Novices and Formation



transl. based on that of Luke Eberle, modified. and adapted for this webpage by L. Dysinger

87.Entry 88.Delay to Discern 89.Sucipe 90.Obedience91.Noble Children92 seeking the abbatial honor

   87 Entry to the Monastery


Question of the disciples:

Interrogatio discipulorum:

87. HOW a BROTHER, whether already
turned to God or still of the world,

COMMIT himself, and be RECEIVED.

LXXXVII. Qvomodo debeat frater, sive iam conversvs, sive adhvc laicvs, introire vel tradere se vel svscipi in monasterio.

The Lord has replied through the master:

Respondit Dominus per magistrum:

WHEN a new brother enters the monastery, whether he has already turned to God or is still of the world, and asks the favor of reception into the monastery, 1 Ingredienti in monasterio nouo fratre, siue iam conuerso, siue adhuc laico, et hoc petenti, debere se in monasterio suscipi,
2 Let the abbot at first tell him that he may not be able to keep the prescriptions of the Rule.  3 But if he says that he can be obedient in all things, then let this Rule of the monastery be read to him. 4 When the reading of the Rule is finished and the abbot has explained the prerequisites in his own words, and the new brother has replied that he is ready to put it all into practice, 5 let the abbot then go on, saying: 2 respondeat ei hoc primo abbas, non forte eum posse constituta regulae conseruare. 3 Cum uero ille dixerit posse se ad omnia obaudire, tunc haec monasterii regula ei legatur. 4 Qua regula in lectione expleta et omnia abbatis uerbis praedicta, cum se responderit nouus frater ad omnia factis esse paratum, 5 tunc abbas subsequatur et dicat:

‘What about your possessions which you have the liberty of using? 6 It is not expedient for you to be settled here for the sake of God while your possessions remain elsewhere. 7 Rather, as Scripture says: “‘Let your treasure too be there where your heart is’”(Mt 6:21).

Quid de rebus tuis, quas proprio arbitrio uteris? 6 Non enim tibi expedit, te hic pro causa Dei posito, res tuas alibi remanere, 7 sed sicut dicit scribtura: Ibi sit thesaurus tuus, ubi fuerit et cor tuum. 

8 It is not expedient because, through your craving for them, your possessions located outside might possibly entice you, seduced by the devil, out of the monastery. 9 Then having deserted from service in the holy school you would go back to do service according to your own will 10 and be pleased to return like a dog to your vomit, (Pr 26 :11 , 2 Pet 2:22) 11 and reswallow with dirt the spittle you had spit out on the ground.

8 Nam ideo non expedit, ne forte titillatione diaboli a rebus tuis foris positis per desiderium earum de monasterio prouoceris, 9 et relicto seruitio sanctae scolae, proprio redeas militaturus arbitrio 10 et sicut canis delectatus redeas ad uomitus tuos 11 et saliuas a te proiectas in terra denuo cum sordibus resorueas.

12 ‘But because perseverance wants to remain oblivious of any chance to go elsewhere, we offer the salutary advice 13 that you listen instead to the voice of the Lord saying to you: “Go, sell everything and give to the poor, and come, follow me” (Mt 19 :21 , Lk 18 :22). 14 So if you wish to comply with this voice, go, sell what you have and bring here to me the entire sum received, 15 so that in your presence I may distribute it to the poor and you may have nothing left as a pledge to the world to go back to it again. 16 Indeed it is for this very reason that as long as your admission into the monastery has not been made permanent, you are still allowed free disposition of your possessions, 17 because after admission has been made permanent, a disciple is forbidden by the Rule to have anything of his own whether in the monastery or out of it, 18 so that there may be no occasion for his self-will to assert itself.

12Sed quia perseuerantia occasionem migrandi cupit nescire, ideoque constituimus salubre consilium, 13 ut aut audias uocem Domini tibi dicentem: Vade, uende omnia et da pauperibus et ueni, sequere me. 14 Quam ergo si sequi uis uocem, uade, uende quae habes et omne praetium huc ante me defer, 15 ut te praesente a me pauperibus erogetur, ut nullum saeculo pignus tuum remaneat ad cum iterum reuertendi. 16 Ideo enim cum nondum adhuc firmata ingressione tua in monasterio, tibi de rebus tuis libera adhue uoluntas conceditur, 17 quia post firmam ingressionem discipulo siue in monasterio siue foris peculiare aliquid habere a regula denegatur, 18 ut non sit ubi propria eius uoluntas extollatur.

19 ‘But if you find it hard to sell everything, and the things are such that they, with you, can be of service to the monastery, 21 be honest in bringing everything with you to the monastery 20 so that in any case nothing is left behind as a commitment to return to the world. 22 Conceal nothing from God to whose service you are submitting yourself together with all that you possess, 23 for he sees everything everywhere and nothing escapes him who reveals what is hidden  (Mt 10 :26) 24 Remember the double-dealing of Ananias and Sapphira who, having offered their possessions to God, wanted to conceal even some of that, and instead of trust met eternal death. (Cf. Ac 5:1–11)

19Quod enim si totum distrahere tibi graue uidetur et sunt tales res, quae una tecum possint monasterio deseruire, 20 ne tamen pro pignore reuertendi saeculo dimittantur, 21 omnia fideliter tecum monasterio defer, 22 nihil subcelando Deum, cuius te cum omnibus rebus tuis subdis seruitio, 23 qui ubique omnia respicit et nihil est ei occultum, qui reuelat absconsa. 24 Memor esto fraudem Annaniae et Sapphirae, qui de rebus suis Deo oblatis et exinde subcelare uolentes, mortem perpetuam inruerunt pro fide.

Best Candidate Gives up Everything Immediately

25 If after the new brother has heard all this, in accordance with the first divine proposal he sells everything and distributes it through the hands of the abbot—26 if he firmly resolves to sell everything and not reserve anything for the monastery, 27 let no pressure be put on him, but let him do so only if he wants to of his own accord—28 so then, when he has distributed everything through the hands of the abbot and then wishes to become a permanent member of the monastery, let no document of perseverance be demanded of him 29 because by disposing of all his possessions as alms he gave the pledge of his fidelity before God. 25 Mox haec audierit nouus frater, si priori diuina sententia omnibus distractis et per manus abbatis erogatis — 26 si hoc pro certo habuerit uotum, omnia distrahere et monasterio non aliquid reseruare, 27 non cogatur, nisi ex sua uoluntate uoluerit; — 28 ergo cum omnibus per manus abbatis pererogatis, sic se firmare monasterio uoluerit, carta ab eo perseuerantiae non petatur, 29 quia pignus fidei eius apud Deum omnium rerum suarum pererogata elemosyna fuit. 
30 For it is evident that by making total distribution of his goods he is capable of remaining with God faithfully, because for his sake he does not desire to keep what he owns. 31 Let him merely give his word that nothing at all remains hidden away from him outside. 32 The abbot gives this option to the entrants so that when they are being admitted they do not get the idea that he wants what a man possesses rather than his soul. 30 Nam per omnem rerum suarum erogationem expensam cognoscitur apud Deum posse fideliter permanere, qui rebus suis pro eo cupit non parcere. 31 Solummodo hanc det fidem, sibi penitus foris nihil remansisse celatum. 32 Hanc ideo uoluntatem abbas ingredientibus tribuit, ut non ab introeuntibus iudicetur potius res hominum desiderare quam animas.

Candidate Who Wants to Wait in Divesting

33 But if the brother chooses to give himself along with his possessions to the monastery and does not wish to sell them, in case he should ever want to leave, 34 subverted and backed by the devil, and make trouble for the monastery by demanding his things, 35 let him first with his own hand draw up a pledge of stability, adding an inventory of his goods. Then let him offer every thing with his soul as a gift to God and to the oratory of the monastery, 36 with religious persons—bishop, priest and deacon, and the clergy of that area—signing as witnesses. 37 In the document itself let him make this declaration, that should he ever want to quit the monastery he will depart from the monastery without his goods and from God without forgiveness of his sins. 33 Qui uero frater hoc elegerit, cum rebus suis se monasterio tradere, et distrahendi non habuerit uoluntatem, 34 ne aliquando mutatus a diabolo uel armatus, propter res suas exigendas aliquas molestias monasterio generans, exire desideret, 35 cauens manu sua prius de stabilitate, simul rerum suarum breue adiuncto, una cum anima sua Deo et oratorio monasterii per donationem offerat totum, 36 suscribentibus religiosis testibus, episcopo, praesbytero et diacono uel ipsius territorii clero, 37 et in ipsa cautione taxans hoc, quod si aliquando monasterio discedere uoluerit, sine rebus suis de monasterio uel sine indulgentia peccatorum a Deo discedat.
38 If the abbot sees that anything of the things now put at his disposal is superfluous, over and above what is needed for the monastery’s use, 39 let him sell this superfluous item and give the proceeds from it to the poor for this brother’s soul, because of the aforesaid precept about following the Lord through almsgiving. 40 In this way, what this inexperienced brother could not do well, the abbot as a skilled manager can perform for him. 38 Iam de ipsis rebus abbas in potestate sua mutatis quidquid necessariae utilitati monasterii superuacuum abundare uiderit, 39 pro anima fratris ipsius propter praeceptum supradictum sequendi Dominum per elemosynam distracta illa re superuacua, praetium eius pauperibus tribuatur, 40 ut quod ille inperitus frater non meruit facere, pro illo iste quasi doctus magister ualeat adinplere.

Candidate Who Possesses Nothing

41 As to a brother who declares that he has nothing at all, first let inquiry be made of the neighbors in the area where he lived, 42 and if his poverty is found to be really total, 43 then let him give a guaranty of perseverance, with a penalty stipulated at the end of the document, provided of course that he is known by this time. Only then should he be received into the monastery, 44 because otherwise it may turn out that he has stored some of his things outside for a time, feigning poverty in the monastery, 45 and not only does he give nothing to God as alms or to the monastery as a gift, 46 but he also leaves for any reason that suits him, enticed by his possessions waiting for him outside. 47 For only when he has provided the safeguard of a guaranty with a penalty 48 may the goods of the monastery or purchase funds and draft animals be safely and without suspicion entrusted to him for monastery business. 41 Qui uero frater ex toto indicauerit se nihil habere, prius exquiratur a uicinis illius regionis, ubi mansit, 42 et si inuentum fuerit quod certe sit ex toto eius paupertas, 43 tunc dato perseuerantiae fideiussore, sub cautione poena interposita, si tamen iam notus fuerit, sic debet in monasterio suscipi, 44 ne forte aliquibus rebus suis ad tempus foris commendatis, mentita in monasterio paupertate, 45 non solum nihil Deo per elemosynam uel monasterio per donationem conferat, 46 sed etiam ab spectantibus eum foris rebus suis prouocatus et cum quod conuenerit exeat causae. 47 Nam cum dederit cautum fideiussoris cum poena, 48 iam tunc demum ei pro actibus monasterii sine suspicione secure res monasterii aut praetia emendorum uel uecturarum animalia contradantur.

Candidate Unknown to Anyone

49 But if a brother comes to the monastery who is unknown in his own country and is recognized by no one at all, and wants to become a member of the monastic community, 50 let only his sworn promise be demanded of him, 51 that should he ever wish to quit the monastery he will leave with the knowledge of the abbot and of everyone else. 52 And when he does want to go, let him first swear that he has stolen nothing belonging to the monastery, either by having stored anything outside ahead of time or by secretly taking anything with him, 53 unless the abbot out of kindness wishes to give him something. 54 Then if he has perjured himself, he will bear in his soul what physically he could not bring himself to do. 55 In any case let him give back to the abbot the clothing and shoes that belong to the monastery, 56 so that what is taken from those who depart may benefit a brother who perseveres, 57 and that one who lives in the monastery may, as is right, have the things that belong to the monastery, 58 whereas they are justifiably taken back from one who unjustifiably withdraws his heart from perseverance in the monastery. 59 For giving these things to one who is displeased with the discipline corresponding to them should not be acceptable. 49 Si uero talis monasterio aduenerit frater, quem ipsa patria ignorauerit uel omnium habuerit uultus ignotum, et se ad monasterii societatem firmare uoluerit, 50 sola sacramenti fides ab eo talis exposeatur, 51 ut si aliquando de monasterio exire uoluerit, cum notitia abbatis uel omnium exeat. 52 Et cum iam exire uoluerit, prius iuret se de rebus monasterii nulla furti conmissione aut foris antecessus commendasse aut absconse secum portare, 53 insi forte ei pro misericordia uoluerit aliquid donare abbas, 54 ut si periurauerit, ferat in anima, quod in corpore non potuit adinplere. 55 Res tamen, quibus indutus fuerat, monasterii uel calciamenta reconsignet abbati, 56 ut remanenti in perseuerantia fratri proficiant, quae migrantibus auferuntur, 57 et res monasterii iuste ille habeat, qui monasterio habitat, 58 et iuste illi retollantur, qui iniuste animos suos a perseuerantia monasterii separat. 59 Nec enim illi dari placeant, cui ipsarum rerum displicuit disciplina.

Candidate Who Wants Temporary Membership

60 If, however, he takes an oath to remain for a time but not to become a member, 61 let him merely certify that he will not depart without notifying and taking leave of the abbot, or with anything stolen, 62 and from then on let him be kept under surveillance without his being aware of it. 63 He must have nothing in his control and must be compelled to work in common with the brethren in order to live by his labor. 64 But if he has no clothing and the abbot wishes to give him some, he may use it for as long as he is in residence there, 65 knowing that he must give it all back when he wants to leave. 60 Si uero ita iurauerit, ut non se firmet, sed ad tempus remoretur, 61 hoc solum testetur, ut sine notitia uel uale abbatis uel cum furto non exire, 62 et iam ex inprouiso custodiatur et in potestate nihil habeat 63 et ad laborem cum fratribus communiter inpellatur, ut laborando uiuat. 64 Si tamen nudus fuerit et induere eum abbas uoluerit, ad tempus utatur, quo habitat, 65 et sciat se omnia reconsignaturum, cum exire uoluerit.

Candidate May Steal from Monastery

 66 Now, it may happen that someone who entered without giving the monastery any sworn assurance, 67 and as one unknown furnished the abbot no bond of fidelity for security, 68 whether he has given nothing to God in alms 69 or has bequeathed none of his possessions to the monastery as a gift through a guaranteed pledge, 70 or whether, as an unknown, he has found no guarantor 71 or he is bound by no promise under oath, 72 if this brother of doubtful stability is sent out with animal-drawn vehicles and funds for purchasing things he may, some fine day, 73 under the devil’s guidance, finding himself with funds and vehicles, suddenly set out for foreign lands while in charge of the monastery’s goods. 74 And those who felt sure of him will daily await his return, because they were deceived, and will go after him only after a long time or belatedly or not at all. 66 Nam si forte, cum ingressus nullum monasterio iuramentum tradiderit 67 et uelut ignotus nullam catenam fidei abbati de securitate intulerit, 68 siue quod nihil contulit Deo per elemosynam, 69 siue quod nihil monasterio de rebus suis obsidis pignore per donationem legauerit, 70 siue quod nullum fideiussorem ignotus inuenerit, 71 siue si nulla sacramenti fide teneatur, 72 cum forte incertus de firmitate frater missus fuerit cum uehiculis animalium et emendarum praetio rerum, 73 mox ducato diaboli, inuentis per occasionem sumptibus uel uehiculis, in alienas terras de rebus monasterii incipiat magis ordinatus migrare, 74 a securis de se per deceptionem cottidie spectandus 75 et prolongando aut tarde aut numquam sequendus.



88. DELAYING the ADMISSION of BROTHERS so that they may DELIBERATE about COMMITTING themselves to STABILITY.

LXXXVIII. De indvtiis fratrvm svscipiendorvm, in qvibvs de stabilitate firmanda secvm tractare debeant.



1 When there has been presented to the new brother by the Rule through the abbot all the foregoing about committing himself to stability, 2 whether by disposing of his possessions as alms or as a gift to the monastery, or by a document of guaranty under penalty or, if he is unknown, by a sworn promise, 3 (Cf. Ambrose, De virginitate 5; PL 16 :26 7C, De officiis 3.81 ; PL 16 :16 8–9  let such still be granted a period of two months to deliberate with themselves, 4 meanwhile working with the brothers, content with the common measure of food and the discipline of excommunications according to the Rule, 5 so that such a one may make a trial of the monastery’s way of life and himself be tested by the monastery. 6 Let him deliberate with himself whether he should stand fast with God or freely go back to the devil. 1 Cum de omnibus supradictis conuentus nouus frater a regula per abbatem de stabilitate firmanda 2 aut per rerum suarum elemosynam aut per donationem monasterio aut per cartam fideiussoris poenalem aut, si ignot us, per iuramenti fidem, 3 duorum tamen mensuum spatium in indutiis ad tractandum secum accipiant, 4 laborando tamen cum fratribus, contenti annonae communem mensuram uel regulae excommunicationum disciplinam, 5 ut et mores monasterii probet et a monasterio ipse probetur 6 et secum tractet, si debeat se ad Deum firmare aut ad diabolum expedius remeare. 
 7 During these two months they are to be in the custody of the brothers who watch over strangers, and they too are to be kept under surveillance without their being aware of it 8 and are to sleep in the place assigned to guests 9 so that the presence of the custodians will ensure supervision of their coming and going in the monastery, 10 and if at any time and anywhere they absent themselves from the community of the brothers, the custodians will take care to look for them lest they perhaps get a head start, making off without taking leave but taking something stolen. 7 In quibus duobus mensibus sub cura illorum fratrum, qui peregrinos custodiunt, et ipsi similiter ex inprouiso custodiantur 8 et in cella illa peregrinorum dormiant, 9 ut ingressus corum uel exitus in monasterio custodum praesentia uideatur 10 et omni hora, si alicubi a conuentu fratrum secesserint, sollicite a custodibus requirantur, ne forte anticipent ambulare sine uale cum furto.
11 Then if at the end of the two months they are dissatisfied with the discipline and with those who are at the monastery and would like to go, 12 let it be with the knowledge of the abbot and of everyone else. After giving his word that he has committed no theft and returning what monastery belongings he may have received for temporary use, 13 let him next give the sign of peace to everyone and then receive a staff into his hand and provisions for the road. After a prayer, a verse is said and then the sign of peace is given to him.  11 Quod si explicitis duobus mensibus non placibili disciplina et hisdem monasterio placuerit ambulare, 12 cum notitia abbatis uel omnium post data fide nullius furti conmissi uel reconsignatis rebus monasterii, quae ad tempus forte acceperat, 13 mox data uniuersis pace et accepta uirga in manu et annona uiatica, post facta oratione uel dicto uersu uel redata ei pace,
14 If he wishes it, let him depart as a guest, and let the devil reclaim this citizen of his, whom Christ unwillingly received as a guest. 14 si tamen uult, ut hospis abscedat et resuscipiat ciuem suum diabolus, quem nolens hospitem susceperat Christus.

Question of the disciples:

Interrogatio discipulorum:

89. How a new brother is to confirm his admission into the monastery. [RB 58]

LXXXVIIII. Qvomodo debeat frater novvs in monasterio svvm firmare introitvm.

The Lord has replied through the master:

Respondit Dominus per magistrum:

1If the discipline pleases them and they instead choose stability after completing the two months’ delay for deliberation, and would like to commit themselves to perseverance after having promised anew their steadfast adherence to the Rule read to them, 2let the abbot again question the new brother to learn what he has decided during the period of delay granted him. To his response that he promises to practice obedience in all things, the abbot shall reply, ‘Thanks be to God’. 1 Cum expletae duorum mensuum ad tractandum indutiae fuerint et placibili disciplina ab eis magis stabilitas eligatur et perseuerantia, repromissa lectae regulae firmitate, ab eis placeat adinpleri, 2 reinterrogatus ab abbate nouus frater quid secum in concesso indutiarum spatio definisset, cum responso eius inplenda in omnibus oboedientia promittatur, respondeat abbas “Deo gratias”.

Drama of Petition

3The next day, when the prayers after Prime has been said are finished, and the abbot is at the threshold of the oratory on his way out with the community, the new brother with neck bowed down to his knees 4 begs him and all his community to remain a little while longer in the oratory and pray for him. 5 Then they pray for him at great length, and the abbot concludes in the name of all. Then when he goes to leave, the new disciple in all humility will take hold of his garment and with his hand detain him. 6He will present this petition to him: ‘I have something to propose, first to God and this holy oratory, then to you and the community.’ 3 Alia die post primae dictae missas explicitas exeunti limen oratorii cum congregatione abbati flectat ad genua eius nouus frater suam ceruicem, 4 rogans eum uel omnem congregationem eius debere modicum in oratorio remorari et orare pro se. 5 A quibus mox diutissime pro eo oretur et conplens omnibus abbas et uolens egredi, humiliter adpraehenso eius uestimento, noui retineatur manu discipuli. 6 Cui hoc rogando insinuet: “Est quod suggeram primo Deo et oratorio isti sancto uel tibi et congregationi.
7When the abbot replies: ‘Make known what it is,’ 8the petitioner continues, saying: ‘I wish to serve God in your monastery through the discipline of the Rule read to me.’ 9When the abbot says in reply: ‘And this is your pleasure?’ 10 the future disciple continues: ‘First it is God’s, so then also mine.’ 11 Then the abbot says: ‘Mark well, brother, you are not promising anything to me, but to God and to this oratory and to this holy altar. 12 If in all things you obey the divine precepts and my admonitions, on the day of judgment you will receive the crown of your good deeds, 13 and I myself shall gain some remission of my sins for having encouraged you to conquer the devil along with the world. 7 Cum responderit abbas: “Quid illud est intimato,8 subsequatur petitor dicens: “Volo Deo seruire per disciplinam regulae mihi lectae in monasterio tuo.9 Cum responderit abbas, dicens: “Et hoc placet tibi?”, 10 subsequatur futurus discipulus: “Hoc primo Deo, sic et mihi.11 Tunc dicat abbas: “Vide, frater, mihi nihil promittis, sed Deo et huic oratorio uel altario sancto. 12 Si ad omnia obaudieris diuinis praeceptis uel meis monitis, in die iudicii tu coronam accipies bonorum actuum 13 et ego de peccatis meis indulgentiae aliquid promerebor, qui ut diabolum cum saeculo uinceres incitaui.
14 But if you refuse to obey me in anything at all, see, I am calling the Lord to witness, 15 and this community will also give testimony in my favor on the day of judgment that, 16 as I said before, if you do not obey me in anything at all, I shall go free in the judgment of God and you will have to answer for your soul and for your contempt.’ 14 Si autem nolueris mihi in aliquo obaudire, ecce ego Dominum contestor, 15 quia et haec congregatio testimonium mihi est in die iudicii praebitura, 16 quia, ut supra dixi, cum non mihi in aliquo obaudieris, in iudicio Dei ego absolutus, tu pro tua anima uel contemptione rationem restituas.
17 After these words, if he is entering with his possessions, the donor himself with his own hand then places upon the altar the inventory of his possessions and the deed of their donation to God through the monastery. 18 While so doing, the brother says: ‘Behold, Lord, whatever you have given me I am returning to you, offering it together with my soul and in my poverty, 19 and I want my possessions to be there where my heart and my soul are, (Mt 6:21) 20 but in the power of the monastery and of the abbot whom you, Lord, are setting over me to fear as your representative, since you say to them: “Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me” (Lk 10 :16). 21 Consequently, because through him you keep our needs in mind, we ought to have nothing of our own, 22 for you are our surety for everything and in all things you alone suffice. 23 So from now on, for us to live is Christ himself and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). 17 Post haec uerba, si cum rebus suis introierit, tunc ille breuis uel donatio rerum suarum Deo per monasterium facta ipsius donatoris manu super altare ponatur, 18 dicente ipso fratre: “Ecce, Domine, cum anima mea et in paupertate mea quidquid mihi donasti tibi reconsigno et offero, 19 et ibi uolo ut sint res meae, ubi fuerit cor meum et anima, 20 sub potestate tamen monasterii et abbatis, quem mihi, Domine, ad uicem tuam timendum praeponis, cum eis dicis: Qui uos audit, me audit, et qui uos spernit, me spernit. 21 Vnde, quia per eum nobis tu omnia necessaria cogitas, ideo nihil a nobis oportet peculiare haberi, 22 quia tu nobis de omnibus es idoneus et in omnibus sufficis solus, 23 ut iam nobis uiuere ipse Christus sit et mori lucrum.
24 After these words, this same new brother says this responsory: 24 Post haec dicta dicat ipse nouus frater responsorium hunc:

‘Uphold me, Lord, according to your word, that I may live; do not disappoint me in my hope’ (Ps 11 9:11 6).

Suscipe me, Domine, secundum uerbum tuum et uiuam et ne confundas me ab expectatione mea. 25
 25 After this responsory, the abbot says this verse: ‘Confirm, O God, what you have wrought in us (Ps 68 :28). 26 As soon as this verse has been said, everyone gives him the sign of peace, and the abbot concludes. 27 Then, after taking the inventory from the altar, 28 he immediately assigns the new disciple to a dean, and placed in their charge he goes out with the rest of the brothers from the ceremony.  Post hunc responsorium dicat abbas hunc uersum: Confirma hoc, Deus, quod operatus es in nobis. 26 Post quem uersum dictum, mox data ei ab omnibus pace, conpleat abbas, 27 et tollens breuem desuper altarem, 28 mox ab eo nouus discipulus sub praeposito ordinetur et in manu corum consignatus cum aliis fratribus exeat disciplinae.
29 Moreover, that same day it is he who, in token of humility, pours the water on the hands of the brothers as they enter for Communion, 30 and while he is doing so he kisses the hands of all and asks each to pray for him. 29 Eadem namque die pro humilitatis indicio aquam manibus fratrum ad communionem intrantibus ipse ministret, 30 et cum dat, osculetur omnium manus et petat singulos pro se debere orare.
31 As to the inventories of donations made by the brothers, the abbot at the time of his death includes in his last will what is left over after expenditures for the needs of the monastery, 32 as also the names of those whose gifts are recorded, 33 so that after his death no one chancing to quit the monastery will have the effrontery to demand the return of his possessions, 34 cutting short his stability in the monastery and breaking his word to the deceased, 35 or claim that something belonging to him is being kept in the monastery without having been given to it. 31 Breues uero donationum factos a fratribus tempore mortis suae abbas, in quod usibus monasterii expensis restiterit, testamento suo inserat, 32 etiam nomina eorum quorum noscuntur conlata, 33 ut nullus post mortem eius forte de monasterio exiens repetendi rerum suarum fiduciam habeat 34 et stabilitatem monasterio et fidem frangat defuncto 35 uel dicat sine donatione aliquid suum in monasterio contineri.
90.-Homily on Obedience  

Question of the disciples:

Interrogatio discipulorum:

90. When someone enters the monastery from the world, he is not to change his garb or receive the religious tonsure for a year.

XC. Ingresso in monasterio cviqvam laico non debere intra annvm mvtari res nec capvt eivs secvndvm propositvm tonderi.

The Lord has replied through the master:

Respondit Dominus per magistrum:

1 When some new man comes fleeing from the world to the service of God in the monastery and declares that he wishes to become a monk, let him not be too readily believed. 2 Indeed, let the abbot pretend to refuse him residence in the monastery, though only verbally, not actually. 3 To test him let difficulties be made, and to ascertain his obedience let him be told in advance about things contrary and repugnant to his will. 4 Let daily fasting be held up to him. 5 Furthermore, from the reading of the Rule and from what the abbot says let him understand this: that to say: ‘I want this and I reject that, I like this and I hate that,’ is allowed to no one in the monastery, so that self-will be not chosen and indulged.  1 Cum aliquis nouellus de sacculo ad seruitium Dei in monasterium confugerit et indicauerit se uelle conuerti, non ei credatur tam facile. 2 Nam fincte ab abbate solo uerbo, non facto, habitatio ei monasterii denegetur. 3 Ad probationem grauia proponantur, ad oboedientiam eius inueniendam praedicentur contraria et uoluntati eius amara. 4 Cottidiana ei ieiunia promittantur. 5 Nam et hoc ex lectione regulae et dicto abbatis agnoscat, quia in monasterio nulli licet dicere: “Hoc uolo et hoc nolo, hoc amo et hoc odio,” ut non propria eligatur uel efliciatur uoluntas.

Agere Contra

6 And let him know that whoever wishes to live the religious life perfectly in the monastery will more than likely not be permitted what he desires according to his own will. 7 Why? Because ‘there are ways which men think right, but whose end plunges into the depth of hell’ (Pr 16 :25). 8 And what he does not want, this will be enforced, in order to root out his self-will, which is the enemy of God. 9 Accordingly, he who wishes to live the religious life perfectly should be denied whatever he loves and desires, and whatever he hates should be imposed on him; 10 as the Lord says: ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and follow me’, (Mt 16 :24) 11 that is, let him not do his own will but God’s. 12 Indeed, whoever wants to serve in his school must endure all things for the Lord’s sake.  6 Et sciat quia qui in monasterio conuerti perfecte uoluerit, quod ex uoluntate sua uoluerit, hoc magis non permittitur, —7 Quare? Quia sunt uiae, quae uidentur hominum rectae, quarum finis usque ad profundum inferni demertit, — 8 et quod noluerit, hoc cogitur, ut uoluntas in eo propria amputetur, quae inimica est Dei. 9 Qui ergo cupit perfecte conuerti, quidquid amauerit et desiderio habuerit, ei denegetur, et quidquid odierit, ei adponatur, 10 dicente Domino: Qui uult meus esse discipulus, abneget semelipsum sibi et sequatur me, 11 hoc est, non suam, sed Dei faciat uoluntatem. 12 Omnia enim debet pro Domino sustinere, qui eius cupit militare scolae. 
13 Even so, what can we endure for the Lord that is worthy, when the apostle says: ‘The sufferings of the present time do not deserve to be compared with the glory to come’? (Rm 8:18) 14 So if a persecutor should subject the servant of Christ to fire, the heat, being transitory, is no longer felt once the suffering is finished, and is quite unlike that other fire which is unquenchable; 15 nor does it burn like the punishment of everlasting hell stored up, never to cease, for the sinful soul. 16 If he inflicts the tortures of the claw or of the rack or of scourging, the endurance of a little pain quickly gives way to a crown of eternal joy. 17 If for the sake of God a dark dungeon imprisons us, in its stead the eternal Jerusalem, built of gold and adorned with precious stones and pearls, awaits us (Cf. Visio Pauli 20 , Rev 21 :18 –21). 13 Aut quid enim digne possumus pro Domino sustinere, dicente apostolo: Non sunt condignae passiones huius saeculi ad superuenturam gloriam, 14 ut si ignem persecutor seruo Christi inferat, ut temporalis calor finito non sentitur dolore, non tamen talis est, qualis ille ignis inextinguibilis, 15 aut sic incendit, quomodo aeternae poena gehennae peccatrici animae inmortaliter reseruatur. 16 Si ungulae uel heculei uel uerberum poenas ingerat, in ipsa parui doloris tolerantia aeternae laetitiae corona succedit. 17 Si carcer nos pro Deo tenebrosus reclaudat, sed aedificata auro uel gemmis et margaritis ornata aeterna nos Hierusalem expectat. 
18 If for the sake of God the dungeon’s darkness makes us blind, it can deprive us of sight for the moment, but afterwards we shall be received into eternal life by that other light 19 which shines not with the brightness of the sun or of the moon, not of the stars of heaven or of lamps, but with the everlasting majesty of God himself (Cf. Rev 21:23) . 20 If by dying for the sake of God we deserve to quit this earth which in the present life we tread under foot, we shall immediately be delivered to walk forever on that other land which is ‘seven times brighter than silver.’ (Visio Pauli 21) 21 If for the sake of God, moreover, we despise what are considered this world’s delights, which defile rather than nourish our viscera, we are immediately for all eternity given access 22 to those rivers which never cease to flow and are swollen with an abundance of ‘honey and milk, wine and oil,’ 23 as also to all and sundry fruits which the trees there produce twelve times a year’, not by human cultivation but through divine exuberance. (Visio Pauli 22 –3 ) 18 Si obscuritas clusurae nos pro Deo obcaecet, ad momentum nos poterit obscurare, sed post hoc illa nos lux in aeterna uita suscipiet, 19 quae non solis candore uel lunae, non stellarum caeli et lucernae, sed ipsius Dei perpetua magestate lucebit. 20 Si terra ista, quam in hac uita calcamus, moriendo pro Deo meruerimus abscedere, mox super illam terram ambulare perpetue deputamur, quae septies est argento tucidior. 21 Si uero quae putantur huius sacculi esse deliciae, quae inquinant potius interanea nostra quam reficiunt, pro Deo ea contempserimus, 22 ad illa statim flumina in aeternum currentia perpetue deputamur, quae sunt mellis et lactis, uini et olei abundantia plena, 23 simul et illarum fructus arborum uarios et diuersos duodecies in annum nascentes, non cultura hominis, sed abundantia deitatis,
24 It is not hunger that makes the eating of them delightful, nor appetite that avidly desires to consume them, 25 but after the eyes of the saints are sated by the very sight, in addition each one has in his mouth the taste which gives him pleasure (Passio Sebastiani 13). 24 qui non fame delectantur ad uescendum uel esurie adpetuntur ad manducandum, 25 sed postquam oculi sanctorum ipso uisu fuerint saginati, insuper hoc unicuique sapet in os, quod fuerit delectatus.
6 It is right and proper therefore that fasting and abstinence should make us suffer for a short time for the sake of the Lord, so that we may deserve to be forever filled to satiety with the good things he has prepared there. (Cf. 1 Cor 2:9) 27 For the sake of God we are kept in the darkness of a dungeon by the persecutor, so that in the perpetual light ‘we may shine like sparks darting about through stubble’ (Wis 3:7). 28 For the sake of God we embrace death for the moment, so that we may be forever freed from the eternal death of hell. 29 Finally, even when there is no persecution, even when Christianity is in peace, we serve in the school of the monastery under the abbot’s command through testing and thwarting of the will, so that when, 30 after the pilgrimage of life in this world, our Lord summons us to his judgment 31 we may present to him our seemly works, offering him the patience with which [we submitted to] all the diverse and difficult things that the abbot commanded us and we cheerfully endured for the sake of his name, 32 as also the various frustrations of our wills which we very willingly bore for the sake of God’s name and the salvation of our soul, 33 saying to the Lord: ‘For your sake we are being slain all the day; we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered’ (Ps 44 :22). 26 Ergo digne ad paruum tempus ieiuniis et abstinentia pro Domino cruciamur, ut mereamur de illis quae praeparauit bonis in perpetuo satiari. 27 Obscuramur pro Deo a persecutore in carcere, ut in illa perpetua luce fulgeamus tamquam scintillae in arundineto discurrentes. 28 Mortem momentaneam pro Deo ideo libenter adpetimus, ut in aeternum a gehennae morte perpetua liberemur. 29 Postremo et sine persecutionis tempus in ipsa christianitatis pace in scola monasterii ideo probationibus uel amaricationibus uoluntatum sub abbatis imperio militamus, 30 ut post peregrinationem uitae sacculi huius, cum Dominus noster iudicio nos accersierit suo, digna ei nostra opera consignemus, 31 offerentes ei patientiam nostram, per quam dura omnia et diuersa nobis ab abbate imperata, quae pro nomine eius gratanter portauimus, 32 uel amaricationes uoluntatum nostrarum diuersas, quas pro nomine Dei uel salute animae libenter magis sustinuimus, 33 dicentes Domino: Propter te morti adficimur tota die, extimati sumus ut oues occisionis.
234 And when all this came upon us we did not forget you, and by practising obedience we were not disloyal to your covenant, 35 neither did our hearts shrink back from perseverance in well-doing nor from the desire for what hope had in store, because our steps did not turn aside from your paths (Ps 44 :17 –18). 36 In these paths you put us to the test, O God, you subjected us to fire, as silver is refined with fire (Ps 66 :10). 37 You let us fall into the net of testing, you burdened our back, our humility, with the anguish of frustration, 38 so that we should not be permitted to do our own will but be forced to do yours (Cf. Ps 66 :11). 39 So ‘you set men over our heads’ (Ps 66 :12), 40 for you made it clear that we must be subjected to testing under the abbot as teacher and the dean as disciplinarian. 34 Et cum haec omnia uenerint super nos, obliti non sumus te, et per obseruationem oboedientiae inique non egimus in testamento tuo 35 et a perseuerantia bonorum actuum uel desiderio spei futurae non recessit retro cor nostrum, quia non declinauerunt semitae nostrae a uiis tuis. 36 In quibus uiis probasti nos, Deus, igne nos examinasti, sicut igne examinatur argentum. 37 Induxisti nos probationis in laqueum, posuisti amaricationum tribulationes in dorso humilitatis nostrae, 38 ut nostram non permitteremur, sed tuam cogeremur facere uoluntatem. 39 Vnde inposuisti homines super capita nostra, 
41 Such as these, therefore, following the Lord, now say in that other world: ‘We have passed through the fire and the water, and you have led us into a place of rest’ (Ps 66 :12), 42 that is, ‘We have passed through the bitter thwarting of our own will, 43 and by serving in holy obedience we have come to the refreshment of your fatherly love.’ 44 And likewise we say to him: ‘We are glad for the days when you afflicted us, for the years when we saw evil’ (Ps 90 :15) —45 so that the fire of hell may have nothing in us to which it can lay claim, since the devil, who must burn there, has had no success in us. 40 quia ostendisti nos sub abbate doctore uel praeposito disciplinae debere esse probandos. 41 Ergo hii tales subsequentes Domino dicunt in illo iam sacculo: Transiuimus per ignem et aquam et induxisti nos in refrigerium, 42 hoc est, “transiuimus per amaricationes uoluntatum nostrarum 43 et seruitio sanctae oboedientiae ecce peruenimus ad tuae refrigerium pietatis”. 44 Et item dicimus ei: Delectati sumus pro diebus quibus nos humiliasti annis in quibus uidimus mala, — 45 ut nihil habeat in nobis gehennae ignis sibi quod uindicet, quando nihil suum in nobis incendendus ibi diabolus egit.
46 Indeed, he who desires to serve in the Lord’s school must endure all things for his sake. 47 And like gold, he who is to enrich the diadem of God and the Lord’s crown must be put to the test with file, hammers, and the fire of the furnace (Passio Juliani 36), 48 because when one does not do his own will he is bound to do his to whom daily we say in prayer: 49 ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ (Mt 6:10). 50 Now, our body is earth; to it the Lord has said: ‘Earth you are and to the earth you shall return’ (Gen 3:19). 51 Because all self-will is carnal and issues from the body, its seductiveness leads us to commit what is wrong, 52 and during the short span of this life it seems to the flesh sweet through its desires, 53 only to be more bitter than gall afterwards and forever. 54 Therefore it is right that our tongue should be under compulsion to cry out daily to the Lord: ‘Thy will be done on earth’, our body.  46 Ergo omnia debet pro Domino sustinere, qui eius cupit militare scolae. 47 Et tamquam aurum lima et malleis et igne fornacis probetur, ad diadema Dei et coronam dominicam profuturus, 48 quia cum propriam non fecerit aliquis uoluntatem, cogitur facere cui cottidie in oratione dicimus: 49 Fiat uoluntas tua sicut in caelo et in terra. 50 Terra enim est corpus nostrum, cui dixit Dominus: Terra es et in terra ibis. 51 Quia omnis propria uoluntas carnalis est et a corpore descendit, ideo nos cogit inlecebra et iniusta conmittere, 52 quae ad tempus paruum uitae huius uidetur carni per desideria esse dulcis, 53 amarior felle futura in posterum et in aeternum. 54 Ideoque enim cogitur lingua nostra iuste cottidie clamare ad Dominum: Fiat uoluntas tua in terra corporis nostri. 
55 If in the monastic school this will is communicated to us by the superiors, and we fulfill it every day through obedience, 56 we have a right to believe that the Lord will spare us in the time to come. Furthermore, we are confident that his grace can win us a crown, 57 because we always did his will, not ours, 58 and we never preferred ourselves and the desires of the flesh to his love. 59 And for his sake we are ready even to lose our lives in this present time so that we may deserve to find them with him in the time to come. 55 Quae uoluntas cum fuerit nobis in scola monasterii a maioribus tradita et per oboedientiam a nobis fuerit adinpleta cottidie, 56 iuste nobis credamus in futuro Dominum parcere et confidamus insuper gratiam eius posse nos coronare, 57 quia semper eius fecimus uoluntatem, non nostram, 58 et numquam nos uel desideria carnis praetulimus amori eius 59 et propter eum etiam parati sumus perdere animas nostras in praesenti hoc tempore, ut mereamur eas in futuro inuenire cum ipso.
60 So when someone, drawing near the fear of God, desires to live the monastic life and wants to be a disciple, 61 let his future master in the Lord’s name explain to him, as we have said above, 62 that whatever he at any time tries to get by his own will’s desire may, he should know, be refused him, and whatever he does not want may, let him hear, be imposed on him. 63 Personal possessions are to be denied him in advance. 64 Let the entire Rule be read to him, and let him promise to put it into practice. 65 Let him know that henceforth his parental home is foreign to him. Let him make up his mind that now he no longer has access to its threshold, for unless one leaves father or mother or brothers or home he cannot be a disciple of Christ (Mt 19 :29). 66 Let him know that he may not go outside the monastery without orders from the superior. 60 Ergo accedens ad timorem Dei aliquis, in monasterio cupiens conuerti et uolens esse discipulus, 61 hoc ei pro Domino futurus magister proponat, ut supra diximus, 62 quia quidquid aliquando desiderio uoluntatis suae adpetierit, sciat sibi posse negari, et quidquid noluerit, audiat sibi posse inponi. 63 Antecessus ei peculiaria denegentur. 64 Regula ei tota legatur et factis inplenda promittatur. 65 Domum parentum de cetero sciat sibi esse extraneam. Inaccessibile limen eius ulterius habere iam credat, quia nisi qui reliquerit patrem aut matrem aut fratres aut domum, non potest esse Christi discipulus. 66 Citra iussionem maioris foris se a monasterio non exire sciat.
67 If after the abbot has told him all the aforesaid he promises to obey in every regard and to be always ready to put into practice all his admonitions and those of the Rule, then let him be received into the monastery. 68 Let him not, however, be so quickly clothed with the religious habit, for fear that he may give his word at the time but afterwards take it back, and thus enter as a wolf in sheep’s guise. 69 When he was a man of the world the devil did not tempt him because as long as he was working for him he always did his will openly, 70 but as soon as he turned from the suggestions of the devil and service to the world and gave himself to the fear of God, in the service of Christ, he may be absolutely sure that from that day on he made the devil his enemy for having deserted him and his world because of fear of the Lord. 67 Cum post his omnibus ab abbate praedictis promiserit se ad omnia obaudire et eius uel regulae monitionibus ad omnia factis esse paratum, tunc suscipiatur in monasterio. 68 Nec tamen ei tam facile propositi habitus inponatur, ne forte ad horam promittens fallat in posterum et sub nomine ouis lupus ingrediatur, 69 quia cum saecularis erat, diabolus eum non temptabat, cuius aperte semper uoluntatem perfecit, cum eius operarius fuit, 70 sed a quo se a diaboli suasionibus uel militia saeculari ad timorem Dei in seruitio Christi tradiderit, certissime ab ea die diabolum sibi inimicum sciat effectum, quem cum saeculo suo propter timorem Domini dereliquit.
71 Therefore anyone entering should not be so readily trusted, unless it be to see whether he translates into deeds what he promised in words, as Scripture says: ‘Do not trust every spirit but test them’ first (1 Jn 4:1), 72 and again: ‘Many come to you clothed as sheep but within they are ravenous wolves’ (Mt 7:15). 73 So you see that Scripture commands us to act cautiously in what concerns God so that ‘what is holy is not thrown to the dogs, nor precious pearls before pigs’ (Mt 7:6). 71 Ergo tam facile ingredienti non debet credi, nisi ut uideatur si quod promittit uerbis, factis adinplet, dicente scribtura: Nolite omni spiritui credere, sed prius probate, 72 et iterum quia multi ad uos ueniunt in uestitu ouium, intus autem lupi rapaces. 73 Vides ergo quia causam Dei caute nos iubet agere scribtura, ut non mittatur sanctum canibus nec margaritas praetiosas ante porcos.
74 But let the abbot keep reminding him day after day, saying: ‘My son, the clothing you are wearing in the monastery for the time being in no way anticipates our judgment concerning you, 75 but only when you have first cleansed worldly ways from the depths of your heart in the divine service will you finally change your garments as well, 76 so that in your body it may from then on be apparent to all, and rightly so, that in your spirit you belong to God. 77 And after cutting malice out of your heart it is quite proper that you should also cut your hair. 78 Then when you, still in your own clothes, have perfectly put into practice all that is contained in the Rule of the monastery, you will remain steadfast, holier still, after receiving our habit.’ 74 Sed monens eum cottidie abbas dicat: “Fili, interim istae res, quibus uteris in monasterio, nihil tibi praeiudicant apud nos, 75 sed prius in diuinis interanea cordis tui de saecularibus factis cum mundaueris, iam tunc demum mutabis et uestes, 76 ut merito iam ab omnibus hoc uidearis in corpore, quod a Deo possideris in mente. 77 Et iuste post pectoris caesa malitia, tondebis et caput. 78 Et cum haec omnia quae in regula monasterii continentur, in tuis adhuc uestibus perfecte inpleueris, et nostrum cum susceperis habitum, sanctior permanebis.
79 When for a whole year from that day, then, he has faultlessly lived the full life of the monastery together with the rest of the brethren, let him finally be tonsured with no further hesitation, 80 and let his clothing be exchanged for that of his holy intention. 81 He is tonsured thus: this brother kneels in the middle of the oratory and, with everyone round about chanting psalms, the abbot tonsures him. 79 Cum ergo ex illa die omnia cum ceteris fratribus inculpabiliter in monasterio per integrum annum inpleuerit, tunc demum sine aliqua dubitatione tondatur 80 uel ei sancti propositi uestes mutentur. 81 Tondatur enim sic: stat ipse frater medio oratorio curuatis in genibus, tondente eum abbate, psallentibus in circuitu cunctis.
82 During this year of probation he may not intone any antiphonal psalm or responsory or verse. As long as they are still earning the habit of their holy intention they shall not presume to eat with the abbot. 82 In quo probationis anno psalmum antifanae aut responsorium uel uersum non inponat, quamdiu sancti propositi habitum accipere mereantur, nec cum abbate ausi sint manducare.
83 The secular clothes of which he was divested when he made the exchange are to be carefully put away and kept, those of non-religious as well as of one who is already a full-fledged religious, 84 Should it ever be—and may this never happen in the case of religious!—that he wants to return to his vomit and decides to go the way of the world again, and cannot be restrained by any bonds of the Scriptures or of exhortations, let him give back to Christ what is His (Cf. Pr 26 :11 , 2 Pet 2:22). 85 In other words, divested of the holy garments and the sacred habit, clothed again with his own garments in which he came, conformed again to the world, let him go back to the devil his counselor (Cf Ch. 88 :14), 86 and let the garb of Christ not be carried off and contaminated in the world by the fugitive. 87 Let the world take him back as he was when it sent him, since Christ has retaken that which belongs to Him and which He had given to one unworthy of it, for the Lord could not find in him what He sought. 83 Vestes uero saeculares, quas dum mutat exutus fuerit, cum diligentia repositae conseruentur, tam de laicis quam iam de firmato conuerso, 84 ne forte, quod non in conuersis contingat, cum ad suos denuo uomitus redire uoluerit et saeculi elegerit iterato repedare itinera et nullis scribturarum uel monitionum potuerit uinculis retineri, reddat Christo quod suum est, 85 id est, exutus sanctis uestibus uel habitu sacro, suis quibus uenerat uestibus reuestitus, resimilans saeculo ad suasorem diabolum reuertatur 86 et non Christi praedatus habitus polluatur in saeculo a fugaci. 87 Recipiat talem qualem miserat saeculus, quia retulit quod suum est indigno quod dederat Christus, cum inuenire in eo Dominus non potuit quod quaerebat.
88 Furthermore, whatever he at any time acquired or made or contributed while in the monastery may absolutely not be given back to him when he leaves, because perseverance is required of everything that makes its way to God in the monastery. 89 For that reason permission to depart is refused, 90 Only that entity which has free will is not kept back involuntarily, that is, body and soul, 91 which says that it is endowed with the power of decision and thinks it is permitted what is evil, with the consequence that it is made captive by the devil in what it wills and desires. 88 Quidquid enim in monasterio aliquando adquisiuit uel laborauit aut contulit, abscedenti ei penitus non reddatur, quia omni rei ingressae ad Deum in monasterio perseuerantia opus est. 89 Ideo exitus licentiae denegatur. 90 Solum ab inuito ea res, quae liberum habet arbitrium, non detinetur, id est anima ipsa et corpus, 91 quae in uoluntatibus et desideriis suis ut a diabolo captiuetur, libero se dicit esse constituta arbitrio et putat sibi licere quod malum est. 
92 The reason why the Fathers ordain that the belongings and contributions of apostates may not be returned to them from the monastery (Cf. Regula Macarii 25) is this: 93 aside from the fact that they cannot in any case be disgorged and restored because they have been distributed and used up for the needs of the saints, they are primarily very definitely refused so that their very belongings may provide the disciples with a reason to restrain themselves and remain steadfast in the discipline of God in the monastery. 94 Therefore something offered to God must not be recalled to the world by man. 95 Indeed, such is the threefold intent of this Rule: in the monastery, work feeds the brothers; perseverance shoes and clothes them; departure restores things belonging to the monastery, and if he so wishes he goes. 92 Res apostalarum uel conlata ideo a patribus non iubentur de monasterio reddi, quia licet erogatae uel consumptae in usus sanctorum reuomeri et restitui non possunt, 93 tamen plurima ideo certissime denegantur, ut uel occasione rerum suarum ad Dei disciplinam in monasterio permanentes retineantur discipuli. 94 Ideo res Deo oblata reuocari saeculo ab homine non debet. 95 Nam et ista huius regulae tripertita sententia haec est: labor in monasterio fratres pascit, perseuerantia calciat et uestit, discessus restituit debitas monasterio res et, si cupit, abscedit.
91 Son of a Noble  

Question of the disciples:

Interrogatio discipulorum:

91. HOW the SON of a NOBLE is to be ACCEPTED into the MONASTERY. [RB ]

XCI. Qvomodo svscipi debeat filivs nobilis in monasterio.

The Lord has replied through the master:

Respondit Dominus per magistrum:

SHOULD the son of a nobleman want to flee to the monastery for the service of God, let him not be accepted before he has promised to practise obedience in all things, as we said above. 2 Then let his parents be consulted to learn what is their wish for him. 3 If, when this is done, they prove to be so opposed that they would do violence to the Lord to get him back, let him be claimed for the enclosure of the monastery, for the Lord has the power to defend him in his own interest, 4 for his right arm is stronger to protect him than is the wickedness of the devil to harm him (Cf. Passio Juliani 11). 5 But if, on the contrary, his parents consent to his wish, let the abbot ask them to come to the monastery and question their son about his desire for the religious life 6 so that, as is right, it will be seen that they who gave him life are themselves pledging and offering him. 7 In this case, accordingly, when the parents declare in response that they are happy to accede to what he wishes, let the abbot say to them: 1 Cum alicuius nobilis filius propter Dei seruitium in monasterium uoluerit conuolare, non prius suscipiatur, nisi, ut superius diximus, omnia a se oboedientiae promiserit adinplenda. 2 Deinde conueniantur eius parentes, ut et eorum quale sit uotum cognoscatur de eo. 3 Quod si contrarii extiterint interim usque ad uim pro eo Domino inferendam, claustro monasterii uindicetur, 4 quem potens est Dominus defendere propter se, quia fortior est dextera eius ad protegendum, quam diaboli iniquitas ad ledendum. 5 Quod si magis fuerint consentientes eius uoto parentes, conuocatis eis ab abbate in monasterio, uotum filii conuertentis exquiratur ab eis, 6 ut ab ipsis potius uideatur deuoueri uel offerri, qui eum genuerunt. 7 Cum ergo magis responderint parentes gratanter se uelle adinplere quae cupit, tunc dicat eis abbas:
8 ‘Certainly for all of us God alone suffices in all things (Cf. Julius Pomerius, De vita contempl. 2.16 .2). 9 But because worldly expectations are first cut off from those who come to the divine service and enter the monastery, 10 let him, relieved of the burden of his fortune, no longer entangled in the world’s snares, go to the Lord secure and alone, 11 because “no one serving God entangles himself in worldly affairs, that he may please him whose approval he has secured” (2 Tim 2:4), 12 because a man “burdened with gold cannot follow Christ” (Jerome, Ep 14 .6), 13 since “he cannot serve two masters” (Mt 6:24); 14 but he serves God well who desires to possess with him in heaven that treasure which “the moth does not consume nor thieves break in and steal” (Mt 6:20). 15 As the Lord says in the gospel: “He who does not renounce all he possesses cannot follow me and be my disciple” (Cf. Lk 14 :33), 8Quidem omnibus nobis unus ad omnia sufficit Deus. 9 Sed quia accedentibus ad diuinum seruitium uel intrantibus in monasterio saeculi prius amputatur spes, 10 et excarricato de se suarum honere facultatum, nullis ulterius saeculi laqueis inretitus, securus pergat et solus ad Dominum, 11 quia nemo seruiens Deo inplicat se negotiis saecularibus, ut ei placeat, cui se probauit, 12 quia homo honustus auro sequi Christum non potest, 13 dum non potest duobus dominis seruire, 14 ipse uero bene Deo seruit, qui uoluerit illum in caelis cum eo thesaurum possidere, quem non tinea comedit nec fures effodiunt et furantur, 15 dicente Domino in euangelio: Nisi qui renuntiauerit omnibus, quae possidet, non potest sequi me et meus esse discipulus,
16 because, as we have said, a man burdened with gold cannot follow Christ, 17 and so true is this that in the gospel the Lord gives this admonition to anyone following in his footsteps, saying to him: 18 “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell all you have, and come, follow me” (Mt 19 :21). 19 This man became sad because of his great wealth and deserved to hear the Lord’s voice declare that 20 “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19 :24). 21 The apostle too condemns them by what he says: “But those who seek to become rich fall into temptation and snares and many desires, which plunge men into destruction and damnation.  16 quia, ut diximus, homo honustus auro sequi Christum non potest, 17 in tantum ut admoneat Dominus in euangelio quendam sua sequentem uestigia, dicens ei: 18 Si uis perfectus esse, uade et uende omnia, quae habes, et ueni, sequere me. 19 Vnde contristatus ille propter multas diuitias, meruit hanc dominicae uocis audire sententiam, 20 facilius camelus per foramen acus quam intrare posse diuitem in regno caelorum. 21 Quos et sua sententia damnat apostolus, dicens: Nam qui uolunt diuites fieri, incidunt in temptationem et laqueos et desideria multa, quae mergunt homines in interitu et perditione.
22 Covetousness is the root of all evils, and some in their eagerness to get rich have strayed from the faith and have involved themselves in many troubles” (1 Tim 6:9–10). 23 You see then that he who does not want to give up his possessions in the world cannot follow God, nor can he who does not want to hate his riches love God; 24 the fact is that what the Lord knows how to give in return to those who make themselves poor for his sake cannot be compared with what they are spurning for God’s sake, 25 and over and above this he grants them the eternal life they will enjoy forever. 22 Radix omnium malorum est auaritia, quam quidam adpetentes a fide exciderunt et inseruerunt se doloribus multis. 23 Videtis ergo quia nec sequi Deum potest, qui in saeculo quae possidet bona sua non uult relinquere, nec amare poterit Deum, qui diuitias suas uoluerit non odire, 24 quia non tanta uel talia, qualia pro Deo contemnuntur, nouit Dominus retribuere his qui pauperes se faciunt propter cum, 25 insuper ad fruendam in aeternum ipsam uitam eis tribuit sempiternam.
26 ‘Indeed, God is seeking to deprive you of your possessions not in order thereby to gain anything for himself, 27 for he does not take pleasure in your poverty or rejoice in your indigence, 28 but so that while you are on your way to him and desire his eternal riches, 29 the very short-lived encumbrances of this world [may not] so occupy your thoughts that you never think about your soul( Visio Pauli 10 & 40), 30 and that you may be concerned about death, 31  [lest] having passed your days carelessly until the very end of your life, leaving to the world all that filled your thoughts, death’s final accounting at the judgment catch you with only your sins. 32 You would thereafter have nothing but eternal punishment and would begin then to repent forever when you could no longer find this repentance a remedy. 26Nam non ideo Deus quaerit rebus uestris uos exui, ut aliquid exinde ipse iuuetur, 27 aut uestra paupertate gaudet uel uestra indigentia gratulatur, 28 sed ut euntibus uobis ad eum uel eius diuitias sempiternas desiderantes, 29 momentanea saeculi inpedimenta cum sibi uestros occupant cogitatos, de anima uestra numquam uos faciant cogitare, 30 uel de morte possitis esse solliciti, 31 et dies uestros in extremos uitae terminos per neglegentiam definitos, relictis omnibus saeculo de quibus cogitabatis, ultima mortis ratio in iudicio uobis cum solis peccatis occurrat, nihil aliud nisi poenas perpetuas habituri, 32 et tunc uos in aeternum incipiat paenitere, cum iam ipsius paenitentiae non potueritis inuenire remedium.
33 Therefore it is with good reason that Scripture cries out to us: “Run while you still have the light permitting you to take care of your future, lest the darkness of death overtake you and put your negligence on trial” (Cf. Jn 12 :35). 34 So if anyone approaches the Lord without having stepped back from love of his riches, he is one of those who, as the apostle said above, cannot remain steadfast in their expectations of God, and all too easily can stray from the faith since there is always something worldly that they love.  33 Vnde nobis clamat merito scribtura: Currite, dum licentiae ad prouidendum uobis lumen habetis, ne ad discutiendam neglegentiam tenebrae uobis mortis occurrant. 34 Quod ergo si aliquis ita accedat ad Dominum, ut a diuitiarum suarum auaritia non recedat, hos tales superius dixit apostolus non posse in hoc quod de Deo cupiebant permanere et tota facilitate eos a fide posse discedere, quibus de sacculo remanet quod ametur.
35 ‘Now, taking all this into account, O parents, it is right that we should, in accord with God, give you this advice about your son: if you wish to offer your son to God properly, first rid him of the world. 36 If you keep anything of the world with you to save for him, some day he will feel the itch of diabolical desire, 37 as a dog delights to return to its vomit (Pr 26 :11), 38 so that, looking back after having put his hand to the plow, he is no longer fit for the kingdom of heaven (Lk 9:62). 39 Eventually quitting the monastery, assured of his portion held in reserve for him by you, desiring to return to your home in the world, wishing to be coheir with his brothers, 40 he will make up his mind to go back as suitor and master of his possessions. 41 Restored to his former pleasures and splendors, he will crave nothing but marriage. 35Ita enim nos considerantes, o parentes, iuste uobis secundum Deum pro uestro filio suademus, ut si filium uestrum digne Deo cupitis offerre, a saeculo eum prius exuite. 36 Quod si aliquid apud uos ei saeculi remanserit conseruandum, habebit aliquando titillationem diabolici desiderii, 37 sicut canis delectatus ad suum redit uomitum, 38 ut, posita manu super aratrum, respiciens retro iam non sit aptus regno caelorum, 39 relicto quandoque monasterio, securus de portione sua ei seruata a uobis, cupiens in saeculari domo uestra reuerti, fratribus suis uolens esse coheres, 40 suarum redire incipiat sponsus et dominus facultatum, 41 et pristinis restitutus deliciis et pompis, non aliud desideraturus quam nuptias.
42 ‘Therefore, as we said before, if you wish to offer him to God properly, think of removing his encumbrance before thinking of his soul. 43 So listen to the voice of that Lord whom your son says he is following, telling him: 44 “Sell all you have and give to the poor, and come follow me, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Mt 19 :21 ). 45 But because his portion is still in your power, and even more because it is evident that he is being offered to God with your consent and permission, it behooves you to dispose of it according to the word of the Lord. 46 If you are willing to listen [to it] in your son’s place, you yourselves must make the arrangements called for. 47 What is important is that nothing remain with you in the world for your son, except God. 42Ergo, sicut superius diximus, si digne eum uultis Deo offerre, de auferendo prius inpedimento eius quam de anima cogitate. 43 Itaque audite uocem illius Domini, quem filius uester dicit se sequi, ipsi dicentem: 44 Vende omnia, quae habes, et da pauperibus et ueni, sequere me, et habebis thesaurum in caelo. 45 Sed quia portio eius adhuc in uestra est potestate, et consensu uestro uel permissione magis uidetur Deo offerri, uos tanget de ea secundum dominicam uocem. 46 Quam si uultis audire pro filio uestro, ipsi debetis ordinare quod condecet. 47 Tantum est ut filio uestro apud uos nihil remaneat in sacculo, nisi Deus.
48 ‘But if, because of the greatness of your wealth and your love for your family reared at home, this divine precept strikes you as hard and less than sweet, listen to our Rule’s salutary advice set down by the Fathers. 49 Let his portion be equally divided into three parts. 50 Let one be sold and distributed to the poor and needy through the hands of the abbot. 51 Let him, as he departs for the court of the saints, leave the second to you and his brothers as a gift in the form of a bequest (Cf. Passio Sebastiani 12). 52 But the third part let him bring with him to the monastery as his travel funds, to be used for the benefit of the saints, 53 because just as your son contributes his portion to all the brothers in the monastery for their livelihood in accordance with what the apostle says about making distribution: “Especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal 6:10); 54 So also every one of the brothers of the monastery, one after the other, bring what each of them has upon entering the monastery, in conformity with this practice, to benefit your son along with all the others. 48Quod si forte propter inmanitatem diuitiarum uel amorem nutritae domi familiae grauis uobis et minus dulcis haec diuina praeceptio conuenit, audite regulae nostrae a patribus salubre statutum consilium. 49 De portione eius tres fiant aequaliter partes. 50 Vna distracta abbatis manibus pauperibus uel indigentibus erogetur. 51 Aliam uobis uel fratribus suis pergens ille ad comitatum sanctorum exagiliario munus titulo derelinquat. 52 Tertiam uero partem uiatici sui utilitate deferat secum monasterio sanctorum usibus profuturam, 53 quia quomodo filius uester omnibus in monasterio fratribus ad solacium uitae portionem suam conferet, dicente apostolo de erogatione: Maxime ad domesticos fidei, 54 ita et uniuersi monasterii fratres suis singulis uicibus, prout quis habet, ad hanc ingredientes monasterium deferunt formam filio uestro communiter cum omnibus profuturum.
55 ‘But if you find both these suggestions so difficult that you will not listen either to God by sharing with the poor and ransoming the soul of your son, or to our advice by dividing his worldly substance into parts and taking it away from him, 56 at least give your son to God stripped of everything and completely alone, in such a way that you promise him under oath on the sacred gospels that henceforth he will have nothing of your patrimonial fortune. 57 Thus, from now on going to God with steadfast perseverance, he will know that there is nothing to hope for from the world, for he will see himself a stranger to you and to it. 58 He will desire only the things above, because that sets free his soul. Consequently either he will go to the Lord under arrangements made by you or, better yet, disinherited by you for the sake of God, he will make his way to him, 59 crying out to God whom he is following stripped of everything: 60 “It is you, O Lord, who will restore my heritage to me” (Ps 16 :5). 61 What is important is that he have nothing worldly any more to hope for from your means, while you are living or after your death, 62 because one “to whom the world is once crucified” ought never again to take delight in it (Gal 6:14) 55Quod si utraeque uobis graues sunt uoces, ut nec Deum audiatis pauperibus erogando et filii animam redimendo, nec nostrum consilium partibus diuidendo et auferendo ab eo saecularem substantiam, 56 uel nudum et solum filium Deo largite, ita ut iureiurando per sacrosancta euangelia promittatis ei ulterius eum de uestra patrimonii substantia nihil habere, 57 ut firmiter iam perseuerans ad Deum sciat se de saeculo nihil sperare, cum se a uobis et ab eo uiderit alienum. 58 Solummodo superna desideret, quia hoc expedit animae illius, ut aut ordinatus a uobis uadat ad Dominum, aut pro eo exheredatus a uobis, felicius magis pergat ad Deum, 59 clamans Deo, quem sequitur nudus: 60 Tu, Domine, restitues mihi hereditatem meam. 61 Tantum est ut nihil habeat de saeculo, quod uiuis uobis aut mortuis de uestris facultatibus iam speret, 62 quia cui semel crucifixus est mundus, denuo ab eo redelectari non debet.
63 Now, if you are unwilling to make any arrangements at all for him, I think his case will be reserved for you at the divine judgment, 64 but as for him, know with utmost certainty that he will receive from the Lord more than he spurned, for he has made the Lord his debtor, having followed him stripped of everything (Cf. Jerome, Ep 12 5.20). 65 Indeed, your son will undoubtedly receive much in heaven, as the Lord promises him when he says: 66 “There is no one who has left gold or silver or possessions or houses for my sake 67 who will not receive a hundredfold in the kingdom of God and, over and above, eternal life” (Cf. Mk 10 :29 –30). 68 Hearing all this, your son is ready. 69 If you wish, he may surrender everything to you so that he can find the hundredfold with God, because our Lord is sufficient for us in every regard. 70 What then does suffice for one whom the Lord himself does not satisfy?’ 63 Nam si ex toto nihil de eo ordinare uolueritis, causam eius puto uobis diuino reseruari iudicio, 64 eum uero certissime sciatis plura a Domino recipere quam contempsit, cum Dominum sibi fecit, quem nudus secutus est, debitorem. 65 Recipiet enim in caelis filius uester sine dubio multa, promittente ei Domino in euangelio, dicens: 66 Nemo qui reliquit aurum aut argentum aut possessiones aut domos propter me, 67 et non centuplum recipit in regno Dei, insuper et uitam aeternam. 68 Haec audiens filius uester paratus est. 69 Si uultis, relinquet uobis totum, ut apud Deum centuplum ualeat inuenire, quia de omnibus Dominus noster est nobis idoneus. 70 Nam quid illi sufficit, cui ipse Dominus non sufficit?

Question of the disciples:

Interrogatio discipulorum:



The Lord has replied through the master:

Respondit Dominus per magistrum:

1 The abbot must take care never to appoint anyone second to himself, nor to assign anyone to third place. 2 Why? So that by not causing anyone to become proud of the honor and by promising the honor of being his successor to someone who lives a holy life, he may make all eager to rival one another in doing what is good and in humility, 3 just as the Lord judged the apostles quarreling over first place when ‘he brought a child into their midst and said: 4 “Let anyone who wants to be great among you be like this, 5 and let anyone who wants to be first among you be your servant”’. 6 And the Lord likewise said to his disciples: ‘Whoever first keeps my commandments and then teaches them, he it is who will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven’.

1 Cauere debet abbas, ne quem sibi aliquando secundarium adiudicet uel in tertium aliquem constituat locum. 2 Quare? Ut cum nullum elatum de honore reddiderit et sancte agenti se in successione sua honorem promiserit, certatim omnes in bonis actibus uel in humilitate faciat propensare, 3† sicut de fortiori gradu contendentibus apostolis Dominus iudicauit, cum in medio eorum infantem deduxisset, et dixit: 4† Qui uult esse inter uos fortior, sit talis, 5 et qui uult esse inter uos maior, sit uester minister. 6 Et item dixit Dominus discipulis suis: Quicumque prius fecerit praecepta mea et sic docuerit, hic maximus uocabitur in regno caelorum.

7 Therefore, following this prescription for becoming humble, the abbot ought constantly to tell this to all the brothers: 8 ‘My brothers and sons, whoever among you exerts himself to be discerned as one who is obedient to the divine precepts in every regard and submissive to all that is contained in the Rule and conformable to what I do;

7 Vnde ergo secundum hanc humiliandi formam, hoc semper omnibus fratribus dicere debet abbas: 8 “Fratres et filii mei, quicumque de uobis hoc elaborauerit, ut diuinis praeceptis in omnibus oboediens uel per omnia regulae obtemperans uel meis actibus similis inueniatur;

 9 whoever strives to put my teaching into practice; 10 whoever does not subject his conduct to his own will and choosing but to obedience to God for correction through me, 11 that is to say, not to pride but to humility, 12 not to talkativeness but to silence, 13 not to hatred but to kindness, 14 not to deceit but to charity, 15 not to anger but to peace, 16 not to drunkenness but to sobriety, 17 not to satiety but to temperance, 18 not to discord but to patience, 9 quicumque ad hoc contenderit, ut doctrinam meam conpleat factis; 10 quicumque mores suos non in sua propria uoluntate et arbitrio, sed Dei oboedientiae per me tradiderit corrigendos, 11 id est non in superbia sed in humilitate, 12 non in multiloquio sed in taciturnitate, 13 non in odio sed in gratia, 14 non in dolo sed in caritate, 15 non in ira sed in pace, 16 non in ebrietate sed in sobrietate, 17 non in satietate sed in continentia, 18 non in scandalo sed in patientia,
19 not to murmuring but to obedience, 20 not to tardiness but to promptness, 21 not to contention but to agreement, 22 not to levity but to gravity, 23 not to idle talk but to words that are few and wise, 24 not to excessive and guffawing laughter but to tears of patience, 25 not to lust but to chastity— 19 non in murmurio sed in oboedientia, 20 non in tarditate sed in agilitate, 21 non in contentione sed in adsensione, 22 non in leuitate sed in grauitate, 23 non in uaniloquio sed in paucis sapientiae uerbis, 24 non in risu multo aut excusso sed in patientiae lacrimis, 25 non in luxuria sed in castitate;
26 whoever among you, then, practises all this to perfection will be designated, at the time of my death, not only by my judgment but also by that of God, 27 a master in God’s school who shall expound to the disciples of Christ the divine art which he himself is already practising perfectly.  26 haec ergo omnia quicumque de uestris ad perfectum inpleuerit, non solum meo sed et Dei indicio tempore mortis meae scolae Dei ordinabitur magister, 27 artem dominicam, quam ipse iam perfecte adinplet, Christi discipulis monstraturus.
28 For how could anyone honestly strive for the honor of being a superior if he could not do what the divine precepts require for deserving that honor, 29 and how could he preside over the divine school if he could not translate into deeds what he learned by the instructions of the superior? 30 How could anyone who did not know how to amend his own behavior correct the vices of others? 31 And how could anyone who was unable to correct his own faults against discipline keep others under discipline? 32 Therefore unless one is first a perfect disciple in every regard he cannot be a worthy master.’ 28 Nam quomodo ad honorem maioris quis poterit iuste contendere, si honoris ipsius merita in diuinis praeceptis non ualuerit adinplere, 29 uel quod monitionibus maioris didicerit, non factis effecerit, diuinae quomodo praeerit scolae? 30 Quomodo aliena poterit uitia emendare, qui sua nescit acta corrigere? 31 Vel quomodo sub disciplina poterit alios regere, qui culpas disciplinae in se non potuerit emendare? 32 Ideoque nisi qui prius fuerit in omnibus perfectus discipulus, dignus non poterit esse magister.”
33 Having often said this openly to the community and not having assured anyone of the honor, let the abbot constantly change the order of precedence. 34 Let him have them sit beside him at table in turn, 35 let him bid all in turn to stand beside him in the oratory, 36 all in turn after him to intone the psalms, 37 so that no one may then be made proud of the honor of ranking second, and no one give way to despair because of ranking last. 33 Cum hoc ergo abbas saepe congregationi praedixerit et nullum certum reddiderit de honore, semper eorum confundat grados 34 uicibusque ad mensam secus se sedere faciat, 35 uicibus in oratorio iubeat secus se uniuersos stare, 36 uniuersos uicibus post se psalmos inponere, 37 ut nullus de secundarii honore iam redatur elatus siue de ultimo gradu aliquis se faciat desperatum.

38 Thus, if no one is raised above the rest to second place 39 and each one may look forward, in the suspense of expectation, to being considered for receiving the honor if he lives a holy life, and may be confident that 40 he can some day be chosen for the abbatial dignity because of his good deeds, it will come about that while all desire to attain this place of honor they will be eager to put the aforesaid precepts of God into practice, 41 since no one is designated for sure but the honor is promised to those whose conduct is above reproach and holy, 42 and all can make progress by competing with one another, 43 if not out of fear of the judgment to come, then at least for the sake of honor in the present life. 44 So if the community is large and none are ranked in descending degrees of dignity, with none having precedence, 45 the last one cannot despair about himself, 46 and likewise it will be impossible for anyone in second place, with everyone else ranked after him, to rejoice in his elevation and thereafter, assured of exclusive honor, neglect to bring God’s interests to fruition in himself because he is occupied with hoping for present rather than future gain; 47 *for in general mankind is so constituted that it loves what it sees more than what it hopes for without seeing it.

38 Ergo cum nullus de multis secundo in gradu erigetur 39 et per incertum spei unusquisque ad percipiendum honorem, si se sancte tractauerit, de se hoc suspicet iudicari 40 et per bona acta sua eligi se posse quandoque in abbatis honore confidat, 41 ut dum pro incerto nullus designatur, sed bene et sancte se agentibus honor promittitur, 42 ita fit ut, dum omnes cupiunt gradum optinere honoris, supradicta Dei praecepta in se festinent inplere, 43 et si non propter timorem futuri iudicii, tamen uel propter praesentis uitae honorem contendendo certatim possint omnes proficere, 44 ut cum grandis fuerit congregatio et per nullos grados honoris diuersi descenderint, 45 nullis sibi antecedentibus, non possit de se ultimus desperare 46 nec item secundus, omnibus post se positis, possit elatus gaudere et iam securus de solo honore causam Dei in se neglegat adinplere, cum quaerit magis sperare praesentia quam futura, 47 quia generaliter tale est genus humanum, ut plus amet quae uidet quam quae non uidendo sperat.

48 If then, as we said above, the abbot leaves everyone’s rank undetermined and he sees all exerting themselves in their desire to attain this honor some day, 49 they will eagerly compete with one another to implement what is of God so that their good deeds may make them acceptable for appointment. 50 Consequently, with each and every one manifesting his works of holiness to the abbot and to God, they may look forward to the possibility that God and the abbot will be at one in passing favorable judgment on them in regard to this honor,

48 Ergo, sicut supra diximus, cum incertos posuerit diuersorum grados et omnes satagentes uiderit in hoc aliquando uelle se peruenire honore, 49 certatim festinent adinplere quae Dei sunt, ut per bona acta placeant ordinandi, 50 ut unusquisque ostendens opera sua sancta abbati et Deo, in hoc honore de se posse consentire Deum et abbatem digne de se suspicent iudicare,

51 for they are all outstanding in their eager rivalry out of zeal for good and desire for the honor. 52 So they are compelled to manifest in themselves to God and to the abbot all that is holy and good when they start to hope for the reputation reserved for the perfect 53 and thereafter by their deeds give evidence in themselves of what they would like to teach the others by their words later on. 51 cum inuicem sibi ex zelo boni et honoris desiderio propensiores extiterint. 52 Tunc coguntur in se Deo et abbati omnia sancta et bona ostendere, cum perfectorum merita coeperint sperare, 53 et modo iam in se factis ostendere, quod ceteros postea uerbis cupiunt edocere.

54 Now, another reason why we have prescribed that all are to be of equal rank and that no one is to be assigned the honor of second place, is that it may happen—55 as Scripture says: ‘The last shall be first, and the first last’—56 that before the death of the abbot some brother who has already met the test of some Rule may merit admission to the monastery, 57 or who indeed, as in the case of many we read about in the Lives of the Fathers, will be one of those who, secretly deserting their monasteries and communities because of a desire for humility, prefer to submit themselves to the command of another. 58 And because God ‘does not withhold what is good from those who go their way in innocence’ and humility, 59 and ‘a city built on a hilltop cannot be hidden, 60 a lit lamp gives light when placed not under a tub but on a lamp-stand’, 61 what if the abbot had already assigned one of his more lax brothers to second place 62 when a man of the aforesaid caliber entered the school of this new monastery, his great worth hidden by humility, and his works of perfection then came to light day after day, 63 and while the new disciple of the monastery went about in contempt he were recognized from what he did as an old soldier of Christ? 64 When the abbot suddenly became aware of this man’s being such, would he not regret having already appointed a lax monk as second to himself and, blaming his own judgment, think of undoing what he did, 65 since it is not right that the better should be subordinate to the worse and that the latter should give orders though he himself is incapable of putting the orders into practice?

54 Nam et ideo aequales omnium haberi constituimus grados et nullum in secundarii honore constitui, ne forte, 55 sicut dicit scribtura: Erunt nouissimi primi et primi nouissimi, 56 huius forte fratris in monasterio ante obitum abbatis debeatur ingressus, 57 qui iam aut aliqua regula adprobatus aut certe, ut de multis in Vitas legitur Patrum, propter humilitatis desiderium monasteria uel congregationes suas absconse deserentes, subiugare se alieno malunt imperio. 58 Et quia non priuat bonis Deus ambulantes in innocentia uel humilitate 59 et non potest abscondi ciuitas super montem posita 60 nec lucerna accensa, non sub modio sed super candelabrum posita, inlucescit, 61 quid, si forte de neglegentioribus suis fratribus aliquem se uiuo abbas in secundarii gradu iam designet, 62 et cum huius supradicti tanti uiri scolam noui monasterii per humilitatem celata magnitudo intrauerit et eius cottidie ultro perfecta claruerint opera, 63 et cum despectione agitur monasterii nouellus discipulus, agnoscatur factis Christi milex antiquus, 64 nonne, cum hunc talem subito abbas agnouerit, in neglegenti iam ordinato secundario proprio se paeniteat facto et suo iudicio efficitur reprobus, cogitat dissipare quod fecerat, 65 cum non est dignum, ut melior sub deteriore consistet et hic uerbis imperet, qui imperata factis non possit adinplere?

66 Therefore the place of honor is to be kept in abeyance for all, held in promise some day for those who show themselves well-pleasing. 67 The abbot should frequently give verbal assurance of this to his brothers, saying: 68 ‘the Lord will give the honor to someone who sways him by his holy deeds, and 69 *“he will not frustrate the desire of him” who has not defrauded God himself of his due, 70 and through him God will provide the other disciples with what is needed, once he himself finds that he is lacking nothing in this master’.

66 Ergo suspensus honoris gradus habeatur in omnibus et ostensis beneplacitis quandoque promissus. 67 Hoc abbas fratribus suis saepe uerbis spondeat, dicens: 68 “Dabit Dominus honorem huic qui sanctis eum prouocauerit factis, 69 nec fraudat eum desiderio suo, a quo nec Deus ipse fraudatus est a lucro suo, 70 et prouidet Deus discipulis per ipsum aliis quod opus est, cum prius de ipso magistro ipse nihil coeperit indigere.”

71 So while the abbot sees all the brothers panting with thirst for this honor and each one competing to evince in himself works of holiness in what is good according to the precepts of God, 72 he will continually be pondering in his mind and scrutinizing with his eyes which of them all stands out in the rivalry of observance as the most excellent and perfect. 73 And then at the time of his death, having called all the brothers into his presence, let him say to them: 74 ‘You have all done well indeed in holy observance. 75 You have always shown good behavior in the sight of God.’

71 Ergo dum in hanc sitim honoris omnes fratres abbas uiderit anelare et certatim opera sancta in bonis praeceptorum Dei de se diuersos ostendere, 72 consideret semper animo et oculo scrutetur, qui de diuersis in agone obseruantiae superior uel perfectus extiterit, 73 et iam tempore mortis suae, uocatis omnibus ante se fratribus, dicat eis: 74 “Bene uos quidem omnes in obseruatione sancta egistis. 75 Bene acta uestra Dei semper praebuistis aspectibus.”

76 And suddenly calling out the name and taking the hand of the one whom he has secretly always considered better than the rest in every perfection, let him say to the whole community: 77 ‘Hear me, sons’ the Holy Trinity, by whose judgment this choice is being made, knows 78 that in the full observance of God’s commandments, 79 that is, in silence, in obedience, 80 in faith, in peace, in kindness, in patience, in goodness, in sincerity, 81 in vigilance, in sobriety, in continence, in chastity, 82 this man has always stood out as the best among you.’ 76 Et uocato subito nomen illius uel adpraehensa manu eius, quem meliorem in omni perfectione semper absconse ceteris iudicauit, dicat omni congregationi: 77 “Audite me, filii, Trinitas sancta nouit, cuius iudicio hoc eligitur, 78 quia uobis omnibus in omni obseruatione mandatorum Dei, 79 id est in taciturnitate, in oboedientia, 80 in fide, in pace, in gratia, in patientia, in bonitate, in simplicitate, 81 in uigilantia, in sobrietate, in continentia, in castitate 82 semper uobis melior extitit iste.”






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