominum primum; et si secundum Dominum est quod cogitas diligenter examina; et si est rectum coram Deo, perfice illud, si vero adversum fuerit repertum, amputa illud ab anima tua

§44.  Son, I am unwilling that you should expose yourself to sins in the daylight and whatever evil you have harbored, go and seek penance for it and quickly expel it from your heart. Don’t desire to say: “This is not a great sin which I am only thinking about because in the Lord’s sight, nothing is hidden. Don’t allow evil thoughts to grow in you nor should you neglect them as if they were insignificant. For who rejects the least sin, little by little will advance to greater sins. Don’t despise the serpent’s bite lest his poison be sprinkled in your heart. Cut out the thickets of spines from the field of your heart lest they grow deep roots in you. Know that your heart is the Lord’s field and cultivate it with spiritual discipline. Don’t allow tares to take root in the Lord’s field. If therefore you have been vigilant about such things, you will achieve spiritual perfection.

. Quotidie actus tuos discute curiosius; et si te peccatis obnoxium senseris, ad poenitentiam cito confuge. Nolo ut protrahas peccatum tuum de die in diem; sed si quid cogitaveris male, in Deo poenitentiam age, et velociter de corde tuo seca illud. Ne velis dicere: Non est grande hoc facinus quod cogitavi tantummodo, quia in conspectu Domini manifesta et aperta sunt omnia. Ne ut spinas ac tribulos in te crescere sinas cogitationes [0694B] malas, neque tanquam minima negligas ea: Qui enim spernit minima, paulatim defluet. Noli spernere morsum serpentis, ne venenum ejus conspergatur in cor tuum. Abscinde virgulta spinarum de agro cordis tui, ne defigant in te altas radices. Scito quod cor tuum ager est Domini, excole eum coelestibus disciplinis, et non sinas in agro Domini zizania seminari. Si igitur taliter vigilaveris, facile poteris ascendere ad perfectionem.










Chapter 13.Concerning Fasting

CAPUT XIII. De jejunio.

§45.  Son, to keep proper vigils, much fasting is necessary. For just as a soldier, burdened by a great weight, is impeded from going off to war, thus a monk is impeded from carrying out vigils properly when his senses have become dulled from an overabundance of food. Overcome by sleep, we lose all the benefits of our vigils and bring great detriment to our soul ( , 4). Endeavor to join fasting with vigils so that you can fill your spirit with all virtue and your flesh is subject to your soul just as a maid is subject to her mistress. Don’t give strength to your body so that it can wage war against your spirit, but subject the flesh to the spirit and obey its orders. Don’t make the maid fat lest she have contempt for the mistress, and in all her actions let her be subject to her mistress. For just as bridles are placed on horses to restrain them, let us place the bridle of fasting on our body.

Ad vigilandum autem multum jejunium proderit. Sicut enim miles plurimo onere praegravatus praepeditur, ita monachus ad vigilias cum escarum largitate [0694C] torpescit. Non enim possumus vigilare cum fuerit dapibus venter noster onustus; sed oppressi somno vigiliarium fructus amittimus, et maximum detrimentum animae nostrae acquirimus. Vigiliis ergo copula jejunium; ut cunctis animae virtutibus florere possis, et caro tua subjecta sit animae tuae, et ancilla tua famuletur dominae suae. Ne praebeas vires corpori tuo; ne bellum adversus spiritum exerceat; sed semper subjecta sit caro spiritui, et obtemperet jussis spiritus. Noli incrassare ancillam, ne contemptui habeat dominam suam, sed ut in omnibus ejus obsequiis mancipetur. Sicut enim equis sunt frena imposita, ita jejuniorum frena imponamus corpori nostro.

§46.  For just as a charioteer, if he has loosened the bridle of the horses, running very rapidly they will rush headlong off the precipice with him, the soul also, if it has not placed a bridle on the body, will rush headlong into Hell. Be therefore a most skilled charioteer to your body so that you can step upon the path of righteousness. For excessive food not only harms the body but also the soul. For often the stomach is weakened by the desire for food. Through excessive food, we endure an abundance of blood and many afflictions. For just as excessive food is harmful to both body and spirit, thus fasting supplies a remedy and brings both under our control. As much as we are able, son, we should flee the pleasures of the world and the opulence of food, lest when tormented in the fires of Hell, we seek a drop of water and obtain no relief.

Nam quemadmodum auriga, si equorum frena laxaverit, rapidissimo cursu cum eo in praecipitia deferuntur, [0694D] ita et anima, si corpori suo non imposuerit frenum, uterque ad inferni praecipitia devolvitur. Esto peritissimus auriga corpori tuo, ut per tramitem rectum possis pergere. Escae enim plurimae non solum animam, sed et corpus nostrum plurimum laedunt. Saepe enim per ciborum aviditatem stomachi franguntur vires; nec non abundantiam sanguinis et cholerarum aegritudines plurimas per escarum largitatem perpetimur. Sicut enim ista sunt animae et corpori contraria, ita etiam medelae sunt utriusque temperata jejunia. Quantum vero possumus mundi delicias et ciborum opulentiam fugiamus, ne quando cruciati in flamma guttam aquae quaeramus, nec re frigerium consequamur.










Chapter 14.Concerning Drunkenness

[0695A] CAPUT XIV. De crapula fugienda.

§47.  Let us flee drunkenness lest we stumble into the sin of luxury. For God created wine not for intoxication but for joy of the heart. For the apostle [Paul] instructed Timothy to use wine in moderation and then for ailments of the stomach and for his other frequent infirmities. Let us not be driven to destruction by that which was meant to heal our body. For many have brought about weakness of the body through excessive drinking of wine, nor were they able to maintain their original dignity because first, they were not able to temper the flame of their throat and committed murder through wine and sometimes ended up taking their own lives. Others will have been captured by demons through wine.

Fugiamus ebrietatem, ne in retia luxuriae incurramus. Vinum enim nobis Dominus ad laetitiam cordis, non ad ebrietatem creavit; non quantum gula exigit, sed quantum naturae imbecillitas postulat. Et Apostolus Timotheo modico praecipit uti vino; et hoc propter dolorem stomachi, et propter ejus frequentissimas infirmitates (I Tim. V). Ne igitur nos quod ad medelam corporis nostri tributum est, ad perniciem deputemus. Plurimi namque maximam per vinum debilitatem contraxerunt, nec potuerunt consequi pristinam firmitatem, qui primum gulae non temperaverunt ardorem. Plerique per vinum homicidium perpetraverunt, nec ipsam mortem recusaverunt. [0695B] Alii per vinum a daemonibus capti sunt, nec est aliud ebrietas quam manifestissimus daemon.

§48.  Drunkenness is nothing other than a most manifest demon. The drunk thinks he is in need of something good when he has been hurled headlong off the precipice. Through drunkenness, the mouth curses and insults neighbors, the mind is altered and the tongue speaks childish things. What, I ask you, is held in lower esteem than the drunkenness of demons? For a man of this sort when he has thought about drinking, he drinks. Consider a fish which hurries with greedy jaws to eat food and suddenly finds a hook inside his jaws and a bird when it is captured in a net for food. Like the fish and the bird, a man who is drunk receives an enemy within him through wine which incites him to commit the most detestable acts. Through wine, a rational man is taken over by an irrational animal. You, son, show sobriety in all things so that it may cause you to be virtuous in all that you do.

Ebriosus putat se boni aliquid agere cum per praecipitia devolutus fuerit. Per vinolentiam armatur os ad maledicta et convicia proximorum, et immutatur mens, et lingua balbutit. Quaeso quid minus habetur quam daemonium ebrietas? Hujusmodi enim vir cum se putat bibere, bibitur. Sicut enim piscis, cum avidis faucibus properat ut glutiat escam, et repente hamum inter fauces reperit hostem: vel sicut aves cum per escam capiuntur in retibus; ita ebriosus intra se vinum suscipit inimicum, quod intra eum morans impellit ad omne opus foedissimum; et homo rationabilis ut irrationabile animal capitur. Tu autem in omnibus exhibe te sobrium, ut te sobrietas [0695C] in omnibus castum exhibeat.










Chapter 15. Concerning Pride

CAPUT XV. De vitanda superbia.

§49.  But beware of this, son, that your abstinence from food does not fill you with arrogance against others, lest when you seem to abstain from carnal food, your breast is filled with vices. For great is the confusion of the soul if when it has gained control of the body, it is at the same time under the control of vices. What appears to kill the appetite for food can overwhelm the soul with passions and what seems to conquer love of the flesh can plant the seeds of envy in the heart. For a temperate man avoids passions of the body as well as the soul, for he seems to be dependent on both. There is no spiritual perfection: if one part is sublime, the other cast down. If a man shines in one part and in another part is seized by the darkness of vices. For who desires to have a virtuous body first should have a virtuous soul. For a man will accomplish nothing if he has a virtuous body and a corrupt soul.

Sed caveto hoc, fili, ne per ciborum abstinentiam mergaris in superbiam, et ne infleris adversus eos qui jejunii tui mensuram non valent obtinere: ne quando videaris escis carnalibus abstinere, et vitiis pectus tuum replere. Grandis namque est confusio animae quae cum sibi subjecerit carnem, ipsa sit subjecta vitiis. Quid prodest ventrem ab escis resecare, et animam passionibus obruere! vel carnis amorem vincere, et in corde livoris stimulos machinari! Verus enim continens tam a corporis quam animae se passionibus abstinet, quia in utriusque substantiis homo constare videtur. Nulla est enim perfectio in [0695D] una parte esse sublimem, in alia esse prostratum; in una parte fulgere, et in alia vitiorum caligine occupari. Qui enim castus cupit esse corpore, castus debet perseverare et spiritu, quia nihil proderit castum esse corpore, et mente corruptum.

§50.  If a city has been fortified on one side and destroyed on another, it gives the enemy an opportunity to enter. And if a ship is solid with strong joints, but it has one perforated plank, it will fill with water and sink. Truly a temperate man rejects all things that are vain nor does he pursue any worldly glory, he suppresses anger and rage and he abhors envy. He would rather endure suffering than dissolve the chain of love. He does not utter disparaging remarks about his neighbor, nor does he willingly listen to others slandering them. He desires always to avoid vices and he urges himself on to cultivate virtues of the soul.

Civitas si fuerit in una parte munita, ex alia vero destructa, aditum ad se hosti praebebit. Et navis si fuerit forti compage solidata, et unam in se habuerit tabulam perforatam, repleta aquarum fluctibus mergetur in profundum. Verus enim continens cuncta quae vana sunt spernit, nec ullam gloriam sectatur humanam; furorem iracundiae reprimit, exsecrationem despicit, potius sustinet detrimentum, quam dissolvat vinculum charitatis; non detrahit cito proximo, nec [0696A] libenter audit detrahentem; cupit semper declinare a vitiis, et ad virtutes animae semetipsum instigat.










Chapter 16.Concerning Moderate Speech

CAPUT XVI. De lingua compensanda.

§51.  You, son, present yourself in such a way that when you wish to fast and when you have abstained from food, refrain from forbidden words. Put all blasphemy far from you lest superfluous words proceed from your mouth. Remember that for our idle words, we must render an account to God on the Day of Judgment (Matthew 12:36). Don’t get into the habit of using your tongue, which was created to bless and praise God, to slander anyone. Don’t speak about things in an assembly which you are ignorant of, but in times of trouble, let suitable words pour from your mouth so that all those listening may give thanks. Restrain your tongue from all vainglory, lest those who hear you, trembling, harden their ears and you cause confusion before all. You should not expose them to molestation or accustom them to the worst form of speech. Because this practice, which has been established by long usage, cannot be avoided without much exertion.

Talem te exibe, fili, cum volueris exercere jejunium, et cum te abstinueris, abstine et linguam tuam ab illicitis verbis. Omnem blasphemiam longe fac a te, nec superflui sermones procedant de ore tuo, quia et pro otiosis verbis in die judicii reddituri sumus Deo rationem. Nec ad maledicendum quempiam assuescas linguam tuam, quae ad benedicendum et ad laudandum Dominum creata est. De quibus ignoras rebus in conventu noli proferre sermonem; sed opportuna verba procedant a te cum opportunum [0696B] tempus inveneris, ut te audientibus cunctis gratiam praebeant. Ab omni vaniloquio tempera linguam tuam; ne quando qui audiunt horrescentes obturent aures suas, et sit tibi confusio coram omnibus. De quibus molestiam non pateris, noli contendere acriter, nec insuescas consuetudini pessimae, quia mos qui longo usu fuerit confirmatus, non parvo labore vitatur.

Chapter 17.Concerning Vain Glory

CAPUT XVII. De vano gaudio fugiendo.










§52.  Don’t laugh with loose lips, son. For it is madness to laugh out loud. But show joy of the mind only by smiling, lest you wish to joke continuously like a small boy. For it is not proper for those who are trying to achieve perfection to joke like a small boy. Be a small boy in cunning and a perfect man in understanding. In a certain way show yourself as an old man, in a certain way show yourself as a small boy. Playing is characteristic of a small boy, mourning is characteristic of a perfect man. But present sorrow generates eternal joy. A joke causes the soul to relax and neglect God’s precepts. Nor with sinning can the sinner remember God’s mandates, but forgetting them, he does not urge himself to do penance and, little by little, he is deprived of all blessings. Where there has been immoderate joking and laughing, compunction of the heart will have no place. Where there have been tears, spiritual fire is kindled which illuminates the secrets of the mind and destroys all vices. Then with heavenly desire, he eagerly joins with the love of Christ and while living on earth thinks about heavenly things. He despises worldly pleasures and concentrates on future rewards.

Noli dissolutis labiis risum proferre: amentia namque est cum strepitu ridere, sed subridendo tantummodo mentis laetitiam indica. Nec in modum parvuli jocari velis assidue, quia non convenit ei qui ad perfectionem nititur jocari ut parvulus. Esto in [0696C] malitia parvulus, et vir perfectus in sensu. In quibusdam te exhibe senem, et in quibusdam te exhibe parvulum. Parvuli namque est ludere, perfecti vero viri lugere; sed praesens luctus laetitiam generat sempiternam; jocus autem remissiorem efficit animam, et negligentem erga Dei praecepta, nec delicta sua potest ad memoriam revocare; sed obliviscens ea non se instigat ad poenitentiam, et ita paulatim ab omnibus bonis privabitur. Nullum enim habebit accessum cordis compunctio, ubi fuerit immoderatus risus ac jocus. Ubi vero fuerint lacrymae, ibi spiritalis ignis accenditur, qui secreta mentis illuminat et vitia cuncta exurit. Tunc aviditate coelesti anima flagrans, Christi amori copulatur: et in terris degens de coelestibus et supernis jugiter meditatur, calcat [0696D] saeculi voluptates, et ad praemia se futura extendit, nec ulla saeculari cura ab amore eam segregat Christi; sed ut figura quaedam inter homines versari videtur, et tota ejus conversatio de coelestibus intelligitur.

§53.  For death to him is as sweet as the present life, he desires to be released and to be with Christ whom living in the flesh he had carried within his temple. See therefore how much benefit weeping and tears bring and how much destruction laughter and joking will bring. For who chooses to laugh here will weep bitterly afterwards; who has wished to mourn here will rejoice in the world to come. For our savior called those who mourn blessed and who now tells them to weep joyfully on the Judgment Day. Don’t therefore let puerile laughter and joking delight you, but the chanting of spiritual readings. Don’t let empty words make you laugh, but may you quote the virtues of perfect men and may they serve as a mirror for your own life and character. For he is called perfect not who is perfect in age but who is always perfect in understanding. A childish age does not define your maturity if you have been perfect in understanding, nor does an advanced age define your maturity if you have been a child perfect in understanding. For when David was a boy and had a perfect heart with the Lord, he was elected King of Israel. And Saul when he was perfect in age because he was perfect in wickedness, he was cast down from the heights of royalty. The elders were already ancient who tried to violate Susanna, but Daniel while still a child detected their crime and condemned them. And our Lord having entered Jerusalem was praised by children. For a tree is allowed to grow for many years; if it has been fruitless, it is cut down. If however, it has been young and fertile, it is cultivated so that it may produce more fruit.

Mors illi praesens tanquam vita ipsa est dulcis: cupit dissolvi, et esse cum Christo (Phil. I), quem in carne vivens intra suum portaverat templum. Vide ergo quantum lucrum afferant fletus et lacrymae, et quantam perniciem praebeat risus ac jocus. Qui enim ridere hic delectatur, postmodum flebit amare; qui autem hic legere voluerit, gaudebit in posterum (Matth. V). Nam et Salvator noster beatos appellat lugentes; et qui nunc laetantur, flere eos dicit in novissimo. Non te ergo delectet [0697A] puerilis jocus vel risus, sed lectionum spiritualium cantus. Non te solvant in risum verba inania, sed proferant ex te gaudii risum perfectorum virorum virtutes, ut ad eorum spectaculum vitam tuam moresque componas. Perfectus enim ille dicitur, non qui in aetate, sed qui in sensu perfectus est; non enim tibi obest puerilis aetas, si fueris mente perfectus; nec senilis tibi proderit aetas, si fueris puer sensibus. Nam et David cum puer esset, et perfectum cor haberet in Domino, in regem electus est; et Saul cum senili aetate esset perfectus, quia in se malitiam perfectam habuit, de culmine regali expulsus est. Vetustissimi jam erant presbyteri qui Susannam violare conati sunt, quos Daniel adhuc parvulus detecto eorum scelere condemnavit: et Dominus [0697B] noster ingressus Hierosolymam a parvulis collaudatur. Nam et arbor, licet sit multorum annorum, si fuerit infructuosa, abscinditur: si autem novella fuerit fertilis, colitur ut magis proferat fructus.










Chapter 18.Concerning Avoiding the Company of the Wicked

CAPUT XVIII. De malorum contubernio vitando.

§54.  Son, may your soul delight in the fellowship of the chaste and may you never turn your ear away from their conversations. For their words are the words of life and those who freely heed them will merit salvation for their soul. For just as the rising sun dispels the darkness, so the doctrine of these holy men expels shadows from your thoughts. I beg you, don’t avoid the company of such men so that by their admonitions, your mind may be elevated to heaven and you can despise the insignificant glory of this transitory world and the virtues of the soul will consume your thoughts.

Perfectorum vero virorum consortio fruere, et contubernio abstinentium delectetur anima tua, et a colloquiis eorum ne avertas aurem tuam: verba enim vitae sunt verba eorum, et incolumitas animae iis qui ea libenter attendunt. Sicut enim sol oriens effugat caliginem, ita sanctorum doctrina a sensibus tuis expellit tenebras. Talium virorum, quaeso, ne devites consortia; ut eorum monitionibus mens tua [0697C] erigatur ad coelum, et fluxam saeculi gloriam pro nihilo possis despicere, et virtutes animae hauriant sensus tui.

§55.  Avoid those men who you see neglecting God’s mandates, who are dead to virtues, and seem to live only for their passions. Who rejoice for their own reasons and deprive themselves of divine joy. You should not mingle with men of this sort, nor should you constantly speak with them unless you think you can recall them from the path of ignorance. The rest, if you are not able to do this, avoid like a public enemy. For often the whole flock is contaminated by one sick sheep, and a small amount of deceit turns great sweetness into bitterness and a little leaven corrupts the whole mass. For the Lord God ordered you to pay heed to such leaven. This leaven is understood to be the doctrine of very wicked men. For although such men may seem distinguished and noble in appearance and may offer sweet words to you in an elegant manner, their false hearts are exposed by their subsequent actions. For a man is known not by his words but by his deeds. Then as many as possible cunningly hurry to hide their vices and among certain people they seem extraordinary, but only seem that way at the time. When truly they have carried a serpent within their bosom for a long time, struck by his bite, they swell up and stand exposed for all to see because nothing is hidden that will not be revealed.

Devita viros quos erga mandata Dei vides negligentes, qui mortui sunt virtutibus et videntur vivere passionibus, quia laetantur in propriis voluntatibus et gaudio carent divino. Cum hujusmodi viris nec sit tibi ulla commixtio, nec velis cum eis sermocinari assidue, nisi poteris solummodo ab erroris itinere revocare eos: caeterum si non vales, devita ut publicum hostem: saepe enim per unam ovem morbidam grex totus polluitur; et modica pars fellis magnam dulcedinem in amaritudinem vertit, et fermentum modicum totam massam corrumpit (I Cor. V). A tali enim fermento Dominus tibi attendere praecipit (Matth. XVI). Fermentum hoc nequissimorum hominum [0697D] doctrina intelligitur: nam etsi in habitu quis videatur esse clarus et nobilis, et dulcia verba tibi proferat eleganter, simulatio cordis ejus ex subsequentibus actibus intelligitur: non enim ex verbis, sed ex fructibus homo comprobatur. Denique quam plurimi callide vitia sua celare festinant, et apud quosdam videntur esse mirabiles, sed floribus amissis fructus qualis est ostenditur: cum vero diu intra sinum servaverunt serpentem, attacti morsu ejus intumescunt, et palam fiunt omnibus, quia nihil occultum est quod non revelabitur (Matth. X).

Chapter 19.About Repressing Anger and Delaying Repentance

CAPUT XIX. De ira cohibenda et differenda poenitentia.










§56.  If anyone has committed wicked acts against you, don’t be angry at him or seek retribution even if you can, but rather feel sorry for him because God will be angry with him. For who has endured evil patiently will receive a heavenly crown in the future. Who however has inflicted evil will be condemned on the Day of Judgment. Let not your soul be troubled by worldly misfortunes or let transitory things soften the vigor of your patience but fear rather misfortune if you fail to carry out your resolve, and when you feel yourself laden with guilt from sins, it should not disturb you to turn to penitence. For who has repented here will not repent on the Day of Judgment. For the Lord receives those running to penitence peacefully. Don’t think about saying: “As long as I maintain my youthful vigor, I shall indulge in pleasures of the flesh. Afterwards, in old age, I will repent of my wicked deeds. For the Lord is pious and has much compassion and will no longer remember my sins.” Don’t dwell on such thoughts, my son because it is the height of foolishness. What man knows the time of his death? For not all of us will be deprived of the light of this world in old age. We will not all be of the same age when we leave this world. No matter what age a man will be called, he must render an account for his actions. For no one in Hell will confess to the Lord. As a result, don’t hesitate to confess your sins.

Si quis tibi intulerit mala, ne velis irasci ei aut [0698A] retribuere illi, etiamsi possis, sed dole potius pro eo, quia Dominus irascetur ei. Qui enim patienter pertulerit mala, in futurum coronabitur; qui vero intulerit mala, in die mala ut reus damnabitur. Ne pro carnalibus damnis frangatur animus tuus, nec vigorem patientiae tuae res emolliant caducae, sed time potius damnum, si a proposito tuo retardaveris. Et quando te peccatis obnoxium senseris, ad poenitentiam cito converti ne confundaris; qui enim hic poenituerit, in novissimo non poenitebit, clementer enim Dominus ad poenitentiam confugientes suscipit. Et ne misericordia Domini fretus peccatis peccata adjicias, neque velis dicere: Donec viget aetas mea, carnis concupiscentiam exercebo, et postremo in senectute malorum meorum poenitentiam geram: [0698B] pius namque est Dominus et multum misericors, nec ultra facinorum meorum memorabitur. Noli taliter, fili, cogitare, quia summa stultitia est haec mente apud Dominum concipere; cum et impium sit talem licentiam a Deo exspectare quempiam. Noli, inquam, sic cogitare, cum nescias qua die moriturus sis. Quis enim novit hominum diem exitus sui? non enim omnes in senectute privabuntur hac luce, sed in diversis aetatibus in hoc mundo migrabunt; et in quibus actibus vocabitur homo, in iisdem necesse est redere rationem. Nemo enim in inferno confitebitur Domino (Psal. VI), sed nec tu cuncteris ad poenitentiam converti.

Chapter 20. Concerning the Contemplation of Death

CAPUT XX. De morte cogitanda.










§57.  Always let the last day turn before your eyes. For when you have risen at dawn, don’t be certain about the arrival of the evening. And when you have gone to bed to rest, don’t count on the arrival of the morning and you will be able to restrain yourself from all vices. Always let your heart meditate on heavenly promises so that they may direct you to the road of virtue (, 19). All the earthly possessions you have, transfer them into heavenly mansions and when you set out there may you enjoy the fruits of your good works. Begin to prepare yourself for the journey so that when you have been called, you may hurry willingly and without delay to the Lord. Then, soon after your soul has been freed from its prison of flesh, you will meet a chorus of angels and a whole army of saints will embrace you and lead you to pray to the true judge.

[0698C] Semper ante oculos versatur ultimus dies. Cum enim diluculo surrexeris, ad vesperum te ambigas pervenire; et cum in lectulum ad quiescendum membra tua posueris, noli confidere de lucis adventu, ut facilius te possis refrenare ab omnibus vitiis. Semper cor tuum promissa coelestia meditetur, ut ipsa te ad virtutis viam provocent. Esto nunc talis in operibus bonis qualem te vis futurum postmodum. Omnia terrena quae possides in coelestes mansiones transfer, ut cum illuc fueris profectus, fruaris bonis coelestibus. Bonorum operum sumptus tibi in itinere praepara, ut incunctanter libenterque, cum vocatus fueris, pergas ad Dominum. Tunc cum a carnis vinculo anima tua absoluta fuerit, mox in occursum tuum angelorum chorus occurret, omne sanctorum [0698D] agmen in tuis miscebitur complexibus, et te ad adorandum verum judicem perducent.

§58.  Then peace and the greatest security will surround you and you will not fear the fiery darts of the Devil. The fierceness of the barbarians will not fill you with terror. You will not be afraid of your most ferocious enemies who desire to end lives; not iron, fire, the cruel face of the executioner, not famine, thirst, not any disease of the flesh. You will not fear the envy of men, nor the snare of the wicked, not the enchanted words of prostitutes, neither will the flesh be able to overcome your spirit. You will not fear the danger of the sea or any misfortunes whatsoever. But all these fears are laid to rest when your soul has cast off its burden of flesh. Then the Holy Spirit for whom you had made a mansion within your own body a short time before will prepare a heavenly mansion for you. And rejoicing you will wait for the future Day of Judgment on which all souls will receive the rewards for their actions.

Tunc tibi fiet pax per girum et summa securitas, nec timebis ultra jacula ignita diaboli. Non tibi terrorem incutiet barbarorum immanitas, nec formidabis hostes ferocissimos, qui cupiunt animas jugulare, non corpora, non ferrum, non ignem, non faciem truculentam tortorum, non famem, non sitim, nec ultam aegritudinem carnis; nec metues invidiam hominum, nec insidias malignorum, verba venenata mulierum luparum; nec ultro adversabitur caro contra spiritum tuum: non timebis periculum maris, nec ullos casus adversos, sed haec omnia sedabuntur. Cum anima tua abjecerit sarcinam carnis, tunc Spiritus sanctus [0699A] tribuet tibi in coelestibus mansionem, cui paulo ante intra corporis tui hospitium feceras mansionem; et laetus gaudensque exspectabis diem judicii futuri, in quo singulorum animae recipient merita pro suis operibus.

§59.  But on that day, sinners and the impious will seek penitence in vain, adulterers and fornicators will wail, but they won’t be able to find any rest. The insatiable and avaricious will weep bitterly, but they will receive no pardon for their wickedness. All will be greatly afflicted who followed the will of their flesh. They who were enslaved to vices and passions will suffer sorrow and great torment for eternity. While eternal rewards will be given you, they will be enslaved in the fires of Hell for their crimes. “What the eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man which God has prepared for those loving him, you will see face to face” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Sed frustra tunc peccatores et impii poenitebunt, fornicatores et adulteri ululabunt, nec ullam requiem poterunt invenire. Rapaces et avari flebunt amariter, nec malorum suorum veniam consequentur. In luctu maximo detinebuntur omnes qui carnis [0700A] suae voluntates secuti sunt. In moerore et fletu maximo in sempiternum erunt qui vitiis et passionibus servierunt. Et cum hi omnes pro suis criminibus gehennae ignibus mancipentur, justis sempiterna praemia tribuentur a Domino, Quae oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit, quae praeparavit Deus diligentibus se (I Cor. II)





Chapter 9
[The Deifying Power and Effect of the Holy Spirit]





















Chapter 9
[The Deifying Power and Effect of the Holy Spirit]