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[Ms P, fol. 173v - Paulus Diaconus]

Ch. 72

Translated by: Clare Woods

Notandum est enim, quia suo loco B. Benedictus hoc capitulum dixit. Ille enim cognovit, magnas res per invidiam decrescere et parvas per concordiam crescere. Ideo, postquam dixerat ausculta, o fili, praecepta magistri, [Regula Benedicti, prologue.1] et dixerat, qualis debeat esse abbas, [Regula Benedicti, c. 2] et de instrumentis bonorum operum, [Regula Benedicti, c. 4] et de humilitate et de officiis divinis et de discretione judiciorum et de reliquis virtutibus, ne bonum, quod dixit, per discordiam solveretur, dixit hoc capitulum, cujus clavis est: tDe zelo bono, quem debent monachi habere. 

For it should be noted that Blessed Benedict dictated this chapter in this place. For he knew that great things diminish through ill-will, and small ones increase through harmony. And therefore, after he had said, listen, o son, to the teachings of your master [Rule of Benedict, prologue. 1], and had said what sort of man an abbot ought to be, [Regula Benedicti, c. 2] and spoken concerning the instruments of good works, [Regula Benedicti, c. 4] and on humility and the divine offices, and on discernment in judgements, and on the remaining virtues, in order that the good, about which he spoke, should not be destroyed through discord, he dictated this chapter, whose title is: tOn the good zeal which monks ought to have.  

Ait enim: 1Sicut est zelus amaritudinis malus, qui separat a Deo, et ducit ad infernum, 2ita est zelus bonus, qui separat a vitiis et ducit ad Deum et ad aeternam vitam. 3Hunc ergo zelum ferventissimo amore exerceant monachi, 4i. e. ut honore se invicem praeveniant, 5infirmitates suas sive corporum sive morum patientissime tolerent.

For he says: 1Just as there is a bad zeal of bitterness, which separates from God and leads to hell, 2so is there a good zeal, which separates from vices and leads to God and to eternal life. 3Therefore monks should practice this zeal with the most fervent love, 4that is, they should surpass one another in honour, [and] bear ther infirmities, whether of body or of character, with the utmost patience.

Zelus enim, qui in bono ponitur, intelligitur vis, i. e. amor mentis, et zelus malus intelligitur invidia. Istud ergo superius respicit - ac si diceret: Si ita est, ut zelus bonus separet a vitiis et ducat ad Deum, ergo hunc zelum ferventissimo amore exerceant monachi. Ferventissimo, i. e. ardentissimo. Zelus enim bonus est amor virtutum et horror vitiorum, zelus malus est amor vitiorum et horror virtutum. Zelat quis mulierem suam, ut integra sit, et si corrupta fuerit, deprehendatur. Et sic homo in bono zelat alteram personam, ut sana sit, et si negligens fuerit, cognoscatur. 

For the zeal that is put to good use is understood to be a power - i.e. love - of the mind, and bad zeal is understood to be ill-will. He mentions that above, therefore, as if to say: If it is so, that good zeal separates from vices and leads to God, therefore let monks practice this zeal with the most fervent love. Most fervent means most ardent. For good zeal is a love of virtues and a horror of vices; bad zeal is a love of vices and a horror of virtues. A man is zealously protective of his wife, that she be pure, and if she has been corrupted, that she be caught in the act. And in the same way a man zealously loves another person for his good, that he be well, and if he has been neglectful, that he be known as such. 

Et reddit causam, quomodo debeant monachi exercere hunc zelum, cum subdit: i. e. honore se invicem praeveniant, infirmitates suas sive corporum sive morum patientissime tolerent. Infirmitas [page 630] corporis multis modis venit. Infirmitas enim mentis duobus modis: aut est naturalis, aut est, quae postea venit. Sed in hoc loco per infirmitates mentis commotio animi intelligitur; et hoc est quod B. Paulus apostolus dicit: Alter alterius onera portate, et sic adimplebitis legem Christi. [Gal. 6:2] Tunc enim alter alterius onera portamus, cum sive infirmitates corporis seu pravos mores patienter toleramus.

And he gives a way in which monks ought to practice this zeal when he adds: that is, they should surpass one another in honour, [and] bear their infirmities, whether of body or of character, most patiently. Infirmity of the [page 630] body comes in many forms. Infirmity of the mind comes in two forms: it is either by nature or it is what comes later [in life]. But in this lemma, by infirmities of the mind disturbance of the mind is to be understood; and this is because the blessed apostle Paul says: Carry each other's burdens, and thus you will fulfill Christ's law. [Gal. 6:2] Then truly do we carry each other's burdens, when we bear patiently either infirmities of the body or [men of] bad character.

Sequitur: 6Obedientiam certatim sibi impendant, 7nullus, quod sibi utile judicat, sequatur, sed quod magis alii, 8caritatem fraternitatis casto impendant 9amore. Certatim, i. e. cum certamine vel studiose.

He continues: 6Let them show obedience to each other eagerly, 7let no one strive after what he judges useful to himself, but rather what is useful to another; 8let them show brotherly charity with chaste love. Eagerly means with competition or studiously. 

Et bene hic obedientiae fecit mentionem, quia illa obedientia est bona, quae cum zelo Dei fit. Quod vero dicit nullus quod sibi utile judicat, sequatur, sed quod magis alii - subaudiendum est: utile, vel quod placet, quasi diceret: non debet aliquid hoc agere, quod sibi placet et utile sibi esse judicaverit, sed quod aliis placuerit et utile fuerit. Judicat, i. e. aestimat vel credit. Istud alii quod dixi: placet - ad intentionem S. Benedicti respice, et sic poteris intelligere; non enim de omnibus dicit ‘placet’, sed de abbate aut illa persona, qui praeest in loco ejus; nam de aliis non est intelligendum, ‘placet’ dixisse.

And well does he make mention of obedience, because that obedience is good that is done with zeal for God. And truly, careful attention should be paid when he says let no one strive after what he judges useful to himself, but rather what is useful to another: useful, or what pleases, as if he were to say: he ought not to do something that pleases himself and that he has judged useful to himself, but what would please others and be useful for them. Judges means thinks or believes. That to another, because I have said 'pleases'. Look at St Benedict's instruction and thus you will be able to understand, for he does not use 'pleases' with respect to all people, but to the abbot or that person who has authority in his place; with respect to others he should not be understood to have said 'pleases'.

 Et bene dixit caritatem fraternitatis casto impendant amore, quia caritas fraternitatis est sine ulla retributione, sive impensa, sive impendenda. Quod vero dicit sincera caritate, ita intelligitur:1 tunc est sincera caritas, quando non est corrupta, h. e. quando pro solo amore Dei fit; nam tunc est corrupta, quando non est pro amore Dei facta. Et ista corrupta in duobus modis dividitur, h. e. uno modo fit corrupta caritas, quando aut amore carnali aut propinquitatis aut timore aut remunerationis2 fit. Altero modo fit corrupta, quando simulate fit, h. e. hypocrisis, i. e. cum non ex toto corde fit. Ideo dixit caritate sincera, quia est et [page 631] caritas falsa, h. e. simulata. Duobus enim modis intelligitur sincera: sive ut non sit falsa, sive etiam, quamvis pro amore Dei fit, perfecta, integra et sine intermixtione debet esse. 

 And well did he say let them show brotherly charity with chaste love, because brotherly charity is without any recompense whether paid or to be paid. What is meant by with sincere charity should be understood thus: charity is sincere when it is not corrupt, that is, when it is done for the love of God alone. It is corrupt when it has not been done for the love of God. And this corrupt charity is divided into two kinds, that is, charity becomes corrupt in one way when it is done either through carnal love, or out of intimacy or through fear or love of reward. It becomes corrupt in another way when it is done insincerely, that is hypocrisy, i.e. when it is not done wholeheartedly. And so he said with sincere charity, because there is also [page 631] false charity, i.e. feigned. For sincere is understood in two ways: either that it is not false, or even, in as much as it is done for the love of God, it ought to be perfect, whole and without adulteration. 

Sciendum est enim, quia melius est per ablativum dicere casto impendant amore, quam per accusativum: amorem.

For it should be known that it is better to say in the ablative they should show with chaste love, than in the accusative: love.

Quod enim pro nulla retributione humana diligendus est proximus, docet B. Augustinus in tractatu epistolae Joannis evangelistae, hoc modo dicens: Dilectissimi, si cor nostrum non male senserit, fiduciam habemus ad Deum. Quid est: 'Cor non male senserit?' Verum nobis responderit: quia diligimus, et germana dilectio est in nobis, non ficta, sed sincera, salutem fraternam quaerens, nullum emolumentum exspectans a fratre, nisi salutem ipsius. [Augustine, In Ioannis epistolam ad Parthos VI, c. 4, PL 35, col. 2021]

Blessed Augustine teaches us, in his treatise on the letter of John the Evangelist, that a neighbour should be loved for no human recompense, saying in this way: Dearly beloved, if our heart has not judged us unworthy, we have confidence in God. What does it mean: 'A heart has not judged us unworthy?' Truly he has answered us: that we love, and brotherly love is in us, not feigned but sincere, seeking the health of our brother, expecting no profit from a brother except his health. [Augustine, On the letter of John to the Parthians, VI, c. 4]

Sequitur: 9Deum timeant, 10abbatem suum sincera et humili caritate diligant, 11Christo omnino nihil praeponant, 12qui nos pariter ad vitam aeternam perducat. Bene dixit Deum timeant. Ut ea, quae superius diximus, possint fieri, subjunxit Deum timeant, quia, qui Deum timet, nihil negligit. In tanto enim se manifestat quisque Deum timere, in quantum non negligit.

He continues: 9Let them fear God, 10let them love their abbot with sincere and humble charity, 11let them prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ, 12who leads us equally to eternal life. Well did he say let them fear God. That those things, which we mentioned earlier, might come into being, he added let them fear God, because who fears God neglects nothing. For each man demonstrates that he fears God to the extent that he does not neglect (him).

Quod vero dicit abbatem suum sincera et humili caritate diligant, ita intelligitur: Tunc enim abbatem suum sincere diligunt, cum quidquid boni abbas fecerit, illis placuerit.

What is meant by let them love their abbot with a sincere and humble charity should be understood thus: They love their abbot sincerely when whatever good their abbot does is pleasing to them.

Quod enim dicit Christo omnino nihil praeponant, qui nos pariter ad vitam aeternam perducat - diverse enim praeponitur Christo: tunc enim praeponitur Christo, quando ejus praeceptum contemnens vitium aliquod perpetratur,3 quod diligit; item tunc praeponitur Christo, quando diligendo hominem plus, quam debet, contemnens praeceptum Christi pro amore illius hominis vitium perpetrat; vel tunc praeponitur Christo, quando etiam Christi praeceptum pro amore vanae gloriae humanae agit. Pariter enim ad vitam aeternam perducere est: nullum excludere, sed omnes ducere.

When he says let them prefer nothing whatsoever to Christ, who leads us equally to eternal life - different things may be preferred to Christ. For that is preferred to Christ when, spurning his instruction some sin is committed, of which [the perpetrator] is fond; or that is preferred to Christ when, through loving a man more than one ought, one commits a sin, spurning Christ's instruction for the love of that man; or that is preferred to Christ also, when one does Christ's teaching [but] for the love of vain human glory. To lead equally to eternal life is to exclude no one, but to lead all.

1. Locus hic anticipatur, dum ad sequentem regulae versum ponendus erat. (Mittermüller).
2. remuneratione. Cod. Fürstzell (Mittermüller).
3. perpetrat (?) (Mittermüller).

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