Cassian, CONFERENCE 16: The First Conference of Abba Joseph
  COLLATIO DECIMA SEXTA, Quae est prima abbatis Joseph  DE AMICITIA

 Christ and Abba Menas
Coptic Icon, 7th c.


(tr. adapted. by L.Dysinger, O.S.B: based on  E.C.S. Gibson, , NPNF 2nd ser. , vol 11, pp. 435-445)

AUDIO LECTURE: Cassian on Anger & Friendship  (Conf. 16  see also Inst. 8)

AUDIO LECTURE: Ambrose and Cassian on Friendship      (Ambr.De Off & Conf.16 - sel.)

1-2 Lower and Highest Friendship;   20 Counterfeit Patience



CHAPTER 1. What Abbot Joseph asked us in the first instance.

CAPUT I. Quid a nobis abba Ioseph primitus inquisierit



1. THE blessed Joseph, whose instructions and precepts are now to be set forth, and who was one of the three whom we mentioned in the first Conference, belonged to a most illustrious family, and was the chief man of his city in Egypt, which was named Thmuis, and so was carefully trained in the eloquence of Greece as well as Egypt, so that he could talk admirably with us or with those who were utterly ignorant of Egyptian, not as the others did through an interpreter, but in his own person. And when he found that we were anxsious for instruction from him, he first inquired whether we were own brothers, and when he heard that we were united in a tie of spiritual and not carnal brotherhood, and that from the first commencement of our renunciation of the world we had always been joined together in an unbroken bond as well in our travels, which we had both undertaken for the sake of spiritual service, as also in the pursuits of the monastery, he began his discourse as follows.

I.  Beatus Ioseph, cuius nunc instituta ac praecepta pandenda sunt, unus e tribus quorum in prima conlatione fecimus mentionem , clarae admodum familiae ac primarius ciuitatis suae intra Aegyptum fuit, quae appellatur Thmuis, et ita non solum Aegyptia, sed etiam Graeca facundia diligenter edoctus, ut uel nobis uel his qui Aegyptiam linguam penitus ignorabant non ut ceteri per interpretem, sed per semet ipsum elegantissime disputaret. Qui cum institutionem suam nos desiderare sensisset, percontatus primum utrumnam essemus germani fratres audiensque a nobis quod non carnali, sed spiritali essemus fraternitate deuincti, nosque ab exordio renuntiationis nostrae tam in peregrinatione, quae ab utroque nostrum fuerat obtentu militiae spiritalis arrepta, quam in coenobii studio indiuidua semper coniunctione sociatos, tali usus est sermonis exordio.





CHAPTER 2. Discourse of the same elder on the untrustworthy sort of friendship.

CAPUT II. Disputatio ejusdem senis de infido amicitiarum genere.

2.1. THERE are many kinds of friendship and companionship which unite men in very different ways in the bonds of love.

II.  Amicitiarum ac sodalitatis multa sunt genera, quae diuersis modis humanum genus dilectionis societate conectunt.

[1] For some a previous recommendation makes to enter upon an intercourse first of acquaintance and afterwards even of friendship.

[2] In the case of others some bargain or an agreement to give and take something has joined them in the bonds of love.

[3] Others a similarity and union of business or science or art or study has united in the chain of friendship, by which even fierce souls become kindly disposed to each other, so that those, who in forests and mountains delight in robbery and revel in human bloodshed, embrace and cherish the partners of their crimes.

Quosdam enim praecedens conmendatio primum notitiae, post etiam amicitiae fecit inire conmercia.

In quibusdam uero contractus quidam seu dati acceptiue depectio caritatis foedera copulauit.

Quosdam negotiationis seu militiae uel artis ac studii similitudo atque conmunio amicitiarum uinculis nexuerunt, per quam ita etiam effera sibi inuicem corda mansuescunt, ut eitam hi qui in siluis ac montibus latrociniis gaudent et effusione humani sanguinis delectantur, suorum scelerum participes amplectantur ac foueant. 

[4] 2.2. But there is another kind of love, where the union is from the instincts of nature and the laws of consanguinity, whereby those of the same tribe, wives and parents, and brothers and children are naturally preferred to others, a thing which we find is the case not only with mankind but with all birds and beasts. For at the prompting of a natural instinct they protect and defend their offspring and their young ones so that often they are not afraid to expose themselves to danger and death for their sakes. Indeed those kinds of beasts and serpents and birds, which are cut off and separated from all others by their intolerable ferocity or deadly poison, as basilisks, unicorns and vultures, though by their very look they are said to be dangerous to every one, yet among themselves they remain peaceful and harmless owing to community of origin and fellow-feeling.

2. Est etiam dilectionis aliud genus, quod instinctu naturae ipsius et consanguinitatis lege conectitur, qua uel contribules uel coniuges uel parentes seu fratres ac filii naturaliter ceteris praeferuntur, quod non solum humano generi, uerum etiam omnibus alitibus atque animantibus inesse deprehenditur. Nam pullos uel catulos suos naturali affectu instigante sic protegunt ac defendunt, ut frequenter pro ipsis etiam obicere se periculis mortique non metuant. Denique etiam illa bestiarum uel serpentium uel alitum genera, quae intolerabilis feritas ac letale uirus ab omnibus separat ac secernit, ut sunt basilisci uel monocerotes uel grypes, cum etiam uisu ipso cunctis perniciosa esse dicantur, inter se tamen pro originis ipsius affectionisque consortio pacata et innoxia perseuerant. 

2.3. But we see that all these kinds of love of which we have spoken, as they are common both to the good and bad, and to beasts and serpents, certainly cannot last for ever. For often separation of place interrupts and breaks them off, as well as forgetfulness from lapse of time, and the transaction of affairs and business and words. For as they are generally due to different kinds of connexions either of gain, or desires, or kinship, or business, so when any occasion for separation intervenes they are broken off.

3. Sed haec omnia quae diximus genera caritatis sicut malis ac bonis, feris etiam atque serpentibus uidemus esse communia, ita etiam usque in finem certum est perseuerare non posse. Etenim interrumpit ea frequenter ac diuidit locorum discretio et obliuio temporalis et uerbi uel causae negotiorumque contractus. Vt enim ex diuersis uel lucri uel libidinis uel consanguinitatis ac necessitudinum uariarum societatibus adquiri solent, ita intercedente qualibet diuortii occasione soluuntur.



CHAPTER 3. How friendship is indissoluble.

CAPUT III. Unde indissolubilis amicitia sit.

3.1. AMONG all these then there is one kind of love which is indissoluble, where the union is owing not [:]

III.  In his igitur cunctis unum est genus insolubile caritatis,

[1] to the favour of a recommendation,

[2] or some great kindness or gifts,

[3] or the reason of some bargain, or the necessities of nature,

quod nec conmendationis gratia

nec officii uel munerum

magnitudo contractusue cuiusquam ratio uel naturae necessitas iungit,



This, I say, is what is broken by no chances, what no interval of time or space can sever or destroy, and what even death itself cannot part.

Haec, inquam, est quae nullis umquam casibus scinditur, quam non solum dissociare uel delere locorum uel temporum interualla non praeualent, sed ne mors quidem ipsa diuellit. 

3.2. This is true and unbroken love which grows by means of the double perfection and goodness of friends, and which, when once its bonds have been entered, no difference of liking and no disturbing opposition of wishes can sever. But we have known many set on this purpose, who though they had been joined together in companionship out of their burning love for Christ, yet could not maintain it continually and unbrokenly, because although they relied on a good beginning for their friendship, yet they did not with one and the same zeal maintain the purpose on which they had entered, and so there was between them a sort of love only for a while, for it was not maintained by the goodness of both alike, but by the patience of the one party, and so although it is held to by the one with unwearied heroism, yet it is sure to be broken by the pettiness of the other.

2. Haec est uera et indisrupta dilectio, quae gemina amicorum perfectione ac uirtute concrescit, cuius semel initum foedus nec desideriorum uarietas nec contentiosa disrumpet contrarietas uoluntatum. Ceterum multos nouimus in hoc proposito constitutos, qui cum pro caritate Christi flagrantissima essent sodalitate deuincti, non perpetuo eam nec indisrupte seruare potuerunt, quia, licet bono societatis principio niterentur, non tamen uno nec pari studio arreptum propositum tenuerunt fuitque inter eos quaedam temporalis adfectio, quia non aequali utriusque uirtute, sed unius patientia seruabatur : quae quamuis ab uno magnanimiter atque infatigabiliter retentetur, necesse est tamen eam alterius pusillanimitate disrumpi. 

3.3. For the infirmities of those who are somewhat cold in seeking the healthy condition of perfection, however patiently they may be borne by the strong, are yet not put up with by those who are weaker themselves. For they have implanted within them causes of disturbance which do not allow them to be at ease, just as those, who are affected by bodily weakness, generally impute the delicacy of their stomach and weak health to the carelessness of their cooks and servants, and however carefully their attendants may serve them, yet nevertheless they ascribe the grounds of their upset to those who are in good health, as they do not see that they are really due to the failure of their own health.

3. Infirmitates namque eorum qui tepidius perfectionis expetunt sanitatem, quantalibet fortium tolerantia sustententur, ab ipsis tamen qui infirmi sunt non feruntur. Habent enim insitas sibi conmotionum causas quae eos quietos esse non sinant : ut solent hi qui carnali aegritudine detinentur stomachi sui infirmitatisque fastidia coquorum uel ministrantium neglegentiis inputare, et quantalibet eis obsequentium sollicitudo deseruiat, nihilominus tamen sanis causas suae conmotionis adscribere, quas sibi utique uitio ualitudinis suae inesse non sentiunt. 

3.4. Wherefore this, as we said, is the sure and indissoluble union of friendship, where the tie consists only in likeness in goodness. For the Lord maketh men to be of one mind in an house.(Ps. 67 (68):7) And therefore love can only continue undisturbed in those in whom there is but one purpose and mind to will and to refuse the same things. And if you also wish to keep this unbroken, you must be careful that having first got rid of your faults, you mortify your own desires, and with united zeal and purpose diligently fulfil that in which the prophet specially delights: Behold how good and joyful a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.(Ps. 132 (133):1)

4. Quamobrem haec est amicitiae ut diximus fida insolubilisque coniunctio, quae sola uirtutum parilitate foederatur : dominus enim inhabitare facit unius moris in domo . Et idcirco in his tantum indisrupta potest dilectio permanere, in quibus unum propositum ac uoluntas, unum uelle ac nolle consistit. Quam si uos quoque cupitis inuiolabilem retentare, festinandum est uobis, ut expulsis primitus uitiis mortificetis proprias uoluntates et ut unito studio atque proposito illud quo propheta admodum delectatur gnauiter inpleatis : ecce quam bonum, et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum . 

3.5. Which should be taken of unity of spirit rather than of place. For it is of no use for those who differ in character and purpose to be united in one dwelling, nor is it an hindrance for those who are grounded on equal goodness to be separated by distance of place. For with God the union of character, not of place, joins brethren together in a common dwelling, nor can unruffled peace ever be maintained where difference of will appears.

5. Quod non localiter, sed spiritaliter oportet intellegi. Nihil enim prodest si moribus ac proposito dissidentes una habitatione iungantur, nec obest parili uirtute fundatis per locorum interualla disiungi. Apud deum namque morum cohabitatio, non locorum, unita fratres habitatione coniungit, nec potest umquam pacis integritas custodiri, ubi uoluntatum diuersitas inuenitur.



CHAPTER 4. A question whether anything that is really useful should  be performed even against a brothers wish.

CAPUT IV. Interrogatio, utrum utile aliquid etiam contra votum fratris effici debeat.

4. GERMANUS: What then? If when one party wants to do something which he sees is useful and profitable according to the mind of God, the other does not give his consent, ought it to be performed even against the wish of the brother, or should it be thrown on one side as he wants?

IIII.  GERMANVS : Quid ergo? Si uno uolente perficere aliquid, quod secundum deum conmodum et salubre perspexerit, alius non praestet adsensum, exsequendumne etiam contra uotum fratris est an pro eius arbitrio neglegendum?



CHAPTER 5. The answer, how a lasting friendship can only exist among those who are perfect.

CAPUT V. Responsio quod perpetua amicitia nisi inter perfectos stare non possit.

5. JOSEPH: For this reason we said that the full and perfect grace of friendship can only last among those who are perfect and of equal goodness, whose likemindedness and common purpose allows them either never, or at any rate hardly ever, to disagree, or to differ in those matters which concern their progress in the spiritual life. But if they begin to get hot with eager disputes, it is clear that they have never been at one in accordance with the rule which we gave above. But because no one can start from perfection except one who has begun from the very foundation, and your inquiring is not with regard to its greatness, but as to how you can attain to it, I think it well to explain to you, in a few words, the rule for it and the sort of path along which your steps should be directed, that you may be able more easily to secure the blessing of patience and peace.

V.  IOSEPH : Idcirco diximus plenam atque perfectam amicitiae gratiam nisi inter perfectos uiros eiusdemque uirtutis perseuerare non posse, quos eadem uoluntas unumque propositum aut numquam aut certe raro diuersa sentire aut in his quae ad profectum spiritalis pertinent uitae patitur dissidere. Quodsi animosis coeperint contentionibus aestuare, liquet utique eos numquam secundum regulam quam praediximus fuisse concordes. Sed quia nemo potest a perfectione habere principium, nisi qui ab ipso eius coeperit fundamento, et uos non quanta eius sit magnitudo, sed quemadmodum ad eam perueniri possit inquiritis, necessarium reor ut puacis regulam eius uobis ac tramitem quendam per quem gressus uestri dirigantur aperiam, ut patientiae ac pacis bonum facilius obtinere possitis.



CHAPTER 6. By what means union can be preserved unbroken.

CAPUT VI. Quibus modis inviolabilis possit societas retentari.

[1] 6.1. THE FIRST FOUNDATION then, of true friendship consists in contempt for worldly substance and scorn for all things that we possess. For it is utterly wrong and unjustifiable if, after the vanity of the world and all that is in it has been renounced, whatever miserable furniture remains is more regarded than what is most valuable; viz., the love of a brother.

[2] THE SECOND is for each man so to prune his own wishes that he may not imagine himself to be a wise and experienced person, and so prefer his own opinions to those of his neighbour.

VI.  Prima igitur sunt uerae amicitiae in contemptu substantiae mundialis et omnium quas habemus rerum despectione fundamina. Perquam enim iniustum atque inpium est, si post abrenuntiatam mundi et omnium quae in eo sunt uanitatem pretiosissimae fratris dilectioni supellex uilissima quae superfuit praeferatur.

Secundum est ut ita suas unusquisque resecet uoluntates, ne sapientem atque consultum esse se iudicans suis malit quam proximi definitionibus oboedire. 

[3] 6.2. THE THIRD is for him to recognize that everything, even what he deems useful and necessary, must come after the blessing of love and peace.

[4] The fourth for him to realize that he should never be angry for any reason good or bad.

[5] THE FIFTH for him to try to cure any wrath which a brother may have conceived against him however unreasonably, in the same way that he would cure his own, knowing that the vexation of another is equally bad for him, as if he himself were stirred against another, unless he removes it, to the best of his ability, from his brothers mind.

[6] THE LAST is what is undoubtedly generally decisive in regard to all faults; viz., that he should realize daily that he is to pass away from this world;

2. Tertium est ut sciat omnia, etiam quae utilia ac necessaria aestimat, postponenda bono caritatis ac pacis.

Quartum ut credat nec iustis nec iniustis de causis penitus irascendum.

 Quintum ut aduersum se iracundiam fratris etiam sine ratione conceptam  eodem modo quo suam curare desideret, sciens aequaliter sibi perniciosam alterius esse tristitiam acsi aduersus alium ipse moueatur, nisi eam, quantum in se est, etiam de fratris mente depulerit.

Postremum illud est quod generale uitiorum omnium peremptorium esse non dubium est, ut se de hoc mundo credat cotidie migraturum. 

6.3. as the realization of this not only permits no vexation to linger in the heart, but also represses all the motions of lusts and sins of all kinds.

3. Quae persuasio non solum nullam in corde tristitiam residere permittet, uerum etiam uniuersos concupiscentiarum ac peccatorum omnium conprimet motus.

Whoever then has got hold of this, can neither suffer nor be the cause of bitter wrath and discord. But when this fails, as soon as he who is jealous of love has little by little infused the poison of vexation in the hearts of friends, it is certain that owing to frequent quarrels love will gradually grow cool, and at sometime or other he will part the hearts of the lovers, that have been for a long while exasperated.

Haec igitur quicumque tenuerit, amaritudinem irae atque discordiae nec pati poterit nec inferre. His autem cessantibus cum primum ille aemulus caritatis in cordibus amicorum tristitiae sensim uenena suffuderit, necesse est ut frequentibus iurgiis paulatim dilectione tepefacta amantium corda diu exulcerata quandoque dissociet.  

6.4. For if one is walking along the course previously marked out, how can he ever differ from his friend, for if he claims nothing for himself, he entirely cuts off the first cause of quarrel (which generally springs from trivial things and most unimportant matters), as he observes to the best of his power what we read in the Acts of the Apostles on the unity of believers: But the multitude of believers was of one heart and soul; neither did any of them say that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things common.(Acts 4:32) Then how can any seeds of discussion arise from him who serves not his own but his brothers will, and becomes a follower of his Lord and Master, who speaking in the character of man which He had taken, said: I am not come to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me?(John 6:38)

4. Nam qui per callem praedictae directionis ingreditur, in quo ab amico umquam suo poterit dissidere, qui primam litium causam, quae ex paruulis rebus uilissimisque materiis generari solet, nihil suum uindicans radicitus amputarit, illud quod in Actibus apostolorum legimus de unitate credentium omni uirtute custodiens : multitudinis autem credentium erat cor et anima una, nec quisquam eorum quae possidebant aliquid suum esse dicebat, sed erant illis omnia conmunia ? Deinde quemadmodum ad eodem seminarium dissensionis exsurget, qui non suae, sed fratris seruiens uoluntati domini atque auctoris sui fuerit imitator effectus, qui loquens ex persona hominis quem gerebat non ueni, inquit, facere uoluntatem meam sed uoluntatem eius qui misit me ? 

6.5. But how can he arouse any incitement to contention, who has determined to trust not so much to his own judgment as to his brothers decision, on his own intelligence and meaning, in accordance with his will either approving or disapproving his discoveries, and fulfilling in the humility of a pious heart these words from the Gospel: Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.(Matt. 26:39) Or in what way will he admit anything which grieves the brother, who thinks that nothing is more precious than the blessing of peace, and never forgets these words of the Lord: By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, that ye love one another;(John 13:35) for by this, as by a special mark, Christ willed that the flock of His sheep should be known in this world, and be separated from all others by this stamp, so to speak?

5. Quo autem modo ullum contentionis fomitem suscitabit, qui de intellegentia ac sensu suo non tam proprio iudicio quam fratris credere decreuit examini, pro eius scilicet arbitrio uel probans sua inuenta uel inprobans et euangelicum illud pii cordis humilitate consummans : uerumtamen non sicut ego uolo sed sicut tu ? Aut qua ratione aliquid quo frater maestificetur admittet, qui bono pacis nihil iudicat ese pretiosius, dominicae illius sententiae memoriam non amittens : in hoc cognoscent omnes quod mei estis discipuli, si dilectionem habueritis inuicem , per quam uelut speciali signaculo gregem ouium suarum in hoc mundo uoluit Christus agnosci atque hoc a ceteris ut ita dixerim charactere discerni?

6.6. But on what grounds will he endure either to admit the rancour of vexation in himself or for it to remain in another, if his firm decision is that there cannot be any good ground for anger, as it is dangerous and wrong, and that when his broker is angry with him he cannot pray, in just the same way as when he himself is angry with his brother, as he ever keeps in an humble heart these words of our Lord and Saviour: If thou bring thy gift to the altar and there remember that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift at the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.(Matt. 5:23, 24)

6. Qua uero ex causa uel in se recipere uel in alio residere rancorem tristitiae sustinebit, cui summa definitio est iracundiae, quae perniciosa et inlicita est, iustas causas esse non posse, eodemque se modo suscensente sibi fratre orare non posse, quo si fratri suo ipse suscenseat, illam domini saluatoris humili semper retinens corde sententiam : si offers munus tuum ad altare, et ibi recordatus fueris quod frater tuus habet aliquid aduersum te, relinque ibi munus tuum ad altare, et uade prius reconciliare fratri tuo, et sic ueniens offers munus tuum ? 

6.7. For it will be of no use for you to declare that you are not angry, and to believe that you are fulfilling the command which says: Let not the sun go down upon thy wrath; and: Whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment,(Eph. 4:26; S. Matt. 5:22) if you are with obstinate heart disregarding the vexation of another which you could smooth down by kindness on your part. For in the same way you will be punished for violating the Lords command. For He who said that you should not be angry with another, said also that you should not disregard the vexations of another, for it makes no difference in the sight of God, Who willeth all men to be saved,(1 Tim. 2:4) whether you destroy yourself or someone else.

7. Nihil enim proderit si te quidem adseras non irasci et credas te illud inplere mandatum quo dicitur : sol non occidat super iracundiam tuam , et : qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio , alterius uero tristitiam quam delenire tua mansuetudine potuisti contumaci corde despicias. Eodem namque modo praecepti dominici praeuaricatione plecteris.  Qui enim dixit irasci te aduersus alterum non debere, dixit nec alterius contemni debere tristitiam, quia non interest apud deum qui omnes homines uult saluos fieri , utrum te an alium quempiam perdas. 

6.8. Since the death of any one is equally a loss to God, and at the same time it is equally a gain to him to whom all destruction is delightful, whether it is acquired by your death or by the death of your brother. Lastly, how can he retain even the least vexation with his brother, who realizes daily that he is presently to depart from this world?

8. Vnum siquidem cuiuslibet interitu ei nascitur detrimentum, itidemque illi cui omnium grata perditio est unum lucrum uel tua uel fratris morte conquiritur. Quemadmodum postremo poterit uel tenuem contra fratrem retinere tristitiam, qui se credit cotidie, immo continuo ab hoc saeculo migraturum?



CHAPTER 7. How nothing should be put before love, or after anger.

CAPUT VII. Quod nihil charitati praeponendum sit, nec iracundiae postponendum.

7. AS then nothing should be put before love, so on the other hand nothing should be put below rage and anger. For all things, however useful and necessary they seem, should yet be disregarded that disturbing anger may be avoided, and all things even which we think are unfortunate should be undertaken and endured that the calm of love and peace may be preserved unimpaired, because we should reckon nothing more damaging than anger and vexation, and nothing more advantageous than love.

VII.  Sicut ergo nihil praeponendum est caritati, ita furori uel iracundiae nihil est e contrario postponendum. Omnia namque, quamuis utilia ac necessaria uideantur, spernenda sunt tamen, ut irae perturbatio deuitetur, et omnia etiam quae putantur aduersa suscipienda atque toleranda sunt, ut dilectionis pacisque tranquillitas inlibata seruetur, quia nec ira atque tristia perniciosius quicquam nec caritate utilius est credendum.



CHAPTER 8. On what grounds a dispute can arise among spiritual persons.

CAPUT VIII. Quibus de causis inter spiritales nascatur dissensio?

8. FOR as our enemy separates brethren who are still weak and carnal by a sudden burst of rage on account of some trifling and earthly matter, so he sows the seeds of discord even between spiritual persons, on the ground of some difference of thoughts, from which certainly those contentions and strifes about words, which the Apostle condemns, for the most part arise: whereby consequently our spiteful and malignant enemy sows discord between brethren who were of one mind. For these words of wise Solomon are true: Contention breeds hatred: but friendship will be a defence to all who do not strive.(Prov. 10:12)

VIII.  Nam quemadmodum carnales adhuc et inbecillos fratres ob uilem terrenamque substantiam cita inimicus bile disiungit, ita etiam inter spiritales gignit pro intellectuum diuersitate discordiam, ex qua sine dubio contentiones rixaeque uerborum, quas apostolus damnat , plerumque consurgunt : unde consequenter diuortia inter unianimos fratres hostis inuidus ac malignus interserit. Vera est namque sapientissimi Salomonis illa sententia : odium suscitat contentio, uniuersos uero qui non contendunt proteget amicitia .



CHAPTER 9. How to get rid even of spiritual grounds of discord.

CAPUT IX. De amputandis etiam spiritalibus causis discordiarum.

9. WHEREFORE for the preservation of lasting and unbroken love, it is of no use to have removed the first ground of discord, which generally arises from frail and earthly things, or to have disregarded all carnal things, and to have permitted to our brethren an unrestricted share in everything which our needs require, unless too we cut off in like manner the second, which generally arises under the guise of spiritual feelings; and unless we gain in everything humble thoughts and harmonious wills.

VIIII.   Quapropter ad conseruandam perpetuam et indiuiduam caritatem nihil prodest primam causam amputasse discidii, quae nasci solet de rebus caducis atque terrenis, et uniuersa despexisse carnalia atque omnium quibus noster usus indiget rerum indiscretam conmunionem fratribus permisisse, nisi etiam secundam, quae sub specie spiritalium sensuum nasci solet, similiter abscidentes adquisierimus in omnibus humilem sensum et consonas uoluntates.



CHAPTER 10. On the best tests of truth.

CAPUT X. De optimo examine veritatis.

10. FOR I remember, that when my youthful age suggested to me to cling to a partner, thoughts of this sort often mingled with our moral training and the Holy Scriptures, so that we fancied that nothing could be truer or more reasonable: but when we came together and began to produce our ideas, in the general discussion which was held, some things were first noted by the others as false and dangerous, and then presently were condemned and pronounced by common consent to be injurious; though before they had seemed to shine as if with a light infused by the devil, so that they would easily have caused discord, had not the charge of the Elders, observed like some divine oracle, restrained us from all strife, that charge; namely, whereby it was ordered by them almost with the force of a law, that neither of us should trust to his own judgments more than his brothers, if he wanted never to be deceived by the craft of the devil.

X.  Memini namque, cum me adhuc adhaerere consorti aetas iunior hortaretur, huiusmodi nobis intellegentiam uel in moralibus disciplinis uel in scripturis sacris frequenter insertam, ut nihil ea uerius nihilque rationabilius crederemus. Sed cum in unum conuenientes sententias nostras promere coepissemus, quaedam conmuni examinatione discussa primum ab altero falsa ac noxia notabantur, mox deinde ut perniciosa conmuni pronuntiata iudicio damnabantur : quae in tantum prius infusa a diabolo uelut luce fulgebant, ut facile potuissent generare discordiam, nisi praeceptum seniorum ueluti diuinum quoddam oraculum custoditum ab omni nos contentione reuocasset, quo ab illis legali quadam sanctione praescriptum est, ut neuter nostrum plus iudicio suo quam fratris crederet, si numquam uellet diaboli calliditate deludi.



CHAPTER 11. How it is impossible for one who trusts to his own judgment to escape being deceived by the devils illusions.

CAPUT XI. Quod impossibile sit quemquam qui proprio fidit judicio, diaboli illusione non decipi.

11.1. FOR often it has been proved that what the Apostle says really takes place. For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light,(2 Cor. 11:14) so that he deceitfully sheds abroad a confusing and foul obscuration of the thoughts instead of the true light of knowledge. And unless these thoughts are received in a humble and gentle heart, and kept for the consideration of some more experienced brother or approved Elder, and when thoroughly sifted by their judgment, either rejected or admitted by us, we shall be sure to venerate in our thoughts an angel of darkness instead of an angel of light, and be smitten with a grievous destruction: an injury which it is impossible for any one to avoid who trusts in his own judgment, unless he becomes a lover and follower of true humility and with all contrition of heart fulfils what the Apostle chiefly prays for:

XI.  Etenim saepe illud quod apostolus dicit probatum est euenire : ipse enim Satanas transfigurat se in angelum lucis , ut obscuram ac taetram caliginem sensuum pro uero scientiae lumine fraudulenter offundat. Qui nisi humili et mansueto corde suscepti maturissimi fratris uel probatissimi senioris reseruentur examini et eorum iudicio diligenter excussi aut abiciantur aut recipiantur a nobis, sine dubio uenerantes in cogitationibus nostris pro angelo lucis angelum tenebrarum grauissimo feriemur interitu. quam perniciem inpossibile est euadere quempiam iudicio proprio confidentem, nisi humilitatis uerae amator et exsecutor effectus illud quod apostolus magnopere deprecatur omni contritione cordis inpleuerit : 

11.2. If then there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any bowels of compassion, fulfil ye my joy, that you be of one mind, having the same love, being of one accord, doing nothing by contention, neither by vainglory; but in humility each esteeming others better than themselves; and this: in honour preferring one another,(Phil. 2:1-3; Rom. 12:10) that each may think more of the knowledge and holiness of his partner, and hold that the better part of true discretion is to be found in the judgment of another rather than in his own.

2. si qua ergo consolatio in Christo, si quod solacium caritatis, si qua uiscera et miserationes, inplete gaudium meum, ut idem sapiatis, eandem caritatem habentes, unanimes, id ipsum sentientes, nihil per cotentionem neque per inanem gloriam, sed in humilitate superiores uobismet ipsis alterutrum arbitrantes , et illud : honore alterutrum praeuenientes , ut plus unusquisque consorti suo scientiae et sanctitatis adscribens summam discretionis uerae in alterius magis quam suo credat stare iudicio.



CHAPTER 12. Why inferiors should not be despised in Conference.

CAPUT XII. Quam ob causam non debeant inferiores in collatione contemni.

12. FOR it often happens either by an illusion of the devil or by the occurrence of a human mistake (by which every man in this life is liable to be deceived) that sometimes one who is keener in intellect and more learned, gets some wrong notion in his head, while he who is duller in wits and of less worth, conceives the matter better and more truly. And therefore no one, however learned he may be, should persuade himself in his empty vanity that he cannot require conference with another. For even if no deception of the devil blinds his judgment, yet he cannot avoid the noxious snares of pride and conceit. For who can arrogate this to himself without great danger, when the chosen vessel in whom, as he maintained, Christ Himself spoke, declares that he went up to Jerusalem simply and solely for this reason, that he might in a secret discussion confer with his fellow-Apostles on the gospel which he preached to the gentiles by the revelation and co-operation of the Lord? By which fact we are shown that we ought not only by these precepts to preserve unanimity and harmony, but that we need not fear any crafts of the devil opposing us, or snares of his illusions.

XII.  Saepe autem accidit siue inlusione diaboli siue intercessu erroris humani, quo nullus est in hac carne qui falli uelut homo non possit, ut et ille interdum qui acrioris ingenii scientiaeque maioris est aliquid falsum mente concipiat et ille qui tardioris ingenii ac minoris est meriti rectius aliquid ueriusque praesentiat. Et idcirco nullus sibi quamuis scientia praeditus inani tumore persuadeat quod possit conlatione alterius non egere. Nam etiamsi iudicium eius diabolica non fallat inlusio, elationis tamen et superbiae grauiores laqueos non euadet. Quis enim hoc sibi absque ingenti poterit usurpare pernicie, cum uas electionis, in quo Christus, ut ipse professus est, loquebatur , ob hoc solummodo se adserat Hierosolymam conscendisse, ut cum suis coapostolis euangelium, quod gentibus reuelante et cooperante domino praedicabat , secreta examinatione conferret? per quod ostenditur non solum unianimitatem atque concordiam per haec praecepta seruari, uerum etiam cunctas diaboli aduersantis insidias et inlusionum eius laqueos non timeri.



CHAPTER 13. How love does not only belong to God but is God.

CAPUT XIII. Quod charitas non solum res Dei, sed etiam Deus sit.

13. FINALLY so highly is the virtue of love extolled that the blessed Apostle John declares that it not only belongs to God but that it is God, saying: God is love: he therefore that abideth in love, abideth in God, and God in him.(1 John 4:16) For so far do we see that it is divine, that we find that what the Apostle says is plainly a living truth in us: For the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who dwelleth in us.(Rom. 5:5) For it is the same thing as if he said that God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost Who dwelleth in us: who also, when we know not what we should pray for, makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered: But He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what the Spirit desireth, for He asketh for the saints according to God.(Rom. 8:26, 27)

XIII.  Denique in tantum uirtus caritatis extollitur, ut eam beatus Iohannes apostolus non solum rem dei, sed etiam deum esse pronuntiet dicens : deus caritas est : qui manet in caritate, in deo manet et deus in ipso . Nam usque adeo illam diuinam esse perspicimus, ut illud apostoli manifestissime uigere sentiamus in nobis : quoniam caritas dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum qui habitat in nobis . Quod tale est acsi dicat : quoniam deus diffusus est in cordibus nostris per spiritum sanctum qui habitat in nobis. Qui etiam, cum ignoremus quid debeamus orare, interpellat pro nobis gemitibus inenarrabilibus : qui autem scrutatur corda, scit quid desideret spiritus, quoniam secundum deum postulat pro sanctis .




CHAPTER 14. On the different grades of love.

CAPUT XIV. De gradibus charitatis.



14.1. IT is possible then for all to show that love which is called agape, of which the blessed Apostle says: While therefore we have time, let us do good unto all men, but specially to them that are of the household of faith.(Gal. 6:10) And this should be shown to all men in general to such an extent that we are actually commanded by our Lord to yield it to our enemies, for He says: Love your enemies.(Matt. 5:44) But diathesis, i.e., affection is shown to but a few and those who are united to us by kindred dispositions or by a tie of goodness; though indeed affection seems to have many degrees of difference.

XIIII.  Illam igitur caritatem, quae dicitur , possibile est omnibus exhiberi. De qua beatus apostolus ergo dum tempus habemus, inquit, operemur quod bonum est ad omnes, maxime autem ad domesticos fidei . Quae in tantum omnibus est generaliter exhibenda, ut eam etiam inimicis nostris a domino inbeamur inpendere : nam diligite, inquit, inimicos uestros. 剦            autem, id est adfectio, paucis admodum et his qui uel parilitate morum uel uirtutum societate conexi sunt exhibetur, licet etiam ipsa 剦                  multam in se differentiam habere uideatur. 

14.2. For in one way we love our parents, in another our wives, in another our brothers, in another our children, and there is a wide difference in regard to the claims of these feelings of affection, nor is the love of parents towards their children always equal. As is shown by the case of the patriarch Jacob, who, though he was the father of twelve sons and loved them all with a fathers love, yet loved Joseph with deeper affection, as Scripture clearly shows: But his brethren envied him, because his father loved him;(Gen. 37:4) evidently not that that good man his father failed in greatly loving the rest of his children, but that in his affection he clung to this one, because he was a type of the Lord, more tenderly and indulgently.

2. Aliter enim parentes, aliter coniuges, aliter fratres, aliter filii diliguntur, et in ipsa quoque horum affectuum necessitudine magna distantia est, nec uniformis parentum dilectio erga filios inuenitur. Quod etiam Iacob patriarchae probatur exemplo, qui cum esset duodecim filiorum pater omnesque paterna caritate diligeret, tamen propenso Ioseph dilexit affectu, ut de eo aperte scriptura conmemoret : inuidebant autem ei fratres sui, eo quod diligeret eum pater suus : scilicet non quo uir iustus et pater non ualde diligeret etiam ceteram prolem, sed quod huius, quia typum domini praeferebat, affectui dulcius quodammodo atque indulgentius inhaereret. 

14.3. This also, we read, was very clearly shown in the case of John the Evangelist, where these words are used of him: that disciple whom Jesus loved,(John 13:23) though certainly He embraced all the other eleven, whom He had chosen in the same way, with His special love, as this He shows also by the witness of the gospel, where He says: As I have loved you, so do ye also love one another; of whom elsewhere also it is said: Loving His own who were in the world, He loved them even to the end.(John 13:34, 1) But this love of one in particular did not indicate any coldness in love for the rest of the disciples, but only a fuller and more abundant love towards the one, which his prerogative of virginity and the purity of his flesh bestowed upon him.

3. Hoc etiam de Iohanne euangelista legimus euidentissime designari, cum de ipso dicitur : discipulus ille, quem diligebat Iesus , cum utique etiam reliquos undecim similiter electos ita praecipua dilectione conplexus sit, ut hoc etiam euangelica adtestatione designet dicens : sicut dilexi uos, et uos diligite inuicem : de quibus et alibi dicitur : diligens suos qui erant in mundo, usque in finem dilexit eos . Sed hic unius dilectio non erga reliquos discipulos teporem caritatis, sed largiorem erga hunc superabundantiam amoris expressit, quam ei uirginitatis priuilegium et carnis incorruptio conferebat. 

14.4. And therefore it is marked by exceptional treatment, as being something more sublime, because no hateful comparison with others, but a richer grace of superabundant love singled it out. Something of this sort too we have in the character of the bride in the Song of Songs, where she says: Set in order love in me.(Cant. 2:4) For this is true love set in order, which, while it hates no one, yet loves some still more by reason of their deserving it, and which, while it loves all in general, singles out for itself some from those, whom it may embrace with a special affection, and again among those, who are the special and chief objects of its love, singles out some who are preferred to others in affection.

4. Quae idcirco uelut sublimior cum quadam exceptione signatur, quia eam non odii conparatio, sed afluentior gratia exuberantissimi amoris extollit. Tale quid etiam ex persona sponsae legimus in Cantico Canticorum dicentis : ordinate in me caritatem . Haec enim est uere caritas ordinata, quae odio habens neminem quosdam meritorum iure plus diligit, quaeque, cum generaliter diligat cunctos, excipit tamen sibi ex his quos debeat peculiari affectione conplecti, et rursum inter ipsos qui in dilectione summi atque praecipui sunt aliquos sibi qui ceterorum affectui superextollantur excerpit.



CHAPTER 15. Of those who only increase their own or their brothers grievances by hiding them.

CAPUT XV. De his qui vel suam vel fratrum commotionem dissimulatione corroborant.

15. ON the other hand we know (and O! would that we did not know) some of the brethren who are so hard and obstinate, that when they know that their own feelings are aroused against their brother, or that their brothers are against them, in order to conceal their vexation of mind, which is caused by indignation at the grievance of one or the other, go apart from those whom they ought to smooth down by humbly making up to them and talking with them; and begin to sing some verses of the Psalms. And these while they fancy that they are softening the bitter thoughts which have arisen in their heart, increase by their insolent conduct what they could have got rid of at once if they had been willing to show more care and humility, for a well-timed expression of regret would cure their own feelings and soften their brothers heart. For by that plan they nourish and cherish the sin of meanness or rather of pride, instead of stamping out all inducement to quarrelling, and they forget the charge of the Lord which says: Whosoever is angry with his brother, is in danger of the judgment; and: if thou remember that thy brother hath aught against thee, leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.(Matt. 5:22-24)

XV.  E contra nouimus (quod utinam nesciremus!) nonnullos fratrum tantae esse obstinationis atque duritiae, ut cum uel suos aduersus fratrem uel fratris aduersum se senserint animos excitatos, ad dissimulandam mentis suae tristitiam, quae ex indignatione alterutrae conmotionis exorta est, secedentes ab eis, quos humili satisfactione atque conloquio lenire debuerant, aliquos psalmorum incipiant decantare uersiculos. Qui dum conceptam corde amaritudinem delenire se putant, insultando augent quod statim extinguere potuerunt, si magis anxii atque humiles esse uoluissent, ut oportuna conpunctio et ipsorum cordibus mederetur et fratrum animos deleniret. Nam illo utique modo pusillanimitatis, immo superbiae suae uitium palpant et nutriunt potius quam extirpant fomitem iurgiorum, dominicae illius praeceptionis inmemores qua ait : qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio , et : si recordatus fueris quod frater tuus habet aliquid aduersum te, relinque ibi munus tuum ad altare, et uade prius reconciliare fratri tuo, et tunc ueniens offers munus tuum .



CHAPTER 16. How it is that, if our brother has any grudge against us, the gifts of our prayers are rejected by the Lord.

CAPUT XVI. Quod fratre adversum nos aliquid habente simultatis, munera orationum nostrarum a Domino respuantur.

16.1. SO far therefore is our Lord anxious that we should not disregard the vexation of another that He does not accept our offerings if our brother has anything against us, i.e., He does not allow prayers to be offered by us to Him until by speedy amends we remove from his (our brothers) mind the vexation which he whether rightly or wrongly feels. For He does not say: if thy brother hath a true ground for complaint against thee leave thy gift at the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to him; but He says: if thou remember that thy brother hath aught against thee, i.e., if there be anything however trivial or small, owing to which your brothers anger is roused against you, and this comes back to your recollection by a sudden remembrance, you must know that you ought not to offer the spiritual gift of your prayers until by kindly amends you have removed from your brothers heart the vexation arising from whatever cause.

XVI.  In tantum igitur non uult nos dominus noster alterius despectui habere tristitiam, ut si aliquid aduersum nos frater habuerit, nec munera nostra suscipiat, id est nec orationes sibi a nobis permittat offerri, donec de animo eius tristitiam iuste iniusteue conceptam celeri satisfactione tollamus. Neque enim ait `si habet ueram querellam aduersum te frater tuus, relinque munus tuum ad altare et uade prius reconciliare ei, sed si recordatus fueris, inquit, quia frater tuus habet aliquid aduersum te, id est etiam si leue aliquid ac uile sit quo fratris in te fuerit excitata conmotio, et hoc memoriam tuam subita recordatione pulsauerit, scias offerre te precum tuarum spiritalis munera non debere, nisi prius qualibet ex causa ortam tristitam de corde fratris benigna satisfactione depuleris. 

16.2. If then the words of the Gospel bid us make satisfaction to those who are angry for past and utterly trivial grounds of quarrel, and those which have arisen from the slightest causes, what will become of us wretches who with obstinate hypocrisy disregard more recent grounds of offence, and those of the utmost importance, and due to our own faults; and being puffed up with the devils own pride, as we are ashamed to humble ourselves, deny that we are the cause of our brothers vexation and in a spirit of rebellion disdaining to be subject to the Lords commands, contend that they never ought to be observed and never can be fulfilled? And so it comes to pass that as we make up our minds that He has commanded things which are impossible and unsuitable, we become, to use the Apostles expression, not doers but judges of the law.(James 4:11)

2. Si igitur euangelicus sermo etiam pro praeterita et minima simultate ac de exiguis oborta causis satisfacere nos irascentibus iubet, quid de nobis miseris fiet, qui recentes et maximas causas nostroque errore conmissas pertinaci dissimulatione contemnimus et inflati tumore diabolico, dum humiliari erubescimus, auctores nos fraternae tristitiae denegamus, ac rebelli spiritu subici praeceptis domini dedignantes nequaquam ea uel obseruari debere uel inpleri posse contendimus? eoque fit, ut iudicantes eum inpossibilia uel incongrua praecepisse efficiamur secundum apostolum non factores, sed iudices legis .



CHAPTER 17. Of those who hold that patience should be shown to worldly people rather than to the brethren.

CAPUT XVII. De his qui patientiam saecularibus magis putant impendendam esse quam fratribus.

17.1 THIS too should be bitterly lamented; namely, that some of the brethren, when angered by some reproachful words, if they are besieged by the prayers of some one else who wants to smooth them down, when they hear that vexation ought not to be admitted or retained against a brother, according to what is written: Whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of the judgment; and: Let not the sun go down upon your wrath,(Eph. 4:26) instantly assert

XVII.  Illud quoque quibus lacrimis est deflendum, quod nonnulli fratrum, cum fuerint contumelia cuiuslibet sermonis accensi, si alterius cuiuspiam qui eam lenire desiderat precibus fatigentur, cum audierint nequaquam debere aduersus fratrem concipi retineriue tristitiam secundum illud quod scriptum est : qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio , et : sol non occidat super iracundiam tuam , proclamant ilico : 

17.2 that if a heathen or one living in the world had said or done this, it rightly ought to be endured. But who could stand a brother who was accessory to so great a fault, or gave utterance to so insolent a reproach with his lips! As if patience were to be shown only to unbelievers and blasphemers, and not to all in general, or as if anger should be reckoned as bad when it is against a heathen, but good when it is against a brother; whereas certainly the obstinate rage of an angry soul brings about the same injury to ones self whoever may be the subject against whom it is aroused.

2. si paganus aliquis, si saecularis hoc fecisset aut ista dixisset, recte debuit sustineri. Quis autem ferat fratrem tam grauis conscium culpae aut tam insolens de ore conuicium proferentem! quasi uero patientia infidelibus tantum atque sacrilegis et non omnibus sit generaliter adhibenda aut iracundia contra gentilem noxia contra fratrem utilis aestimanda, cum utique perturbatae mentis obstinata conmotio non dissimile, contra quemuis fuerit excitata, sibi inferat detrimentum. 

17.3 But how terribly obstinate, aye and senseless is it for them, owing to the stupidity of their dull mind, not to be able to discern the meaning of these words, for it is not said: Every one who is angry with a stranger shall be in danger of the judgment, which might perhaps according to their interpretation except those who are partners of our faith and life, but the word of the Gospel most significantly expresses it by saying: Every one who is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And so though we ought according to the rule of truth to regard every man as a brother, yet in this passage one of the faithful and a partaker of our mode of life is denoted by the title of brother rather than a heathen.

3. Quantae autem obstinationis, immo uecordiae est, ut nec ipsam uerborum proprietatem brutae mentis stupore discernant, quia non dicitur : omnis qui irascitur alienigenae, reus erit iudicio, quod fortasse poterat secundum illorum sensum consortes nostrae fidei et conuersationis excipere, sed significanter expressit euangelicus sermo dicens : omnis qui irascitur fratri suo, reus erit iudicio . Licet itaque secundum regulam ueritatis omnem hominem fratrem debeamus accipere, tamen hoc loco magis fidelis ac nostrae conuersationis particeps quam ethnicus ipso fratris uocabulo designatur.

18. Destructive Silence




CHAPTER 18. Of those who pretend to patience but excite their  brethren to anger by their silence.

CAPUT XVIII. De his qui patientiam mentientes ad iracundiam fratres silentio accendunt.



18.1. BUT what sort of a thing is this, that sometimes we fancy that we are patient because when provoked we scorn to answer, but by sullen silence or scornful motions and gestures so mock at our angry brothers that by our silent looks we provoke them to anger more than angry reproaches would have excited them, meanwhile thinking that we are in no way guilty before God, because we have let nothing fall from our lips which could brand us or condemn us in the judgment of men. As if in the sight of God mere words, and not mainly the will was called in fault, and as if only the actual deed of sin, and not also the wish and purpose, was reckoned as wrong; or as if it would be asked in the judgment only what each one had done and not what he also purposed to do.

XVIII.  Illud uero quale est quod interdum nos patientes esse credimus, quia respondere contemnimus lacessiti, sed ita conmotos fratres amara taciturnitate uel motu gestuque inrisorio subsannamus, ut eos magis ad iracundiam uultu tacito prouocemus quam tumida potuissent incitare conuicia, in eo nos aestimantes minime apud deum reos, quia nihil ore protulimus quod nos notare hominum iudicio aut condemnare potuisset? quasi uero apud deum uerba tantummodo et non praecipue uoluntas uocetur in culpam, et opus solum peccati et non etiam uotum ac propositum habeatur in crimine, aut hoc tantum quid unusquisque fecerit et non quid etiam facere disposuerit in iudicio sit quaerendum. 

18.2. For it is not only the character of the anger roused, but also the purpose of the man who provokes it which is bad, and therefore the true scrutiny of our judge will ask, not how the quarrel was stirred up but by whose fault it arose: for the purpose of the sin, and not the way in which the fault is committed must be taken into account. For what does it matter whether a man kills a brother with a sword by himself, or drives him to death by some fraud, when it is clear that he is killed by his wiles and crime? As if it were enough not to have pushed a blind man down with ones own hand, though he is equally guilty who scorned to save him, when it was in his power, when fallen and on the point of tumbling into the ditch: or as if he alone were guilty who had caught a man with the hand, and not also the one who had prepared and set the trap for him, or who would not set him free when he might have done so.

2. Non enim sola conmotionis inlatae qualitas, sed etiam propositum inritantis in noxa est, et idcirco non quemadmodum iurgium fuerit excitatum, sed cuius conflagrauerit uitio, uerum iudicis nostri perquiret examen : effectus enim peccati, non ordo est considerandus admissi. Quid enim refert utrum quis gladio ipse peremerit fratrem an aliqua ad mortem fraude conpulerit, cum ipsius eum dolo uel crimine constet extinctum? quasi uero caecum in praeceps manu propria non inpegisse sufficiat, cum similiter reus sit qui pronum et inminentem iam foueae, cum potuerit, reuocare contempserit, aut ille solus in crimine sit qui manu sua quempiam laqueauerit et non etiam is qui uel parauerit uel ingesserit laqueum uel certe, cum potuerit, auferre noluerit. 

18.3. So then it is of no good to hold ones tongue, if we impose silence upon ourselves for this reason that by our silence we may do what would have been done by an outcry on our part, simulating certain gestures by which he whom we ought to have cured, may be made still more angry, while we are commended for all this, to his loss and damage: as if a man were not for this very reason the more guilty, because he tried to get glory for himself out of his brothers fall. For such a silence will be equally bad for both because while it increases the vexation in the heart of another, so it prevents it from being removed from ones own:

3. Ita igitur tacere nihil prodest, si idcirco nobis indicamus silentium, ut quod agendum conuicio fuerat hoc taciturnitate faciamus, adsimulantes quosdam gestus, quibus et ille quem curari oportuit uehementiore inardescat iracundia et nos super haec omnia damno illius ac perditione laudemur : quasi uero non etiam ex hoc ipso quis criminosior sit, quod gloriam sibi de fratris uoluerit perditione conquirere. Vtrique enim tale silentium erit aequaliter noxium, quia sicut exaggerat in alterius corde tristitiam, ita in suo non permittit extingui. 

18.4. and against such persons the prophets curse is with good reason directed: Woe to him that giveth drink to his friend, and presenteth his gall, and maketh him drunk, that he may behold his nakedness. He is filled with shame instead of glory.(Hab. 2:15, 16) And this too which is said of such people by another: For every brother will utterly supplant, and every friend will walk deceitfully. And a man shall mock his brother, and they will not speak the truth, for they have bent their tongue like a bow for lies and not for truth.(Jer. 9:4, 5) But often a feigned patience excites to anger more keenly than words, and, a spiteful silence exceeds the most awful insults in words, and the wounds of enemies are more easily borne than the deceitful blandishment of mockers,

4. Contra quos illa prophetae satis proprie est directa maledictio : uae qui potat amicum suum mittens fel suum, et inebrians ut aspiciat nuditatem eius. Repletus est ignominia pro gloria . Illud quoque quod per alium de talibus dicitur : quia omnis frater subplantans subplantabit, et omnis amicus fraudulenter incedet. Et uir fratrem suum deridebit, et ueritatem non loquentur . Extenderunt enim linguam suam quasi arcum mendacii et non ueritatis. Saepe autem ficta patientia etiam acrius ad iracundiam quam sermo succendit et atrocissimas uerborum transcendit iniurias maligna taciturnitas, leuiusque tolerantur inimicorum uulnera quam inridentium subdola blandimenta. 

18.5. of which it is well said by the prophet: Their words are smoother than oil, and yet they are darts: and elsewhere the words of the crafty are soft: but they smite within the belly: to which this also may be finely applied: With the mouth he speaks peace to his friend, but secretly he layeth snares for him; with which however the deceiver is rather deceived, for if a man prepares a net before his friend, it surrounds his own feet; and: if a man digs a pit for his neighbour, he shall fall into it himself.[ (Ps. 54 (55):22; Prov. 26:22; Jer. 9:8; Prov. 29:5; 26:27) Lastly when a great multitude had come with swords and staves to take the Lord, none of the murderers of the author of our life stood forth as more cruel than he who advanced before them all with a counterfeit respect and salutation and offered a kiss of feigned love;

5. De quibus proprie dicitur per prophetam : molliti sunt sermones eius super oleum : et ipsi sunt iacula , et alibi : uerba callidorum mollia, haec autem feriunt, in penetralia uentris. Quibus etiam illud potest eleganter aptari : in ore pacem cum amico suo loquitur, et occulte ponit ei insidias , quibus tamen decipitur magis ipse qui decipit. Nam qui praeparat ante faciem amici sui rete, circumdat illud pedibus suis , et : qui fodit foueam proximo suo, incidet in eam ipse . Denique cum magna ad conprehendendum dominum cum gladiis et fustibus multitudo uenisset, nemo in auctorem uitae nostrae illo cruentior extitit parricida, qui cunctos ficto salutationis honore praeueniens osculum subdolae caritatis ingessit. 

18.6. to whom the Lord said: Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?(Luke 22:48) i.e., the bitterness of thy persecution and hatred has taken as a cloke this which expresses the sweetness of true love. More openly too and more energetically does He emphasize the force of this grief by the prophet, saying: For if mine enemy had cursed me, I would have borne it: and if he who hated me had spoken great things against me, I would have hid myself from him. But it was thou, a man of one mind, my guide, and my familiar friend: who didst take sweet meats together with me: in the house of God we walked with consent.(Ps. 54 (55):13-15)

6. Cui dominus : Iuda, inquit, osculo filium hominis tradis ? id est : amaritudo persecutionis atque odii tui hoc tegmen adsumpsit, quo dulcedo ueri amoris exprimitur. Apertius quoque ac uehementius uim huius doloris per prophetam exaggerat : quoniam si inimicus, inquit, meus maledixisset mihi, sustinuissem utique. Et si is, qui oderat me, aduersus me magna locutus fuisset : abscondissem me utique ab eo. Tu uero homo unianime : dux meus, et notus meus : qui simul mecum dulces capiebas cibos : in domo dei ambulauimus cum consensu .



CHAPTER 19. Of those who fast out of rage.

CAPUT XIX. De his qui ex indignatione jejunant.

19.1. THERE is too another evil sort of vexation which would not be worth mentioning were it not that we know it is allowed by some of the brethren who, when they have been vexed or enraged actually abstain persistently from food, so that (a thing which we cannot mention without shame) those who when they are calm declare that they cannot possibly put off their refreshment to the sixth or at most the ninth hour, when they are filled with vexation and rage do not feel fasts even for two days, and support themselves, when exhausted by such abstinence, by a surfeit of anger.

XVIIII.  Adliud quoque profanum tristitiae genus est, quod dignum conmemoratione non fuerat, nisi id a nonnullis fratribus sciremus admitti, qui cum tristificati fuerint uel irati ab ipso etiam pertinaciter abstinent cibo, ita ut, quod etiam dicere absque pudore non possumus, illi, qui dum placidi sunt refectionem cibi usque ad horam sextam uel ut multum nonam negant se posse differre, cum fuerint tristitia uel furore suppleti, ieiunia etiam biduana non sentiant tantamque inediae defectionem iracundiae satietate sustentent. 

19.2. Wherein they are plainly guilty of the sin of sacrilege, as out of the devils own rage they endure fasts which ought specially to be offered to God alone out of desire for humiliation of heart and purification from sin: which is much the same as if they were to offer prayers and sacrifices not to God but to devils, and so be worthy of hearing this rebuke of Moses: They sacrificed to devils and not to God; to gods whom they knew not.(Deut. 32:17)

2. In quo plane sacrilegii crimen euidenter incurrunt, ieiunia scilicet, quae soli deo pro humiliatione cordis et purgatione uitiorum sunt specialiter offerenda, pro diabolico tumore tolerantes. quod tale est acsi orationes atque sacrificia non deo, sed daemoniis deferant illamque Moysaicam increpationem mereantur audire : sacrificauerunt daemoniis et non deo, dis, quos non nouerant.

 20 Feigned Patience




CHAPTER 20. Of the feigned patience of some who offer the other cheek to be smitten.

CAPUT XX. De quarmdam simulata patientia qua maxillam verberandam alteram ingerunt.



20. WE are not ignorant also of another kind of insanity, which we find in some of the brethren under colour of a counterfeit patience, as in this case it is not enough to have stirred up quarrels unless they incite them with irritating words so as to get themselves smitten, and when they have been touched by the slightest blow, at once they offer another part of their body to be smitten, as if in this way they could fulfil to perfection that command which says: If a man smite thee on the right cheek, offer him the other also;(Matt. 5:39) while they totally ignore the meaning and purpose of the passage. For they fancy that they are practising evangelical patience through the sin of anger, for the utter eradication of which not only was the exchange of retaliation and the irritation of strife forbidden, but the command was actually given us to mitigate the wrath of the striker by the endurance of a double wrong.

XX.  Non ignoramus etiam aliud dementiae genus, quod sub colore fucatae patientiae in nonnullis fratribus inuenitur, quibus parum est iurgia conmouisse, nisi etiam instigatoriis uerbis ut feriantur inritent, cumque uel leui fuerint inpulsione contacti, aliam quoque partem corporis ingerunt uerberandam, quasi per hoc perfectionem mandati illius inpleturi quo dicitur : si quis te percusserit in dextera maxilla tua, praebe illi et alteram , scripturae uim ac propositum penitus ignorantes. Euangelicam namque patientiam per iracundiae uitium exercere se putant, ob quod radicitus excidendum non solum uicissitudo talionis et concertandi inritatio prohibetur, sed etiam furorem uerberantis geminatae iubemur iniuriae tolerantia mitigare.



CHAPTER 21. A question how if we obey the commands of Christ we can fail of evangelical perfection.

CAPUT XXI. Interrogatio, quemadmodum Christi mandatis obtemperantes evangelica perfectione fraudentur.

21. GERMANUS: How can we blame one who satisfies the command of the Gospel and not only does not retaliate, but is actually prepared to have a double wrong offered to him?

XXI.  GERMANVS :  Quomodo reprehendendus est is qui praecepto satisfaciens euangelico non solum non intulit talionem, sed etiam paratus est ut sibimet geminetur iniuria?



CHAPTER 22. The answer that Christ looks not only at the action but also at the will.

CAPUT XXII. Responsio, quod Christus non solum facti, sed etiam voluntatis inspector sit.



22.1. JOSEPH: As was said a little before, we must look not only at the thing which is done, but also at the character of the mind and the purpose of the doer. And therefore if you weigh with a careful scrutiny of heart what is done by each man and consider with what mind it is done or from what feeling it proceeds, you will see that the virtue of patience and gentleness cannot possibly be fulfilled in the opposite spirit, i.e., that of impatience and rage.

XXII.  IOSEPH :  Sicut paulo ante dictum est, non solum res ipsa quae geritur, sed etiam qualitas mentis et propositum facientis est intuendum. Et idcirco si id, quod ab unoquoque perficitur, quo animo fiat uel quo procedat affectu intimo perpendatis cordis examine, uidebitis patientiae lenitatisque uirtutem nequaquam posse contrario spiritu, id est inpatientiae ac furoris inpleri.

22.2. Since our Lord and Saviour, when giving us a thorough lesson on the virtue of patience and gentleness (i.e., teaching us not only to profess it with our lips, but to store it up in the inmost recesses of the soul) gave us this summary of evangelical perfection, saying: If any one smites thee on thy right cheek, offer him the other also(Matt. 5:39) (doubtless the right cheek is mentioned, as another right cheek cannot be found except in the face of the inner man, so to speak), as by this He desires entirely to remove all incitement to anger from the deepest recesses of the soul, i.e., that if your external right cheek has received a blow from the striker, the inner man also humbly consenting may offer its right cheek to be smitten, sympathizing with the suffering of the outward man, and in a way submitting and subjecting its own body to wrong from the striker, that the inner man may not even silently be disturbed in itself at the blows of the outward man.

2. Siquidem dominus noster atque saluator ad profundam nos instruens patientiae lenitatisque uirtutem, id est non ut labiis eam tantummodo praeferamus, sed ut in intimis animae nostrae adytis recondamus, istam nobis perfectionis euangelicae formulam dedit dicens : si quis te percusserit in dextera maxilla tua, praebe illi et alteram (subauditur sine dubio dexteram, quae alia dextera nisi in interioris hominis ut ita dixerim facie non potest accipi), per hoc omnem penitus iracundiae fomitem de profundis cupiens animae penetralibus extirpare, id est, ut si exterior dextera tua inpetum ferientis exceperit, interior quoque homo per humilitatis adsensum dexteram suam praebeat uerberandam, conpatiens exterioris hominis passioni et quodammodo succumbens atque subiciens suum corpus ferientis iniuriae, ne exterioris hominis caede uel tacitus intra se moueatur interior. 

22.3. You see then that they are very far from evangelical perfection, which teaches that patience must be maintained, not in words but in inward tranquillity of heart, and which bids us preserve it whatever evil happens, that we may not only keep ourselves always from disturbing anger, but also by submitting to their injuries compel those, who are disturbed by their own fault, to become calm, when they have had their fill of blows; and so overcome their rage by our gentleness. And so also we shall fulfil these words of the Apostle: Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.(Rom. 12:21)

3. Videtis ergo longe eos ab euangelica perfectione distare, quae patientiam docet non uerbis, sed interiore cordis tranquillitate seruandam eamque a nobis, cum quid aduersi euenerit, ita praecipit custodiri, ut non solum nosmet ipsos alienos ab iracundiae perturbatione seruemus, sed etiam illos qui suo conmoti sunt uitio succumbentes iniuriis eorum ad placiditatem expleta caedis satietate cogamus, furorem eorum nostra lenitate uincentes. Et ita etiam apostolicum illud inplebimus : noli uinci a malo, sed uince in bono malum . 

22.4. And it is quite clear that this cannot be fulfilled by those who utter words of gentleness and humility in such a spirit and rage that they not only fail to lessen the fire of wrath which has been kindled, but rather make it blaze up the more fiercely both in their own feelings and in those of their enraged brother. But these, even if they could in some way keep calm and quiet themselves, would yet not bear any fruits of righteousness, while they claim the glory of patience on their part by their neighbours loss, and are thus altogether removed from that Apostolic love which Seeketh not her own,(1 Cor. 13:5) but the things of others. For it does not so desire riches in such a way as to make profit for itself out of ones neighbours loss, nor does it wish to gain anything if it involves the spoiling of another.

4. Quod ab illis inpleri non posse certissimum est qui illo spiritu ac tumore uerba lenitatis atque humilitatis emittunt, ut non solum non mitigent conceptum furoris incendium, sed magis illud tam in suo quam in fratris conmoti sensu faciant conflagrare. Qui tamen, etiamsi possent aliquo modo ipsi mites ac placidi permanere, nec sic quidem aliquos iustitiae caperent fructus, cum damno proximi patientiae sibi gloriam uindicantes et per hoc ab illa apostolica caritate omnimodis alieni, quae non quaerit quae sua sunt , sed ea quae aliorum. Non enim ita diuitias concupiscit, ut lucrum sibi de proximi faciat detrimento, nec adquirere quicquam cum alterius desiderat nuditate.



CHAPTER 23. How he is the strong and vigorous man, who yields to the will of another.

CAPUT XXIII. Quod ille sit fortis et sanus qui succumbit alterius voluntati.



CHAPTER 23. How he is the strong and vigorous man, who yields to the will of another.

CAPUT XXIII. Quod ille sit fortis et sanus qui succumbit alterius voluntati. 



23. BUT you must certainly know that in general he plays a stronger part who subjects his own will to his brothers, than he who is found to be the more pertinacious in defending and clinging to his own decisions. For the former by bearing and putting up with his neighbour gains the character of being strong and vigorous, while the latter gains that of being weak and sickly, who must be pampered and petted so that sometimes for the sake of his peace and quiet it is a good thing to relax something even in necessary matters. And indeed in this he need not fancy that he has lost anything of his own perfection, though by yielding he has given up something of his intended strictness, but on the contrary he may be sure that he has gained much more by his virtue of long-suffering and patience. For this is the Apostles command: Ye who are strong should bear the infirmities of the weak; and: Bear ye one anothers burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.(Rom. 15:1; Gal. 6:2) For a weak man will never support a weak man, nor can one who is suffering in the same way, bear or cure one in feeble health, but one who is himself not subject to infirmity brings remedies to one in weak health. For it is rightly said to him: Physician, heal thyself.(Luke 4:23)

XXIII.  Sciendum sane generaliter illum partes agere fortiores qui uoluntati fratris suam subicit uoluntatem, quam eum qui in defendendis suis definitionibus ac tenendis pertinacior inuenitur. Ille enim sustentans ac tolerans proximum sani ac ualidi, hic autem infirmi et quodammodo aegrotantis obtinet locum, quem ita palpari necesse est ac foueri, ut interdum etiam a rebus necessariis pro eius quiete ac pace salubre sit aliquid relaxari. In quo quidem non se credat quis aliquid de sua perfectione minuisse, tametsi quiddam de proposita districtione condescendendo submiserit, sed e contrario multo amplius se pro longanimitatis et patientiae bono nouerit adquisisse. Apostolicum namque praeceptum est : uos qui fortes estis, inbecillitates infirmorum sustinete , et : alterutrum onera uestra portate, et sic adinplebitis legem Christi . Numquam enim infirmus sustentat infirmum nec tolerare poterit aut curare languentem is qui similiter aegrotat, sed ille medellam tribuit inbecillo qui inbecillitati ipse non subiacet. Merito enim ei dicitur : medice, cura te ipsum .



CHAPTER 24. How the weak are harmful and cannot bear wrongs.

CAPUT XXIV. Quod infirmi injuriosi sint, et injurias ferre non possint.

24. WE must note too the fact that the nature of the weak is always such that they are quick and ready to offer reproaches and sow the seeds of quarrels, while they themselves cannot bear to be touched by the shadow of the very slightest wrong, and while they are riding roughshod over us and flinging about wanton charges, they are not able to bear even the slightest and most trivial ones themselves. And so according to the aforesaid opinion of the Elders love cannot last firm and unbroken except among men of the same purpose and goodness. For at some time or other it is sure to be broken, however carefully it may be guarded by one of them.

XXIIII.  Notandum etiam illud est infirmorum naturam esse semper huiusmodi, ut prompti quidem ac faciles sint ad contumelias ingerendas et iurgia conserenda, ipsi uero ne minima quidem iniuriae uelint suspicione contingi, cumque inferentes proterua conuicia inconsiderata superequitent libertate, ne parua quidem atque leuissima sustinere contenti sunt. Ideoque secundum praedictam seniorum sententiam caritas stabilis atque indisrupta non poterit perdurare nisi inter uiros eiusdem uirtutis atque propositi. Scindi etenim necesse est eam quocumque tempore, quantalibet cautione fuerit ab altero custodita.



CHAPTER 25. A question how he can be strong who does not always support the weak.

CAPUT XXV. Interrogatio, quomodo fortis sit qui non semper sustentat infirmum.

25. GERMANUS: How then can the patience of a perfect man be worthy of praise if it cannot always bear the weak?

XXV.  GERMANVS :  In quo ergo laudabilis perfecti uiri potest esse patientia, si tolerare non ualet semper infirmum?



CHAPTER 26. The answer that the weak does not always allow himself to be borne.

CAPUT XXVI. Responsio, quod infirmus se non sinat sustentari.

26.1. JOSEPH: I did not say that the virtue and endurance of one who is strong and robust would be overcome, but that the miserable condition of the weak, encouraged by the tolerance of the perfect, and daily growing worse, is sure to give rise to reasons on account of which he himself ought no longer to be borne; or else with a shrewd suspicion that the patience of his neighbour shows up and sets off his own impatience at some time or other he chooses to make off rather than always to be borne by the magnanimity of the other.

XXVI.  IOSEPH :  Nec ego dixi quod illius qui fortis est ac robustus uirtus tolerantiaque uincenda sit, sed quod infirmi pessima ualitudo illius qui sanus est sustentatione nutrita atque in deterius cotidie prolabens generatura sit causas, ob quas uel ipse ultra non debeat sustineri uel certe patientiam proximi notam ac deformationem inpatientiae suae esse coniciens abire quandoque malit quam semper magnanimitate alterius sustineri. 

26.2. This then we think should be above all else observed by those who want to keep the affection of their companions unimpaired; viz., that first of all when provoked by any wrongs, a monk should keep not only his lips but even the depth of his breast unmoved: but if he finds that they are even slightly disturbed, let him keep himself in by entire silence, and diligently observe what the Psalmist speaks of: I was troubled and spake nothing; and: I said I will take heed to thy ways that I offend not with my tongue. I have set a guard to my mouth, when the sinner stood against me. I was dumb and was humbled, and kept silence from good things;(Ps. 86 (87):5; 38 (39):2, 3) and he should not pay any heed to his present state, nor give vent to what his violent rage suggests and his exasperated mind expresses at the moment, but should dwell on the grace of past love or look forward in his mind to the renewal and restoration of peace, and contemplate it even in the very hour of rage, as if it were sure presently to return.

2. Haec ergo ab his, quid sodalitatis adfectum cupiunt inuiolabilem custodire, prae omnibus obseruanda censemus, ut primum quibuslibet iniuriis lacessitus non solum labia, sed etiam profunda pectoris sui monachus tranquilla custodiat : quae tamen si senserit uel tenuiter fuisse turbata, omni semet ipsum taciturnitate contineat et illud quod Psalmista conmemorat diligenter obseruet : turbatus sum, et non sum locutus , et : dixi : custodiam uias meas : ut non delinquam in lingua mea. Posui ori meo custodiam, dum consistit peccator aduersum me. Obmutui, et humiliatus sum, et silui a bonis , nec praesentem considerans statum ea proferat quae ad horam turbulentus suggerit furor dictatque animus asperatus, sed uel recolat gratiam praeteritae caritatis uel reformandae pacis redintegrationem mente prospiciat eamque uelut continuo reuersuram etiam in ipso conmotionis tempore contempletur. 

26.3. And while he is reserving himself for the delight of harmony soon to come, he will not feel the bitterness of the present quarrel and will easily make such answers that, when love is restored, he will not be able to accuse himself as guilty or be blamed by the other; and thus he will fulfil these words of the prophet: In wrath remember mercy.(Hab. 3:2)

3. Dumque se ad dulcedinem reseruat concordiae mox futurae, amaritudinem praesentium non sentiet iurgiorum et ita ea potissimum respondebit, e quibus uel a semet ipso reus fieri uel ab alio reprehendi restituta caritate non possit, sicque implebit propheticum illud eloquium : in ira misericordiae memor eris .



CHAPTER 27. How anger should be repressed.

CAPUT XXVII. Quomodo sit iracundia comprimenda.

27.1. WE ought then to restrain every movement of anger and moderate it under the direction of discretion, that we may not by blind rage be hurried into that which is condemned by Solomon: The wicked man expends all his anger, but the wise man dispenses it bit by bit,(Prov. 29:11) i.e., a fool is inflamed by the passion of his anger to avenge himself; but a wise man, by the ripeness of his counsel and moderation little by little diminishes it, and gets rid of it.

XXVII.  Cohibere ergo nos oportet omnes iracundiae motus et gubernatrice discretione moderari, ne in illud quod a Salomone damnatur praecipiti furore raptemur : totam iram suam profert inpius, sapiens autem dispensat per partes , id est : stultus quidem ad ultionem sui irae perturbatione succenditur, sapiens autem paulatim eam maturitate consilii ac moderationis extenuat et expellit.

27.2. Something of the same kind too is this which is said by the Apostle: Not avenging yourselves, dearly beloved: but give place to wrath,(Rom. 12:19) i.e., do not under the compulsion of wrath proceed to vengeance, but give place to wrath, i.e., do not let your hearts be confined in the straits of impatience and cowardice so that, when a fierce storm of passion rises, you cannot endure it; but be ye enlarged in your hearts, receiving the adverse waves of anger in the wide gulf of that love which suffereth all things, beareth all things;(1 Cor. 13:7) and so your mind will be enlarged with wide long-suffering and patience, and will have within it safe recesses of counsel, in which the foul smoke of anger will be received and be diffused and forthwith vanish away;

2. Tale est et illud quod ab apostolo dicitur : non uosmet ipsos uindicantes, carissimi, sed date locum irae , id est : nequaquam ad uindictam iracundia cogente tendatis, sed date locum irae, hoc est : non sint corda uestra sic inpatientiae ac pusillanimitatis angustiis coartata, ut uiolentam conmotionis procellam, cum inruerit, sustinere non possint, sed dilatamini in cordibus uestris, suscipientes aduersos iracundiae fluctus in illis extentis sinibus caritatis, quae omnia suffert, omnia sustinet: et ita mens uestra amplitudine longanimitatis ac patientiae dilatata habeat in se consiliorum salutares recessus, in quibus receptus quodammodo atque diffusus taeterrimus iracundiae fumus protinus euanescat. 

27.3. or else the passage may be taken in this way: we give place to wrath, as often as we yield with humble and tranquil mind to the passion of another, and bow to the impatience of the passionate, as if we admitted that we deserved any kind of wrong. But those who twist the meaning of the perfection of which the Apostle speaks so as to make out that those give place to anger, who go away from a man in a rage, seem to me not to cut off but rather to foment the incitement to quarrelling,

3. Vel certe ita intellegendum est : damus locum irae, quotiens conmotioni alterius humili atque tranquilla mente subcumbimus et quodammodo dignos nos qualibet iniuria profitentes inpatientiae saeuientis obsequimur. Ceterum hi qui ita sensum apostolicae perfectionis inclinant, ut locum irae illos dare existiment qui ab irascente discedunt, uidentur mihi dissensionum fomitem non abscidere sed nutrire. 

27.4. for unless a neighbours wrath is overcome at once by amends being humbly made, a man provokes rather than avoids it by his flight. And there is something like this that Solomon says: Be not hasty in thy spirit to be wroth, for anger reposes in the bosom of fools; and: Be not quick to rush into a quarrel, lest thou repent thereof at the last.(Eccl. 7:9; Prov. 25:8) For he does not blame a hasty exhibition of quarrelling and anger in such a way as to praise a tardy one. In the same way too must this be taken: A fool declares his anger in the very same hour, but a prudent man hides his shame.(Prov. 12:16)

4. Nisi enim iracundia proximi humili statim satisfactione uincatur, prouocat eam fugiens potius quam declinat. Illud quoque huic simile est quod Salomon ait : noli festinare in spiritu tuo irasci, quia ira in sinu insipientium requiescit , et : noli procurrere in rixam cito, ne paeniteat te in nouissimo : neque enim ita festinationem rixae uel iracundiae culpat, ut earundem adprobet tarditatem. Similiter et illud suscipiendum est : stultus eadem ipsa hora pronuntiat iram suam, occultat autem ignominiam suam astutus . 

27.5. For he does not lay it down that a shameful outburst of anger ought to be hidden by wise men in such a way that while he blames a speedy outburst of anger he fails to forbid a tardy one, as certainly, if owing to human weakness it does burst forth, he means that it should be hidden for this reason, that while for the moment it is wisely covered up, it may be destroyed forever. For the nature of anger is such that when it is given room it languishes and perishes, but if openly exhibited, it burns more and more. The hearts then should be enlarged and opened wide, lest they be confined in the narrow straits of cowardice, and be filled with the swelling surge of wrath, and so we become unable to receive what the prophet calls the exceeding broad commandment of God in our narrow heart, or to say with the prophet: I have run the way of thy commandments for thou hast enlarged my heart.(Ps. 118 (119):32)

5. Non enim ignominiosam iracundiae passionem ita a sapientibus occultari debere decernit, ut iracundiae uelocitatem culpans non prohibeat tarditatem : quam utique, si per necessitatem humanae infirmitatis inruerit, ideo censuit occultandam, ut, dum ad praesens sapienter obtegitur, in perpetuum deleatur. Haec enim est natura irae, ut dilatata languescat et pereat, prolata uero magis magisque conflagret. Dilatanda ergo atque amplianda sunt pectora, ne angustiis pusillanimitatis artata iracundiae turbulentis aestibus obpleantur et recipere secundum prophetam illud nimis latum mandatum dei angusto corde nequeamus nec dicere cum propheta : uiam mandatorum tuorum cucurri, cum dilatares cor meum . 

27.6. For that long-suffering is wisdom we are taught by very clear passages of Scripture: for a man who is long-suffering is great in prudence; but a coward is very foolish.(Prov. 14:29) And therefore Scripture says of him who to his credit asked the gift of wisdom from the Lord: God gave Solomon wisdom and prudence exceeding much, and largeness of heart as the sand of the sea for multitude.(1 Kings 4:29)

6. Nam quia longanimitas sapientia sit, euidentissimis scripturae testimoniis edocemur : longanimus enim uir nimius in prudentia, pusillanimus autem ualde insipiens est . Et idcirco de illo, qui sapiientiae donum a domino laudabiliter postulauit, scriptura conmemorat : et dedit deus Salomoni sapientiam prudentiamque multam nimis, et latitudinem cordis quasi harenam maris innumerabilem .



CHAPTER 28. How friendships entered upon by conspiracy cannot be lasting ones.

CAPUT XXVIII. Amicitias conjuratione initas firmas esse non posse.

28. THIS too has been often proved by many experiments; viz., that those who entered the bonds of friendship from a beginning of conspiracy, cannot possibly preserve their harmony unbroken; either because they tried to keep it not out of their desire for perfection nor because of the sway of Apostolic love, but out of earthly love, and because of their wants and the bonds of their agreement; or else because that most crafty foe of ours hurries them on the more speedily to break the chains of their friendship in order that he may make them breakers of their oath. This opinion then of the most prudent men is most certainly established; viz., that true harmony and undivided union can only exist among those whose life is pure, and who are men of the same goodness and purpose.

XXVIII.  Illud quoque multis est experimentis saepissime conprobatum nullo modo eos, qui amicitiarum foedus coniurationis iniere principio, indisruptam potuisse seruare concordiam, siue quod eam non pro desiderio perfectionis nec pro apostolicae caritatis imperio, sed pro amore terreno et per necessitatem ac uinculum pacti retinere conati sunt, siue quod ille callidissimus inimicus, ut eos praeuaricatores sui faciat sacramenti, celerius ad inrumpenda amicitiarum uincla praecipitat. Certissima ergo est prudentissimorum uirorum illa sententia concordiam ueram et indiuiduam societatem nisi inter emendatos mores eiusdemque uirtutis ac propositi uiros stare non posse.  

Thus much the blessed Joseph discoursed in his spiritual talk on friendship, and fired us with a more ardent desire to preserve the love of our fellowship as a lasting one.

Haec de amicitia beatus Ioseph spiritali narratione disseruit nosque ad custodiendam sodalitatis perpetuam caritatem ardentius incitauit. 




This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990....x....   .