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The
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PROLOGUS

[Ms P, fol. ArPaulus Diaconus
Ps.-Basil: Ms K2, fol. 1v; Ms E1, fol. 2v; Ms E2, fol. 1v]

PROLOGUE

Translated by: Matthieu van der Meer and Bruce Venarde

Incipit prologus sive adhortatio ejus. Tres enim sunt ecclesiasticae disciplinae: Prima physica, id est naturalis, secunda ethica, i. e. moralis, tertia logica, i. e. rationalis. Physica derivatur ab eo, quod est physin; physin enim graece latine natura dicitur. Ethica autem derivatur ab eo, quod est ethin, ethin quidem graece latine mores dicuntur. Logica derivatur ab eo, quod est logos; logos enim graece latine ratio dicitur.

There are three ecclesiastical disciplines. The first one is the physical, that is natural discipline, the second is the ethical, that is moral discipline and the third one is the logical, that is rational discipline. The physical discipline takes its name from physin – the Greek word physin is called nature in Latin. The ethical takes its name from ethin – the Greek word ethin is called custom in Latin. Logic takes its name from that what is logos – for the Greek logos is called in Latin ratio (reason).

Et propter has tres disciplinas ecclesiasticas Salomon, sapientissimus omnium regum, tres libros edidit. Primum librum vocavit parabolam, secundum ecclesiasten, [page 4] tertium vero cantica canticorum. [cf. Isidore of Seville, De libris Salomonis in Libros veteris et novi testamenti prooemia PL 83, col. 164] Primus quidem liber convenit parvulis, in quo saepe parvulos quasi filios alloquitur dicens: Audi fili mi, et caetera; unde in ipso libro saepe mentio malarum rerum fit, id est meretricum et haereticorum. Secundus autem liber convenit majoribus, in quo libro majores admonentur, vanitates mundi despicere, unde ipse liber a vanitate inchoatur dicens: Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas. [Ecl 1:2] Tertius autem liber congruit perfectis; nam in eo libro non adversa, sed laeta reperiuntur.

And in accordance with these three ecclesiastical disciplines, Salomon, the wisest of all kings, has published three books. He called the first book Proverbs, the second Ecclesiast [page 4] and the third Song of Songs. [cf. Isidore of Seville, De libris Salomonis in Libros veteris et novi testamenti prooemia PL 83, col. 164] The first book is suited for the small ones, as he often speaks to the small as if they were his sons, saying: Listen, my son, etc. Therefore, often mention is made in that book of bad things, that is of prostitutes and heretics. The second book is suited for the older ones, as in that book the older ones are admonished to spurn the vanities of the world. Therefore, that very book begins with ‘vanity’, saying: Vanity of vanities and all is vanity. [Ecl 1:2] The third book, however, is fitted for the perfect, for in that book are not found the unpropitious things but the joyful things.

Istius enim Salomonis ordinem tenens B. Benedictus non ignarus ecclesiasticae disciplinae dixit: 1Ausculta o fili, id est sicut Salomon in primo suo libro parvulos quasi filios allocutus est.

The blessed Benedict, in keeping the order of Salomon, said, not unaware of the ecclesiastical discipline: 1Listen, o son, just like Salomon has spoken in his first book to the small ones as his sons.

Quidam libri habent ausculta, et quidam obsculta; sed sive dicas ausculta, sive obsculta, nihil obstat, eo quod auscultare est  scultare; scultare ponitur pro audire, obscultare vero est communiter audire, quia ob in hoc loco pro simul ponitur.

Certain books have (for ‘listen!’) ausculta and others have obsculta, but whether you should say ausculta or obsculta does not matter, because auscultare is scultare (to listen) with the ears (auribus). Scultare is given for hearing, but obscultare is hearing-at-once, because (the prefix) ob is given here instead of simul (at once).

Nunc videndum est, qua ratione Benedictus cum dixit: fili! praemisit o; suffecisset illi enim dixisse fili tantum, quia in illo nomine, quod est fili, vocatio intelligitur. Sed [quia] sicut solent multa nomina pro exaggeratione, id est augmentatione intellectus sui assumere quasdam adjectiones sillabarum, verbi gratia, sicut dives, potens, excelsus et caetera assumunt prae et ex i. e. praedives et praepotens, hoc est valde dives et valde potens, et excelsus, id est, valde celsus: ita S. Benedictus in hoc loco ut exaggeraret vocationem suam, praemisit o, cum dixit: fili! Nam o fili duo sunt vocativa, ac si diceret: fili! fili! Filius enim multis modis dicitur, id est natura, adoptione, imitatione, doctrina et gente.

Now we must see, why Benedict, when he said: Son!, set o in front. It would have sufficed for him to have just said son, because in that name son, a summons is understood. But many names usually assume certain additions of syllables for the sake of amplification, that is, enhancement, of their concept. For example, dives (rich), potens (powerful), celsus (lofty), etc. take prae- and ex-, resulting in praedives, praepotens, that is very rich and very powerful, and excelsus, that is very lofty (celsus). Likewise, Saint Benedict set o in front at this spot, so as to exaggerate his summons when he said: Son! For O, son are two vocatives, as if he was saying: Son! Son! For son is said in many ways, that is by nature, adoption, imitation, teaching and nation.

Natura enim et adoptione omnibus notum est; imitatione autem, quia illius est filius quis, cujus opera imitatur, unde Dominus in Evangelio dixit Judaeis: Vos ex patre diabolo estis, quia ejus opera facere vultis. [Io 8:44]

[What is meant with] ‘by nature’ and ‘by adoption’ is known to all, with ‘by imitation’ however [is meant] that someone is the son of that person whose works he imitates. Therefore, the Lord said in the Gospel to the Jews: You are of your father, the devil, because you want to do his works [Jn 8:44].

Doctrina vero, sicut sunt filii docti a suis magistris; gente autem, sicut fuit ille dives, positus in inferno, videns Lazarum in sinu Abrahae; unde illum Abraham filium vocavit dicens: Fili recordare, quia recepisti bona in vita tua, et Lazarus similiter mala. [Lc 16:25] Et similiter [page 5] ille dives eum patrem nominavit dicens: Pater Abraham.

‘By teaching,’ however, [we say sons] just as sons have been taught by their teachers. [We say] ‘by nation’ though, just as that rich person, placed in hell, when he saw Lazarus on the lap of Abraham. Abraham called him son, saying: Remember, son, that you have received good things in your life and Lazarus, likewise, bad things [Lk 16:25]. And likewise [page 5] that rich man called him father, saying: Father Abraham [Lk 16:24].

Et quamquam multis modis dicatur filius, tamen ubi filius invenitur, etiam non scriptus semper pater subintelligitur, quia filius non potest esse sine patre. In hoc vero loco cum dicit: fili, paternitatis affectum atque magisterii disciplinam erga te ostendit se habuisse. Te vero sua oratio, qua dicit: fili, ostendit, ad quod te ducat, id est ostendit, te ducere ad paternitatis affectum, seu magisterii disciplinam suscipiendam.

And although ‘son’ is used in many ways, still, when a ‘son’ is found, always a ‘father’ is implied, even if it is not written, because a son cannot be without a father. In that place, though, when he says: Son, he shows that he has held paternal affection and professorial discipline towards you. The speech in which he says: Son, shows whereto he leads you, that is, it shows that you are moving to paternal affection or to receiving professorial discipline.

Sequitur: Praecepta dicuntur quasi praemium captent, eo quod sui servatores ex illis praemia capiant.

Next: the instructions are called praecepta as if they hold a reward (praemium) because those who preserve them may take rewards from them.

Magister dictus est quasi magis tritus, id est magis doctus, sicuti dicitur discipulus a discendo.

A teacher has been called magister as from more practiced (magis tritus) that is, more learned, just as disciple is called after learning (discendo).

Nunc videndum est, quare dixit Benedictus inclina, cum potuit dicere aperi? Sed quia multi aperiunt aures et non inclinant i. e. non humiliant, ideo dixit inclina, id est: humilia. Nam multi, quamquam raro econtrario, superbi reperiuntur aures et cetera membra erecta habere, ut est illud: aures eorum adgrava et oculos superborum humiliabis [Is 6:10; Ps 17:18]; semper enim superbi in fastu superbiae erecti sunt; non enim ita dicuntur membra superborum superba, quasi illa sint superba, sed quia officia eorum superbia est, idcirco membra superba dicuntur. Nam in oculis solet cognosci superbia, in ceteris vero membris officia intelligentur superba.

Now we have to see, why Benedict said bend (inclina) when he could say open (aperi). But since many people open their ears and do not bend them, that is, do not humble them, for that reason he said bend, that is humble. For many proud people – although occasionally the opposite is true – are found in such a state that they have their ears and other members erect, just like this citation: make their ears heavy and you will humble the eyes of the proud. [Isa 6:10; Ps 17:18] For the proud have always been erected in the arrogance of pride; for, the limbs of the proud are not called proud in this way that they [themselves] are proud, but because they act proudly. For that reason their limbs are called proud. For, pride is usually situated in the eyes, but in the other limbs pride is understood as a function.

Et est sensus, cum dicit: inclina aurem, id est, ad humilitatem discendam aures submitti; nam inclinare est ab excelsioribus ad humilia submitti.

That is also the point, when he says: Bend your ear. That means that the ears are brought down to learning humility. For, to bend is to be brought down from higher places to the low (humble).

Iterum videndum est, quare, cum dicit aures, subjunxit cordis, cum suffecisset illi dixisse aures sine adjectione cordis, quia scriptura divina ubi aures dicit, cordis aures requirit; unde Dominus in Evangelio dicit: Qui habet aures audiendi audiat; [Mt 11:15; Mc 4:9; Lc 8:8, Lc 14:35] ibi enim non de auribus corporeis dixit, quia omnes, qui illic aderant, aures corporis habebant, et nemo illic venisset ad audiendum, nisi aures corporis habuisset, sed quia Dominus cognoscens ut Deus vidit, ibi multos non aures cordis habuisse, [et] ideo dixit: Qui habet aures audiendi, audiat, ac si diceret: Illos alloquor, qui aures cordis habent; nam aures exterioris hominis sonum audiunt, sed non discernunt, aures autem [page 6] interioris hominis audiunt et discernunt.

Again, we need to see why, when he says ears, he added of the heart, because it would have been enough for him to have said ears without adding of the heart, because when the divine scripture says ears, it requires [to understand] the ears of the heart. Therefore, the Lord says in the Gospel: He who has ears to hear, let him hear! [Mt 11:15 etc.]. He did not speak of corporeal ears, because all people who were present there, were having ears, and no one would have come there to hear, unless he had had ears of the body. But because the Lord, knowing just like God, saw that many people there had not had ears of the heart, therefore he said: he who has ears to hear, let him hear, as if he was saying: I am speaking to others who have ears, for ears of the outer man hear the sound, but they do not discern. The ears of the inner man, however, [page 6] hear and discern.

Et ipse homo exterior communis est cum bestiis; homo autem interior communis est cum angelis, et ipse ad imaginem Dei factus est.

And man himself, as outer man, has the same nature as the animals; but the inner man has the same nature as angels, and he himself has been made after God’s image.

S. vero Benedictus ideo dixit cordis, ut ibi nulla difficultas esset intelligendi, de quibus auribus diceret, quia humilibus et simplicibus loquebatur.

Saint Benedict, however, said of the heart in order that there would be no difficulty of understanding about what ears he was speaking, because he was talking to humble and simple people.

Aures autem secundum antiquorum sapientium sensum dictae sunt quasi audes ideo, quod audiant. [source not identified] Secundum vero novorum sapientium aures dictae sunt ab hauriendo, eo quod hauriant sonum.

According to ancient wise men, ears (aures) were [originally] called audes for this reason that they hear (audire). But according to modern wise men, ears have been called after [the verb] to draw (haurire), because they draw the sound.

Nunc iterum videndum est, qua ratione S. Benedictus, cum dixit cordis, subjunxit tui, cum suffecisset illi cordis dixisse tantum. Sed ideo dixit propter exaggerationem cordis, id est propter nimiam intentionem cordis.

Now we need to look again, with what reason Saint Benedict added your, when he said of your heart, because it would have sufficed for him to only have said of the heart. But he said it because of the amplification of the heart. That is: because of the very great intention of the heart.

Ea quippe intentione dixit S. Benedictus tui, qua intentione dixit Deus ad Ezechielem prophetam tuis, ait enim: Fili hominis, vide oculis tuis et auribus tuis audi et pone cor tuum in omnia, quae ego ostendam tibi, quia ut ostendantur tibi, adductus es huc. [Ez 40:4]

Indeed, St. Benedict said your with the same intention with which God said to Ezekiel, his prophet, your. He said: Son of man, see with your eyes and hear with your ears and put your heart in everything that I will show you, because you have been brought hither in order that it be shown to you [Ez 40:4].

Ideo dixit tuis, quia oculos cordis vel aures cordis requirebat, ac si diceret: quia non potes ista, quae ego ostendo tibi, oculis corporeis videre, et auribus corporeis audire, idcirco dico tuis, ut ea propheticis oculis videas et auribus propheticis audias. Ita S. Benedictus in hoc loco dixit tui, ac si diceret: et quia haec, quae ego loquor tibi, non potes auribus corporeis audire, idcirco dixi tui, ut ea auribus cordis audias.

He said your for this reason that he was demanding the eyes of the heart or the ears of the heart, as if he was saying: since you are not able to see with corporeal eyes those things that I show you and hear them with corporeal ears, therefore I say your in order that you see those things with prophetic eyes and hear them with prophetic ears. Thus St. Benedict said your in that place: and since you are not able to hear with corporeal ears those things that I say to you, therefore I said your in order that you hear them with the ears of the heart.

1Et admontionem pii patris libenter excipe.

1And gladly receive the admonition of the loving father.

Inter admonitionem et doctrinam hoc potest interesse: doctrina est ostensio rei, quae debet fieri, et quae non debet fieri; admonitio vero est exoratio, ut fiat vel non fiat.

This can be the difference between admonition and teaching: teaching is the showing of a thing that ought to happen, and that not ought to happen; admonition, however, is an exhortation, in order that it happens or not.

Nunc iterum videndum est, qua ratione S. Benedictus cum dixit patris praemisit pii, cum suffecisset dixisse tantum patris? Sed ideo dixit pii propter exaggerationem paternitatis affectus id est, ut ostenderet, se nimium paternum amorem habere.

Now we have to see again, with what reason St. Benedict set loving in front when he said of the father as it would have sufficed for him to have only said of the father. But he said loving because of the amplification of affection of fatherhood, that is, in order to show that he had very great paternal love.

Altero modo dixit pii ad seperationem illorum, qui crudeles sunt patres, veluti est diabolus, de quo Dominus in Evangelio dicit: Vos ex patre diabolo estis, quia opera ejus facere vultis. [Io 8:44] Diabolus enim, quanquam blanda et [page 7] dulcia tibi promittat, tamen quia intentio illius deceptionis atque perditionis est, ideo est crudelis, et ipse, qui nunc est suasor dulcedinis, ille erit accusator noster ante Deum.

In another way he said loving with regard to the distinction of those who are cruel fathers, such as the devil, about whom the Lord says in the Gospel: You are of your father, the devil, because you want to do his works. [Io 8:44] For the devil, although he may promise you pleasant and sweet things, [page 7] still, because it is his intention to deceive and ruin, he is cruel; and the same one who is now the seducer to sweetness, will later be our accuser in front of God.

Multi vero carnales patres crudeles sunt in eo, quod mittunt filios suos ad furandum et ad rapiendum seu ad cetera mala, peragenda causa dilectionis eorum, ut ex hoc abundent divitiis. Deinceps quidem sunt patres carnales, qui, quamvis non mittunt filios suos ad mala perpetranda, tamen quia non docent illos bene agere, aut non permittunt vel concedunt illos doceri, crudeles sunt. Et quid mirum, si multi patres carnales sunt crudeles, cum etiam multi doctores atque praepositi ecclesiae crudeles existunt? quia omnis, qui locum tenet regiminis ecclesiae, si plus amat vel diligit terrena quam coelestia, crudelis est.

But many fathers are cruel because they send their sons out for stealing and plundering or to pursuing other evils, out of love for these things, so as to abound in riches from this. Subsequently, there are carnal fathers who, even if they do not send out their sons to perpetrate evils, are cruel because they do not teach them to behave well or do not allow or assent that they be taught. And is it a surprise if many carnal fathers are cruel when even many doctors and teachers of the church turn out to be cruel? Because every one who holds a position of power in the church, is cruel if he loves or cherishes the matters of the earth more than the matters of heaven.

Et sive intelligas in hoc loco patrem Benedictum sive alium quemquam doctorem in loco ejus constitutum, sive ipsum Dominum, est sensus, cum dicit: 1admonitionem pii patris libenter excipe, i. e. si forte quemquam crudelem patrem secutus es, hortor te atque admoneo, ut deseras illum crudelem et sequaris istum, qui pius est.

And whether you should understand in this place father Benedict or any other doctor put in his position, or the Lord himself, when he says gladly receive the admonition of your loving father, the meaning is this: if you by chance have followed some sort of cruel father, I urge you and admonish you, to leave that cruel man behind and to follow him who is loving.

Iterum videndum est, qua ratione cum dixit excipe, praemisit libenter? Et non dixit excipe tantum, sed ideo dixit libenter propter exaggarationem devotionis tuae, ut imperium patris atque magistri summa cum devotione excipias.

Once again we need to see, with which argument he put in front gladly, when he said receive. He did not just say receive but he said gladly because of the amplification of your devotion, in order that you receive the command of a father and teacher with the highest devotion.

Nam sunt multi, qui imperium suscipiunt patris vel magistri, tamen non libenter suscipiunt, eo quod non bona voluntate suscipiunt illud: libenter namque potest intelligi quasi placenter, id est, sponte vel voluntarie, eo quod devotionem tuam voluit perfectam esse, cum ostendit in illo verbo, quod dicit excipe; excipere enim est valde accipere, id est: aeque atque devote accipere.

For, there are many, who undergo the command of a father or teacher, but do not undergo it gladly, because they do not undergo it with goodwill: for gladly can be understood as willfully, that is freely or willingly, because he wanted that your devotion is perfect, when he said receive. For, to receive (recipere) is to take in very much (valde accipere), that is: to take in justly (aeque) and devoutly.

Iterum videndum est, qua ratione, cum dicit comple, praemisit efficaciter? Ideo enim dixit efficaciter propter exaggerationem, id est perfectionem operis, quia voluit ostendere, ut nihil perfectionis deesset tuo operi; efficaciter enim quasi effectum, id est consummationem capienter dicitur.

Once again, we have to see with what reason he put in front effectively when he said fulfill. He said effectively because of amplification, that is because of the fulfillment of the work, because he wanted to show that no perfection was missing from your work. For effectively means, as it were, completed, that is seizing completion (consummationem capienter)1.

Efficaciter namque est: pefecte, pleniter; nam quia sunt [page 8] multi, qui opus sibi injunctum non efficaciter, id est studiose vel perfecte complent, propterea dixi tibi, efficaciter complere, ut non tepide aut negligenter compleas. Egregius enim est in hoc loco ordo; ideo enim est egregius, quia prius docuit libenter excipere, et postmodum efficaciter complere.

For, effectively is: perfectly, fully. Because there are many [page 8] who do not effectively finish the works imposed on them, that is carefully or perfectly, for that reason he said2 to you: fulfill effectively in order that you do not fulfill it tepidly or heedlessly. Indeed, the order [of words] in this place is excellent; it is excellent for this reason that he taught us to receive gladly and thereafter to fulfill effectively.

Nunc quasi tu aut aliquis, cui haec imperantur, interrogasset illum dicens: ‘Quo fructu aut qua ratione’, pater Benedicte, ‘jubes me ita agere, id est libenter praeceptum patris excipere et efficaciter complere?’ reddit causam, qua hortetur haec agere, quasi dicat: Vis scire, quo fructu aut qua ratione, fili, ita dico tibi agere? Ideo te moneo, haec agere, 2ut ad eum per obedientiae laborem redeas, a quo per inobedientiae desidiam recesseras.

Now if you or someone to whom these things are commanded, had asked him: ‘To what effect or with what reason’, father Benedict, ‘do you order me to do so, that is to receive gladly the teaching of the father and to fulfill it effectively?’ he gives as reason: to encourage you to do these things, as if he would say: 'Do you want to know to what effect and with what reason, my son, I tell you to do so? I admonish you to do this 2in order that you may return through the work of obedience to him, from whom you had withdrawn through the sloth of disobedience.'

Sunt enim multa loca in divinis scripturis, in quibus nota persona manifestatur per pronomen et officium, veluti est in hoc loco, cum dicit eum.

For, there are many places in divine scriptures, in which a known person is revealed through the pronoun and office, just as in this place, when he says him.

Ecce eum pronomen est relativum et positum est sine praemissione nominis. Sed quamvis S. Benedictus non nominatim indiceret personam, ad quam debeas redire, tamen quia Dei persona nota est omnibus, ideo manifestavit illam tibi per pronomen istud relativum et per officium illud, quod subjunxit: a quo per inobedientiae desidiam recesseras. Omnibus enim notum est, quia per inobedientiam recesseramus a Deo.

Behold, him is a personal pronoun and is used without first saying the name. But although Saint Benedict would not indicate the person by name to whom you have to return, still, since God’s person is known to all, therefore he revealed it to you through that personal pronoun and that office, when he added: from whom you had withdrawn through the sloth of disobedience. For, it is known to all that we had withdrawn from God through disobedience.

Nunc iterum videndum est, quare S. Benedictus adjunxit laborem obedientiae? Ideo enim junxit laborem obedientiae, quia cognovit, non posse esse obedientiam sine labore.

Now we have to see again, why Saint Benedict added the work of obedience. He added the work of obedience because he knew that obedience cannot exist without effort.

Adam enim pater noster cum esset in paradiso, potuit sine labore obedientiam Deo exhibere; nos vero e contrario expulsi de paradiso et in hoc exilium missi non possumus sine labore obedientiam Deo exhibere.

When our father Adam was in paradise, he could perform his obedience to God without effort. But we, on the contrary, have been expelled from paradise and we, sent into this exile, cannot perform obedience to God without effort.

Nunc iterum videndum est, qua ratione junxit S. Benedictus inobedientiae desidiam? Ideo junxit inobedientiae desidiam, quia cognovit, inobedientiam non posse esse sine desidia, eo quod desidia dictum est quasi desinens. Et ille est inobediens, qui desinit implere, quod sibi injunctum est.

Now we have to see, why Saint Benedict added sloth (desidia) to disobedience. He added sloth to disobedience because he knew that disobedience cannot exist without sloth (desidia), because sloth is said as if (it means) stopping (desinens). And he is disobedient who stops to fulfill what had been imposed on him.

Item advertendum est, quia S. Benedictus in hoc loco [page 9] inobedientiam primi hominis tetigit et per illius inobedientiam tetigit nostram, cum dixit: quo per inobedientiae desidiam recesseras, quia nostra inobedientia ex illius inobedientia nata est; et nisi ille inobediens esset, nos nequaquam inobedientes essemus, nos enim per illius inobedientiam omnes aequaliter recessimus a Deo, post vero unusquisque, in quantum plus peccat, tantum plus recedit a Deo.

Likewise, we must notice, that Saint Benedict in this place [page 9] touched on the disobedience of the first man and touched through his disobedience on our disobedience, when he said: from whom you had withdrawn through the sloth of disobedience, because our disobedience has been born from his disobedience; and if he would not be disobedient, we would by no means be disobedient, for we have all equally withdrawn from God through his disobedience. But thereafter, in as much as each one sins more, he withdraws more from God.

Et quod alii valde, alii minus longe recedunt a Deo, testatur sermo propheticus, qui ad Jerusalem dicit; ait enim: Filii tui de longe venient et filiae tuae de latere surgent. [Is 60:4] Per hos, quos dixit de longe venire, indicat illos, qui de plurimis et de magnis peccatis convertuntur ad Deum, per illos vero, quos dixit de latere surgent, illos significat, qui non de multis vel magnis convertuntur, quia, sicut diximus, quantum plus peccat unusquisque, tantum plus recedit, et quantum minus peccat, tantum minus longe recedit.

And the fact that some withdraw very much and others less far from God, is testified by the prophetic sermon, that says to Jerusalem: Your sons will come from far and your daughters will rise at your side [Is 60:4]. With them, about whom he said that they come from far, he refers to those who turn to God from very many and great sins. But with them, about whom he said they will rise at the side, he signifies those who do not turn from many and great [sins] because, as we said, the more anyone sins, the more he withdraws, and the less he sins, the less far he withdraws.

Apte enim et congruenter nunc dicit: 3Ad te ergo nunc meus sermo dirigitur, postquam allocutus est parvulos quasi filios libenter excipere et efficaciter complere praeceptum patris, et postquam reddidit causam, qua debuisset ille discipulus libenter excipere et efficaciter complere.

Fittingly and suitably he now says: 3My speech is therefore now directed at you, after he had told the small ones – like sons – to gladly receive and effectively fulfill the teaching of the father, and after he had given the reason why that disciple had to receive gladly and fulfill effectively.

Neque enim consequens erat, ut prius coepisset docere, nisi ante allocutus fuisset illum, qui docendus esset, qualiter debuisset excipere vel perficere, quod sibi injunctum fuisset; prius enim sub generalitatis nomine quasi uni de multis dixit: ausculta o fili, nunc vero postquam tu decrevisti auditor esse et obtulisti te ei ad suscipiendam ejus doctrinam, idcirco specialiter tibi assumpto de multis dixit: Ad te nunc sermo meus dirigitur.

For, it was not logical that he began to teach first, if he had not spoken earlier to him who must be taught, in what manner he had to receive or accomplish what had been imposed on him. For, under the name of universality he spoke first to one out of many: Listen, o son, but now, after you have decided to be the hearer, and have offered yourself to him to receive his doctrine, he said specifically to you, adopted out of many: I direct now my speech to you.

Istud enim adverbium, quod est nunc, in isto loco positum est, quia ab hinc coepit docere.

For, that adverb now has been put in that place because he begins to teach from this point onward.

Nunc videndum est, qua ratione dicit S. Benedictus meus sermo, cum Dominus dicat: Mea doctrina non est mes, [Io 7:16] et item ad Ezechielem prophetam Dominus dicat: Fili hominis! speculatorem te dedi domui Israel; audies ex [page 10] ore meo sermonem et annuntiabis eis ex me. [Ez 3:17] Et item in Evangelio dicitur: Quare non dedisti pecuniam meam nummulariis? [Lc 19:23]

Now, it must be seen, with what reason Saint Benedict says my speech, although the Lord says: My doctrine is not mine [Io 7:16.] and likewise the Lord says to Ezekiel the prophet: Son of man! I gave you as overseer to the house of Israel; you will hear [page 10] from my mouth a speech and you will announce to them from me [Ez 3:17]. And likewise it is said in the Gospel: Why did you not give my money to the money-lenders? [Lc 19:23].

Jam si Domini pecunia est, restat, ut doctrina sanctorum non sua sit sed Domini. Et si praedicatio sanctorum non sua est sed Domini, videtur nunc contrarium esse, quod S. Benedictus dixit: meus sermo. Sed hoc non est contrarium, quod Benedictus meus dixit, quia doctrina sanctorum et sua, et Domini est: sua est per susceptionem, Domini est per administrationem.

Now, if the money is the Lord’s, it is clear that the teaching of the saints is not theirs, but the Lord’s. And if the preaching of the saints is not theirs but the Lord’s, it seems now to be contradictory that Benedict said my speech. But it is not contradictory that Benedict said my, because the teaching of the saints is both theirs and the Lord’s: it is theirs through acceptance, it is the Lord’s through direction.

Si vero interrogasses S. Benedictum dicens: ‘cur tuum sermonem esse dicis et non Domini?’ ille vero similiter respondisset tibi dicens: ‘iste sermo Domini est et meus’. Domini est per administrationem, meus est per susceptionem. Sicut enim doctrina dicitur Domini esse et sanctorum, ita etiam et de virtutibus dicitur, veluti sunt hae: spes, fides, caritas, patientia et cetera. Domini quidem sunt per administrationem, sanctorum sunt per susceptionem.

But if you would have asked Saint Benedict: Why do you say the speech is yours and not the Lord’s? he, then, would have answered you: that speech is the Lord’s and mine. It is the Lord’s through direction, mine through acceptance. For, just as teaching is said to be of the Lord and of the saints, just so it is said of the virtues, such as these are: hope, faith, love, patience, etc. They are the Lord’s through direction, the saints’ through acceptance.

Et quod doctrina sive virtus et Domini et sanctorum sint, testatur Paulus apostolus una eademque sententia, cum dicit: plus omnibus laboravi, [I Cor. 15:10] sed non ego. Ecce Paulus et se dixit laborasse et dicit non laborasse; in eo quod dicit: plus omnibus laboravi, per susceptionem dixit, et in eo, quod dixit: non ego, per administrationem dicit.

And the fact that teaching or virtue are both of the Lord and of the saints, is testified by the Apostle Paul in one and the same sentence, when he says: I have worked more than everyone, but not I [I Cor. 15:10]. Behold, Paul both said that he had worked and he says that he has not worked. He spoke in terms of acceptance in the words that say: I have worked more than everyone. He spoke in terms of direction in the words that said: not I.

Magna enim differentia est inter falsos et veros praedicatores; falsi enim dicunt: mea est doctrina, veraces iterum dicunt: mea est doctrina, utrumque enim verum est; et verum est, quod falsi dicunt, et verum est, quod veraces praedicatores dicunt; nam falsi praedicatores veraciter dicunt: mea doctrina est secundem inventionem, veraces e contrario verum dicunt: mea doctrina est secundum susceptionem.

For, great is the difference between false and true preachers; the false say: The teaching is mine. The truthful say in their turn: The teaching is mine, for it is true either way: true is what the false say and true is what the truthful say. For, the false preachers say truthfully: It is my teaching according to [their own] invention, the truthful, though, say on the contrary: It is my teaching according to acceptance.

Nunc videndum est, quis sensus sit in isto verbo, quod est 3abrenuncians, vel utatur isto sermone. Abrenuntians enim intelligitur repellens aut respuens seu dejiciens. Isto enim sermone utitur sancta ecclesia, quando intromittuntur fideles in unitatem ecclesiae. Et nisi interrogati fuerint a sacerdotibus dicentibus sibi ita, id est: Abrenuntias diabolo et operibus ejus, et iterum seculo [page 11] et pompis ejus [source not identified] non intromittuntur intra sanctam ecclesiam.

Now we must see, what meaning is implied in that word 3renouncing or [what meaning] uses this sermon.3 Renouncing is understood as rejecting or spurning or declining. The holy church uses this language when the faithful are let into the unity of the church. And if they are not interrogated by the priests saying to them this: Do you renounce the devil and his works, and again [do you renounce] the world [page 11] and its pomp? they are not let into the holy church.

Vide modo, quia sicut non intromittuntur fideles in sanctam ecclesiam, nisi abrenuntiaverint diabolo et operibus ejus, seculo et pompis ejus, ita etiam non suscipiuntur isti a disciplina monasticae doctrinae, nisi abrenuntiaverint prius 3propriis voluntatibus. Et sicut ecclesiae studium est maxime in abrenuntiando idolorum servitutibus, ita studium est monasticae disciplinae in abrenuntiando propriis voluntatibus.

Just see, that just as the faithful are not let into the holy church unless they renounce the devil and his works, the world and its pomp, so too these men are not received by the discipline of monastic teaching, unless they renounce first their 3own wills. And just as the zeal of the church consists mostly of renouncing the subjection to idols, so the zeal of monastic discipline [consists mostly] of renouncing one’s own will.

Nunc videndum est, quid sit propria voluntas. Hic adtende, quia per circumlocutionem venit ad hoc, quod interrogatur, quid sit propria voluntas.

Now we have to see, what one’s own will is. Pay attention here, because he [Benedict] arrives through circumlocution at the point where we can ask what one’s own will is.

Si enim interroges, quid sit proprium hominis, proprium hominis est, nil boni habere, quia, postquam primus homo libero arbitrio male utens ejectus est de paradiso, nil boni proprium habuit.

For, if you should ask, what is man’s own, then [the answer is:] man’s own is to have no goodness, because, after the first man who had used his free judgment badly, was ejected from paradise, he had no goodness.

Verum sciendum est, quia ita non dicimus, postquam expulsus est de paradiso, non habuisse hominem aliquid boni a se, quasi prius, cum erat in paradiso, habuisset, sed homo bonum, quod habuit in paradiso, a Deo habuit, et ita, habuit, ut sine labore haberet. At nunc postquam pulsus est de paradiso, illud bonum, quod a Deo sibi datum sine labore in paradiso exercebat per liberum arbitrium infirmatum est ipsum liberum arbitrium, ita ut sine labore nunc non possit illud bonum operari.

But it ought to be understood that, after he was expelled from paradise, we do not accordingly say that man did not have some goodness of himself, as if he earlier, when he was in paradise, had had [some goodness]. But man had the goodness that he had in paradise from God, and he had it in such a way that he had it without effort. But now he has been expelled from paradise and that former goodness, given to him by God without effort in paradise and exercised by man with his free judgment, [that goodness] weakened that very free judgment, in such a way that he cannot do goodness without effort.

Et quod homo nihil boni proprium habeat, testatur Dominus in evangelio, qui dicit: Sine me nihil potestis facere, [Io 15:5] et in hoc loco, ubi dicit nil, subaudiendum est boni. Et sicut in hoc loco non potest excludi bona operatio vel cogitatio, ita etiam ipsarum bonarum cogitationum intentio non potest excludi. Et ita psalmista dicit: Misericordia ejus praeveniet me, et Paulus apostolus dicit: Qui operatur in vobis velle. [Phil 2:12]

And the fact that man has no goodness of his own, is testified by the Lord in the Gospel: You can do nothing without me [Io 15:5] and in that place, where he says nothing, ‘good’ must be supplied. And as little as in that place a good deed or thought can be excluded, so little, too, the intention of those good thoughts can be excluded. And thus the psalmist says: His mercy will prevent me [Ps 58:11] and Paul the Apostle says: He who makes in you your will [Phil 2:12].

His ergo exemplis testantibus noscimus, non solum bona opera vel cogitationes, sed etiam ipsas rimas bonarum cogitationum ab homine non esse. Jam ergo si nil boni habet homo a se, sed malum, tunc [page 12] cum dixit: propriis voluntatibus, consequens est, ut de vitiis intelligamus.

Therefore, with the help of the witness of these examples, we know that not only the good works or thoughts, but even the flashes (rimae) themselves of good thoughts do not come from man. Now then, if man has no goodness of himself, but [only] evil, and [page 12] when he [Benedict] says: [your] own wills, the consequence is that we understand it with regard to [our] vices.

Sed quia solet diabolus sub specie bonitatis hominem decipere, idcirco volens S. Benedictus utroque periculo carere suum auditorem, dixit: abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus, id est non solum illam, quae aperte mala suggerit, sed etiam illam, quae sub specie bonitatis occulte suadetur, debet respuere voluntatem.

But since the devil is used to deceive man under the pretense of goodness, Saint Benedict, because he wants that his listener be free from either danger, said: renouncing one’s own will. That is: he ought to cast out not only that will which openly advices evil deeds, but also that will which secretly is persuaded under the pretense of goodness.

Secundum vero aliorum sensum proprio voluntas intelligitur etiam de bona re, verbi gratia, vigiliae bonae sunt, orationes bonae sunt, jejunium bonum est, sed item propriae nostrae fiunt, cum ea separamus a senioris vel a bonorum fratrum consensu.

But according to others, one’s own will is even understood with regard to a good thing, for example: vigils are good, prayers are good, fasting is good, but likewise they become our own when we separate them form the consent of the elder or of the good brothers.

Verbi gratia, sicut equus aut bos aut aliqua res, quam cum possidemus sine communione aliorum fratrum, efficitur nostrum proprium. Necnon et iterum si bos aut ager est communis, dicitur noster, si vero non est communis, dicitur meus; ita etiam oratio aut nuditas aut caeterae operationes bonae si cum consensu spiritalis patris fiunt vel bonorum fratrum, tunc dicuntur nostrae; si vero proprio arbitrio, id est sine consensu spiritalis patris vel bonorum fratrum, dicitur meum. Ita etiam orationes vel nuditates, aut caeterae bonae virtutes, si eas proprio arbitrio, id est sine consensu spiritualis patris vel bonorum fratrum exercuerimus, efficitur nostrum proprium, quia, quamquam bonae sint, tamen si eas proprio arbitrio usi fuerimus, in proprium nobis reputabuntur.

For example: a horse or cow or something else is made our own, when we possess it without the communion of other brothers. And again, if a cow or a field is communal, it is called ours, but if it is not communal, it is called mine. Thus, even prayer or nudity4 or other good works are called ours if they are done with the consent of the spiritual father or of good brothers; but if [something is done] with my own judgment, that is without the consent of the spiritual father or good brothers, it is called mine. Thus, even prayers of nudities or other good virtues – if we exercise them with our own judgment, that is without the consent of the spiritual father or of good brothers, become our own, because, although they are good, still, if we use them with our own judgment, they will be ascribed to us as our own possession.

Ita enim dicimus bonas has res propriam voluntatem, verbi gratia, si vis triduanam aut biduanam agere aut totam quadragesimam jejunare, et dixerit abbas aut spiritalis frater, non esse bonum, tu debes dimittere, aut certe quidquid tu agis, ut displiceat aut abbati spiritali aut fratribus spiritalibus, et tu cognoveris, non debes in tua voluntate ipsa bona operando persistere dicens, bonum esse.

So, we call these good things one’s own will, for example: if you want to hold a three-day or two-day fast, or fasting the entire lent, and the abbot or the spiritual father says that it is not good, you ought to let it go. Certainly, whatever you do so that it displeases the spiritual abbot or the spiritual brothers, and you find that out, you ought not to persist in your will with doing these good things, saying that they are good.

Et hoc, si boni fuerint, quibus displicuerit nam si mali fuerint, non est auscultandum, nam debes semper bona agere, ut tibi et aliis proficias.

And this must be paid heed to if they, whom it displeases, are good. For, if they are bad, it must not be paid heed to. For, you always ought to do good things, in order that you make progress for yourself and others.

Sequitur: 3Domino Christo vero regi.

Next: 3To the Lord Christ, the true king.

Ista enim singula verba plena sunt gravitate; Dominus enim a domo dictus est, quia sicut ille, qui praeest domui, [page 13] ea, quae in domo sunt, regit et gubernat, ita Dominus omnia regit atque gubernat.

Truly, these words, one for one, are full of gravity; for, the Lord (dominus) has been called after house (domus), because just as he, who is in charge of the house, [page 13] rules and steers the things which are in the house, so the Lord rules and steers all things.

Ubi enim mentionem Filii Dei audis vel legis, mysterium tuae redemptionis vel totius humani generis ibi recole. Et quamquam redemtio humani generis ad operationem sive miserationem sanctae et individuae Trinitatis referatur, tamen ad Filium specialiter referetur quia ille sanguinem fudit pro redemtione humani generis, non Pater et Spiritus sanctus, eo quod Pater et Spiritus Sanctus non assumpsit carnem, sed Filius.

When you hear or read a mentioning of Son of God, then remember the mystery of your redemption or of the entire human race. And even though the redemption of the human race is related to the operation or commiseration of the Holy and undivided Trinity, still it will especially be related to the Son because he poured his blood for the redemption of the human race, not the Father and the Holy Ghost, because the Father and the Holy Ghost did not assume the flesh, but the Son did.

Nunc videndum est, quare non dixit S. Benedictus tantum Domino, sed addidit Christo? Ideo addidit Christo, quia per istud nomen, quod est appellativum Filii, mysterium redemptionis tuae tibi voluit in memoriam reducere; superius enim dixerat, a quo per inobedientiae desidiam recesseras, nunc autem ideo addidit Christum, ut manifestaret tibi, quia per ejus specialiter redemptionem revocatus es ad Deum. Nam Christus ideo est appellativum nomen Filii, eo quod multi fuerunt, qui christi dicti sunt; sed quamquam cum hominibus appellativum sit, illi tamen non est appelativum cum Patre et Spiritu sancto, quia hoc nomen ad incarnationem Filii attinet.

Now we must see, why St. Benedict did not only say Lord but added Christ. He added Christ for this reason that through that name, which is the title (appellativum) of the Son, he wanted to bring to memory the mystery of redemption. For, he had said earlier from what point you had removed yourself through the slothfulness of disobedience, but now he added Christ in order to show to you that you have been called back to God, particularly through his redemption. For Christ is for this reason the name with which we address the Son, because there have been many who have been called Christ; but although it is the address among men, it is for him not the address together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, because this name belongs to the incarnation of the Son.

Unde Beda in tractatu actuum apostolorum ita dicit: Christus enim a chrismate, i. e. ab unctione nomen accepit, juxta quod dicitur: Unxit te Deus Deus tuus oleo laetitiae, [Bede, Expositio Actuum Apostolorum, c. 4, CCSL 121, p. ?] i. e. Spiritu sancto; Christus enim graece latine unctus dicitur.

Therefore Bede says in his tract on the Acts of the Apostles: Christ comes from chrisma, that is, it takes its name from ointment, according to the Scriptures: God, your God, anointed you with the oil of gladness, [Bede, Expositio Actuum Apostolorum, c. 4]5 that is: with the Holy Spirit. For, Christ is Greek, in Latin he is called anointed (unctus).

Quotquot enim antiquitus reges erant, christi dicebantur, quia uncti erant a prophetis unctione corruptibili. Iste autem Christus unctus est non unctione corruptibili, sed unctione spiritali, id est plenitudine Spiritus sancti, de quo dictum est: Spiritus Domini super me, propter quod unxerit me, [Lc 4:1] cui etiam Psalmista dicit: propterea unxit te Deus Deus tuus in aeternam oleo laetitiae prae consortibus tuis. [Ps 44:8]

However many kings there were in antiquity, they were being called christs because they had been anointed by the prophets with perishable oil. However, that one Christ has not been anointed with perishable oil, but with spiritual oil, that is with the fullness of the Holy Ghost, about whom it has been said: The Spirit of the Lord is over me, because he has anointed me. [Lc 4:1] Also the Psalmist says to him: Because God, your God, anointed you for ever with the oil of gladness before your consorts. [Ps 44:8]

Quando enim consortes nominantur, naturam carnis intellige, quia Deus consortes substantiae suae nos non habet. Et quia erat unctio spiritalis et nequaquam humani corporis, ut fuit in sacerdotibus Judaeorum, idcirco prae consortibus, id est prae ceteris sanctis unctus esse memoratur cujus unctio illo expleta est tempore, quando [page 14] baptizatus est in Jordane et Spiritus sanctus in specie columbae descendit super eum et mansit in illo. Unctus est igitur oleo spiritali et virtute coelesti, ut paupertatem conditionis humanae thesauro resurrectionis rigaret aeterno et captivitatem mentis auferret atque caecitatem illuminaret animarum nostrarum. [Bede, In Lucae Evangelium Expositio II, CCSL 120, pp. 102-103]1

When, therefore, the consorts are mentioned, understand the nature of the flesh, because God does not have us as consorts of his substance. And because his anointment was spiritual and not at all of the human body, as it was [practiced] among the priests of the Jews, for that reason he is said to have been anointed before the other saints, he whose anointment was fulfilled at that time when [page 14] he was baptized in the river Jordan and the Holy Spirit descended over him in the appearance of a dove and remained onto him. He has therefore been anointed with spiritual oil and with celestial virtue, in order that he bedew the poverty of the human condition with the treasure of the resurrection and carry away the captivity of the mind and enlighten the blindness of our souls. [Bede, In Lucae Evangelium Expositio II]

Nunc etiam videndum est, qua ratione B. Benedictus cum dixit regi praemisit vero. Ideo enim dixit vero regi, ut separaret eum ab his, qui non sunt veri reges natura, eo quod alii sunt, qui non sunt veri reges natura.

Now we must also see, with what argument the blessed Benedict put true first when he said king. He said to the true king so as to separate him from those who are not true kings by nature, because there are others who are not true kings by nature.

Sic enim B. Petrus apostolus cum dixit Domino: Tu es Christus filius Dei, [Mt 26:63] addidit vivi ad separationem deorum mortuorum. Ita etiam lux sanctorum apostolorum non erat vera lux natura, nam Petrus lux erat, Johannes lux erat, de quo dictum est: Erat Johannes lucerna ardens; [Io 5:35] ardens erat Johannes fide et dilectione, lucerna autem verbo et actione, sed sicut dixit, non erat vera lux natura, quia alius erat vera lux, qui eos illuminabat, de quo dictum est: Erat lux vera, quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. [Io 1:9]

In such a way, then, the blessed Apostle Peter added, when he said to the Lord: Thou art Christ, the son of God [Mt 26:63], the word living to separate him from the dead gods. So, too, the light of the holy apostles was not the true light by nature, for Peter was light and John [the Baptist] was light, about whom it was said: John was the burning torch [Io 5:35]. John was burning with faith and love. But although he was a torch in word and action, he was not the true light by nature, because another was the true light, who was enlightening them and about whom it is said: He was the true light, that, coming into this world, enlightens every person. [Io 1:9]

Iterum videndum est, quid sit militaturus, aut cur dixit S. Benedictus militaturus, et non dixit serviturus vel obediturus. Militaturus enim intelligitur certaturus vel pugnaturus; et quia voluit tibi S. Benedictus indicare, ad pugnam vel laborem te accessurum, ideo dixit militaturus, quia militare proprio pugnare est.

Again, we need to see what about to battle (militaturus) means, or: why does St. Benedict say about to battle and did not say about to serve or about to obey? About to battle is understood as about to struggle or about to fight. And because St. Benedict wanted to indicate to you that you are about to enter a fight or struggle, he said about to battle, because to battle is actually to fight.

Hic etiam animadvertendum est, quia illud, quod Salomon multiplicibus verbis comprehendit dicens: Fili! accede ad servitutem Dei et praepara animam tuam ad laborem, [Sir 2:1] ipsum etiam S. Benedictus uno eodemque sermone comprehendit, cum dixit militaturus. Nam cum superius dixit: abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus, nunc autem subjunxit militaturus, quid aliud ostendere voluit, nisi pugnam et laborem te esse subiturum? Tu vero quando propriis voluntatibus abrenuntias et alterius voluntati te submittis, quasi ad pugnam accedis.

Here you have to pay attention, because Salomon expresses it in many words as he says: Son! Enter the service of God and prepare your soul for effort. [Ecl 2:1]  St. Benedict expresses that very idea in one word, when he said: about to battle. For when he said earlier: renouncing your own will, and now has added about to battle, what else did he want to demonstrate than that you are about to undergo fight and effort? But when you renounce your own will and submit yourself to the will of another, you enter, as it were, a fight.

Hic etiam videndum est, quia cum dixit: Christo vero regi militaturus, non dixit; contra Christum, sed pro Christo militaturus, [page 15] sicuti cum dicitur miles terrenus regi terreno militaturus, non dicitur contra regem, sed pro rege terreno militaturus. Et quia pugnam te indicavit subiturum, ideo subjunxit: obedientiae arma.

Here, we also need to see, that when he said about to battle for Christ, the true king, he did not say against Christ but about to battle for the sake of Christ, [page 15] just as, when the earthly soldier is said to be about to battle for the earthly king, it is not said against the king, but about to battle for the earthly king. And since he indicated that you will enter a fight, he added: the weapons of obedience.

Nam sicut reges isti, reges terreni, cum mittunt militem suum ad pugnam, arma illi praebent, ita et B. Benedictus, quia ad pugnam cognovit te accessisse, armatum te indicavit esse, et non alterius armis armatum te indicavit accessisse, sed armis obedientiae; nam quamvis sint arma castitatis aut jejunii aut ceterarum virtutum, tamen non te indicavit alterius virtutis arma sumsisse nisi obedientiae, eo quod sicut est initium peccati recedendi a Deo inobedientia, ita initium convertendi ad Deum est obedientia.

For, just as those kings, the earthly kings, when they send their soldier to battle, provide him with weapons, so also the blessed Benedict, because he knows that you have entered a fight, declared that you have been armed. He did not declare that you have entered [the fight], armed with the weapons of another [virtue], but with the weapons of obedience. For, although there are weapons of chastity or fasting or of the other virtues, still he did not declare that you have taken up the weapons of another virtue than obedience, because just as the beginning of the sin of withdrawal from God is disobedience, just so the beginning of turning to God is obedience.

Nam sicut in exordio conversionis abrenuntiando idolorum cultibus ab his, qui percipiunt baptismatis sacramentum, requiritur, ita etiam requiritur in initio conversionis ab his, qui recipiuntur a monastica disciplina, abrenuntiatio propriarum voluntatum, quae intelligitur obedientia.

For, just as it is required for those who receive the sacrament of baptism to begin their way of life (conversio) by renouncing the cults of idols, just so, at the beginning of their way of life, renunciation of the own will – which is understood as obedience – is required for those who are being received by the monastic discipline.

Item etiam intuendum est, quare S. Benedictus indicavit, illum abrenuntiantem propriis voluntatibus arma suscepisse, et ipsa arma quare fortissima et non fortia? Cognoverat enim B. Benedictus, inimicum nostrum diabolum fortem esse et armatum testante Domino, qui de illo etiam in Evangelio dicit: Cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum, in pace sunt ea, quae possidet. [Lc 11:21]

Likewise, we also have to look into the question why St. Benedict mentioned that the one who renounces his own will has taken up arms, and that those very weapons are very strong and not [just] strong. The blessed Benedict knew, for sure, that our enemy, the devil, is strong and armed – as is testified by our Lord, who in the Gospel says about him: When the strong and armed one protects his court, the things that he possesses are in peace. [Lc 11:21]

Ideo indicavit illi, arma sumpsisse, ut se cognoscat armatum contra armatum pergere; et propterea fortissima et non fortia, quia fortis non vincitur nisi a fortiore.

He [Jesus] mentioned to him [the devil] that he had taken up arms in order that he might know that he was marching as armed man against an armed man. Thence this very strong and not strong, because the strong [i.e. the devil] is not conquered unless he is conquered by someone stronger.

Et bene postquam dixit militaturus, armorum fecit mentionem, ut se cognosceret ille, quando ad hoc opus venit, quasi ad proelium venisse. Nam sicut indecens est et periculosum, qui ad proelium pergit, sine armis pergere, ita inconsequens est, qui hoc opus adgreditur, arma, per quae virtutes intelliguntur, non sumere, ac si diceret illi, cum dixit militaturus: obedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma assumis, id est, quia cum abrenuntiasti omnibus et meo discipulatui adhaesisti, ad [page 16] proelium te cognosce accessurum, et ideo te cognosce arma obedientiae sumpsisse.

And after he had said about to battle, he made mention of weapons in order that the other knew that he, when he came to that task, had come as it were to battle. For, just as it is unfitting and dangerous that he who marches to battle, marches without arms, so it is illogical that he who approaches this task, does not take up weapons, which are understood as virtues, as if he would say to him with about to battle: You are taking up very strong and most splendid (praeclara) weapons of obedience. That is, because you have renounced everything and have clung to my discipleship, know that you are [page 16] about to enter battle and therefore know that you have taken up weapons of obedience.

Iterum videndum est, quia sicut Paulus apostolus hortatus est suos auditores arma sumere dicens: Sumite armaturam Dei, ut possitis resistere diabolo, [Eph 6:13]2 ita S. Benedictus suum auditorem iudicavit arma obedientiae sumpsisse.

Again, we have to see that just as the Apostle Paul encouraged his listeners to take up arms, saying: Take up the armature of God, so that you can know how to resist the devil [Eph 6:13], just so St. Benedict declared that his listener had taken up the weapons of obedience.

Et hoc etiam intuendum est, quia hostis noster diabolus aut vincitur per similia arma, aut per similia et dissimilia. Per similia vincitur, cum obedientia inobedientiam superat; similia enim sunt genere pugnae, quamvis sensu dissimilia sint; aut vincitur per similia, sicuti diximus, et dissimilia, id est, cum obedientia pugnat contra inobedientiam et videt sibi fortiter resistere inobedientiam, et tunc adbibet sibi alias virtutes in adjutorium, id est humilitatem, orationes atque lacrimas, et tunc faventibus sibi istis virtutibus, quae dissimilia sunt arma inobedientiae, et tunc obedientia inobedientiae victrix existit.

And again, it has to be understood that our enemy, the devil, is either conquered through similar weapons or through similar and dissimilar weapons. He is conquered with similar weapons when obedience conquers disobedience. They are similar weapons in the kind of fighting, but dissimilar in meaning. Or he is conquered through similar – as we said – and dissimilar weapons, that is when obedience fights against disobedience and sees that disobedience is resisting it (obedience) strongly, and then assumes for itself the help of other virtues, that is: humility, prayers and tears. And then, if those virtues – that are weapons dissimilar to disobedience – are favorable to it (obedience), obedience appears as the winner over disobedience.

Sequitur: 4Imprimis ut quidquid agendum inchoas bonum, ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas.

Next comes: 4You should first ask in most urgent prayer that whatever good work, that must be done, is begun by you, be perfected by him.

Forte quaerit quis, quare dixit S. Benedictus: imprimis quidquid inchoaveris bonum, ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas, cum homo non potest a se ipso aliquid boni inchoare?

Maybe someone asks, why St. Benedict said: You should first ask in most urgent prayer that whatever good work, that must be done, is begun by you, be perfected by him. $$$$

Cui respondendum est, quia illud imprimis duobus modis potest intelligi, primo quidem, ut mox dicturi sumus, deinde quod dicit inchoare, non est intelligendum, ut homo a se possit inchoare nisi a Deo, sicut dicit psalmista: Misericordia ejus praeueniet me; [Ps 58:11] sed inchoatio boni et nostra est et Dei; nostra per susceptionem, Dei vero est per praevenientem gratiam suam, sicut dicimus: Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. [Lc 11:13]

We should answer him that this first can be understood in two ways: ‘at first’ [that is:] as we shall soon say, then that which he calls to begin must not be understood as if a man can begin of himself, just as the psalmist says: His mercy will come before me [Ps 58:11], but the beginning of a good deed is both ours and God’s: ours through reception, God’s, though, through his preceding grace, just as we say: Give us today our daily bread [Lc 11:13].

Ecce et nostrum dicimus et dari poscimus, sicut legitur in Moralia quintae partis beatissimi Job. Et iterum Paulus: plus omnibus laboravi, sed non ego. [1 Cor. 15:10] Et hoc, quia non est nostra tota inchoatio, manifestat, cum subjungit: 5ut qui nos jam in [page 17] filiorum numero dignatus est computare, non debeat aliqundo de malis actibus nostris contristari.

Behold, we both call it ours and demand that it be given, just as we can read in [Gregory’s] Moralia on the most blessed Job, part five. Paul says once again: I have more toiled than all the others, but it was not I [I Cor. 15:10]. And it is clear that this entire beginning is not ours, when he adds: 5so that he who has now granted us [page 17] the dignity of being counted among the number of his sons may not at any time be saddened by our evil deeds.

Sequitur: 4In primis ut quidquid agendum inchoaveris bonum, ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas.

Next comes: 4First, that, whatever good deed, that must be done, you will have begun, you ask to be perfected by him with pressing prayer.

Multi enim, qui nesciunt, emendant in hac regula, ubi assumis habetur, pro assumis, assume, et faciunt imperativum pro indicativo, ut sit: obedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma assume, ut sit sensus, id est, ad te nunc meus sermo dirigitur, quisquis abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus Domino Christo vero Regi militaturus, assume obedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma, et admoneo te inprimis, ut poscas instantissima oratione ab eo perfici, quidquid inchoas bonum agendum, ita ut suus sermo sit primus [prima?] oratio, quam assumtio armorum, quia genus locutionis est, ut primum dicat multa agi, et in fine dicatur: in primis hoc fac, sicut Dominus in Evangelio dicit multa prius, postea dicit: primum quaerite regnum Dei. [Mt 6:33]

For, many people who do not know, emendate in this [line of the] rule, where assumis (you are taking) is written, with assume (take!) and make it imperative instead of indicative, so that it says: take up the very strong and most splendid weapons of obedience so that the meaning is this: My speech is now directed at you, whoever renouncing his own will is about to battle for the Lord Christ, the true king, take up the very strong and most splendid weapons! And I admonish you especially, that you ask with most urgent prayer that, whatever good deed that must be done is begun by you, be perfected by him. In this way, his speech is rather a prayer than an assumption of weapons. The way in which he speaks is this: he first says that many things are done and in the end it is said: First do this, just as the Lord in the Gospel says many things earlier, [and] afterwards he says: first, search the kingdom of God. [Mt 6:33]

Si vero fuerit indicativus assumis, est sensus: ad te nunc meus sermo dirigitur, tu, quisquis assumis obedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma militaturus Domino Christo vero Regi, abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus, ac si diceret: tu qui hoc agis, id est, qui assumis arma obedientiae militaturus Domino Christo vero Regi, ad te modo meus sermo dirigitur, quisquis abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus Domino Christo vero Regi militaturus obedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma assumis, inprimis ut quidquid agendum inchoas bonum, ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas, ut qui jam nos in filiorum dignatus est numero computare, non debeat aliquando de malis actibus nostris contristari, id est, ut in primis deposcas Dominum.

But if [Benedict’s text] gives assumis, in the indicative, the meaning is: My speech is now directed at you, you, whoever takes up the very strong and most splendid weapons of obedience, about to battle for the Lord Christ, the true King, renouncing your own will. Then, the meaning would be: You who are doing this, that is, who are taking up the weapons of obedience, about to battle for the Lord Christ, the true King, my speech is directed just at you – whoever you are – renouncing your own will, about to battle for the Lord Christ, the true King, and you are taking up the very strong and most splendid weapons of obedience, firstly so that you ask with most urgent prayer that, whatever good deed that must be done is begun by you, be completed by him, so that he who has deigned it worthy to count us in the group of his sons, ought not sometime be saddened about our evil deeds.That is: so that you firstly ask the Lord.

Sed sive sit imperativus, sive indicativus, nihil sensui impedit.

But whether it is imperative or indicative, nothing hinders a meaningful interpretation.

Istud enim adverbium, quod est inprimis, duobus modis intelligitur, id est, si enim velis, illud ad superiorem sensum referre potes; similiter et ad inferiorem sensum potes.

 For, that adverb inprimis (firstly, especially) is understood in two ways: that is, you can, if you should want to, take it in a higher sense and you can take it in a lower sense.

Quod si ad superiorem sensum istud retuleris, ita intelligitur: Dixerat enim [page 18] Pater Benedictus superius sub generalitatis nomine: Ausculta o fili praecepta magistri et inclina aurem cordis tui et admonitionem pii patris libenter excipe et efficaciter comple, ut ad eum per obedientiae laborem redeas, a quo per inobedientiae desidiam recesseras.

But if you take it in its higher sense, it is understood in this way: for [page 18] father Benedict had said above by way of a general address: Listen, o son, to the teachings of the master and bend the ear of your heart and receive the admonition of your loving father gladly and fulfill it effectively in order that you return through the work of obedience to him, from whom you had withdrawn through the sloth of disobedience.

Audita hac voce quis reliquit omnia et assumpsit arma obedientiae et separavit se ab aliis, stetit ante illum dicens: Et ‘Pater Benedicte, relictis omnibus, quae possedi et assumptis armis obedientiae, quia te cognovi pium, ecce sto ante te; nunc quid vis, jube’.

Having heard this voice, he who6 left everything behind and took up the weapons of obedience and separated himself from others, stood before him saying: 'Look here, father Benedict, having left everything behind which I possessed and having taken up the weapons of obedience, because I know that you are loving – behold! – I stand in front of you; now, order what you like!'

Ille vero quasi respondens dixisse videtur: 'Jam postquam relictis omnibus et assumptis armis obedientiae decrevisti, meus discipulus esse, ad te nunc ergo meus sermo dirigitur. Tu vero iterum, quasi interrogasses illum dicens: ‘Quis est ille sermo, Pater, quem ad me dirigis?’

Benedict seems to have said by way of responding: 'Now, after everything has been abandoned and the weapons of obedience have been taken up and you have decided to be my disciple, my speech is now directed at you.' But you had, as it were, interrogated him again, saying: 'What is that speech, that you are directing at me, Father?'

Ille iterum, quasi respondisset dicens: ‘Inprimis, inquit, meum praeceptum istud est, id est, ut quidquid agendum inchoas bonum, ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas, ut qui nos jam in filiorum dignatus est computare numero, non debeat aliquando de malis actibus nostris contristari.’

And he, as it were, had answered: 'Firstly, my instruction is this, namely that, whatever good deed that must be done, is begun by you, you ask with most urgent prayer, that it be perfected by him so that he who has deigned it worthy already to count us in the group of his sons, ought not sometime be saddened about our evil deeds.'

In isto namque sensu concordat se Apostolis dicentibus Domino: Domine auge nobis fidem [Lc 17:5] et iterum concordat se Domino dicenti: Oportet semper orare et non deficere [Lc 18:1], necnon Paulo Apostolo dicenti: Sine intermissione orate. [1 Th 5:17]

In that sense, he brings himself in accordance with the Apostles who say to the Lord: Lord, make our faith greater [Lc 17:5], and also with the Lord who says: Men ought always to pray and not to faint [Lc 18:1], and also with the Apostle Paul who says: Pray without intermission [1 Tess 5:17].

Item alter sensus est ita, id est, si volueris istud inprimis ad inferiorem sensum referre, ita intelligi debet: Superius enim dixerat sub generalitatis nomine: Ausculta o fili praecepta magistri et admonitionem pii patris libenter excipe et efficaciter comple, ut ad eum per obedientiae laborem redeas, a quo per inobedientiae desidiam recesseras. Ad te ergo nunc, meus sermo dirigitur, quisquis abrenuntians propriis voluntatibus Domino Christo vero Regi militaturus obedientiae fortissima atque praeclara arma assumis. Sermo meus namque, qui ad te dirigitur, fili, iste est, id est, ut inprimis quidquid agendum inchoas bonum ab eo perfici instantissima oratione deposcas.

Likewise, another sense is this, namely: if you will want to take that inprimis (firstly) in its lower sense, it ought to be understood like this: earlier, he had said under the name of the general form of addressing: Listen, o son, to the teachings of the master and receive the admonition of your loving father willingly and fulfill it effectively in order that you return to him through the work of obedience, from whom you had withdrawn through the sloth of disobedience. To you my speech is now directed, whoever takes up the very strong and most splendid weapons of obedience, renouncing your own will, about to battle for the Lord Christ, the true King. For, my speech, that is directed at you, my son, is this, namely that you firstly ask with most urgent prayer that, whatever good deed that must be done, is begun by you, be perfected by him.

Sed tamen videtur in hoc sensu aliqua contrarietas esse in eo, quod dixit: Inprimis, et instantissima oratione, eo quod jam, quando inprimis homo orare debet Deum, [page 19] cum inchoat bonum, ut ab eo perficiatur suum opus, apparet, quia postea non debeat orare sed, sicut diximus, contrarium videtur esse, cum dicit instantissima, eo quod si instantissime, id est invictissime debet orare, tunc non inprimis orat, sed semper.

But still there seems to be some kind of contradiction in this sense with regard to the fact that he said: Firstly and with most urgent prayer because, when a person first ought to pray to God, [page 19] when he begins a good deed, in order that his work be perfected by him, it seems that he ought not to pray thereafter. But, as we said, there seems to be a contradiction, when he says most urgent because, if he ought to pray most urgently (instantissime) that is most invincibly (invictissime), then he does not pray firstly but always.

Et ideo istud inprimis in hoc loco positum est pro semper sicuti est illud: Primum quaerite regnum Dei et justitiam ejus et haec omnia adjicientur vobis. [Mt 6:33]

And for that reason, firstly is put in this place instead of always, just like this [quotation]: First, search the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things will be added for you [Mt 6:33].

Hic primum pro semper positum est. Nam quid sit illa inchoatio, manifestat, cum dicit: ut qui nos jam in filiorum dignatus est numero computare, non debeat aliquando de malis actibus nostris contristari, ac si diceret: ideo instantissime orandum est, ne bonum, quod nobis tribuit, id est in adoptando in filiorum numero, per nostram negligentiam perdamus, ut, qui nos jam in filiorum dignatus est numero computare, non debeat aliquando de malis actibus nostris contristari.

This first has been put instead of always. For, he shows what that beginning is, when he says: so that he who has deigned it worthy to count us in the group of his sons, ought not to be saddened by our evil deeds as if he was saying: you have to pray most urgently for this reason that we do not waste through our negligence the good thing that he has given us, namely our adoption in the group of his sons, so that he who has deigned it worthy to count us in the group of his sons, ought not to be saddened by our evil deeds.

Reddit enim causam, qua quis debeat instantissime orare, cum dicit: ut, qui nos jam in filiorum numero dignatus est, computare, non debeat aliquando de malis nostris actibus contristari.

For, he gives the reason for which someone ought to pray with most urgent prayer when he says: so that he who has deigned it worthy to count us in the group of his sons, ought not to be saddened by our evil deeds.

In hoc loco quia voluit S. Benedictus dignationem Dei ostendere el dignitatem nostram, ideo dixit: dignatus est in filiorum etc., quia in eo, quod dixit, illos filios habere, patrem illum esse ostendit. Quomodo dignatio Dei ostenditur vel dignitas nostra?

Because the blessed Benedict wanted in this place to show God’s deeming worthy and our worthiness, therefore he said: He deigned it worthy to count us... etc. because in the fact that he said that he7 has sons, he showed that he is the father. How is God’s deeming worthy or our worthiness shown?

Dignatio Dei est in eo, quod, cum ille est omnipotens et immortalis ei, aeternus, condescendit nobis et se humiliando fecit se patrem nostrum. Nostra enim dignitas est in eo, quod ascendimus. Quomodo ascendimus? Nos enim cum simus mortales et temporales et corruptibiles ascendendo facti sumus filii inmortales et incorruptibiles et aeterni.

God’s deeming worthy is situated in this that, since he is almighty and immortal and eternal, he descended for us and made himself our father by humiliating himself. Our worthiness is situated in this that we ascend. How do we ascend? Since we are mortal and temporal and corruptible we have been made, by ascending, his immortal and incorruptible and eternal sons.

Isto enim modo locutionis nunc loquitur B. Benedictus, cum dicit filiorum, quomodo loquitur B. Johannes Evangelista, cum dicit: Quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios Dei fieri, [Io 1:12] quo etiam modo loquimur accepta licentia in oratione dicentes: Pater noster, qui es in coelis. [Mt 6:9, Lc 11:2] [page 20]

In this way of speaking the blessed Benedict now speaks when he says of the sons, just as the blessed John the Evangelist speaks when he says: However many, though, have found him, he gave them power to become sons of God [Io 1:12] – in which manner we also speak when we say, after having received the license in praying: Our father, who art in heaven. [Mt 6:9, Lc 11:2] [page 20]

Nunc videndum est, qua ratione S. Benedictus dicit, Deum contristari, cum Dei natura simplex sit et inmutabilis, non contristetur, non irascatur? Non enim B. Benedictus proprio dicit, Deum contristari, sed figuraliter.

We have to see now, with what argument Saint Benedict says that God is saddened. When God’s nature is simple and unchangeable, he would not get saddened, he would not get angry. The blessed Benedict does not literally (proprie) say that God is saddened, but metaphorically (figuraliter).

Cognoverat enim ille, quin, quibus modis loquuntur homines inter se, ipsis etiam modis loquitur de Deo vel ad Deum scriptura divina; nam decem modi sunt, quibus loquuntur homines inter se.

Certainly, he knew that, just as people speak among themselves in certain ways, likewise also divine scripture speaks about God or to God. For, there are ten ways in which people speak among themselves.

Primus enim modus est natura, secundus qualitas, tertius quantitas, quartus facere, quintus: ad aliquid, sextus habitus, septiums situs, octavus locus, nonus tempus, decimus pati.

The first is nature, the second quality, the third quantity, the fourth action (facere), the fifth relation (ad aliquid), the sixth habit, the seventh situation, the eighth place, the ninth time, the tenth experience of emotions (pati).

Natura enim sive substantia est, cum dicitur Deus. Qualitas Dei est, cum dicitur bonus, sicuti est illud: Quam bonus Israel Deus! [Ps 72: 1] Quantitas Dei est, cum dicitur magnus, ut est illud: Magnus Dominus et laudabilis valde. [Ps 95:4] Facere Dei est, ut est illud: In principio creavit Deus coelum et terram. [Gn 1:1] Et iterum: Omnia, quaecunque voluit, fecit in coelo et in terra. [Ps 134:6]

Nature or substance is expressed when God is mentioned. Quality of God is expressed when he is called great, as in The Lord is great and very laudable [Ps 95:4]. Action of God is expressed in this: In the beginning God created the heaven and earth [Gn 1:1]. And also: Everything that he wanted, he created in heaven and earth [Ps 113:11 (Vulg.), 115:3]

Ad aliquid Dei est, cum dicitur Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, quamvis secundum personas proprium sit Patris, quod pater est, et Filii, quod filius est, et Spiritus Sancti, quod spiritus sanctus est, id est, nec persona Patris est persona Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Similiter et persona Filii nec persona Patris est et Spiritus Sancti. Et iterum nec persona Spiritus Sancti persona est Patris et Filii. Tamen cum dicitur Filius, respicit ad Patrem , et iterum cum dicitur Pater, respicit ad Filium, quia nec pater intelligitur sine filio, nec filius sine patre. Similiter cum dicitur Spiritus Sanctus, respicit ad Patrem et Filium, quia, ex utroque procedit; nam Deo proprium est, quod Deus est; bonus enim et magnus proprium est Dei, quia non ex accidentia illi accidit, bonum esse et magnum, sed ipsum, quod illi est esse, bonum et magnum est atque perfectura.

God’s relation (ad aliquid Dei) is expressed when he is called Father and Son and Holy Ghost, although, in terms of persons, the proper quality (proprium) of the Father is what is the Father, and of the Son that which is Son and of the Holy Ghost that which is Holy Ghost. That is: the person of the Father is not the person of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Likewise, the person of the Son is not the person of the Father not of the Holy Ghost. And again: the person of the Holy Ghost is not the person of the Father nor of the Son. And yet, when he is called Son, he is related to the Father. And also when he is called Father, he is related the Son, because neither is the Father understood without the Son, nor the Son without the Father. Likewise, when he is called Holy Ghost, he is related to the Father and the Son because he proceeds from either. For to God belongs that which is God. Good and great is God’s own quality (proprium), because the fact that he is good and great does not befall him out of chance, but he is good and great and perfect by nature.8

Facere enim Dei proprium est, eo quod ipso fecit omnia, sicut Dominus in Evangelio dicit: Pater meuns usque modo operatur, et ego operor. [Io 5:17]

Action is God’s own quality because he himself made everything, just as the Lord says in the Gospel: My father is working until now and I am working. [Io 5:17]

Reliqui vero modi quinque isti sunt: primus habitus, secundus situs, tertius locus, quartus tempus, quintus pati.

But I have left unnoticed (so far) these five modes: 1. Habit, 2. Situation, 3. Place, 4. Time, 5. Experience of emotions.

Habitus enim in Deo dicitur, sicuti [page 21] est illud: Abyssus sicut vestimentum opertorium ejus. [Ps 103:6] Situs enim in Deo dicitur, ut est illud: Qui sedes super Cherubim. [Ps 79:2]

Habit in God is mentioned in this: [page 21] The abyss like a robe, his covering [Ps 103:6 (Vulg.), 104:6]. Situation is mentioned in God in this: You who are seated over the Cherubim. [Ps 80:2 (Vulg.), 79:2]

Iste enim modus, qui dicitur situs, tribus modis constat: jacere, sedere, stare. Item locus in Deo dicitur, ut est illud: Qui es in coelis, [Mt 6:9, Lc 11:2.] et iterum: Si ascendero in coelum, tu illic es, si descendero ad infernum, ades. [Ps 138:8]

This mode which is called situation exists in three ways: to lie, to sit and to stand. Likewise, place is mentioned in God with this: Who art in heaven [Mt 6:9, Lc 11:2] and also: If I ascend to heaven, you are there, if I descend to hell, you are present [Ps 138:8 (Vulg.), 139:8].

Tempus in Deo dicitur, ut est illud: Anni tui non deficient. [Ps 101:28]

Time is expressed in God as in this quotation: Your years will not end [Ps 101:28 (Vulg.), 102:28].

Pati vero est tristari, laetari, irasci, gaudere, oblivisci, recordari, poenitere et cetera.

Experience of emotions is: to be saddened, to be glad, to get angry, to rejoice, to forget, to remember, to feel remorse, etc.

Sed hi quinque modi non proprio dicuntur in Deo, sed abusive; nam habitus Dei, situs Dei, locatio Dei, tempus Dei, pati Dei, more nostro dicuntur. Hoc notandum est, quia natura proprium hominis est et Dei. Hominis, quia accepit, Dei, quia Deus illam fecit.

But those five modes are not properly said to be in God but by improper use. For God’s habit, situation, place, time and experience are spoken about in our fashion. It must be noticed that nature is the possession of man and God. Of man, because he received it, of God, because he made it.

Qualitas autem et quantitas, si in malo est, tunc est proprium hominis; si autem bonum est, et Dei et hominis, Dei dando, hominis vero accipiendo.

Quality, however, and quantity, if it is meant in a bad sense, is the possession of man. But if it is good, it is of God and man. It is God’s in that he gives it, it is man’s, though, in that he receives it.

Similiter et facere Dei est per dationem, hominis vero persusceptionem.

Likewise, also God’s action is through giving, man’s through receiving.

Decimus enim modus est iste, cum dicit B. Benedictus, tristari Deum; nam figura est, quae dicitur a propria signilicatione ad non propriam siguificationem; nam proprium est hominis tristari, Dei enim non est proprium, quia ille immutabilis est ut in uno tenore semper permanet, sicut de illo scriptum est: apud quem non est transmutatio nec vicissitudinis obumbratio. [Iac 1:17]

The tenth mode is expressed when the blessed Benedict says that God is saddened. It is a figure [of speech], that is transferred from a proper meaning to a not proper meaning. For, it is the proper quality (proprium) of a man to be saddened, but it is not God’s proper quality, because he is unchangeable and always remains in the same mood (tenor) just as it has been written about him: With whom there is no change nor darkening of alterations [James 1:17].

Sed quamvis non proprie, tamen ideo dicitur Deus tristari de malis nostris actibus, ut cognoscamus nos, cujus poenae digni sumus, si ea fecerimus, quae illi displicent, verbi gratia, generas filium vel optas aliquem in filium et das illi haereditatem vel bona tua; ille vero confortatus plenuus divitiis tuis facit amicitiam cum inimico tuo et erigit se contra te faciens ea, quae tibi displicent.

But although not in proper use, still God is said to be saddened about our evil deeds in order that we ourselves know, what punishment we deserve if we do those things which will displease him, for example, you beget a son or you choose someone to be your son and give him the inheritance or your goods. But he, much strengthened by your riches, makes friendship with your enemy and rises up against you, doing those things that displease you.

Tu vero vides illum tuis bonis confortatum ac plenum contra te erigere; statim contristaberis vel poenitebit te, eo quod illi dedisti bona tua, quia, nisi haberet bona tua, non potuisset facere contra tu quidquam. Ita et in Deo; Deus enim cum creavit nos et adoptavit nos in filios, [et] tribuit nobis sua bona, nos vero pleni de ejus bonis atque confortati facimus amicitiam cum diabolo, qui est inimicus Dei [page 22] et agimus ea, quae Deo displicent, Deus vero videndo hoc, quia ei displicent, dicitur tristari, non ut ille tristitiam habeat, sed ut nobis demonstret, sicut diximus, cujus poenae digni sumus facientes illud, quod illi displicet.

You, however, see that he, strengthened and full of your goods, rises against you; immediately you will be saddened and you will be sorry that you gave him your goods because, if he had not had your goods, he had not been able to do anything against you. Just so with God: when he created us and adopted us as his sons, he gave us his goods. We, however, satisfied from his goods and strengthened, make friends with the devil, who is God’s enemy, and do the things that displease God. [page 22] God, however, seeing this, is said to be saddened because these things displease him – not in such a way that he has grief, but in order that he shows us, as we said, what punishment we deserve because we do what displeases him.

Haec autem locutio talis est, qualis illa, quae in psalmis legitur, ubi Christus ad Judam dicit; ait enim: Quoniam si inimicus meus maledixisset mihi, sustinuissem utique, et si is, qui oderat me, super me magna locutus fuisset, absconderem me utique ab eo; tu vero homo unanimis, dux meus et notus meus, qui simul dulces capiebas cibos! [Ps 54:13-15]

This form of speaking is of such a character as the one read in the psalms, where Christ says to Judas: For if my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it. And if he that hated me had spoken great things against me, I would verily have hidden my self from him. But you a man of one mind, my guide, and my familiar, who took sweetmeats together with me [Ps 54:13-15 (Vulg.), 55:13-15].

Subaudiendum est in hoc loco: cur me tradis? Et est sensus in hoc loco, cum dicit, Deus tristari de malis nostris actibus, econtrario intelligitur gaudere Deus de bonis nostris actibus, quamvis non proprie, sed abusive, quia cum dicitur, ut ille gaudeat, non ut ille gaudeat, sed ut nobis demonstret, quia gaudii sumus digni, si ejus tamen voluntatem implemus.

We have to add at this point: Why do you hand me over? And there is a meaning in this place, when he says that God9 is saddened by our evil deeds, [but] on the contrary God is understood to rejoice in our good deeds, although not in the proper sense, but in the improper sense, because, when it is said that he rejoices, [it is said] not in order that he rejoices but in order that he demonstrates us that we are worthy of joy, provided, however, that we fulfill his will.

Sequitur: 6Ita enim ei omni tempore de bonis suis in nobis parendum est, ut non solum (ut) iratus pater suos non aliquando filios exhaeredet, 7sed nec ut metuendus Dominus irritatus malis nostris ut nequissimos servos perpetuam tradat ad poenam, qui eum sequi noluerint ad gloriam.

Next: 6We have to obey him all the time concerning his good deeds in us in such a way that not only the irate father at some time does not disinherit his sons, 7but also the in order that the awe-imposing Lord, angered about our evil deeds, hand those people over to punishment – as if they were worthless slaves – who did not want to follow him to glory.

Perseverat adhuc Benedictus in intentione sua i. e. in illa similitudine, quam superius dixit contristari, cum dicit: ita enim ei omni tempore de bonis suis in nobis parendum est, ut non solum (ut) iratus pater suos non aliquando filios exhaeredet, 7sed nec ut metuendus Dominus irritatus malis nostris ut nequissimos servos perpetuam tradat ad poenam, qui cum sequi noluerint ad gloriam.

Earlier, Benedict still had that image of to be saddened in mind. Now he says: We have to obey him all the time concerning his good deeds in us in such a way that not only the irate father at a time does not disinherit his sons, but also in order that the awe-imposing Lord, angered about our evil deeds, hand those people over to punishment – as if they were worthless slaves – who did not want to follow him to glory.

Sed nunc prius ipsa verba inspicienda sunt. Ita enim intelligitur taliter; ei subauditur Deo, qui nos in filiorum dignatus est numero computare.

But first, now, these very words need to be investigated. In such a way means thus. We must add to him: God who has deigned it worthy to count us in the group of his sons.

Omni tempore, i. e, non per intervallum temporis, sed jugi tempore.

All the time is not through an interval of time but in perpetual time.

Egregia enim admonitio est, cum dicitur; omni tempore, quia, ubi dicitur servitus Dei, monetur omni tempore ea esse; [nam] hominis vero servitus non [page 23] potest omni tempore esse, sed per intervallum temporis.

The admonition all the time is excellent, because when the service to God is mentioned, it is reminded that it is all the time; but the service of man cannot [page 23] be all the time, but through an interval of time.

Sed hic inspiciendum est, quia istud, quod dicitur omni tempore, non ad exterioris hominis officium attinet, sed interioris, quia noster exterior (homo) non potest assidue Dei servitium exercsere propter singulas praeoccupationes terrenas, quibus praeoccupari solet, sine quibus non potest subsistere, sed ad interioris hominis officium attinet, quia ille semper potest Dei servitium exhibere. Et quamquam noster homo exterior sicut diximus, praeoccupetur diversis curis terrenis, sine quibus non potest subsistere, tamen interior noster homo intentione Deo semper potest servire, i. e. si ejus intentio in Deo consistit.

But here we need to see that this all the time does not refer to the task of the outer man, but of the inner man, because our outer man cannot continuously exercise service to God because of his separate earthly preoccupations, by which he is usually preoccupied, [and] without which he cannot exist; but it refers to the task of the inner man, because he can always exercise service to God. And although our outer man, as we said, is preoccupied with various earthly worries, without which he cannot exist, still our inner man can serve God always in intention, that is, if his intention stands firm in God.

Hoc, etiam animadvertendum est, quia istud omni tempore ad illas virtutes attinet, quae omni tempore debent fieri, nec ad momentum praeteriri.

This, too, has to be kept in mind, that this all the time refers to those virtues that ought to be done all the time, and ought not to be foregone at the change of times (ad momentum).

Nam sunt virtutes, quae jugiter exerceri possunt et debent, ut sunt istae: Caritas, gaudium, pax, patientia, bonitas, longanimitas, benignitas, lides, modestia, continentia. Hae autem virtutes ideo possunt et debent semper exerceri, quia si aliquando pro aliquibus causis, quae accidere solent, non possunt in ostentatione operis fieri, tamen in intentione mentis semper possunt et debent exerceri, eo quod sive his interior homo noster non potest salvus consistere. Et sunt iterum aliae virtutes, quae non possunt nec etiam debent semper exerceri tam in ostensione operis quam in mente, ut sunt istae: lectio, jejunium, silentium.

For, there are virtues that can and ought to be exercised perpetually, like charity, joy, peace, patience, goodness, forbearance, kindness, trust, modesty and temperance. These virtues can and ought to be exercised always, because, if for some reasons that usually occur, they cannot be done in the exhibition of [visible] work, still they always can and ought to be exercised in the intention of the mind, because our inner man can not be a saved person (salvus) without them. There are also other virtues that never can or even ought to be exercised in the exhibition of [visible] work but [are only done] in the mind: reading, fasting and silence.

Unde Salomon dicit: tempus tacendi et tempus loquendi, tempus jejunandi et tempus manducandi etc., [Ecl 3:7] quia, cum pro aliqua accidentia non possunt in ostensione operis fieri, quamvis pro his faciendis si in corde voluntas fuerit legendi aut jejunandi, tamen non dicitur lectio vel jejunium, sed tantum bona voluntas. Nam istae tales virtutes si pro aliqua re meliore, verbi gratia pro caritate dimittuntur, sicut in ostensione operis non sunt, ita etiam nec in corde debent teneri, eo quod caritas de corde debet procedere puro.

Therefore, Salomon says: there is a time of silence and a time of speaking, a time of fasting and a time of eating, etc. [Ecl 3:7] because, since they cannot be done in the exhibition of [visible] effort, except for some accidental occurrences, reading or fasting are not virtues in themselves. It is the good will in them that is the real virtue.10 For, if these virtues are dispatched for some greater good, for example for charity: just as they are not done in the exhibition of effort, likewise they ought not even to be held in the heart, because charity ought to proceed from a pure heart.

Sequitur: de bonis suis, i. e. pro bonis, quia de pro pro ponitur; in nobis, id est a vobis; nam in pro a ponitur, [page 24] quia solet poni praepositio in in scripturis divinis pro praepositione alia, ut est illud: locutus est Deus in Filio, [Hbr 1:2] id est per Filium. Parendum, id est obtemperandum vel obediendum.

Next: concerning his good deeds, that is for his good deeds, because concerning (de) is placed instead of for (pro); in us that is by us; for, in (in) is put instead of by (a), because [page 24] it is custom that the preposition in in divine scriptures is put here instead of another preposition, like: God has spoken in the Son [Heb 1:2], that is: through the Son. To obey is: to comply to or to give ear to.

Sequitur: ut non solum (ut) iratus pater suos non aliquando filios exhaeredet, sed nec ut nequissimos servos perpetuam tradat ad poenam.

Next: in such a way that not only the irate father does not at some time disinherit his sons, but also in order that the awe-imposing Lord, angered about our evil deeds, hands those people over to punishment.

In hoc enim loco dividit illam similitudinem, quam superius dixerat, Deus tristari, in duas species vindictae; prima species, id est in ultione mali filii, secunda in vindicta mali servi.

In this place he divided the image, that he had mentioned before, that God11 is saddened, in two forms of revenge. The first form is in the vengeance of the evil son, the second in the revenge of the evil slave.

Verbi gratia: Ecce! quis habet filium et servum, et isti ambo provocant animum ejus ad iram. Ille vero filium suum exhaeredat, servum autem mittit in carcerem aut excutit illi oculos aut caetera mala, quae servus promeretur pati, illi facit. Ita et Dominus vobis facit, si ejus voluntati non fuerimus obedientes; nam ille noster et pater et dominus est. Pater est in filios adoptando, quia nos adoptavit in filios, id est, fecit nos haeredes esse suos, cohaeredes autem filii sui, sicut Paulus Apostolus dicit: haeredes quidem, Dei, cohaeredes autem Christi. [Rm 8:17] Dominus enim noster est creando, quia nos, cum nihil essemus, fecit nos esse aliquid. Et ideo nobis duo sua beneficia donavit, id est creationis ex nihilo et adoptionis ex perditione.

For example: Look! Someone had a son and a slave and both of them provoke his soul to anger. But he disinherits his son. He sends his slave, however, to prison or drives out his eyes or does other evils to him – evils which the slave deserves to suffer. Thus the Lord also does to us if we will not give ear to his will. For, he is our father and Lord. He is father in that he adopts sons, because he adopted us as his sons, that is: he made us his heirs – the co-heirs of his own son, just as the Apostle Paul says: heirs, for sure, of God, but co-heirs of Christ [Rm 8:17]. He is our Lord in that he creates, because he made us something when we were nothing. And therefore he donated us his two benefactions, that is of his creation from nothing and of the adoption from ruin.

Metuenda est valde haec sententia nobis, qua dicit: ut non solum (ut) iratus pater suos non aliguando filios exhaeredet, sed nec ut metuendus dominus irritatus malis nostris ut nequissimos servos perpetuam tradat ad poenam.

We have to fear greatly this sentence in which he says: in such a way that not only the irate father does not at some time disinherit his sons, but also in order that the awe-imposing Lord, angered about our evil deeds hand those people over to punishment.

Et reddit causam, in quos id est in illos, qui cum sequi noluerint ad gloriam, id est, quia non solum pro tantis beneficiis nobis impensis, si suae voluntati non placuerimus, exhaeredat nos ab illa haereditate, quam nobis dedit per gratiam, verum etiam tradet nos in poenam perpetuam, sicut in subsequentibus manifestat, cum dicit: qui eum sequi noluerint ad gloriam.

And he makes an accusation – against whom? Those who did not want to follow him to glory. He does not only, in keeping with so great benefactions bestowed on us, disinherit us from that heritage if we do not please his will, but he will also hand us over to the perpetual punishment, just as is evident when he says: Who did not want to follow him to glory.

In hoc enim loco notandum est, quia plus est irritatus quam iratus; nam ille irritat, id est provocat, qui es studio malae voluntatis alterum facit irasci; nam irasci facere potest, qui simpliciter peccat. [page 25]

Here we have to take note that he is more irritated than angry. For, he who out of zeal for an evil will causes another to get angry, irritates, that is: provokes. He who simply commits a fault, can give rise to becoming angry. [page 25]

Sequitur: 8Exsurgamus ergo tandem aliquando excitante nos scriptura ac dicente: Hora est jam nos de somno surgere.

Next comes: 8Let us, therefore, arise, finally at last, when the Scriptures incite us and say: It is time now that we rise from sleep.

Apte enim et congrue, postquam diviserat illam similitudinem in duas species, id est in vindictam mali filii, qui exhaereditatur, et in ultionem mali servi, qui poenis traditur, nunc subjunxit: Exsurgamus ergo tandem aliquando; solem enim divina scriptura aliquando praeceptum dare, aliquando narrare, aliquando exhortari sive admonere. Praecipit enim divina scriptum, ut est illud: Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his, qui oderunt vos, [Lc 6:27; Mt 5:44] et cetera multa, quae praeteriri sine peccato non possunt. Narrat enim ut est illud: In principio fecit Deus coelum et terram; [Gn 1:1] nam ille narrat, qui rem praeteritam vel praesentem dicit. Exhortatur enim vel admonet, sicuti idem B. Benedictus in hoc loco facit, cum dicit: Exsurgamus tandem ergo aliquando.

After he had divided that image into two sorts, namely in revenge of the bad son who is disinherited and in vengeance of the bad slave who is handed over to punishments, he (Benedict) aptly and fittingly adds: Let us, therefore, arise, now at last. Usually divine scripture gives us at some point an instruction, at another it narrates, then, it exhorts or admonishes. divine scripture instructs, as in this quotation: Love your enemies, do well to those who hate you [Lc 6:27; Mt 5:44] and many other things that cannot be forgone without sin. Scripture narrates, as in: In the beginning God made heaven and earth [Gn 1:1], for, he who tells about a past and present situation, narrates. It exhorts or admonishes, just as the blessed Benedict does in that place, when he says: Let us, therefore, arise, finally at last.

Istud enim aliquando sub uno accentu proferri debet et intelligitur vel sero saltem, tarde vel nunc.

This at last (aliquando) ought to be named in one breath and is understood as in the end, finally or now (vel, sero, saltem, tarde, nunc).

Istud enim exsurgamus situm mentis signiticat.

Let us arise describes the situation of the mind.

In situ enim tria sunt, consideranda, sicut diximus: jacere, severe et stare. Sed surgamus ad jacere et sedere respicit, quia nemo nisi jacenti aut sedenti surgere dicit.

Three things must be considered with regard to situation: lying, sitting and standing. But let us arise refers to lying and sitting, because one only says arise to someone who is lying or sitting.

Ubi vero ergo repetitur semper ad superiorem sensum respicit. Et est sensus cum dicit: Exsurgamus ergo tandem, aliquando, id est, si ita est, ut malus filius exhaeredetur et malus servus puniatur, nos ergo, qui filii sumus et servi, surgamus vel sero, vel nunc, ut qui usque modo jacuimus in peccatis nostris, nunc exsurgamus ad bona, facienda, ne nobis talia contingant, qualia filio vel servo malo contingunt, quia utrumque sumus, id est filii et servi.

But where therefore is repeated, it always refers to a higher meaning. And the meaning – when he says: Let us, therefore, arise, finally at last – is as follows. If it is so that the bad son should be disinherited or the bad slave be punished, let us, therefore, who are sons and slaves, arise, either in the end, or now. Just as if [he says that we] who have lain continuously until now in our sins, must arise to do good, lest us befall the things that befall the bad son or slave, because we are both of them: sons and slaves.

Somnus enim iste non de somno corporis, sed de somno mentis dicit; multi enim sunt, quibus iste somnus somnus est, et sunt alii, quibus iste somnus mors est; illis enim est iste somnus mors, qui a sua malitia non sunt conversuri, et illis est iste somnus somnus, qui a suo torpore conversuri sunt. Felices enim illi, quibus iste somnus somnus est, et infelices illi, quibus iste somnus mors est. [page 26]

That sleep does not refer to the sleep of the body, but to the sleep of mind. There are many people for whom sleep is sleep, and there are others, for whom sleep is death. Sleep is death for those who are not about to convert from their ill-will and sleep is sleep for those who are about to convert from their numbness. Happy are those for whom that sleep is sleep, and unhappy are those, for whom that sleep is death. [page 26]

Sequitur: Excitante nos scriptura ac dicente: Hora est jam nos de somna surgere.

Next comes: Because Scripture incites us and says: It is time, now, for us to arise.

Bene sermo magistralis cum scriptura divina exhortatur suum auditorem: exsurgere. Voluit B. Benedictus exemplum dare suis sequacibus, ut ea quae docenda vel admonenda sunt, cum auctoritate divinarum scripturarum admoneantur; ideo dixit: excitante nos scriptura, ac si diceret: O fili! non meus sermo solus, sed cum scriptura exhortatur te, exsurgere velociter.

Together with the divine scripture, the speech of the master exhorts his listener to rise. The blessed Benedict wanted to give to his followers an example in order that the things that have to be taught or admonished, be admonished. Therefore he said: Because Scripture incites us, as if he was saying: O son! Not only my speech, but together with Scripture it exhorts you to quickly arise.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia non qualicumque modo dixit: surgamus, sed: exsurgamus, id est: cito surgamus; nam in hoc loco, ubi scriptura dicit, subaudiendum est divina.

And this must be marked well, that he does not say in whatever kind of way: let us rise (surgamus) but let us arise (exsurgamus), that is: let us rise fast.

Istud enim, quod dixit: Hora est jam nos de somno surgere, [Rm 13:11] de Paulo apostolo sumpsit; dixerat enim B. Paulus ad gentes sub allegorico sensu dicens: hora est, in quantum somnus dicitur, eo quod somnus dicitur et infidelitatem significat, jam nos de somno, id est de infidelitate mentis surgere. Sufficit enim vobis, tanto tempore in infidelitatis permansisse somno, quia ab ipsius primi hominis deceptione usque modo in infidelitatis somno permansistis.

In this place, where he says Scripture, we must add divine. For he took the words It is time, now, for us to rise from sleep [Rm 13:11] from the Apostle Paul. The blessed Paul had said to the peoples, speaking in an allegorical sense: It is time in as much as sleep is mentioned –because sleep is said and it means unbelief – that we arise now from sleep, that is from the unbelief of the mind. It suffices for you to have remained such a great time in the sleep of unbelief, because you have remained from the deceit of the very first man until now in the sleep of unbelief.

Hora est jam nos de somno surgere, id est, jam maxima pars saeculi, hoc est quinque aetates consumtae sunt; nunc vero parva pars saeculi, i. e. ultima aetas est. Et quod per horam ultima aetas saeculi intelligatur, testatur Joannes coapostolus ejus, cum dicit; ait enim: Filioli, novissima hora est. [1 John 2:18] Et idem ipse Paulus alibi hoc manifestat dicit enim: Nos sumus, in quos fines saeculorum devenerunt. [1 Cor 10:11] Et quamquam intentio Pauli ista fuit, dicere gentibus sub allegorico sensu, tamen et moraliter potest ad christianos referri.

It is time, now, that we arise from sleep, now that the greatest part of the world-age, that is the five ages, have been consumed. Now, though, is the small part of the world-age, that is the last age. And the fact that with time (hora) the last part of the world-age is understood, is testified by John, his co-apostle, when he says: Little sons, it is the last hour [1 John 2:18]. And likewise Paul himself shows this elsewhere, for he says: We are the ones to whom the ends of the ages have come [1 Cor 10:11]. And even though it was the intention of Paul to speak to the peoples in an allegorical sense, still it can be related to the Christians in a moral sense.

Unde Benedictus sciens illum allegoricum sensum supradictum, non secundum allegoricum, sed secundum moralem hic illud locutus est. Et est sensus, cum dicit: Hora est, jam nos de somno surgere, id est: o peccator! jam hora est, ut nos convertamur a nostris iniquitatibus, quia ultimum tempus vitae nostrae instat, et non solum ad ultimam aetatem hominis hoc attinet, verum etiam ad unamquamque aetatem hoc referri potest, si mortis tempus [page 27] adtendimus, verbi gratia; hora est jam nos de somno surgere, id est, o infans! hora est jam a tua malitia convertendi, quia hora est, id est, finis vitae tuae instat.

Therefore Benedict, knowing this allegorical sense that I mentioned above, said this not according to the allegorical sense, but according to the moral sense. When he says: It is time, now, for us to arise from sleep, the meaning is: O sinner, it is time that we convert from our iniquities, because the final period (tempus) of our life is impending and this does not only bear relevance to the last age of man but can also be related to whatever age, if we think of the time of death, [page 27] for example. It is time, now, that we rise from sleep that is: O child! It is the time, now, of your conversion from ill-will because it is time, that is, the end of your life is impending.

Sequitur: 9Et apertis oculis nostris ad deificum lumen attonitis auribus audiamus.

Next: 9And our eyes having been opened to the deifying light, let us hear with our thunderstruck ears.

Quia perseverat [enim] in excitatione somni mentis, quam superius dixerat, manifestat ista particula, quae est et.

This detail and shows that he sticks to the image of arising from the sleep of mind, which he had mentioned above.

Et bene apertis oculis dixit, quia sicut ille, qui a somno corporali excitatur, oculos corporis aperit, ita et ille, qui a somno mentis, i. e. torpore, oculos aperit cordis.

And he said well eyes having been opened, because just as he who wakes up from corporeal sleep, opens the bodily eyes, just so he, too, who wakes up from the sleep of mind, that is from sluggishness, opens the eyes of the heart.

Et forte ideo dixit nostris, quia mentis oculos voluit intelligi: nam quod ad oculos cordis hoc attineat, etiam istud manifestat, quod subjunxit: ad deificum lumen, ac si diceret: Non te, o fili, ad istud lumen temporale videndum excito, quod omnes bestiae seu animalia vident, sed ad illud, quod a nullo nisi ab angelis seu hominibus spiritalibus videtur, sicut scriptum est: Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. [Mt 5:8]

And perhaps he said our for this reason that he wanted that the eyes of our mind are understood. For, the fact that it refers to the eyes of the heart is also proven by the fact that he adds: to the deifying light, as if he was saying: I do not wake you up, o son, to see that temporal light, which all wild beasts and animated beings see, but to that which is seen by no one but by the angels and spiritual people, just as is written: Blessed the pure of heart, for they will see God. [Mt 5:8]

Deificum enim divinum intelligitur. Nam bene post apertionem oculorum subjunxit sollicitudinem aurium, quae per attonitis intelligitur; quia nostri interioris hominis auditus et visus non sunt divisa, sicut exterioris hominis, eo quod videre el audire insimul habet ille interior, et ubi videt, audit et intelligit. Exterior autem potest caecus audire et surdus videre.

Deifying must be understood as divine. For, he rightly added after the opening of the eyes, the solicitude of the ears, which is understood by this thunderstruck, because hearing and seeing of the inner man are not distinguished, as in the outer man, because that inner man has seeing and hearing at the same time, and when he sees, he hears and understands. The outer man, though, can listen while he is blind and see while he is deaf.

Sequitur: 9divivina quotidie clamans quid admoneat vox dicens. divina ideo dixit ad separationem humanae vocis.

He continues with: 9to what the divine voice admonishes us, daily crying out, saying (...). He says divine with regard to the distinction of the human voice.

Nunc videndum est, quo modo est ista vox divina, cum ea non Dominus, sed David dixit. Vere divina est, quia quamquam David hoc dicat, tamen Spiritus sanctus per David locutus est; et quod Dominus per os prophetarum seu apostolorum et cunctorum sanctorum loquatur, testatur Paulus apostolus, cum dixit: An experimentum ejus quaeritis, qui in me loquitur Christus? [2 Cor 13:3]

Now we have to see, how that voice is divine, when not the Lord, but David said these things. It is truly divine, because, although David says this, still the Holy Ghost has spoken through David. And that the Lord speaks through the mouth of prophets or apostles and all the saints, is testified by the Apostle Paul, when he said: Or do you seek experience of him who speaks in me – that is Christ? [2 Cor 13: 3]

Nunc iterum videndum est, quo modo quotidie divina clamet vox, cum sint multi, qui non habent expositores vel etiam librum divinarum scripturarum? [Et] quamquam illis vox divina non clamet per exterioris hominis officium, tamen illa lex naturalis in cordibus eorum clamat; lex enim naturalis est cognitio creaturae [page 28] et creatoris.

Now again we need to look how the divine cries out daily, because there are many who do not have interpreters or even the book of divine scriptures. Although the divine voice does not cry out to them through the activity (officium) of the outer man, still that natural law cries out in their hearts; for, the natural law is the knowledge of creature [page 28] and creator.

Et tunc enim, quando se cognoscit unusquisque creaturam esse et habere creatorem, quid aliud est ista cognitio nisi clamatio legis naturalis?

And then, indeed, when each person knows that he is a creature and has a creator, what else is that knowledge than a cry of the natural law?

Et tunc monetur ille ab hac cognitione, ut nonnulli creaturae, nisi creatori suo creatura serviat. Est etiam alia lex, quae clamat in cordibus fidelium, ut de virtute in virtutem ascendat, unde sub allegorico sensu de Domino Jesu dictum est: Et erat Jesus quotidie docens in templo. [Lc 19:47]

And then he is admonished by that knowledge that he, as a creature, must serve not just any creature, but only his creator. There is also another law which cries in the hearts of the faithful that he must ascend from virtue to virtue, whence there is the saying about the Lord Jesus in an allegorical sense: And Jesus was daily teaching in the temple. [Lc 19:47]

Quotidie enim Jesus docet in templo suo, cum quotidie dignatur inspirare in corde uniuscujusque fidelis, ut de virtute in virtutem ascendat. Hodie enim pro praesenti vita ponitur, quia in hac vita sibi dies succedunt, in futura vero vita unus dies est. Et quod hodie ad praesentem vitam attineat, manifestat Paulus, cum dicit ad Hebraeos; ait enim: Videte fratres, ne forte sit in aliqno vestrum cor malum incredulitatis (habens) discedendi a Deo vivo, sed cxhortamini vosmetipsos per singulos dies, donec hodie cognominatur, ut nemo ex vobis obduretur fallacia peccati. [Hbr 3:12-13]

Jesus teaches daily in his temple, when he daily deigns it worthy to inspire each individual believer in his heart to ascend from virtue to virtue. For, today is put instead of the present life, because the days follow each other in this life, but in the future life there is one day. And the fact that today refers to the present life, is shown by Paul, when he says to the Hebrews: Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. [Hbr 3:12-13]

Istud enim, quod dicit: 10Hodie si vocem ejus audieritis, nolite obdurare corda vestra, [Ps 94:8] David propheta dixerat ad populum Israel; necnon et Paulus id ipsum eidem populo dicens interpretatus est: hodie si vocem ejus audieritis [Hbr 3:16; Hbr 4:7] et caetera.

The words 10If you will have heard his voice today – do not harden your hearts [Ps 94:8] had been said by David to the people of Israel. Also Paul explained this as he spoke to the same people: If you will have heard his voice today, etc. [Hbr 3:16; Hbr 4:7]

Dixerat enim, sicut diximus, David ad illos Israelitas, qui fuerant filii eorum, qui erant liberati de Aegyptiaea, servitute et transierant mare rubrum et in deserto suscepti sunt et manna de coelo perceperunt et XL annis in deserto morati sunt et ibi contra Deum murmurati sunt, et ob hoc nullus eorum intrare meruit in terram repromissionis, nisi solus Caleph et Josue. Ideo dixerat hoc David propheta, ne sicut patres eorum obdurarent corda, sua.

As we said, David had spoken to those Israelites, who had been his sons, who had been freed from Egyptian slavery and had crossed the Red Sea and have been taken up in the desert and have received the manna from heaven and have remained in the desert forty years and there have murmured against God, and for that reason none of them was allowed to enter the promised land, except for Caleph and Joshua. The prophet David had said this so as to warn them not to harden their hearts like their fathers.

Et quamvis hoc historialiter ad Judaeos attinet, tamen ad Christianos, id est confessores Christi moraliter refertur, quia sicut illi de Aegyptiaca historialiter servitute liberati sunt, ita et isti moraliter de diaboli servitute, quae per Aegyptiacani servitutem intelligitur, liberati sunt.

And even though this refers to the Jews in the historical sense (historialiter), still, in the moral sense (moraliter), it relates to the Christians, that is to the confessors of Christ, because, just as the former (Israelites) have been freed from slavery in the historical sense, the latter (Christians) have been freed in the moral sense from the devil’s slavery, which is meant with the Egyptian slavery.

Et sicut illi historialiter per mare rubrum transierunt, ita et isti moraliter quasi per mare rubrum transeunt, cum baptizantur, quia mare rubrum [page 29] baptismum intelligitur; rubrum vero est baptismum propter passionem sanguinis Christi. Et sicut illi historialiter suscepti sunt in eremo post transitum maris rubri, ita isti moraliter suscipiuntur ab ecclesia post baptismum, quae per eremum intelligitur. Et sicut illi historialiter in eremo manna perceperunt, ita et isti moraliter in ecclesia corpus et sanguinem Christi percipiunt, quod per manna, intelligitur. Et sicut post XL annos historialiter in terram repromissionis intraverunt, ita et isti moraliter post praesentem vitam, quae per illos annos intelligitur, ad gaudia coelestis patriae intromittuntur. Et sicut illi historialiter murmuraverunt in eremo, ita ex istis multi in ecclesia moraliter murmurant, cum per adulterium et caetera vitia ad pristinam vitam vel actionem revertuntur. Et sicut ex illis pauci id est tantum duo, hoc est Joaue et Caleph in terram repromissionis intrarunt, ita ex istis moraliter pauci ad aestimationem multorum malorum intromittuntur in terram coelestis patriae, hoc est in paradisum, sicut scriptum est: Multi sunt vocati, pauci vero electi. [Mt 22:14]

And just as the former have crossed the Red Sea in the historical sense, just so the latter are crossing the Red Sea in the moral sense, when they are baptized, because the Red Sea is understood as baptism. [page 29] Baptism is red because of the passion of Christ’s blood. And just as the former have historically been admitted to the desert after the passage of the Red Sea, just so the latter are admitted morally by the Church, which is meant with the desert, after baptism. And just as the former historically received manna in the desert, just so the latter received the body and blood of Christ in the Church – which is meant with the manna. And just as they entered the promised land after forty years, just so the latter too are admitted to the joys of the heavenly fatherland after the present life, which is understood by those years. And just as the former historically murmured in the desert, just so many of the latter are murmuring morally in the Church, when they turn through adultery and other faults to their former live or action. And just as few of the former, that is only two, namely Joshua and Caleph, had entered the promised land, just so few of the latter, upon valuation of the many evils, are – in the moral sense – let into the land of the heavenly fatherland, that is paradise, as it is written: Many have been called, but few chosen. [Mt 22:14]

Et sicut ex illis historialiter multi tribus plagis perierunt propter murmurationem, i. e. terrae hiatu et igni atcque morsu serpentium, ita et isti propter mala sua opera moraliter plagis sibi divinitus illatis pereunt.Et sicut ex illis historialiter multi tribus plagis perierunt propter murmurationem, i. e. terrae hiatu et igni atcque morsu serpentium, ita et isti propter mala sua opera moraliter plagis sibi divinitus illatis pereunt.

And just as in the historical sense many of the former have perished in three plagues because of their murmuring, namely by a gap in the earth and by fire and by the bite of snakes, just so in the moral sense also the latter perish because of their evil works through plagues imposed on them by heaven.

Et quid mirum, si hoc moraliter ad populum catholicum, hoc est christianum generaliter refertur, cum etiam ad unumquemque monachorum moraliter hoc potest similiter referri?

And is it a surprise, if this relates in the moral sense to catholic people, that is to the Christians in general, when this can similarly be related to each of the monks in the moral sense?

Et quod ad unumquemque monachorum hoc attineat, testatur Spiritus Sanctus, qui per B. Benedicti os in hac regula in testimonium adhibuit, ne sicut illi Israelitae perierunt post perceptionem donorum Dei et ingrati dono divino extiterunt, ita monachus per conversionem, retro respiciens pereat. Nequaquam enim B. Benedictus istud in testimonium adhibuisset suo auditori, cum eum monere studuit, nisi illud per Spiritum Sanctum cognovisset, ad monachos etiam adtinere.

And that this refers to each of the monks is testified by the Holy Ghost who warned through the mouth of the blessed Benedict in the Rule, that just as those Israelites perished after the reception of God’s gifts and showed themselves ungrateful to the divine gift – that just so the monk perishes through his way of life (conversio) when he looks back. The blessed Benedict would not at all have warned his listener about this when he made the effort to warn him, if he had not known through the Holy Ghost that this also applies to monks.

Nam sicut illi populi historialiter de Aegyptiaca servitute exierunt, ita, etiam monachi moraliter, cum de saeculari conversione exeunt, quasi de Aegyptiaca servitute liberantur. Et sicut illi historialiter [page 30] ad mare rubrum venerunt, ita et isti moraliter quasi ad mare rubrum veniunt; cum ad monasterium veniunt. Et sicut illi historialiter mare rubrum transierunt, ita etiam et isti quasi mare rubrum transeunt, cum propriis voluntatibus abrenuntiant, i. e. cum tria promittunt, i. e. de stabilitate sua et conversione morum suorum et obedientia coram Deo et Sanctis ejus. Et sicut illi in eremo suscepti sunt post transitum maris rubri, ita, etiam isti quasi in eremo, cum post promissionem suam in monasterio suscipiuntur. Et sicut historialiter isti manna in eremo et aquam de petra acceperunt ita etiam et isti moraliter manna quasi in deserto accipiunt, cum in monasterio spiritalem praedicationem a spiritali patre percipiunt, necnon etiam spiritalem cibum et potum percipiunt, cum panem vel potum monasterii percipiunt, quia ipse panis et potus monasterii spiritalis est, eo quod a fratribus pro caritate servientibus illum percipiunt.

For, just as those peoples historically departed from Egyptian slavery, just so the monks too, in the moral sense, are freed from Egyptian slavery, as it were, when they leave the worldly way of life (conversio). And just as the former [page 30] historically came to the Red Sea, just so also the latter are morally coming to the Red Sea, as it were, when they come to the monastery. And just as the former historically crossed the Red Sea, just so also the latter cross the Red Sea, as it were, when they renounce their own wills, that is when they vow three things: concerning their stability, their way moral way of life and their obedience to God and his Saints. And just as the former have been admitted to the desert after their passage through the Red Sea, so the latter too are admitted in the desert after their vow in the monastery. And just as the former historically received the manna in the desert and water from the rock, just so the latter too morally receive manna in the desert, as it were, when they receive in the monastery the spiritual preaching from the spiritual father, and also receive the spiritual food and drink, when they receive bread and drink in the monastery, because that bread and drink of the monastery is spiritual, because they receive it from the brothers who serve it as charity.

Etiam ipse Benedictus alibi testatur, rem monasterii quasi vasa altaris sacratam esse: ait enim: Omnia vasa monasterii cunctamque substanciam ac si altaris vasa sacrata conspiciat. [Regula Benedicti, c. 31, 10]

Also Benedict himself testifies elsewhere that the state of the monastery is sacred like the altar vessels. He says: Let him regard all vessels of the monastery and all the property as sacred, as if they are altar vessels [Regula Benedicti, c. 31:10].

Et sicut XL annis historialiter illi morati sunt in eremo, ita et isti moraliter quasi in eremo XL annis permanent, cum omnibus diebus vitae suae, i. e. tota vita sua, quae per illos annos intelligitur, intra claustra monasterii perseverant. Et sicut illi post XL annos historialiter in terram repromissionis ingressi sunt, ita, etiam et isti moraliter post praesentem vitam, cum ad gaudia coelestia intromittuntur, quasi in terram repromissionis intrant. Et sicut multi eorum murmuraverunt in eremo, ita, et isti moraliter multi in monasterio murmurant. Et sicut illi murmuratores perierunt tribus plagis, ita, et isti pereunt tribus plagis divinitus illatis; nam potest intelligi per hiatum terrae claustra inferni. et per illum ignem ignem perpetuum, et per morsus serpentium suasiones pestiferas daemonum similiter potest intelligi. [page 31]

And just as the former historically remained in the desert for forty years, so too the latter stay in the desert for forty years, when they continue all the days of their life, that is their entire life, that is understood by those years, within the cloister of the monastery. And just as the former historically, after forty years entered the promised land, so also the latter, after the present life, when they are let into the celestial joys, enter, as it were, the promised the land. And just as many of them murmured in the desert, so many of the latter too murmur in the monastery. And just as the former grumblers perished in three plagues, just so the latter perish in three plagues inflicted by heaven. For, by the gap in the earth, the gate (claustra) of hell can be understood, and by that fire, the eternal fire12 and by the bite of serpents similarly the pestilential13 counsels of demons can be understood. [page 31]

Sequitur: 11Qui habet aures audiendi audiat, [Mt 11:15; Mc 4:9; Lc 8:8; Lc 14:35] quid spiritus dicat ecclesiis.

Next: 11He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.

Hoc autem B. Joannes Evangelista in libro Apocalypsi multipliciter, sicut sibi revelatum est, dixit; nam in fine uniuscujusque sermonis, quem singulae ecclesiae loquebatur, locutus est. [Apc 3:6, 3:13, 3:22, etc.]

The blessed John the Evangelist said this, however, in the book of the Apocalypse as it had been revealed to him. For, he said it at the end of each speech that he spoke to each individual church. [Apoc. 3:6, 3:13, 3:22, etc.]

Nunc videndum est, quare S. Joannes Evangelista ecclesiis pluraliter dixit, cum Paulus apostolus unam ecclesiam esse praedicavit; ait enim: despondi enim vos uni viro virginem castam exhibere Christo. [2 Cor 11:2] Ecce per virginem et castam unam ecclesiam designavit, sed quia unus Christus est, ita una est ecclesia; et sicut septem dona S. Spiritus, item et septem ecclesiae sunt propter septem dona, Spiritus sancti.

Now we need to see, why the holy John the Evangelist said to the churches in plural, whereas the Apostle Paul preached that there is one church: For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ [2 Cor 11: 2]. See, he means with virgin and chaste the one church, but since Christ is one, so the church is one (too); and just as the gifts of the Holy Ghost are seven, so too the churches are seven according to the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Quae septem ecclesiae per septem dona, S. Spiritus ita intelliguntur: primum enim donum S. Spiritus est sapientia, ac, per hoc, qui isto dono S. Spiritus, i. e. sapientia, plusquam alii repleti sunt, una esse ecclesia dicuntur. Deinde secundum donum S. Spiritus intellectus; similiter secunda ecclesia dicuntur illi, qui isto dono S. Spiritus, i. e. intelectu plusquam caeteri repleti sunt. Tertium donum S. Spiritus est consilium; similiter tertia, ecclesia, est, quotquot dono isto S. Spiritus, i. e. consilio plus quam caeteri abundant. Quartum donum S. Spiritus est fortitudo; similiter quarta ecclesia est omnes illi, qui isto S. Spiritus dono, i. e. fortitudine plus quam alii repleti existunt. Quintum donum S. Spiritus est scientia, ac per hoc quinta ecclesia dicuntur illi, qui isto dono quinto S. Spiritus, i. e. scientia, plus quam caeteri abundant. Sextum donum S. Spiritus est pietas, deinde illi, qui istum donum sextum, quod est pietas, plus quam caeteri videutur habere, sexta ecclesia dicuntur. Similiter etiam septima ecclesia dicuntur omnes illi, qui isto septimo dono S. Spiritus, i. e. timore plus quam caeteri superabundant.

And these seven churches are meant by the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost in this way: the first gift of the Holy Ghost is wisdom, and those who by the gift of the Holy Ghost, namely wisdom, have been filled more than others, are said to be one church. Then, the second gift of the Holy Ghost is intellect. Similarly the second church are called those people who by that gift of the Holy Ghost, namely intellect, have been filled more than the others. The third gift of the Holy Ghost is counsel. Likewise, the third church is that group, however many, who abound more than the rest in the gift of the Holy Ghost, namely counsel. The fourth gift of the Holy Ghost is strength. Likewise the fourth church is all those people who turn out to be filled more than others with that gift of the Holy Ghost, namely strength. The fifth gift of the Holy Ghost is knowledge, and on account of this, the fifth church are called those people who more than the rest abound with that fifth gift of the Holy Ghost, namely knowledge. The sixth gift of the Holy Ghost is piety. Thus, those who seem to have that sixth gift, namely piety, more than the rest, are called the sixth church. Likewise, also the seventh church are called all those who overflow more than the rest with that seventh gift of the Holy Ghost, namely fear.

Minus enim aptum videtur hoc esse testimonium superiori testimonio, i. e. non recte intelligentibus, eo quod in isto fit mentio aurium, et in superiore fit mentio cordis; sed in his nulla est contrarietas, quia superiora verba istius S. Benedicti, in quibus fecit mentionem aurium dicens: attonitis auribus audiamus, et istud inferius testimonium [page 32], in quo similiter mentio aurium fit, cum dicitur: Qui habet aures audiendi audiat, faciunt intelligi illud testimonium, ubi meptio cordis est, de auribus cordis esse dictum.

This statement seems to be less suitable than the previous statement (testimonium). That is, [it only seems to be less suitable] to those who do not understand correctly. Because here mention is made of ears, and in the previous part mention is made of the heart. But there is no contradiction between these two, because the previous words of the holy Benedict, in which he made mention of ears (Let us hear with thunderstruck ears) and that later statement, [page 32] in which similarly mention is made of ears (He who has ears, let him hear) make that his statement is understood, when mention is made of the heart, as referring to the ears of the heart.

Nec non etiam superiora verba ipsius testimonii similiter aurium faciunt mentionem, cum dicunt: hodie si vocem ejus audieritis. [Ps 94:8 (Vulg.), 95:7]

And earlier too, the words of that statement similarly make mention of ears, when they say: Today you will hear his voice. [Ps 94:8 (Vulg.), 95:7]

Et est sensus, cum dicit: Qui habet aures audiendi audiat, quid Spiritus dicat ecclesiis, i. e. qui habet aures cordis, intelligat, quae dona S. Spiritus impertit ecclesiis, sive etiam, sicut Beda dicit: Qui habet aures audiendi audiat, quid Spiritus dicat ecclesiis, i. e. qui habet aures intelligentiae, quibus Dei verbum percipere possit, non contemnat, sed audiat, obediendo videlicet et faciendo, quae didicit, corcordans cum B. Jacobo apostolo dicente: Non auditor obliviosus factus, sed factor operis, hic beatus in facto suo erit. [Iac 1:25] [Bede, In Lucae Evangelium Expositio 4, ch. 14:35, CCSL 120, p. 284]

When he says: He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches, the meaning is: he who has ears of the heart, let him understand what gifts the Holy Ghost bestows on the churches. Or even, as Bede says: He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Ghost says to the churches, the meaning is: he who has the ears of intelligence, with which he can perceive the word of God, let him not spurn [it] but let him hear, namely by being obedient and by doing what he has learned, in agreement with the Apostle James as he said: not becoming a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work: this man shall be blessed in his deed. [Jac 1:25]

Sequitur: 12Et quid dicit? Subaudiendum est: illa vox divina, ac si diceret interrogando: Quid dicit illa vox divina? Nunc vero quasi respondendo dicit: 12Venite filii, audite me, timorem Domini docebo vos.

Next: 12And what does he say? We have to add: that divine voice, as if he was asking: What does that divine voice say? Now, however, he answers: 12Come, sons, listen to me, I shall teach you fear of the Lord.

Si enim in hoc loco sensum proprium adtenderimus, sermo prophetae gentes allocutus est; hortatur enim sermo propheticus gentos, ad credulitatem venire, et bene dixit venite, et postimodum audite, quia nullus valet intelligere divina, nisi ea prius crediderit, ac si diceret: Venite credendo, quia nisi prius fidem habueritis, nequaquam poteritis verba doctrinae percipere, sicut dictum est: Nisi prius credideritis, nequaquam intelligetis. [Is 7:9 Vetus Latina]

If we grasp the proper sense at this spot, the prophet’s word spoke to the peoples. The prophetic word encourages the peoples to come to belief and it said well come and then listen, because no one can understand the divine, unless he has earlier believed it. It is as if he was saying: Come in faith, because if you have no faith first, you will not at all be able to receive the words of the [divine] instruction, as it is said: Unless you first believe, you will not at all understand [Is 7:9 (Vetus Latina)].

Et propterea vocavit filios eos, qui necdum crediderant, quia futuri erant filii credentes; nam unusquisque, qui imbuitur, ejus filius est, qui imbuit. Unde Paulus apostolus suos auditores filios vocat diceas: Filioli mei, quos iterum parturio, [Gal 4:19] eo quod illos docebat credulitatem habere.

And thereafter, he called those people sons who had not yet believed, because they were about to be his sons as they believed, for, each one who is initiated is the son of him who initiates. Therefore, the Apostle Paul calls his audience sons: My little children, of whom I am in labor again [Gal 4:19], because he was teaching them to have confidence.

Quia cognovit B. Benedictus tam sermonem propheticum, quam etiam Paulum plurimum suos auditores filios vocare, ideo in principio doctrinae suae suum auditorem filium vocavit dicens: Ausculta, o fili! Nam ipsi filii quasi respondendo dicunt: Ecce venimus, quid nobis proderit? Ille vero sermo propteticus quasi respondendo [page 33] dicit: Timorem Domini docebo vos.

Since the blessed Benedict was familiar with the prophetic way of speaking with which Paul usually called his listeners sons, for that reason at the beginning of the teaching Benedict called his listener son: Listen, o son! For, the sons say, as if they were answering: Look! We have come, what good will it do to us? But that prophetic saying gives as an answer: [page 33] I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Et bene addidit Domini, quia non timorem hominis, sed timorem Domini docere cupiebat, ac si diceret: Non timorem humanum, sed Domini vos docebo, quia timor hominis poenam habet, timor vero Domini non poenam, sed requiem habet. Vox autem ista etiam moraliter potest intelligi.

And rightly he adds of the Lord, because he was not wishing to teach the fear of man but the fear of the Lord, as if he was saying: I will not teach you human fear, but fear of the Lord, because fear of man leads to punishment, fear of the Lord, however, does not lead to punishment but to rest. That voice, though, can also be understood in the moral sense.

Omnes autem, qni post perceptionem baptismatis ad vitia revertuntur, a Deo longe recedunt, et tamen non pedibus, sed moribus recedunt; nam si non recessissent peccatores, nequaquam illos sermo propheticus vocasset venire, quia nemini dicitur venire nisi illi, qui recedit, ac si dicat illi sermo propheticus, cum dicit illis: Venite, filii, audite me, id est, quia recessistis a Deo pravis moribus, quamvis non fide, ideo hortor vos, o peccatores, id est, flendo venite et poenitendo atque mores vestros corrigendo venite. Et nunc videndum est, quare dicat filii, si peccatoribus dicit? Ideo dicit filii, ut audiendo nomen filii non se desperent, sed confidentiae vires sumant, ac si diceret: Nolite desperare, sed fiduciam convertendi atque poenitendi sumite.

All people, who turn to vices after the reception of baptism, withdraw themselves far from God, and yet do not withdraw themselves by feet but in behavior. For, if the sinners had not withdrawn, the prophetic saying would not at all have called them to come, because it commands no one else to come than him who withdraws himself. It is as if the prophetic saying speaks to that person, when it says to them: Come, sons, listen to me. That is: because you have withdrawn yourself from God with bad behavior, although not in faith, for that reason I urge you, o sinners: come in tears and come while you do penitence and correct your behavior. And now we need to see, why he says sons if he speaks to sinners. He says sons for this reason that they do not despair about themselves, hearing the name son, but take strength of confidence, as if he said: Do not despair, but take reliance on conversion and penitence.

Sequitur: Audite me, ac si diceret: Nisi prius voluntatem convertendi seu poenitendi habueritis, nequaquam poteritis audire, quae vos docuero.

Next: Listen to me. That is: Unless you first have the will to convert and do penitence, you will not be able to hear what I teach you.

Sequitur: Timorem Domini docebo vos.

Next: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Nunc iterum videndum est, quare dixit: timorem, et non dixit: fidem? Ideo non dixit: lidem, quia quamquam peccatoribns, tamen fidelibus loquitur. Et quare ergo non dixit: caritatem? ideo non dixit: caritatem, sed timorem, quia caritas a timore inchoatur et nisi a timente Deum non habetur, eo quod fundamentum omnis boni operis timor Dei est. Unde Dominus dicit ad Job: Ubi eras, quando fundamentum terrae ponebam? [Iob 38:4]

Now we have to see again, why he said fear of and did not say faith in. He did not say that for this reason that he speaks to believers, even though they are sinners. And why did he not say charity? He did not say charity but fear, because charity begins with fear and can only be held by him who fears God because the foundation of every good work is the fear of the Lord. Why did the Lord say to Job: Where were you, when I was laying the foundation of the earth? [Job 38:4].

Istum enim versiculum B. Papa Gregorius exponit dicens: Per terram intelligitur anima peccatrix, et per fundamentum intelligitur timor Dei, quia sicut in fundamento omnis operis fabrica collocatur, ita et in timore Dei omnis boni operis fabrica constituitur.

The blessed Pope Gregory explained this little phrase thus: By ‘earth’ we understand the sinful soul and by the ‘foundation’ the fear of God, because just as the entire production of good work is placed in the foundation, so too in the fear of God the entire production of good work is established.14

Sequitur: 13Currite, dum lumen vitae habetis, ne vos tenebrae mortis comprehendant.

Next: 13Run, while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death seize you.

Currite, ac si diceret quis: [page 34] quando curramus? dicit enim: dum lumen vitae habetis. Iterum quasi interrogaret aliquis, quare? reddit causam: ne vos tenebrae mortis comprehendant; verba enim superiora non sunt Benedicti sed prophetae, ubi dicitur: Venite, filii, audite me.

Run as if someone was saying: [page 34] When are we to run? He says: While you have the light of life. Again, as if someone was asking: why? he give the reason: Lest the darkness of death seize you. For, the earlier words are not of Benedict but of the prophet, when we hear: Come, sons, listen to me.

Nunc vero sunt S. Benedicti, id est: Currite, dum lumen vitae habetis, ac si diceret suis auditoribus B. Benedictus: Audistis, o filii, vocem curritte; Quo? Id est, ad illam vocem divinam, quam audistis. Quasi quidam hortatur suum amicum, qui audit vocem se clamantis: Cur stas et quare non curris ad illam vocem, quam audisti? Et reddit causam, quare debeant currere, cum subjunxit: dum lumen vitae habetis, id est, dum tempus habetis, dum tempus habetis convertendi.

But now these are Saint Benedict’s: Run, while you have the light of life. As if the blessed Benedict was saying to his listeners: You hear, o sons, a voice [saying:] ‘run!’ Whither? To that divine voice that you hear. As if someone urges his friend, who hears the voice of someone who calls him: Why do you stand still and are you not running to that voice that you hear? And he give the reason why they ought to run, when he added: While you have the light of life, that is: while you have the allowance, while you have time for conversion.

Hoc etiam Paulus Apostolus latius exponit, cum dicit: Ecce nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce nunc dies salutis. [2 Cor 6:2] Superius enim dixerat testimonium prophetae dicens: Tempore accepto exaudivi te et in die salutis adjuvi te. [ibid.] Deinde exposuit, quid sit illud tempus dicens: Ecce nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce nunc dies salutis. Tempus acceptabile istud est ad exaudiendum, quia in eo exaudimur dies vero salutis isti sunt, quia in his invenitur salus. Necnon et Esaias ait: Quaerite Dominum, dum inveniri potest. [Is 55:6]

Also the Apostle Paul explains this more extensively when he says: Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. [2 Cor 6:2] For, earlier the statement of the prophet had said: I heard you at the accepted time and I have helped you on the day of salvation. [ibid.] That time is acceptable for hearing, because we are heard at that time. But those are the days of salvation, because salvation is found on them. Isaiah too says: Search for God while he can be found. [Is 55:6]

Et iterum: 13ne tenebrae mortis vos comprehendant.

And again: 13Lest the darkness of death seize you.

De his quippe Dominus tenebris dicit sub noctis nomine, cum loquitur: Dum sum in mundo, lux sum hujus mundi; veniet autem nox, in qua nemo potest operari. [cf. Io 9:15 and 9:4]

Certainly, the Lord speaks about this darkness in terms of the night, when he says: While I am in the world, I am the light of this world; the night will come, however, in which no one can work. [Io 8:12; Io 9:4]

Jam si in illa nocte nemo potest operari, currendum est nobis et satagendum, dum lumen vitae habemus, ne, cum voluerimus, non possimus. Sic enim Dominus dicit: Me oportet operari, donec dies est; veniet autem nox, in qua nemo potest operari. [Io 8:12; Io 9:4] Et est sensus, cum dicit: dum lumen vitae habetis, i. e. dum licentiam habetis currendi, dum tempus, dum spatium habetis operandi, ne dies mortis vos praeoccupet.

Now, if in that night no one can work, we have to run and be busy while we have the light of life, lest we can not do anything, even though we want to. For, so says the Lord: I must work as long as it is day; the night will come, however, in which no one can work [Io 8:12; Io 9:4]. And the meaning of this citation While you have the light of life is this: While you have the allowance to run, while you have time, while you have an opportunity to work, lest the day of death gets you beforehand.

14Et quaerens Dominus in multitidine populi sui, cum haec clamat, operarium suum.

14And the Lord, searching in the crowd of his people for his laborer to whom he calls out theses words.

Et iterum dicit: Dominus quaerens operarium suum in multitudine populi sui haec clamat. Perseverat adhuc B. Benedictus in intentione sua, [page 35] cum dicit: Iterum dicit.

Again he says: The Lord, searching in the crowd of his people for his laborer, calls out theses words. Saint Benedict still keeps to his plan [page 35] when he says: He says again.

Nam prius exemplum scripturae dicit, quod provocat audire; nunc vero subjunxit alterum exemplum, quod similiter provocat audire, cum dicit: 15Quis est, qui vult vitam et cupit videre dies bonos? Si vero haec multitudo ad multitudinem generis humani referatur, operarius Domini intelligitur sancta ecclesia, quae quasi pro uno nomine posita sub hoc intellectu de multitudine humani generis quaesita est a Deo.

For he first gives the example of scripture, which provokes listening. But now he added a second example, that likewise provokes listening, when he says: 15Which is the man who wants life and desires to see good days? If this crowd refers to the crowd of the human race, the laborer of the Lord is understood as the holy church, who is understood by this very name of crowd of the human race and is searched for by God.

Si autem ad sanctam ecclesiam referatur, quod magis ad hunc sensum attinet, operarius Domini intelligitur ordo sequacium apostolorum. Et bene ecclesia pro multitudine populi in hoc sensu ponitur, quia sibimet comparata multitudo est.

But if it refers to the holy church, which makes more sense here, the laborer of the Lord is understood as the order of the following apostles. And we interpret the crowd of people as the church, because the church – in and of itself – is a crowd.

Nunc videndum est, qua ratione dicatur Dominus operarium suum quaerere in multitudine populi. Numquid caeteros relinquit et unum operarium quaerit? Non, sed sicut facit rex. Ecce habet rex maximam multitudinem populi, sed ex ipsa multitudine eligit aliquos, quos praedestinat singulis officiis, alios quidem ad consilium dandum, alios autem ad caetera officia peragenda.

Now we must see, with what reason he says that the Lord searches his laborer in the crowd of his people. Does he perhaps leave the others out and search [just] one laborer? No. But he acts like a king. Look, a king has a very great crowd of people, but he chooses out of this crowd some whom he predestines for separate tasks: some for giving advice, others for executing other tasks.

Ita et Dominus facit; Dominus enim de ecclesia, sua eligit illum ordinem, qui audiat vocem illam, quam diviti dixit: Si vis perfectus esse, vade et vende omnia, quae habes, et veni, sequere me. [Mt 19:21] Necnon etiam Dominus praedicans in carne fecit, cum multos discipulos habuit et elegit de illa multitudine duodecim.

The Lord does exactly the same: for the Lord chooses from his church that order which listens to that voice which said to the rich man: If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have, and come, follow me [Mt 19:21]. The Lord did also [the same] as a preacher in the flesh, when he held many disciples and chose from that multitude twelve.

Et quid mirum, si hoc Dominus fecit praedicans in carne vel in sancta ecclesia quotidie faciat, cum etiam ab initio mundi hoc fecit? Nam de multitudine totius generis humani elegit Noe cum domo sua, qui superstes fuit primi saeculi et auctor saeculi secundi. Necnon de multitudine populi sui elegit Abraam, elegit Moysen et Aaron, similiter et caeteros sanctos.

And is it a surprise if the Lord did this while preaching in the flesh or does this every day in the holy church? For he chose from the crowd of the entire human race Noah with his house, who was the leader of the first era and originator of the second era. He also chose from the crowd of his people Abraham, Moses, Aaron and similarly the other saints.

Sed quid enim dicat Dominus de operario suo, quem de multitudine populi quaerit, in subsequentibus manifestat; ait enim: Quis est homo, qui vult vitam et cupit videre dies bonos? In hoc enim loco S. Benedictus testimonium sumpsit propheticum; nam iste sermo propheticus gentibus est locutus.

But what the Lord says about his laborer, whom he searches from the crowd of his people, is manifest in the following, for he says: Which is the man who wants life and desires to see the good days? Here, Saint Benedict took a prophetic testimony, for this prophetic word spoke to the peoples. We must see here, what life [page 36] is being discussed.

Videndum est enim in hoc loco, de qua vita [page 36] dicatur; non enim in hoc loco, cum dicit vitam, de praesenti dicit vita, sed de vita aeterna, et ideo, ubi vitam dicit, subaudiendum est: aeterna.

We have to investigate here what kind of life [page 36] is being discussed; for when he says life, he does not speak about the present life, but about the eternal life, and therefore, when he says life, we have to add ‘eternal.'/p>

Nam si de hac vita dixisset, superfluum fuisset dicere, eo quod illos alloquitur, qui in hac vita praesenti sunt; haec enim vita non est vita, sed iter vitae est, per quam ad illam vitam aeternam pervenitur. Vita vero, quae in inferno est, et vita est et non est vita. Vita, est quidem per substantiam, eo quod illi, qui illic cremantur, nunquam per substantiam deficiunt; et non est vita per bonitatem, quia illi, qui illic ardent, nunquam bono fruuntur.

If he had spoken about this [mortal] life, it would have been superfluous to mention it, because he addresses those who are present in this life. For this life is not a life, but a life’s journey, through which we arrive at that eternal life. But life that is in hell both is life and is not life. It is life in terms of its substance because those who are being burned there never die [deficiunt] in terms of substance; and [yet] it is not life in terms of goodness because those who burn there never enjoy the good.

Nam de qua vita dicat, idem ipse propheta manifestat, cum subjungit: 15et cupit videre dies bonos. Bene autem addidit bonos ad separationem malorum dierum praesentis vitae; in praesenti etenim vita, non sunt boni, sed mali dies. Mali etenim dico non per substantiam, sed per actionem malorum.

The very same prophet shows what life he speaks about when he adds: 15and desires to see good days. He rightly added good so as to separate them from the evil days of the present life; for in the present life the days are not good but bad. I say “bad” not in terms of substance, but in terms of the action of evils [malorum].

Et quod mali dies sint in praesenti vita, testatur Paulus, cum dicit, ait enim: Redimentes tempus, quoniam dies mali sunt [Eph 5:16]. In hoc enim loco cum Paulus dicit: dies mali de diebus praesentis vitae dicit, non ut per substantiam, sicut jam diximus, dies mali sint, sed secundum actionem malam, quae in praesentis vitae diebus agitur. In futura vero vita dies boni sunt, eo quod ibi illa, vita, fruuntur, quae (qui) dicit: Ego sum via, veritas et vita. [Io 14:6]

Paul testifies that the days in this life are evil when he says: Redeeming the time because the days are evil [Eph 5:16]. When Paul says ‘evil days’ here, he is talking about the evil days of the present life, not so that the days are evil in terms of substance, as we just said, but according to evil action that is done in the days of the present life. But in the future life the days are good because they enjoy there that life which says: I am the way, the truth and life.15

Sequitur: 16quod si audiens respondeas: Ego, id est, si ad hanc vocem audiendam temetipsum obtuleris illi, dicit tibi Dominus. Hic enim talis, qui ita, agit, similis est Esaiae, qui audiens Dominum dicentem: Quis ibit ex nobis? respondit dicens: Ecce ego, mitte me. [Is 6:8]

Next: 16But if you, on hearing this, reply, “It is I,” that is, if you bring yourself forward to him so as to hear that voice, the Lord speaks to you. For such a person who does that is similar to Isaiah, who, hearing the Lord saying: Who will go out of us? [Is 6:8] answers by saying: Look! I! Send me [Is. 6:8].

Sequitur: 17Si vis habere veram et perpetuam vitam, prohibe linguam tuam a malo, et labia tua ne loquantur dolum.

Next: 17If you want to have true and perpetual life, withhold your tongue from evil and do not let your lips speak deceit.

In hoc enim loco nomine mali omnis malitia comprehenditur: nam speciem manifestavit, cum dixit dolum, ait enim: labia tua ne loquantur dolum; dolus enim inelligitur fraus. Omnis enim fraus sive dolus malum dicitur; nam omne [page 37] malum non potest dici dolus, eo quod est et aliud malum, hoc est adulterium et cetera.

All wickedness is included here under the name of evil: for he spoke in a metonym [species] when he said deceit: Do not let your lips speak deceit, for deceit is understood as wrong. Every wrong or deceit is called evil, [but] not every [page 37] evil can be called deceit, because there are also other evils, that is adultery and so on.

Dolus enim duobus modis dicitur, uno enim modo, sicut hypocritae faciunt; illi enim aliud praetendunt extrinsecus et aliud sunt intrinsecus, id est, manifeste faciunt opera bona, occulte vero mala. Altero quidem modo dolus sive fraus dicitur, cum quis aliud habet in corde et aliud loquitur ore.

For deceit is meant in two ways. The first is what hypocrites do. For they pretend [to be] one thing on the outside and are another thing on the inside, that is, they do good works out in the open [manifeste], but evil things in secret [occulte]. The second form of deceit, however, is called fraud, i.e. when someone has one thing in his heart and speaks another thing with his mouth.

Nam non unius sunt poenae digni, qui malum simpliciter agit et ille, qui simulate, id est callide. Sive aliter: dolus est mentis calliditas, eo quod deludat; aliud enim agit et aliud dissimulat. Et quod non sint unius poenae digni vel perditionis, manifestat illud, quod in libro beati Job dicitur: legitur enim ibidem: Simulatores et callidi provocant iram Dei. [Iob 36:13]

who simply does evil and he who does it deceitfully [simulate], that is, deviously [these people] do not deserve one and the same punishment. In other words: deceit is deviousness of the mind, because it deludes. For it does one thing and feigns another. And the fact that they do not deserve one and the same punishment or ruin is shown by this citation from the book of Job: The pretenders and the devious provoke the wrath of God [Iob 36:13].

Qui enim simpliciter malum agit, meretur iram Dei; nam qui callidi sunt et simulatores, isti non solum merentur iram Dei, sed etiam provocant iram Dei. Sed aliud est mereri, aliud provocare. Bene ergo, cum dixit simulatores subjunxit callidi, quia non possunt simulatores sine calliditate esse.

For he who simply does evil deserves God’s wrath. Those who are devious and pretenders only deserve God’s wrath but also provoke God’s wrath. But to deserve is one thing, to provoke is another. Therefore, he rightly added ‘devious’ when he said ‘pretenders,’ because they cannot be pretenders without deviousness.

Sequitur: 17Declina a malo et fac bonum.

Next: 17Turn from evil and do good.

Egregius enim ordo est, prius mala destrui et post bonum bona aedificari. Secundum hunc ordinem etiam Dominus locutus est ad Jeremiam dicens: Ecce posui te, ut evellas et destruas et dissipes et disperdas, [Ier 1:10] et subjunxit: et aedifices et plantes.

The order is excellent: that first evil be destroyed and afterwards good be established.16 According to this order the Lord also spoke to Jeremiah when he said: Look. I have set thee [over the nations and over the kingdoms] to root out and to pull down and to destroy and to scatter [Ie 1:10] and he added: and to build, and to plant.

Ecce in hoc loco ideo dixit quatuor mala, et duo bona, quia plus sunt mala quam bona. Similiter etiam Simeon de Domino dicit: Ecce positus est hic, in ruinam et in resurrectionem multorum in Israel. [Lc 2:34] Necnon B. Jacobus apostolus dicit: Abjicientes omnem immunditiam et abundantiam malitiae, in mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum, quod potest salvare animas vestras. [2 Iac 1:21] Vide modo, quia, non potest bonum aedificari, nisi prius eradicatum fuerit malum.

Look, he noted in this passage four evils and two good things because there are more evils than good things. Likewise, Simeon too says about the Lord: Look, he is set up for the fall and rising again of many in Israel [Lc 2:34]. Also the blessed Apostle James says: Lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of wickedness and meekly receive the planted word that can save your souls [2 Iac 1:21]. See now that the good cannot be established unless first evil is eradicated.

Sequitur: 17Inquire pacem et sequere eam.

Next: 17Seek peace and pursue it.

Homo rem, quam non habet ex toto et diligit, aut ex parte habet et diligit, quam non habet, quaerit; nam illam, quam habet ex toto, non quaerit.

A person seeks the thing that he does not completely have and that he loves, or has and loves in part what he does not have. For the thing that he completely has, he does not seek.

Bene enim dixit: Inquire pacem, et [page 38] non qualemcunque habe, eo quod perfecta pax in praesenti vita non potest haberi, sed tantum inquiri, ut in futuro habeatur.

He said well: Seek peace and [page 38] do not have any kind [of it] because perfect peace cannot be had in the present life, but can only be sought so that it be had in future.

Vide modo, quia pax magna virtus est, ideo postquam dixit: Fac bonum, subsecutus est: Inquire pacem; adeo est enim pax magna virtus, ut sine illa nemo possit Deum videre. Et quod sine pace Dominum nemo possit videre, testatur Paulus apostolus, ait enim: Pacem sequimini cum omnibus hominibus et sanctimoniam, sine qua nemo videbit Deum. [Hbr 12:14]

Now you must see that peace is a great virtue. After he said: Do good he added seek peace, for peace is such a great virtue that no one can see God without it. And the Apostle bears witness to this when he says: Follow peace with all men and the holiness without which no man will see the Lord [Hbr 12:14].

Pax enim valde pernecessaria est; et quod pax valde pernecessaria sit, testatur chorus Angelorum, qui in nocte, in qua natus est Dominus, pacem hominibus commendavit, ait enim: Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus. [Lc 2:14] Et reddit causam, quibus hominibus? bonae voluntatis. [Lc 2:14]

For peace is absolutely necessary. And that peace is absolutely necessary, as the choir of angels that commended peace to men in the night on which the Lord was born bore witness. It said: Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth to men [Lc 2:14]. And he gives as answer to the question: to which men? Those of good will. [Lc 2:14]

Similiter et Dominus in nocte, in qua tradebatur, antequam traderetur, pacem commendavit dicens: Pacem relinquo vobis, pacem meam do vobis. [Io 14:27] Pacem, inquit, meam relinquo vobis, ut concorditer vivatis, pacem meam do vobis, ut non dissentiatis.

Likewise, also the Lord, on the night he was being betrayed, commended peace before he was betrayed, saying: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you [Io 14:27]. He said: Peace I leave with you so that you may live harmoniously; my peace I give you so that you not disagree.

Sequitur: 18Et cum haec feceritis, oculi mei super vos et aures meae ad preces vestras.

Next: 18And when you have done this, my eyes will be on you and my ears open to your prayers.

Usque modo dixit verba et sensum psalmistae; nunc autem verba dimittens sensum dicit. Nam superius dixerat, sicut psalmista: prohibe linguam tuam a malo et labia tua ne loquantur dolum, declina a malo et fac bonum, inquire pacem et persequere eam. [Ps 33:14-15]

Until now he [Benedict] expressed the words and the meaning of the psalmist, but now he says the words, leaving aside the meaning. For earlier he had said, like the psalmist: Withhold your tongue from evil and do not let your lips speak deceit, turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and follow it. [Ps 33:14-15]

Psalmista enim subjunxit post haec in vice Domini causam, qua quis debeat linguam suam a malo prohibere et labia sua a dolo et caetera, dicens: Oculi Domini super justos et aures ejus ad preces eorum. [Ps 33:16]

Speaking on behalf of the Lord, the psalmist subsequently added the reason why someone has to withhold his tongue from evil and his lips from deceit etc., saying: The eyes of the Lord [are] upon the just and his ears [are open] to their prayers. [Ps 33:16]

S. Benedictus vero verba dimittens et tenens sensum non in vice Domini, sed ipsum Dominum intromittit dicentem per semetipsum, ait enim: Et cum haec feceritis, oculi mei super vos et aures meae ad preces vestras.

But St. Benedict leaves aside the words and holds onto the meaning not on the Lord’s behalf, but introduced the Lord saying the very same thing: And when you have done this, my eyes will be upon you and my ears open to your prayers.

Nunc videndum est, qua ratione dicatur oculos Dominus habere vel aures. Non enim proprie sed translative dicitur Deus habere oculos aut aures vel manus aut caetera membra, i. e. a propria significatione ad non propriam significationem, quia proprium est hominis, manus vel pedes [page 39] vel caetera membra habere, Deo autem non proprium est; Deus enim non localis, sed ubique est; ille enim omnia videt, omnia audit. Sed scriptura divina condescendendo nobiscum Deum dicit oculos vel aures habere.

Now we have to see why the Lord is said to have eyes or ears. For he says not literally but metaphorically that God has eyes or ears or hands or other limbs. That is, [he transposes the use of these words] from their proper meaning to a not-proper meaning, because it is a trait of man [page 39] to have eyes or feet or other limbs, but this is not God’s trait. God is not of a place but everywhere. For he sees everything and hears everything. But divine scripture says that God has eyes and ears for reaching down to us.17

Et hoc nostro more loquitur, i. e. quin, nos non possumus videre et audire, nisi oculis et auribus, ut sciamus, dicitur ipsa visio divina, qua cuncta videt, oculus, et illa vis divina, qua cuncta Deus audit, dicitur auris, et illa vis divina, qua cuncta Dens operatur, dicitur manus. Nisi enim scriptura divina nostro more, sicut diximus, Dominum videre vel audire dixisset, nequaquam nos Deum videre vel audire intellexissemus.

And he speaks in our manner. That is, because we cannot see and hear him except with eyes and ears, in other that we know [him], the divine vision itself with which he sees everything is called eye, and that divine power with which God hears everything is called ear and that divine power with which God does everything is called hand. For if divine scripture had not said that the Lord sees and hears in our way, as we said, we would by no means have understood that God sees and hears us.

Sed nunc videndum est, quid per Dei respectionem intelligendum sit. Dei enim respectus duobus modis dicitur. Scriptura enim divina aut Deum dicit, quamvis raro, respicere malos, aut certe dicit respicere bonos. Sed ipsi boni cum respiciuntur a Deo, aut respiciuntur, si in peccatis sunt, ut corrigantur, aut certe si boni sunt, ut perficiant in melius. Mali vero cum respiciuntur, idcirco dicuntur respici tantum, ut puniantur.

But now we have to see, what is to be understood by God’s watching [respectio]. God’s watching is being discussed in two ways: divine scripture either says that God watches evil people – although rarely18 – or says that he certainly watches the good. But those good people, when they are watched by God, are either watched to be corrected if they are sinners, or in order that they make themselves better if they are truly good [already]. But when the evil are being watched, they are only said to be watched to be punished.

Unde per respectionem Dei in bonos respectus divinae clementiae intelligitur, in malos autem per respectionem Dei ipsa condemnatio intelligitur, quia aliter respicit in bonos, aliter vero in malos. Nos autem illam rem animadvertimus, quam diligimus, illam vero rem, quam non diligimus, intendere volumus.

Therefore, by God’s watching the good we understand the sight of divine clemency, but by God’s watching the evil, we understand condemnation, because he watches the good in one way, the evil in another. We, however, attend to (animadvertimus) what we love, but we want to turn (intendere volumus) to what we do not love. Therefore, those good people who are being watched by God are known to be loveable to God.

Unde illi boni qui a Deo respiciuntur, Deo amabiles esse comprobantur. Dicitur autem et alia visio, ut est visio Esaiae et Jeremiae, et in hoc loco, cum dicit: visio Jeremiae, subaudiendum est Domini. Nam etiam per respectionem humanitatis Christi possumus animadvertere, quid intelligi debeat per respectionem divinam; legitur enim: respexit in arborem sycomorum. [Lc 19:4] Sed ipse Evangelista reddit fructum respectionis, ubi subjunxit: Amen, dico vobis, quia hodie salus huic domui facta est. [Lc 19:9]

Also another [form of] vision is mentioned, as in ‘the vision of Isaiah’ and ‘of Jeremiah.’ And where [scripture] says: ‘the vision of Jeremiah’ we have to add ‘of the Lord’. We can also know through the watching of Christ’s humanity what ought to be understood by divine watching. We read: he watched a sycamore tree. [Lc 19:4] But the evangelist himself represented the fruit of watching when he added: Amen I say to you that today salvation came to this house. [Lc 19:9]

Necnon et alibi respexit Petrum, [page 40] et reddit causam, quare respectus est dicens: Et egressus foras flevit amare [Lc 22.62]. Nequaquam enim Petrus amare flevisset, nisi respectus esset.

Elsewhere too, he looked at Peter [page 40] and gives the reason why he was watched: And having gone outside, he wept bitterly [Lc 22:62]. Peter would have by no means wept bitterly if he had been watched.

Similiter et Zachaeus ideo respectus est a Domino, quia dicturus erat illi Dominus: Domui huic salus facta est. [Lc 19:9] Semper enim, ubi Dominus respiciebat secundum carnem, causa misericordiae suae respiciebat.

Likewise, also Zachaeus has been watched by the Lord because the Lord was about to say to him: Salvation came to this house [Lc 19:9] Always when the Lord was watching in the manner of the flesh, he was watching because of his mercy.

Et ita intelligitur respectus divinitatis, id est, sicut jam diximus, respectus divinae misericordiae. Nam etiam per oculos Dei dona S. Spiritus intelliguntur; et quod dona S. Spiritus per oculos Dei intelligantur, testatur illud, quod legitur in Apocalypsi: Septem oculos, qui sunt Spiritus missi in omnem terram. [Apc 5:6]

And in this way divine watching is understood, that is, just as we said already, as the watching of divine mercy. For by God’s eyes we mean the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What we read in the book of the Apocalypse confirms that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are understood by God’s eyes: Seven eyes that are spirits sent over the entire earth [Apc 5:6].

Et illud in Zacharia: Et vide lapidem Septem oculos habere. [Za 3:9] Per lapidem intelligitur Christus, per septem oculos Septem dona S. Spiritus.

Also the phrase in Zachariah: And see that the stone has seven eyes. [Zac 3:9] By the stone, we understand Christ; by the seven eyes we understand the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Et bene per oculos Domini dona S. Spiritus intelliguntur, quia ille salvatur per respectum Dei, qui dona S. Spiritus accipit; non enim salvabitur quis, nisi dona S. Spiritus acceperit.

And rightly the gifts of the Holy Spirit are understood by 'the eyes of the Lord,' because he who receives the gifts of the Holy Spirit, is saved by God’s watching. If someone does not receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, he will not be saved.

Nam quia per Spiritum S. gratia distribuatur, testatur Paulus apostolus, cum dicit, ait enim: divisiones gratiarum sunt, idem autem Spiritus [1 Cor 12:4] et reliqua, et pervenit usque ad illum locum, ubi subjunxit dicens: Haec autem omnia operatur unus atque idem Spiritus dividens singulis, prout vult. [1 Cor 12:11]

The apostle Paul testifies that grace is disseminated by the Holy Spirit when he says: There are differences in graces, but the same Spirit [1 Cor 12:4] and so on, and he reached the point where he added: One and the same Spirit does all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills. [1 Cor 12:11]

Sequitur: 18Et aures meae ad preces vestras.

Next: 18And my ears to your prayers.

Sicut enim per oculos intelligitur respectus divinae clementiae, ita per aures Dei intelligitur facilis exauditio, ut est illud: Cum invocarem, exaudisti me Deus, [Ps 4:2] id est, in ipsa invocatione me stantem exaudisti. Nam cum omnia Deus videat et omnia audiat, tamen ubi visus Dei et aures dicuntur, respectus divinae clementiae per visum, et facilis exauditio per aures intelligitur.

Just as by the eyes we understand the watching of divine clemency, so we understand with ears the easy hearing [exauditio], as in: When I was calling, you heard me, God [Ps 42:2], that is, you have heard me as I stayed calling. For although God sees and hears everything, still, when God’s seeing and ears are mentioned, we understand the watching of the divine clemency by seeing and the easy hearing by the ears.

Sequitur: 18Et antequam me invocetis, dicam vobis: Ecce adsum.

Next: 18And before you call on me, I will say: “Here I am.”

Hic oritur quaestio, quid est, quod Dominus dicit: Antequam me invocetis, dicam volis: Ecce adsum, cum multos legamus atque videamus sanctos laborantes sub fasce tentationum et clamantes ad Deum liberari et nequaquam exauditos?

Here the question rises, what the Lord means by: And before you call upon me, I will say: “Here I am,” since we read and see that many saints struggle under the burden of temptations and cry to God to be delivered19 and are not heard at all.

Quod si forte dicas: nequaquam sunt sancti, qui non exaudiuntur, ideo necesse est, ut etiam ille [page 41] sanctus adhibeatur tibi in testimonium, de cujus sanctitate nemo dubitat, qui hujuscemodi oravit et non est exauditus.

But if you should say: ‘Those who are not heard are no saints at all,’ it is necessary that [page 41] this holy man be shown to you as a witness, whose sanctity is doubted by no one, [and] who prayed in such a manner and was not heard.

Ecce Paulus rogavit Deum, et non est exauditus, ait enim: Et ne magnitudo revelationum extollat me, datus est mihi stimulus carnis meae, angelus satanae, qui me colaphizet; propter quod ter Dominum rogavi, vi discederet a me. [2 Cor 12:7-8]

See, Paul asked the Lord and was not heard, for he said: And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me; for which reason I asked the Lord thrice that it depart from me. [2 Cor 2:7-8]

Ecce Paulus, sicut diximus, rogavit Dominum, et non est exauditus, sed tantum tarde audivit Dominum dicentem sibi: Sufficit tibi gratia mea, quin virtus in infirmitate perficitur. [2 Cor 12:9]

See, Paul, as we said, asked the Lord and was not heard, but he heard the Lord only late, saying to him: My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness [2 Cor 12:9].

Sed ista quaestio ita solvitur. Sancti enim, si non exaudiuntur ad votum, tamen exaudiuntur ad salutem et melius exaudiuntur, cum non exaudiuntur, quam si exaudirentur, sicuti Paulus. Ille enim est melius exauditus, cum non est exauditus, quam si exaudiretur, eo quod ille, sicut jam dictum est, exauditus est ad salutem, sed non exauditus est ad votum.

But the question is resolved in this way. If the saints are not heard with regard to prayer, they are nevertheless heard with regard to salvation. And they are better heard when they are not heard than if they were heard, just like Paul. For he was heard better when he was not heard than if he were being heard because, as has already been stated, he was heard with regard to salvation, but he was not heard with regard to prayer.

Et in hoc se cognovit Paulus apostolus exauditum esse ad salutem, cum audivit: Sufficit tibi gratia mea; nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. [2 Cor 12:9] Et quia se cognovit esse ad salutem exauditum, ideo dicebat: Libenter gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis. [2 Cor 12:9]

And the Apostle Paul knew that he was heard with regard to salvation when he heard: My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness [2 Cor 12:9]. And because he knew that he had been heard with regard to his salvation, he said: I gladly take pride in my weaknesses [2 Cor 12:9].

Ecce iterum qui petit Deum castitatem, humilitatem, aut caeteras virtutes, et non exauditur ad votum, quia exauditur ad salutem.

To repeat it again: he asks God for chastity, humility and other virtues and is not heard with regard to his prayer, because he is heard with regard to his salvation.

Verbi gratia petit infantulus matrem suam panem, illa autem non illi dat, et solum non dat, verum etiam subtrahit illi. Non ideo illi non dat, quia nunquam vult dare, sed quia scit tempus, in quo melius debeat dare, et ille melius accipere. Tunc ille infantulus melius exauditur, cum non exauditur, quam si exaudiretur, quia exauditur ad salutem, si non exauditur ad votum.

[By way of] example: a small child asks his mother for bread, but she does not give it to the child, and does [not] only not give it, but even takes it away from him.20 She does not give it to him, not because she does not want to give him bread at any time, but because she knows the time in which she better ought to give it and he better to receive it. Then that small child is heard better, when he is not heard than if he were heard, because he is heard with regard to its salvation if he is not heard with regard to its prayer.

Haec autem sancti scientes Deum agere, ideo non murmurant, cum non exaudiuntur, sed submittunt alas suas et stant humiles. Unde S. Augustinus dicit: Nil fixum orandum est praeter vitam aeternam, quia sicut Apostolus dicit: nam quid oremus sicut oportet, nescimus. [Rm 8:26]

Knowing that God does these things, the saints do not grumble when they are not heard but ‘lower their wings and stand humbly.’21 Whence St. Augustine says: Nothing specific ought to be prayed for except eternal life, just as the Apostle says: for we do not know what to pray as it is proper.22 [Rm 8:26]

Sequitur: 19Quid nobis dulcius hac voce dominica invitante nos, fratres clarissimi?

Next: 19What is sweeter for us, dearest brothers, than this voice of the Lord inviting us?

Consuetudo est sanctorum [page 42] praedicatorum, post doctrinam aut exhortationem aut certe orationem subjungere, quod frequentissime Paulus apostolus fecisse legitur.

It is the custom of holy [page 42] preachers to add, after their teaching or exhortation or certainly a prayer, which, as we read, the Apostle Paul has done very often.

S. vero Benedictus, quia, sicut non distabat longe a merito sanctorum, ita etiam noluit distare doctrina, propterea post doctrinam exhortationem subjunxit. [Cod. divionens. ex Marten]

St. Benedict, however, did not want to deviate from the saints concerning his teaching – as little as he stood apart from the saints in importance – and accordingly added an exhortation after his teaching.23

Nam etiam in hoc loco consuetudinem tenuit illius, qui cibum ministrat vel tribuit; ille enim qui cibum ministrat, prius gustat de cibo et postmodum hortatur ceteros dicens: Quid dulcius, fratres, hoc cibo vel potu? Subaudiendum est: nihil.

For here he held also to the custom of one who serves or distributes food: he who serves food, first tastes from the food and then exhorts the others, saying: What is sweeter, brothers, than food or drink? We are to understand: ‘Nothing.’

Ita S. Benedictus gustavit de cibo Dei, hoc est intelligentia mandatorum ejus, et quia sapuit in palato cordis sui, hortatur etiam nos sumere dicens: Quid dulcius nobis hac voce Domini invitantis nos, fratres charissimi?

Thus St. Benedict tasted from the food of God, that is the understanding of his commandments, and because he had the taste in the palate of his heart, he exhorts us as well to take it up, saying: What is sweeter for us, dearest brothers, than this voice of the Lord inviting us?

Et in hoc loco, ubi dicit: quid dulcius? subaudiendum est; nihil. Qua voce? Illa, qua superius dixerat: Prohibe linguam tuam a malo et labia tua, ne loquantur dolum; declina a malo et fac bonum; inquire pacem et sequere eam, et cetera his similia. Necnon et illa voce, qua dictum est: Et cum haec feceritis, oculi mei super vos, et aures meae ad preces vestras, et antequam me invocetis, dicam vobis: Ecce adsum.

And where he says: ‘What is sweeter?’ we are to understand: ‘Nothing.’ With what voice? That one with which he had earlier said: 17Keep your tongue from evil and let your lips speak no deceit; turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it and the other things like these. Also with that voice in which it was said: 18And when you have done these things, my eyes will be on you and my ears open to your prayers and even before you call on me, I will say to you: “Here I am.”

In hoc enim loco notandum vobis est, quia ista dulcedo non palato corporeo, sed palato cordis percipitur; nam sicut noster homo exterior habet palatum suum vel fauces, quibus cibum vel potum degustat ita etiam noster homo interior habet palatum suum vel fauces, quibus cibum spiritalem percipit.

Here you have to note that that sweetness is not perceived with the corporal palate, but with the palate of the heart. For just as our outer man has his palate or throat with which he tastes food or drink, just so also our inner man has a palate or throat with which he perceives the spiritual food.

Et quod noster homo interior habet fauces, testatur psalmista, qui ait: Gustate et videte, quoniam suavis est Dominus. [Ps 33:9] Et, iterum: Quam, dulcia faucibus meis eloquia tua. [Ps 118:103]

The psalmist, too, bears witness that our inner man has a throat when he says: Taste and see that the Lord is sweet. [Ps 33:9] And again: How sweet for my throat are your words. [Ps 118:103]

Non enim in hoc loco de faucibus corporeis, sed de faucibus cordis dicit, quia eloquia Domini non in faucibus corporeis sed cordis sapiunt, quia, sicut jam diximus, palato corporeo percipitur cibus et potus temporalis, ita, etiam palato cordis percipitur cibus spiritalis.

For he does not speak here about a corporal throat, but about the throat of the heart, because the speeches of the Lord do not have taste in the corporal throat but, as we already said, just as temporal food and drink is perceived with the corporal palate, so too is spiritual food perceived with the palate of the heart.

Sequitur: 20Ecce pietate sua demonstrat nobis Dominus viam vitae.

Next: 20Look: the Lord in his love shows us the way of life.

Nos enim, cum aliquid digito monstramus, ecce! [page 43] dicimus, quia ecce adverbium demonstrantis est. S. vero Benedictus, quia superius exempla posuit, in quibus nos Dominus admonet bene agere, ecce! demonstrando dixit. Nam bene dixit: pietate sua, quia nullus suo merito salvatur; nam postquam in Adam expulsi sumus de paradiso, tota massa humani generis periit.

When we show something with the finger, we say: Look! [page 43], because look! is an interjection of someone who shows [something]. But because St. Benedict had earlier given examples by which the Lord urges us to do well, he said look! by way of demonstration. He rightly said in his love, because no one is saved by his own merit, for after we were driven out of paradise in Adam, the entire mass of the human race died.

Nunc vero qui ex illa salvatur, non suo merito, sed pietate et misericordia Dei salvatur. S. vero Benedictus sciens hoc, idcirco dixit: pietate sua, ac si diceret: non nostro merito, sed pietate sua demonstrat vobis viam vitae, qua redeamus ad vitam.

But the one who is now saved from it [i.e. from death] is not saved by his own merit but by the love and mercy of God. Knowing this, St. Benedict said: in his love, as if he were saying: ‘not by our merit, but in his love he shows you the way of life by which we may return to life.’

Sequitur: 21Subcinctis ergo fide vel observantia bonorum actuum lumbis nostris et calciati in praeparatione evangelii pacis pergamus itinera ejus.

Next: 21Therefore, our loins girded with faith and the practice of good works and shod in preparation for the gospel of peace, let us set forth on his path.

Intuendum est enim in hoc loco, cujus consuetudinem tenet B. Benedictus, cum dicit: succinctis lumbis. Morem tenet ducis mittentis militem suum ad bellum; dux enim cum mittit militem suum ad proelium, hortatur illum subcinctos lumbos habere, quia si subcinctos lumbos non habuerit, impedientur gressus ejus vestibus dissolutis, et ex hoc nequaquam poterit in hostem irruere vel ab hoste eripi.

We have to understand here whose custom St. Benedict follows, when he says: our loins girded. He assumes the role of a general sending his soldier to war. When the general sends his soldier to war, he urges him to have his loins girded, because, if he does not have his loins girded, his steps will be hindered by his loose clothes, and because of this he will not at all be able to rush against the enemy or will be captured by the enemy.

Ita, B. Benedictus in hoc loco facere comprobatur. Ille vero, quia mittit auditorem suum contra invisibilem hostem, idcirco hortatur illum, subcinctos lumbos habere, quia, sicut jam diximus, si subcinctos lumbos non habuerit, nequaquam contra hostem suum praevalebit irruere vel ab illo eripi.

Here St. Benedict approves doing likewise. Because he sends his listener out against an invisible enemy, he urges him to have his loins girded, because, as we already said, if he does not have loins girded, he will not be able to rush against his enemy at all or be captured by him.

Videndum est etiam nunc, de quibus lumbis in hoc loco dicat S. Benedictus. Numquid de carnalibus lumbis dicit? Non; nam nequaquam aliquid magni diceret, si de carnalibus lumbis dixisset, cum est consuetudo paene omnium, subcinctos lumbos habere, sed scriptura divina solet aliquid spiritaliter designare per quem omnium est facere consuetudo, sicuti est illud, quod Dominus in evangelio dicit: Tu autem cum jejunas, unge caput tuum et faciem tuam lava. [Mt 6:17]

Now we have to see too about what loins St. Benedict is talking here. Does he speak about carnal loins? No, for he would by no means something important if he had spoken of carnal loins, because it is the custom of almost everyone to have the loins girded. divine scripture usually describes something in a spiritual way through that which everyone usually does.24 Just as [in] this quotation in the gospel, where the Lord says: When you fast, anoint your head and wash your face. [Mt 6:17]

Omnes enim faciem suam lavant; caput enim ungere pertinet ad laetitiam spiritalem, id est, cum quis aliquid boni agit, gaudet in spiritali in [page 44] tentione, quia id agendo subtrahitur ab amore terreno. Lavare enim faciem, pertinet ad munditiam mentis.

For all people wash their faces. Anointing the head is part of spiritual joy, that is, when someone does something good, he rejoices with a spiritual purpose [page 44], because by doing this, he is drawn away from earthly love. For washing the face refers to the cleanliness of the mind.

Ita et in hoc loco per lumbos subcinctos aliquid nobis scriptura divina spiritaliter innuit; nam hoc, quod dixit B. Benedictus, subcinctos lumbos et calciatos pedes evangelii habere, de Pauli apostoli epistola ad Ephesios data sumpsit [cf. Eph 6:14-15].

Thus, also in this place divine scripture signifies by the loins girded something to us in a spiritual way; for what St. Benedict calls having the loins girded and the feet of the gospel shod, he took from the letter of the Apostle Paul given to the Ephesians. [Eph 6:14-15]

Paulus enim apostolus prius admonuerat unumquemque singillatim, id est virum et uxorem, filios et parentes, servos et dominos; deinde pervenit ad cum locum, ubi postea generali admonitione omnes admonuit dicens: De caetero, fratres, confortamini in Domino, et in potentia virtutis ejus. Induite vos armaturam Dei, ut possitis resistere in die mala et in omnibus perfecti stare. State ergo subcincti lumbos vestros in veritate et induti loricam justitiae et calciati pedes in praeparatione Evangelii pacis. [Eph 6:10, 13-15]

For the Apostle Paul had first urged each and everyone individually, that is, husband and wife, children and parents, slaves and masters; then he came to the place where he in a general admonition urged all, saying: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand, therefore, having girded your loins with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace [Eph 6:10, 13-15].

Ac si diceret: Scio vos exercitatum hostem habere, et idcirco vos adhortor, ut non in vestris viribus sed in Dei omnipotentis virtute confidatis.

It is as if he were saying: ‘I know that you have a trained enemy and I urge you therefore not to trust in your own powers, but rely on the power of the almighty God.’

Haec autem succinctio lumborum non tantum in libro Job reperitur, ubi ait Dominus ad Job: Accinge sicut vir lumbos tuos; interrogabo te, et responde mihi; [Iob 38:3, 40:2] verum etiam in Evangelio haec succinctio lumborum invenitur; ait enim Dominus: Sint lumbri vestri praecincti et lucernae ardentes in manibus vestris. [Lc 12:35]

This girding of the loins is found not only in the book of Job, where the Lord says to Job: Gird your loins like a man; I will ask you; answer me [Iob 38:3, 40:2], but also in the gospel this girding of the loins is found, for the Lord says: Let your loins be girded and lamps burn in your hands. [Lc 12:35]

Nam ista succinctio lumborum varie intelligitur a magnis praedicatoribus. Alii quidem intelligunt per succinctionem lumborum refraenationem delectationis carnalis, alii autem per succinctionem lumborum intelligunt coercitionem omnium vitiorum, nonnulli vero per succinctionem lumborum intelligunt compressionem vanae gloriae, quia sicut isti, qui non refraenant (secundum quosdam) delectationem carnalem, aut etiam non refraenant delectationem (secundum multos) omnium vitiorum, non [page 45] dicuntur lumbos succinctos habere, ita etiam et hi non dicuntur succinctos lumbos habere, qui de superatis vitiis superbiunt vel intumescunt.

This girding of the loins is understood in a variety of ways by the great preachers. Some understand by girding of the loins the bridling of carnal delight, others, however, understand by girding of the loins the restraining of all faults, but some understand by the girding of the loins the suppression of vainglory because just as those who do not bridle (according to some) carnal delight, or do not even bridle the delight (according to many) of all faults, are not [page 45] considered to have their loins girded, just so are those people not considered to have their loins girded who, become proud or arrogant concerning faults overcome.

Verum etiam intuendum est in hoc loco, qualiter B. Benedictus dixit praecinctos lumbos habere; ait enim: succintis fide vel observantia bonorum actuum lumbis vestris.

But we need also to see here how St. Benedict spoke of having the loins girded. For he said: your loins girded with faith and the practice of good works.

Bene enim dixit fide et observantia bonorum actuum, eo quod omnia illa, quae ab aliis intellecta sunt, in fide et observantia bonorum actuum consistunt; nam pulchre, postquam dixit fide, subjunxit bonorum actuum, quia unum sine altero nil proficit. Nam quod fides sine operibus nil sit utile, testatur Jacobus apostolus, qui dicit: Fides sine operibus mortua est. [Iac 2:20/26]

He rightly said with faith and the practice of good works because everything that has been understood by others consists of faith and the practice of good works. He beautifully added of good works after he said faith, because the one cannot succeed at all without the other. The apostle James bears witness of the fact that faith without works is not useful at all, when he says: Faith without works is dead. [Iac 2:26]

Et quod opus similiter sine fide nihil valeat, idem ipse B. Jacobus (?) testatur dicens: Impossibile est, enim, sine fide placere Deo. [Hbr 11:6]

And that, similarly, faith without works avails nothing is testified by the same St. James [sic!] as he says: It is impossible to please God without faith. [Hbr 11:6]

Et bene post succinctionem lumborum calciatos pedes in praeparatione Evangelii pacis hortatur suum auditorem habere, quia, sicut diximus, morem ducis tenet; dux enim primum hortatur suum militem succinctos lumbos habere, deinde calciatos pedes, ne pungatur spinis aut offendat in lapidem, et ex hoc debilitato toto corpore non poterit contra hostem suum dimicare vel ab illo eripi.

And he rightly urges after girding the loins that his listener have the feet shod in preparation of the gospel of peace, because, as we said, he assumes the role of a general. A general urges first his soldier to have his loins girded, then his feet shod, lest he be stung by thorns or stumble against a stone, and will not be able to fight against his enemy or will be captured by him because his body has been weakened by this.

Ita, et B. Benedictus; ille enim, qui auditorem suum contra invisibilem et exercitatum hostem dirigit, ideo hortatur illum pedes suos calciatos, i. e. munitos habere, ne forte debilitetur coram inimico suo. Notandum est etiam, quia non de exterioris hominis pedibus dicit sed interioris, quia sicut noster homo exterior habet pedes suos, in quibus movetur, ita interior homo. Et quod homo noster interior habeat pedes, testatur psalmista, cum dicit: Lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum. [Ps 118:105]

Thus St. Benedict [does] also. For he who leads his listener against an invisible and trained enemy, urges him to have his feet shod, that is, strengthened, lest perchance he be weakened in the face of his enemy. We have to note here too that he does not speak about the feet of the outer man, but of the inner, because, just as the outer man has feet with which he moves, so too does the inner man. And that our inner man has feet is testified by the psalmist, when he says: Your word – a torch for my feet. [Ps 118:105]

Non enim de exterioris hominis pedibus dicit sed interioris, quia nullum lumen praebent divinae scripturae exterioris hominis pedibus ambulantibus in tenebris, sed magis offendiculum, in quod offendant.

He does not speak about the feet of the outer person but the inner, because the divine scriptures do not provide any light for the feet of the outer man walking in darkness, but rather a stumbling-block over which they trip.

Unde sicut indiget homo noster exterior lumine temporali ambulans in tenebris, quia sine illo non valet iter suum peragere in tenebris, ita etiam [page 46] noster homo ambulans hoc nocturnum iter hujus vitae praesentis, quae aeternae vitae comparata mors est potius dicenda quam vita, indiget lucerna spiritali, scilicet verbo Dei, ut valeat hanc praesentem vitam sine offendiculo pertransire, eo quod sine illo lumine, hoc est verbo Dei errat in praesenti vita, sicuti et ille exterior homo, cum in tenebris absque lumine ambulat, errat.

Therefore, just as our outer person needs temporal light as he walks in darkness, because he is not able to make his journey in darkness without it, just so [page 46] our inner person, walking in this nocturnal journey of this present life – which, compared with the eternal life, we must rather call death than life – needs a spiritual torch, namely the word of God so as to be able to pass trough this present life without a stumbling-block, because without that light, that is God’s word, he errs in the present life, just as that outer man wanders when walks in darkness without light.

Horum enim pedes propheta videbat, quando sub admiratione dicebat: O quam speciosi pedes evangelizantium pacem. [Rm 10:15; Is 52:7; Na 1:15]

The prophet was looking at their feet when he marveled saying: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace. [Rm 10:15; Is 52:7; Na 1:15]

Pacis enim ideo adjectionem fecit B. Benedictus, ut declararet, cujus evangelii esset illa praeparatio, i. e. pacis.

St. Benedict added of peace in order to reveal of what gospel this was a preparation, namely [the gospel] of peace.

Et bene dixit ergo, cum dixit: Succinctis ergo lumbis nostris et calciatis pedibus; succinctio enim lumborum tribus modis potest intelligi, sive subjugatio luxuriae, sive refraenatio vanae gloriae, vel etiam compressio omnium vitiorum.

And he therefore spoke well when he said our loins girded and our feet shod, for the girding of loins can be understood in three ways: either as subjugation of luxury, or bridling of vainglory, or even the suppression of all faults.

Per calciatos enim pedes intelliguntur exempla sanctorum.

By the shod feet we understand the examples of the saints.

Et bene, cum dixit: succinctis lumbis, subjecit: et calciatis pedibus pergamus itinera ejus, i. e. refraenata delectatione carnali vel compressis omnibus vitiis sive subjugata vana gloria et vestigiis nostris, hoc est gressibus mentis nostrae munitis sanctorum exemplis, pergamus itinera ejus.

And when he said our loins girded, he rightly added and let us with shod feet set forth on his path, that is, after carnal delight has been bridled or all faults have been suppressed or vainglory has been subjugated or our footsteps – that is: the paces of our mind – have been strengthened by the examples of the saints, let us set forth on his path.

Ergo enim, sicut jam diximus, ubi invenitur, ex superioribus pendet. Et est sensus, cum dixit ergo, id est, si ita est, ut, qui prohibuerit linguam suam a malo et labiis suis non locutus fuerit dolum et declinaverit a malo et fecerit bonum et inquisierit pacem ac secutus fuerit illam, oculi Domini super illum sint et aures ejus ad precem suam, et Dominus, antequam illum invocaverit, dicat: Ecce adsum tibi: nos ergo succinctis lumbis et pedibus calciatis faciamus, quae ille praecepit, ut nobis talia contingant.

Therefore, as we said already, when it is found [in a text], it refers to what has been said before. And the meaning of therefore is this that he who will have restrained his tongue from evil and will not have spoken deceit with his lips and turned away from evil and done good and sought peace and pursued it: may the eyes of the Lord be upon him and his ears open to his prayer and may the Lord, before [the man] calls him [God] say: Look! Here I am for you. Let us therefore, our loins girded and our feet shod, do what he teaches so that such things happen to us.

Sequitur: 21Pergamus itinera ejus. Itinera ejus, non nostra pergamus, quia ejus itinera ad vitam, nostra autem ducunt ad mortem.

Next: 21let us set forth on his path. Let us go forth on his path, not ours, because his path leads to life, our path, however, to death.

Sequitur: Ut mereamur cum, qui nos vocavit, in regno suo videre.

Next: 21so that we may deserve to see him in his kingdom25 he who has called us.

De hac visione, qua nobis B. Benedictus nunc [page 47] narrat Dominum videre in regno suo, Dominus in Evangelio dicit; ait enim: Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt. [Mt 5:8]

Concerning this vision about which St. Benedict tells us [page 47] that we see the Lord in his kingdom, the Lord says in the gospel: Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God [Mt 5:8].

Et hoc etiam notandum, quia quod in Evaugelio dicitur per futurum tempus, i. e. videbunt, hic B. Benedictus dixit suo, quia non in praesenti vita Deus videtur, sed in futura, h. e. in regno suo.

Also this must be noted, that what is said in the Gospel in the future tense, i.e. ‘they will see,’ St. Benedict said here ‘his’ because God is not seen in the present life, but in the future life, that is in his kingdom.

Hoc etiam iterum notandum est, quia haec visio spiritalis est, quia ille, qui videtur, spiritus est et a spiritalibus videbitur.

Again, we have to notice here too that this vision is spiritual, because he who is seen is spirit and will be seen by spiritual beings.

Similiter etiam hoc notandum est, quod ista visio non aequaliter omnibus tribuitur. Et quod non aequaliter omnibus tribuatur, testatur Dominus, qui dicit: In domo patris mei mansiones multae sunt. [Io 14:2]

Likewise, we also have to notice that this vision is not equally bestowed on everyone. The Lord testifies too that it is not equally bestowed on everyone when he says: In my father’s house are many mansions. [Io 14:2]

Mansiones ideo dixit multas propter disparia merita. Et quamquam non aequaliter haec visio propter dissimilia merita tribuatur; tamen una visio erit, sicut unum regnum.

He said many mansions because of the dissimilar merits. And although this vision is not equally bestowed on account of dissimilar merits, still it will be one [single] vision, just as [there will be] one kingdom.

Et hoc etiam est notandum, quia, cum dicitur videre, non ita dicitur, ut videatur Deus, sicut aliqua res materialis oculis videtur, sed istud videre ponitur pro intelligere. Et hoc, quod diximus, quia Deus non aequaliter videatur, id est intelligatur, possumus animadvertere in rege terreno.

We also have to notice here that, when he says to see, he does not mean that God is seen in the same way as some material thing is seen with the eyes, but he uses this seeing to mean understanding. And we can, as we said before, observe that God is not seen, that is understood, just as by the example of an earthly king.

Rex enim quamquam intelligatur ab omnibus, quia rex est, tamen non aequaliter ab omnibus intelligitur ejus qualitas; alii enim sunt, qui eum intelligunt plus, alii minus, id est tantum unusquisque eum intelligit, quantum se ipse permittit intelligi. ita et Deus; Deus enim in uno semper tenore consistit, sed tamen non aequaliter ab omnibus intelligitur, quia non omnium aequalia merita sunt.

Although everyone understands the meaning of ‘king’ – still it is not equally understood by all what kind of king he is; for there are some people who understand him more, and others less. That is, anyone understands him to such a degree as he himself allows himself [se] to be understood. This is the case with God. For God always exists in one way [tenor], but is nevertheless not understood equally by all people, because the merits of all people are not equal.

Haec autem visio non erit fastidialis sed concupiscibilis. Et quod haec visio non erit fastidialis, sed concupiscibilis, testatur Petrus apostolus, qui dicit, ait enim: In quem concupiscunt angeli prospicere. [1 Pt 1:12] Ista visio erit sanctis refectio et claritas atque regnum.

This vision, however, will not be despicable26 but desirable. And the Apostle Peter testifies that this vision will not be despicable but desirable when he says: at whom the angels desire to look [1 Pt 1:12]. That vision will be refreshment for the saints and splendor and kingdom.

Et forte dicit aliquis: ‘Quomodo ista visio a spiritalibus videbitur, cum nos in corporibus nostris videbimus Deum?’ sicut scriptum est: Et videbit omnis caro salutare Dei. [Lc 3:6] Non videbitur Deus corporalibus oculis, sed tantum spiritalibus sensibus et oculis intelligitur.

And perhaps someone says: ‘How will that vision be seen by spiritual beings when we will see God in our bodies?’ It is written: And all flesh will see the salvation of God [Lc 3:6]. God will not be seen with corporal eyes, but only understood with the spiritual senses and eyes.

Nam qualia erunt corpora sanctorum, docet B. Augustinus, cum de novitate corporis spiritalis [page 48], in qua sanctorum caro mutabitur, (tractat et dicit: tale erit,) quale erit corpus, quod omnino spiritui subditum et eo sufficienter vivificatum nullis alimoniis indigebit. [cf. Augustine, Retractationes I, ch. 13.4, CCSL 57, p. ?]

For Augustine teaches of what kind the bodies of the saints will be, when he discusses the new state of the spiritual body [page 48] into which the flesh of the saints will be changed: It will be such as the body will be, because it will be completely subject to the spirit and, sufficiently enlivened by it, it will need no nourishment at all [cf. Augustine, Retractationes I, ch. 13.4].

Non enim animale sed spiritale erit, habens quidem carnis, sed sine ulla carnali corruptione, substantiam.

It will not be animal but spiritual, having the substance of flesh but without any carnal corruption.

Ideo enim non est credendum, ut Deus corporalibus oculis videatur, quia non est Deus localis, ut aliquam similitudinem habeat, sed spiritus est, qui omnia in se comprehendit et continet.

Therefore, we should not believe that God is seen with corporal eyes, because God is not place-bound, so that he has some kind of image [similitudo] but he is a spirit who understands everything and contains everything in himself.

Et quod non sit Deus localis, docet B. Augustinus dicens: Quod alicubi enim est, continetur, quod continetur loco, corpus est. Deus autem non est corpus, non igitur alicubi est. Et tamen, qui est et in loco non est, in illo potius sunt omnia, quam ille alicubi. Nec tamen ita in illo, ut ipse sit locus; locus enim in spatio est, quod longitudine, latitudine, altitudine corporis occupatur, nec Deus tale, aliquid est.

Saint Augustine teaches that God is not place-bound, saying: For what is at some place, is contained [by the place]. What is contained by a place, is a body. God, however, is not a body, because he is not at any place. And yet: all things are in him who is not in a place, rather than that he is in some place. Nor are all things in him in such a way that he himself is a place. For a place is in space occupied by the length, width, and height of a body. And God is not such a thing.

Et omnia igitur in ipso sunt, et locus non est. Locus tamen abusive dicitur templum Dei, non quod eo contineatur, sed quod ei praesens sit; id autem nihil, melius quam munda anima intelligitur. [Augustine, De diversis quaestionibus octaginta tribus, CCSL 44, p. 20 CHECK]

Therefore all things are in him and he is not a place. The temple of God is nevertheless erroneously called a place, not because he is contained in it, but because he is present in it. In the understanding of this, however, nothing excels the pure soul. [Augustine, De diversis quaestionibus octaginta tribus]

Sequitur: 22In cujus regni tabernaculo si volumus habitare, nisi illuc bonis actibus curratur, minime pervenitur.

Next: 22If we want to live in the dwelling-place of his kingdom, we will not reach it unless we press forward in good works.

Superius enim dixerat: in regno suo videre, nunc vero ejusdem regni facit mentionem cum adjectione tabernaculi.

He had said earlier: to see in his kingdom. Now, however, he makes mention of that same kingdom with the addition of dwelling-place.

Intelligens B. Benedictus contra opinionem ceterorum sanctorum, idem esse regnum et tabernaculum, ideo dixit: in cujus regni tabernaculo si volumus habitare, veluti quis dicit alicui iter agenti: Ingens palatium et magna domus ad habitandum est in illo loco, et nisi currendo ieris, non poteris illuc pervenire.

Because St. Benedict understood that kingdom and dwelling-place are identical – thus going against the opinion of the other saints – he said If we want to live in the dwelling-place of his kingdom as if someone said to another who made a journey: ‘Over there is a huge palace and a great house to live in, and if you do not start running, you will not be able to get there.’

Ita B. Benedictus facit, cum dicit: tabernaculum vel regnum Dei, et subjunxit: nisi illuc bonis actibus curratur, minime pervenitur.

St. Benedict speaks in like manner when he says: the dwelling-place or kingdom of God, and added we will not reach it unless we press forward in good works.

Sed ille, qui palatium denuntiat, vel sero vel tarde dicit illuc pervenire, B. vero Benedictus ex toto denegat, illuc posse quemquam pervenire, nisi bonis actibus illuc curratur. Quapropter nullus illuc pervenire, nisi bonis actibus currendo venerit. [page 49]

But when he who proclaims the palace says that he arrives there late or slowly, St. Benedict wholly denies that he is able to reach it, unless he will press forward in good works. Therefore no one will reach it unless by pressing forward in good works. [page 49]

Sequitur: 23Sed interrogemus cum propheta Dominum dicentes ei, ac si diceret aliis verbis: jam postquam cognovimus tabernaculum, necesse nobis est, ut interrogemus Dominum cum propheta suo: Qui sunt illi, qui in ejus tabernaculo habitant, vel per quam viam potest quis illuc pervenire?

Next: 23But let us ask the Lord, along with the prophet, saying to him, as if he were saying in other words: ‘Now, after we know the dwelling-place, it is necessary for us to ask the Lord, along with his prophet: Who are they who live in his dwelling-place and by which path can someone reach it?’

Sequitur: Domine! quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo, aut quis requiescet in monte sancto tuo?

Next: 23Lord, who will live in your dwelling-place and who will rest on your holy mountain?

Haec locutio sub una interrogatione debet dici, id est: Domine! Quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo, aut quis requiescet in monte sancto tuo? Nunc videndum est, quid sit tabernaculum aut mons, et quare prius tabernaculum et postmodum montem dicit? aut quare in tabernaculo habitare et in monte requiescere? Tabernaculum enim dicitur domus non habens fixum fundamentum, quod ad libitum movetur, sicuti fuit illud, quod Moyses in deserto fecit, quod ad placitum portabatur.

 This phrase ought to be said as one single question, that is Lord! Who will live in your dwelling-place and who will rest on your holy mountain? Now we have to see what is the dwelling-place or mountain and why he first says dwelling-place and then mountain. Or why live in the dwelling-place and rest on the mountain? For a house that has no fixed foundation is called dwelling-place; it is moved at will like the one that Moses made in the desert, which was being carried as it pleased.

Et per tabernaculum enim intelligitur praesentis peregrinatio ecclesiae. Ecce videmus multas ecclesias, quae periturae sunt, nec non et nos, qui ecclesia sumus, transituri sumus.

And by dwelling-place we understand the pilgrimage of the present church. Look, we see many churches that will perish, and also we, who are the church, will pass.

Per montem autem intelligitur coelestis Jerusalem.

By mountain the heavenly Jerusalem is understood. And Benedict rightly first said church and then mountain, because we reach the heavenly Jerusalem through the pilgrimage of the present church.

Et bene prius ecclesiam et postmodum montem dixit, quia per praesentis ecclesiae peregrinationem pervenitur ad coelestem Jerusalem. Nam bene in tabernaculo habitare et in monte requiescere dicit, quia in hac praesentis ecclesiae peregrinatione habitatio est, non requies; in coelesti autem Jerusalem requies est. Aliud est enim habitare, et aliud requiescere; potest enim habitare et non requiescere.

So he rightly says to live in the dwelling-place and to rest on the mountain, because in the pilgrimage of the present church there is living, not rest. In the heavenly Jerusalem there is rest, however. Living is one thing, resting another. It is possible to live and not rest.

Sequitur: 24Post hanc interrogationem, fratres, audiamus Dominum respondentem et ostendentem nobis viam ipsius tabernaculi dicens, id est, non ab aliquo homine vel ab angelo, sed ab ipso Domino nobis respondente audiamus viam tabernaculi, qua quis possit illuc pervenire.

Next: 24After this question, brothers, let us hear the Lord in reply, showing us the way to his dwelling-place, 25saying, that is: ‘[let us hear] not from some person27 or angel, but from the Lord himself as he answers us, let us hear the way to his dwelling-place, through which one can reach it.’

Sequitur: 25Qui ingreditur sine macula. [Ps 14:2]

Next: 25It is he who sets out without fault. [Ps.14:2]

Ecce prima vox est ostendentis viam tabernaculi, cum dicit: Qui ingreditur sine macula; ingredi enim inchoanti viam carpere convenit. [page 50]

Look, the first statement is about the one who shows the way to his dwelling-place, when he says: It is he who sets out without fault; for to set out is used for someone who begins to take a road.

Vide modo, quod hic dicit: Qui ingreditur sine macula.

Now, see that he says: He who set outs without fault.

In alio psalmo dicit: Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini; [Ps 118:1] non est enim beatus, nisi immaculatus, et ille est immaculatus, qui in via ambulat; via enim praecepta Dei, intelliguntur; ergo ille est beatus, qui in via, i. e. in lege Dei ambulando immaculatus existit.

In another psalm [page 50] it says: Blessed are the faultless on the road who walk in the law of the Lord. [Ps 118:1] For no one is blessed unless he is faultless, and he who walks on the road is faultless. For by “road” we understand the teachings of the Lord. Therefore, he is blessed who leads a faultless life by walking on the road, that is in the law of God.

Sive etiam sicut Cassiodorus dicit: Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege, i. e. qui aut non peccant aut per gratiam coelestem digna sibi satisfactione prospiciunt. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 118:1, CCSL 98, p. 1060]

Or as Cassiodorus put it: Blessed are the faultless on the road who walk in the law, that is who do not sin and provide for themselves with worthy satisfaction through heavenly grace [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 118:1].

Forte dicit aliquis: ‘sufficit mihi, ut sine macula sim, i. e. ut non operer solum modo malum’. Non enim sufficit tibi, frater, tantum modo sine macula esse, quia ille, qui dixit: 25qui ingreditur sine macula, subjunxit etiam: et operatur justitiam.

Perhaps someone says: ‘It is enough for me to be without fault, that is simply do no evil.’ It is not enough for you, brother, only to be without fault, because he who said: he who sets out without fault, also added: 25and exercises justice.

Nunc videndum est, quare dixit: operatur justitiam, et non dixit: operatur castitatem aut orationem aut jejunium? Ideo dixit justitiam et non castitatem aut jejunium aut orationem, quia ille, qui operatur castitatem, se adjuvat sua castitate, et non alterum; similiter qui orat; vel jejunat, se et non alterum laetificat. Nam qui justitiam operatur, magis alterum quam se adjuvat.

Now we have to see why he said: exercises justice and did not say: exercises chastity or prayer or fasting. He said justice and not chastity or fasting or prayer, because he who exercises chastity helps himself with his chastity, not another. Likewise he who prays or fasts makes himself happy, not another. [But] he who exercises justice helps another more than himself.

Verbi gratia, habes patrem potentem, et ille opprimit pauperem, tu autem si jejunas vel oras aut castitatem habes, quid illum pauperem adjuvat tua oratio aut jejunium aut castitas? si vero inter patrem tuum et illum pauperem justitiam feceris, tunc magis illum quam te adjuvabit tua justitia.

Say, for example, that you have a powerful father and he oppresses a poor man. If you keep the fast or pray or are chaste, what good does your prayer or fasting or chastity do for that poor man? But if you make justice between your father and that poor man, then you will help him with your justice more than yourself.

Sequitur: 26Qui loquitur veritatem in corde suo.

Next: 26Who speaks the truth in his heart.

Bene dixit: in corde suo, quia sunt multi, qui veritatem in ore loquuntur et non in corde, et sunt multi, qui in corde tantum et non in ore veritatem loquuntur.

He rightly said: in his heart, because there are many who speak truth with their mouth and not in their heart, and there are many who only speak truth in their heart and not with their mouth.

Et propterea subjunxit: Qui non egit dolum in lingua sua. Nam si loquaris in ore tantum et non in corde, non ambulabis perfecta in via Dei, quae ducit ad tabernaculum sive montem; et sive loquaris in corde tantum et non in ore, non ambulas in via Dei, quamquam pejor sit ille, qui in ore tantum et non in corde, quam ille, qui in corde et non in ore loquitur veritatem.

And therefore he added: 25Who has practiced no deceit with his tongue. For if you speak only with your mouth and not in your heart, you will not walk on God’s perfect road that leads to the dwelling-place or the mountain. And if you should speak only in your heart and not with your mouth, you are not walking on God’s road -- although he who only speaks with his mouth and not in his heart is worse than he who speaks the truth in his heart and not with his mouth.

Et quia vult te Deus perfecte in via Dei ambulare, ideo cum dixit: qui loquitur veritatem [page 51] in corde suo, subjunxit: qui non egit dolum in lingua sua.

And since God wants you to walk in perfection on God’s road, when Benedict said: he who speaks the truth [page 51] in his heart, he added: who has not practiced deceit with his tongue.

Sequitur: 27Qui non fecit proximo suo malum. [Ps 14:3]

Next: 27Who has done his neighbour no harm. [Ps 14:3]

Nunc videndum est, (quis?) quid sit noster proximus. Proximus noster est secundum quosdam, qui nobis miseretur, propter illum parabolam, quam Dominus proposuit de illo, qui descendit in Jericho dicens: Homo quidam descendebat ab Jerusalem in Jericho et incidit in latrones [Lc 10:30] et reliqua, et pervenit usque ad illum locum, ubi subjunxit dicens: Quis horum trium videtur tibi proximus fuisse illi, qui incidit in latrones? At ille dixit: Qui fecit misericordiam cum illo. Et ait illi Jesus: Vade et tu fac similiter. [Lc 10:36-37]

ow we must see who is our neighbour. Our neighbour is, some people say, he who feels sorrow for us in accordance with that parable the Lord told about the man who descended to Jericho. The Lord said: A certain man was descending from Jerusalem to Jericho and ran into robbers, [Lc 10:30] etc. and he reached the point [in the story] where he added: Who of these three seems to you to have been the neighbour to him who ran into the robbers? And he said: He who had mercy with him. And Jesus told him: Go and you, too, do likewise. [Lc 10:36-37]

Alii quidem dicunt: ‘Proximus noster est omnis christianus propter illud , quia unum patrem habemus in coelo’. Alii dicunt, ‘proximum nostrum esse omnem hominem, quia omnes unum patrem terrenum habemus Adam’. Sed in hoc loco de omni homine dicitur proximus noster; et est sensus, cum dicit: qui non fecit proximo suo malum, i. e. qui nulli homini fecit malum.

Other people say: ‘Every person is a neighbour, because we all have Adam as earthly father.’ Here, then, every person is called our neighbour. That is what [Benedict] means when he says: who has done his neighbour no harm, that is, he has done no harm to a single person.

Et tamen, sicut Beda dicit, juxta litteram manifestat Domini sententia, nullum nobis amplius, quam qui miseretur, esse proximum, si Jerosolimitae civi non sacerdos, non levita ex ea gente, sed accola, quia magis misertus est, factus est proximus.

And yet, as Bede says, according to the letter the speech of the Lord reveals that no one is more closely our neighbour than the one who takes pity: not a priest, nor a Levite from that people, but a foreigner [accola] has become the neighbour to that citizen of Jerusalem, because he took pity more.

Sequitur: 27Qui opprobrium non accepit adversus proximum suum.

Next: 27Who does not accept abuse against his neighbour.

Hunc enim versum B. Hieronymus intelligit dicens: Ille enim non accipit opprobrium adversus proximum suum, qui nullum laesit, neminem nocuit, neminem scandalizavit, ut ab illo debuisset accipere opprobrium. [source not identified]

St. Jerome understands this verse [thus], saying: For he does not accept abuse against his neighbour who has hurt no one, harmed no one, scandalized no one in such a way that he had to receive abuse from him.28

Sed difficile est; et quamquam difficile sit, tamen inveniuntur duo sine querela, de quibus scriptura divina dicit: Erant ambo sine querela. [cf. Lc 1:6]

But is it difficult, and although it is difficult, there are nevertheless two people found without a quarrel, about whom divine scripture says: They both were without quarrel. [cf. Lc 1:6]

Aliter, ille accipit opprobrium adversus proximum suum, qui libenter malum de proximo suo audit.

Alternatively, he who gladly hears evil about his neighbour accepts abuse against his neighbour.

Sequitur: 28Qui malignum diabolum aliqua suadentem sibi cum ipsa suasione sua a conspectibus cordis sui respuens deduxit ad nihilum.

Next: 28It is he who, banishing from his heart’s sight the wicked Devil who urges something on him, has reduced him to nothing.

Hactenus B. Benedictus verba et sensum Domini tenuit nunc autem dimisit verba, tenuit sensum, cum dixit: Qui malignum diabolum aliqua suadentem [page 52] sibi cum ipso, suasione sua a conspectibus cordis sui respuens deduxit ad nihilum.

So far, St. Benedict held to the letter and sense of the Lord. But now he lets the letter go and retains the sense, when he says: It is he who, banishing from his heart’s sight the wicked Devil who urges [page 52] something on him, has reduced him to nothing.

Nam Dominus subjunxit: ad nihilum deductus est in conspectu ejus malignus, timentes autem Dominum glorificat, [Ps 14:4] quem versum B. Hieronymus ita intellexit dicens: verbi gratia, est rex malignus vel episcopus aut presbyter, de istis enim personis dico, qui aliis praeminent; hos tales, qui maligni sunt, videns justus ad nihilum deducit; nam pauperem sive mendicum Deum timentem cum viderit, honorat atque magnificat. [source not identified]

For the Lord added: In his eyes a wicked person is reduced to nothing, but he honors those who fear the Lord. [Ps 14:4]. St. Jerome understood this verse in this way: there is, for example, a wicked king or bishop or priest, for I speak of those people who excel others. A just man, seeing such people, who are vile, reduces them to nothing. For when he has seen a poor man or a beggar in fear of God, he honors and praises him.29

Sed S. Benedictus aliter hoc intelligens, malignum dixit esse3 diabolum, qui mala nobis suggerit. Et bene dixit: a conspectibus cordis respuens, quia hominem interiorem magis scriptura studet admonere.

But St. Benedict, who understood this differently, said that the Devil is wicked because he suggests evil things to us. And he well said: banishing from his heart’s sight, because scripture is more concerned to admonish the inner man [than the outer man].

Nam quid sit malignum diabolum et illum ad nihilum reducere, idem ipse B. Benedictus exponit, cum subjunxit, ait enim: Et parvulos cogitatus ejus tenuit et allisit ad Christum.

For St. Benedict himself explains what the wicked Devil is and what it means that he is reduced to nothing. He says: 28And he seized his petty plans and smashed them against Christ.

In hoc enim loco intravit in ordinem alterius psalmi; legitur enim: Filia Babylonis misera, beatus, qui retribuet tibi retributionem tuam, quam retribuisti nobis. [Ps 136:8]

In this place went into the spirit of another psalm that reads: O unhappy daughter of Babylon, happy the one who will return to you the retribution that you have given us! [Ps 136:8]

Sed quid sit retributionem retribuere, idem ipse propheta exponit, cum subjunxit, ait enim: Beatus, qui tenebit et allidet parvulos tuos ad petram. [Ps 136:9] Historialiter enim intelligitur de illo populo Babylonico, qui Israelitas in captivitatem ducebat, parvulos autem eorum tenentes pedibus allidebant ad petram.

But what it means to return a retribution is explained by the prophet himself, when he adds: Happy the one who will take and smash your children against the rock [Ps. 136:9]. In the historical sense, this refers to that Babylonian people leading the Israelites into captivity, taking their children at the feet and smashing them against the rock.

Populus autem catholicus intelligens haec spiritaliter dicit de diabolo, quia unusquisque cum sibi in principio suggeritur a diabolo, i. e. dum parvula illa est cogitatio, debet illam ad petram allidere, i. e. amore Christi eam extinguere; nam si creverit illa cogitatio et lactata fuerit, non poteris eam nisi cum grandi labore extinguere, sicuti homo grandis non potest pedibus teneri et ad petram percuti.

Catholic people, however, understanding this in the spiritual sense, relate this to the Devil. Because, when at first the Devils suggests something to someone, and the [diabolical] thought is [still] very small, every person has to smash that thought against the rock, that is, extinguish it with the love of Christ, for if that thought will grow and be fed, you will not be able to extinguish it except with great effort, just as a large man cannot be held by his feet and dashed against a rock.

Sequitur: 29Qui timentes Dominum de bona observantia sua non se reddunt elatos, sed ipsa in se bona non a se, sed a Domino fieri existimantes 30operantem in se Dominum [page 53] magnificant.

Next: 29It is they who, fearing the Lord, do not pride themselves on their good observance, but instead judging that the good in them cannot be created by themselves but by the Lord, 30glorify the Lord [page 53] working in them.

Perseverat adhuc B. Benedictus in intentione ostendendi viam, quae ducit ad tabernaculum sive montem, quam jam monstraverat; nunc dicendo verba Domini et sensum, nunc dicendo solummodo sensum Domini cum verbis suis et nunc exponendo verba psalmistae, incipiens ab eo loco, in quo dicit: Qui ingreditur sine macula, et pervenit ad hunc locum, ubi dixit de elatione cavenda; ait enim: Qui timentes Dominum de bona observantia sua non se reddunt elatos.

So far St. Benedict had continued in his plan to show the road that leads to the dwelling-place or mountain, [the road] which he had already shown, at times by discussing the words of the Lord and their meaning, at times only by discussing the meaning of the Lord’s words, at times by explaining the words of the psalmist, beginning with that place in which he says: He who goes along without fault and arriving at this place where he speaks about the avoidance of pride. For he says: It is they who, fearing the Lord do not pride themselves on their good observance.

Parum enim fuerat Benedicto solummodo dicere de compressione vitiorum et operatione virtutum, nisi etiam addidisset coertionem vanae gloriae. Cognoverat, non minus posse nasci vanam gloriam de perfectione virtutum, quam de compressione vitiorum.

It would have been little for St. Benedict to speak only about the suppression of vices and the exercise of virtues if he had not also added the chastisement of vainglory. He knew that vainglory can be born no less from the perfection of virtues than from the suppression of sins.

Et bene, postquam dixit, mala esse cavenda et bona agenda, subjunxit, cavere debere vanam gloriam, quia solet vitiare bonum malum elationis, aliquando in principio, aliquando in medio, aliquando in fine. Intuendum est hoc, quia in eo, quod dixit: timentes Dominum, ostendit timore Domini posse vitari vanam gloriam; nam timendo Dominum potest quis elationem cavere, i. e. si se considerat, qualem eum invenit gratia Dei, de hoc quod agit, nequaquam superbit.

And after he had said that evils must be avoided and good be done, he rightly added that [one] ought to avoid vainglory because the evil of pride often corrupts a good thing, sometimes at the beginning, sometimes in the middle, sometimes at the end. We have to understand that when he said fearing the Lord, he showed that with the fear of the Lord vainglory could be avoided. Someone can avoid pride by fearing the Lord, that is, when he thinks about himself [and realizes] in what state the grace of God finds him, he will never pride himself about what he does.

Ad quam considerationem nos provocat Deus, cum dicit ad Job: Ubi eras, quando fundamenta terrae ponebam? [Iob 38:4] ac si diceret: Si te consideras, qualem te reperi, de hoc, quod egisti, non te reddis elatum.

God incites us to this consideration when he says to Job: Where were you when I was laying the foundations of the earth? [Iob 38:4]. It is as if he were saying: ‘If you think about what kind of person you are found to be, you do not take pride in what you have done.’

Iterum intuendum est in hoc loco, quia cum dixit:4 29sed ipsa bona in se non a se posse, sed a Domino fieri existimantes 30operantem in se Dominum magnificant illud cum propheta dicentes: Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam; haec (autem) vox humilium est.

We have to look at this spot once more, because he spoke with the voice of the humble, when he said but judging that the good in them cannot be created by themselves but by the Lord, 30they glorify the Lord working in them, saying with the prophet: “Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory.

Nunc videndum est, quomodo vel quando dat Deus gloriam nomini suo. Sub hoc sensu dat Deus gloriam nomini suo, cum ita nos dignatur protegere atque custodire, ut non nostri sed sui nominis gloriam quaeramus. [page 54]

Now we have to see how and when God gives glory to his name. God gives glory to his name in the sense that when he deems it worthy to protect and guard us, we do not seek the glory of our name but of his. [page 54]

Sequitur: 31Sicut nec Paulus apostolus de praedicatione sua sibi aliquid imputavit dicens: Gratia Dei sum id, quod sum. [1 Cor 15.1]

Next: 31Just as the Apostle Paul credited nothing of his own preaching to himself, saying: By the grace of God I am what I am. [1 Cor 15:1]

Quaerendum est, qua ratione dicit B. Benedictus. Paulus de sapientia, et non dixit de virtute, cum ipse eximius fuit virtute etiam, sicut ipse Paulus testatur dicens: Plus omnibus laboravi. [1 Cor 15:10] Paulus apostolus fuit incomparabilis sapientia, quam sapientiam Petrus Apostolus miratus est, cum dixit: Sicut carissimus frater noster Paulus secundum sibi datam sapientiam scripsit vobis. [2 Pt 3:15]

We have to investigate why St. Benedict says [this]. Paul spoke of wisdom and not of virtue, because he himself was excellent in virtue, just as Paul himself testifies: I have worked more than all [others] [1 Cor 15:10]. The Apostle Paul was unique [incomparabilis] in his wisdom, which the Apostle Peter admired when he said: As our most beloved brother Paul wrote to us according to the wisdom given to him. [2 Pt 3:15]

Hanc sapientiam admiratus est B. Benedictus, ideo dixit sapientia et non dixit virtute, quia forte virtute fuit aliquis sanctus similis illi, sed sapientia nullus, ac si diceret: ita non se reddunt elatos, qui per viam Dei tendunt ad tabernaculum sive montem operantes bona, quod non sunt incomparabilia, id est, non sibi imputant sed Deo, sicut nec apostolus Paulus sibi de incomparabili sapientia sua sed Deo adscripsit.

St. Benedict admired this wisdom. He spoke about wisdom, not virtue, because perhaps some saint was similar to him in virtue, but no one [was similar to him] in wisdom, as if he were saying: those who try to reach through God’s road the dwelling-place or the mountain, doing good works, do not pride themselves, because [their deeds] are not unique, that is, they do not give credit to themselves, but to God, just as Apostle Paul credited God, not himself, for his unique wisdom.

Sequitur: Gratia Dei sum id, quod sum.

Next: 31By the grace of God, I am what I am.

 Gratia ideo dicitur, eo quod gratis datur; ubi enim gratia dicitur, omne meritum excluditur.

strong>  Grace is said here because it is given for nought [gratis]. When you use the word grace, you exclude all merit.

Paulus itaque apostolus eximius praedicatione atque virtute cognovit, quia a se non habebat, quae habebat, et ideo dixit: Gratia Dei sum, ac si diceret: quidquid habeo, non meo merito, sed gratia Dei habeo. Et tamen quia in gratia Dei laboraverat, propterea subjunxit: et gratia Dei in me vacua non fuit; [1 Cor 15:10] nam non fuisset magni dicere: gratia Dei in me vacua non fuit, nisi scivisset, in aliis gratiam Dei vacuam esse: et quia scivit, gratiam Dei in aliis vacuam esse, ideo alias dixit: Hortamur vos fratres, ne in vacuum gratiam Dei recipiatis; [2 Cor 6:1] ille enim in vacuum gratiam Dei recipit, qui non vivit secundum donum Dei, quod accepit; verbi gratia, accepisti baptismum; si non vivis secundum baptismum, gratiam Dei in vacuum accepisti.

The Apostle Paul, excelling in preaching and virtue, knew that he did not have from himself what he had, and said therefore: By the grace of God, I am, as if he were saying: Whatever I have, I do not have on account of my merit but by the grace of God. And yet, because he had labored in the grace of God, he subsequently added: and the grace of God was not in vain in me. [1 Cor 15:10] For it would not have been worth much to say: ‘God’s grace was not in vain in me’ if he had not known that God’s grace was in vain in others. And because he knew that God’s grace was in vain in others, he said elsewhere: We encourage you, brothers, not to receive God’s grace in vain [2 Cor 6:1]. For he who does not live according to God’s gift that he received, receives God’s grace in vain. Say, for example, that you have received baptism.

Iterum: accepisti donum obedientiae; si non vis obedientiam exhibere, in vacuum gratiam Dei accepisti. Accepisti donum praedicationis, si non vis aliis praedicare, gratiam Dei in vacuum accepisti. [page 55]

If you do not live according to baptism, you have received God’s grace in vain. Again: you received the gift of obedience: if you do not want to show obedience, you have received the grace of God in vain. [Or say,] you have received the gift of preaching: if you do not want to preach to others, you have received God’s grace in vain. [page 55]

Sequitur: 32Et iterum ipse dicit: Qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur.

Next: 32And again he said: He who boasts should boast in the Lord.

Pseudoapostoli gloriabantur se de nobilitatis genere, non in virtutibus, eo quod erant de semine Abrahae; et ideo, sicut dixi, gloriabantur, sed de genere nobilitatis, non in virtutibus; non enim poterant dicere:5 pericula in fluminibus. [2 Cor 10:26]

The pseudo-apostles boasted about their noble birth, not about their virtues, because they were from Abraham’s seed. Therefore, as I said, they were boasting, but about their noble birth, not their virtues. For they could not boast about the dangers in the rivers.30 [2 Cor 10:26]

Et ab his decepti Corinthii gloriabantur de sapientia sua. Unde apostolus Paulus tam de illis falsis Apostolis se gloriantibus quam etiam Corinthiis, qui ab illis fuerant decepti, necnon etiam per illos dicit omnibus nobis utens testimonio prophetico: Qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur, ac si diceret: qui nobilis est genere et vult gloriari nobilitatis genere, in Domino glorietur.

And having been deceived by them, the Corinthians boasted about their wisdom. That is why the Apostle Paul, using prophetic testimony, says both about those false, boasting prophets and about the Corinthians who had been deceived by them – and through them to us all –: He who boasts should boast in the Lord, as if he were saying: ‘he who is noble by birth and wants to boast about his noble birth, he should boast in the Lord.

Similiter qui potens est, de potentia sua in Domino glorietur, non in potentia sua.

Likewise, he who is powerful, he should boast about his power in the Lord, and not in his own power.’

Quid est: in Domino glorietur? id est, in Domino gloriam suam et non in se transferat, quia in Domino gloriari est: quidquid habet, non sibi, non suo merito, sed Deo abscribat.

What does he should boast in the Lord mean? It means: he should attribute his glory to the Lord and not to himself, because boasting in the Lord means whatever one has, one should not ascribe it to oneself or to one’s own merit, but to God.

Sequitur: 33Unde et Dominus in evangelio ait: Qui audit verba mea haec et facit ea, similabo eum viro sapienti, qui aedificavit domum suam supra petram; 34venerunt flumina, flaverunt venti et impegerunt in domum illam et non cecidit, quia fundata erat supra petram.

Next: 33Therefore also the Lord said in the Gospel: He who hears these my words and acts on them I will compare to the wise man who built his house on rock; 34the waters came, the winds blew, and they smashed against the house and it did not collapse, because is was founded on rock.

Subaudiendum est: Qui audit verba mea haec et non facit ea, similis erit viro stulto, qui aedificavit domum suam super arenam; descendit pluvia, flaverunt venti, advenerunt flumina et offenderunt in domum illam, et cecidit et erat ruina ejus magna. [Mt 7:26]

We have to add: He who hears my words and does not do act on them will be like the foolish man who built his house on san; the rains came down, the winds blew, the rivers came and struck that house and it fell and great was its ruin. [Mt 7:26]

Hactenus B. Benedictus manifestavit viam, quae ducit ad tabernaculum sive montem Dei dicendo compressionem vitiorum sive perfectionem virtutum et subjunxit refraenationem vanae gloriae, eo quod cognoverat, non minus instare periculum jactantiae in perfectione virtutum quam in coertione malorum.

Thus far St. Benedict showed the way that leads to the dwelling-place or mountain of God by mentioning the suppression of faults or the perfection of virtues. He added the bridling of vainglory, because he knew that the danger of pride does not threaten the perfection of virtues less than the force of evils.

Nunc perseverat in intentione B. Benedictus, cum dicit: Qui audit verba mea et facit ea, similabo cum viro sapienti, qui aedificavit domum suam supra petram et reliqua.

Now St. Benedict proceeds in the same spirit when says: He who hears these my words and acts on them I will compare to the wise man who built his house on rock, etc.

Istud enim unde superius respicit, ac si diceret, cum dicit: unde et Dominus in Evangelio ait, i e. de ipsa ostensione viae [page 55] tabernaculi non solum in psalmis, verum etiam in Evangelio dicit. Nam idcirco in ostensione viae est, quia, qui in via est, adhuc sustinet aliquid, i. e. pluvias et flumina seu ventos patitur.

This Therefore relates to the above. When he says: Therefore also the Lord in the Gospel said – speaking about showing the way [page 55] to the dwelling-place – he does speaks about that not only in the psalms but also in the Gospel. He is speaking here about showing the way because he who is on his way still endures something, that is, he suffers from rain and rivers or winds.

Istud vero, quod dicit: quia qui audit verba mea haec, in fine sermonis, quem in monte habuit, Dominus locutus est. Ille enim in monte dixit praecepta moralitatis, maxime ea, quae erga communem conversationem attinent, et idcirco non absolute dixit mea, sed subjunxit haec, ac si diceret: ista quae in hoc monte locutus sum.

But these words He who hears these my words have been spoken by the Lord at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. He set out his teachings of morality on the mountain, especially those that relate to human interaction [communis conversatio] and therefore he did not say plainly my words, but added these, as if he were saying: ‘these things I said on this mountain.’

B. vero Benedictus quia ex diversis locis scripturarum divinarum verba adhibuit, idcirco istud haec hic locutus est, i. e. quia, sicut istud haec concludit illa verba, quae Dominus locutus est in monte, ita etiam ista concludit, quae S. Benedictus hinc adhibuit. Nec non in fine psalmi quarti decimi istud haec propheta concludens posuit; ait enim: Qui facit haec, non movebitur in aeternum. [Ps 14:5]

But St. Benedict used words from diverse places in the holy scriptures. Therefore he said here this these, that is, just as this these concludes those words the Lord spoke on the mountain, so it concludes these words which St. Benedict used from there [i.e. from the Gospel]. Also at the end of the fourteenth psalm the prophet put down these words by way of conclusion. He said: He who does this will not be moved in eternity. [Ps 14:5]

Vide modo, quia sicut ibi dicitur: Qui facit haec, von movebitur in aeternum, [Ps 14:5] ita et in Evangelio: Qui audit verba mea haec, similabo cum viro sapienti, qui aedificavit domum suam supra petram. [Mt 7:24]

Now see, that just as it says: He who does this, will not be moved in eternity, just so also in the Gospel it is said: He who hears these my words, I will compare him to the wise man who built his house on a rock. [Mt 7:24]

Duos enim viros Dominus in Evangelio, qui aedificium aedificant, proposuit, id est, qui aedificat super petram, et qui aedificat super arenam. Sed quamvis haec duo aedificia aequaliter videantur, tamen non aequaliter sunt permanentia; nam illa domus, quae super petram aedificata est, firma et stabilis est, eo quod petram, i. e. firmum fundamentum habet, illa autem, quae super arenam aedificata est, infirma est et instabilis, eo quod arena, quae fluida est et augmentari non potest, nec in unum copulam redigi, fundamentum non habet.

For the Lord presented in the Gospel two men who are building a building, he who builds on rock and he who builds on sand. But even though these two buildings seem to be equal, they are not equal forever. For that house that has been built on rock is firm and stable because it has rock, that is a firm foundation, but that house that has been built on sand is shaky and instable because sand, being fluid and unable to be increased or to be formed into one bond, has no foundation.

Vide modo, quia aequaliter haec utraque domus undique concutitur; desuper concutitur pluviis, subtus fluminibus, e regione, id est e latere ventis. Sed sicut diximus, illa domus, quae super petram firmata est, his concussionibus pulsata non cadit, illa autem domus, quae super arenam fundata est, corruit. Ita et in spiritalibus.

Now see, that each of these two houses is equally shaken from all sides: from above it is shaken by rain, from below by rivers, [and] horizontally, that is at its side, by winds. But as we said: the house that has been established on rock does not fall after it has been stricken by these blows, but the house that has been founded on sand collapses.

In spiritalibus vero rebus duo sunt aedificatores, id est unus, [page 57] qui aedificat supra petram, et alter, qui aedificat super arenam; ille enim aedificat supra petram, qui amore Christi bona opera agit, qui Christum in fundamento, id est in intentione operis habet, quia per petram multis testimoniis scripturarum divinarum Christus comprobatur intelligi.

It is the same in spiritual affairs. But in spiritual affairs there are two builders: one [page 57] who builds on rock and another who builds on sand. He who does the good works of Christ, [and] who has Christ as his foundation, that is in the intention of working, builds on rock, because on account of many witnesses of the divine scriptures it is acknowledged that Christ is understood by the rock.

Et ille aedificat super arenam, qui in intentione humanae laudis aliquid agit boni, verbi gratia, iste jejunat et ille jejunat, iste orat, et ille orat, et caetera his similia; sed quamvis utraque aedificia aequaliter videantur fieri, tamen non aequaliter istorum aedificium, id est actio, firmum et stabile est, eo quod non aequaliter fundamentum, id est intentionem habet. Vide modo, quia utraque istorum actio undique concutitur; desuper concutitur pluviis, subtus fluminibus, e regione, id est e latere ventis.

And he who does some good deed with the intention of earning human praise, e.g. he who fasts and prays like the other people, etc., builds on sand. But even though each of the two buildings seems to be made equally, still the building – that is the action – of them is not equally steady and stable, because it does not have a foundation in an equal way, that is, an intention Now see, that the action of both men is shaken from all sides: it is shaken from above by rain, from below by rivers, and horizontally – that is at its side – by winds.

Sed nunc videndum est, quid per pluvias sive flumina atque ventos intelligi debeant. Per pluvias enim intelliguntur superstitiones caliginosae, per flumina autem delectationes carnales, per ventos enim rumores humani. Caliginosae superstitiones sunt, sicut hypocritae faciunt.

Now you have to see what ought to be understood by the rain or rivers or winds. By rain we understand dark superstitions, by rivers carnal pleasures, by winds human opinion. Dark superstitions are the things that the hypocrites do.

Quamquam rationabiliter non quaeratur, si quis quaerit, quare per pluvias superstitiones caliginosae, et per ventos rumores humani, et per flumina delectationes carnales intelligantur, tamen ita conjicere possumus: caliginosae superstitiones idcirco per pluvias intelliguntur, quia sicut pluviis fuscatur aer et tenebratur, ita hypocritarum actio obscura et tenebrosa est, eo quod ignoratur, qua intentione fiat, id est utrum amore Christi an saeculi nescitur.

Even though, if someone asks why by the rain dark superstitions [are meant], he does not look for a rational answer, and why by the winds human opinion and why by rivers carnal pleasures [are meant], still we can guess this much: by rain we understand dark superstitions because just as the sky is made swarthy and dark by rain, just so the action of hypocrites is swarthy and dark, because one does not know with what intention it happens: it is unclear whether it is out of love of Christ or of the world.

Per flumina delectationes carnales conjicimus, quia sicut in fluminibus coercendis solet esse necessarius magnus labor adhibendus, ita etiam in multis delectationibus carnalibus amputandis magnus necessarius est labor adhibendus. Et sicut flumina solent aliquando fortiter currere et aliquando extra terminos exire, ita, et delectationes carnales solent aliquando fortes esse, aliquando extra terminos transire, sicuti est in cibo et potu, si sit ultra mensuram progressio.

By the rivers we guess that carnal pleasures are meant because just as a great effort usually has to be applied to the control of rivers, just so a great effort has to be applied to the removal of many carnal pleasures. And just as rivers flow at times rapidly and at times tend to overflow their banks, just so, at times, carnal pleasures are strong and at times tend to flow over their confines, inasmuch as there is an increase in food and drink beyond measure.

Per ventos autem idcirco [page 58] conjicimus rumores humanos posse intelligi, quia sicut venti e latere veniunt, ita laudes humanae illi solent evenire, qui intentione placendi Deo aliquid agere incipit. Sed illa actio, quae amore Christi fit et incipitur, his tentationibus concussa non cadit, illa autem, quae intentione humanae laudis incepta est et agitur, cum his concutionibus concussa fuerit, cadit et evanescit.

We surmise that by winds [page 58] the human opinion can be understood because just as winds come at the side, so too human praises usually come to him who begins to do something with the intention to please God. But that action that happens and is begun in love of Christ does not fail if it shaken by temptations, but that activity that was begun and is done with the intention of human praise falls and evaporates when it is shaken by these blows.

Animadvertendum est, quia hoc, quod dixi, quare per flumina delectationes carnales et per pluvias caliginosae superstitiones et per ventos rumores humani intelligantur, non secundum auctoritatem dictum est sed secundum aestimationem; nam Augustinus ita intellexit. Propterea haec tria per flumina et ventos atque pluvias propter numerum intellexi.

We must take note that, as I said, it is not according to authority but by conjecture that we understand by rivers carnal pleasures and by rain dark superstitions and by winds human opinion. For Augustine thought so. Therefore he understood these three things by rivers, winds, and rain according to their number.

Altero vero modo intelligitur per domum fundatam super petram sancta ecclesia fundata in Christo, per ventos intelligitur Antichristus et ejus sequaces, per pluvias gentilitatis perfidia, per flumina haereticorum errores.

But in another way we understand by the house founded on rock the holy church founded in Christ, by winds the Antichrist and his followers, by the rain the faithlessness of heathens, and by rivers the errors of the heretics.

Sequitur: 35Haec complens Dominus exspectat nos quotidie his suis sanctis monitis factis nos respondere debere.

Next: 35Fulfilling these words, the Lord expects that we should daily answer these his sacred admonitions with deeds.

Legerat B. Benedictus illa verba, quae Dominus in monte secundum Mathaeum locutus est, et cognovit, omnem perfectionem in his esse, volens ille omnem perfectionem similiter in his verbis esse ostendere, hoc est in suo sermone hoc, quae tam de psalmo XIV, quam etiam ex aliis locis scripturarum huc adhibuit, idcirco finem verborum illorum, quae Dominus in monte locutus est, his verbis, quae huc adhibuit, subjungere studuit; et est sensus, cum dicit: Haec complens Dominus exspectat nos, id est, haec narrando complevit et exspectat nos quotidie.

St. Benedict had read those words that the Lord, according to Matthew, spoke on the mountain, and realized that all perfection is in them. Wanting to show that all perfection is likewise in these words, that is, in this his sermon, which Benedict used both from the fourteenth psalm and from other places in the scriptures, he was eager to add the end of those words the Lord spoke on the mountain to these words which he used at this spot. And this is the meaning when he says: Fulfilling these words the Lord expects that we… That is, by telling he fulfilled this and expects us daily.

Quotidie enim intelligitur omni die. Et bene dixit quotidie, ut si forte diu praeceptum Domini implere distulisti, non te desperes, quia quotidie exspectat Dominus, i. e. omnibus diebus vitae tuae. His suis intelligitur quasi: istis suis. Sanctis monitis idcirco dixit, ad separationem illorum, quae non sunt sancta, factis nos respondere debere.

Daily means every day. He rightly said daily, in order that, if you perhaps have put off fulfilling the teaching of the Lord for a while, you do not despair, because the Lord expects daily, that is: all days of your life. These his means ‘those his.’ He said that we should answer sacred admonitions with deeds in order to separate these [deeds] from those that are not sacred.

In hoc loco B. Benedictus sacrarum scripturarum morem observavit, cum dicit: factis respondere debere, quia scriptura divina, ubi dicit respondere, [page 59] factis subintelligi vult, ut est illud, quod ad duritiam cordis illorum dicitur, qui Dei monitis factis respondere nolunt; ait enim: Vocavi, et nemo respondit mihi. [Is 66:4; Ct 5:6]

At this point St. Benedict followed the custom of the holy scriptures, when he says: should answer with deeds, because when holy scripture says ‘answer’ [page 59], it wants ‘with deeds’ to be implied, just like what is said concerning the stubbornness of heart of those who do not want to answer God’s admonitions with deeds. It says: I called and no one answered me. [Is 66:4]

In hoc loco subaudiendum est factis; quod enim factis debemus respondere praeceptis Domini, docet Cassiodorus in versiculo psalmi centesimi primi, ubi dicitur: Respondit ei in via virtutis suae. [Ps 101:24]

Here we have to understand with deeds because we should answer the teachings of the Lord with deeds, as Cassiodorus teaches in the verse of the hundred and first psalm, where it said: He answered him in the way of his virtue. [Ps 101:24]

Ait enim: Ipse ei respondere cognoscitur, qui imperiis ejus obsequens esse monstratur. Quapropter respondetur illi non lingua sed vita, non voce sed fide, non clamore sed corde. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 101:24, CCSL 98, p. 910]6

Cassiodorus says: He is known to answer him who is proven to be a follower of his commands. Therefore an answer is given to him, not by tongue but in life, not by voice but in faith, not by shouting but in the heart. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 101:24]

Sunt enim multi, qui nolunt Dei monitis respondere factis, idcirco sunt imperfecti; B. vero Benedictus propterea dixit tibi, factis respondere, eo quod voluit te esse perfectum; ille enim respondit factis, qui, quod aure audit, opere complet.

There are many who do not want to answer God’s admonitions with deeds. Therefore, they are imperfect. St. Benedict therefore told you to answer with deeds because he wanted you to be perfect. For if you fulfil with work what you have heard with the ear, you are answering with deeds.

Sequitur: 36Ideo nobis propter emendationem malorum hujus vitae dies ad inducias relaxantur 37dicente Apostolo: An nescis, quia patientia Dei ad poenitentiam te adducit?

Next: 36Therefore the days of this life are lengthened for us as a truce, for amendment of evils, 37the Apostle saying, Do you not know that God’s patience leads to repentance?

Istud ideo ad superiorem sensum attinet et est sensus, cum dicit ideo, i. e. quia exspectat nos Dominus quotidie his suis sanctis monitis factis nos respondere debere, ideo, hoc est propterea, isti dies hujus vitae ad inducias nobis relaxantur propter emendationem malorum nostrorum.

This therefore is related to the previous content. Its meaning is this: because the Lord expects that we should daily answer these his sacred admonitions with deeds, therefore those days of this life are lengthened for us as a truce, for amendment of our evils.

Ubi sollerter animadvertere debemus, quia his diebus, qui nobis relaxantur causa emendationis malorum nostrorum, nos econtrario non solum non emendamus ea, quae fecimus mala, verum etiam augmentationem malorum facimus.

We have to pay close attention here, that in these days lengthened for us for the sake of the amendment of our evils, we, instead, not only do not amend them – we who have done evils – but even make an increase of evils.

Inducia enim est spatium, quod quantulumcunque agendi vel discendi tribuitur. Nam quid sensus sit in istis verbis, quae B. Benedictus dixit, i. e.: Ideo nobis propter emendationem malorum nostrorum hujus vitae dies ad inducias relaxantur, hoc prolatum testimonium Paulus exponit dicens: An nescis, quia patientia Dei ad poenitentiam te adducit? [Rm 2:4]

A truce is a span of time allotted as a small amount of doing or learning. What the meaning is of these words that St. Benedict says – Therefore the days of this life are lengthened for us as a truce, for amendment of evils – is explained by Paul saying this: Do you not know that God’s patience leads to repentance? [Rm 2:4]

Vide modo, quia B. Benedictus dixit inducias, Paulus dixit patientia, et quod S. Benedictus dixit emendationem [page 60] malorum, Paulus dicit poenitentia, et quod ille dicit relaxantur, Paulus dicit adducit.

Now see that St. Benedict said truce, Paul said patience, and what St. Benedict called amendment [page 60] of evils, Paul calls repentance, and what the former called are lengthened, Paul calls leads.

Patientia, autem cum in Deo dicitur, non proprio dicitur sed abusive, hoc est a propria significatione ad non propriam significationem; nam nostrum proprium est patientia, Dei autem translative.

When patience is used in reference to God, it is not used properly but erroneously, that is [taken] from its proper meaning [and applied] to an improper meaning. For ours is proper patience, but God’s is patience in a metaphorical sense.

Nos enim tunc dicimur patientes, cum aliquem contra votum nostrum agere videmus et ulcisci nolumus. Ita et, Deus tunc patiens dicitur, cum nos contra dispositionem suam videt agere et non vult nos aeternae damnationi mancipare.

For we are said to be patient when we see that someone acts against our wishes and we do not want to punish. God is also said to be patient when he sees that we act against his will and he does not want to send us to eternal damnation.

Et est sensus, cum dicit Paulus: An nescis, quia patientia Dei ad poenitentiam te adducit? ac si dicat: ‘o peccator! quare te non convertis? quare non emendas mala tua, quae fecisti? An non sapis, quia patientia Dei istos dies vitae tuae ideo tibi relaxat, ut convertaris?’

This is what Paul means when he says: Do you not know that God’s patience leads to repentance? as if he were saying: ‘O sinner! Why do you not convert? Why do you not amend the evils that you did? Do you not know that God’s patience lengthens these days of your life in order that you convert?’

Sequitur: 38Nam pius Dominus dicit: Nolo mortem peccatoris, sed ut convertatur et vivat.

Next: 38For the loving God says, I do not want the death of a sinner, but that he convert and live.

Nunc videndum est, qua ratione dicat: Nolo mortem peccatoris, cum multi peccatores legantur mortui et perditi? In hoc enim loco videntur duae istae sententiae discordare, cum peccatores utique moriantur. Ergo si peccatores moriuntur, cum voluntate Dei moriuntur; voluit et fecit, sicut legitur in psalmis: Omnia quaecunque voluit Dominus, fecit in coelo et in terra. [Ps 134:6]

Now we need to see why he says: I do not want the death of a sinner, when we read that many sinners are dead and lost. In this place these two sentences seem to contradict each other, because sinners surely die. Therefore, if sinners die, they die with God’s will. He wanted and did it, according to what is read in the psalms: Everything whatsoever the Lord wanted, he made in heaven and earth. [Ps 134:6]

Sed ita intelligitur, cum dicit: Nolo mortem peccatoris, ac si diceret: illorum peccatorum nolo mortem, qui a sua pravitate converti merentur.

But this phrase I do not want the death of a sinner is understood as if he were saying: ‘I do want the death of those sinners, who deserve to be converted from their wickedness.’

Ita etiam et illud, quod in Evangelio legitur, intelligitur, ut est: Erat lux vera, quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum, [Io 1:9] et illud Pauli: Qui vult omnes homines salvos fieri. [Tm 2:4]

This is also the case with what we read in the Gospel, as in: The light was true that enlightens every man coming into this world, [Io 1:9] and the words of Paul: He who wants that all men are saved. [Tim 2:4]

Numquid, cum dicit: illuminat omnem hominem, illuminat haereticos, illuminat paganos, sive Judaeos, qui in sua pravitate perseveraturi sunt? Non; sed ita intelligitur, i.e. illum illuminat, qui meretur illuminari, et illos salvat, qui salvari merentur.

When he says: He enlightens every man, does he enlighten the heretics, the heathens, or the Jews who will persevere in their wickedness? No. But is understood thus: he enlightens him who deserves to be enlightened and saves them, who deserve to be saved.

Et hoc notandum, quia cum dicit merentur, non pro meritis hominum, sed pro misericordia Dei accipiendum est.

And we must note that when he says ‘they deserve,’ it must not be taken in keeping with the merits of men, but God’s mercy.

Iterum videndum est, de qua morte Dominus dicat, cum dicit mortem peccatoris; non enim de morte corporis, sed de morte animae dicit. Nam sicut est [page 61] mors corporis, ita et mors animae; mors corporis est separatio animae a corpore, mors animae est separatio Dei ab anima; et sicut mortuum est corpus, cum ab illo separatur anima, ita mortua est anima, cum separater a Deo.

Again, we have to see about what sort of death the Lord speaks, when he says the death of a sinner. For he did not speak of the death of the body but of the soul. [page 61] The death of the soul is like the death of the body. The death of the body is the separation of the soul from the body [but] the death of the soul is the separation of the soul from God. And just as the body is dead when the soul is separated from it, just so the soul is dead when it is separated from God.

Et est sensus, cum dicit: Nolo mortem peccatoris, sed magis ut convertatur et vivat, id est, nolo in perpetuum separatus esse ab his, qui merentur converti a pravitatibus suis. Illarum duarum mortium distinctio in Evangelio legitur; ait, enim Dominus: Si quis sermonem meum servaverit, mortem non videbit in aeternum. [Io 8:51] Ad haec e contrario respondentes Judaei dicentes dixerunt: Abraam mortuus est et prophetae, et reliqua. [Io 8: 52]

This the sense of the words I do not want the death of the sinner, but rather that he convert and live, that is: ‘I do not want to be separated from those who deserve to convert from their wickedness for eternity.’ The difference between those two deaths is given in the Gospel when the Lord says: If someone keeps my word, he will not see death in eternity. [Io 8:51] On the other hand, the Jews answered to this that Abraham is dead and the prophets, etc. [Io 8:52]

Verum est, quod Dominus dicebat, et verum est, quod Judaei dicebant; Dominus dicebat de morte animae, Judaei dicebant de morte corporis.

It is true what the Lord said and it is true what the Jews said. The Lord was speaking of the death of the soul, the Jews were speaking of the death of the body.

Sequitur: convertatur et vivat.

Next: that he convert and live.

Vide modo, quia tunc peccator vivit, cum se convertit, et tunc fit mansio Domini in eo, sicut dicit Dominus; ait enim: Ego et pater ad eum veniemus et mansionem apud eum faciemus. [Io 14:23]

Now see that the sinner lives at that moment when he converts and then the Lord’s dwelling is made in him, just as the Lord says: I and the Father will come to him and will make our dwelling with him. [Io 14:23]

Sequitur: 39Cum ergo interrogassemus Dominum, fratres, de habitatore tabernaculi ejus, audivimus habitandi praeceptum, sed si compleamus habitatoris officium.

Next: 39Thus brothers, when we had asked the Lord about who lives in his dwelling-place, we heard his teaching about living there, if we fulfil the dweller’s duties

In isto, quod dixit: Cum ergo interrogassemus, fratres, de habitatore tabernaculi ejus, ostendit, se superius nobiscum Dominum interrogasse de habitatore tabernaculi ejus, et in eo, quod dicit: audivimus habitandi praeceptum, ostendit, Dominum respondisse nobis.

With the words Thus brothers, when we had asked the Lord about who lives in his tabernacle he shows that he had asked the Lord earlier, together with us, about who lives in his dwelling-place. And with the words we heard his teaching about living there he shows that the Lord has answered us.

Istud vero, quod dicit: Sed si compleamus habitatoris officium, duobus modis intelligi potest. Uno enim modo intelligitur ita: sed si compleamus habitatoris officium, quasi diceret: si officium, hoc est exemplum illius habitatoris, sive qui nunc habitat, sive qui habitaturus est in tabernaculo, imitati fuerimus, tunc audivimus vel erimus auditores praeceptorum habitandi.

But the words if we fulfil the dweller’s duties can be understood in two ways. In the first way, he says, as it were, if we imitate the duties, that is, the example of that dweller, whether he lives now or will live later in that dwelling-place, we have heard or will hear the teachings about living there.

Et secundum hunc sensum subaudiendum est: tunc audivimus habitandi praeceptum. Altero modo intelligitur ita: sed si compleamus habitatoris officium, quasi diceret: si talia fecerimus, pro quibus mereamur esse habitatores tabernaculi, tunc [page 62] erimus haeredes regni coelorum; et secundum hunc sensum subaudiendum est: ‘erimus haeredes regni coelorum’.

According to this sense, we have to add: ‘at that moment we have heard the teaching about living there.’ In the second way these words are taken as follows. With if we fulfil the dweller’s duties he says, as it were: ‘if we have done such things, for which we deserve to be the dwellers in the dwelling-place, at that moment [page 62] we will be the heirs of the kingdom of heaven.’ According to this sense, we have to add: ‘We will be the heirs of the kingdom of heaven.’

Sequitur: 40Ergo praeparanda sunt corda et corpora nostra sanctae praeceptorum obedientiae militanda.

Next: 40Therefore our hearts and bodies must be prepared to fight for holy obedience to his instructions.

Istud ergo ad suporiorem sensum respicit; nam illud, quod superius dixit, id est: ‘Cum ergo interrogassemus Dominum, fratres, de habitatore tabernaculi ejus, audivimus habitandi praeceptum,’ et reliqua, narratio est.

This therefore refers to the aforementioned. For what he said before – Thus brothers, when we asked the Lord about who lives in his dwelling-place, we heard his teaching about living there, etc. – that is all narrative.

Istud vero, quod nunc sequitur id est: Ergo praeparanda sint corda et corpora nostra sanctae praeceptorum obedientiae militanda, exhortatio est, quia solet ex narratione exhortatio descendere. B. vero Benedicti cor et corpus jam in observatione Dei praeceptorum praeparatum erat, sed idcirco dixit: Praeparanda sunt corda et corpora nostra, se conjungens cum auditoribus suis, ut facilius audiatur, eo quod est mos sanctorum praedicatorum, se conjungere cum auditoribus suis, quando illos aliquid agere exhortantur, ut facilius, sicut diximus, audiantur.

But what now follows: Therefore our hearts and bodies must be prepared to fight for holy obedience to his instructions is exhortation because an exhortation usually proceeds from a narrative. St. Benedict’s heart and body, however, had already been prepared in observation of God’s teachings, but he said our hearts and bodies must be prepared – thus connecting with his audience – in order that he be more easily heard, because it is the custom of holy preachers to connect with their audience when they urge them to do something, so that they are more easily heard. For those whose hearts have been prepared and not their bodies are less cautious.

Sunt enim minus cauti, quorum corda praeparata sunt et non corpora, et sunt iterum alii, quorum solummodo corpora et non corda praeparata sunt; sed illi, qui corde sunt tantummodo devoti, imperfecti sunt, illi autem, qui corpore et non corde sunt praeparati, longe ab omni bonitate existunt, quia hyprocritae sunt.

There are also others of whom only the bodies and not the hearts have been prepared. But those who are only devout in their hearts are imperfect; those, however, who have been prepared with the body and not with the heart live far removed from any goodness, because they are hypocrites.

B. vero Benedictus, quia voluit te perfectum esse, ideo utrumque comprehendit, id est cordis et corporis devotionem; cordis vero devotionem comprehendit propter Dominum, quia Deus inspector est cordis et omnia opera nostra ex qualitate cordis dispensat; corporis autem praeparationem comprehendit propter homines, quia homo homo est, et idcirco non valet devotionem cordis comprehendere, sed per continentiam corporis deprehendit devotionem cordis.

But St. Benedict wanted you to be perfect and therefore took them both together, that is the devotion of the heart and of the body. But he took the devotion of the heart because of God, for God is the inspector of the heart and arranges all our works on the basis of the quality of our heart. He took the preparation of the body, however, because of men. Man is a man and therefore is not able to comprehend the devotion of the heart, but he understands the devotion of the heart through the restraint of the body.

Vide modo, quia ita B. Benedictus exhortatus est suos auditores, corda et corpora praeparata sanctae obedientiae habere, sicuti Dominus in Evangelio fecit; ait enim: Sic luceat lux vestra coram hominibus, [page 63] ut videant vestra bona opera et glorificent Patrem vestrum, qui in coelis est, [Mt 5:16] necnon sicut et Paulus fecit; ait enim: Providentes bona non tantum coram Deo sed etiam coram hominibus. [Rm 12:17]

Now notice that St. Benedict has urged his audience to have their hearts and bodies prepared for holy obedience, in the same manner as the Lord does in the Gospel. For he says: May your light shine in such a way before people [page 63] that they see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven [Mt 5:16], and also Paul says: Having good regard, not only before God but also before men. [Rm 12:17]

Sequitur: Sanctae praeceptorum obedientiae.

Next: 40For holy obedience to his instructions.

Ideo enim dixit obedientiae cum adjectione sanctae, quia obedientia sancta est. Et reddit causam, quare est sancta, cum dixit praeceptorum. Et in hoc loco subaudiendum est divinorum.

He said for obedience with the adjective ‘holy’ because obedience is holy. And he explains why it is holy, when he said to his instructions. Here we have to add ‘divine.’

Et bene dixit praeceptorum, quia obedientia tunc obedientia, est, cum in praeceptorum Dei est custodia; nam transgressio praeceptorum Dei non obedientia, sed transgressio Dei est.

He rightly said to his instructions because obedience is only obedience when it is in the observance of God’s instructions. For the transgression of God’s teachings is not obedience, but transgression.

Et bene dixit militatura, quia cognovit, obedientiam non posse existere sine labore et sudore; ideo dixit militatura, quia militare ad laborem et sudorem et certamen attinet.

And he rightly said prepared to fight because he knew that obedience cannot exist without effort and sweat. He said prepared to fight because fighting is about effort, sweat, and struggle.

Et quod obedientia, sine labore non sit, testatur psalmista, cum dicit: Propter verba labiorum tuorum ego custodivi vias duras. [Ps 16:4] Et hoc ad inchoantes attinet; nam perfectis illud convenit, quod in evangelio legitur: Jugum meum suave est, et onus meum leve est. [Mt 11:30]

And that obedience does not exist without effort is shown by the psalmist when he says: Because of the words of your lips I have guarded the harsh roads [Ps 16:4]. And this refers to those who begin. But to those who are perfect is fitting what is read in the Gospel: My yoke is easy and my burden is light. [Mt 11:30]

Sequitur: 41Et quod minus habet in nobis natura possibile, rogemus Dominum, ut gratiae suae jubeat nobis adjutorium ministrare.

Next: 41And what is not possible in us by nature, let us ask God to order the aid of his grace to supply us.

Nunc vero quasi quidam interrogaret S. Benedictum dicens: ‘Pater Benedicte! praecepisti mihi obedientiam exhibere: ecce video, praeceptum Domini vel magistrorum spiritalium vires meas excedere; sed quid mihi agendum est pro hoc, opto, ut dicas’. Ille vero quasi respondens dicit: ‘Fili! quod minus habet in nobis natura possibile, rogemus Dominum, ut gratiae suae jubeat nobis adjutorium ministrare.

But if someone were to ask St. Benedict, as it were, saying: ‘Father Benedict! You taught me to show obedience. Look here. I see that the teaching of the Lord or of the spiritual masters exceed my powers. I wish that you tell me what I must do about this.’ He says, however, by way of answering: ‘Son! What is not possible in us by nature, let us ask God to order the aid of his grace to supply us.

Sunt enim quaedam res impossibiles corpori, veluti est domum uno die fabricare, aut pondus infinitae magnitudinis levare, et caetera his similia. Et sunt quaedam res, quae impossibiles sunt animae, veluti est foetorem infirmorum sustinere, et mortuum fastidire, et caetera bis similia.

Certain things are impossible for the body, like building a house in one day or lifting a weight of infinite magnitude, and the like. There are also things that are impossible for the soul, like bearing the stench of the sick and feeling disgust at a dead person, and the like.

Sed impossibilitas corporis naturae deputanda est, impossibilitas animae vitio magis deputanda est quam naturae, quia Deus animam bonam creavit, unde si in dignitate creationis suae permansisset, nil a sufficiente bonitate [page 64] minus haberet; sed quia recessit a dignitate creationis suae, nunc ad eandem bonitatem, quam autea sine labore habebat, sine labore non valet ascendere.

But the impossibility of the body has to be attributed to nature, the impossibility of the soul has to be attributed to vice rather than nature, because God created the soul good. Therefore, if [the soul] had stayed in the perfect state at its creation, it would now have nothing less of the goodness that was perfect in itself. [page 64] But since it withdrew from the perfect state at its creation, it is now unable to rise without effort to that same goodness, which it had before without effort.

Forte B. Benedictus simpliciter utriusque qualitatem substantiae nomine naturae comprehendit.

Perhaps St. Benedict comprehends in the one word ‘nature’ the quality of both substances.

Et bene dixit: rogemus Dominum, quia, quod meritis non valemus obtinere, frequenter orationinibus obtinemus.

And he rightly said: let us ask God, because what we cannot obtain with merits we frequently obtain with prayer.

Et hoc animadvertendum est etiam, quod dicit orare. Ostendit enim, quia ea, quae habemus, non a nobis habemus, sed a Domino, quem praecipimur orare. Propterea dixi: magis vitio, quam naturae, propter illud, quod Paulus dicit: Eramus filii irae. [Eph 2:3]

We also need to note that he says to pray. For he shows that the things we have, we do not have from ourselves but from the Lord, to whom we are taught to pray. Subsequently I said ‘more in vice that in nature,’ because of what Paul says: We were sons of anger. [Eph 2:3]

Ideo dixit: irae filii, quia adeo natura vitiata est, ut in naturam verteretur illud vitium.

He said sons of anger because nature has been so corrupted that this vice has been changed into nature.

Sequitur: 42et si fugientes gehennae poenas ad vitam volumus pervenire perpetuum, 43dum adhuc vacat, et in hoc corpore sumus, et haec omnia per hanc lucis vitam vacat implere, 44currendum et agendum est modo, quod in perpetuum nobis expediat.

Next: 42And if, fleeing the punishments of hell, we desire to attain eternal life, 43while there is still time and we are in this body and there is time to carry out all these things by the light of life, 44we must hurry and do now what would profit us for eternity.

Perseverat adhuc B. Benedictus in intentione exhortationis suae, qua coeperat exhortari, sed tamen alio genere locutionis loquitur, eo quod prius exhortatus est orare, ut fiat possibile, quod impossibile est, ac si diceret auditoribus suis: jam quia cognovistis poenas gehennae et coepistis fugere illas, currendum et agendum est modo, i. e. cum cursu et festinatione agendum est.

So far St. Benedict continues [to speak] with the purpose of encouraging – the kind of encouragement that he had begun with – but he nevertheless speaks in another genre of speech, because first he encouraged to pray for what is impossible, to become possible, as if he were saying to his audience: ‘since you know now the punishments of hell and have begun to flee from them, we must hurry and do now, that is we must act at a run and with haste.’

Et reddit causam, quid agendum sit, cum dicit: quod in perpetuum nobis expediat, i. e. prosit. Et reddit etiam causam, quando, cum dicit: dum adhuc vacat, et in hoc corpore sumus.

And he gives reason why we must act when he says: what would profit us, that is what would benefit us. And as answer to the question ‘when,’ he says: while there is still time and we are in this body.

In hoc enim loco, cum dicit: dum adhuc vacat et in hoc corpore sumus, ostendit, quia tempus praesentis vitae agendi est bonum et poenitendi malum, et post terminum vitae tempus est recipiendi tantum pro bonis sive malis, quae gessimus.

There where he says: while there is still time and we are in this body, he shows that the time of our present life is for doing good and repenting evil, and that after the end of life there is only time to receive [rewards] for the good deeds or evil deeds we have done.

Sequitur: 45Constituenda est ergo a nobis dominici schola servitii.

Next: 45Thus we must found a school for the Lord’s service.

Istud enim ergo ad superiorem sensum attinet; superius enim dixit: dum adhuc vacat, et in hoc corpore sumus, currendum et agendum est modo, quod in perpetuum nobis expediat, et nunc dicit: Constituenda est ergo schola dominici servitii, ac si diceret: ergo si ita est, i. e. si in [page 65] hoc praesenti saeculo agendum est bonum, quod in perpetuum nobis expediat, constituendus est locus, in quo sine impedimento saeculari agere debeamus illud bonum.

The word thus refers to the sentence above. For he said above: while there is still time and we are in this body, we must hurry and do now what would profit us for eternity. Now he says: Thus we must found a school for the Lord’s service, as if he were saying: ‘Thus, if it is the case that in [page 65] this present world we must do good, which would profit us for eternity, we must found a place wherein we ought to do that good [work] without worldly hindrance.’

In hoc enim loco scholam nominat monasticam disciplinam; nam sunt et aliae scholae; est enim schola ecclesiastica disciplina, schola est liberalium artium, schola est etiam alicujus artis, in qua aliquid discitur. Sicut in illis locis liberalium artium aliquid discitur et agitur, ita et in hac schola aliquid discitur et agitur.

He calls here the monastic discipline a school, for there are different kinds of school: ecclesiastical teaching [disciplina] is a school, there is the school of the liberal arts, and there is the school of any skill in which something is learnt. Just as in the places of the liberal arts something is learnt and done, just so also in this school something is learnt and done.

Schola autem graece, latine vacatio intelligitur, nam ubi hos dicimus vacare, graeci dicunt scholasare; ergo cum dicit: Constituenda est schola, tale est, ac si diceret: Constituenda est vacatio. Sic enim alibi dicit: Dominico die lectioni vacent omnes; [Regula Benedicti, c. 48.22] vacare enim est a rebus.

Schola’ is Greek. The Latin word is vacatio [being free]. For when we say to be free [vacare], the Greeks say scholasare. Therefore, when [Benedict] says: We must found a school, it is as if he were saying: ‘We must found free time’ He says elsewhere: Let all be free for the reading on Sunday [Regula Benedicti, c. 48.22]. For being free means ‘free from things.’

Ille autem vacat lectioni, qui ab alienis rebus separatus deditus est lectioni solummodo, quia nemo potest divinis rebus vacare, qui a terrenis rebus separatus prius non fuerit, sicut scriptum est: Vacate et videte, quoniam ego sum Deus [Ps 45:11], ac si diceret: nisi prius separati fueritis a terrenis rebus, nequaquam poteritis cognoscere, quid sit, Deus.

However, he who, cut off from outside influences, is dedicated only to reading is free for reading because no one can be free for divine things who has not been cut off from earthly affairs, just as is written: Be free [vacate] and see that I am God [Ps 45:11] as if he were saying: ‘Unless you are cut off from earthly affairs, you will by no means be able to know what God is.’

In hoc enim loco quaeri potest, quare B. Benedictus dixit schola? Intellexit B. Benedictus, in uno homine duas intentiones esse non posse, i. e. cogitationem, quae secundum Deum est, et secundum saeculum, dicente Domino: Nemo potest duobus dominis servire, i. e. Deo et mammonae, [Mt 6:24] hoc est duas intentiones, i. e. quae secundum Deum et secundum saeculum est.

At this place we can investigate why St. Benedict said school. St. Benedict understood that there cannot be two intentions in one person, that is a thought that is in accordance with God and in accordance with the world, because the Lord says: No one can serve two lords, that is God and mammon [Mt 6:24], that is, two intentions, what is in accordance with God and in accordance with the world.

Sunt enim multi, qui regnum coelorum quaerunt propter regnum coelorum, et sunt multi, qui terrenam curam habent propter amorem regni coelorum; isti tales Deo vacant, sicut superiores.

There are many who search the kingdom of heaven for the sake of the kingdom of heaven, and there are many who have earthly worries for the sake of their love of the kingdom of heaven. These people are free for God, just like those above.

Et sunt, alii, qui quaerunt regnum Dei propter lucra saeculi; et sunt multi, qui et regnum coelorum quaerunt propter amorem regni coelorum et quaerunt terrena lucra et agunt propter amorem terreni lucri; et quia in istis sunt duae intentiones, idcirco redarguuntur a Domino dicente: Nemo potest duobus dominis servire [Mt 6:24], i. e. intentiones secundum Deum et secundum saeculum.

And there are others, who search the kingdom of God for the sake of worldly gain of. And there are many who search the kingdom of heavens for the sake of love of the kingdom of heavens and search earthly gain and act in accordance with the love of earthly gain. And because in these people there are two intentions, they are convicted by the Lord who says: No one can serve two lords, that is God and mammon [Mt 6:24], that is in accordance with God and in accordance with the world.

Nam de istis intentionibus [page 66] docet Beda dicens: Nemo potest duobus dominis servire, quia non valet simul transitoria et aeterna diligere; si enim aeternitatem diligimus, cuncta temporalia in usu, non in affectu possidemus. [Bede, Homiliae III, no. 14 In Dominica Decima Post Trinitatem, PL 94, col. 298B]

Bede teaches this about those intentions [page 66]: No one can serve two lords because one cannot simultaneously love the transitory and the eternal. If we love eternity, we make use of all temporal things without getting attached to them [Bede, Homiliae III, no. 14, In Dominica Decima Post Trinitatem].

Sequitur: constituenda est, i. e. ordinanda est, docenda est.

Next: 45We must found, that is: ‘we must arrange,’ ‘we must institute.’

Et bene dixit: a nobis, sed non a me, quia solus non erat, sed cum Deo erat et sensum omnium sanctorum describebat.

And he rightly said we and not ‘I’ because he was not alone, but he was with God and he was describing the thought of all the saints.

Sequitur: schola dominici servitii.

Next: 45a school for the Lord’s service.

Bene dixit divini servitii, quia est et alia schola humani servitii; magna enim differentia est inter scholam divini servitii et humani. In schola etenim humani servitii militant homines regi et discunt genera bellorum et genera venationum et omnia, quae ad honestatem cultus saeculi attinent, et intuentur qualicumque7 oculo illi aliquid, ob quod tollerant mala omnia, id est famem, tribulationem et caetera his similia

He rightly said for the Lord’s service because there is also another school, viz. for human service. There is a great difference between the school for divine service and the one for human service. For in the school for human service people fight for the king and learn the kinds of wars and the kinds of hunting and all the things that pertain to the honor of worldly education. They keep their carnal31 eye on this thing [namely respectability/honor] and they put up with all kinds of troubles, that is hunger, tribulation etc., for the sake of it.

Ita, econtrario isti in schola dominici servitii militant regi coelesti et discunt salutem animae suae, et intuentur oculo spiritali coelestem beatitudinem, ob quam sustinent tribulationes et omnia mala.

On the other hand, people in the school for the Lord’s service fight for the heavenly king and learn the salvation of their soul, and keep their spiritual eyes on celestial happiness, because of which they bear tribulations and all kinds of evil.

Unde quia non vident multi hanc beatitudinem, ideo revertuntur ad saeculum, et non possunt (propter Deum) sustinere aliquid mali. A schola enim derivatur scholasticus; nam quia sit scholasticus vel discolus, docet Beda in epistolam B. Petri apostoli, ubi ipse apostolus dicit: non tantum bonis et modestis, sed etiam discolis. [1 Pt 2:18]

Because not many people see this happiness, they turn to the world and are not able to bear any kind of evil for the sake of God. From school we derive the word ‘scholastic,’ for Bede teaches what a scholastic or ill-tempered person in the [commentary on] the letter of St. Peter the Apostle, where the Apostle himself says: not only to the good and modest, but also to the ill-tempered. [1 Pt 2:18]

Ait enim: discolis, indisciplinatis dicit nomine ducto a graeco eloquio, quia graece schola vocatur locus, in quo adolescentes literalibus studiis operam dare et audiendis magistris solent vacare; unde schola vacatio interpretatur.

He says ‘ill-tempered’ [discolus]. By this name, derived from the Greek language, he means ‘undisciplined’ because in Greek schola denotes the place in which the young men put their energy to the study of letters and are accustomed to being free for hearing their teachers. That is why schola is called vacatio [free time].

Denique in psalmo, ubi canimus: Vacate et videte, quoniam ego sum Deus, [Ps 45:11] pro eo, quod nos dicimus vacate, in graeco habetur σχολαζετε (scholazete). Scholastici graece sunt eruditi; discoli indocti et agrestes. Sed utrisque vult obedire subditos explicans apertius, quomodo nos supra omni humanae creaturae jusserit, esse subjectos.

Then, in the psalm where we sing: Be free and see that I am God [Ps 45:11] we have in Greek for what we call ‘be free’ [vacate]: σχολαζετε [scholazete]. Scholastici are in Greek the erudite, discoli are the unlearned and barbarous. But he [Peter] wants inferiors to obey to both kinds [of masters], explaining quite plainly how he has ordered us to be subject to the entire creation.32

Alia translatio (editio?) pro discolis difficiles habet, et S. antistes Fulgentius in opusculis suis sic ponit: servientes cum [page 67] timore non tantum bonis et modestis, sed etiam difficilioribus. [1Pt 2: 18]

Another version has ‘difficiles’ instead of ‘discolis.’ The bishop St. Fulgentius gives in his lesser works: serving with [page 67] fear, not only the good and modest, but also the more difficult. [1 Pt 2:18]33

Sequitur: 46In qua institutione nihil asperum, nihil grave nos constituturos speramus.

Next: 46In its design we hope we will establish nothing harsh, nothing oppressive.

In qua institutione, i. e. in qua schola, speramus, i. e. credimus. B. vero Benedicto nihil erat asperum nihilque grave, eo quod audierat illam sententiam Domini, in qua dixit: Venite ad me omnes, qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego vos reficiam; tollite jugum meum super vos et discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris; jugum enim meum suave est, et onus meum leve. [Mt 11:28-30]

 In its design, that is: in that school; we hope, that is: we believe. For St. Benedict, however, nothing was harsh and nothing oppressive because he had heard the sentence of the Lord in which he said: Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. [Mt 11:28-30]

Et quamvis illi leve et suave erat, tamen sunt multi, quibus grave et asperum est, illis quippe, qui imperfecti sunt et minus mortificationem habent et non possunt dicere cum Paulo: Vivo autem jam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus. [Gal 2:20]

And even though it was light and easy for him, still there are many for whom it is harsh and oppressive, those, indeed, who are imperfect and have less mortification and are not able to say with Paul: I live, and yet, not I but Christ lives in me. [Gal 2:20]

Et quia mortificationem perfectam non habent et imperfecti sunt, cum aliquid adversitatis in monasterio vident, revertuntur ad saeculum et pereunt.

And because they do not have perfect mortification and are imperfect, when they see something burdensome in the monastery, they return to the world and perish.

Unde pater Benedictus quia cognovit, hos tales ita perire, ideo quasi consilium dando et admovendo praevenit eos dicens: 47Sed et si quid paululum restrictius dictante aequitatis ratione propter emendationem vitiorum vel conservationem caritatis processerit, 48non illico pavore perterritus refugias viam salutis, quae non est nisi angusto initio incipienda. 

Because Father Benedict knows that that such people perish in this manner, he, by way of giving advice and motivation, came to their help, telling them: 47But if, according to the reason that dictates fairness, there emerges something a little severe in the interest of amending sins or preserving love, 48do not at once be frightened by fear and flee the path of salvation, which can only be narrow at the start.

Ac si diceret: Nolite timere, quia nos non durum credimus exposituros esse; tamen si propter emendationem vitiorum vel conservationem caritatis fecerimus, nolite fugere, quia servitium Dei et haec disciplina in principio dura est et postmodum dulcis, sicut inferius subdit, cum dicit: processu et reliqua.

This is as if he were saying: ‘Do not fear, because we do not believe that we are about to expound [something] harsh. Still, if we will act in the interest of amending sins or preserving love, do not flee because the service to God and this discipline is harsh in the beginning and later sweet.’ He adds below: 49By progress etc.

Restrictius, i. e. durius.

A little severe: that is, ‘rather harsh.’

Dictante, i. e. suggerente, docente.

That dictates, that is, ‘advises,’ ‘teaches.’

Aequitatis, i. e. justitiae. Justitia enim est, unicuique jus proprium tribuere.

Of fairness, that is, ‘of justice.’ For justice is to allot to each and every person his proper right.

Ratione, i. e. sapientia.

Reason that is, ‘wisdom.’

 Et bene dixit ratione, i. e. sapientia justitiam esse, quia ex sapientia procedit justitia; et nisi quia sapiens fuerit, judicare non poterit. Reddit vero causam, quare ex ratione justitiae procedat aliquid durius, [page 68] cum subdit: propter emendationem vitiorum vel conservationem caritatis.

And he rightly said that justice comes from reason, that is, from wisdom, because justice proceeds out of wisdom. And unless [someone] is wise, he will not be able to judge. Why should something rather harsh proceed by reason of justice? [page 68] Benedict answers: in the interest of amending sins or preserving love.

Deus enim duobus modis loquitur homini, i. e. aut interdicit malum aut praecipit bonum agere; homo vero duobus modis peccat, i. e. aut peccat cum agit interdictum malum, i. e. prohibitum, aut certe cum negligit agere bonum praeceptum.

For God speaks to man in two ways, that is, he either forbids evil or teaches good behavior. But man sins in two ways, that is, he either sins when he does a forbidden evil, that is a prohibited [evil], or certainly when he neglect to do a good thing that was taught him.

Et quia homo duobus modis peccat, idcirco B. Benedictus duas rationes dixit, cum subdit: propter emendationem vitiorum vel conservationem caritatis; emendatio enim vitiorum attinet ad illos, qui ea agunt, quae Deus interdicit, hoc est prohibet.

And because man sins in two ways, St. Benedict gives two reasons when he says: in the interest of amending sins or preserving love. Amending of sins concerns those who do what God forbids, that is, prohibits.

Conservatio vero caritatis attinet ad illos, qui negligunt agere ea, quae Deus praecepit. Caritas enim in hoc loco pro omni bonitate ponitur.

Preserving love, however, concerns those who neglect to do what God teaches. Love is used here for any form of goodness.

Non illico, i. e. non statim.

Not at once, that is, ‘not immediately.’

Pavore, i. e, timore.

By fear, that is, ‘in dread.’

Perterritus, i. e. perturbatus sive timidus.

Frightened, that is, ‘disturbed’ or ‘fearful.’

Sequitur: quae non est nisi angusto initio incipienda.

Next: 48which can only be narrow at the start.

Meminerat enim B. Benedictus illud scriptum, in quo Dominus dixit: Contendite intrare per angustam portam. [Lc 13: 24]

St. Benedict bore in mind that piece scripture in which the Lord said: Hurry to enter through the narrow gate. [Lc 13:24]

Per augustam portam in aulam salutis intratur, quia per labores necesse est, ut jejunio saeculi fallentis illecebra vincatur.

People enter through the narrow gate into the court of salvation, because it is necessary that the allurement of the failing world be conquered through fasting.

Et bene dixit: Contendite intrare, quia nisi mentis contentio ferveat, unda mundi non vincitur, per quam anima semper ad ima revocatur, quia multi, dico vobis, quaerunt intrare et non possunt, quaerunt intrare salutis amore provocati, et non possunt itineris asperitate deterriti.

And he rightly said: Hurry to enter, because unless the zeal of the mind glows, the flood [unda] of the world through which the soul is always dragged into the deep is not overcome, because many, I tell you, seek to enter and are not able to.

Quaerunt hoc ambitione praemiorum, a quo mox laborum timore refugiunt, non quia jugum Domini asperum, aut onus est grave, sed quia nolunt discere ab eo, quoniam mitis est et humilis corde, ut inveniant requiem animabus suis, [cf. Mt 11:29] eoque fit angusta porta, qua intratur ad vitam. Quam lata porta, et spatiosa via est, quae ducit ad perditionem, et multi sunt, qui intrant per eam! Quam angusta porta, et arcta via est, quae ducit ad vitam et pauci sunt, qui inveniunt eam! [Mt 7:13-14]

They seek to enter, incited by the love of salvation and deterred by the harshness of the journey are not able. What they seek in their strong desire for rewards, they soon flee in fear of struggles, not because the Lord’s yoke is harsh or his burden oppressive, but because they do not want to learn from him – because he is meek and humble in heart – so that they should find rest for their souls [cf. Mt 11:29] and the gate, through which one enters into life, is made narrow for this reason. How wide is the gate, and how spacious the road which leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. How narrow is the gate and confined the road which leads to life, and there are few who find it! [Mt 7:13-14]

Dixi [dixit?]: quae non est nisi angusto initio incipienda.

He said34 which can only be narrow at the start.

In illo loco Dominus secundum quosdam angustam portam dixit subtililatem fidei et abrenunciationem veteris Adae; hanc enim angustam portam, in quantum ad subtilitatem fidei attinet, non intrant haeretici, et in quantum ad abrenunciationem [page 69] veteris Adae attinet, non intrant carnales, qui fidem habent.

According to some people, in that place the Lord called the narrow gate the ‘simplicity [subtilitas] of faith’ and the renunciation of old Adam, for the heretics do not enter through this narrow gate, in as much as it refers to the simplicity of faith. And in as much as it refers to the renunciation [page 69] of old Adam, it is not entered by the people who have faith but live according to the flesh.

In illo enim loco Dominus generaliter omnes alloquitur, et omnibus congruit generaliter; et si omnes generaliter Dominus alloquitur, et omnibus generaliter congruit, quanto magis monachis congruit, qui sunt abrenunciatores saeculi?

In this place the Lord generally addresses all and it generally applies to all. And if the Lord generally addresses all and it generally applies to all, how much more does it apply to monks, who renounce the world?

Sed in hoc loco angusto initio intelligitur abrenunciatio propriarum voluntatum; valde enim angustum est his, qui per multos annos in suis propriis voluntatibus vixerunt, et si postmodum se alterius dominationi et potestati subdant non facientes suas voluntates.

By narrow at the start we understand here the renunciation of our own wills. This is very narrow for those who have lived by their own will for many years, even if they afterwards subject themselves to the domination and power of someone else by not following their own wills.

Hos tales hortatur B. Benedictus, cum subdit: 49Processu vero conversationis et fidei dilatato corde inenarrabili dilectionis dulcedine curritur via mandatorum Dei.

St. Benedict encourages such people, when he adds: 49By progress in monastic life and faith, with hearts expanded in love’s indescribable sweetness, we run along the path of God’s commands.

Verbi gratia, cum videt quis aliquem per arctum et arduum iter gradientem timendo, hortatur illum, ut cum fiducia vadat, dicens: ‘Cur times, frater, ire, cum, postquam de isto malo itinere exieris, statim ad requiem vadis et ad delectabile iter?’

For example, when someone sees another going in fear on a confined and steep course, he encourages him to go with trust, saying: ‘Why do you fear, brother, to go, when after you leave that bad course, you [will] at once go to peace and to a pleasant journey?’

Ita B. Benedictus facit, cum dicit: Processu conversationis et fidei dilatato corde inenarrabili dilectionis dulcedine curritur via mandatorum Dei, ac si diceret illis: ‘Cur timetis, fratres, cum angustum initium videtis, cum postmodum cum magna dulcedine viam mandatorum adimplebitis?’

This is what St. Benedict does when he says: By progress in monastic life and faith, with hearts expanded in love’s indescribable sweetness, we run along the path of God’s commands, as if he were telling them: ‘Why do you fear, brothers, when you see the narrow start, when after this you will fill the road of the commands with great sweetness?’

In hoc enim loco, ubi dicit fidei, subaudiendum est processu, ut sit: processu fidei. Processu autem conversationis attinet ad augmentationem dierum, ex quo quis convertitur, i. e. a quo coepit conversari, fidei vero attinet ad illam fidem, quae cognitione et actione operatur, de qua Dominus in Evangelio dicit: Qui autem crediderit et baptisatus fuerit, salvus erit. [Mc 16:16]

At this point, when he says in faith we must understand by progress so that it says by progress in faith. The phrase by progress in monastic life refers to the increase of days, from the day on which someone converts [to the monastic life], that is from the day when he begins to live monastically. In faith, however, refers to that faith which operates by knowledge and action. The Lord says about it in the gospel: He who will believe and be baptized will be saved. [Mc 16:16]

Et Paulus dicit: Omnem plenitudinem fidei. [Eph 3:19] Vita enim beata duobus modis constat.

And Paul says: The whole fullness of faith. [Eph 3:19] For the blessed life [vita beata] exists in two ways.

Et bene dixit: processu fidei, i. e. augmentatione fidei, quia fides, quae cognitione et actione constat, gradus habet, i. e. initium et processum, hoc est augmentationem atque consummationem. Initium fidei est, ut est illud: Credo Domine, adjuva incredulitatem meam. [Mc 9:23] Vide modo, quia tam parvam fidem habebat, ut eam non fidem, sed incredulitatem nominaret. Augmentatio fidei est, ut illud: Domine, adauge nobis fidem. [Luke 17:5]

And he rightly said: by progress in faith that is ‘by increase of faith,’ because faith that consists of knowledge and action has degrees, that is, a beginning and a progression, that is increase and fulfillment. The beginning of faith is like this: I believe, Lord, help my unbelief. [Mc 9:23] Now see that he had such small faith, that he did not call it faith, but unbelief. Increase of faith is expressed in Lord, increase our faith. [Lc 17:5]

De hoc enim loco [page 70] ita exponit Beda dicens: Et dixerunt Apostoli: Domine adauge nobis fidem. [Lc 17:5] Dixerat supra Dominus: Qui fidelis est in minimo, et in majore fidelis est; [Lc 16:10] et si in alieno fideles non fuistis, quod vestrum est, quis dabit vobis? [Lc 16:12]

Bede explains this place in this way: The Apostles said: Lord, increase our faith. The Lord had said earlier: He who is faithful in that which is a lesser thing is also faithful in a greater one [Lc 16:10]; and if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you what is yours? [Lc 16:12]

Et ideo apostoli, qui in alieno ac minimo, hoc est in terrenorum contemptu jam fuere fideles, in suo sibi ac majore fidem postulant augeri; nemo enim repente fit summus, sed in bona conversatione a minimis quisque inchoat, ut ad magna perveniat. Alia namque sunt virtutis exordia, aliud profectus, aliud perfectio, quam magnopere apostoli quaerentes ajunt: Domine adauge nobis fidem. [Beda, In Lucae Evangelium expositio V, 17:5, CCSL 120, p. 309]

The Apostles who were faithful in that which is another man’s and in what is lesser, that is in contempt of earthly things, asked that for them also faithfulness be increased in what their own and is greater. For no one suddenly becomes the best, but begins in a good monastic form of life [conversatio] from the smallest beginnings in order to arrive at the great things. Some things are beginnings of virtue, another thing is progress, and yet another is perfection, which the Apostles, who strove for it greatly, meant when they said: Lord increase our faith. [Bede, In Lucae Evangelium expositio V, 17:5]

Vide modo, quia apostoli fidem habebant, eo quod apostoli erant et tamen augmentationem fidei quaerebant, ut perfectam fidem haberent. Consummatio fidei est, ut est illud: Si habueritis fidem sicut granum sinapis, dicetis monti, ut transferatur in mare, et fiet vobis. [Mt 17:20]

Now look: the Apostles had faith because they were Apostles and yet were seeking to increase their faith to perfection. The perfection of faith is like this: If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say unto to the mountain that it should move itself into the sea and it will be done for you. [Mt 17:20]

Idcirco fides grano sinapis comparatur, quia sicut granum sinapis, cum integrum fuerit, minimum et vilius est omnibus oleribus, ita et fides, cum integra est, id est sine tribulatione, videtur esse vilis et minima, sed cum passionibus coepit conteri, statim fragrantiam sui odoris emittit, quae superat omnem fidem.

Faith is compared to a mustard seed because just as a mustard seed, when it is whole, is very small and cheaper than all herbs, so also when faith is whole, that is, without tribulation, it seems to be cheap and very small, but when it begins to be crushed (by pressure), it immediately sends out the fragrance of its smell that surpasses every faith.

Processu enim multis modis dicitur; dicitur enim processu temporis, quia dies succedit diei et mensis mensi et annus anno.

For by progress is used in many ways: it means the ‘by progress in time’ because a day follows a day and a month a month and a year a year.

Processu corporis est, cum de loco ad locum movetur. De hoc enim loco ita exponit Beda dicens, ait enim: Nam est et altera fides verbotenus, id est sine operibus, qua daemones credunt, sicut scriptum est: Daemones credunt et contremiscunt; qua etiam fide credunt mali homines, de qua fide Jacobus dicit: Fides sine operibus mortua est. [Iac 2:19-20] [source not identified]

By progress refers to the body, when it is moved from place to place. Bede explains about this place when he says: For there is another so-called ‘faith,’ that is, one without works, in which the demons believe, just as it is written: Demons believe and are saddened. Even the evil people believe with this faith. James says about it: Faith without works is dead [Iac 2:19-20]. [source not identified]

Nunc videndum est, quid sit dilatatio cordis.

We should now ask what is the hearts expanded.

Dilatatio cordis est, cum quis transcendit semetipsum, transcendit aerem, transcendit coelum, transcendit etiam angelos, et, figit oculum cordis in Deo et videt ibi omnem bonitatem, omnem suavitatem atque omnem dulcedinem, et adeo est [page 71] illi ista dulcedo delectabilis et suavis atque concupiscibilis, ut nihil aliud quam illam desideret dulcedinem.

The heart expands when someone transcends himself, transcends the air, heaven, even the angels, and attaches the eye of his heart to God and sees there all goodness, delight and sweetness. [page 71] His sweetness is so enjoyable, sweet, and desirable, that he desires nothing but that sweetness.

Et quod concupiscibilis sit ista dulcedo, manifestat B. Benedictus, cum subsecutus est dicens: via mandatorum Dei curritur.

St. Benedict shows that this sweetness is desirable, when he subsequently says: we run along the path of God’s commandment.

Bene dixit curritur, et non graditur, quia, sicut diximus, semper ad illam dulcedinem recurrit, qui de illa gustavit, quamvis etiam praeoccupatus sit in aliquibus rebus. Hoc enim desiderabat David, cum dixit: Unam petii a Domino, hanc requiram. [Ps 26:4]

He rightly said we run and not ‘we go,’ because, as we said, he who has tasted from that delight, always runs back to it, even though he may be busy with some [other] things. David desired this when he said: One thing have I asked of the Lord, that I will seek after. [Ps 26:4]

Vide modo, quia virtus gradus habet. B. Benedictus primitus dixit angusto initio, deinde dilatato corde subjunxit, postmodum dixit inenarrabili dilectionis dulcedine.

Now you must know that there are degrees in virtue. St. Benedict first said narrow at the start, then he added with hearts expanded and after that he said in love’s indescribable sweetness.

Quid dicendum est de his, qui in eadem angustia perseverant, qua coeperunt, verbi gratia, si durum fuit illis vigiliae, jejunium etc., durum et grave est illis semper? isti tales, quamvis videantur jugum Domini ferre corpore, tamen mente excussum habent; dolendum est.

What should we say about those who continue in the same narrowness with which they begun, e.g., if their vigils, fasting, etc. are always hard and onerous for them? Such people, even though they seem to carry the Lord’s yoke with their body, have damage [excussus] to their mind – this is regrettable.

Aut, quid dicendum est de his, quorum angustia augmentationem capit, i. e. si uno loco primis quamvis graviter contenti sunt, postmodum per loca discurrunt diversa, et si primitus graviter et dure fecit obedientiam, postmodum superbiendo noluit implere, et reliqua; valde dolendum est.

Or what should we say about those whose narrowness hinders their growth, that is, if they were first confined strictly to one place, but after that they run about through various places? And if [someone] first was obedient, with difficulty and trouble, and after that, in his arrogance, he did not want to comply, etc. This is very regrettable.

Nam sunt nonnulli, quibus quamvis gravis fuit obedientia, aut vigilia, et caetera, in initio conversionis, tamen per consuetudinem sit illis leve, i. e. per consuetudinem et amorem Christi.

For there are some people for whom, although obedience or vigils etc. at the beginning of the monastic life have been hard, still it is easy for them through habit, that is through the habit and love of Christ.

Sequitur: 50ut ab ipsius magisterio nunquam discedentes.

Next: 50so that, never turning away from his instruction.

Ab ipsius, subaudiendum est Dei sive institutionis; discedentes, id est recedentes; magisterio i. e. disciplina.

We have to understand this from his [instruction] as ‘God’s instruction’ or ‘the rule’s instruction’; turning away is ‘withdrawing from’; instruction is ‘discipline.’

Sequitur: 50In ejus doctrina usque ad mortem in monasterio perseverantes passionibus Christi per patientiam participemur, ut regni ejus mereamur esse consortes. In ejus, subaudiendum est Dei sive institutionis.

Next: 51persevering in his doctrine in the monastery until death, through patience we may share the sufferings of Christ and also deserve to be sharers in his kingdom.

Monasterium autem graecum est; mona enim graece latine unus sive solus, sterium graece latine statio interpretatur. Monasterium [page 72] itaque intelligitur: unius hominis statio.

We must understand in his as ‘God’s’ or ‘the rule’s.’ Monastery is Greek. The Greek ‘mona’ in Latin means ‘one’ or ‘alone,’ the Greek ‘sterium’ is translated in Latin as ‘place.’ Monastery, [page 72] then, means: ‘the place of one person.’

Ubi animadvertere debemus, quia sunt multi in monasterio, et tamen foris monasterium sunt, eo quod si videantur corpore jugum Domini ferre, tamen mente et corde excussum habent, quia, quamvis corpore propter timorem flagelli aut excommunicationis aliquid obedire videntur, tamen mente non obediunt.

We have to notice here that there are many in a monastery, and yet they are outside the monastery because if they seem to bear the Lord’s yoke with the body, they have damage [excussus] to their mind and heart because, although they seem to obey to something out of fear of the whip or excommunication, they do not obey with their mind.

Et sunt multi, qui, quamvis de monasterio exeant corpore; tamen mente et corde in monasterio sunt, eo quod aut ad meliorem conversationem vadunt vel similem, aut causa obedientiae. Isti tales plus sunt in monasterio, qui mente sunt in monasterio et non corpore, quam illi, qui corpore videntur et non sunt mente.

And there are many who, even though they leave the monastery with the body, are in mind and heart in the monastery, either because they go to a better or similar monastic life [conversatio], or because of obedience. Those people who are in mind in the monastery and not in body are more in the monastery than those who seem [to be in the monastery] in body and are not in mind.

Et bene dixit passionibus Christi per patientiam participemur, ut regni ejus mereamur esse consortes, quia nullus erit compos regni coelestis, qui non fuerit particeps passionum Christi.

And St. Benedict rightly said: through patience we may share the sufferings of Christ and also deserve to be sharers in his kingdom, because there will be no sharer in the heavenly kingdom, who will not be a sharer in Christ’s sufferings.

Animadvertendum est, quia hoc, quod B. Benedictus dixit: passionibus Christi per patientiam participentur, ut regni ejus mereamur esse consortes, Paulus brevi eloquio exponit, cum dicit: Si fuerimus socii passionum, simul et consolationis erimus. [2 Cor 1:7]

We need to notice that what St. Benedict said, namely through patience we may share the sufferings of Christ and also deserve to be sharers in his kingdom, is also put forward by Paul in the brief phrase: If we will be sharers of sufferings, we will simultaneously also be [sharers] of consolation [2 Cor 1:7].

Vide modo, quod H. Benedictus dixit: passionibus Christi per patientiam participemur, Paulus dicit: si fuerimus socii passionum; [2 Cor 1:7] et quod ille dixit: ut regni ejus mereamur esse consortes, Paulus dicit: et consolationis erimus. [cf. 2 Cor 1:7]

Now see: what St. Benedict calls through patience we may share the sufferings of Christ Paul calls: if we will be sharer of sufferings. And what Benedict calls we may deserve to be sharers in his kingdom, Paul calls: and we will also be [sharers] of consolation.

Prologus est praelocutio; praelocutio est, in qua doctor manifestat, qua ratione librum scripsit. Notandum est enim, quia pars praelocutionis fuit illa, in qua suo auditori dixerat Ausculta, o fili, praecepta ei reliqua.

A prologue is a foreword. A foreword is that in which a learned man shows why he has written the book. We have to notice that a part of the foreword was that in which he had said to the listener: Listen, o son, to the teachings etc.

Nunc autem, quia decreverat ille suus auditor esse, abrenuntians omnibus suis facultatibus, rectum ordinem tenuit, cum post illam admonitionem dicit de generibus vel vita monachorum, quasi diceret: Quia jam decrevisti meus auditor esse, ideo manifesto tibi, quot et quae sunt genera monachorum, deinde ad quod genus te praedicando traho; ideo subjunxit in fine: His ergo omissis ad coenobitarum, fortissimum, genus disponendum (et reliq.) adjuvante Domino veniamus. [Regula Benedicti, c. 1.13]

But now that [the young monk] had decided to be his listener, renouncing all his powers, [Benedict] held the right order when he speaks after that admonition about the kinds or the life of monks, as if he were saying: ‘Since you have decided to be my listener, I show you how many kinds of monks there are and what characterizes them, then to what kind I draw you with preaching. At the end he adds: Therefore, leaving them aside, with God’s help let us proceed to specifications for a very strong kind of monk, the cenobites. [Regula Benedicti, c. 1.13]


1. Citation identified by James LePree.
2. Eph 6:13: accipite armaturam Dei ut possitis resistere in die malo et omnibus perfectis stare.
3. Cf Cod. Karlsruhe Aug. 203 fol. 37r l.8.
4. Dixisset – Karlsruhe Aug 203 f.38r. 5. poterant dicere pericula] Cod Karslruhe Aug 203 f.39 r: poterant \se gloriari/ de periculis
6. (Vers. 24.) Et respondit ei in via virtutis suae. Quam bene duobus verbis expressum est quid sit religio Christiana! id est, via virtutis, quam in doloribus quidem gradimur, in tribulationibus commeamus; sed haec omnia in Christi nomine cum spe maxima sustinemus. Huic igitur virtuti, quam Christus Dominus praedicavit, sanctorum congregatio devota respondet. Nam cum ille vocet ad bonam vitam, ipse illi respondere cognoscitur, qui imperiis eius obsequens esse monstratur. Quapropter respondetur illi non lingua, sed vita; non voce, sed fide; non clamore, sed corde. Quae omnia ad Ecclesiam catholicam pertinere manifestum est.
7. Cod Karlsruhe Aug 203 fol. 47r corrects ‘qualicumque’ with ‘carnali’, which makes better sense.

1. Effectum, id est consummationem capienter – this passage requires further investigation. The Latin capienter is very unusual and may be an erroneous transcription. The MS Karlsruhe Aug 203 confirms the version of the Mittermüller-edtion.
2. The Mittermüller-edtion gives dixi, MS Karlsruhe 203 give the more likely word dixit.
3. The text gives: vel utatur isto sermone. It seems that Hildemar wanted to say: vel quo sensu utatur iste sermo. In line with the Mittermüller-edtion, but also expressing confusion concerning this passage, MS Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Cod. Aug. 203 f.8v l.2-3 gives: uel quis uitetur \hoc utitur/ sermone.
4. Both the Mittermüller-edtion and Ms Karlsruhe Aug. 203 f.9v give nuditas. The meaning of physical nakedness makes little sense here. Instead, we can adopt the meaning given in Niermeyer’s Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, p.724 of privation, hardship.
5. Beda, Expositio Actuum Apostolorum, 4: Christus enim a chrismate, id est ab unctione, nomen accepit, iuxta quod dicitur: Unxit te deus, deus tuus, oleo laetitiae, id est spiritu sancto
6. The Latin (Mittermüller-edtion and MS Karlsruhe Aug 203 f.13v) gives quis, I translate as if Hildemar says qui.
7. I follow the conjecture suggested in the Mittermüller-edition, to read illum instead of illos.
8. Literally: but that very being, that is his, is good and great and perfect.
9. I follow the suggestion of the Mitterlmüller-edition to read Deum for Deus.
10. A slightly simplified translation of: Unde Salomon dicit: tempus tacendi et tempus loquendi, tempus jejunandi et tempus manducandi etc., quia, cum pro aliqua accidentia non possunt in ostensione operis fieri, quamvis pro his faciendis si in corde voluntas fuerit legendi aut jejunandi, tamen non dicitur lectio vel jejunium, sed tantum bona voluntas.
11. Following the conjecture in the Mittermüller-edition, I read for Deus Deum.
12. I follow the conjecture in the Mittermüller-edtion, taking instead of ignem perpetuum, ignis perpetuus.
13. As in the previous note, I follow the suggestion of the editor to read pestiferae for pestiferas.
14. Uncertain reference. This citation does not occur in Gregory’s Moralia.
15. Lat.: In futura vero vita dies boni sunt, eo quod ibi illa, vita, fruuntur, quae [qui] dicit: Ego sum via.
16. Following the suggestion in the Mittermueller-edition to read postmodum instead of post bonum.
17. Hildemar gives nobiscum, which I take as nobis.
18. Following MS Karlsruhe Aug. 203, f.29r that gives raro, against Mittermüller who gives caro.
19. Translating liberari with a sense of purpose.
20. The Latin edition lacks a non that is required for this passage in order to make sense. Ms Karslruhe Aug.203 gives this passage in a much shortened version.
21. Allusion to Ez 1:25.
22. The source of the quotation is not traceable in the PL. A similar reference to Augustine later occurs in Atto of Vercelli [10th century].
23. Cod. Dionens. ex Marten (Mittermüller).
24. I follow the Latin of MS Karlsruhe Aug. 302, f31v, l.7-8: sed scriptura divina solet aliquid spiritaliter designare per rem quem \solet/ omnium facere consuetudo.
25. Translating in regno as it is given in Mittermueller, not in regnum as it is given in Codex Sangallensis 914.
26. Hildemar uses fastidialis, which is not given in Lewis & Short or in Du Cange. I take it as fastidiosus, -a, um.
27. Reading homine instead of nomine.
28. Unidentified source.
29. Source not identified.
30. poterant dicere pericula] Cod Karslruhe Aug 203 f.39 r: poterant \se gloriari/ de periculis – I follow the emendation in Karlsruhe Aug 203.
31. Following the emendation in codex Karlsruhe Aug 203 f.47r of carnali instead of qualicumque, as it seems to make more sense in this [corrupted?] sentence.
32. Allusion to 1 Pt 2:13: subiecti estote omni humanae creaturae propter Dominum sive regi quasi praecellenti sive ducibus etc. NB the supra in the Latin text seems misplaced. I have ignored it.
33. Quoted from Bede, Super epistolas Catholicas, IN PRIMAM EPISTOLAM PETRI (PL 93 0047A) CAPUT II: Dyscolis, indisciplinatis dicit, nomine ducto a Graeco eloquio. Quia Graece schola vocatur locus in quo adolescentes litteralibus studiis operam dare, et audiendis magistris vacare solent; unde schola vacatio interpretatur. Denique in psalmo ubi canimus: Vacate, et videte quoniam ego sum Deus (Psal. XLV) , pro eo quod nos dicimus vacate, in Graeco habetur σχολάζετε. (0054A) Scholastici Graece sunt eruditi, dyscoli indocti et agrestes. Sed utrisque vult obedire subditos, explicans apertius quomodo nos supra omni humanae creaturae iusserit esse subiectos. Alia Translatio, pro dyscolis, difficiles habet. Et sanctus antistes Fulgentius in opusculis suis sic ponit: « Servientes cum timore non tantum bonis et modestis, sed etiam difficilioribus. »
34. Making the conjecture that the original text gives ‘dixit’ instead of ‘dixi.’


Cap. I
INCIPIT REGULA S. BENEDICTI
DE QUATUOR GENERIBUS VEL VITA MONACHORUM

[Ms P, fol. 19rPaulus Diaconus
Ps.-Basil: Ms K2, fol. 52r; Ms E1, fol. 25r; Ms E2, fol. 32r]


Ch. 1
HERE BEGINS THE RULE OF SAINT BENEDICT
THE FOUR KINDS OF MONKS AND THEIR LIVES


Translated by: Albrecht Diem

1Monachorum quatuor esse genera manifestum est. 2Primum est1 coenobitarum, hoc est monasteriale, militans sub regula vel abbate. 3Deinde secundum genus est anachoretarum, id est eremitarum, horum, qui non conversionis fervore novitio sed monasterii probatione diuturna 4didicerunt2 contra diabolum multorum solatio jam docti pugnare.

1It is clear that there are four kinds of monks. 2First are the cenobites, those in a monastery serving (like soldiers) under a rule and/or an abbot. 3The second kind are anchorites, that is, hermits, those no longer fresh in the fervor of monastic life but long tested in a monastery 4who have learned, by now schooled with the help of many, to fight against the devil.

Apte enim et congrue fuit, ut descripturus vitam et normam monachorum prius diceret de generibus vel ordinibus eorum, quatenus per genus cognosceretur auctor uniuscujusque vitae, quia eo verius et securius unaquaeque ars vel disciplina tenetur, quo auctor ejus ad probabilem fidem venisse comprobatur, veluti quis cum aliquod aedificium aedificare voluerit, primitus fundamentum ponit. Ita B. Benedictus in hoc loco facere cognoscitur, cum prius de generibus monachorum dixit.

It was appropriate and suitable that Benedict first spoke about the kinds and ranks of monks in order to describe their life and their standard, and to what extent one can recognize the founder of each way of life, because one performs a skill or a discipline more truthfully and steadfastly if its founder is known to have come to a credible faith, just as when someone wanted to build some kind of building he first places the foundation. We can see that Benedict did this here, when he first spoke about the kinds of monks.

Coenobitae enim intelliguntur communiter viventes. Coenobitae enim sumpserunt initium a primitiva ecclesia Jerosolymis constituta. Narrat enim historia actuum apostolorum, quia uno die credebant tria millia et alio die quinque millia, et quotquot erant possessores agrorum, vendebant praedia sua et pretia eorum ponebant ante pedes apostolorum, et apostoli tribuebant unicuique, ut opus erat. [cf. Act 4:1-35] Et sic vivebat tunc omnis illa ecclesia, sicut perpauci nunc inveniuntur vivere in monasteriis. Sed post excessum, id est obitum apostolorum coepit illa ecclesia tepescere, et non solum praelati, verum etiam subjecti, eo quod apostoli concesserant gentibus, retinendo substantiam suam ad fidem venire. Nam quod apostoli concesserant gentibus pro infirmitate, illa ecclesia putabat etiam sibi licitum esse. Et unde hoc probatur, quia apostoli concesserant gentibus, habere substantiam suam et sic venire ad fidem.

We understand as cenobites those who live in communities. Cenobites have their origins in the primitive Church founded in Jerusalem. The story of the Acts of the Apostles tells that on one day three thousand people came to faith and on another day five thousand. Those who owned fields sold their estates and placed the money at the feet of the Apostles, who gave everyone what was needed. [cf. Act 4:1-35] And the entire Church lived at that time in the same way as today only a few live in monasteries. But after the passing, that is, the death of the Apostles this Church began to grow lukewarm, not only the leaders but also the followers, because the Apostles had allowed the gentiles to come to faith while keeping their possessions. Because what the Apostles had allowed to the gentiles due to their weakness, this Church now considered legitimate for itself as well. It became thus commendable, because the Apostles had given the gentiles permission to keep their possessions and to come to faith in such a way.

Legitur in Actibus apostolorum: Cum praedicarent apostoli Antiochiae, surrexerunt falsi apostoli adversum veraces apostolos dicentes: 'Quare non circumciduntur gentes, cum ad fidem [page 74] veniunt?' [cf. Act 15-16] Illi vero miserunt Paulum et Barnabam Jerosolymam ad apostolos super hac quaestione. Similiter illi falsi apostoli miserunt suos missos ad apostolos, qui Jerosolymis erant. Qui Apostoli convenerunt in unum, et ait Petrus ad falsos apostolos: 'Cur imponitis hoc jugum super nos, quod non potuerunt portare patres nostri neque nos? Sed per gratiam Domini Jesu Christi credimus salvari, quemadmodum et illi'. [cf. Act 15:10-11] Ait autem gentibus: 'Nos enim non imponimus super vos nisi tantum, ut abstineatis vos a fornicatione, a sanguine et suffocato'. [cf. Act 15:20].

We can read in the Acts of the Apostles that when the Apostles preached in Antioch, false apostles stood up against the true Apostles and said: 'Why do the gentiles not get circumcised when they come to faith?' [cf. Act 15-16] [page 74] In fact they sent Paul and Barnabas with this question to the Apostles in Jerusalem. Likewise those false apostles sent their envoys to the Apostles who were in Jerusalem. When they came together, Peter spoke to the false apostles: 'Why do you impose this yoke upon us, which neither our fathers nor we could bear? But we believe ourselves saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, just as they do.' [cf. Act 15:10-11] And he spoke to the gentiles: 'We do not impose anything upon you except that you abstain from fornication, from bloodshed and from murder.' [cf. Act 15:20]

In hoc enim loco claret, quia cum substantia sua venerunt gentes ad fidem. Et quamquam tepuerat ecclesia, sicut diximus, tamen erant in illa ecclesia, in quibus erat fervor apostolicus, meminentes ordinis et vitae, qualiter apostoli vixerant. Qui videntes hunc teporem, exibant a consortio illorum et ibant in suburbana et secretiora loca, et prout recordbantur, ea, quae apostoli docuerant, exercebant, et ita ortum est genus coenobitarum, et permansit hoc genus solum multis annis, et adeo permansit multis annis, ut solum usque ad tempus Pauli et Antonii duraret. [cf. Cassian, Collationes XVIII, c. 5, SC 64, pp. 14-16]

This passage makes clear that the gentiles came to faith with their possessions. And, as we have said, although the Church had grown lukewarm, there were still in this Church people who retained the zeal of the Apostles and remembered the rules and the lives that the Apostles had lived.1 When they saw this tepidity, they left their company and went to the outskirts and secret places, and they performed from memory what the Apostles had taught. And this is the origin of the cenobites. For many years they were the only kind of monks – for a period that lasted until the time of Paul and Antony. [cf. Cassian, Collationes XVIII, c. 5, SC 64, pp. 14-16]

Sed sicut solet ex radice bona fructus bonus procedere, ita ex hac sancta radice bonus fructus processit, id est aliud genus monachorum, id est eremitarum, quorum auctores fuerunt in veteri testamento Elias et Elisaeus, in novo testamento Joannes Baptista, Paulus et Antonius.[cf. Cassian, Collationes VIII, c. 6, SC 64, pp. 16-17]

A good root bears good fruit and the good fruit from this holy root was another kind of monks, the hermits whose founders were Elias and Elisha in the Old Testament, John the Baptist in the New Testament and Paul [of Thebes] and Anthony. [cf. Cassian, Collationes VIII, c. 6, SC 64, pp. 16-17]

Deinde cum religio christiana gauderet his duobus generibus monachorum, ortum est tertium genus Sarabaitarum, quod lingua syriaca dicitur, latine interpretatur renuitarum, eo quod aliorum imperia vel voluntates implere renuunt et suas volunt facere. Quorum auctores fuerunt Ananias et Saphira, qui tempore apostolorum, cum vendidissent possessiones suas, causa diffidentiae fraudaverunt de pretio agri et partem posuerunt ante pedes apostolorum. Quos Petrus, quia radicitus voluit amputare hoc vitium, non carcere, non aliqua sententia, sed solummodo celeri morte plexit. id est condemnavit. [cf. Act 5:1-10]

Then, while the Christian faith rejoiced at these two kinds of monks, a third one emerged, the sarabaites, as they were called in the Syrian language. In Latin we call them 'refusers', because they refuse to fulfill the orders or the will of others and fulfill only their own will. Their founders were Ananias and Sapphira, who in the time of the Apostles out of distrust cheated over the price of a field when they sold their possessions and placed only part of the money at the feet of the Apostles. Because he wanted to cut off this vice at its root, Peter did not punish, that is, pronounce imprisonment or any other sentence, but punished them with no more than sudden death.

Ubi animadvertere debemus: si illi, qui sua detinuerunt, tali poena mulctati sunt, quali poena mulctandi sunt illi, qui [page 75] aliena vel oblata Deo rapiunt? Nam si talis fuisset tempore apostolorum, quali poena plexus esset?[cf. Cassian, Collationes XVIII, c. 7, SC 64, pp. 18-19]

Therefore we have to consider that if those who kept their possessions are treated with such a punishment, what punishment will they face who [page 75] rob belongings from another or those given to God? For, if a person who steals from God had existed in the time of the Apostles, what kind of punishment would he have faced? [cf. Cassian, Collationes XVIII, c. 7, SC 64, pp. 18-19]

Gyrovagi dicuntur, eo quod in giro vadunt, id est per diversas provincias. Horum auctores non facile reperiuntur. Nam est etiam aliud genus monachorum, sicut Cassianus dicit; ait enim: 'Est etiam quintum genus monachorum, quod nuper surrexit, qui paucis diebus habitant in monasteriis, sed quia nolunt vitia sua resecare, cellas secretiores ad similitudinem anachoretarum expetunt'. [cf. Cassian, Collationes XVIII, c. 8, SC 94, pp. 21-22 and Isidore, De ecclesiasticis officiis II, c. 16(15).5, CCSL 113, pp. 75-76]

Gyrovagues have their name because they walk in circles (in giro). That means they wander through different provinces. Their founders cannot be easily traced because there is also another kind of monks that Cassian says is a fifth kind of monks that emerged recently. They live only a few days in monasteries but since they do not want to cut off their vices, they ask for separate cells in the way the anchorites do. [cf. Cassian, Collationes XVIII, c. 8, SC 64, pp. 21-22 and Isidore, De ecclesiasticis officiis II, c. 16(15).5, CCSL 113, pp. 75-76]

Hi tales, quia videntur formam sanctitatis habere, idcirco non redarguuntur, et quia non redarguuntur, ideo remanent eorum vitia incurata; nam virtutes non ex occultatione vitiorum, sed ex impuguatione oriuntur.

Because they appear to be holy, no one criticizes them, and because they are not criticized their vices remain untreated because virtues do not come of hiding vices but attacking them.

Sequitur: 2Primum genus3 est coenobitarum, hoc est monasteriale.

Next: 2First are the cenobites, those in a monastery.

Inter coenobium et monasterium hoc interest: coenobium attinet ad professionem et disciplinam atque locum, monasterium vero attinet solummodo ad locum. Tamen abusive pro coenobio ponitur monasterium, et coenobium pro monasterio similiter ponitur. Et cum dixit coenobitarum, subjunxit monasteriale. Per illud monasteriale manifestavit locum, in quo coenobium est.

The difference between a coenobium and a monasterium is as follows: coenobium refers to the profession, to the discipline and to the place, while monasterium only refers to the place. Even though it is incorrect, people use monasterium for coenobium and, likewise, coenobium for monasterium. And when he talked about 'cenobitical', he implied 'monastic' because 'monastic' refers to the place where the coenobium is located.

Sequitur: militans sub regula vel abbate.

Next: serving under the rule and/or (vel) the abbot.

Per istud militans ostendit B. Benedictus, laborem esse in monasterio, eo quod istud nomen, quod est militans, ad laborem et certamen attinet.

By using militans (serving) the Blessed Benedict makes clear that there is exertion in the monastery, because this word - militans - refers to exertion and struggle.

Nunc videndum est, quare B. Benedictus, cum dixit: sub regula et abbate, interposuit istud vel, quia istud separationem facit, et abbas non potest esse sine regula; nam si alteram vitam duxerit, illius ordinis non est abbas, sed ejus, cujus vitam duxit. Regula autem potest esse sine abbate, sicuti sunt multa monasteria, quae, quamvis abbatem regularem non habeant, tamen praepositos, decanos et caeteros ordines regulares habent, eo quod multi abbates canonici non minus sunt solliciti de regulae observatione, quam si regulares abbates fuissent.

Now we have to see why Benedict inserted the word 'vel' (rather: 'or') instead of saying 'under the rule and (et) the abbot'. He does this because he makes the following distinction: The abbot cannot be without a rule since if he leads a life different from the rule he is not an abbot of this order but of that order in which he led his life. A rule, however, can exist without an abbot, as we see in many monasteries that, despite not having a regular abbot, still have priors, deacons and other ranks according to the rule, because many canonical abbots [= lay abbots] are just as zealous in the observation of the rule as if they were regular abbots.

Istud enim vel duobus modis intelligi potest; uno enim modo, forte quia B. Benedictus fuit plenus spiritu prophetiae et vidit spiritu prophetiae istud tempus, in quo sunt multa monasteria [page 76] sine abbatibus regularibus, sicuti superius diximus, ideoque posuit: militans sub regula vel abbate.4 Aut certe posuit simpliciter vel pro et.

This vel can be understood in two ways: either Benedict happened to be full of the spirit of prophecy and foresaw in this spirit of prophecy that there would be a time in which there would be many monasteries [page 76] without regular abbots, as we just said, which was for him the reason to say serving under the rule or (vel) the abbot. Or he just meant et and said vel.

Deinde: Secundum genus est anachoretarum, id est eremitarum, qui5 non conversionis fervore novitio, sed monasterii probatione diuturna [qui] didicerunt contra diabolum multorum solatio jam docti pugnare.

Further: The second kind are anchorites, that is, hermits, those no longer fresh in the fervor of monastic life but long tested in a monastery, who have learned, by now schooled with the help of many, to fight against the devil.

Fervore novitio intelligitur: in primo fervore conversionis, hoc est dicere: non statim vadunt in eremum, quando incipit illis cogitatio eundi in eremum. Quare? quia nesciunt, utrum sint perseveraturi in hoc fervore, eo quod solet diabolus aliquando per speciem bonitatis decipere hominem.

The expression fresh in the fervor has to be understood as 'in the first fervor of conversion'. Thus he says: they do not immediately go into solitude when they come up with the idea of going into solitude. Why? Because they do not know whether they will persevere in this fervor, since the devil is used to deceiving man under the guise of goodness.

Verbi gratia, videt diabolus hominem in malitia positum, dat illi compunctionem, suggerit illi, ut vadat in eremum. Ideo hoc facere studet, ut, ille, quantum6 majorem professionem Deo devoverit et neglexerit, tanto illum diabolus arctius et strictius valeat tenere.

To give an example: the devil sees a man doing evil [literally: placed in ill will]. He makes him remorseful and prompts him to go into solitude. The devil is eager to do that, so that the greater the promise was that the sinner had made to God and then broke, the closer and tighter the devil could hold him.

Ea intentione B. Benedictus dixit in hoc loco: non vadunt in eremum, qua intentione praecipit Paulus apostolus de episcopis; ait enim: non neophytum, [1 Tm 3:6] id est novellum, eo quod nescitur, utrum perseveraturus sit in fide annon.

Here the Blessed Benedict discourages going into solitude for the same reason as the Apostle Paul prescribed that no neophytes [1 Tim 3:6] should become bishops. 'Neophyte' means newcomer. He says that because one does not know whether a newcomer will persevere in his faith or not.

Nam quid sit neophytus, B. Gregorius in quadam epistola sua, quam direxit ad Syagrium episcopum et ceteros alios episcopos Galliarum, exponit hoc modo dicens: Sicut autem tunc neophytus dicebatur, qui initio in sanctae fidei erat conversatione plantatus, sic modo neophytus habendus est, qui in religionis habitu plantatus ad ambiendos honores sacros irrepserit. [Gregory the Great, Registrum IX, no. 219]

The Blessed Gregory gives a definition of 'neophyte' in a latter he sent to Bishop Syagrius and other bishops of provinces of Gaul. Here he explains: But just as one was then called a neophyte, who had been placed at the beginning of a life of holy faith, even so the one should be treated as neophyte who is placed in a religious habit and has insinuated himself to strive for holy honors. [Gregory I, Registrum IX, no. 219]

Necnon idem B. Benedictus in alio loco praecipit, propterea non debere monachum cito suscipere, sed illum uno anno probare, quia nescitur, utrum perseveraturus sit in hac professione annon. [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 58] Ac si interrogaret B. Benedictum quis: 'et quid faciunt in principio conversionis eundi7 ad eremum?' respondit ille dicens: ... sed in monasterio8 probatione diuturna [qui] didicerunt contra diabolum multorum solatio jam docti pugnare. Diuturna, id est [page 77] spatium longi temporis, veluti quis, cum vult ire contra hostem exercitatum, prius se exercitat et discit omnia genera bellorum et ingenia, ut valeat resistere et superare hostem suum, quia si inexercitatus contra exercitatum ierit, periturum se cognoscit.

The Blessed Benedict prescribed the same at another place, saying that one should not accept a monk immediately but test him for a year because it is not known whether he will persevere in his profession or not. [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 58]. And if someone would ask the Blessed Benedict what those should do at the beginning of their conversion if they want to go into solitude, he responds ... but long tested in a monastery, who have learned, by now schooled with the help of many, to fight against the devil. Long (diuturna) means [page 77] for a great span of time. If someone wants to attack a well-trained enemy, he first trains himself and learns all the techniques and arts of war, in order to be able to resist and overcome his enemy, since someone untrained who attacks someone experienced will find himself perishing.

Ita et monachus prius discit in monasterio ingenia diaboli et pugnas illius et postmodum vadit in eremum ad singularem pugnam. Et bene dixit: multorum solatio, quia sicut ille, qui inter suos vel cum aliis pugnat contra hostem suum, si forte vulneratur aut percutitur, adjuvatur vel eripitur ab illis, ita et monachus, cum in monasterio pugnat contra diabolum, cum vulneratur aut percutitur a diabolo, adjuvatur a fratribus, id est, oratione, consolatione atque exhortatione.

Therefore a monk first learns in the monastery the arts of the devil and his battle tricks, and afterwards he goes into solitude for single combat. And rightly he said: with the help of many, because if someone who fights against his enemy together with his people or in a group perhaps gets injured or wounded, he is helped and rescued by his people. Likewise, if a monk within the monastery gets wounded or injured while fighting against the devil, he gets help from his brothers through prayer, comfort and exhortation.

Sequitur: 5Et bene instructi fraterna ex acie ad singularem pugnam eremi securi sine9 consolatione alterius sola manu vel brachio contra vitia carnis vel cogitationum Deo auxiliante sufficiunt pugnare;10 ac si diceret: postquam docti fuerint, tunc vadunt in eremum.

Next: 5...well trained in the brotherly line of battle for single combat in the desert, by now confident even without another's encouragement, they are ready, with God's help, to fight the vices of the body and of thoughts with hand and arm alone. It is if he was saying: 'after they have been instructed they go into solitude'.

Acies enim tribus modis dicitur; dicitur enim acies ferri, hoc est acumen, dicitur oculorum, hoc est illa vis, qua oculus videt, dicitur etiam acies multitudo exercitus, id est militum ordinata. In hoc quippe loco pro multitudine fratrum ponitur.

The term acies (literally: 'sharpness') can be used in three ways. Used as acies ferri it means the point of a sword; as acies oculorum it means the power with which the eye sees. But acies also means the multitude of the army, that is, the ordered mass of soldiers. In this context, however, it refers to the group of brothers.

Est enim acies, quae est constipata, id est constricta, et est acies, quae non est stipata, et est acies, quae habet fortes bellatores, et est acies, quae non habet fortes bellatores, et est acies, quae est magna, et est acies, quae non est magna; sed illa acies timetur ab hoste, quae est stipata et habet fortes bellatores. Ita etiam acies illa timetur a diabolo, quae est stipata fraterna caritate et habet fortes bellatores, sicuti est ecclesia, ad quam in Canticis canticorum dicitur: Pulchra es, amica mea, et suavis et decora sicut Jerusalem, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata. [Ct 6:4]11 Ista enim acies, de qua hic dicitur, ponitur pro congregatione fratrum.

There is a battle line that is tight, that is, bound together. But there is also a battle line that is loose. There are battle lines with or without strong warriors and there are large and small battle lines. The enemy fears a tight battle line with strong warriors, thus the battle line that is tied together by brotherly love and strong warriors, just like the Church as it is referred to in the Song of Songs: You are as beautiful, my friend, and sweet and adorned as Jerusalem and terrifying as an ordered battle line of forts. [Ct 6:4] The battle line of which we speak here stands for the community of brothers.

Ex enim ponitur pro 'ab', quasi diceret: ab acie fraterna. Duobus modis potest jungi, id est: instructi ab acie fraterna, sive: ab acie fraterna pergunt in eremum ad singularem pugnam.

The word ex (in fraterna ex acie = out of the line of battle of the brothers) is used instead of ab. He could also have said ab acie fraterna (= from the brotherly line of battle). We can read this part in two ways: either as instructi ab acie fraterna, which means 'instructed by the brotherly line of battle' or as ab acie fraterna pergunt in eremum ad singularem pugnam, which means 'from the brotherly line of battle they move into solitude into single combat'.

Nunc videndum est, quomodo instruitur? Instruitur enim [page 78] ita: verbi gratia, interrogat quis priorem suum vel quemlibet, quem videt studiosum, quomodo illi nascitur compunctio, aut quomodo vincit iram, aut quali modo est tam devotus in lectione aut in oratione, in obedientia et ceteris his similibus; aut si impugnatur cogitatione, qualiter debeat illi resistere, aut si forte bonam cogitationem habet, qualiter debeat cognoscere illam, utrum finem habeat bonum an non? Ille alter dicet illi, si videt eam deceptricem: Noli consentire illi, quia mala est, et reliqua. Necnon videt ibi vulneratum fratrem a diabolo, et iterum videt illum vincentem diabolum et cetera hujusmodi. Nam sic contingit illi, qui indoctus exit de acie castrorum; vadit contra invisibilem inimicum pugnare et perit.

Now we have to look how they are trained. [page 78] For example: someone asks his superior or another person he regards as skilled how to become remorseful or how to overcome anger or how to be dedicated to reading and prayer, devout in obedience, etc., or, if he is attacked by evil thoughts, how to resist them or, if he happens to have a good thought, how one ought to recognize if it is for good or not. If the other sees that that thought is deceiving, he tells him: 'Don't give in to it because it is evil,’ etc. In fact, sometimes he sees a brother being wounded by the devil, sometimes he sees him overcoming the devil, etc. This happens to him who leaves the fortified line of battle without instruction: He fights against an invisible enemy and perishes.

Sicut legitur in libris gentilium: Venerunt hostes contra quandam civitatem et non poterant per fortitudinem illam civitatem capere, et cum vidissent, non posse praevalere adversus illam, dixerunt: 'Quid opus est, ut tanta multitudo pugnet? Exeat unus e nostris adversus singulare certamen contra unum de vestris, et post, qui vicerit, illius pars sit victrix'. Et cum hoc statuissent, exiit unus minus cautus de civitate, et erat pons inter civitatem et hostem. Deinde veniens in medium pontem obviavit illi, contra quem singulare certamen debuerat inire, dixitque ille, qui contra urbem veniebat: 'Contra quem vadis?' Respondit alter dicens: 'Contra te, ut tecum ineam certamen, sicut dixistis'. Respondit alter dicens: 'Vestrum placitum fuit, ut unus solus exiret de civitate contra me; tu cur cum multis venisti? Vide, quanti te sequuntur!' Ille vero incautus cum respexisset retro, ille alter percussit eum et occidit.

In the books of the heathens we read that enemies attacked a certain city and could not conquer it by force. When they realized that they could not prevail, they said: 'What is the use if such a great multitude fights? Let one of us fight in single combat against one of yours. The side of the one who wins will be the winner.' After they agreed on that, one reckless soldier came out from the city. There was a bridge between the city and the enemies. In the middle of the bridge he met the one he had to fight in single combat. The one fighting against the city said: 'Whom are you approaching?' He responded: 'I meet you to fight you, just as you all said.’ The other said: 'You made the pledge that only one would come out of the city against me. Why have you come with many? Look how many are following you!' When the incautious man turned his head, the other one struck him and killed him.2

Vide modo, quia iste incautus nescivit ingenia bellandi, ideo periit.12 Ita et monachus; monachus enim quasi cum multis pugnat contra diabolum, cum in monasterio contra diabolum pugnat; cum vero in eremum vadit, quasi ad singulare certamen pergit contra diabolum; deinde si minus cautus fuerit et fortis et non cognoverit insidias diaboli sedens in monasterio, cum in eremum fugerit, superabitur a diabolo, quia multa ingenia et insidias habet. Nam sicut legitur in collationibus patrum, magna erat [page 79] nimis tentatio diaboli contra monachos, et adeo magna, ut non omnes auderent dormire, sed quidam dormiebant, et quidam pro dormientibus orabant. [cf. Cassian, Collationes VII, c. 23]

Now see that this reckless man did not know the arts of war. Therefore he died. It is the same with a monk. He fights, as it were, along with many against the devil if he fights within the monastery, but when he goes into solitude he fights the devil as if in single combat. If someone who lives the monastery is less cautious and strong and does not know sufficiently the snares of the devil, and he flees into solitude, he will be overcome by the devil, because the devil has many arts and traps. We read in the Conferences of the Fathers that the [page 79] devil's temptations of the monks were so great that they did not even dare to sleep all at the same time, but some slept and others prayed for the ones who slept. [cf. Cassian, Collationes VII, c. 23]

Et bene dixit: ad singularem pugnam eremi securi jam sine consolatione alterius sola manu et brachio.

And rightly Benedict says: for single combat in the solitude, by now confidant even without another's encouragement, (...) with hand and arm alone.

Prius enim dixerat, cum in monasterio erat: multorum solatio discere insidias diaboli; nunc dicit: sola manu vel brachio sine constitutione alterius, ac si diceret: constitutus in monasterio habet adjutores, in eremo vero nullum adjutorem habebit, sed sola, manu vel brachio.

Earlier he had said that those in the monastery learned with the help of many the snares of the devil. Now he says without another's encouragement (...) with hand and arm alone. He means that in a monastery a monk has helpers, but in solitude he will not, and has to fight with his hand and arm alone.

Per manum operationem simplicem, per brachium vero fortitudinem operationis designat, quasi diceret: aut pugnabit simpliciter aut fortiter, quia non omnes aequaliter aggreditur, id est tentat diabolus.

The hand refers simply to the act; the arm to the vigor of the act. It is as if he was saying that he either fights simply or vigorously, since the devil does not attack, that is, tempt everyone in the same way.

Si fuerit fortis et solicitus et studiosus nimis, nimiam sustinebit diaboli tentationem; si autem simplex fuerit, non maguam sustinebit tentationem, eo quod juxta fortitudinem hominis permittit Deus diabolum illum tentare. Unde psalmista dicit: Proba me Domine et tenta me, [Ps 25:2] hoc est: cognosce vires meas et tunc da licentiam diabolo me tentandi.

If someone is very vigorous and engaged and zealous, he will endure enormous temptation from the devil. But if he is simple, he will not endure great temptation because God allows the devil to tempt man according to his strength. Therefore says the Psalmist: Test me, God, and tempt me [Ps 25:2]. That is: Know my strengths and then give the devil permission to tempt me'.

Sequitur: Contra vitia carnis et cogitationum Deo auxiliante sufficiunt pugnare.

Next: They are ready with God's help, to fight the vices of the body and of thoughts.

Alia enim sunt vitia corporis, alia animae; vitia corporis sunt, veluti sunt: loquacitas, immunditia, fornicatio, gula et caetera vitia, quae per corpus fiunt; vitia animae sunt, veluti ira, superbia, invidia et caetera his similia, quae per animum perpetrantur.

There are different vices of the body and of the soul. Bodily vices are loquacity, uncleanliness, fornication, gluttony and others that happen through the body. Vices of the soul are anger, pride, envy and others that are performed through the mind.

Et bene dixit Deo auxiliante, quia si homo nil boni potest agere sine Dei adjutorio, quanto minus cum contra se pugnat vel contra diabolum?

And rightly he says: with God's help, because if man cannot do anything good without God's help, how much less so if he fights against himself or against the devil?

Sequitur: 6Tertium vero13 teterrimum genus est Sarabaitarum, qui nulla regula adprobati experientia magistra sicut aurum fornacis, sed in plumbi natura molliti 7adhuc operibus servantes saeculo fidem mentiri Deo per tonsuram noscuntur

Next: 6The third, a very vile kind, are the sarabaites, tested by no rule nor instructed by experience, like gold in the furnace; but softened like lead, 7still keeping faith with worldly ways, they are known to lie to God by having tonsures.

Teterrimum, id est pavendum, timendum seu horrendum; probati, id est ad probationem ducti; regula attinet ad doctrinam, experientia vero ad exercitationem operis, magistra autem et ad regulam et ad experientiam potest referri, id est regula, magistra et experientia magistra [page 80] sit. Utrumque convenit Dei servo, id est opus et doctrina.

The expression very vile means horrific, fearsome, or dreadful. Read tested as approved, rule as teaching, and experience as the execution of work. The term instructed (magistra) can refer to both rule and experience, thus it means instructed by the rule or instructed by experience. [page 80] Both work and teaching are fitting to a servant of God

Sequitur: aurum fornacis.

Next: like gold in a furnace.

  Auri enim natura est tam durabilis, ut per ignem nunquam deficiat; nam si adulterinum fuerit, id est mixtum cum argento et reliquo metallo et missum fuerit in ignem, id quod ei junctum fuerit alterius metalli, ardebit, ipsum vero aurum indeficiens permanebit. Per aurum autem vult B. Benedictus bonos monachos intelligi.

 Gold is by nature so durable that it never perishes through fire. If it is alloyed, that is, mixed with silver or other metals and it is put into the fire, the other metals that are mixed with it burn away and all the gold will remain. The Blessed Benedict wants us to identify good monks with gold.

Et quod justi intelligantur per aurum, testatur Solomon, cum dicit: Tunquam aurum in fornace probavit illos et quasi holocausti hostiam accepit illos. [Sap 3:6]

Solomon testifies that gold has to be understood as the just when he says: He tested them as gold in a furnace, and he accepted them as the gift of burnt offering. [Sap 3:6]

Vide modo, per aurum significavit bonos, per fornacem vero tribulationem praesentis temporis. Et est sensus, cum dicit: tanquam aurum in fornace, id est quia sicut aurum purgatur in fornace, ita et justi probantur in praesentis temporis tribulatione.

Now see: he signified through the gold the good people and the furnace referred to the tribulations of the present time. This is the meaning when he says like gold in a furnace: just as gold is purified in the furnace, just so just are the just tested through the tribulations of the present.

Sequitur: sed in plumbi natura molliti.

Next: ...but softened like lead.

 Plumbi enim natura gravis est et mollis, et est adeo mollis, ut, si in ignem fuerit missum, statim liquescit et deficit. Per plumbum enim intelligi vult malos monachos, id est peccatores. Per plumbum mali intelliguntur, quia peccatores graves sunt malitia, molles sunt impatientia.

 Lead is by nature heavy and soft. It is so soft that, when thrown into fire, it liquefies immediately and vanishes. He wants us to understand lead as the bad monks, that is, the sinners. This is because sinners are heavy with evil and soft with impatience. Scripture witnesses that they are soft through impatience when saying: They do not stand firm in their miseries. [Ps 139:12].

Et quod molles sunt impatientia, testatur scriptura, cum dicit: In miseriis non subsistent. [Ps 139:12]

Heaviness is ambiguous. It appears with a positive and a negative meaning. It is a good term in I will praise you among the weighty people [Ps 34:18].

Gravitas enim aequivocum est, id est in bono et in malo ponitur; in bono, ut est illud: In populo gravi laudabo te [Ps 34:18]: in populo gravi, in est in populo perfecto; in malo, ut est illud: Vae genti peccatrici, populo gravi iniquitate, semini nequam, filiis sceleratis! [Is 1:4]

Weighty people means perfect people. It appears as a negative term in Woe, sinful tribes, people weighty with injustice, of useless stock and with defiled children! [Is 1:4]

Et in bono dicitur etiam gravitas, sicuti dicimus: homo gravis consilio, id est per consilium.

And heaviness has a good meaning when we say 'a man weighty in prudence', that is, 'through prudence'.

Et quod per plumbum peccatores intelligantur, docet B. Gregorius in Ezechiele dicens hoc modo: Venit ergo Ezechiel juxta fluvium Chobar; nam Chobar interpretatur gravitudo. Quid per Chobar fluvium nisi humanum genus congrue designatur, quod ab ortu defluit ad mortem, et grave sibi ex peccatis, quae perpetrat et [page 81] portat, quia scriptum est: Iniquitas in talento plumbi sedit? [cf. Zec 5:7, not Vulgate] [Gregory the Great, Homilae in Hiezechihelem Prophetam I, 2, c. 6, CCSL 142, p. 20]

And the Blessed Gregory teaches in his commentary on Ezekiel how lead has to be understood as sinners when he says: Ezekiel arrived at the river Chobar. Chobar has to be read as heaviness. How can the river Chobar be understood other than standing for human nature, which flows from its beginnings to its death and is heavy for itself from sins, which it performs and carries [page 81], since it is written: 'Unjustness settles in a heavy weight (talentum) of lead?' [cf. Za 5:7, not Vulgate] [Gregory, In Ezechielem Homilia II, c. 6].

Omne enim peccatum grave est, quia non permittit animum ad sublimia levari, unde et per psalmistam dicitur: Filii hominum usquequo graves corde? [Ps 4:3] Et quod per plumbum peccatores intelligantur, testatur iterum Zacharias propheta, cum dicit inter caetera: Vidi duas mulieres elevantes amphoram inter terram et coelum, et erat illi os ingens; et una mulier jactavit massam plumbi in os amphorae. Et dixit mihi angelus: Quo defertur haec amphora? Et dixi: Nescio. Et dixit: Haec defertur amphora, ut aedificetur ei domus in terra Sennaar. [cf. Za 5:9-11, not Vulgate]14

All sin is weighty because it does not allow the mind to be lifted up to the highest, as it is said by the Psalmist: Sons of men, why is your heart so heavy? [Ps 4:3] And the Prophet Zacharias also shows that lead stands for sinners when among other things he says: I saw two women lifting an amphora up between earth and heaven. And this amphora had a huge mouth. One woman threw a piece of lead into the mouth of the amphora. An angel said to me: 'To where is this amphora being carried?' I responded: 'I do not know.' He said: 'This amphora is carried in order that a house for be built in the land of Sennaar (Babylon)'. [cf. Za 5:9-11, not Vulgate]

Per amphoram intelligitur cupiditas, per os ingens amphorae intelligitur impietas, quia cupiditas semper os habet patens ad concupiscendum.

The amphora refers to desire and its large mouth to impiety, because desire always has a mouth standing open for desire.

Et bene plumbum in os amphorae mittitur, quia impietas semper in cupiditate est.

And it is right to throw lead into the mouth of the amphora because in desire there is always impiety.

Per Sennaar intelligitur foetor.

Sennaar has to be understood as stench.

Pulchre in terra Sennaar domus amphorae aedificatur, quia malis domus in foetore construitur. Inter terram et coelum levatur, qui nec terram tangit nec coelum; significat superbum, qui per exaltationem fratri non compatitur, et coelum non tangit per meritum.

The house of the amphora is built aptly in the land of Sennaar, because the house for evil people is built in stench. He who touches neither earth nor heaven is lifted up between earth and heaven. This points to the proud person who in his arrogance does not feel compassion for his brother and who does not reach heaven through merits.

Sequitur: Adhuc operibus servantes saeculo fidem, mentiri Deo per tonsuram noscuntur.

Next: ...still keeping faith with worldly ways, they are known to lie to God by having tonsures.

Finis coenobitae est, nil de crastino cogitare, et quidquid agit, non ad suam voluntatem agere et proprium non habere; finis vero eremitae est, de crastino cogitare et mentem suam exutam a cunctis habere terrenis, eamque, quantum humana imbecillitas sinit, unire cum Christo. Sarabaitae vero habent aliquid commune per hanc formam cum eremita, id est cogitare aliquid de crastino, sed tamen in hoc discrepant ab illis, quia, si eremitae cogitant de crastino, ideo cogitant, ut possint Deo, quantum humana fragilitas permittit, mente sua adhaerere; sarabaitae vero si cogitant de crastino, ideo cogitant, ut mentem suam saeculo jungant et; non solum in crastinum, verum etiam per multorum spatia annorum mentem suam cogitando extendunt. Cum coenobita habent aliquid commune [page 82], id est opera manibus exercere, sed in hoc discrepant ab illis, quia coenobitae, quidquid agunt, nihil secundum voluntatem suam agunt, isti vero omnia secundum voluntatem suam laborant.

The goal of a cenobite is not to think about tomorrow and to do whatever he does not according to his own will and to have nothing of his own. The goal of a hermit is to think about tomorrow and to have his mind stripped from all earthly things, and to unite his mind with Christ, as far as human weakness allows. But in this pattern sarabaites have something in common with a hermit: they both think about tomorrow. However, they differ from each other because if hermits think about tomorrow, they do it in order that they can fasten their minds to God as far as human weakness permits. But if sarabaites think about tomorrow, they do it for that reason that they join their minds with the world – and this not only for tomorrow but they also extend their thinking through many years. They share with cenobites [page 82] performance of manual labor, though in a different way, since cenobites never do their work according to their own will, while sarabaites always work according to their own will.

Coenobitae non laborant, ut domini sint laborum suorum, sed omnem laborem in potestate prioris consistunt; isti vero idcirco laborant, ut domini sint laborum suorum et ditiores fiant.

Cenobites do not work in order to be the masters of their own efforts, but all effort remains under the power of the superior. The sarabaites, however, work for to be masters over their own efforts and to become richer.

Vide modo, quia, quamvis habitu videantur monachi, tamen actionibus saeculares existunt, et propterea dixit S. Benedictus: Adhuc operibus servantes saeculo fidem, mentiri Deo per tonsuram noscuntur.

Now see that they, though they look like monks in their habit, still remain worldly in their deeds. Therefore says the Blessed Benedict: still keeping faith with worldly ways, they are known to lie to God by having tonsures.

Sequitur: 8Qui bini aut terni aut certe singuli sine pastore, non dominicis, sed suis inclusi ovilibus, pro lege eis est desideriorum voluptas.

Next: 8They go around in pairs or threes or, of course, alone, with no shepherd, but in their own sheepfolds, not the Lord's, and the pleasure of their desires is their law.

Certe de istis enim, quamvis bini aut terni aut singuli inveniri possint, tamen potest intelligi per binos et trinos et singulos multitudinem sive paucitatem. Sine pastore idcirco dicit, quia aut sine pastore sunt, aut certe si pastorem videantur habere, tamen sine pastore sunt, quia similem sibi, id est consentientem vitiis suis habent.

We certainly find them in pairs or groups or three or alone but we can read two or three or one also as large or small groups. He says with no shepherd because they either do not have a shepherd at all or, if they seem to have one, they still do not because they have a person like themselves who consents to their vices.

Nunc videndum est, quare dicat S. Benedictus ovilibus pluraliter, cum Dominus dicat: Unus pastor et unum ovile est. [Io 10:16] Si enim pastor referatur ad Christum, unus pastor est et unum ovile est; si referatur ad unam fidem, ad unum baptismum et ad unam remunerationem aeternae felicitatis, unum ovile est, id est, una ecclesia est. Item si referatur unus pastor ad diversos episcopos et ceteros praepositos sanctae ecclesiae, multi pastores sunt. Similiter si referatur unum ovile, id est sancta ecclesia ad diversitatem linguarum sive ad dona Sancti Spiritus, multae ecclesiae sunt. Unde Joannes Evangelista propter septem dona, Sancti Spiritus Septem ecclesiis scripsit Apocalypsin. [cf. esp. Act 1 and 3]

Now we have to see why the Holy Benedict uses the plural of sheepfolds (ovilibus) even though the Lord says: There is one shepherd and one sheepfold. [Io 10:16] For, if shepherd refers to Christ, then there is one Shepherd and one sheepfold. If it refers to one faith, to one baptism and to one reward of eternal happiness, then there is one sheepfold, that is, one church. Likewise, if one shepherd refers to a number of bishops or other prelates of the Holy Church, then there are many shepherds. Accordingly, if one sheepfold, that is, the Holy Church, refers to a diversity of different languages or to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then there are many churches. Therefore the Evangelist John wrote the Apocalypse to the seven churches of the Holy Spirit because of the Seven Gifts. [cf. esp. Act 1 and 3]

Sequitur: 8Pro lege eis est desideriorum voluptas, 9cum, quidquid putaverint vel elegerint, hoc dicunt sanctum, et quod noluerint, hoc putant non licere.

Next: 8...and the pleasure of their desires is their law, 9since they call holy whatever they have thought or chosen and they deem forbidden what they have not wished to do.

Voluntas per n. proprie semper in bono ponitur, quamvis abusive in malo ponatur; voluptas vero per p. proprie semper in malo ponitur, quamvis [page 83] forte et in bono ponatur.

The term voluntas (‘will’) – written with letter 'n' – usually appears in a positive context, even though it appears by improper use also in a negative context. The term voluptas (pleasure) – written with a ‘p’ – is always used correctly in a negative context, though [page 83] it accidentally can be used as something good.

Pro lege eis est desideriorum voluptas, id est, ac si diceret: voluptas eorum est eorum. Cum quidquid putaverint vel elegerint, hoc dicunt sanctum, et quod noluerint, hoc putant non licere.

And the pleasure of their desires is their law. He wants to say that their pleasure is their law. ...Since they call holy whatever they have thought or chosen and they deem forbidden what they have not wished to do.

In hoc loco animadvertendum est: si boni pro ignorantia aliquando eligunt mala pro bonis, errant; quanto magis errant isti, qui mali sunt voluntarie?

Here we have to consider the following: if those who are good choose out of ignorance something evil instead of something good, they are doing wrong. But how much more are those doing wrong who are evil out in their own will?

Quam sententiam B. Gregorius ita exponit: Certe cum Israeliticus populus ante Dei oculos pene inveniabilem contraxisset offensam, ita ut ejus rector audiret: Descende, peccavit populus tuus [Ex 32:7], ac si ei divina vox diceret: Qui in tali peccato lapsus est, jam meus non est, etc. etc. [Gregory the Great, Expositio veteri ac novi testamenti I, II, c. 53, PL 79, col. 746D-747A]

The Blessed Gregory explains this statement: Surely, when the people of Israel had bought on themselves an almost unforgivable offence in the eyes of God, to the point that that its leader heard: 'Go down, your people have sinned' [Ex 32:7], it is as if the divine voice was saying: 'He who has fallen in such sins, is not mine any more, etc. etc. [Gregory, Expositio veteri ac novi testamenti I, II, c. 53, PL 79, col. 746D-747A]

Sequitur: 10Quartum vero genus est monachorum, quod nominatur gyrovagum, qui totam vitam15 suam per diversas provincias ternis aut quaternis diebus per diversorum cellas hospitantur, 11semper vagi et nunquam stabiles, et propriis voluptatibus et gulae illecebris servientes et per omnia anteriores16 Sarabaitis. 12De quorum omnium horum miserrima conversatione melius est silere quam loqui. 13His ergo omissis ad coenobitarum dzsimum genus disponendum adjuvante Domino perveniamus.

Next: 10The fourth kind of monks are those called gyrovagues, who spend their whole lives lodging in different regions and different monasteries three or four days at a time, 11always wandering and never stable, serving their own pleasures and the lure of gluttony, worse than sarabaites in every way. 12It is better to keep silent than to discuss the utterly wretched monastic ways of all these people. 13Therefore, leaving them aside, with God's help let us proceed to specifications for the strongest kind of monk, the cenobites.

 Ternis ant quaternis diebus ideo hospitantur per diversorum cellas, quia consuetudo est et fuit monasteriorum, cum suscipiunt hospites, tribus vel quatuor diebus omnem humanitatem hospitibus exhibere, postmodum vero, si plus steterint, sicut familiaribus, ita, illis exhibere. [cf. Regula magistri, c. 78] Et ab hoc illi quatuor aut tribus diebus manent in diversorum cellis.

They lodge at different cells for three or four days, because it is and was common for monasteries when they receive guests to show them all human kindness for three or four days but, if they stayed longer, to treat them as family members [cf. Regula magistri, c. 78] Therefore, they stay in the cells of different people only for four or three days. 

Semper vagi et nunquam stabiles, subaudiendum est: sunt.

Always wandering and never stable, add 'they are'.

Voluptas pertinet ad delectationes carnales, veluti sunt somnus et cibus et caetera, illecebra vero attinet ad gulam, et ideo dicta est illecebra, eo quod illiciat in aliud peccatum, verbi gratia ex gula nascitur nimia saturitas, et ex nimia saturitate aliquando fornicatio et reliqua. [Cassian]

Pleasures refer to the carnal pleasures, such as sleep and eating and others, lure is related to gluttony, and is called lure because it seduces someone into another sin. For example, gluttony causes too much satiation and from it comes fornication etc. [Cassian]

Et per omnia deteriores Sarabaitis. Bene dixit: per omnia, quia in omnibus pejores gyrovagi quam sarabaitae sunt, id est sarabaitae quamvis mali sint, tamen pejores sunt gyrovagi sarabaitis.

...Worse than sarabaites in every way. He rightly says in every way, because gyrovagues are really in everything worse than the sarabaites. Sarabaites may be bad, but gyrovagues are still worse than sarabaites.

Verbi gratia, sarabaitae sibi cellas aedificant, gyrovagi vero non aedificant [page 84] cellas, sed discurrunt per diversa loca. Sarabaitae quamvis mali sint, tamen labore manuum suarum vivunt, gyrovagi labore aliorum. Illi non dant aliis malum exemplum, isti autem, quia currunt per diversa loca, ideo exempla mala, tribuunt. Illi quia in uno loco stant, non vident bona exempla, isti, quia vadunt, vident bona exempla et nolunt illa imitari. Sarabaitae multa nescientes agunt, isti autem scientes malum esse discurrere per loca propter gulam, [et] tamen non emendantur.

For example, sarabaites build cells for themselves; gyrovagues do not build [page 84] cells but wander around to different places. Sarabaites may be bad, but at least they live from they own hands' work; gyrovagues live at others' expense. Sarabaites do not offer others a bad example. Gyrovagues, however, spread bad examples because they wander around in different places. Sarabaites do not see good examples because they stay at one place; gyrovagues are exposed to good examples since they get around, but they refuse to follow them. Sarabaites do many things out of ignorance; gyrovagues, knowing that it is bad to wander around for the sake of gluttony, still do not improve.

Et forte dicit aliquis: 'Aliquid simile habent Sarabaitae cum gyrovagis, id est, quia renuunt voluntati aliorum obedire et suam voluntatem adimplere'; tamen quia ad pejorem finem tendunt gyrovagi quam sarabaitae, idcirco pejores sunt sarabaitis gyrovagi.

Perhaps someone says that there is something sarabaites and gyrovagues have in common: they refuse to obey to the will of others and fulfill their own will. Still, the gyrovagues are worse than sarabaites because they tend to an end worse than that of the sarabaites.

De quorum, subaudiendum est: gyrovagorum, miserrima conversatione est melius silere quam loqui. Nunc videndum est, quare dixit: melius est silere, quam loqui? Quia eorum vitam pessimam esse cognovit, ideo tacere voluit, ne aliis in exemplum veniret. In hoc loco, ubi dicit his, subaudiendum est: tribus generibus, id est, eremitarum, sarabaitarum atque gyrovagorum; omissis, id est dimissis; fortissimum genus coenobitarum.

To It is better to keep silent add: about the gyrovagues than to discuss the utterly wretched monastic ways of all these people. Now we have to see why he says it is better to keep silent than to discuss. It is because Benedict regards this as the worst kind of life. Therefore he wants to remain silent lest he gives others bad examples. In the next sentence when he says 'these', we have to understand 'the three kinds', that is, hermits, sarabaites and gyrovagues. Leaving aside means 'leaving out'. Benedict proceeds to the strongest kind of monk, the cenobites.

Nunc videndum est, quod sit melius inter coenobitarum et anachoretarum genus, cum superius praetulit genus anachoretarum, eo quod dixit, monachos de coenobio exire ad eremum. Nam praedicatorum cousuetudo est, semper de minoribus ad majora praedicare17 auditores suos exire; nam si non cognoscunt meliora, ad quae debent progredi, nequaquam hortatus fuisset18 illos, illuc exire (maybe: exigere). Et nunc dicit: fortissimum genus monachorum coenobitarum; jam quando dicit fortissimum, nullum genus praecellit istud genus coenobitarum.

Now we have to see what are better, cenobites or anchorites, since he had earlier preferred anchorites, since he had said that monks leave the community to enter solitude. Preachers are accustomed in their sermons to work from the lesser to the greater so that their audience moves forward. For, if they do not know the better things to which they ought to proceed, he would never have encouraged them to move forward. But now he says: for the strongest kind of monk, the cenobites. Already when he says the strongest, he makes clear that no kind excels that of the cenobites.

Verbi gratia: dic mihi, quid melius est inter illud, quod dicitur fortissimum, et illud, quod alio nomine explicatur, sicuti est forte aut fortius et caetera, his similia? Melius est illud, quod per fortissimum genus narratur. Ecce melius genus coenobitarum, eo quod illud [page 85] explicavit S. Benedictus per fortissimum, et genus anachoretarum explicavit alio nomine. Iterum dic mihi, quis discipulus melior est e duobus inter illum, qui plus diligit Jesum, et illum, qui minus? Ille, qui plus, sicuti est Petrus; nam Petrus plus dilexit Jesum quam Johannes. Et ubi cognoscitur Petrus plus dilexisse Jesum quam alii apostoli? Manifestat Scriptura divina, ubi Dominus ait: Simon Johhannis! diligis me plus his? [Io 21:15] Vide modo, quia, nisi Dominum plus aliis discipulis dilexisset, nequaquam illum Dominus ita interrogasset. Ille autem, quia se cognovit hominem esse, nescivit aliorum intentiones, ideo dixit: 'Domine, tu scis, quia amo te', [Io 21: 15] ac si diceret: Tu, quia Deus es, cognoscis, quis te plus diligit. Et iterum dic mihi, quis melior discipulus ex istis duobus, id est Petro et Johanne, inter illum, quem plus dilexit Jesus, et illum, quem minus? Dicis mihi: ille, quem plus dilexit Dominus. Ecce Johannes videtur melior esse quam Petrus. Ita et de istis duobus generibus monachorum, id est coenobitarum et anachoretarum potest conjicere, quia Petrus tenet figuram vitae activae, Johannes vitae contemplativae. Ergo sicut isti discipuli non videntur invicem sibi praecellere, ita et de istis generibus potest conjicere, unum alterum non posse praecellere.

For example, tell me what is better, that which is called the strongest or that which is described in other terms, for example 'strong' or 'stronger' or something of that kind? What is described as the strongest kind is better. [page 85] Look, the best kind is that that of the cenobites because Saint Benedict explained it through the word the strongest and he describes the kind of anchorites with another name. Now, again, tell me which of two disciples is better: the one who loves Jesus more, or the one who loves him less? The one who loves him more, therefore Peter, because Peter loved Jesus more than John. And where do we realize that Peter loved Jesus more than the other Apostles? Divine Scripture shows it, when the Lord says: ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than they do?’ [Io 21:15] Now see, if he had not loved the Lord more than the other disciples had loved the Lord, he would never have asked him in that way. But Peter, since he knew that he was human and did not know the intentions of the others therefore said: 'Lord, you know that I love you', [Io 21:15] as if he wanted to say: 'Because you are God, you know who loves you more'. And now tell me: who is the better disciple of those two, Peter or John? The one who loves Jesus more or the one who loves him less? You reply: the one whom the Lord loves more. Thus seems John to be better than Peter. We can assume the same with regard to the two kinds of monks, the cenobites and the anchorites, because Peter stands for the active life while John stands for the contemplative life. Thus, just as these disciples do not seem to surpass each other, so can we assume about these kinds that one cannot surpass the other.

Sciendum autem est, quia sarabaitae in ba dixit19 esse accentum, hoc est, ut sarabáytae dicantur.

One should know that the accent in sarabaites is on 'ba'. It is pronounced sarabáites.


1. om. ed. Hanslik.
2. qui didicerunt ed. Hanslik
3. om. ed. Hanslik
4. cf cod. Diviones. ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
5. horum qui ed. Hanslik
6. quanto. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
7. ituri (?). (Mittermüller).
8. in monasterio] monasterii ed. Hanslik
9. iam sine ed. Hanslik
10. sufficiun pugnare tr. ed. Hanslik
11. Vulgate: Pulchra es, amica mea, sicut Thersa, decora sicut Ierusalem, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata.
12. I couldn't identify the story - I would assume that it is from Valerius Maximus' Facta et dicta memorabilia. Can anyone help out?
13. vero monachorum ed. Hanslik
14. Vulgate: Zec 5:9-11: Et levavi oculos meos et vidi: et ecce duae mulieres egredientes, et ventus in alis earum, et habebant alas quasi alas milvi; et levaverunt epham inter terram et caelum. Et dixi ad angelum, qui loquebatur in me: "Quo istae deferunt epham?". Et dixit ad me: "Ut aedificetur ei domus in terra Sennaar; et, postquam constructa fuerit, ponetur ibi super basem suam".
15. tota vita ed. Hanslik
16. deteriores ed. Hanslik
17. praedicare = hortari. (Mittermüller).
18. hortatur. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
19. Non Sarabaÿtae. (Mittermüller).

1. What follows here may be inspired by Isidore of Seville, De Ecclesiasticis Officiis II, ch. 16(15).
2. . I couldn’t identify the story. It sounds like it comes from Valerius Maximus’ Facta et dicta memorabilia. Can anyone help out?

Cap. II
QUALIS DEBEAT ESSE ABBAS

[Ms P, fol. 22v – Paulus Diaconus
Ps.-Basil: Ms K2, fol. 70v; Ms E1, fol. 29r; Ms E2, fol. 37v]

Ch. 2
WHAT KIND OF PERSON THE ABBOT SHOULD BE

Translated by: Mariël Urbanus, Corinna Prior, and Bruce Venarde

Egregium enim ordinem tenuit B. Benedictus in hoc loco, eo quod prius dixit de generibus vel vita monachorum [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 1] et postmodum subjunxit de sententia1 abbatis, qualis ille debet esse. Veluti quis, cum aliquod aedificium construere vult, fundamentum ponit, ita et B. Benedictus facere comprobatur [page 86], cum prius de generibus monachorum dicit et post monasterialem normam descripsit; et post electionem coenobialis vitae quid aliud debuit inprimis describi nisi caput, cum descripturus erat et cetera membra? Et bene postquam coenobialem vitam elegit, de abbate, qui est caput, dixit, quia capite firmo et sano cetera membra vigebunt.

For in this section, blessed Benedict kept excellent order because earlier he spoke about the kinds and life of monks [cf. Regula Benedicti, ch.1] and afterwards added his opinion of what kind of person the abbot should be. Just as when someone wishes to construct any building, he places the foundation [first], so also St. Benedict is shown to do, [page 86] when earlier he spoke about the kinds of monks and afterward he described the monastic rule; and after the choice of monastic life, what else should be described first if not the head, when he is about to describe the other members of the monastery? And he chose well to speak about the abbot, who is the head, after monastic life, because the other members of the monastery will flourish with a strong and sensible head.

Sequitur: 1Praeesse dignus est.

Next: 1He who is worthy to lead.

Praeesse, i. e. superesse.

 To lead, that is, to be in charge.

In hoc enim loco animadvertendum est, quia non dixit absolute praeest, sed praeesse cum adjectione dignus; ista, enim adjectio, quae est dignus, admonet illum abbatem, ut interiora cordis sui consideret, ut cognoscat, utrum hunc honorem dignus sit accipere. Quod si se cognoverit dignum esse, referat gratias largitori suo; et si se invenerit indignum, jam ista cogitatio humilitas in illo esse cognoscitur. Deinde humilitate suscepta, ejecta superbia, ad hoc laboret et conetur, ut dignus inveniatur, quatenus sibi et auditoribus proficiat. Et non solum illum hortatur et admonet, illud considerare, verum etiam bona, quae discipuli sui agunt, indicare illis, quatenus illi, cum sua opera approbare magistrum cognoverint, arctius teneant, ut non perdant.

For in this place it must be observed, that he did not simply say he leads, but to lead with the adjective worthy; for the adjective (worthy) reminds the abbot to inspect the interior [workings] of his heart, so that he may know if he is worthy to receive this honor. If he finds himself worthy, he should thank his Benefactor; and if he finds himself unworthy, then that thought should be recognized as humility in him. Subsequently, with humility received and pride cast aside, let the abbot work and strive to be found worthy to improve himself and his listeners. And not only does [humility] encourage and admonish the abbot to consider this, but also it encourages him to point out the good things which his disciples do, in order that they may hold more closely to the abbot when they learn that their master approves of their work, so that they will not be lost.

Similiter etiam mala, si forte agunt, illis indicare magister studeat, ut illi, cum magistrum suum sua opera cognoverint reprobare, super his poenitentiam agant et de cetero emendent. Et hoc ita sive malum sive bonum illis manifestare studeat, ut illi pro bonis non se extollant et pro malis non desperent, et nec plus aut minus, quam oportet, illis sive mala vel bona indicare studeat, sed secundum competentiam unicuique dicat.

Likewise with bad things, if perhaps [disciples] do them, let the master strive to point this out to them, so that when they learn that their master condemns their works, they may do penance for these and subsequently emend. And thus let him endeavor to make clear to them the bad as well as the good, so that they may not elevate themselves on account of good things and not despair on account of bad things. And let him endeavor to point out bad and good things no more or less than it is fitting, but let him speak to everyone according to their capacities.

Sequitur: 1Semper meminere debet abbas, quod dicitur, i. e. semper recordari debet hoc, quod ab aliis dicitur. i. e. abbas, quia si semper illud recordatus fuerit, poterit implere, quod sequitur: 1et nomen majoris factis implere.

Next: 1The abbot should always remember what he is called, that is he ought always to remember what he is called by others, that is abbot, because if he always remembers that, he will be able to fulfill what follows: 1and to fulfill in his deeds the name of superior.

In hoc loco, ubi dicitur majoris, subaudiendum est: dignitatis vel officii aut personae.

In this place, where of superior is said, it must be understood: With regard to the dignity, either of the office or the person.

Nunc videndum est, quomodo debet abbas nomen majoris factis implere. Ita enim implet factis suum nomen majoris, si sic, ut est primus in sedendo, primus in ambulando, primus in cetera distribuendo sive [page 87] disponendo, ita debet esse primus in humilitate, in jejunio, in silentio, in lectione, in caritate; et sicut est, in corporalibus rebus, ita etiam in spiritalibus rebus.

Now it must be seen, how the abbot, through his deeds, ought to fulfill the name of the superior. For thus he fulfills his name of superior in deeds if just as he is first in sitting, first in walking, first in other distribution or [page 87] arrangement, thus he ought to be first in humility, in fasting, in silence, in reading, in charity; and just as he is in corporal matters, he must also be in spiritual matters.

Sequitur: 2Christi enim agere vices in monasterio creditur.

Next: 2For he is believed to act in the place of Christ in the monastery.

Iterum videndum est, quomodo agat Christi vices in monasterio. Ita enim agit: Christus enim descendit de coelis et elegit apostolos; ad hoc elegit, ut illos amaret, sicut dicit ipse Dominus; ait enim: Sicut dilexit me Pater, et ego dilexi vos [Io 15:9]. Et iterum ad hoc elegit, ut illos doceret, sicut idem Dominus dicit: Omnia, quaecunque audivi a Patre meo, nota feci vobis. [Io 15:15]

Again it must be seen how he should act in the place of Christ in the monastery. For he acts thus: Christ descended from heaven and chose his apostles; he chose for this reason, that he might love them, just as the Lord himself says. For he says: Just as the Father loved me, I have also loved you. [Io 15:9] And again he chose for this reason, that he might teach them, just as the Lord himself says: All thing whatsoever I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you. [Io 15:15]

Et iterum ideo apostoli elegerunt Dominum, ut diligerent illum, et obedirent ei; nam quod ideo elegerunt Dominum, ut diligerent illum, testatur Dominus, cum dicit illis: Ipse enim Pater amat vos, quia vos amatis me et credidistis mihi, quia a Deo exivi [Io 16:27]. In hoc, quod dixit amatis, ostendit amorem apostolorum erga se, et in eo, quod dixit credidistis, ostendit obedientiam apostolorum.

And again the Apostles indeed chose the Lord, so that they might love and obey him. They chose the Lord for this reason, so that they might love him. They chose the Lord for this purpose, so they might love him, as the Lord bears witness when he says to them: For the Father himself loves you, because you love me and believed in me, since I came from God [Io 16:27]. That he said you love me shows the love of the apostles towards him, and that here he said you believed in me shows the obedience of the apostles.

Vide modo, sicut Dominus elegit discipulos, ut amaret et doceret eos, ita et abbas monachos ad hoc debet eligere, si vicem vult agere Christi, ut illos diligat et doceat; nam si alias elegerit, non vicem Christi agit; ille autem videat, cujus vicem ita eligendo discipulos agat.

Now see that just as the Lord chose his disciples so that he might love and teach them, thus also the abbot ought to choose his monks according to whether he wishes to act in the place of Christ, so that he might love and teach them. For if he chooses others, he does not act in the place of Christ. Moreover, let [the abbot] see in whose place he should act in choosing his disciples.

Et iterum monachi ad hoc debent eligere abbatem suum, ut ament illum et obediant ei, sicut discipuli Christum; nam si aliter elegerint, i. e. non ut abbatem suum ament et obediant, non vicem discipulorum tenent, sed aliorum; illi videant, in quorum vice eligunt sibi abbatem.

And again the monks ought to choose their abbot accordingly, so that they may love and obey him, just as the disciples loved and obeyed Christ; for if they choose differently, that is so that they may not love and obey their abbot, they do not keep the place of the apostles, but of others; let those men in the place of [the apostles] see that they choose the abbot for themselves.

Nam idcirco praecipit S. Benedictus, abbatem novitium per unum annum probare, ut cognoscat abbas illum, si possit illum amare et docere, et similiter ille novitius debet providere per unum annum abbatem, quem amet et cui obediat.

For therefore St. Benedict instructs the abbot to test a novice for one year, so that the abbot may know him, [and] if he is able to love and teach him, and likewise that novice ought to see for a year what to expect concerning the abbot whom he would love and obey.

Nam iterum dico; nam si abbas, sicut diximus, non eligit monachos et in dilectione et doctrina Dei non habet illos, non abbas Christi, sed diaboli est abbas. Similiter et illi monachi, si non obedierint abbati aut dilexerint eum, non illum in vice Christi habent patrem. Et est sensus, cum dicit: Christi enim vicem agere creditur in monasterio, i. e. in vice Christi [page 88] creditur esse abbas in monasterio; et ubi dicit creditur, subaudiendum est: ab aliis.

For again I say that if the abbot, as we have said, does not choose his monks and does not hold them in love and in the doctrine of God, then the abbot is not Christ’s, but the devil’s. Likewise also those monks, if they do not obey the abbot or love him, they do not hold their father in the place of Christ. It this is the sense, when he says: For he is believed to act in the place of Christ in the monastery, that is, the abbot is believed to be in the place of Christ [page 88] in the monastery; and when he says is believed, it must be understood: by others.

Sequitur: 2Quando ipsius vocatur praenomine 3dicente apostolo: Accepistis spiritum adoptionis filiorum Dei, in quo clamamus: Abba, pater [Rm 8:15].

Next: 2When he is called by Christ’s title, 3as the Apostle says: You have received the spirit of the adoption of the sons of God, in which we cry out: Abba, father. [Rm 8:15]

In hoc, quod dicit praenomine, ostendit, nomen et dignitatem Christi in monasterio abbatem habere. Dignitatem enim dico, quantum ad hominem attinet, quantum vero ad Deum, dignatio Dei est, eo quod Deus condescendendo nobis fecit se patrem nostrum, sicut jam superius diximus; praenomen enim nomen est dignitatis.

Because he says by [Christ's] title, he shows by this that the abbot has the name and authority of Christ within the monastery. I say authority, as much as it pertains to man, but also as much as it pertains to God. Authority is God’s because God in descending to us made himself our father, as we already said earlier; for his name is the name of authority.

Deinde quia S. Benedictus dixit rem grandem, cum dixit, abbatem vicem Christi agere in monasterio, idcirco illam firmavit hoc testimonio, quod dicit: Accepistis spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo clamamus: Abba, pater.

Then, because St. Benedict said a great thing when he said that the abbot acts in the place of Christ in the monastery, he therefore strengthened that statement with this testimony, because he says: You have received the spirit of the adoption of sons, in which we cry out: Abba, father.

Paulus enim hoc jam baptizatis dicebat, et illis dicebat cum caritate, qui non cum timore serviebant; et hoc sciendum est, quia narrando Paulus dixit et indicavit illis, quia non spiritum servitutis acceperunt, sed spiritum adoptionis filiorum.

For Paul said this to the newly baptized and he spoke with love to those men, who did not serve with fear; and it must be understood that Paul, in relating this, said and indicated to them that they did not receive a spirit of servitude but rather a spirit of the adoption of sons.

Ubi animadvertendum est, quia debet unusquisque suam conscientiam inquirere, utrum Deo per timorem an per amorem servit; si autem cognoverit, se per timorem servire, tunc se cognoscat filiorum spiritum adoptionis non accepisse, sed spiritum timoris; si autem cognoverit, se per amorem servire, tunc se cognoscat spiritum adoptionis filiorum accepisse. Similiter et monachi, si per timorem obediunt abbati, tunc non est causa sua bona, quia non acceperunt spiritum adoptionis filiorum, sed timoris.

Whereby, it must be observed whether one serves God through fear or through love, since each person ought to examine his own conscience. But if [a person] recognizes that he serves through fear, then he should recognize that he did not receive the spirit of the adoption of sons, but rather the spirit of fear. But if he recognizes that he serves through love, then he should recognize that he received the spirit of the adoption of sons. Likewise also the monks: if they obey the abbot through fear, then this is a bad motive, because they did not receive the spirit of adoption of sons, but rather the spirit of fear.

Vide modo, sicut Paulus dicit, illos spiritum adoptionis Domini accepisse, in quo clamant Deum patrem, ita et monachi quasi spiritum adoptionis accipiunt ab abbate suo, quem sibi in vice Christi elegerunt patrem, in quo clamant illum patrem.

Now see, just as Paul says, that they received the spirit of the adoption of the Lord, in which they cry out to God the father, thus also the monks receive the spirit of adoption from their abbot, whom they chose for themselves as father in the place of Christ, when they call him father.

Abba hebraica et syriaca lingua est, graeca vero et latina lingua pater dicitur. Quia cognovit B. Paulus apostolus, gentes suas epistolas esse lecturas, ideo dixit Abba, pater, ut unaquaequae gens in sua liugua haberet hoc nomen, quod est pater.

Abba is a Hebrew and Syrian word, but called pater in Greek and Latin. Because the blessed apostle Paul recognized that gentiles would read his epistles, he therefore said Abba, pater, so that every people might have this name, that is pater, in his own language.

Sequitur: 4Ideoque abbas nihil extra praeceptum Domini, quod absit, debet docere aut constituere vel jubere.

Next: 4Therefore the abbot must not, heaven forbid teach or establish or command anything that is outside the Lord’s commandments.

Istud [page 89] enim ideo ad superiorem sensum attinet, ac si diceret: Si abbas vicem Christi agere creditur, propterea non debet docere aut constitnere vel jubere, quod absit, i. e, quod nunquam sit, contra praeceptum Domini; extra praeceptum Domini ponitur pro 'contra' praeceptum; extra enim pro 'contra' ponitur.

This [page 89] therefore pertains to the earlier sense, as if he said: If it is believed that the abbot acts in the place of Christ, for this reason he must not teach or establish or decree, heaven forbid, that is, never teach what is contrary to God’s teaching; outside the Lord’s commandments is in place of ‘against’ the commandments; for outside is in place of ‘against’.

Docere enim attinet ad doctrinam, quae est in scripturis divinis, ac si diceret: nihil aliud debet docere, nisi quod in textu regulae et in scripturis divinis invenitur.

For to teach pertains to doctrine, which is in the holy scriptures, as if he said: He must teach nothing else except what is found in a text of the Rule and in the holy scriptures.

Sic enim B. Hieronymus dicit: Cave prudens lector superstitiosam intelligentiam, ut non sensui tuo jungas scripturas, sed scripturae jungas sensum tuum, ut intelligas, quod sequatur [Jerome, Commentarii in Evangelium Matthaei I, 10:29, PL 26, col. 66D].

For thus the blessed Jerome says: Beware, prudent reader, of superstitious interpretation, so that you do not join the scriptures to your own meaning, but that you bring your meaning to the scriptures, so that you may understand what follows [Jerome, Commentarii in Evangelium Matthaei I, 10:29].

Constituere vero attinet, ad locus, qui constituuntur in monasterio. Et quomodo isti loci constitui possunt contra praeceptum Domini? Possunt etiam, si ita constituuntur, ut non honeste et recte constituantur, ita ut saluti animae in illis locis aliqua contrarietas generetur; recte et honeste constituuntur, ut fratres, qui ibi laborant aut quidquid agunt, possint sine contrarietate animae laborare.

But to establish pertains to the places, which are established in the monastery. And how can these places be established contrary to the Lord’s commandments? They can indeed, if they are established in such a manner that they are not established honorably and properly, but so that in these places some opposition to the salvation of the soul is created; it is established properly and honorably so that the brothers, who work there or who do something there can work there without opposition to their soul.

Verbi gratia, loci sunt, quos alii affectus (?) vocant, ut sunt isti, ubi fratres operantur manibus aut ubi lavantur, quando polluti in nocte fuerint, aut ubi legunt aut aliquid agunt, sicut diximus.

There are for example places that others call affectus,1 just as there are those places where brothers work with their hands or where they are washed when they have been polluted in the night, or where they read or do something else, as we have said.

Jubere vero attinet ad imperium, sicut imperat abbas monacho, vadere in aliquem locum aut aliquid agere. Talia enim jussa contra praeceptum Domini sunt, si in his praeceptis scandalum animae reperitur; illa enim studeamus discere in terris, quorum nobis notitia proficiat in coelis.

To command certainly pertains to authority (imperium), just as the abbot orders (imperat) a monk to go to someplace or to do something. For such orders are contrary to the Lord’s commandments, if in these commandments there is an offence of the soul. Let us strive to learn these things on earth, knowledge of which may benefit us in heaven.

Sequitur: 5Sed jussio ejus vel doctrina fermentum divinae justitiae in discipulorum mentibus conspergatur.

Next: 5But instead his command and his teaching should sprinkle the yeast of divine justice in the minds of his disciples.

Nunc videndum est, quare S. Benedictus superius dixit tria, id est docere vel constituere vel jubere, et hic dixit duo, jussio et doctrina. Ideo non dixit constitutio, quia constituere attinet, sicut dixi, ad constitutionem locorum, quae magis ad exteriorem hominem attinet, eo quod ibi noster exterior homo corporaliter agit in illo, quamvis salus animae in illis possit reperiri; doctrina vero vel jussio ad cordis aures attinet, id est interioris hominis, eo quod per illum homo exterior percipit verba.

Now it must be seen how St. Benedict said three things above, that is to teach or to establish or to command, and here he said only two, command and teaching. He did not say establishment (constitutio) because it pertains to establishing (constituere). Just as I said [earlier], the establishment of places relates more to the exterior man because our exterior man exists there physically, although the salvation of the soul can be found in those [physical places]. But teaching or command pertains to the ears of the heart, that is to the inner man, because the exterior man learns the words through him.

Fermenti enim natura [page 90] est, omnem saporem farinae ad se trahere. Fermentum autem in malo et in bono ponitur; ponitur enim in malo, ut est illud: Expurgate vetus fermentum, ut sitis nova conspersio, sicut estis azimi [1 Cor 5:7]. Fermentum enim ad veteris Adae conversationem attinet; Adam enim fermentum fuit in massa generis humani, quia sicut ille corruptus fuit, ita traxit omnem saporem generis humani, i. e. corrupit genus humanum. Sed Deus misertus humanae naturae misit aliud fermentum in terris, hoc est filium suum, qui faceret novam conspersionem, ut omnes, quotquot voluerint, salvarentur. Ille vero fecit novam conspersionem et traxit omnia ad suum saporem, sicut ipse dixit: Si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad me [Io 12:32].

For it is the nature of yeast [page 90] to draw all the flavour of the flour to itself. But yeast is placed within the bad as well as the good. It is placed in the bad, as it is said: Purify the old yeast, so that you will be as new dough, just as you are morally pure.2 [1 Cor 5:7] For yeast belongs to the way of life of Adam in the Old Testament; for Adam was the yeast in the dough of the human race, and just as he was corrupted, so he drew all his flavour to the human race, that is he corrupted the race of man. But God, having mercy on human nature, sent another yeast to earth, that is his son, to make new dough, so that all who wished would be saved. Indeed, he made new dough and drew all things to his flavour, just as he said himself: If I am exalted, I will draw all things from the earth to me. [Io 12:32]

In hoc enim loco, ubi dicit omnia, subaudiendum est: electa. Et propterea Paulus dicit: Expurgate vetus fermentum [1 Cor 5:7], i. e. expellite a vobis veteris Adae conversationem, ut possitis suscipere novi Adae, qui est Christus.

For in this place, where he says ‘all things’, it is to be understood as “chosen things.” And therefore Paul says: Purify the old yeast, [1 Cor 5:7] that is drive away from yourself the way of the old Adam, so that you can receive the way of the new Adam, who is Christ.

B. vero Benedictus, quia superius dixerat, abbatem vicem Christi agere, idcirco dicit nunc: Jussio ejus vel doctrina fermentum divinae justitiae in discipulorum mentibus conspergatur, ac si diceret: quia vicem agit Christi, ita debet trahere ad suum saporem omnem massam monachorum, sicut Christus traxit ad se omnia, hoc est per patientiam, per humilitatem, per doctrinam et ceteras virtutes.

Indeed St. Benedict, because he had said above that the abbot acts in the place of Christ, therefore now says His command and his teaching should sprinkle the yeast of divine justice in the minds of his disciples, as if he said: because he acts in the place of Christ, he must thus draw the entire dough of monks to his flavour, just as Christ drew all things to himself, that is through patience, humility, teaching, and other virtues.

Ubi enim dicit fermentum; subaudiendum est: quasi ut sit fermentum divinae legis justitiae; fermentum enim tunc bene trahit saporem massae ad suum saporem, si prius fuerit comminutum atque minutatum; ita et abbas tunc recte potent trahere voluntates et mores monachorum ad suum morem, si prius fuerit comminutus et contribulatus, hoc est, si compassionem et tribulationem fratrum suorum habuerit.

For where he says yeast, it must be understood: as though it may be the yeast of the law of divine justice; for then the yeast draws well the taste of the dough to his own flavour, if first it is broken down and weakened; thus then the abbot can also rightly draw the will and the ways of the monks to his way, if he shall first be broken down and afflicted, that is, if he has compassion and distress for his brothers.

Item fermentum, sicut Isidorus dicit, a fervore dictum est, quod plus prima hora non potest continere, crescendo enim excedit [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XX, c. 2.18]. De fermentis2 enim in scripturis divinis, sicut Beda dicit, pro dilectione ponitur [cf Bede, In Lucae Evangelium Expositio IV, 13:21, CCSL 120, p. 270] [page 91].

Likewise yeast (fermentum), as Isidore says, it is named from the word heat (fervore), which cannot be contained for more than the first hour, for it expands by growing.3 Yeast, in the divine scriptures, stands for love, as Bede says. 4

Sequitur: 6Memor semper abbas, quia doctrinae sua vel discipulorum obedientiae utrarumque rerum in tremendo judicio Dei facienda erit discussio.

Next: 6The abbot must always be mindful that there will have to be a trial in God’s fearsome court concerning two matters: his teaching and his disciples’ obedience.

Istud enim vel pro ‘et’ positum est.

Indeed, that word vel is used in place of et.

Egregius enim ordo est in hoc loco in eo quod superius admonuit abbatem, ut doctrina ejus vel jussio talis sit, quale fermentum divinae justitiae in mentibus discipulorum, et nunc subjunxit dicens: Memor semper abbas, quia ille de doctrina sua, et monachi de obedientia sua reddituri sunt rationem in die judicii; et ob hoc dixit solummodo abbati memorem esse, ut ille sollicitus sit de doctrina sua et discipulos suos reddat sollicitos de obedientia sua.

For there is an excellent [word] order in this place because he cautioned the abbot above that his teaching and command might be like the yeast of divine justice in the minds of the disciples, and now Benedict he adds this, saying: The abbot must always be mindful that he [will be tried] on his teaching, and that the monks will deliver an account of his obedience on the day of judgement. And he said only to the abbot to be mindful on this account, so that he may be attentive to his teaching and make his disciples attentive to their obedience.

Altero vero modo idcirco dixit, solummodo abbatem memorem esse debere, eo quod ille tam de sua doctrina quam de obedientia discipulorum suorum redditurus est rationem Deo in die judicii. Et propterea dixit: (de) obedientia discipulorum suorum, utrum sit perfecta an imperfecta obedientia, sicut et: (de) doctrina abbatis, si plus fuerit aut minor illa doctrina, quam debet.

Therefore he said, but in another way, that only the abbot must be mindful because he will deliver an account to God on the day of judgement not only about his teaching but about his disciples’ obedience as well. And therefore he said: (concerning) his disciples’ obedience, whether it may be perfect or imperfect obedience, and likewise (concerning) the abbot’s teaching, whether that teaching is more or less [perfect] than it must be.

Nunc iterum videndum est, quare dicit semper, cum dixit: memor abbas. Ideo dixit semper, quia voluit B. Benedictus, ut nunquam a corde abbatis discussio ista, id est inquisitio ista recedat.

Now it must be seen again in what way he said always, when he said: the abbot must be mindful. He said always, because blessed Benedict wished that this trial never [be absent from] the heart of the abbot, that is, that the investigation be far [from his heart].

Et iterum videndum est, quare dixit tremendo, cum suffecisset illi dicere: in die judicii facienda erit discussio? Ideo dixit tremendo, ut tremorem incuteret legentibus et audientibus hanc legem.

And it must be seen again in what way he said fearsome, when it would have been sufficient for him to say that a trial will be held on the day of judgement. He said fearsome [tremendo], so that he might instill trembling in those reading and hearing this law.

Et quia voluit, ut abbas hanc discussionem manifestus et plenius cognosceret, idcirco hoc exemplum pastoris subjungere studuit; ait enim: 7Sciatque abbas, culpae pastoris incumbere, quidquid in ovibus paterfamilias utilitatis minus potuerit invenire, ac si diceret: sicut paterfamilias inquirit diligenter pastorem ovium suarum de negligentiis earum.

And because he wished the abbot to find this examination [of his own heart] to be clearer and more complete, he therefore strived to join it with this example of a shepherd, for he says: 7And an abbot should know that whatever use the father of the household finds lacking in the sheep will be blamed on the shepherd, as if he said: just as the father of the household carefully examines a shepherd of his sheep about his neglect.

Verbi gratia, inquirit eum: 'Quare mortua est ovis mea? quare lupus rapuit illam? quare ovile non fuit bene coopertum? quare, cum infirma fuit, non medicavit illi, vel quare forsitan flagellavit illam?' et cetera his similia; quodsi pastor potuerit illi mittere rationem de infirma vel mortua [page 92] ove, tunc liberabitur, si vero non potuerit, poenae subjacebit: ita et Dominus faciet cum abbate.

For example, he asks: 'How did my sheep die? How did a wolf seize her? Why was the sheepfold not well covered? Why, when she was sick, did you not medicate her, or why perhaps did you flog her?' and other questions like these. But if the shepherd is able to give him an account of a sick or dead [page 92] sheep, then he is acquitted; if however he cannot, then he is liable to punishment. And so God does with the abbot.

Paterfamilias est Dominus, pastor vero est abbas, oves autem intelliguntur monachi, tempus, quo missurus est abbas rationem, intelligitur vita futura, in qua debet abbas mittere rationem de negligentiis monachorum suorum.

The father of the household is the lord, but the shepherd is the abbot, while the sheep are understood to be the monks, and the time, in which the abbot makes account, is understood to be the future life, in which the abbot must render an account for the failings of his monks.

Et bene dixit: quidquid in ovibus paterfamilias utilitatis minus potuerit invenire, id est non solum de spiritali negligentia, verum etiam de temporali eorum necessitate missurus erit rationem; quodsi non poterit mittere rationem tam de spiritali quam de temporali negligentia eorum, tunc condemnabitur.

And he said well: whatever use the father of the household finds lacking in the sheep will be blamed on the shepherd, that is not only concerning spiritual neglect, but also concerning their earthly needs he will render an account. But if he is not able to render an account of spiritual as well as earthly neglect of them, then he will be condemned.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia non liberabuntur monachi, cum abbas condemnatus fuerit, sed monachi condemnabuntur juxta meritum suum; abbas vero duplici poena luet, id est una pro sua negligentia, altera, quia illius negligentia non recta egerunt monachi.

And this must be observed, that the monks will not be acquitted when the abbot is condemned, but rather the monks will be condemned according to their own merit. Certainly the abbot pays a double punishment, that is one for his neglect, the other because through his neglect the monks did not act properly.

Si autem potuerit mittere rationem, quia non sua negligentia perierunt, tunc liberabitur, sicut in subsequentibus manifestat; ait enim: 8tantum iterum erit liber, ut si inquieto vel inobedienti gregi pastoris fuerit omnis diligentia attributa.

If, however, he is able to give an account that [the monks] did not perish through his neglect, then he will be acquitted, as is made clear in the following, for [Benedict] says: 8Likewise he will be equally free if all diligence is applied to a shepherd’s unsettled and disobedient flock.5

Vide modo, quia, sicut prius terrorem incussit abbati de ratione mittenda, ita nunc laetificare eum studet, dum dicit: Tantum iteram erit liber.

Look at the way that, just as [Benedict] earlier instilled fear in the abbot concerning the account that must be given, thus now he desires to delight him, when he says: Likewise he will be equally free.

Et cum dicit liber, subaudiendum est: a vinculis negligentiae monachorum.

And when he says free, it must be understood: [free] from the chains of the monks’ neglect.

Animadvertendum est in hoc loco, quia inquietus et ad animam et ad corpus attinet, eo quod est inquietudo animae et corporis, et per inquietudinem corporis ostenditur inquietudo animae, et ex inquietudine animae procedit inquietudo corporis.

It must be observed in this place, that unsettled [inquietus] concerns both the mind and the body, because disturbance [inquietudo] is of the mind and of the body, and disturbance of the mind is exhibited through the disturbance of the body, just as disturbance of the body proceeds from the disturbance of the mind.

Inquieto, id est non quieto. Inquietudo corporis est, cum monachus vagatur de loco in locum; inquietudo animae est, cum audit signum et tardius occurrit [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 43], vel negligenter agit ea, quae sibi injuncta fuerint, eo quod anima non est in suo statu, in quo debuit esse, sed quasi jam vacat, 3 cum a sua rectitudine cecidit in negligentiam.

Unsettled, that is not settled. Disturbance of the body is when a monk wanders from place to place; disturbance of the mind is when he hears the bell and comes to meet it slowly [c.f. Regula Benedicti, c. 43], or he carries out those things which have been imposed upon him negligently because his mind is not in the condition ought to be, but is as if already vacant,6 when it falls from correctness into neglect.

Omnis pastoris fuerit diligentia attributa.

All diligence is applied [to a] shepherd’s [flock].

Nunc videndum est, quare dixit omnis, cum dixit diligentia? Ideo dixit [page 93] omnis, ut non solum abbas debeat de diligentia spiritali studium habere, sed etiam de necessitate eorum temporali. Ideo, enim dixit omnis, cum dicit diligentia, quia ad spiritalem et temporalem diligentiam attinere voluit: ad temporalem, sicut est domus, locus, cibus, potus, vestimentum, et caetera his similia. Quia si solummodo de spiritali diligentia et non temporali sollicitus fuerit, nil adjuvat, et iterum nil adjuvat, si solummodo de temporali necessitudine eorum sollicitus fuerit, (si) non4 spiritali. Sed tamen plus debet de spiritali diligentia studiosus esse quam de temporali.

Now it must be seen why he said all when he said diligence. He said [page 93] all, so that the abbot should not only be zealous for spiritual diligence, but as well for their temporal need. Therefore he said all, when he said diligence, because he wished to refer to spiritual and to worldly diligence such as house, a place, a meal, a drink, clothes, and other similar things. Because if he is only concerned with spiritual diligence and not with worldly [diligence], [then] he is of no use, and again he is of no use if he is only concerned with their worldly needs, not with spiritual [needs]. But nevertheless he ought to be more devoted about the spiritual diligence than about the worldly [diligence].

Attributa, id est impensa.

Applied, that is, devoted to.

Sequitur: 8morbidis eorum actibus fuerit universa cura exhibita.

Next: 8Every effort to cure its unhealthy actions is applied.

Quod dicit: morbidis actibus, ad infirmitates mentis attinet, quia de corporalium infirmitatum cura inferius dicturus est.

 When he says unhealthy actions, it pertains to the sicknesses of the mind, because he will discuss the treatment of corporal sickness below.

Et bene dixit: morbidis actibus, quia infirmitas animae per actiones corporis intelligitur, sicuti est, cum pigre ad officium venit et somnolentiam habet, et caetera, his similia.

And well he said: unhealthy actions, because sickness of the mind is understood through actions of the body, just as it is when [a monk] comes slowly to the office and he is drowsy, and similar things.

Morbidis actibus intelliguntur: infirmis actibus, hoc est negligentibus operibus. Morbidi actus sunt opera negligenter facta et caetera vitia.

Unhealthy actions is understood to be weak actions, that is neglected works. Unhealthy actions are works done carelessly and other sins.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia iste morbus, id est infirmitas, ex infirmitate animae procedit, quia sicut corpus habet infirmitates suas, id est febrem et caetera his similia, ita habet anima suas infirmitates, id est iram, furorem, indignationem et caetera his similia: et quantum plus fuerint opera negligenter facta, tanto ex majore infirmitate animae descendunt. Quod si majora vitia fuerint quasi poenae (paene?) morte5 infirmitates majores intelliguntur. Nam cum videris fratrem negligentem, cognosce, ejus animam esse infirmam.

And this must be observed, that this illness, that is sickness, proceeds from the sickness of the soul, because just as the body has its sicknesses, that is fever and other similar things, so the soul has its sicknesses, that is anger, rage, indignation and other similar things. And the more carelessly works are done, the more they derives from great illness of the soul. Because if there are major faults, like the punishments of death, then they should be understood as major illnesses. For when you see a negligent brother, know that his soul is sick.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia unum significat istud, quod hic dixit: universa cura fuerit exhibita, et illud, quod superius dixit: omnis diligentia attributa; et ob hoc hic illud replicavit causa exaggerationis verborum.

And it must be observed that it means one and the same thing when Benedict said here and every effort to cure is applied, and when he said above all diligence is applied. He repeated it for the sake of emphasizing the words.

[page 94] Sequitur: 9Pastor eorum in judicio Domini absolutus dicat cum Propheta Domino.

[page 94] Next: 9Let their shepherd, acquitted in the Lord’s judgement, speak to the Lord, with the Prophet.

Absolutus, subaudiendum est: a vinculis negligentiae discipulorum suorum.

Acquitted, must be understood as from the negligence of his disciples.7

Dicat positum est pro ‘dicet’.

Let him speak [dicat] is instead of he will speak [dicet].

Sequitur: 9Justitiam tuam non abscondi in corde meo, veritatem tuam et salutare tuum dixi [Ps. 39:11].

Next: 9I did not hide your justice in my heart and I spoke your truth and your salvation [Ps 39:11].

Justitia enim in hoc loco pro generali justitia est posita, quae ad omnes virtutes attinet, veluti est illud Prophetae; ait enim: Indicabo tibi, o homo, quid Dominus tuus requirat a te, judicium et justitium, et ambulare sollicitum cum Deo tuo [Mi 6:8]. Quasi errans genus humanum a Deo, idcirco dixit: Indicabo tibi.

For justice was put forth here instead of general justice, which pertains to all virtues, just as this statement of the prophet; for he said: I will show you, o man, what your God requires of you, judgement and justice, and to walk anxiously with your God [Mi 6:8]. Just as if the race of man wanders from God, he therefore said: I will show you.

Judicium vero est discernere inter bonum et malum, justitia autem est, recedere a malo et facere bonum. Ambulare sollicitum dixit, ut sollicite custodiat bonum, quod agit; veritas vero attinet ad Deum, quia ipse dixit: Ego sum via, veritas et vita [Io 14:6]; et iterum attinet ad specialem virtutem, de qua dicit Apostolus: Veritatem loquimini unusquisque ad proximum suum [Eph 4:25; also Za 8:16], ac si diceret: 'Nolite mentiri invicem.'

Judgement is to discern between right and wrong, justice however is to retreat from evil and do right. [The prophet]8 said walk anxiously, in order that a man protects anxiously the good he does; truth however pertains to God, because he [Christ] himself said: I am the way, the truth and the life [Io 14:6]; and again it pertains to special virtue, of which the apostle [Paul] says: Speak the truth, every person with his neighbour [Eph 4:25; also Za 8:16], as if he said: “Refuse to lie to each other.”

Salutare enim attinet ad Christum, de quo dictum est: Salutare tuum da nobis [Ps 84:8], et potest referri ad praecepta divina, quia salutaria sunt. Et est sensus, cum dixit: Justitiam tuam non abscondi in corde meo, veritatem tuam et salutare tuum dixi, i. e. dixi illis recedere a malo et facere bonum, et praecepta tua indicavi illis, necnon et te ipsum illis manifestavi.

For salvation pertains to Christ, of which is said: Grant us your salvation [Ps 84:8], and it can refer to divine teachings, because they save. And this is the sense when he said: I did not hide your justice in my heart and I spoke your truth and your salvation, that is, I have said to them to retreat from evil and do good, and I have showed your teachings to them, and I have also revealed you yourself to them.

Sequitur: 9Ipsi autem contemnentes spreverunt me. [Ez 20:27].

Next: 9Yet they scornfully rejected me. [Ez 20:27]

Contemnere, i. e. spernere, i. e. rejicere vel repellere. Tunc contemnit quis, quando non vult audire praeceptum; spernit autem, quando ea, quae audit aut habet forte, de corde suo repellit; quia aliud est, in domum non sinere intrare, sicut est contemnere, et aliud, si susceptum habet, de domo sua rejicere. Et est sensus, cum dicit: Ipsi autem contemnentes spreverunt me, i. e. noluerunt audire, et si audierunt, a cordibus suis ea, quae dixi, expulerunt.

To scorn [contemnere], that is to reject [spernere], that is to refuse [rejicere] and to drive away [repellere]. Someone scorns, when he does not wish to hear teaching; moreover he rejects [it], he drives it out of his heart, what he hears or perhaps has. For it is one thing to forbid entrance into a house, as if to scorn, and another to refuse someone already received. And this is the sense when he says Yet they scornfully rejected me, that is, they did not wish to hear me, and if they listened, still they drove from their hearts those things I said.

Sequitur: 10Et tunc demum inobedientibus curae suae ovibus poena sit eis praevalens ipsa mors.

Next: 10And then in the end the punishment for disobedient sheep in his care will be death itself prevailing over them.

 Tunc demum, i. e, tunc, deinde, postea; curae suae, i. e, saluti suae.

Then in the end, that is, then, later, afterwards.

Curae suae attinet ad spiritalem salutem et ad salutem [page 95] corporis, verbi gratia, tunc non obediunt curae suae, cum praeceptis divinis, quae salutem hominibus se observantibus praebent, non oboediunt; vel tunc non oboediunt saluti suae, cum sibi servitium aut necessitas sive pro infirmitate sive pro sanitate impensa fuerit, et illi, cum debent pro illo servitio vel necessitate sibi impensa in melius proficere, non solum non proficiunt, verum etiam in pejus proveniunt.

His care, that is, his salvation. His care pertains to spiritual salvation and to bodily salvation [page 95], for example when [brothers] do not submit to his care, when they do not obey divine teachings that provide salvation [salutem] to men who observe them. And then they do not submit to his care, when there is servitude or need for him whether for sickness or for excessive health, is applied; when they ought to do better with regard to servitude or need, not only do they not do better, but even do worse.

Sit poena suapraevalens eis ipsa mors, ita enim construitur, i. e. tunc sit, hoc est fiat poena, subaudiendum est, sua ipsa. 6

Will be death itself prevailing over them: thus [the sentence] is constructed, that is, then the punishment that should be done, and it must be understood: their own punishment.

Praevalens mors: Praevalens, i. e. valde valens. Et est sensus, cum dicit: Tunc demum inobedientibus curae suae ovibus poena sit eis praevalens ipsa mors, i. e., quantum minus studium vel minorem curam habuerint erga salutem suam tam spiritalem quam etiam corporalem, tantum majorem poenam habebunt. Et propterea dicit curae suae, i.e. salutis suae.

Death prevailing: prevailing [praevalens], that very powerful [valde valens]. And this is the sense when he says: Then in the end the punishment for disobedient sheep in his care will be death itself prevailing over them, that is, the less zeal or care they have regarding their own salvation, spiritual as well as bodily salvation, the greater will their punishment be, and therefore he says his care, that is, their salvation.

Sequitur: 11Ergo cum aliquis suscipit nomen abbatis, duplici debet doctrina suis praeesse discipulis.

Next: 11Therefore, when anyone takes up the name of abbot, he must lead his disciples with twofold teaching.

Istud enim ergo ex superioribus pendet, ubi B. Benedictus dicit: 6Memor semper abbas, quia doctrinae suae vel discipulorum obedientiae utrarumque rerum in tremendo judicio Dei facienda erit discussio, ac si diceret: Si ita est, ut ille abbas tam de sua doctrina quam de obedientia discipulorum suorum redditurus erit7 rationem, ergo, qui suscipit nomen abbatis, duplici debet doctrina suis praesse discipulis, i. e. omnia bona et saccta factis amplius quam verbis ostendat, videlicet prius bona faciendo et postmodum verbis docendo.

For that therefore depends on what was written above, where blessed Benedict says: 6The abbot must always be mindful that there will have to be a trial in God’s fearsome court concerning two matters: his teaching and his disciples’ obedience, as if he said: If it is thus that the abbot will hand over an account of his teaching as well his disciples’ obedience, therefore, he who takes up the name of abbot, must lead his disciples with twofold teaching, that is he should show [them] all that is good and holy by his deeds even more than by his words, namely first by doing good things and then by teaching with words.

Sunt enim multi, qui dicunt, solummodo esse doctrinam verbis, et iterum sunt alii, qui dicunt, solummodo esse doctrinam operibus. B. vero Benedictus quia cognovit, utrumque esse necessarium, i. e. doctrinam, quae verbis fit, et doctrinam, quae operibus, idcirco dixit duplici doctrina, i. e. doctrina, quae fit verbis, et doctrina, quae operibus.

For there are many who say that there is teaching only by words, and again there are others who say that there is teaching only by works. But blessed Benedict, because he recognizes that both are necessary, that is teaching, which takes place through words, and teaching, which takes place through works, therefore said a twofold teaching, that is teaching through words and teaching through works.

Et ut ad superiora redeamus, ubi dicitur: 12omnia bona et sancta factis amplius quam verbis ostendat: quia magis [page 96] doctor actibus quam verbis praeesse debet, docet B. Gregorius in libro pastorali hoc modo dicens, ait enim: Sed inter haec ad ea quae jam diximus, caritatis studio retorquemur... [omitted in Mittermüller, added from SC 382: ut praedicator quisque plus actibus quam vocibus insonet, et bene vivendo vestigia sequacibus imprimat quam loquendo quo gradiantur ostendat.

And let us return to the previous discussion,9 where it is said: 12He should show all good and holy things in deeds more than in words, that a teacher [page 96] ought to take the lead more through deeds than through words. St. Gregory teaches [this] in the Liber Pastoralis in this way, for he said: But in the midst of these things we are brought back by the earnest desire of charity to what we have already said above; [omitted in Mittermüller: that every preacher should give forth a sound more by his deeds than by his words, and by good living imprint footsteps for men to follow rather than by speaking show them the way to walk.

Quia et gallus iste, quem pro exprimenda boni praedicatoris specie in loquutione sua Dominus assumit, cum jam edere cantus parat, prius alas excutit, et semetipsum feriens vigilantiorem reddit Quia nimirum necesse est ut hi qui verba sanctae praedicationis movent, prius studio bonae actionis evigilent, ne in semetipsis torpentes opere, alios excitent voce; prius se per sublimia facta excutiant, et tunc ad bene vivendum alios sollicitos reddant; prius cogitationum alis semetipsos feriant; quidquid in se inutiliter torpet, sollicita investigatione deprehendant, districta animadversione corrigant; et tunc demum aliorum vitam loquendo componant; prius punire propria fletibus curent, et tunc quae aliorum sunt punienda denuntient; et antequam verba exhortationis insonent, omne quod locuturi sunt,] ... operibus clament. [Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis III, c. 40, SC 382, pp. 530-532]

For that cock, too, whom the Lord in his manner of speech takes to represent a good preacher, when he is now preparing to crow, first shakes his wings, and by striking himself makes himself more awake; since it is surely necessary that those who give utterance to words of holy preaching should first be well awake in earnestness of good living, lest they rouse others with their voice while themselves torpid in performance; that they should first shake themselves up by lofty deeds, and then make others solicitous for good living; that they should first strike themselves with the wings of their thoughts; that whatsoever in themselves is unprofitably torpid they should discover by anxious investigation, and correct by strict reproach, and then at last set in order the life of others by speaking; that they should first take heed to punish their own faults in tears and then denounce what calls for punishment in others; and that, before they give voice to words of exhortation, they should proclaim in their deeds what they are about to speak. [[Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis III, c. 40, SC 382]10

Unde subditur, 12id est: omnia bona et sancta factis amplius quam verbis ostendat.

When is added 12He should show all good and holy things in deeds more than in words.

Nunc animadvertendum est, quare praemisit omnia, cum dixit bona et sancta? Ideo dixit omnia, quia nil excludit abbati, hoc est, non secundum quod abbas eligit aut ei libitum solummodo fuerit, sed omnia debent esse bona et sancta, hoc est, quae in scripturis divinis repererit hoc est secundum auctoritatem divinarum scripturarum.

Now it must be observed, why he placed all before good and holy? He said all because he excludes nothing concerning the abbot, that is, not according to what the abbot chooses or only what is pleasing to him, but all things ought to be good and holy, that is what he learns in the divine scripture, that is, according to the authority of the divine scripture.

In hoc enim loco, quo dicit: factis amplius quam verbis ostendat, utrumque vult. s. Benedictus, id est doctrinam verborum et operum. Sed quia sunt multi, qui non possunt utrumque peragere, id est doctrinam verborum et operum, idcirco dixit: factis amplius, ac si diceret: utrumque debet peragere, sed quamvis utroque modo debet praeesse, tamen magis factis; et si periculum est in illo, qui factis solummodo praeest, tamen magis periculum est in illo, qui solummodo verbis praeest, ac si diceret: et doctrina et opere debet praeesse, maxime opere.

For in this place, where he says: He should show in deeds more than in words, and St Benedict wants both, that is the teaching by words and by deeds. But because there are many who cannot carry out either, that is the teaching by words or deeds, he therefore said: more in deeds, as if he said: he ought to carry out both, but even though he ought to lead [them] in both ways, still [he ought to lead them] more through his deeds. And if there is danger in one who leads only through deeds, there is still more danger in one who leads [them] only through words as if he said: and he ought to lead through teaching and work, [but] most of all through work.

Nam quod utrumque necessarium sit, id est doctrina verborum et doctrina operum, plurima habemus exempla. Legitur enim de Domino Jesu, quia coepit Jesus facere et docere. Vide modo, quia prius dixit facere, et postmodum docere.

That both are necessary, that is the teaching of words and the teaching of deeds, we have many examples. For it is read of the Lord Jesus that he began to act and to teach. You see in this way that he said first to act, and afterwards to teach.

Et iterum: Erat autem Jesus docens in synagogis eorum quasi potestatem habens, non sicut scribae eorum [Mc 1:22]. Sermo scribarum non habet potestatem, quia, non complent opere, quod verbis dicunt; sermo autem Domini habet potestatem, quia prius opere complebat et postmodum verbis praedicabat. Unde unusquisque, membrum ejus, si caput suum vult sequi, hoc, quod verbis praedicat, opere compleat.

And again: However Jesus was teaching in their synagogue as one having power, not as their scribes [Mc 1:22]. The word of the scribes has no power because they do not fulfil through work what they say in words; however, the word of the Lord has power because he fulfilled it first through work and afterwards he preached in words. Whence if anyone each one wants his limb to follow his head, he should fulfil in deeds what he preaches in words.

Et quod utrumque sit necessarium, testatur Papa Gregorius, cum dicit: Cujus vita despicitur, restat, ut ejus praedicatio contemnatur [Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Evangelia XII, c. 1, CCSL 141, p. 82].

And Pope Gregory testifies that both are necessary when he says: The preaching of those whose life is despised will also be despised [Gregory the Great, Homoliae in Evangelia XII, c. 1].

Et [page 97] B. Hieronymus dicit: Utrumque enim Dei servis necessarium est, ut et opus sermone, et sermo operibus comprobetur. [Jerome, Commentarii in Evangelium Matthaei I, 7:21, CCSL 77, p. 45]

And [page 97] the blessed Jerome says: For both are necessary to God’s servants, that works are proven by words, and the words are proven by works. [Jerome, Commentarii in Evangelium Matthaei I, 7;21]

Sequitur: 12Ut capacibus discipulis mandata Domini verbis proponat, duris vero corde et simplicioribus factis suis divina praecepta demonstret.

Next: 12He sets out God’s commandments verbally for receptive disciples, but teaches the hard-hearted and less intelligent the divine precepts by example.

In hoc enim loco, cum dicit: ut capacibus discipulis mandata Domini verbis proponat, reddit causam, quare debeat ille abbas duplici doctrina praeesse suis discipulis, ac si diceret: aliis praeesse debet verbis, aliis autem discipulis operibus.

For in this place, where he says: he sets out God’s commandments verbally for receptive disciples, he returns to the reason why the abbot ought to lead his disciples in a twofold teaching, as if he said: he ought to lead some disciples through words, others through works.

Et bene dixit, capacibus discipulis mandata Domini verbis proponere, quia sunt aliqui subjecti, qui in quibusdam operibus praeeunt abbatem suum, et idcirco inconsequens est, ut abbas, quos gaudet habere praeeuntes, velit eos habere sequentes.

And well he said: setting out God’s commandments verbally for receptive disciples, because some [monks] placed under [the abbot] exceed their abbot in certain works, and therefore it follows that the abbot, who rejoices that they excel, would wish that they follow him.

Et forte dicit aliquis: 'quare superius dixit factis amplius, et nunc dicit verbis?' Ideo dixit verbis, quia sunt multi, qui quamvis propter aliquod impedimentum non possunt complere opere, quod verbis praedicant, tamen devotione complent. Unde quia ipsam perfectionem devotionis non possunt operibus manifestare, idcirco verbis manifestant.

And perhaps someone says: “How did he say above more in deeds, and now he says verbally?” He said verbally because there are many who, although they cannot fulfil in works what they proclaim verbally because of some hindrance, nevertheless they fulfil through devotion. Whence because they cannot make their own ideal of devotion visible through works, they make it visible verbally.

Duri corde sunt, qui intelligunt et nolunt complere. Simpliciores sunt, qui intelligunt et non possunt. Duri sunt, qui non intelligunt et possunt intelligere; sed pejores sunt illi, qui possunt intelligere et nolunt, quam illi, qui nec intelligunt nec intelligere possunt. Simpliciores sunt, qui non intelligunt, sed volunt, aut volunt et non possunt intelligere, 8 sicut diximus.

The hard-hearted are they who understand but who are unwilling to fulfill. The less intelligent are they who understand and cannot [fulfill]. The hard are they who do not understand [even though] they are able to understand; but they who can understand and do not want to are worse than those who neither understand nor are able to understand. The less intelligent are they who do not understand but want to, or want to and cannot understand, just as we have said.

De hac varietate qualitatis uniuscujusque hominis docet B. Gregorius hoc modo dicens: Alius etenim celsitudinem bene vivendi appetere et vult et valet, alius nec vult nec valet, alius vult et non vatet, alius vatet et non vult. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, XXIX, XXXIII, c. 77, CCSL 143B, p. 1490]

On this difference of character of every single human being the blessed Gregory teaches in this way, saying: Since the one wishes and is able to strive eagerly to the height of living well, the other neither wishes nor is able, the other wishes and is not able, the other is able and does not wish it. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, XXIX, XXXIII, c. 77]

Et bene dicit, istis praecepta divina factis ostendere, ut illi, sive qui intelligunt et nolunt operari, sive qui non intelligunt et volunt facere, in ejus actione legant, quid agere debeant.

And he says well that divine teachings are revealed through deeds, themselves so that those people, whether they understand and do not want to work, or they do not understand and want to act, may read in [the abbot’s] action what they ought to do.

Sequitur: 13Omnia vero, quae discipulis docuerit esse contraria, in suis factis indicet non agenda, ac si diceret: [page 98] Quidquid docuerit, discipulis esse contraria, ipse non agat; tunc enim indicat non agenda in suis factis, cum ipse illa non agit.

Next: 13He should show in his deeds that nothing must be done that is contrary to what he has taught his disciples, as if he said: [page 98] whatever he has taught his disciples that is contrary he should not do himself; for then he shows in his deeds that nothing must be done when he does not do these things himself.

Sequitur: 13Ne aliis praedicans ipse reprobus inveniatur.

Next: 13Lest preaching to others he himself be found blameworthy.

Nunc reddit causam, quare debeat ille abbas in suis factis indicare non agenda contraria discipulis, cum dicit: ne aliis praedicans ipse reprobus inveniatur, ac si diceret: idcirco non debet ille abbas agere ea, quae discipulos docuerit non agere, ut non inveniatur reprobus.

Now he gives to the reason why the about ought to show his disciples in his deeds that nothing contrary must be done, when he says: lest preaching to others he himself be found blameworthy, as if he said: therefore the abbot ought not to do these things which he taught his disciples not to do, so that he will not be found wanting.

Istud, quod nunc dicit: ne aliis praedicans ipse reprobus inveniatur, de Paulo apostolo sumpsit. Dixerat hoc Paulus apostolus Corinthiis tempore, quo pseudoapostoli surrexerunt et dicebant Corinthiis, Paulum apostolum falsum apostolum esse et non vidisse Dominum et non vera praedicasse, et seducebant multos Corinthios et separabant se a praedicatione Pauli. Paulus apostolus cum hoc cognovisset, idcirco dixit illis: Libenter suffertis insipientes, cum suis ipsi sapientes et reliqua [2 Cor 11:19], et pervenit usque ad illum locum, ubi dicit: Castigo corpus meum et servituti redigo, ne, cum aliis praedicaverim, ipse reprobus efficiar [1 Cor 9:27], ac si diceret: 'Miror vos o Corinthi, quare suscipitis voluntarie insipientes, cum sitis sapientes; in me potestis illos cognoscere, quia illi falsi et stulti sunt, id est, si ego idcirco corpus meum castigo et servituti illud redigo, ne reprobus iuveniar, ergo illi reprobi sunt, quia falsum dicunt et nolunt operibus complere, quod verbis praedicant.'

That which he now says, lest preaching to others he himself be found blameworthy, he took from the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians in the time when pseudoapostles arose and said to the Corinthians that the apostle Paul was a false apostle and had not seen the Lord and had not preached truly, and [the pseudoapostles] led many Corinthians astray and separated them from the preaching of Paul.11 When the apostle Paul had found this out he therefore said to them: You gladly suffer with fools while you yourself are so wise [2 Cor 11:19] etc. and arrived at that place, where he says: I chastise my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I will not be condemned myself [1 Cor 9:27], as if he said: 'Wonder, o Corinthians, why you willingly suffer fools, while you are wise; in me you can recognize them, because they are false and stupid, that is, if I [ego] chastise my body on that account and bring it into subjection, lest I am found blameworthy, they are therefore condemned, because they speak falsehood and do not want to fulfill in deeds what they preach in words.'

Sequitur: 14Ne quando illi dicat Deus peccanti: Quare tu enarras justitias meas et assumis testamentum meum per os tuum, tu vero odisti disciplinam et projecisti sermones meos post te. [Ps 49:16-17]

Next: 14Lest God someday speak to him as a sinner: Why do you expound on my justice and lay claim to my covenant with your mouth? In fact, you hated discipline and hurled my words behind you [Ps. 49:16-17].

Ne quando, id est ne aliquando; peccanti, i. e. dicenti et non facienti.

Lest someday, that is lest at any time; a sinner, that is he who speaks and does not do.

Apte et congrue dicit nunc: Quare tu enarras justitias meas et assumis testamentum meum per os tuum, tu vero odisti disciplinam et projecisti sermones meos post te. Quia dederat superius de bonis praedicatoribus exemplum, [et] nunc subjunxit de malis alterum exemplum.

Fittingly and suitably he says now: Why do you expound on my justice and lay claim to my covenant with your mouth? In fact, you hated discipline and hurled my words behind you. Because above he had given an example of good preachers, he now added another example of bad ones.

Justitia enim in hoc loco pro generali [j]ustitia ponitur, quae ad omnes virtutes attiuet, veluti est [page 99] illud: Attendite, ne justitiam vestram faciatis coram hominibus. [Mt 6:1]

For in this place justice set forth instead of general justice, which pertains to all virtues, just as [page 99] this is:12 Take heed that you do not do your justice before men. [Mt 6:1]

Testamentum autem in hoc loco tam de veteri, quam de novo testamento dicitur; testamentum vetus ideo dicitur, quia veteribus hominibus, i. e. qui ad veteris Adae conversationem attinebant, novum autem testamentum ideo dicitur, quia novis hominibus datum est, i. e., qui ad novum hominem attinent, id est Christum.

But in this place covenant is said of the old, as well as of the new covenant; the old covenant is mentioned because it was given to the old men, that is, they who kept to the old way of life of Adam. However the new covenant is mentioned, because it was given to the new men, that is they who keep [the way of life] of the new man, that is Christ.

Sic enim dicit B. papa Gregorius: Novus homo venit in mundum, nova praecepta edidit (dedit?) mundo [Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Evangelia XXXII, CCSL 141, p. 277].

So the blessed pope Gregory says: A new man has come into the world; he gave new commandments [Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Evangelia XXXII].

Disciplina autem est omnium mandatorum Dei custodia; et est sensus, cum dicit: Quare tu enarras justitias meas et assumis testamentum meum per os tuum? 'O peccator! quare tu audes vel praesumis, per os tuum mea praecepta dicere, cum tu non facis ea, quae dicis?'

However discipline is the keeping of all the commands of God; and this is the sense when he says: Why do you expound on my justice and lay claim to my covenant with your mouth? 'O sinner! How do you dare or presume to speak my teachings with your mouth when you do not do what you say?'

Nunc animadvertendum est, quomodo potest quis sermonem Dei retrorsum ejicere, cum illo sermo non est corporalis, sed nec materialis?

Now it must be observed: how can anyone hurl the word of God behind him, when that word is neither physical nor material?

Verum potest rejici, verbi gratia, nos illam rem, quam amamus et diligimus, ante oculos nostros ponimus; etiamsi ante oculos non sit, tamen oculo cordis illam intendimus. Et rem, quam non diligimus, post dorsum rejicimus, et quamvis in praesentia sit, tamen oculos cordis ab illa avertimus. Ita et spiritaliter; tunc enim quis praeceptum et sermonem Domini post se projicit, cum non vult illum implere, sicuti est illud: Verterunt ad me dorsum et non faciem. [Ie 2:27]

He can certainly repel, for example, that thing which we love and hold dear, which we place before our eyes. Even if it is not before our eyes, we still hold it before the eye of the heart. And the thing that we do not hold dear, we leave behind; and although it is in [our] presence, we turn the eyes of the heart away from it. And thus [it is] spiritually; for then someone hurls behind him the teaching and the word of the Lord when he does not wish to fulfill them, just as that is: They have turned their back to me and not their face. [Ie 2:27].

Quid est, quod dicit Dominus? Quomodo potest quis dorsum in faciem Dei ponere, cum Dominus ubique sit et undique? Elle dorsum in faciem Domini ponit, qui illum non diligit nec sermonem ejus opere complet.

What is it that the Lord speaks of? How can someone put their back to the face of God, when the Lord is anywhere and everywhere? That person turns his back to the face of God, he who does not love him nor fulfills the word in his work.

Sequitur: 15Et qui in fratris tui oculo festucam videbas, in tuo trabem non vidisti [Mt 7:3]?

Next: 15And You saw the splinter in your brother’s eye but did not see the plank in your own [Mt 7:3]?

Hoc autem Dominus in Evangelio dicit; ait enim: 'O hypocrita! prius ejice trabem, quae est in oculo tuo, et tunc, perspicies educere festucam de oculo fratris tui [Mt 5:7].'

Also the Lord says this in the gospel, for he said: 'O hypocrite! First cast out the plank that is in your own eye, and only then will you be seen to cast out the splinter from your brother’s eye [Mt 5:7].'

Per trabem intelligitur inveterata ira. Bene per trabem intelligitur inveterata ir, quia sicut arbusta vel virgultum per augmentationem temporis adeo sumit [page 100] robur et fortitudinem, ut arbor sit, ita et inveterata ira, quae per augmentationem temporis adeo sumit robur et fortitudinem, ut merito nomine trabis nuncupetur.

By plank old rage is understood. Old rage is well understood through the plank, because just as shrubs or brushwood indeed takes up strength and firmness [page 100] through the increase of time, so that is becomes a tree, and so is old rage, which indeed takes up such strength and firmness through the increase of time, this it is deservedly called by the name of plank.

Per festucam vero intelligitur ira, quae ad tempus est.

But by splinter is understood temporary rage.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia non dat Dominus regulam pro uno peccato, ut tantum de uno debeat intelligi, sed per unum peccatum omne vult intelligi, sicuti est in hoc loco, per iram inveteratam vult intelligi omnia peccata majora, per iram ad tempus vult intelligi omnia minora peccata.

And this must be observed, that the Lord does not give a rule for one sin that ought to understand to concern only that one, but in one sin he wishes to understand every [sin], as it is in this passage. Through old rage he wishes all major sins to be understood; through temporary rage he wishes all minor sins to be understood.

Et est sensus, cum dicit: Qui in oculo fratris tui festucam videbas, in tuo trabem non vidisti, i. e. quare prius, 'o hypocrita, non ejecisti majora peccata, i. e. iram et caetera his similia de corde tuo, quod per oculum intelligitur, cum alium de minoribus peccatis arguebas?'

And this is the sense when he says: You saw the splinter in your brother’s eye but did not see the plank in your own, that is, 'Why, oh hypocrite, did you not first cast out your major sins from your heart (which is what eye means), that is rage and other similar things, when you accused another of minor sins?'

Nunc vero quasi aliquis interrogasset S. Benedictum dicens: 'Ecce, pater Benedicte, dedisti exemplum de bonis et malis praedicatoribus, nunc rogo, ut dicas, quid agendum sit abbati.' Ille vero quasi respondens dicit: 16Non ab eo persona, in monasterio discernatur.

But now it is as if someone asked St. Benedict, saying: 'Look, father Benedict, you gave an example of good and of bad preachers, now I ask that you say what must be done by the abbot.' He says as if answering: 16An abbot must not favour any individual in the monastery.

Nam quid sit: non ab eo persona in monasterio discernatur, inferius manifestat, cum subdit: 17Non unus plus ametur, quam alius, hoc est, non personam in monasterio discernere, i. e, non unum plus amare quam alium. Et reddit causam, quem debeat diligere, cum subdit: 17nisi quem in bonis actibus aut obedientia invenerit meliorem.

For what this is, an abbot must not favour any individual in the monastery, he makes clear below, when he adds: 17No one is to be loved more than another, that is, not to favour any individual in the monastery, i.e., not to love one more than the other. And he gives a reason whom [the abbot] ought to love, when he adds: 17unless he finds him better in good deeds or obedience.

Istud enim, quod dicitur: bonis actibus aut obedientia invenerit meliorem, tribus modis intelligitur. Uno enim modo intelligitur ita: si enim velis, ut istud aut habeat suum vigorem, i. e. distinctionis, bonis actibus intelligitur obedientia sapienter facta et studiose, obedientia vero ponitur pro obedientia simpliciter facta.

What he said – he finds [him] better in good deeds or obedience – is understood in three ways. For one way is understood thus: for if you wish that that or has its strength, that is distinction, good deeds is understood as obedience done wisely and eagerly. Obedience however is placed [here] however before obedience done simply.

Verbi gratia, duo sunt fratres, unus sapiens et intelligibilis, alter autem est simplex; et injungitur obedientia, sapienti et simplici; ille sapiens agit illam obedientiam sapienter et studiose, simplex autem, sicut intelligit, peragit illam obedientiam, et propterea, quia sapiens sapienter egit et nobiliter, vocatur ejus obedientia, actus bonus, et in isto simplici, quia simpliciter peregit suam obedientiam, vocatur pro simplicitate ejus [page 101] tantum obedientia.

For example, there are two brothers, one wise and understanding, the other simple; and obedience enjoined on the wise one and the simple one. That wise [brother] performs his obedience wisely and eagerly, however the simple [brother] carries out that obedience according to his understanding. And therefore, because the wise one acted wisely and nobly, his obedience is called good deeds, and with regard to that simple one, it is called only obedience because of his simplicity, because he simply carried out [page 101] his obedience.

Altero modo intelligitur: si velis ut istud aut habeat vigorem suum, actibus bonis ponunt pro ‘actibus spiritalibus’, veluti sunt lacrimae, jejunium, orationes, mortificationes, et cetera his similia; obedientia vero ponitur pro exercitio manuum. Si autem ponitur istud aut simpliciter pro ‘et’, tunc bonis actibus et obedientia simpliciter pro obedientia posita esse intelligendum est.

It is understood in another way: for if you wish that that or has its strength, good deeds is set down instead of spiritual deeds such as tears, fasting, prayers, mortifications and other similar things; obedience is placed instead of the exercise of the hands. If however that or is simply placed instead of “and,” then it is understood that good deeds and obedience are simply placed instead of obedience.

Sequitur: 18Non praeponatur ingenuus ex servitio convertenti.

Next: 18A free man is not to be preferred to one entering monastic life from servitude.

Perseverat adhuc B. Benedictus in reddenda ratione, de qua interrogatum esse superius intelleximus, cum dicit: non praeponatur ingenuus ex servitio convertenti, ac si diceret: si servus venerit prius et liber postea, propter libertatem illius non debet praeponi servo, quia servus est; et reddit causam, pro qua debeat praeponi, si illum abbas superponere voluerit servo, cum dicit: 18nisi aliqua causa rationabilis existat.

Still the blessed Benedict persists in rendering an account, concerning which we understand he was asked above, when he says: a free man is not to be preferred to one entering monastic life from servitude, as if he said: if someone from servitude comes first and a free man afterwards, [the latter] ought not be preferred because of his freedom to the one from servitude [just] because he is a servant. And he gives a reason about why he ought to be preferred, if that abbot would wish to place [him] above the servant, when he says: 18unless there is another good reason for it.

Istud enim, quod dicit rationabilis causa, duobus modis potest intelligi; uno enim modo intelligitur rationabilis causa de illa, quod9 superius dixerat: in bonis actibus et obedientia invenerit meliorem, quod magis ad hoc attinet. Altero autem modo intelligitur rationabilis causa, quantum ad humanam aestimationem attinet istud.

For that which he says, a good reason, can be understood in two ways. Good reason is understood in one what according to what he had said above: he finds him better in good deeds and obedience, which pertains to this to a greater extent. However another way a good reason is understood pertains as much to human value.

Verbi gratia est monasterium, in quo omnes sunt graeci et nullus eorum scit latinam (linguam) nisi unus, et ipse ordine minor est. Deinde venit hospes latinus, qui ignorat graecam locutionem; sedet abbas et fratres cum hospite. Non est enim honestum in illo loco, ut minimus illorum fratrum sedendo in ultimo loco respondeat hospiti latino, qui superius sedet facentibus aliis fratribus, sed, sicut dixi, juxta humanam rationem rationabilis causa est, ut ille minimus, quia potest hospiti respondere, promoveatur superius et sic loquatur hospiti.

For example, there is a monastery in which everyone is Greek and none of them knows the Latin language except one, and he is himself inferior in rank. Then comes a Latin guest who does not know Greek; the abbot and the brothers sit with the guest. It is not honourable in the monastery when the least of the brothers, sitting in that place, replies to the Latin-speaking guest, who sits further up with the other professed brothers. But as I said, a good reason accords with human reason, so that he who is the least important may be moved up higher and thus may speak with the guest, because he can answer the guest.

Similiter rationabilis causa, est, ut de omnibus artibus ita fiat. Et iterum rationabilis causa est, ut frater, qui bene potest cantare, promoveatur in choro, et lector in illo loco, tibi necessitas cogit lectionis, promoveatur.

Likewise good reason should be used with all skills. Again it is good reason, that the brother who can sing well is moved forward in the choir, and the reader is moved forward to where the need of reading demands it.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia si frater promoveatur propter [page 102] illud, quod B. Benedictus superius dixit, i. e. bonis actibus et obedientia in omnibus locis10, i. e. in refectorio, in capitolio et reliq. Illi vero, qui pro cantu vel lectione aut lingua aut artificio promoventur, tantum in illis locis promoveantur, ubi necessitas cogit solummodo.

And this must be observed, that if a brother is moved forward because of what the blessed Benedict said above, that is he ought to be moved forward for good deeds and obedience in all places, that is in the refectory, the chapter hall, etc. Certainly they who are moved forward on behalf of their singing or reading or language or skill are only moved forward only in those places where need demands it.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia etiam pro illo, quod superius S. Benedictus dicit, non facile promoveatur, nisi alicujus utilitatis fuerit. Hoc etiam notandum est, quia ille in omnibus promoveri debet, qui vita bonus est, i. e. qui sanctam conversationem habet, qui zelum Dei habeus aliis proficere potest et adjutor esse prioris.

And this must be observed, that in the case of that [brother] (which saint Benedict says above), he should not be moved forward easily, unless it is of some advantage. This must be noted likewise, that he ought to be moved forward in all things, who leads an honest life, that is, who has pious way of life, who with his zeal for God can benefit others and be an aid to the superior.

Quod si vita fuerit negligens et sapuerit artem, i. e. cantum, ibi promoveri debet, ubi solummodo necessitas exigit, hoc est in choro, aut ubi necessitas illius artis, quam sapit, exposcit; in reliquis vero locis ordinem suum sequatur. Si autem fuerint duo, qui aequales sunt de bona conversatione, tamen si unus ex illis est artifex, veluti est cantor, ille pro cantu in omnibus promovendus est in choro, et non solum in choro, sed etiam in omnibus locis, hoc est in refectorio et in omnibus, sicut superius diximus.

But if his way of life is careless and he has an understanding of a skill, for example chant, he ought to be promoted only where the need arises, that is in the choir, or where need of that art, which he understands, calls for it. However in the other places he should follow his rank. But if there are two [brothers] who have a similarly honest way of life, yet one of them is skilled, as a cantor, he on behalf of chant is moved forward in the choir in all things and not only in the choir but as well in all places, that is in the refectory and in all things, just as we said above.13

Sequitur: 19Quod si ita justitia dictante abbati visum fuerit, et de cujuslibet ordine id faciat.

Next: 19But if it seems to the abbot that justice dictates it, he will advance anyone’s rank.

Hoc autem ita debet construi: quod si ita abbati visum fuerit dictante justitia, id faciat, ac si diceret: si sic visum fuerit dictante, hoc est admonente justitia, ut dignus sit frater promoveri, promoveat illum. Justitia autem in hoc loco pro speciali justitia11 ponitur; justitia enim dicitur quasi juris status, eo quod unicuique jus suum tribuit. Jus, i. e. meritum.

However this ought to be construed thus: but if it seems to the abbot that justice dictates it, he acts, as if he said: if it seems that it is dictated, that is advised by justice, that a worthy brother is promoted, [the abbot] should move him forward. But in this place justice is named instead of a particular justice, for justice is so called as a condition of law, for the reason that it bestows his own law on each. Law, that is merit.

Nunc autem animadvertendum est, quare dicit de quolibet ordine, cum adhuc de ordine non dixit? Mos est sanctorum praedicatorum hoc facere, i. e. anticipare ea, quae inferius plenius dicturus est, 12 quod maxime Evangelistae faciunt, i. e. praeponenda supponere et supponenda praeponere. De cujuslibet ordine cum dicit, ostendit, unum ordinem esse de [page 103] his, qui laici veniunt in monasterio. Alter ordo est sacerdotum, alius monachorum peregrinorum. De infantibus non dicit.

However now it must be observed why he said anyone’s rank, when until now he has not spoken of rank? The custom of the holy preachers is to do this, that is to anticipate what will be more fully stated below, which the preachers of the Gospel especially do, that is supply what must be placed before, and place before what must be supplied. When he says anyone’s rank he makes clear that there is one rank for [page 103] those who come as laymen into the monastery. Another rank is of priests, another is of travelling monks. He does not speak of children.

De istis ordinibus potest praeponere et supponere per rationabilem causam, hoc est clerici possunt presbyteris praeponi et monachis peregrinis. 13

Concerning those ranks, [the abbot] can move ahead and move back with rational reason, that is, clerics can be moved ahead of priests and travelling monks.

Sequitur: 19Sin, alias, propria teneant loca, hoc est, nisi propter istam rationabilem causam nullus promoveatur; si enim propter honorem aut libertatem saeculi promoverit, non est abbas Dei, sed saeculi aut diaboli abbas est.

Next: 19Otherwise, let the brothers keep their own places, that is, no one may be moved forward [in rank] except for a reasonable cause; for if [one brother] moves forward because of his honour or liberty in the secular world, the abbot is not God’s but rather the world’s or the devil’s.

Sequitur: 20Quia sive servus sive liber, omnes in Chiristo unum sumus.

Next: 20Because whether a slave or free, we are all one in Christ.

Nunc reddit causam, quare debeant propria loca tenere, cum dicit: quia sive servus sive liber, omnes in Christo unum sumus. Hoc, quod nunc dicit B. Benedictus, sensum apostoli Pauli exprimit; dixerat enim hoc apostolus Paulus: Quicunque enim in Christo baptizati estis, Christum induistis; non est Judaeus neque Graecus, non est servus neque liber, non est masculus neque femina, sed omnes vos unum estis in Christo Jesu [Gal 3:27-28]. Cum enim dicit: Unum estis, subaudiendum est: corpus.

Now he provides the reason as to why they ought to keep their own places, when he says: because whether a slave or free, we are all one in Christ. This, which blessed Benedict now says, expresses the sentiment of the apostle Paul; for the apostle Paul had said this: You each were baptized in Christ, and you have put on Christ; for one is neither a Jew nor a Greek, nor is one either a slave or free, nor is one either a man or a woman, but you are all one in Jesus Christ. [Gal 3: 27-28] For when Paul says: you are one, it must be understood: a body.

In hac quippe regeneratione spiritali non est sexus, hoc est, sicuti femina baptizatur, ita et masculus.

Of course, in this rebirth of the spirit one does not have a sex, that is, just as a woman is baptized, so too is a man.

Non sunt duae conditiones, hoc est, sicuti servus baptizatur, ita et liber, sicut pauper, ita et dives. Non est Judaeus, neque Graecus, id est, sicut Judaeus baptizatur, ita et Graecus; sed omnes unum sumus i. e., unum corpus, quia non personae discernuntur, sed omnes solummodo secundum meritum discernuntur, non propter sexum, non propter conditionem, non propter sapientiam aut propter potentiam discernuntur. In generatione hac carnali inveniuntur sexus, inveniuntur conditiones, quia secundum sexum discernuntur et secundum conditiones et secundum potentiam discernuntur.

There are not two conditions, that is, just as a servant is baptized, so too is a free person, just as a poor person, so too a rich one. One is not a Jew, nor a Greek, that is just as a Jewish man is baptized, so too is a Greek. But we are all one, that is one body, since people are not distinguished because of their sex, their condition, their wisdom, or their power, but rather all are only distinguished according to their merit. In carnal birth, there are sexes and statuses14 since individuals are distinguished according to sex, conditions, and power.

Vide modo, quia sicut in regeneratione spiritali non discernitur apud Deum quisquam propter aliquid, sed tantum propter meritum, ita et abbas in monasterio, quia vicem Christi agit, non [page 104] debet pro aliqua causa discernere, nisi tantum propter meritum.

Now see that just as no person is distinguished before God in spiritual rebirth on account of anything except merit, thus even the abbot in the monastery, since he acts in the place of Christ, ought not [page 104] to distinguish [anyone] for any reason, except on account of his merit alone.

Sequitur: 20Et sub uno domino aequalem servitutis militiam bajulamus, hoc est, aequaliter nos Deus creavit, ut aequaliter illi servire debeamus.

Next: 20And we carry an equal military spirit of servitude under one Lord, that is, God created us equally, so we can serve him equally.

Quod vero dicit: Omnes aequaliter servitutis militiam bajulamus, quantum ad naturam creationis attinet, omnes aequaliter sumus servi, quia nos omnes ille creavit, et ideo sumus illi aequaliter servi, quantum ad creationem attinet.

Indeed because [Benedict] says: We all equally carry the military spirit of servitude, so much as [servitude] pertains to the nature of creation, we are all equally his servants since he created us all, and therefore we are all equally servants to him so much as [servitude] pertains to creation.

Similiter etiam secundum hoc praeceptum, quod dicit: Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo et ex tota mente tua [Mc 12:30], omnes aequaliter debemus illum diligere. De servitute vero alia, quae operibus exercetur, non omnes aequaliter illi servimus, quia alii minus, alii plus illi servimus; 14 nam istam conditionem saeculi, hoc est servi, homines invenerunt.

Likewise, we also all ought to love him equally according to this precept, which says: Love your Lord God with your whole heart and your whole mind. [Mc 12:30] Indeed concerning another [type of] servitude, which is exercised in works, we do not all serve him equally, since some serve him less [and] others more; for [some] men are in that condition of this world, that is of the slave.

Servi autem vocabulum inde traxerunt, quod hi, qui jure belli possent occidi a victoribus, cum conservabantur (a victoribus), servi fiebant, a servando scilicet servi appellati.

Moreover, slaves derived their name, because when those, who could be killed legally by the victors of war, were saved (by the victors), they became servants so named because of their serving.

Sequitur: 20Quia non est apud Deum personarum acceptio [Rm 2:11].

Next: Because there is no favouritism of people before God. [Rm 2:11]

Nunc reddit causam, quare unum sint omnes in Christo, cum dicit: Quia non est apud Deum personarum acceptio.

Now [Benedict] provides the reason why all are one in Christ, since he says: Because there is no favouritism of people before God.

Sequitur: 21Solummodo in hac parte apud ipsum discernimur, si meliores ab aliis in operibus bonis et humiles inveniamur.

Next: 21We are distinguished before Him only in this manner, if we should be found better than others in good and humble works.

Perseverat adhuc B. Benedictus in intentione sua monstrandi discretionem electionis personae, cum dicit: Solummodo in hac parte, et reliqua. Quia superius dixerat, vicem Christi agere in monasterio, ideo nunc docet illum, qualiter Christus eligit unumquemque, ut ille, sicut Christus facit, similiter faciat.

Thus far, blessed Benedict persists in his aim of demonstrating [the abbot’s] discretion in choosing a person when he says: Only in this manner, and the rest. Because he had said above that [the abbot] takes the place of Christ in the monastery, therefore he now teaches him that, just as Christ chooses each one, the abbot should likewise do just as Christ does.

Solummodo, id est tantummodo; in hac parte, subaudiendum est: Dei. In hoc, quod dicit Dei partem, subintelligitur, pars (partem?) esse saeculi.

Only (solummodo) , that is merely (tantummodo); in this manner must be understood as “of God”. In this, because he says the manner of God, it should be understood that there is a manner of the world.

Bene dixit: In hac parte tantum discernimur, si meliores ab aliis et humiles inveniamur, quia, sicut jam diximus, solummodo propter meritum discernimur; nam in saeculi parte discernimur [page 105] sexu, aetate, conditione et reliq.

He said well: We are distinguished before Him only in this manner, if we should be found better than others and humble, since, as we said just now, we are distinguished only because of our merit; for we are distinguished in the manner of the world [page 105] by our sex, age, condition and the rest.

Animadvertendum est, quia istud, quod hic dicit: meliores ab aliis in operibus bonis et humiles inveniamur, et illud, quod superius dixit: in bonis aetibus et obedientia invenerit meliorem, unum significat.

This must be observed: that which he says here, [if] we should be found better than others in good and humble works, and that which he said above, [unless] he finds [one] better in good deeds or obedience, mean the same thing.

Sed tamen videtur esse contrarietas in eo, quod hic dixit humiles, et illic dixit obedientia. Sed non est contrarium, quia istae tres virtutes, id est caritas, humilitas et obedientia adeo sibi sunt concatenatae et conjunctae, ut una sine altera esse nequeat; nam ubi caritas est, ibi humilitas et obedientia, et ubi humilitas, ibi caritas et obedientia, et ubi obedientia, ibi caritas et humilitas est. Unde nostri doctores, quia istae tres virtutes inseparabiliter sibi sunt conjunctae, illas pennato animali15 adsimilaverunt, eo quod sicut illud animal pennatum non potest recte solummodo corpore sine duabus alis subsistere, ita non potest caritas solummodo, quae est corpus virtutum, sine his duabus virtutibus recte existere.

But there still seem to be a contradiction between these [phrases], because here he said humble, and there he said obedience. But it is not a contradiction since those three virtues, that is love, humility, and obedience, have been bound and connected to each other to such a degree that one cannot exist without the other; for where there is love, there is also humility and obedience, and where there is humility, there also is love and obedience, and where there is obedience, there also is love and humility. Whence, since those three virtues are connected together inseparably, our learned men compared them to a winged animal, because just as that winged animal is not able to exist properly only with its body [but] without two wings, thus love, which is the body of the virtues, cannot rightly exist alone without these [other] two virtues.

Sequitur: 22Ergo aequalis sit ab eo omnibus caritas.

Next: 22Therefore let there be equal love from [the abbot] for all people.

Istud enim ergo ad superiorem sensum respicit, ubi dicit: non unus plus ametur, quam alias. Et est sensus, cum dicit: ergo aequalis sit ab eo omnibus caritas, quia vicem Christi agit, non debet unum plus amare quam alium; ergo aequalis sit ab eo omnibus caritas.

For therefore refers to the meaning above, where he says: Let not one be loved more than others. And it is the [same] meaning, when he says: Therefore let there be equal charity from [the abbot] for all people, since he takes the place of Christ [and] ought not to love one more than another; Therefore let there be equal love from [the abbot] for all people.

In hoc emim loco videtur sibimet S. Benedictus contrarius in eo, quod hic dicit: aequalis sit ab eo omnibus caritas, et superius dixit: nisi quem in bonis actibus aut obedientia invenerit meliorem, et inferius dicturus est: 31alium blandimentis, alium increpationibus, alium suasionibus, 32et secundum uniuscujusque qualitatem vel intelligentiam ita se omnibus conformet et aptet. Jam si secundum superiorem sensum plus debet diligere bonum quam malum, et secundum inferiorem sensum unicuique secundum qualitatem vel intelligentiam suam debet se conformare et aptare, quomodo potest aequaliter omnibus caritatem praebere? Non est contrarium, sed discretum doctorem requirit.

For in this place, saint Benedict seems to be contradicting himself in that here he says: let there be equal love from [the abbot] for all people, and above he said: except he whom [the abbot] finds better in good deeds or obedience, and below he will say: by humoring one, scolding another, [and] entreating another, thus let [the abbot] shape and adapt himself to all according to the character or intelligence of each person. Now, if he ought to love good men more than bad men according to the former sense, and he ought to conform and adopt himself according to the character or intelligence of each person as in the later sense, how is he able to offer charity to all equally? It is not a contradiction but rather requires a wise learned man [to interpret].

Discretus enim doctor scit, duobus [page 106] modis fieri caritatem, uno modo solummodo in corde, altero vero modo in corde et opere. Secundum vero illum modum, in quo caritas solummodo in corde sit, servat hunc locum, in quo dicit: aequalis sit ab eo omnibus caritas, eo quod aequaliter optat, omnes, i. e. bonos et malos ad paradisi gaudia pervenire. Secundum vero alterum modum, in quo caritas sit in corde et opere, observat sensum superiorem, in quo dicit, bonos plus amare, quam malos, necnon etiam inferiorem, ubi dicit: secundum uniuscujusque qualitatem vel inteligentiam se omnibus conformet et aptet, eo quod bonos plus diligit, quam malos, et retribuit unicuique secundum meritum suum.

For a wise learned man knows that [page 106] charity happens in two ways, one only in the heart, but the other in the heart and in work. For according to the way in which charity is only in the heart, he defends his position when he says: let there be equal charity from [the abbot] for all people, because he hopes that all (that is, both good and bad people) obtain the delights of paradise. But according to the second way, in which charity is in the heart and in work, he keeps the earlier meaning when he says to love good men better than the bad, as well as the latter [meaning] when he says: let [the abbot] shape and adapt himself to all according to the character or intelligence of each person, because he loves good men more than bad men and rewards each according to his merit.

Potest etiam caritatem omnibus aequaliter praebere et debet omnibus illis, quos aequaliter cognoverit esse meliores, caritatis bonum aequaliter impendere.

Furthermore, [the abbot] is able to offer the same amount of love to all and ought to expend the same amount of the goodness of charity to all those men, whom he recognizes to be better in the same degree.

Verbi gratia, invenit abbas aequaliter bonos; nam si istos, qui aequaliter sunt boni, non aequaliter dilexerit, non est aequus abbas, quia magis iniquitatem16 agit, quam aequitatem, sicuti si cum bonos et malos aequaliter diligit secundum illum modum, quo caritas sit in corde et opere.

For example, the abbot finds good men equally; for if he does not equally love those who are equally good, then he is an unfair abbot since he makes greater inequality than equality. Likewise, if he loves both good and bad men equally [then he is an unfair abbot] according to that manner in which charity is in one's heart and work.

Sequitur: 22Una praebeatur in omnibus secundum merita disciplina.

Next: 22One discipline should be provided to all according to their merits.

Quid est, quod dicit, ut una disciplina omnibus secundum merita praebeatur, cum inveniuntur multi mali unum meritum, i. e. unam culpam habere.

 When he says that one discipline should be provided to all according to their merits, what he means is whenever many bad men are found to have earned one thing, that is they are found to have one [common] fault.

Verbi gratia, sunt quatuor fratres in monasterio, qui sunt reperti in vitio gulae, i. e. consuetudinem habent, ante horam ire in refectorium et aliquid cibi potusque percipere, et tamen unus ex illis est jam excommunicatus et publice correptus et bis admonitus. Alter vero solummodo duos habet gradus, cum publice correptus est, et alius solummodo bis secrete admonitus est, alius autem solummodo semel admonitus est. Numquid debet unam disciplinam omnibus istis praebere? Non, sed debet ille abbas in istis inspicere tempus, ut qui saepius correpti sunt, majorem disciplinam suscipiant, quam illi, qui non saepius correpti sunt, et intentionem uniuscujusque, qua intentione hoc malum fecerint, debet attendere [page 107]; nam si omnibus istis aequaliter unam disciplinam praebuerit; sine dubio non bene agere se manifestabit.

For example, there are four brothers in the monastery who were found [to pursue] the sin of gluttony, that is, they are accustomed to go into the refectory early and to consume some food and drink. Yet, [only] one of those men is already excommunicated, publicly corrected, and twice admonished. But another monk only receives two punishments when he is publicly corrected, and the other is only admonished twice in secret, and moreover another brother is only admonished once. Should [the abbot] offer the same discipline to each man? No, rather that abbot ought to consider the frequency of these [transgressions], so that they who are corrected more often undertake greater discipline than those who are corrected less often and he ought to attend to the intention of each [man], [and consider] for what reason they did this evil; [page 107] for if he offers one discipline equally to all those men, then without a doubt he will show that he behaves poorly.

Nam potest etiam omnibus aequaliter unam disciplinam praebere isto modo, verbi gratia, si quatuor mali fuerint inventi in aequali temporis augmentatione positi, et in intentione aequali, istos omnes aequali disciplina debet abbas mulctare, hoc est, judicare.

For indeed, he is able to offer one discipline equally in this manner: for example, if the four bad brothers were found out and they [had] been in that position [of sin] for an equal amount of time and with equal intention, the abbot ought to punish, that is judge, all those men with equal discipline.

Sequitur: 23In doctrina sua namque abbas apostolicam debet illam semper formam servare, in qua dicit: Argue, obsecra, increpa. [2 Tim 4:2]

Next: 23For in his discipline, an abbot ought always preserve that apostolic form, in which he says: Reprimand, entreat, rebuke. [2 Tim 4:2]

Forma enim dicitur ab informando, eo quod unamquamque rem, cui impressa fuerit, ad similitudinem sui videtur reddere.

For form is named after shaping (informando) because it seems to render everything on which it is pressed to its own likeness.

Et bene disciplinam apostolicam formam nominavit, quia, si disciplina abbatis ei impressa fuerit, illam ad similitudinem suam exhibet. 17

And he did well to name his discipline an apostolic form, since if the discipline of the abbot was pressed into a man, that man would exhibit the abbot's own likeness.

Nam hoc, quod dicit: Argue, obsecra, Paulus apostolus cuidam discipulo suo dicit. Sed non est hic laborandum, eo quod inferius idem B. Benedictus exponit, ait enim: 24Id est miscens temporibus tempora, terroribus blandimenta.

For what Benedict says, Reprimand, entreat, the apostle Paul also says to his own disciple. But this must not be elaborated upon at this point, because blessed Benedict explains the same thing later, for he says: 24that is mixing [certain] occasions with others and compliments with threats.

Miscere enim duobus modis intelligitur: (miscere dicitur) ‘ministrare’, veluti cum dicimus: miscuit vinum, i. e. ministravit vinum. Et iterum miscere dicitur ‘simul mittere’, veluti cum dicimus: miscuit aquam vino, i. e. simul misit aquam et vinum.

For to mix is understood in two ways. To mix (miscere) means 'to serve' (ministrare), as when we say, 'He mixed the wine,' that is, he served the wine. Secondly, to mix means 'to bring together' (simul mittere), as when we say, 'He mixed water with wine,' that is he brought water and wine together (simul missit).

Tunc enim miscet abbas tempora temporibus, cum tempore dandi disciplinam videns fratrem propter nimium furorem aut aliam aliquam malitiam suam solummodo non posse ejus disciplinam suscipere, differt illud tempus ad aliud tempus, in quo tranquillo animo valeat ejus disciplinam suscipere; et cum hoc facit abbas, tunc miscet tempus tempori, i. e. tempus furoris cum tempore tranquillitatis.

For the abbot mixes some occasions with others, when he postpones an occasion of imparting discipline – [because] he sees that for the moment the brother is unable to undertake his discipline on account of his excessive rage or some other malice – for another occasion in which [the brother] may be able to undertake his discipline with a calm spirit. And when the abbot does this, then he mixes one occasion with another, that is, a time of fury with a time of calm.

Qualiter autem debeat miscere abbas tempus tempori, docet B. Gregorius hoc modo dicens, ait enim: Neque enim [not in ed. Mittermüller, quoted from CCSL ...cuncta tempora doctrinae sunt congrua. Nam plerumque dictorum virtus perditur, si intempestive proferantur. Saepe vero et quod lenius dicitur, conventu temporis congruentis animatur. Ille ergo scit recte dicere, qui et ordinate novit tacere. Quid enim prodest eo tempore irascentem corripere, quo alienata mente non solum non aliena verba percipere, sed semetipsum vix valet tolerare? Furentem quippe qui per invectionem corripit, quasi ei qui non sentiat plagas ebrio imponit.

Moreover blessed Gregory, speaking in this way, teaches how the abbot ought to mix one occasion with another, for he says: For all seasons are not fitted for teaching. For the value of sayings is commonly lost, if they are brought forward out of season. And frequently even that which is said gently, is animated by the concurrence of a fitting season. He therefore knows how to speak well, who knows also how to be silent at proper times. For of what use is it to reprove an angry man, at the time when with estranged mind he is not only unable to listen to the words of others, but is hardly able to bear himself. For he who reproves an angry man by inveighing against him, inflicts, as it were, blows on a drunken man who feels them not.

Doctrina itaque ut pervenire ad cor audientis valeat, quae sibi congrua temporum momenta perpendat.

Teaching therefore, in order to be able to reach the hearts of the hearers, must consider what season are suitable to it. It is therefore well said of these whelps, 'When they couch in their dens, and lie in wait in their cares.'

Bene ergo de his catulis dicitur: Quando cubant in antris, et in specubus insidiantur. Doctores enim sancti quando et arguenda conspiciunt et tamen se per silentium in cogitationibus retinent, quasi in specubus latent, et velut in antris se contegunt, quia in suis cordibus occultantur. Sed cum opportunum tempus invenerint, repente prosiliunt, nulla quae dicenda sunt reticent, et cervicem superbientium] ... morsu asperae increpationis tenent. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, XXX, VIII, c. 27, CCSL 143B, pp. 1509-1510]

For when holy teachers perceive things to be proved, and yet confine themselves in their thoughts by silence, they lurk, as it were, in caves, and cover themselves, as if in dens; because they are concealed in their own thoughts. But when they have found a fit season, they suddenly leap forth, they suppress nothing which ought to be said, and seize with the grasp of severe reproof the neck of the haughty. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, trans. John Henry Parker (London: F. and J. Rivington, 1850), vol. 3, bk. XXX, c. 27, p. 382]

De hoc quippe asperae increpationis morsu docet iterum Beatissimus Gregorius ita dicens, ait [page 108] enim: Perturbati quippe quid audiant, ignorant, sed ad se reducti tanto libentius exhortationis verba recipiunt, quanto se tranquillius toleratos erubescunt. Menti autem furore ebriae omne rectum, quod dicitur, perversum videtur. Unde et Nabal ebrio culpam suam Abigail laudabiliter tacuit, quam digesto vino laudabiliter dixit. Idcirco enim malum, quod fecerat, cognoscere potuit, quia hoc ebrius non audivit [Gregory the Great, Regula pastoralis III, c. 16, SC 382, p. 358].

Of course concerning this bite of bitter reproof, blessed Gregory also teaches speaking thus, for [page 108] he says: For when they are aroused, they do not perceive what is being said to them. But when they have been restored to their senses, they more willingly accept words of counsel, as they blush for having been peacefully borne with. For to the mind that is intoxicated with frenzy, everything said that is right appears to be wrong. Wherefore, Abigail laudably did not speak to Nabal about his sin when he was intoxicated, and as laudably told him of it when he became sober. For it was precisely because he did not hear of his fault when drunk, that he was able to recognize it. [Gregory the Great, The Great Pastoral Care, trans. Henry David (Maryland: The Newman Press, 1950), bk III, c. 16, p. 139]

In hoc enim loco, ubi dicit: Terroribus blandimenta, subaudiendum est: misce.

For in this place where he says: [mixing] compliments with threats, it must be understood: mix.

Istud enim quod dicit: terroribus blandimenta, ad distinctionem personarum non est difficile, eo quod malis debet terrorem ingerere, bonis autem blandimenta; sed cum in una eademque persona hoc debet fieri, valde est difficile.

What he says, [mixing] compliments with threats, is not difficult for distinguishing between [good and bad] people, because he ought to heap threats upon the wicked and compliments upon the good; but when this must be done for one and the same person, it is very difficult.

Vide modo, quia hoc, quod, B. Benedictus dicit: terroribus blandimenta, Dominus per Moysen figuraliter dicit: Non accipies in loco pignoris a fratre tuo molam inferiorem et superiorem [Dt 24:6].

Now see how this, which Blessed Benedict says, [mixing] compliments with threats, the Lord says figuratively through Moses: You will not receive a lower or upper grindstone in the place of a pledge/debt from your brother [Deut 24:6].

Per debitorem intelligitur peccator, per molam inferiorem intelligitur timor et per molam superiorem intelligitur blandimentum. Ita autem debet rector temperare suam praedicationem, ut nec semper debeat ingerere suo auditori timorem, eo quod si semper territus fuerit, desperabit, et si semper illum fuerit blanditus, non corrigitur.

A sinner is understood as a debtor, fear is understood as a lower grindstone, and compliment is understood as the upper grindstone. Thus, the leader ought to temper his preaching, so that he may not always heap fear upon his listener, because if the latter is always frightened, he will despair, and if he is always flattered, he will not be corrected.

Sequitur: 24Dirum magistri pium patris ostendat affectum.

Next: 24Let him show a teacher's fearsome temper and a father's pious affection.

Sunt enim alii libri, qui habent: Diri magistri et pii patris ostendat affectum.

For there are other books which say: Let him show a teacher's fearsome temper and a father's pious affection.

Secundum vero superiora verba ita construitur, hoc est: Ostendat aliquando dirum affectum magistri, aliquando ostendat pium affectum patris. Secundum inferiora verba construitur ita: aliquando ostendat diri magistri affectum, aliquando ostendat pii patris affectum, ac si diceret: aliquando se debet ostendere sicut dirum magistrum, aliquando vero sicut pium patrem.

But it is understood thus according to the earlier words, that is: Let him sometimes show a teacher's fearsome temper, and other times let him show the pious affection of a father. It is [also] understood according to later words: sometimes let him show a teacher's fearsome temper, other times let him show the affection of a pious father, as if he says: sometimes he ought to show himself to be like a fearsome teacher, but other times he ought to show himself to be like a pious father.

Dirum intelligimus severum et crudelem, i. e. indisciplinatos et inquietos debet durius arguere.

By fearsome, we understand strict and harsh, that is he ought to reprimand undisciplined and restless people more fearsomely.

Usque nunc B. Benedictus quasi massam suae dispositionis fecit de arguere et obsecrare atque increpare,18 [page 109] quae superius dixit, i. e. in unum comprehendens dixit; nunc autem singillatim exponit, cum dixit: 25id est indisciplinatos et inquietos debet durius arguere.

Up to now, blessed Benedict acts as if the bulk of his argument comes from reprimanding, entreating, and rebuking, [page 109] which he said above, that is he spoke understanding all as one; now, however, he explains them separately when he says: 25that is, he ought to reprimand undisciplined and restless people more harshly.

Indisciplinatus tribus modis dicitur, uno enim modo dicitur indisciplinatus ille, qui non intelligit, hoc est, non verecundatur disciplinam, i. e. excommunicationem; altero vero modo indisciplinatus dicitur ille, qui intelligit, hoc est, verecundatur excommunicationem, et tamen cupidine peccati iterum labitur in illud peccatum; tertio vero modo dicitur indisciplinatus ille, qui sive intelligat, sive non intelligat, hoc est, verecundetur, tamen dicit, se nolle suscipere disciplinam.

Undisciplined is spoken of in three senses. In the first sense one is called an undisciplined man who does not understand, that is one who does not feel ashamed through discipline, that is through excommunication. But in a second sense, a man who does understand, that is, one who does feel the shame of excommunication and yet slides again with his desire for sin into that sin, is [also] called undisciplined. However, in a third sense, a man who may or may not understand, that is may feel ashamed yet says that he does not wish to undertake discipline, is called undisciplined.

Hic talis est expellendus de monasterio, ita tamen, si ille laicus venit de seculo et iterum vult reverti ad seculum; nam si in illo monasterio crevit et didicit ordinem monachorum et vult ad pejorem conversationem ire et hoc abbas perpenderit, quia ita est, non debet expelli, ut ad pejorem conversationem vadat, sed debet mitti in carcerem, ut ibi tamdiu stet, donec cupiat manere in monasterio et suscipere ejus disciplinam.

Such a man must be expelled from the monastery, provided that he came as a layman from the world and thus wishes to return again to the world. On the other hand, if he was raised in that monastery and learned the order of monks and wishes to go to this worse way of life, and the abbot evaluates carefully that this is the case, he ought not be expelled so that he might go to a worse way of life, but he ought to be sent into prison so that he may remain there for a long time until he wants to remain in the monastery and undertake his discipline.

Si vero cum secrete admonitus fuerit iste indisciplinatus [et] dixerit, se nolle hanc disciplinam suscipere, debet hoc nuntiari abbati, abbas vero debet eum secrete ad se vocare et ei dicere: ‘Quare non suscepisti hoc, quod tibi iste frater dixit?’ Si vero ille dixerit: ‘Mea culpa, eo quod male egi,’ debet illi remittere. Et iterum si in eodem peccato inventus fuerit, debet secrete admoneri; et si iterum in eodem peccato inventus fuerit, debet publice admoneri. Nam si coram abbate, quando eum abbas, sicut superius dixi, admonuit, dixerit persistens in prava sua voluntate: ‘Non hoc suscipio,’ si iterum inventus fuerit, non jam secrete, sed publice corripiatur; et si, cum publice correptus fuerit [et] dixit: ‘Nolo suscipere hanc disciplinam,’ tunc abjiciatur de monasterio.

But if that undisciplined man said that he did not wish to undertake discipline when he was admonished privately, this ought to be reported to the abbot, and the abbot ought to call the man privately to him and say to him: 'Why do you not undertake this which that brother said to you?' If indeed that man responds: 'It is my fault because I acted badly,' he ought to be remitted to [that monastery]. And if he is again found committing the same sin, he ought to be admonished in private; and if he is found a third time committing the same sin, he ought to be admonished publically. For if, when the abbot has admonished him just as I said above, he says in the presence of the abbot, persisting in his corrupt will, 'I will not undertake this,' if he is found again [committing the same sin], he ought to not only be censured in private, but also in public; and if, when censured publically he [still] said: 'I do not wish to undertake this discipline,' then let him be thrown out of the monastery.

Sequitur: 25Inquietos. Sicut est inquietudo corporis, ita est et inquietudo mentis. Inquietudo corporis est vagatio de loco in locum; inquietudo mentis instabilitas mentis. Inquietus quatuor modis dicitur. Est inquietus mente et corpore; iterum est inquietus mente et quietus corpore. [page 110] Istum quis non potest arguere, eo quod non agnoscitur, quia est hypocrita. Est iterum quietus mente et inquietus corpore: iste bonus est, idcirco non debet argui, quia causa obedientiae est inquietus corpore. Ille vero inquietus mente et inquietus corpore dividitur in duobus modis. Est inquietus mente et inquietus corpore causa obedientiae. Est inquietus corpore, sed tamen ex delectatione mentis obedit et idcirco non potest argui, quia velamento obedientiae suam inquietudinem mentis operit.

Next: 25Restless men. Just as there is restlessness of body, thus also there is restlessness of mind. Restlessness of the body is wandering from place to place; restlessness of the mind is instability of mind. Restless is spoken of in four ways. [First,] a man may be restless in mind and in body; second, he may be restless in mind and calm in body. [page 110] Such a man cannot be rebuked, because it is not known that he is a hypocrite. Third, a man may be calm in mind and restless in body: this man is good, and he ought not to be rebuked, since he is restless in body for the sake of obedience. But that man [who is] restless in mind and body may be distinguished in two ways. He may be restless in mind and body for the sake of obedience. He may be restless in body but nevertheless obey in the mind’s delight and therefore he should not be rebuked, since he conceals the restlessness of his mind with a cover of obedience.

De hac namque obedientia B. Gregorius nobiliter docet hoc modo dicens, ait enim: Et dederunt ei unusquisque... [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, inserted from CCSL: ...ovem et unam, et inaurem auream unam. [Iob 42:11] Licet cuncta haec juxta historiam veraciter dicta sint, ipsis tamen oblatis muneribus cogimur ut ad allegoriae mysterium recurramus. Neque enim otiose debemus accipere quod ovem, quod unam, quod inaurem auream obtulere, quod unam. Et si fortasse juxta litteram mirum non est ovis oblata cur una, valde tamen mirum est inauris oblata cur una. Quid vero aut ovis ad inaurem pertinet, aut quid inauris ad ovem?

Concerning this obedience, Blessed Gregory famously teaches speaking in this way, for he says: 'And they gave to each one a sheep, and one earring of gold.' [Iob 42:11] [Ch. 24] Although all these things are truly stated according to the history, we are yet compelled by the very gifts which were offered to go back to the mystery of allegory. For we ought not to hear in a listless manner that they offered a sheep, and a single one, and a golden earring, and a single one. And if perhaps it is not wonderful in the mere letter why the sheep which was offered was one, yet it is very wonderful why the earring was one. But what reference has a sheep to an earring, or an earring to a sheep?

Ex ipso ergo munerum fine compellimur ut priora quoque, quae superficie tenus juxta solam historiam contingendo transcurrimus, in allegoriae mysteriis indagemus. Quia igitur Christus et Ecclesia, id est caput et corpus una persona est, saepe beatum Job diximus modo capitis, modo figuram corporis designare. Servata ergo historiae veritate, sub typo gestum sanctae Ecclesiae sentiamus id quod scriptum est: Addidit Dominus omnia quaecunque fuerant Iob duplicia. [Iob 42.10]

We are compelled therefore, by the very definiteness of the gifts, to examine in the mysteries of allegory the former statements also, which we have run through and treated superficially according to the mere history. Because therefore Christ and the Church, that is, the Head and the body are one person, we have often said that blessed Job sometimes typifies the head, sometimes the body. Preserving then the truth of the history, let us understand that as performed under the type of the Church, which is written, 'The Lord added all that had been to Job twofold. [Iob 42.10]

Sancta quippe Ecclesia etsi multos nunc percussione tentationis amittit, in fine tamen hujus saeculi ea quae sua sunt duplicia recipit, quando susceptis ad plenum gentibus, ad ejus fidem currere omnis quae tunc inventa fuerit, etiam Judaea consentit. Hinc namque scriptum est: Donec plenitudo gentium introiret, et sic omnis Israel salvus fieret [Rm 11:25]. Hinc in Evangelio Veritas dicit: Elias venit, et ille restituet omnia. [Mt 17:11]

For though Holy Church now loses many by the stroke of temptation, yet in the end of this world she receives those things that are her own, twofold, when, having received the Gentiles in full number, all Judaea also which shall then be found, agrees to run to her faith. For hence it is written, 'Until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in, and so all Israel should be saved.' [Rm 11.25] Hence the Truth also says in the Gospel, 'Elias shall come, and he shall restore all things.' [Mt 17:11]

Nunc enim amisit Israelitas Ecclesia, quos convertere praedicando non valuit, sed tunc Elia praedicante, dum quotquot invenerit colligit, velut plenius recipit quod amisit.

For now the Church has lost the Israelites, which she was unable to convert by preaching, but when, at that time, on the preaching of Elias, she gathers together as many as she shall have found, she receives as it were in fuller measure that which she has lost.

[c. 25] Vel certe sanctae Ecclesiae in fine suo duplum recipere est in singulis nobis et de beatitudine animae, et de carnis incorruptione gaudere. Hinc est enim quod per prophetam de electis dicitur: In terra sua duplicia possidebunt. [Is 61:7]

[Ch. 25] Or certainly, for Holy Church to rejoice over each of us at both the blessedness of our soul, and the incorruption of our body, is for her to receive double at her end. For hence is that which is said of the Elect by the Prophet, 'In their land they shall possess the double.' [Is 61:7]

Hinc est enim quod Joannes apostolus de sanctis finem mundi quaerentibus dicit: Data sunt illis singulae stolae albae; et dictum est eis ut requiescerent tempus adhuc modicum, donec compleretur numerus conservorum et fratrum eorum. [Apc 6:11]

Hence it is that the Apostle John says of the Saints who were seeking for the end of the world; 'White robes were given, unto every one of them one, and it was said unto them that they should rest yet a little season, until the number of their fellow servants and of their brethren should be filled up.' [Apc 6:11]

Sicut enim longe superius diximus, ante resurrectionem sancti singulas stolas accipiunt, quia sola animarum beatitudine perfruuntur; in fine autem mundi binas habituri sunt, quia cum mentis beatitudine etiam carnis gloriam possidebunt.

For as we have said a great way above, the Saints receive a single garment before the resurrection, because they enjoy the happiness of their souls alone; but in the end of the world they are about to have each of them, two, because, together with blessedness of mind, they will possess also the glory of the flesh.

[c. 26] Sed ea quae subnexa sunt, in fine magis hujus saeculi conversionem se Jiudaici populi nuntiare testantur. Nam subditur: Venerunt autem ad eum omnes fratres sui, et universae sorores suae, et cuncti qui noverant eum prius, et comederunt cum eo panem in domo ejus. [Iob 42:11]

[Ch. 26] But these words which are subjoined attest that they rather announce the conversion of the Jewish people at the end of this world. For it is added: 'There came to him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all that knew him before, and did eat bread with him in his house.' [Iob 42:11]

Tunc quippe fratres sui ac sorores ad Christum veniunt, quando ex plebe iudaica quotquot inventi fuerint convertuntur. Ex illo enim populo carnis materiam sumpsit. Tunc ergo ad eum fratres ac sorores accedunt, quando ex ea plebe quae ei per cognationem juncta est, vel qui fortes futuri sunt, velut fratres, vel infirmi, velut sorores, ad eum per cognitionem fidei devota gratulatione concurrunt. Tunc apud eum celeberrimae festivitatis convivium exhibent, quando eum jam nequaquam quasi purum hominem contemnentes, propinquitatis suae memores, divinitati ejus se inhaerere congaudent. Tunc in domo ejus panem comedunt, cum, postposita observatione subjacentis litterae, in sancta Ecclesia mystici eloquii quasi frugis medulla pascuntur. Bene autem subjungitur: Cuncti qui noverant eum prius [Iob 42:11]. Prius quippe noverant, quem in passione sua quasi incognitum contempserunt. Nam nasciturum Christum nullus qui plene legem didicit ignoravit.

For then do His brethren and sisters come to Christ, when as many as shall have been found of the Jewish people are converted. For from that people He took the substance of His flesh. His brethren and sisters therefore then come to Him, when from that people which is united to Him by kindred, either those who are about to be strong, as brethren, or weak, as sisters, flock to him with devout congratulation through the knowledge of the Faith. They then set forth in His house a banquet of most crowded festivity, when they no longer despise Him as a mere man, and mindful of their relationship, rejoice together in cleaving to His Godhead. They then eat bread in his house, when they put aside the observance of the letter which is inferior, and feed, as it were on the marrow of the grain of mystical teaching in Holy Church. But it is well subjoined; 'All who knew him before.' [Iob 42:11] For they knew him before, Whom they scorned in His Passion as if unknown to them. For no one who completely learned the Law was ignorant that Christ would be born.

Unde et Herodes rex, magorum occursione perterritus, sacerdotes ac principes studuit solerter inquirere ubi Christum nasciturum esse praescirent; cui protinus responderunt: In Bethleem Judae. [Mt 2:5] Prius ergo noverant quem passionis suae tempore dum despicerent ignorabant. Quorum et notitia prior, et ignorantia posterior bene ac breviter Isaac caligante signatur.

When even Herod the king, when alarmed by the coming of the Magi, endeavoured to enquire diligently of the priests and rulers, where they knew Christ would be born; to whom they immediately answered; 'In Bethlehem of Judah.' [Mt 2:5] They therefore knew Him before, Whom they knew not, when they despised Him at the time of His Passion. And both their former knowledge and their subsequent ignorance is well and briefly signified by the dimness of Isaac.

Qui dum Jacob benediceret, et quid eveniret in futuro praevidebat, et quis illi praesens assisteret nesciebat. [Gn 27]

em> For when he was blessing Jacob, he both foresaw what afterwards happen, and knew not who was standing before him.[Gn 27]

Sic quippe Israelitarum populus fuit, qui prophetiae mysteria accepit, sed tamen caecos oculos in contemplatione tenuit, quia eum praesentem non vidit, de quo tam multa in futuro praevidit.

<Thus in truth was the people of the Israelites, which received the mysteries of prophecy, but yet had eves which were dim in contemplation, because it saw not Him when present, of Whom it foresaw so many things in the time to come.

Ante se enim positum nequaquam cernere valuit, cujus adventus potentiam longe ante nuntiavit. Sed ecce in fine mundi veniunt, et eum quem prius noverant recognoscunt. Ecce in domo ejus panem comedunt, quia in sancta Ecclesia sacri eloquii fruge pascuntur, et omnem insensibilitatem pristini torporis excutiunt. Unde et subditur: Et moverunt super eum caput. [Iob 42:11]

For it was unable to see Him when standing in its presence, the might of Whose coming it had long before announced. But, behold! they come at the end of the world, and recognize Him Whom they knew before. Behold! They eat bread in His house, because they feed on the grain of sacred doctrine in Holy Church, and shake off all the insensibility of their former torpor. Whence it is subjoined; 'And they moved the head over him.' [Iob 42:11]

Quid enim in capite, nisi principale mentis accipitur? sicut per psalmistam dicitur: Impinguasti in oleo caput meum. [Ps 22:5] Ac si aperte diceretur: Arentem in suis cogitationibus mentem meam caritatis unctione rigasti.

For what is understood by the head but the ruling power of the mind? As is said by the Psalmist; 'Thou hast made fat my head with oil.' [Ps 22:5] As if it were plainly said, Thou hast watered with the unction of charity my mind which is dried up in its thoughts.

Caput igitur movetur, cum, per formidinem veritatis tacta, ab insensibilitate sua mens quatitur. Veniant ergo parentes ad convivium, atque excusso torpore caput moveant, id est hi qui Redemptori nostro carne conjuncti fuerant refectionem quandoque verbi in fide percipiant, et insensibilitatis pristinae duritiam amittant.

The head therefore is moved, when the mind, smitten with the dread of truth, is roused from its insensibility. Let the kinsmen then come to the banquet, and having shaken off their drowsiness, let them move their head; that is, let those who are connected with our Redeemer in the flesh, enjoy at last the refreshment of the word by faith, and lose the hardness of their former insensibility.

Unde bene per Habacuc dicitur: Pedes ejus steterunt, et mota est terra. [Hab 3:5] Stante enim Domino terra procul dubio movetur, quia cum cordi nostro timoris sui vestigia imprimit, cuncta in nobis cogitatio terrena contremiscit. Hoc itaque loco caput movere est immobilitatem mentis excutere, et ad cognitionem fidei credulitatis gressibus propinquare.

Whence it is well said by the Habakkuk; 'His feet stood, and the earth is moved.' [Hab 3:5] For the earth is doubtless moved when the Lord stands, because when He imprints on our heart the footsteps of His fear, every earthly thought in us trembles. In this place, therefore, to move the head, is to shake off the immovableness of the mind, and to approach the knowledge of faith by the steps of belief.

[c. 27] Sed quia sancta Ecclesia nunc Hebraeorum aversione afficitur, et tunc conversione relevatur, recte subjungitur: Et consolati sunt eum super omni malo, quod intulerat Dominus super eum. [Iob 42.11]

[Ch. 27] But because Holy Church suffers now from the estrangement of the Hebrews, and then is relieved by their conversion, it is rightly subjoined; And comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him.' [Iob 42:11]

Consolantur videlicet Christum, consolantur Ecclesiam, qui ab infidelitatis pristinae errore resipiscunt, et pravitatem vitae, per quam recta docentibus repugnaverant, deserunt. Annon gravis moeror est duris cordibus infructuose praedicare, laborem in ostendenda veritate sumere, sed nullum de conversione audientium fructum laboris invenire? At contra autem, magna praedicatorum consolatio est subsequens profectus auditorum. Relevatio quippe dicentis est immutatio proficientis.

They namely, console Christ, they console the Church, who repent of the error of their former unbelief, and abandon the depravity of life by which they had opposed the teachers of the truth. Is it not a weighty sorrow to preach fruitlessly to hard hearts, to endure labour in setting forth the truth, but to find no fruit of our labour from the conversion of our hearers? But the subsequent progress of their hearers is on the other hand a great consolation to preachers. For the conversion of a learner is a consolation to his teachers.

Et notandum quod in flagello positum consolari noluerunt, sed ad consolandum eum post flagellum veniunt, quia nimirum passionis ejus tempore Hebraei, praedicamenta fidei contemnentes, quem hominem ex morte probaverant Deum credere despexerunt. Unde per Psalmistam Dominus dicit: Sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit; consolantem me quaesivi, et non inveni. [Ps 68:21]/p>

And it is to be observed that they would not console him when exposed to the scourge, but that they come to console him after the scourge; doubtless because the Hebrews, despising at the time of His Passion the preaching of the faith, disdained to believe Him to be God, Whom they had proved to be a man by His death. When the Lord says by the Psalmist, 'I looked for one to lament with Me, and there was non; I sought for one to comfort Me, and I found none.' [Ps. 69:20]

Consolantem quippe in passione minime invenit, quia ex despectu mortis etiam ipsos hostes pertulit, pro quibus ad mortem venit. Post flagella ergo propinqui ad consolationem veniunt, quia in membris suis nunc quoque Dominus patitur; sed extremo tempore Israelitae omnes ad fidem, cognita Eliae praedicatione, concurrunt, atque ad ejus protectionem quem fugerant redeunt, et tunc illud eximium multiplici aggregatione populorum convivium celebratur.<

For He found no one to comfort Him in His Passion, because in His contempt of death He endured even His very enemies, for whom He came to death. After his scourging, then, his neighbours come to console him; because the Lord now also suffers in His members, but in the last times all the Israelites flock together to the faith, on hearing the preaching of Elias, and return to the protection of Him from Whom they had fled; and then is celebrated that splendid banquet by the manifold assemblage of the people.

Tunc post flagella quasi Job sanus ostenditur, quando a conversis atque credentibus post passionem suam ac resurrectionem Dominus in coelis immortalis vivere per certitudinem fidei scitur. Tunc quasi remuneratus Job cernitur, quando in majestatis suae potentia sicut est Deus creditur, et ejus fidei subici hi qui prius restiterant videntur. In fine igitur mundi credentes Hebraei conveniant, et humani generis redemptori in potentia divinitatis quasi sano Job oblationem suarum vota persolvant. Unde et bene subditur: Et dederunt ei unusquisque ovem unam, et inaurem auream unam. [Iob 42:11]

At that time Job is shown, as it were, to be in health after his scourging, when, to those who are converted and believe, the Lord is by the certainty of faith known to live, after His passion and resurrection, immortal in the heavens. At that time Job is as it were seen to be rewarded, when in the power of His Majesty He is believed to be God, as He is, and those who before resisted Him are seen to be subjected to the faith. Let the believing Hebrews therefore assemble together at the end of the world, and offer, as if to Job in health, the vows of their oblations to the Redeemer of mankind in the power of His Godhead. Whence it is also well subjoined; And they gave him each one sheep, and one earring of gold. [Iob 42:11]

Quid per ovem nisi innocentia, quid per inaurem nisi obedientia designatur? Per ovem quippe simplex animus, per inaurem vero ornatus humilitatis gratia auditus exprimitur.

What is designated by a 'sheep' but innocence, what by an 'earring' but obedience? For by a sheep is expressed an innocent mind, but by an earring, hearing adorned with the grace of humility.

[c. 28] Sed quia ad ostendendam virtutem obedientiae occasio opportuna se praebuit, libet hanc paulo vigilantius sollicitiusque discutere, et quanti sit meriti demonstrare.

[Ch. 28] But because a fit opportunity has offered itself for setting forth the virtue of obedience, let us examine into it with somewhat more attention and care, and point out how great is its merit.

Sola namque virtus est obedientia quae virtutes caeteras menti inserit, insertasque custodit. Unde et primus homo praeceptum quod servaret accepit [cf. Gn 2:16/17], cui se si vellet obediens subdere, ad aeternam beatitudinem sine labore perveniret.

For obedience is the sole virtue which implants other virtues in the mind, and keeps them safe when planted. Whence also the first man received a precept to keep, to which if he had willed obediently to submit himself, [cf. GN 2:16/17] he would attain without labour to eternal blessedness.

Hinc Samuel ait: Melior est obedientia quam victimae, et auscultare magis quam offerre adipem arietum, quoniam quasi peccatum ariolandi est repugnare, et quasi scelus idololatriae nolle acquiescere’ [I Sm 15:22/23].

Hence Samuel says: 'For obedience is better than victims, and to hearken rather than to offer the fat of rams, because to rebel is as the sin of witchcraft, and to refuse to obey as the sin of idolatry.' [1 Sam 15:22-23]

Obedientia quippe victimis jure praeponitur, quia per victimas aliena caro, per obedientiam vero voluntas propria mactatur. Tanto igitur quisque Deum citius placat, quanto ante ejus oculos repressa arbitrii sui superbia, gladio praecepti se immolat.

For obedience is justly preferred to victims, because by victims the flesh of another, but by obedience out own will, is offered up; a person therefore appeases God the more quickly, the more he represses before His eyes the pride of his own will, and immolates himself with the sword of the commandment.

Quo contra ariolandi peccatum inobedientia dicitur, ut quanta sit virtus obedientia demonstretur. Ex adverso igitur melius ostenditur, quid de ejus laude sentiatur. Si enim quasi peccatum ariolandi est repugnare, et quasi scelus idololatriae nolle acquiescere, sola est quae fidei meritum possidet, qua sine quisque infidelis esse convincitur, etiamsi fidelis esse videatur.

And on the other hand, disobedience is said to be the sin of witchcraft, in order that it might be pointed out how great a virtue is obedience. It is shown therefore the better from its opposite what is thought in its praise. For if to rebel is as the sin of witchcraft, and to refuse to obey as the guilt of idolatry, it is the sole virtue which possesses the merit of faith, without which a person is convicted of being an unbeliever, though he seems to be a believe.

Hinc per Salomonem in ostensione obedientiae dicitur: Vir obediens loquitur victorias. [Prv 21:28] Vir quippe obediens victorias loquitur, quia dum alienae voci humiliter subdimur, nosmetipsos in corde superamus. Hinc in Evangelio Veritas dicit: Eum qui venit ad me, non ejiciam foras, quia de coelo descendi, non ut faciam voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem ejus qui misit me. [Io 6:37]

Hence it is said by Solomon in speaking of obedience: 'An obedient man speaks of victories.' [Prv 21:28] For an obedient man in truth speaks of victories, because, when we humbly submit ourselves to the voice of another, we overcome ourselves in our heart. Hence the Truth says in the Gospel: 'Him that comes to Me I will not cast out, for I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me'. [Jn 6:37-38]

Quid enim? si suam faceret eos qui ad se veniunt repulisset? Quis autem nesciat quod voluntas Filii a Patris voluntate non discrepet? Sed quoniam primus homo, quia suam facere voluntatem voluit, a paradisi gaudio exivit [cf. Gn 3:24], secundus ad redemptionem hominum veniens, dum voluntatem se Patris et non suam facere ostendit, permanere nos intus docuit. Cum igitur non suam sed Patris voluntatem facit, eos qui ad se veniunt foras non ejicit, quia dum exemplo suo nos obedientiae subjicit, viam nobis egressionis claudit.

For what? If He were doing His own will, would He have rejected those who come to Him? But who can be ignorant that the will of the Son differs not from the will of the Father? But since the first man went forth from the joy of Paradise, because he wished to do his own will; the second Man coming for the redemption of men, when He shows that He does the will of the Father, and not His own will, taught use to remain firm within. When therefore He does not His own will, but that of the Father, He cases not out those that come unto Him, because while by His own example He brings us under the rule of obedience, He closes against us the way of escape.

Hinc rursum ait: Non possum ego a meipso facere quidquam, sed sicut audio judico.’ [Io 5:30]

Hence again He says: I can of Mine own Self do nothing; but as I hear I judge. [Jn 5:30]

Nobis quippe obedientia usque ad mortem servanda praecipitur. Ipse autem si sicut audit judicat, tunc quoque obedit, cum judex venit. Ne igitur nobis usque ad praesentis vitae terminum obedientia laboriosa appareat, Redemptor noster indicat, quia hanc etiam cum judex venerit servat. Quid ergo mirum si homo peccator se obedientiae in praesentis vitae brevitate subjicit, quando hanc mediator Dei et hominum et cum obedientes remunerat, non relinquit? [cf. 1 Tim 2:5]

For obedience is enjoined on us to be observed even to death. But if He judges as He hears, He obeys also at that time when He comes as Judge. Lest then obedience to the end of our life should appear wearisome to us, our Redeemer points out that He practices it, even when He comes as a Judge. What wonder then if man who is a sinner subjects himself to obedience in the short period of the present life, when the Mediator between God and men does not abandon it, even when He recompenses the obedient.

[c. 29] Sciendum vero est quia nunquam per obedientiam malum fieri, aliquando autem debet per obedientiam bonum quod agitur, intermitti. Neque enim mala in paradiso arbor exstitit, quam Deus homini ne contingeret interdixit. [cf. Gn 2:17]

[Ch. 29] But it should be known, that a sin ought never to be committed, through obedience, but that sometimes a good deed which is being performed ought, through obedience, to be given up. For the tree in Paradise was not evil, which God commanded man not to touch. [cf. Gn 2:17]

Sed ut per melius obedientiae meritum homo bene conditus cresceret, dignum fuerat ut hunc etiam a bono prohiberetur, quatenus tanto verius hoc quod ageret virtus esset, quanto et a bono cessans, auctori suo se subditum humilius exhiberet. Sed notandum quod illic dicitur: Ex omni ligno paradisi edite, de ligno autem scientiae boni et mali ne tetigeritis. [Gn 2:16/17]

But in order that man, who was rightly created, might increase the better by the merit of obedience, it was right that He should prohibit him even what was good; in order that his conduct might be more truly virtue, the more humbly he showed that he was subject to his Maker, by forbearing what was good. But it should be observed that it is there said, 'Eat of every tree of paradise but do not touch the tree of knowledge of good and evil.' [Gn 2:16-17]

Qui enim ab uno quolibet bono subjectos vetat, necesse est ut multa concedat, ne obedientis mens funditus intereat, si a bonis omnibus penitus repulsa jejunat. Omnes autem paradisi arbores ad esum Dominus cessit, cum ab una prohibuit, ut creaturam suam, quam nolebat exstingui, sed provehi, tanto facilius ab una restringeret, quanto ad cunctas latius relaxaret.

For it is necessary that he who forbids those under him one good thing, should concede many, lest the mind of the person who obeys should perish utterly, if it is famished from having been entirely shut out from all good things. But the Lord granted all other trees of Paradise for food, when He prohibited them from one, in order that He might restrain His creature, whose advancement He desired, and not its destruction, the more easily from one, the greater liberty He gave for the rest.

[c. 30] Sed quia nonnunquam nobis hujus mundi prospera, nonnunquam vero jubentur adversa, sciendum summopere est quod obedientia aliquando, si de suo aliquid habeat, nulla est; aliquando autem, si de suo aliquid non habeat, minima. Nam cum hujus mundi successus praecipitur, cum locus superior imperatur, is qui ad percipienda haec obedit, obedientiae sibi virtutem evacuat, si ad haec etiam ex proprio, desiderio anhelat. Neque enim se sub obedientia dirigit, qui ad accipienda hujus vitae prospera libidini propriae ambitionis servit.

[Ch. 30] But because sometimes worldly advantages, and sometimes worldly losses, are enjoined on us, it should be especially understood that sometimes if obedience has something of its own, it is none at all, but sometimes if it has not something of its own, it is none at all, but sometimes if it has not something of its own, it is a very paltry obedience. For when success in this world is enjoined, when a higher rank is commanded to be taken, he who obeys these commands makes void for himself the virtue of his obedience, if he is eager for these things with longing of his own. For he guides not himself by the rule of obedience, who in attaining to the good things of this life gives way to his own natural desire of ambition.

Rursum cum mundi despectus praecipitur, cum probra adipisci et contumeliae jubentur, nisi ex seipso animus haec appetat, obedientiae sibi meritum minuit, quia ad ea quae in hac vita despecta sunt invitus nolensque descendit. Ad detrimenta quippe obedientia ducitur, cum mentem ad suscipienda probra hujus saeculi nequaquam ex parte aliqua etiam sua vota comitantur. Debet ergo obedientia et in adversis ex suo aliquid habere, et rursum in prosperis ex suo aliquid omnimodo non habere, quatenus et in adversis tanto sit gloriosior quanto divino ordini etiam ex desiderio jungitur, et in prosperis tanto sit verior quanto a praesenti ipsa quam divinitus percipit gloria funditus ex mente separatur.

Again, when contempt for the world is enjoined, when the endurance of reproaches and insults is commanded us, unless the mind desires these things of itself, it diminishes the merit of its obedience, because it descends reluctantly and against its will to those things which are despised in this life. For obedience incurs loss, when its own consent does not in a measure accompany a mind in submitting to the reproaches of this world. Obedience then ought both in adversity to have something of its own, and again in prosperity to have nothing at all of its own; in order that in adversity it may be more glorious, the more it is united even in desire to the Divine ordinance, and may be more sincere in prosperity, the more entirely it is separated in desire from that present glory, which it obtains from God.

[c. 31] Sed hoc virtutis pondus melius ostendimus, si celestis patriae duorum hominum facta memoremus. Moyses namque cum in deserto oves pasceret, Domino per angelum in igne loquente vocatus est, ut eripiendae omni Israelitarum multitudini praeesset [cf. Ex 3]. Sed quia apud se mente humilis exstitit, oblatam protinus tanti regiminis gloriam expavit, moxque ad infirmitatis patrocinium recurrit, dicens: Obsecro, Domine, non sum eloquens; ab heri et nudiustertius ex quo coepisti loqui ad servum tuum, tardioris et impeditioris linguae sum factus. [Ex 4:10. Et, se postposito, alium deposcit, dicens: Mitte quem missurus es. [Ex 4:13] Ecce cum auctore linguae loquitur, et ne tanti regiminis potestatem suscipiat, elinguem se esse causatur.

[Ch. 31] But we show more clearly this value of virtue if we mention the doings of two men of the heavenly country. For Moses, when he was feeding sheep in the desert, was called by the Lord speaking to him in the fire by means of an Angel, to take the lead in the deliverance of all the multitude of the Israelites. But because he was humble in his own mind, he trembled at once at the glory of such authority which had been offered to him, and immediately had recourse to his weakness as a defence, saying, 'I beseech You, O Lord, I am not eloquent: from yesterday and the day before, since You had begun to speak to Your servant, I am of a more hesitating and slower tongue.' [Ex. 4:10] And, having put himself aside, he asks for another, saying: Send whom You will send. [Ex. 4:10] Behold, he is speaking with the Maker of his tongue, and that he may not undertake the power of such great authority, he alleges that he has no tongue.

Paulus quoque divinitus fuerat ut Hierosolymam ascendere debuisset admonitus, sicut ipse Galatis dicit: Deinde post annos quatuordecim iterum ascendi Hierosolymam, assumpto Barnaba et Tito; ascendi autem secundum revelationem.’ [Gal 2:1/2] Isque in itinere cum prophetam Agabum reperisset, quanta se adversitas in Jerosolymis maneret audivit. [Act 21] Scriptum quippe est quod idem Agabus zonam Pauli suis  inserens, dixit: Virum cujus haec zona est sic alligabunt in Hierosolymam [Act 21:11/15]. A Paulo autem protinus respondetur: Ego non solum alligari, sed et mori in Hierosolymam paratus sum pro nomine Jesu, neque enim pretiosiorem facio animam meam quam me.’ [Act 21:13; 20:24]

Paul had also been admonished by God that he ought to go up to Jerusalem, as he himself says to the Galatians: 'Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem, taking with me Barnabas and Titus; but I went up by revelation.' [Gal. 2:1] And when he had found on his journey the Prophet Agabus, he heard from him what adversity awaited him in Jerusalem. For it is written that this Agabus placed Paul's girdle on his own feet, and said: 'So shall they bing at Jerusalem the man whose girdle this is.' [Acts 21:11] But Paul immediately answered: I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of Jesus; neither do I count my life more previous than myself. [Acts 21:13; 20:24]

Praeceptione igitur revelationis Hierosolymam pergens, adversa cognoscit, et tamen haec libenter appetit; audit quae timeat, sed ad haec ardentius anhelat. Moyses itaque ad prospera de suo nihil habet, quia precibus renititur, ne israeliticae plebi praeferatur.

Going up then to Jerusalem by the command of revelation, he knows his sufferings, and yet he willingly seeks them, he hears of things to fear, but yet he more ardently pants after them. Moses therefore has nothing of his own to lead him on to prosperity, because he strives in his prayers not to be set over the people of Israel.

Paulus ad adversa etiam ex suo voto ducitur, quia malorum imminentium cognitionem percipit, sed devotione spiritus etiam ad acriora fervescit. Ille praesentis potestatis gloriam Deo voluit jubente declinare; iste, Deo aspera et dura disponente, se studuit ad graviora praeparare. Praeeunte ergo utrorumque ducum infracta virtute instituimur, ut si obedientiae palmam apprehendere veraciter nitimur, prosperis hujus saeculi ex sola jussione, adversis autem etiam ex devotione militemus.

But Paul is even by his own wish led on to suffering, because he gains a knowledge of the evils that threaten him, but yet in his devotion of spirit he is eager for sharper sufferings. The one wished, though God commanded him, to decline the glory of present power; the other when God had provided severity and hardships, yet studied to prepare himself for severer sufferings. We are taught then by the stubborn virtue of both these leaders going before, that if we truly endeavour to lay hold on the reward of obedience, we must contend for the prosperity of this world only by command, but that we must fight against its trials with devotion.

[c. 32] Notandum vero est quod hoc loco cum inaure ovis, cum ove inauris offertur, quia nimirum innocuis mentibus ornamentum semper obedientiae jungitur; Domino attestante, qui ait: Oves meae vocem meam audiunt, et ego cognosco eas, et sequuntur me. [Io 10:27]

[Ch. 32] But it must be observed, that in this place a sheep is offered with an earring, and an earring with a sheep; doubtless because the ornament of obedience is always connected with innocent mind, as the Lord witnesses, Who says: 'My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.' [Jn 10:27]

Beato igitur Job nemo inaurem sine ove, nemo ovem sine inaure obtulit, quia profecto Redemptori suo non obedit, qui innocens non est; et innocens esse non potest, qui obedire contemnit. Quia vero ipsa obedientia non servili metu sed charitatis affectu servanda est, non terrore poenae, sed amore justitiae, cuncti qui ad convivium veniunt, auream inaurem obtulisse perhibentur, ut videlicet in ea quae exhibetur obedientia, charitas fulgeat, quae virtutes omnes quasi auri more caetera] metalla transcendat. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob, XXXV, XIV, c. 24-32, CCSL 143B, pp. 1789-1796]

No one therefore offered blessed Job an earring without a sheep, none a sheep without an earring; because, in truth, he who is not innocent obeys not his Redeemer, and he cannot be innocent who despises obedience. But since this very obedience must be maintained not with servile fear, but wiht the affection of love, not with dread of punishment, but with love of justice, all who come to the feast are said to have offered a 'golden' earring, in order, namely, that in that obedience which is displayed, charity should shine forth so as to surpass all virtues, as gold the other metals. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Iob , Trans. John Henry Parker (London: R. and J. Rivington, 1850), XXXV, c. 24-32, p. 677 - 685]

Inquietus autem mente et corpore, iste solus est sub judicio, si sine obedientia est, quia ejus mentis inquietudo ostenditur per inquietudinem corporis, et ejus corporis inquietudo de animae procedit inquietudine. Iste talis nec in uno loco potest stare; propter suam inquietudinem debet durius argui.19

Moreover a man restless in mind and in body is only under judgment if he is without obedience, since the restlessness of his mind is shown through the restlessness of his body, and the restlessness of his body proceeds from the restlessness of his soul. Such a man is not able to stay in one place; because of his restlessness, he ought to be rebuked more harshly.

Sequitur: 25Obedientes autem et mites atque patientes, ut in melius proficiant, obsecrare.

Next: 25Moreover he ought to entreat obedient, gentle, and patient men so that they may do better.

 Obedientes dicuntur quasi obaudientes, quia, quod aure audiunt, opere complent. Obedientes tribus modis dicuntur.

 Obedient men (obedientes) are said [to be] like attentive men (obaudientes), since they complete in work what they hear with their ear. Obedient men are spoken of in three ways.

Sunt enim multi obedientes, qui solummodo abbati vel caeteris prioribus sunt obedientes aut causa timoris aut adulationis et, reliq., et tamen aliis recusant, obedire. Istorum obedientia non est sana; nam si sana, i. e. propter Deum fuisset, aliis etiam obedientiam exhiberent. Alii sunt obedientes, qui solummodo quatuor vel tribus fratribus aut causa adulationis aut aliqua causa obediunt, et tamen non abbati aut caeteris prioribus vel etiam aliis volunt obedire. Istorum obedientia non est sana, quia non ob caritatem Dei obediunt; nam si caritatis causa obedissent, aliis obedientiam exhibuissent. Ideo non sunt obsecrandi, sicut superiores, sed durius arguendi. Item sunt [page 111] alii obedientes, qui causa caritatis Dei sicut abbati aut ceteris prioribus, ita et omnibus fratribus obediunt; isti solummodo sunt obsecrandi.

There are many obedient men who only are obedient to their abbot or other priors either for the sake of fear or flattery and so on, and yet refuse to obey others. Their obedience is not sound, for if it were sound, that is, on account of God, they would also show obedience to others. There are other obedient men who obey only four or three brothers either for the sake of flattery or another cause, and yet do not wish to obey the abbot or other priors or even others. Their obedience is not sound since they do not obey on account of the love of God; for if they had obeyed for the sake of love, they would have exhibited obedience to others. Therefore they must not be entreated like better men, but rebuked more harshly. Likewise there are [page 111] other obedient men, who obey the abbot or other prior for the sake of the love of God, and obey thus all brothers; those men must only be entreated.

Mites duobus modis dicuntur; uno enim modo dicuntur mites, qui praeceptis Dei non resistunt, qui suis vitiis resistunt et contradicunt. Et sunt alii mites, qui, cum legunt aut audiunt scripturas divinas obscure dictas, non detrahunt, eo quod obscura dicta sunt.

Calm men are spoken of in two ways; for in one way those men are called calm who do not resist the teachings of God, who resist and oppose their own vices. And there are other calm men who, when they read or listen to divine scriptures spoken obscurely, do not distract [others] because obscure things are said.

Patientes dicuntur, quia patiuntur et tranquillo animo sufferunt. Patientes duobus modis dicuntur; uno enim modo dicuntur patientes, qui dura aut aliquid mali ab abbate aut ab aliquo priore causa timoris patienter videntur sufferre, tamen si ab aliis minoribus sibi aliquid dure ingestum sivo factum fuerit, statim resistunt. Isti non sunt rogandi, sed potius arguendi. Item sunt patientes, qui sicut abbati non resistunt, ita etiam propter caritatem Dei aliis fratribus non resistunt, isti quippe rogandi sunt.

Patient men are so named because they suffer and endure with a tranquil mind. Patient men are spoken of in two ways. In the first sense, those men are called patient who seem to suffer harsh things or any bad things from the abbot or from another prior patiently out of fear. However, if anything harsh is thrust upon them or done to them by other inferiors, they immediately oppose them. Those men must not be entreated, but rather they must be rebuked. Similarly, there are patient men who do not resist other brothers just as they do not resist the abbot because of their love of God. Of course these men must be entreated.

Patientia tribus modis exercetur, aut a Deo, aut ab hoste, aut ab homine; a Deo flagellum, ab hoste tentamenta cogitationum, ab homine damna rerum et injurias. [cf. Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Evangeliae II, no. 38, c. 9, PL 76, col. 1264C-D] Indicium20 patientiae est: cum audit injurias vel patitur adversa, dulcia verba respondet, et augmentationem habet, cum solummodo tacet, et tamen habet exinde in corde aliquid.

Patience is cultivated in three ways: by God, or by an enemy, or else by a man. It is cultivated by God through the whip, by an enemy through trials of thoughts, and by man through the loss of property and abuse. [cf. Gregory the Great, Homiliae in Evangeliae II, no. 38, c. 9, PL 76, col. 1264C-D] This is a sign of patience: when a man hears insults or suffers adversity, he responds with sweet words. He improves when he is merely silent and thereafter has something in his heart.

Perfectio est, cum, sicut tacet in ore, ita etiam in corde, et diligit. Et forte dicit aliquis: 'quo debeo proficere, cum non habeam, quo proficiam?' Cui dicendum est: 'si non proficis in augmentationem virtutis, profice in perseverantia.'

Perfection occurs when just as he is silent in his mouth, so too is he silent and loving in his heart. And perhaps someone will say, “How can I be improved when there is nothing concerning which I may improve?” To whom it must be said, 'if you cannot accomplish an increase of virtue, maintain in persistence.'

Sequitur: 25Negligentes autem et contemnentes ut increpet et corripiat admonemus.

Next: 25moreover we urge him to rebuke and correct negligent and scornful men.

Cassiodorus namque ita dicit: Increpare enim dicimus, quasi de taciturnitate crepare et in mordacia dicta prosilire [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 118:21, CCSL 98, p. 1069].

For Cassiodorus thus says: Indeed, we say to rebuke (increpare), just as to burst out [crepare] of silence and to rush into cutting speech. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 118:21]

Increpare est, cum dicit: 'Quare fecisti hoc malum et quare non hoc bonum?'

To rebuke is when one says: 'Why did you do this bad thing and why not this good thing?'

Corripere est manifestare et indicare, ad quod malum tendit, vel cui bono contrarium est.

To correct is to make things known and show to what evil it tends, or to what good it is contrary.

Negligentes duobus modis dicuntur; uno enim modo dicitur negligens, cum audit imperium magistri, et, tamen per negligentiam non implet. Est alter tamen, [page 112] qui audit, si statim non implet, postea implet; est et alius, qui, si implet, negligenter implet, hoc est, non studiose agit.

Negligent men are spoken of in two ways; for in one sense a man is called negligent when he hears the command of his teacher and nevertheless does not fulfill it through his negligence. There is a second type of man [page 112] who hears, [and] if he does not fulfill [the command] immediately, he still fulfills it afterwards. And there is a third kind who, if he fulfills [the command], does so negligently, that is, he does not do it zealously.

Contemnentes autem duobus modis dicuntur. Sunt, qui in principio parvi pendunt obedientiam, tamen postea implent. Alii sunt, qui sicut parvi pendunt imperium in principio, ita etiam perseverant non complentes, in ipsa despectione perseverantes.

Scornful men moreover are spoken of in two ways. There are those who in the beginning consider obedience to be of little worth, yet they fulfil it afterwards. There are others who, just as in the beginning they consider authority to be of little worth, they continue to not comply with it, persisting in that contempt.

Qualiter enim possit cognosci humilis dicendum est; hoc enim modo utcunque potest cognosci, id est, si cum abbas jubet illi fratri, qui superius sedet, ut sedeat inferius, et ipse frater non solum gaudet sedere inferius, sed etiam desiderat, ut ille, qui minor erat, in loco suo sedeat, quatenus [ut] ipse sit minor, alter vero major.

It must be said how a humble man can be recognized. He can be recognized, however, in this way: when an abbot orders a brother, who sits above, to sit below, and that brother not only rejoices to sit below but even desires it so that he who was lower might sit in his place, so that he himself is lesser but the other greater.

Sequitur: 26Neque dissimulet peccata delinquentium.

Next: 26Nor may he conceal the sins of delinquents.

Protulit B. Benedictus testimonium apostoli, et non solum protulit, verum etiam exposuit illud, ac si diceret: Hactenus dixi formam apostoli et non solum dixi, sed etiam illam exposui; nunc autem, quia cognovit ille abbas me exponente illam formam, ideo modo ego ex mea vice admoneo illum: neque dissimulet peccata delinquentium, quia ad hoc Paulus apostolus illam formam protulit, ut nullus praepositus sanctae ecclesiae debeat dissimulare peccata subditorum suorum, i. e. imprudenter.

 Blessed Benedict mentions the testimony of the apostle, and he not only mentions it, but also explains it, as though he says: 'Up to this point I related the formula of the apostle [i.e. 2 Tim 4:3] and, not only did I relate it, but also I explained it. However, since that abbot knows that formula through my explanation, therefore now I admonish him in turn: Nor may he conceal the sins of delinquents, since on this point, the apostle Paul brought forth that formula, lest a leader of the holy church conceal the sins of their subordinates, that is unwisely.'

Nunc animadvertendum est, quare B. Benedictus dixerit absolute: neque dissimulet peccata delinquentium.

Now it must be considered why blessed Benedict said simply: Nor may he conceal the sins of delinquents.

Sunt enim multi, qui aut causa adulationis, aut timoris aut etiam causa ignorantiae, eo quod nesciunt, interitum animarum dissimulant. Istorum dissimulationes horrendae sunt et detestandae. Et sunt alii, qui dissimulant peccata delinquentium aut causa adjutorii, aut loci; isti tales si videantur coram hominibus dissimulare, tamen coram Deo non dissimulant. Et ideo quia isti judicio humano videntur dissimulare, a Dei judicio dividuntur.21 Dixit namque B. Benedictus absolute: Ne dissimulet peccata delinquentium; tamen non debent isti dissimulare sub dubietate, sed debent esse certi de loco vel [page 113] adjutorio.

For there are many who conceal the ruin of their souls for the sake of flattery, or fear, or even because of ignorance because they are ignorant. Concealment of those things must be dreaded and detested. And there are others who conceal the sins of delinquents either for the sake of help or their place; such men [even] if they seem to conceal something in the presence of men nevertheless conceal nothing in the presence of God. And therefore since those men seem to conceal sins from human judgment, they are separated from the judgment of God. For blessed Benedict said simply: He may not conceal the sins of delinquents; yet those men ought not to conceal anything subject to doubt, but rather they ought to be certain about their rank or [page 113] their help.

Qualiter etiam dissimulari debent peccata delinquentium, docet B. Gregorius honestissime hoc modo dicens, ait enim: Sciendum quoquoque est. ... [omitted in ed. Mittermüller, inserted from SC 381: quod aliquando subjectorum vitia prudenter dissimulanda sunt, sed quia dissimulantur, indicanda; aliquando et aperte cognita, mature toleranda, aliquando vero subtiliter et occulta perscrutanda; aliquando leniter arguenda, aliquando autem vehementer increpanda. Nonnulla quippe, ut diximus, prudenter dissimulanda sunt, sed quia dissimulantur, indicanda; ut cum delinquens et deprehendi se cognoscit et perpeti, has quas in se tacite tolerari considerat, augere culpas erubescat, seque se judice puniat, quem sibi apud se rectoris patientia clementer excusat.

Blessed Gregory also teaches most honourably how the sins of delinquents cannot be concealed, speaking in this way, for he says: It should also be known that sometimes it is more prudent to overlook the vices of the laity so long as it is indicated that this is being done. And on some occasions, even what is openly known should be judiciously tolerated, while in other cases, what is hidden should be investigated carefully. And some things should be gently amended but other vehemently rebuked. Indeed, some things should be, as we have said, prudently overlooked but made known that they are being overlooked, so that when the sinner learns that he has been discovered, but also that his behaviour is being tolerated, he will be too embarrassed to add to those sins that are being tolerated in silence and will become his own judge because his spiritual director has patiently and mercifully excused him.

Qua scilicet dissimulatione bene Judaeam Dominus corripit, cum per prophetam dicit: Mentita es, et mei non es recordata, neque cogitasti in corde tuo, quia ego tacens et quasi non videns’ [Is 57:11]. Et dissimulavit ergo culpas, et innotuit, quia et contra peccantem tacuit, et hoc ipsum tamen quia tacuerit dixit.

It was this type of disregard that the Lord well reproved Judea, when he said through the prophet: 'You have lied and have not remembered me, nor have you thought about me in your heart. For I am silent, as one who does not see.' [Is. 57:11] Therefore, he both overlooked their sins and made them known because he held his peace against the sinners and yet acknowledged that he was remaining silent.

Nonnulla autem vel aperte cognita, mature toleranda sunt, cum videlicet rerum minime opportunitas congruit, ut aperte corrigantur. Nam secta immature vulnera deterius infervescunt, et nisi cum tempore medicamenta conveniant, constat procul dubio quod medendi officium amittant. Sed cum tempus subditis ad correptionem quaeritur, sub ipso culparum pondere patientia praesulis exercetur. Unde bene per Psalmistam dicitur: Supra dorsum meum fabricaverunt peccatores. [Ps 128:3]

But in some cases, what is openly known should be judiciously tolerated because the circumstances do not offer an opportunity for proper correction. For [physical] wounds are made worse by untimely surgery, and if a medicine is not suited to a certain situation, it would not be profitable to use it. Therefore, as we look for the proper time for [the spiritual] correction of the laity, the patience of the prelate is tried by the weight of their since. As it is well said through the psalmist: 'Sinners have built upon my back.' [Ps. 128:3]

In dorso quippe onera sustinemus. Supra dorsum igitur suum fabricasse peccatores queritur, ac si aperte dicat: Quos corrigere nequeo, quasi superimpositum onus porto.

We certainly support burdens on our backs. Therefore, the psalmist complains that sinners had added to the weight on his back, as if he was saying: 'Those whom I am unable to correct, I carry as a burden.'

Nonnulla autem sunt subtiliter occulta perscrutanda, ut quibusdam signis erumpentibus, rector in subditorum mente omne quod clausum latet, inveniat, et interveniente correptionis articulo, ex minimis majora cognoscat. Unde recte ad Ezechielem dicitur: Fili hominis, fode parietem [Ez 8:8]. Ubi mox idem propheta subjungit: Et cum fodissem parietem, apparuit ostium unum. Et dixit ad me: Ingredere, et vide abominationes pessimas, quas isti faciunt hic. Et ingressus vidi; et ecce omnis similitudo reptilium, et animalium abominatio, et universa idola domus Israel depicta erant in pariete [Ez 8:8-10].

[Certain vices], however lie hidden and require keen investigation so that their symptoms may be brought to light. The spiritual direct must know these great vices by their small signs, and he must investigate the hidden thoughts of his subordinates and then intervene with the proper rebuke before it is too late. Thus, it was rightly said to Ezekiel: 'Son of man, dig in the wall.' Where the same prophet then adds: And when I dug in the wall, there appeared a door. And he said unto me: 'Go in and see the evil abominations they commit here.' And going in, I saw; and behold every kind of creeping thing and the abomination of living things, and all of the idols of the house of Israel were depicted on the wall. [Ez 8.8-10]

Per Ezechielem quippe praepositorum persona signatur, per parietem duritia subditorum. Et quid est parietem fodere, nisi acutis inquisitionibus duritiam cordis aperire? Quem cum perfodisset, apparuit ostium; quia cum cordis duritia vel studiosis percunctationibus, vel maturis correptionibus scinditur, quasi quaedam janua ostenditur, ex qua omnia in eum qui corripitur cogitationum interiora videantur.

Through Ezekiel, men in authority are designated, while the wall symbolizes the hardness of the laity. And what is 'digging in a wall,' if not opening the hardness of the heart through perceptive questions? And when Ezekiel had dug, he found a 'door'; that is because when one penetrates the hardness of the heart, either by careful questions or seasonable correction, it is as if a doorway is revealed through which every interior thought is made visible.

Unde et bene illic sequitur: Ingredere et vide abominationes pessimas, quas isti faciunt hic. [Ez 8:9] Quasi ingreditur ut abominationes aspiciat, qui discussis quibusdam signis exterius apparentibus, ita corda subditorum penetrat, ut cuncta ei quae illicite cogitantur innotescant. Unde et subdidit: Et ingressus vidi; et ecce omnis similitudo reptilium, et animalium abominatio. [Ez 8:10].

And so the passage appropriately continues: 'Go in and see the evil abominations they perform here.' [Ez 8:9] He 'goes in,' as it were to see the abominations, and by examining the external symptoms, it is as if he penetrates the heart of the laity, so that all of their hidden thoughts become known. So he also added: 'And going in, I saw; and behold every kind of creeping thing and abomination of living things.' [Ez 8:10]

In reptilibus cogitationes omnino terrenae signantur, in animalibus vero jam quidem aliquantulum a terra suspensae, sed adhuc terrenae mercedis praemia requirentes. Nam reptilia toto ex corpore terrae inhaerent, animalia autem mole corporis a terra suspensa sunt, appetitu tamen gulae ad terram semper inclinantur. Reptilia itaque sunt intra parietem, quando cogitationes volvuntur in mente, quae a terrenis desideriis nunquam levantur. Animalia quoque sunt intra parietem, quando et si qua jam justa, si qua honesta cogitantur, appetendis tamen lucris temporalibus honoribusque deserviunt; et per semetipsa quidem jam quasi a terra suspensa sunt, sed adhuc per ambitum quasi per gulae desiderium sese ad ima submittunt.

By 'creeping things,' he signifies thoughts that are entirely earthly, and by 'living things,' he indicates animals that are slightly lifted above the earth but nevertheless still look for their reward from the earth. This is because creeping things cling with their whole body to the earth, while other animals are, in large part, suspended above the ground, even though their appetites always leave them bent toward the earth. Therefore, there are creeping things within the wall when the thoughts of the mind never venture beyond earthly cravings. And there are animals on the wall when some righteous and honest thoughts exist, even though they submit themselves to the appetite for temporal gain and honour. And so, even though they are in themselves lifted above the ground, through ambition and gluttonous desire they submit themselves to the lowest levels.

Unde et bene subditur: Et universa idola domus Israel depicta erant in pariete [Ez 8:10]. Scriptum quippe est: Et avaritia, quae est idolorum servitus. [Col 3:5]

Thus it was well added: 'And all of the idols of the house of Israel were depicted on the walls.' [Ez. 8:10] For it is also written: 'And covetousness, which is the servant of idols.' [Col. 3.5]

Recte ergo post animalia, idola deseribuntur, quia etsi honesta actione nonnulli quasi a terra se erigunt, ambitione tamen inhonesta semetipsos ad terram deponunt. Bene autem dicitur, Depicta erant; quia dum exteriorum rerum intrinsecus species attrahuntur, quasi in corde depingitur quidquid fictis imaginibus deliberando, cogitatur. Notandum itaque est quia prius foramen in pariete, ac deinde ostium cernitur, et tunc demum occulta abominatio demonstratur; quia nimirum uniuscujusque peccati prius signa forinsecus, deinde janua apertae iniquitatis ostenditur, et tunc demum omne malum quod intus latet aperitur.

Therefore, it was right after the living things, to describe the idols because some, even thought they act honestly, lifting them, so to speak, off the ground, still lower themselves to the earth with dishonest ambition. And it is specifically stated: 'were depicted'; because when the semblance of external things is drawn internally, the mental image that we create in our minds is inscribed upon the heart. Notice, therefore, that it first speaks of a hole in the wall before the door is perceived, and only then do the hidden abominations become apparent. This is because the signs of every sin first appear outwardly before the door is shown that will give way to full disclosure. Only then will every hidden evil become known.

Nonnulla autem sunt leniter arguenda: nam cum non malitia, sed sola ignorantia vel infirmitate delinquitur, profecto necesse est ut magno moderamine ipsa delicti correptio temperetur. Cuncti quippe quousque in hac mortali carne subsistimus, corruptionis nostrae infirmitatibus subjacemus.

Concerning the notion that some things should be gently amended, let us consider that when some errors are committed, not out of malice but out of ignorance or weakness, it is necessary that its correction must be tempered with great moderation. For it is true that all of us, for as long as we continue in a mortal body, will be subject to the weaknesses of our corruption.

Ex se ergo debet quisque colligere qualiter alienae hunc oporteat imbecillitati misereri, ne contra infirmitatem proximi si ad increpationis vocem ferventius rapitur, oblitus sui esse videatur. Unde bene Paulus admonet, dicens: Si praeoccupatus fuerit homo in aliquo delicto, vos qui spiritales estis, instruite hujusmodi in spiritu mansuetudinis, considerans teipsum, ne et tu tenteris [Gal 6:1]. Ac si aperte dicat: Cum displicet ex aliena infirmitate quod conspicis, pensa quod es; ut in increpationis zelo se spiritus temperet, dum sibi quoque quod increpat timet.

Every spiritual director, then, should learn from his own experience the extent to which he should show mercy on the weakness of others. For if he is too quick to voice his rebuke against the weakness of his neighbour, it would be as though he did not see his own. Thus, Paul admonished [spiritual directors] well, saying: 'If a man is overcome with any fault, you who are spiritual should instruct him in the spirit of meekness, always considering yourself, so that you are not also tempted.' [Gal. 6:1] It is as if he was saying: 'When the sight of another's weakness is displeasing to you, recall what you are like so that the spirit can temper itself in the zeal of correction, in order that it should also fear what it corrects.'

Nonnulla autem sunt vehementer increpanda, ut cum culpa ab auctore non cognoscitur, quanti sit ponderis, ab increpantis ore sentiatur. Et cum sibi quis malum quod perpetravit levigat, hoc contra se graviter ex corripientis] asperitate timescat22 [Gregory the Great, Liber regulae pastoralis II, c. 10, SC 381, pp. 238-244].

Some things, however, should be vehemently rebuked, for when sin is not recognized by the one who is guilty of it, he should be made aware of the extent of the fault by the voice of the once who offers the rebuke. And if anyone smoothes over the evil that he has committed, let him be frightened by the severity of the censure against the gravity of his behaviour. [Gregory the Great, The Book of Pastoral Rule, trans. George Demacopoulos (Crestwood N.Y.: St Valdimir's Seminary Press, 2007) book II, c. 10, p. 77-80]

Sequitur: 26sed mox ut coeperint oriri; radicitus ea, ut praevalet, amputet.

Next: 26but as soon as they begin to emerge, let [the abbot] pull them out by the roots just as he is able.

Bene dixit mox, quia cognovit B. Benedictus, peccatum, si per augmentationem temporis robur et fortitudinem sumpserit, aut vix aut certe nunquam potest eradicari, et cum eradicabitur, cum magno labore eradicabitur. Unde Dominus ad Job dixit de diabolo: Stringit caudam suam sicut cedrus [Iob 40: 12], ac si diceret: tale est vinculum diaboli in novissimo hominis quasi cedrus fortissima.

He spoke well when he said as soon as, since Blessed Benedict recognized that a sin can either scarcely or even never be eradicated if it has assumed strength through the increase of time, and when it is eradicated, it will be eradicated with much labour. Whence the Lord said to Job concerning the devil: He holds up his tail like a cedar [Iob 40: 12], just as if he said: the chain of the devil in the youngest of men is as great as the strongest cedar.

Et idcireo dixit radicitus, i. e. a radice, quia si a radice non fuerit eradicatum, etsi videatur amputari, tamen occasione aliqua pullulabit.

And therefore he said by the roots, that is from the root, since if it has not been pulled up from the root, even if it seemed to be pulled up, nevertheless it will sprout at some occasion.

Sicut enim frustra laborat agricola in amputandis ramis, cum vult arborem evellere, nisi in radice laboraverit, casso labore consumitur, ita et doctor aut abbas frustra laborat in amputandis operibus malis, cum vult eradicare vitia, nisi in occasionibus peccati laboraverit, quia si ad tempus videntur amputari, tamen tempore suo occasione accepta statim pullulabunt.

For just as a farmer works in vain in pruning branches, when he wishes to uproot a tree, he is exhausted by useless work unless he works on the root. And thus a teacher or abbot labours in vain in pruning bad works when he wishes to eradicate sins unless he took pains on the occasions of sins [to eradicate them], since [even] if they seemed to be pruned at the time, nevertheless they will sprout immediately in their own time at an opportune moment.

V. g. sunt duo vel tres fratres, qui vitio gulae detenti vadunt in refectorium ante horam et manducant et bibunt; postea si abbas in istis laboraverit et non in cellerario, cassabitur ejus labor, quia, si ad tempus videatur amputare et emendare, tamen, si cellerarius vitiosus fuerit, etsi non dabit illis, qui emendantur, tamen dabit aliis. Unde si radicitus vult emendare, cellerarium, si dignus est, evellat; si enim evellerit cellerarium, tunc radicitus amputat (vitium). Ita et in ceteris causis debet evellere vitium radicitus; quodsi non fecerit, i. e. si a radice non evulserit, praevaricator hujus praecepti est.

For example, there are two or three brothers who, seized with the sin of appetite, go into the refectory early and eat and drink; if afterward the abbot works on those brothers and not on the cellarer, his labour would be undone, since, [even] if it seems that he prunes and corrects for a time, still, if the cellarer is sinful, [even] if he would not give food to those brothers who were corrected, he will still give food to others. Whereas, if the abbot wishes to correct from the roots, let the abbot remove the cellarer if he deserves it; for if he removes the cellarer, then he pulls out (the sin) by the roots. And thus, he ought to remove sin in other cases by the root; and if he does not this, that is, if he does not remove it by the root, he is a transgressor of this command.

Istud praevalet tribus modis intelligitur sive praevalet sensu aut virtute aut certe praevalet attingere in profunditate peccati, ac si diceret: juxta quod potest intelligere, juxta quod habet virtutem, vel juxta quod potest attingere in profunditate peccati, radicitus [page 114] amputet.

It is understood that one prevails in three ways: either he prevails in sense or in virtue or surely prevails reaching to the depth of sin, as if he says: let him pull out sin by the roots according to that which he is able to understand, according to his virtue, or according to what he is able to reach in the depth of sin. [page 114]

Nunc vero, quia voluit B. Benedictus ostendere, quam ingens periculum instat in non servando formam apostolicam, quam dixerat: Argue, obsecra, increpa, et in non servando suum consilium, quod dixit: neque dissimulet peccata delinquentium, ideo posuit exemplum Heli, ait enim: 26memor periculi Heli sacerdotis de Silo.

But now since blessed Benedict wished to show how huge a danger threatens [firstly] by not keeping to the formula of the apostle which he spoke: Reprimand, entreat, rebuke, and [secondly] by not preserving this council, because he said: nor may he conceal the sins of delinquents, for that reason he gave the example of Eli, for he says: 26be mindful of the peril of Eli, the priest of Shiloh.

Ecce enim B. Benedictus adhibuit exemplum Heli, quod exemplum valde debet abbas pertimescere et contremiscere, ne ei talia contingant, si negligenter erga discipulorum suorum salutem curam exhibuerit. Heli enim, quia non, sicut debuit, corripuit filios suos pro culpis, quas perpetrabant, [et] ideo propter ipsam stultam indulgentiam meruit periculum incurrere animae suae, et ipsi filii sui uno die occisi sunt, et de populo XXX millia occisi sunt, et arca Domini capta est, et ipse retro cadens fractis cervicibus, sicut diximus, mortuus est, et nomen ipsius de libro vitae deletum est. Et e contra Phinees: qui pro eo, quod zelo Dei commotus duos adulteros interfecit, et totum populum de ira Dei liberavit. Iste enim Heli, qui cecidit retro, significat omnes, qui in peccatis suis moriuntur, quia mos est scripturae divinae, dicere ‘retro cadere’ illos, qui in peccatis suis moriuntur, et illos, qui in poenitentia moriuntur, dicit, ‘in faciem cadere,’ quia sicut ille, qui retro cadit, non videt, quo cadit, et qui cadit, in faciem, videt, quo cadit: ita illi, qui in peccatis suis moriuntur, non vident peccata sua.

For behold blessed Benedict employed the example of Eli, because an abbot ought to become frightened and quake greatly at this example, lest such things happen to him, if he exhibited negligent concern toward the salvation of his disciples. For Eli, since he did not correct his sons as he should have for the faults they were committing, therefore deserved to incur danger to his soul because of his foolish indulgence, and his own sons were killed on one day as well as thirty thousand of his people, and the ark of the Lord was captured, and he himself died falling back on his neck, just as we said, and his name was erased from the book of life. And on the other hand, there was Phineas who, because of his zeal for God, killed two adulterers and liberated a whole people from the wrath of God for [Eli’s] sake. For Eli himself, who died falling back, signifies all men who die on account of their sins since it is the custom of divine scripture to say that those men “fell backward,” who died in their sins, and those who die in penitence, it says, “all on their face,” since just as that man who falls backward does not see where he falls, he who falls on his face can see where he falls: thus those men who die in their sins do not see their sins.

Sequitur: 27et honestiores quidem atque intelligibiles animo prima vel secunda adimonitione verbis corripiat.

Next: 27Indeed, [let an abbot correct] men who are more honourable and more intelligent in mind with a first and a second verbal warning.

Nunc quasi interrogasset aliquis S. Benedictum dicens: 'Ecce Pater Benedicte, quia dedisti exemplum Heli, nunc optamus, ut dicas, qualiter debeat abbas istud periculum vitare'; ille [vero] quasi respondens dicit: ‘Honestiores quidem atque intelligibiles animo corripiendo prima vel secunda admonitione verbi, 28improbos autem et duros ac superbos vel inobedientes verberum vel corporis castigatione in ipso initio peccati coërcendo.

Now, just as someone had interrogated saint Benedict, saying, "Behold Father Benedict, since you provided the example of Eli, now we hope that you will explain how an abbot ought to avoid this danger.” Benedict, as though responding, says: Indeed, [let an abbot correct] men who are more honourable and more intelligent in mind with a first and a second verbal warning, 28moreover he must restrain the reprobate, stubborn, arrogant, and disobedient with beatings or other corporal punishment upon the first instance of sin.

Verberum attinet23 ad flagellum, castigatio corporis attinet ad flagellum et ad excommunicationem [page 115] et ad jejunium tantum.

Beatings pertain to the whip, corporal punishment pertains to the whip, excommunication [page 115] and to great fasting.

In hoc loco bene dixit: prima vel secunda admonitione verbi honestiores corripiat, quia adeo sunt honestiores, donec ad publicam correptionem venerint; postquam publicam correptionem acceperint, desinunt esse honestiores. Deinde nec adhuc sunt improbi, sed tantum in probatione consistunt, quia non sunt improbi, donec per sex gradus ierint, i. e. primus gradus est admonitio secreta prima et secunda vice; secundus publica correptio; tertius excommunicatio; quartus nimiis jejuniis [cf. Regula Benedicti c. 30.3];24 quintus flagellum; sextus oratio.

[Benedict] spoke well in this place: Let him correct more honorable men with a first and second verbal warning, since indeed they are more honorable until they receive public reproof; after they receive public reproof, they cease to be more honorable. Nor are they yet reprobate afterward, but still remain on probation since they are not reprobate until they go through the sixth step, that is the first step is a first and second private admonition in turn; the second [step is] a public reproof; the third is excommunication; the fourth is strict fasts [cf. Regula Benedicti c. 30.3]; the fifth is the whip; the sixth is prayer.

Et cum istos gradus acceperint et non emendaverint, tunc sunt improbi, quia ista regula manifestat, illos improbos esse, ducendo per sex gradus. Et ideo dixit: duros, superbos atque inobedientes, quia de istis omnibus fiunt improbi, eo quod omnes istos debet ducere per sex gradus, et cum ducti fuerint et non se emendaverint, tunc sunt improbi.

And when they undertake all those steps and do not improve, then they are reprobate, since they revealed according to that rule that they are reprobate men, taking them through the six steps. And therefore he said: stubborn, arrogant, and disobedient men, since they become reprobate through all those [characteristics] because he ought to take all those men through the six steps and when they were led and did not correct themselves, then they are reprobate.

Duri sunt, qui, sive excommunicentur, sive flagellentur, non emendantur, sed hoc, quod volunt, faciunt, quia non timent excommunicationem aut flagellum.25 Et propterea dixit: in ipso initio peccati, i. e. postquam improbi facti sunt, tunc illud peccatum si fecerint, aut certe flagellentur aut excommunicentur, sicut ipse dicit: 28improbos autem et duros aut superbos vel inobedientes verberum vel corporis castigatione in ipso initio peccati coerceat.

Stubborn men are those who, whether excommunicated or whipped, are not corrected, but they do whatever they want, since they do not fear excommunication or the whip. And for this reason he said: upon the first instance of sin, that is after they are made reprobate, then let them certainly be whipped or excommunicated if they committed that sin, just as [Benedict] himself says: 28moreover he must restrain the reprobate, stubborn, arrogant, and disobedient with beatings or other corporal punishment upon the first instance of sin.

Verbi gratia, si vult abbas, postquam illos improbos cognoverit, potest ejicere foris monasterio, si vero ejecerit illos foris ostium monasterii, tunc debet consilium cum fratribus accipere, ut revocentur. Si revocati fuerint, tunc in ultimo loco illos, sicut regula dicit, constituat [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 29:2]. Deinde si in ipso peccato, pro quo ejecti sunt, inventi fuerint, quasi primitus venissent in monasterium, ita illos per illos sex gradus ducat, sicut antea. Quod si noluerit illos abbas ejicere foris monasterium [page 116], sed retinuerit illos, tunc postea, si in ipso peccato inventi fuerint, non debet per sex illos gradus ducere, sed tantum aut flagellentur aut excommunicentur. Et hoc non debet abbas pro omnibus peccatis facere, sed pro illis, quibus inventi sunt improbi; nam pro aliis iterum per sex gradus debent duci.

For example, if the abbot wishes, he is able to throw those reprobate men out of the monastery after he learns of them, but if he throws them out the door of the monastery, then he ought to take council with the brothers [as to whether] they may be called back. If they are called back, then let [the abbot] put them in last place, just as the rule says [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 29:2]. Then if they are found in that same sin for which they were expelled, let [the abbot] lead them through those six steps just as before, as though they had come into the monastery for the first time.15 Because if the abbot does not wish to throw those men out of the monastery [page 116], but rather restrains them, then afterward if they are found in the same sin, he ought not to lead those men through the six steps but let them only be whipped or excommunicated. And an abbot ought not to do this for all their sins, but on account of those for which they were found reprobate; for they ought to be led through the six steps again for other [sins].

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia, cum pro peccato admonitus fuerit et postea, si post medium annum aut integrum fecerit illud peccatum, unde aut admonitus vel excommunicatus fuit, quasi non fecisset illud peccatum, ita debet in primo gradu illum admonere, deinde postquam ductus fuerit per sex gradus, si abbas illum ejecerit, non est improbus; si vero non ejecerit, et postea non emendaverit, tunc est improbus.

And it must be observed that when [a brother] is admonished for his sin and if after half as year or a year he commits that sin for which he was either admonished or excommunicated, thus the abbot ought to admonish that [brother] according to the first step as though he had not committed that sin. Then, if the abbot threw him out after he was led through the six steps, he is not reprobate; but if the abbot did not throw him out, and afterward the [brother] did not correct [himself], then he is reprobate.

Honestiores quidem sunt, qui imitabilem vitam habent. Honestiores possunt esse sine intelligibili animo; intelligibiles autem possunt esse sine honestate, quia, quamvis sapiant et intelligant, tamen non sunt religiosi tam actu26 et incessu et verbis, sicut sunt honestiores. Honestiores iterum possunt esse sine intelligibili animo, quia sunt multi honesti locutione, incessu et actu, tamen sapientes non sunt; nam honestus dicitur, quia nihil habeat turpitudinis. Nam quid est honestas nisi honor pepetuus, i. e. quasi honoris status?

Indeed, there are more honourable men who lead an exemplary life. Men can be more honourable without an intelligent mind; however, intelligent men can be without honour, since although they know and understand, still they are not as religious in deed, comportment, and words as more honourable men are. Again, there can be more honourable men without an intelligent mind, since many men are honourable in speech, in comportment, and in deed, [but] still they are not wise men; for a man is called honourable because he has nothing shameful. For what is honourable except perpetual16 honour, that is, so to speak, a condition of honour.

Sequitur: 28sciens scriptum: Stultus verbis non corrigitur.27

Next: 28knowing it is written that: A fool is not corrected with words.

Vide, quia istos omnes ad unum finem duxit, i. e. stultitiam; a stulto enim derivatur stultitia. Stultus enim est hebes corde, sicut quidam ait: 'Ego me stultum esse existimo, fatuum esse non opinor', i. e. obtusis quidem sensibus, non tamen nullis.

See, that he led those men to one end, that is, to foolishness; for foolishness (stultitia) is derived from a fool (stulto). For a fool is dull in his heart, just as a certain man said: 'I think myself a fool, I do not imagine myself foolish'17 that is with obtuse senses, yet with some [senses].

Stultus est, qui per stuporem non movetur injuria; saevitiam enim perfert nec ultus est nec ullo ignominiae commovetur dolore.

A fool is a man who is not moved to stupidity by means of injury; for he bears violence and neither took vengeance nor was moved to grieve at all for his disgrace.

Sequitur: 29Percute, filium tuum virga et liberabis animam ejus a morte. [Prv 23:14]

Next: 29Beat your son with a stick and you will liberate his soul from death. [Prv. 23:14]

Testimonium est scripturae divinae hoc. In hoc vero, quod dicit: Percute filium tuum virga et liberabis animam ejus a morte, debet abbas esse discretus et prudens; debet enim cognoscere, ut si proficit [page 117] auditori suo flagellum, debet ei adhibere flagellum, si vero non proficit, tunc non debet ei adhibere flagellum, quia sicut unus idemque cibus vel potus non aequaliter congruit sumptus omnibus humanis corporibus, ita nec unus poenitentiae modus diversis aetatibus, sensibus, conditionibus, negotiis, moribus et utrique sexui congruere potest.

This is the testimony of divine scripture. But in this, because [Benedict] says: Beat your son with a stick and you will free his soul from death, the abbot ought to be discreet and wise; for he ought to recognize that if the whip profits his listener, he ought to use the whip on him, but if it does not profit him, then he ought not to use the whip on him, since just as the one and the same food or drink is not equally suited to be consumed by all human bodies, so one type of penance certainly cannot be suitable for different ages, feelings, conditions, affairs, customs, and both sexes.

Sequitur: 30Meminere semper debet abbas, quod est, meminere, quod dicitur, et scire, quia cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur.

Next: 30The abbot ought always to remember that which he is, and that which he is called, and to know that the more that is entrusted to him, the more is demanded of him.

Ita discerni debet: Meminere debet abbas, quod est, meminere, quod dicitur, et scire, quia cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur; cum enim iterum dicit meminere, subaudiendum est debet.

Thus it ought to be understood: The abbot ought always to remember that which he is, and that which he is called, and to know that the more that is entrusted to him, the more is demanded of him; for when he repeats remember, he ought must be understood.

Istud vero, quod subsequitur: quod dicitur, non est dubium, quod subaudiendum sit ‘ab aliis’, sicut superius dixit: meminere debet, quod dicitur, hoc est abbas, i. e. pater.

But that which follows: that which he is called, without a doubt, it must be understood 'by others,' just as he said above: he ought to remember that which he is called, that is abbot, [or] father.

Nam cum dicit: meminere debet abbas semper, quod est, dubium videtur, quid subaudiendum sit; si enim dixisset: ‘quid est’, subaudiendum esset: quia homo est; sed cum dicit: quod est, subaudiendum est: quia praelatus est, ac si dicat: non solum debet meminere, i. e. ad memoriam revocare, quia praelatus est, sed etiam meminere debet, quia ab aliis dicitur, hoc est nominatur. Ideo dixit ista: meminere debet semper abbas, quid est, quia homo est, i. e. fragilis, ut honor fragilitate hominis temperetur, ut non superbiat, et fragilitas hominis ex honore non torpescat, sed studeat laborare pro amore honoris.

For when he says: the abbot ought always to remember that which he is, there seems [to be] doubt [about] what must be understood; for if he says: 'what he is,' it should be understood: that he is a man. But when he says: that which he is, it must be understood: that he was placed first, as if he would say: not only ought he to remember, that is to recall to his memory, that he is first, but also he ought to remember, because he is called by others, that that is [how] he is named. For that reason he said those things: the abbot ought always to remember what he is,18 because he is a man, that is, fragile, that honour is tempered by the fragility of man, that he should not be proud and the fragility of man should not grow slothful from honour, but that they should strive to work for the love of honour.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia ista verba inferiora, i. e. et scire, quia, cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur, manifestant et indicant superiora verba, hoc est: meminere semper debet abbas, quod est, meminere, quod dicitur, ac si dicat: idcirco debet abbas, quod est praelatus, i. e. pater, meminere, et meminere, quod etiam ab aliis dicitur, ut sciat et cognoscat, quia cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur. Et bene dixit: quia cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur.

And it must be observed that those words afterwards, that is and [he ought] to know that the more that is entrusted to him, the more is demanded of him show and point to the earlier words, that is: the abbot ought always to remember that which he is, and that which he is called, as if he would say: therefore the abbot ought to remember that he is placed first, that is a father, and to remember that which he is also called by others so that he may know and recognize, that the more that is entrusted to him, the more is demanded of him. And he spoke well: that the more that is entrusted to him the more is demanded of him.

Sic enim papa Gregorius dicit: Lectio sancti evangelii sollicite nos considerare admonet, ne nos, qui plus ceteris in hoc mundo accepisse aliquid cernimur ab auctore mundi, gravius [page 118] inde judicemur; cum enim augentur dona, rationes etiam crescunt donorum. [Gregory the Great, Hom. in Evangelia IX, c. 1, CCSL 141, p. 58]

For thus Pope Gregory says, A reading of the Holy Gospel admonishes us to consider carefully lest we, who are seen to have accepted something more from the creator of the world than others in this world, are judged more severely thereby. For when gifts are increased, the account of the givers grow [Gregory the Great, Homilia in Evangelia IX, c. 1] [page 118]

Et quod, secundum quod accipit, rationem compellatur reddere, idem beatus papa Gregorius docet: Tantum quippe ab unoquoque nostrum venturus judex exigit, quantum unicuique suae pietatis donum distribuit. [Gregory the Great, Homilia in Evangelia IX, c. 7, CCSL 141, p. 63]

And that, according to that which he receives, he is compelled to return an account, asthe same blessed pope Gregory teaches: The judge to come demands as much of each one of us in the measure of how much he granted the gift of his love to each.19 [Gregory the Great, Homilia in Evangelia IX, c. 7]

Sequitur: 31sciatque, quam difficilem et arduam rem, suscepit, regere animas.

Next: 31And let him know how difficult and arduous a job he undertakes to govern souls.

Difficile est, quod vix potest fieri; ardua28 vero est subtilis et laboriosa atque studiosa, quod paene unum significat cum difficile, ac si diceret: cognoscat abbas, quia difficilem et arduam rem suscepit, hoc est, quae potest fieri, et29 nimis cum studio et labore fit. Inter difficile et impossibile hoc interest: impossibile est, quod non potest fieri, difficile autem potest fieri, sed cum grandi labore et cum magno studio.

It is difficult, because it can hardly be done; but it is arduous [because it is] delicate and laborious, and zealous, which means almost the same as difficult, as if he says: let the abbot recognize that he undertook a difficult and arduous job, that is, one that can be done but is very great, [to be done] with zeal and labour. It lies between difficult and impossible: Something is impossible which cannot be done, however something difficult can be done but with great labour and much zeal.

Nam quare sit difficile, idem B. Benedictus manifestat, cum subdit dicens: regere animas, ac si diceret: ideo est difficile, quia animas regit, corpora vero regere difficile non est.

For that same blessed Benedict reveals how difficult it is because the abbot governs souls, but it is not difficult to govern bodies.

Jam quid sit regere animas, manifestat, cum subdit: 31et multorum servire moribus.

Now he reveals what it is to govern souls when he adds: 31and to be of use to the moods of many men.

Istud et pro ‘id est’ positum est, ac si diceret: regere animas est multorum servire moribus.

That and is in the place of “that is”, as if he said: to govern souls is to be of use to the moods of many men.

Si enim unius hominis mores sequi difficile est, quanto magis multorum. Hanc autem difficultatem in se ipso homo potest argumentare et cognoscere; si homo mores suos non potest ad unum tenorem deducere, qui (quia) aliquando sunt irascentis, aliquando tristantis, aliquando laetantis, aliquando obliviscentis, nec ad unam regulam temperare, quanto magis aliorum? Et quod quis aliorum debeat servire moribus, habes exemplum.

For if it is difficult to follow the moods of one man, how much more so those of many men. For a man can reason and examine this difficulty in his very self; if a man cannot guide his own moods steadily, since sometimes they are angry, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, sometimes forgetful, nor govern [them] in one rule, how much more [can he manage the moods] of others? And that someone can to be of use to the moods of others, you have an example.

Dicit enim Paulus apostolus, gaudere cum gaudentibus, flere cum flentibus, id ipsum sentientes [Rm 12:15]. Non enim de gaudio terreno aut de luctu terreno dicit, sed de spiritali. Ille enim gaudet cum gaudentibus, qui se laetum laetantibus praebet, et ille flet cum flentibus, qui se tristem tristantibus exhibet, et illi id ipsum invicem sentiunt, qui dolorem aliorum suum esse sentiunt per caritatem invicem. Et hoc valde difficile est.

For the apostle Paul says, to rejoice with rejoicers, to cry with weepers, feeling the same thing. [Rm 12:15] For he does not speak of earthly joy or [earthly] grief, but of spiritual [joy and grief]. For he rejoices with rejoicers who presents himself as happy to happy men, and that man weeps with weepers who presents himself as sad to sad men, and those men feel the same thing who in turn feel the grief of others to be their own through love. And this is very difficult.

Verbi gratia, venit quis cum [page 119] laeto animo de spiritali processu vel profectu ad abbatem; ille vero si laetum se praebet illi, servit ejus moribus, si autem non se praebet laetum illi, tunc non servit moribus illius. lllo vero laeto cum fratre ipso momento intrat alter cum tristi animo de spiritali defectione aut casu. Ille si non expulsa laetitia,30 quam habebat, se praebuerit illi tristem, tunc non servit moribus ejus. Et iterum si intraverit alius cum laeto animo, et ille debet se iterum laetum de spiritali profectu illi praebere, si vero se non praebuerit, non servit moribus ejus.

For example, he who comes to the abbot with [page 119] a happy mind concerning spiritual advancement or progress, and [the abbot], if he presents himself to him as happy, he is of use to his mood; if, however, [the abbot] does not present himself to him as happy, then he is not of use to his mood. But if in the midst of his [shared] happiness with the brother at that moment another one comes in, with a sad mind concerning spiritual failure or misfortune, if the abbot does not, putting away the happiness he had, present himself as sad to this second brother, then he is not of use to his mood. And if yet another comes in with a happy mind, the abbot should again present himself as happy about that brother’s spiritual progress.

Vide modo, quia ideo difficile est, eo quod in uno momento debet esse et tristis et laetus, et iterum laetus et tristis propter diversos mores subditorum.

See now how this is difficult, because at one moment the abbot should be sad and happy, at the next happy and sad, according to the different moods of those subject to him.

Nam qualiter debeat regere multorum animas, manifestat, cum dicit: 31alium blandimentis, alium increpationibus, alium suasionibus. In hoc loco subaudiendum est: regat. Tunc regit alium blandimentis, cum illi, qui blandimentis est dignus, blandimenta tribuit; et tunc increpationibus alium regit, cum illi, qui dignus est increpationibus, increpationem tribuit; et tunc alium suasionibus regit, cum illi, qui suaderi dignus est, suadet.

For Benedict shows how he should rule the souls of many, when he says one with coaxing, another with scolding, another with persuasion. (Here we are meant to understand “let him rule.”) He rules one with coaxing when he offers allurements to the one who deserves it, next he rules another with scolding when he offers rebuke to one who deserves it, and next he rules another with persuasion when he entreats one who deserves it.

Sequitur: 32et secundum uniuscujusque qualitatem vel intelligentiam ita se omnibus conformet et aptet.

Next: 32And let him shape and adapt himself to all thus, according to each individual’s nature and intelligence.

Iste enim locus duobus modis potest intelligi; uno quippe modo secundum illud, quod Paulus apostolus dicit: Factus sum omnibus omnia, ut omnes lucrifacerem [cf. 1 Cor 9:22]. Non enim Paulus apostolus simulatione factus est omnia omnibus, ut omnes lucrifaceret, sed compassione, verbi gratia, cum videbat gentilem, compatiebatur illi dicens: ‘Si ego gentilis essem, necesse mihi fuerat, ut alius mihi evangelizaret regnum Dei, quatenus recedens ab idolorum cultu salvarer. Et si mihi cognosco necessitatem inesse, ut mihi alius ita fecisset, ergo evangelizabo illi regnum Dei,’ etc. Et ita secundum hunc sensum debet se abbas conformare unicuique et aptare.

This statement can be understood in two ways. The first way is according to the dictate of the apostle Paul: “I am made all things to all people so I could convert all people” [cf. 1 Cor 9:22]. For the apostle Paul was not made all things to all people to he could convert all with hypocrisy, but with compassion. For example, when he saw a pagan, he was compassionate with him, saying, ‘If I were a pagan, I would need someone else to preach to me the gospel of the kingdom of God so that, drawing away from idol worship, I might be saved. And if I recognize my need for another to have done so for me, therefore I will preach to [the pagan] the gospel of the kingdom of God’ and so on. And according to this meaning the abbot must shape and adapt himself to each individual.

Altero vero modo intelligitur secundum illud, quod papa Gregorius dicit; ait enim ita: Sit rector bene agentibus per [page 120] humilitatem socius, contra delinquentium vitia per zelum justitiae erectus, et bonis in nullo se praeferat, et cum pravorum culpa exigit, potestatem protinus sui prioratus agnoscat, quatenus et honore suppresso aequalem se subditis bene viventibus deputet et erga perversos jura rectitudinis non exercere formidet [Gregory the Great, Regula pastoralis II, c. 6, SC 381, p. 202].

The second way is according to the dictate of Pope Gregory, who spoke thus: The ruler should, in [page 120] humility, be a companion to those living rightly, upright in the zeal of justice against the sins of those who do wrong. He should in no matter prefer himself to the good, and when the sin of the wicked demands it, he should recognize the power of his leadership at once so that he both, restraining his sense of position, consider himself the equal of those living rightly and not fear to exercise the laws of righteousness against those who wrong. [Gregory the Great, Regula pastoralis II, 6]

Qualitas autem attinet ad meritum, et intelligentia ad intellectum.

For nature pertains to merit and intelligence to understanding.

Sequitur: 32ut non solum detrimenta gregis sibi commissi non patiatur, verum etiam in augmentatione boni gregis gaudeat.

Next: 32so that not only should he not suffer reduction of the flock entrusted to him, but also rejoice in the increase of a good flock.

Nunc autem reddit causam, quare debeat abbas alium regere blandimentis, alium increpationibns et alium suasionibus, et secundum uniuscujusque qualitatem vel intelligentiam conformare et aptare debet, cum subdit: ut non solum detrimenta gregis sibi commissi non patiatur, verum etiam in augmentatione boni gregis gaudeat, ac si diceret: non solum ob hoc debet ille abbas ista omnia propter damnum gregis sibi commissi agere, verum etiam ut augmentetur ille grex et proficiat.

Now Benedict gives the reason why the abbot he should rule one with coaxing, another with scolding, another with persuasion and should shape and adapt himself according to each individual’s nature and intelligence when he adds that not only should he not suffer reduction of the flock entrusted to him, but also rejoice in the increase of a good flock. It is as if he said not only should be abbot do all these things because of [potential] harm to the flock entrusted to him, but also so that his flock be increased and flourish.

Et bene dixit: sibi commissi, quia non suus est ille grex, sed Domini et sibi commissus, unde, quia suus non est sed sibi conmissus, ideo debet diligenti cura illum tractare; ille enim pastor gaudet de augmentatione gregis, cujus grex augmentatur et crescit.

He says rightly entrusted to him because the flock is not his but the Lord’s, and entrusted to him. Whence, because it is not his but entrusted to him, therefore he should treat it with diligent care; that shepherd whose flock is increased and grows rejoices in the increase of the flock.

Et ideo dixit prius non propter damnum, hoc est pro timore, sed etiam pro augmentatione, hoc est, gaudio vitae aeternae, veluti cum quis mittit setam, ut introducat filum, non ut seta permaneat, sed ut per setam filum introducat, ita et S. Benedictus in hoc loco fecisse videtur; cum prius incussit timorem de damno gregis, quasi setam misit, deinde cum subjunxit amorem de augmentatione gregis, quasi filum traxit.

He did not previously say 'on account of harm,' that is, in fear, but for increase, that is, for the joy of eternal life, just as when someone removes a bristle to bring in a thread, so that the bristle not remain but he bring in the thread via the bristle, as St. Benedict also seems to have done in this place when first he meets with fear of harm to his flock, as if removing a bristle, and then when he adds love with increase of the flock, as if spinning a thread.20

Et ille pastor tristatur de damno gregis, cujus grex minoratur et decrescit. Sunt enim alii pastores, qui solummodo pro timore poenae gregem suum pascunt, ne flagellentur, et sunt alii pastores, qui non pro timore poenae, sed pro remuneratione pascunt gregem suum. Et ideo abbas non solum pro timore minorationis gregis, sed etiam [page 121] pro augmentatione gregis sui debet laborare.

The shepherd is saddened by harm to his flock, when the flock is diminished and decreases. There are some shepherds who graze their flock in fear of punishment, so they are not whipped, and there are others who graze their flock not in fear of punishment but for reward. And therefore the abbot should not only work in fear of the diminishment of his flock, but even [page 121] for the increase of his flock.

Sunt iterum alii pastores sapientes et studiosi, et diligenti cura pascunt gregem suum, et tamen aliqua occasione, i. e. aut morbo generali aut propter locum et caet. deperit ille grex. Et sunt alii pastores negligentes et hebetes, qui non studiose pascunt gregem, et tamen aliqua occasione crescit illorum grex; sed cum dominus illorum tempore rationis reddendae venerit, ut ratio agatur de grege, non juxta quod videtur in grege, i. e. secundum augmentationem nequo secundum minorantiam gregis, sed magis secundum laborem pastorum aut negligentiam illis tribuit, i.e. studiosis pastoribus tribuit meritum laboris, licet diminutus sit grex, negligentibus autem, juxta quod negligentes fuerunt, quamvis grex illorum crevisse videatur, poenas subministrat. Ita et spiritaliter dominus faciet studiosis praelatis, quamvis damna passi sint gregum vel amplificationem ostendant.

There are also some wise and eager shepherds who graze their flock with diligent care and yet in certain instances, e.g., widespread illness or locale and so on, the flock is destroyed and there are other careless and lazy shepherds who do not graze their flock eagerly and yet in certain instances their flock grows. But when their lord comes at the time for rendering account, so that accounting for the flock is done not according to what is seen in the flock, that is, according to increase and not21 decrease of the flock, but rather lord rewards the shepherds according to their work or their carelessness, that is, he rewards eager shepherds with the merit of their labour, even though the flock is diminished, and administers punishment to the careless according to their carelessness even though their flock appears to have grown. So the Lord does spiritually for zealous prelates, whether they have suffered losses to his flocks or show increase.

Ubi considerandum est, si negligens pastor quamvis totum gregem et augmentatum domino suo consignet, non remunerationem accipit, sed magis poenam juxta negligentiam suam, quid dicendum est de his, qui invidi suis subjectis existent?

Whence it must be considered that if a careless shepherd, even if he attests to a whole flock or an increase, will not receive a reward but rather a punishment in accordance with his carelessness, what should be said of those who are envious of those subject to them?

Sequitur: 33Ante omnia, ne dissimulans aut parvi pendens salutem animarum sibi commissarum, plus gerat sollicitudinem de rebus transitoriis et terrenis atque caducis.

Next: 33Above all, neither overlooking nor esteeming lightly the salvation of the souls entrusted to him, the abbot should not devote more attention to transitory, earthly, passing matters.

Nunc animadvertendum est, quare dixerit ante omnia, cum jam caetera dixerat? Non est ita intelligendum, ut quasi non dixisset, sed quia mos est sanctorum praedicatorum, maxime illorum, qui sermonem faciunt ad populum, dicere: 'hortor et admoneo vos fratres carissimi, ut ante omnia caritatem invicem habeatis'; deinde subjungit multa, quae auditores sui debeant agere; et iterum dicit: 'ante omnia castitatem et humilitatem habete.'

Now we must notice why he has said above all when he has just now said other things. It should not be understood as if he had not said them, but because it is the custom of holy preachers, especially those who address the people, to say, ‘I exhort and admonished you, dearest brothers, to love one another above all’ and then to add many things that their listeners ought to do and then to say again, ‘Above all be chaste and humble.’

Vide modo, non ob hoc dicit, ut castitatem et humilitatem ante, quam caritatem et caetera, quae subjunxit, habeant, sed ob hoc dixit ante omnia in primo et in secundo vel tertio loco, quia omnes illae virtutes aeque teneri et haberi debent. Ita et B. Benedictus in hoc loco dixit ante omnia, et superius dixit alia.

See now that he [a preacher] does not therefore say they should be chaste and humble before loving and the other things that he has added, but he said above all once, twice, and a third time because all these virtues should be retained and held in equal measure. Thus also does Benedict say above all in this place and says other things above.

Dissimulans et parvipendens unum significant in hoc loco; [page 122] parvipendere est, contemtu animi aliquid etiam magnum despicere; pendere enim aestimare est. 31

Overlooking and esteeming lightly mean the same thing here [page 122]. To esteem lightly is to scorn even something great with a contemptuous spirit and “esteem” (pendere) means consider.

Istud enim, quod dicit plus, simpliciter intelligendum est, ut non plus gerat sollicitudinem de terrenis rebus quam de salute animarum, quasi diceret: salutem animarum incomparabiliter debet agere; sed quia piger est, ut incomparabiliter agat sollicitudinem de animarum sibi commissarum salute, ita agat sollicitudinem de salute animarum sibi commissarum, sicut de terrenis rebus. Sic etiam Paulus facere videtur, cum dicit: Humanum dico propter infirmitatem carnis vestrae; sicut enim exhibuistis membra vestra servire immunditiae et iniquitati ad iniquitatem, ita nunc exhibete membra vestra servire justitiae in sanctificationem. [Rm 6:19]

When he says more it is to be understood plainly: he should not should not devote more attention to earthly matters than to salvation of the soul, as if he were saying that the abbot must attend to the salvation of souls in a way that cannot be equalled, but because he is slow to attend to the salvation of the souls entrusted to him in a way that cannot be equalled, he should attend to the salvation of the souls entrusted to him just as he does to earthly matters. So Paul seemed to do when he said, 'I speak of a human concern because of the weakness of your flesh: just as you have given over your members to serve uncleanness and iniquity for iniquity, so now give over your members to serve justice in sanctification'. [Rm 6:19]

Humanum, i. e. possibile, ac si diceret: quia pigri estis ad bona facienda, idcirco dico vobis propter pigritiam vestram, [ut] sicut studiose servistis idolis, ita studiose servite32 Deo, cum Deo incomparabiliter serviendum est.

Human, that is, possible, as if he says, because you are reluctant to do good things, therefore I say to you, on account of your reluctance, that just as zealously as you served idols, so [now] serve God, since God must be served in a way that cannot be equalled.

Nunc videndum est, qualiter cognoscatur abbas plus agere sollicitudinem de rebus transitoriis quam de salute animarum sibi commissarum. Multimodis cognoscitur.

Now we must see how it may be recognized that the abbot devotes more attention to transitory matters than to the salvation of souls entrusted to him. It is evident in many ways.

Verbi gratia, habet abbas villam fructiferam atque fertilem, et est ibi occasio peccati. Ille vero abbas superatus amore frugum illius villae non timet illam occasionem peccati, sed tantum ut habeat fructum solummodo plurimum, mittit monachum suum illuc. Et cum hoc facit, plus agit curam de terrenis rebus, quam de salute animarum.

For example: an abbot has a productive and fertile farmstead [villam] and there is opportunity for sin there. But the abbot, overcome by love of the products of this farmstead, does not fear the opportunity for sin, but sends his monk there for the sole purpose of getting greater yield. And when he does this, he devotes more care to earthly matters than to the salvation of souls.

Item si abbas in capitulo aut in quolibet loco plus loquitur de terrenis rebus quam de mortificatione vel jejunio vel caeteris virtutibus, qualiter exercent illas virtutes aut debent exercere fratres, plus videtur gerere sollicitudinem de terrenis rebus quam de salute animarum.

Again: if an abbot in chapter or some place or another speaks more about earthly matters than mortification or fasting or other virtues, how the brothers can and ought to practice those virtues, he seems to devote more attention to earthly matters than to the salvation of souls.

Iterum habet abbas monachum nobili progenie ortum, cujus parentes magnum donum conferunt monasterio, et tamen ipse monachus malae conversationis est et plurimis malae [page 123] conversationis exemplum praebet. Abbas quia timet, ne parentes monachi desistant conferre illud lucrum monasterio, timet corripere monachum, et dum ita agit abbas, manifestat, se plus agere curam de terrenis rebus quam de salute animarum.

Again: an abbot has a monk born of noble stock, whose parents made a great gift to the monastery, and yet this monk has a bad way of life and offers an example of a bad way of life to many. The abbot, because he fears that the monk’s parents will cease to confer their wealth on the monastery, fears to correct the monk, and when this abbot acts in this way he shows that to devote more attention to earthly matters than to the salvation of souls.

Et iterum habet abbas vestiarium plenum divitiis et videt fratrem necessitatem habentem; iste talis timens, ne suum vestiarium minoretur, non succurrit fratri patienti necessitatem, aut cellam infirmorum non restaurat propter avaritiam suam; hic talis manifestat, se plus studere terrenis rebus quam de salute fratris. 33

Again: an abbot has a store full of riches and sees a brother in need. Such a one, fearing that his store be diminished, does not go to the aid of the brother suffering need, or does not repair the infirmary because of his avarice; such a man shows that he is more zealous about earthly things than the well being of the brother.

Et iterum sunt quatuor vel quinque studiosi fratres in divinis rebus, qui et se et alios adjuvant. Ille abbas habens necessitatem, quia foris non habet tales, qui faciant laborare suas curtes, deinde tollit istos quatuor et mittit foras super illa loca, et dum illi sunt illic in illis locis, in monasterio non sunt, qui custodiant caeteros. Hic talis abbas convincitur plus amare terrena quam salutem fratrum, et in nullo loco plus errat ille abbas quam in isto loco.

Again: there are four or five brothers zealous in spiritual matters who help both themselves and others. The abbot, who lacks any such men outside and is in need of someone to work in his homestead, then takes up those four and puts them out in those places and while they are out there, those who can watch over the others are not in the monastery. Such an abbot as this is proven to love earthly things more than the salvation of the bothers and in no matter does an abbot err more than in this one.

Sequitur: 34sed semper cogitet, quia animas suscepit regendas, de quibus et rationem redditurus est.

Next: 34but he should always be mindful that he has undertaken rule of souls for which he will also render an account.

Nunc animadvertendum est, quia non dixit solummodo cogitet, sed cum adjectione semper; ideo dixit semper, quia abbas nunquam debet ab hac cogitatione esse securus, i. e. sive jaceat, de hoc cogitet, sive manducet, de hoc cogitet, sive foras vadat, de hoc cogitet, et caetera.

Now it is to be noted that he does not say only be mindful but with the addition of always; he says always because the abbot should never be free from this attentiveness, that is, if lying down, he should be mindful of it, if eating, he should be mindful of it, if he goes outdoors, he should be mindful of it, and so on.

Forte dicit aliquis: quomodo potest hoc abbas semper cogitare, cum debet etiam disponere rem monasterii? Vere semper hoc potest cogitare, si omne, quidquid agit, quidquid disponit, pro salute animarum disponat vel agat.

Perhaps someone says, ‘How can the abbot always be mindful of it, when he also has to carry out monastery business?’ Truly he can always be mindful of it if everything he does, everything he carries out, he does or carries out for the salvation of souls.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia non dixit ‘corpora’ aut ‘animalia’ aut ‘possessiones,’ de quibus rationem redditurus est, sed animas; ideo dixit animas, quia omnia ad animas attinent.

And we must realise that Benedict does not say it is “bodies” or “animals” or “possessions” for which account will be rendered, but souls; he said souls because everything pertains to souls.

Forte dicit aliquis abbas: ‘quia non mihi cura est de corporibus fratrum, sed de animabus, eo quod de animabus solummodo sum redditurus rationem.’ Hic talis cognoscat, in hoc loco Benedictum [page 124] per speciem dixisse hoc, cum animas posuit pro toto homine, h. e. corpore et anima, sicut est istud: Introivit Jacob in Aegyptum in septuaginta animabus quinque [Deu 10:22]. Numquid solae animae absque corporibus introierunt in Aegyptum? Non, sed animas posuit pro toto homine, i. e. corpore et anima. Et iterum: Videbit omnis caro salutare Dei [Luke 3:6]. Numquid sola caro videbit Dominum absque anima? Non, sed caro cum anima videbit Dominum.

Perhaps some abbot says that ‘My care is not for the bodies of the brothers but for their souls, because I will render account only for souls.’ Such a man should know that in this place Benedict [page 124] spoke in the language of ideal type22 when he substituted souls for the whole man, that is, body and soul, as here: “Jacob went into Egypt with seventy-five souls” [cf. Dt 10:22]. Did the souls alone go into Egypt, without bodies? No, but it substitutes souls for the whole man. Again: All flesh will see the salvation of God [Lc 3:6]. Will the flesh alone see God, without the soul? No, but the flesh will the soul will see God.

Sequitur: 35et ne causetur forte de minori substantia.

Next: 35And lest he chance to make the excuse of meagre resources.

Iste enim locus varie a variis tractatoribus intelligitur. Sunt enim alii, qui intelligunt, minorem substantiam ad substantiam monasterii pertinere, ut sit sensus: non debet ille abbas causari, i. e. murmurare, querelari, quia parvam substantiam habet istud monasterium. Alii sunt, qui intelligunt minorem substantiam damnum alicujus rei monasterii, ut sit sensus: non debet abbas causari, murmurare, querelari, si aliquod damnum illi illatum fuerit.

This statement is understood variously by various commentators. For there are some who understand meagre resources to pertain to the resources of the monastery, making it mean that the abbot should not make excuses, that is, mutter [or] complain, because his monastery has few resources. There are others who understand meagre resources concerns loss of monastery property, making it mean that the abbot should not make excuses, mutter, complain if some loss is inflicted on it.

Sed ille primus sensus utilior est secundum istud exemplum, quod nunc subjungit B. Benedictus dicens: 35Meminerit scriptum: Primum quaerite regnum Dei et justitiam ejus, et haec omnia adjicientur vobis [Mt 6:33]. In hoc loco primum non est ordinis, ut aliud ei succedat, sed dignitatis, et ponitur pro ‘solo’ et 'semper' et 'ante omnia' et 'super omnia'. Nam si hoc34 per res singulas diversas invenitur solum, sicut dixi.35

But the first sense is more helpful according to this example, which St. Benedict now adds, saying 35Let him remember what is written: First of all seek the kingdom of God and his justice and all these things will be added to you [Mt 6:33]. Here first is not first in order but first in importance and substitutes for “alone” and “always” and “before all” and “above all.” For if the kingdom of God is found through discrete, different things alone...just as I have said.23

Verbi gratia, quaeris panem, et interrogo te: ‘cur quaeris panem?’ dicis mihi: ‘ut possim subsistere, quatenus valeam Deo servire.’ Si ita quaeris panem, regnum Dei quaeris. Et iterum: Quare quaeris vestimentum? Respondens dicis: ideo quaero vestimentum, ut valeam subsistere et Deo servire studiose. Si ita est, regnum Dei quaeris; et caetera similia.

For example, you seek bread and I ask you, 'Why do you seek bread?' and you say to me, 'So I can survive to be able to serve God.' If you seek bread thus, you seek the kingdom of God. And again: 'Why do you seek clothing?' You say in reply, 'I seek clothing so I can survive and serve God zealously.' If it is thus, you seek the kingdom of God, and so on.

Sciendum enim est, quia tribus modis quaeritur regnum Dei. Quaerit homo regnum Dei pro amore regni Dei.Et sunt alii, qui quaerunt cibum vel potum et caetera pro amore [page 125] regni Dei; et isti tales regnum Dei quaerunt jejunando, orando, psallendo, vigilando et caeteras virtutes operando. Et sunt iterum alii, qui videntur quaerere regnum Dei non pro amore regni Dei, sed pro amore cibi vel potus et caeterarum rerum temporalium; isti tales non quaerunt regnum Dei, quia hypocritae sunt, sicut dicitur: Et aestimata est afflictio exitus illorum et ab itinere justo abierunt in exterminium [cf. Sir 3:2-3]. Et iterum: Justus periit, et nemo est, qui recogitet [Is 57: 1].

It should be known that the kingdom of God is sought in three ways. A man seeks the kingdom of God out of love [page 125] for the kingdom of God. And there are others who seek food and drink and other things out of love for the kingdom of God, and such men seek the kingdom of God through fasting, praying, singing the psalms, keeping vigil, and working other virtues. And there are still others who seem to seek the kingdom of God not out of love for the kingdom of God, but out of love for food and drink and other temporal things. Such men do not seek out the kingdom of God because they are hypocrites, as it is said: “And their departure is judged torment and they departed from the right path into utter destruction” [cp. Sap 3:2-3] and again, The righteous man perishes and nobody reflects [Is 57:1].

Sequitur: 36Et iterum: Nihil deest timentibus eum. [Ps. 33:10]

Next: 36And again: Those who fear him lack nothing. [Ps 33/34:10]24

Nunc videndum est, quare dicit: Nihil deest timentibus eum, cum videntur multi justi fame perire et in necessitate deficere, quantum ad visum hominis attinet.

Now it must be seen why he says Those who fear him lack nothing when many righteous men die of hunger and lack necessities, as far as the perspective of mankind is concerned.25

Iste enim locus: Nihil deest timentibus eum, et caetera, sicut est illud: Non vidi justum derelictum nec semen ejus quaerens panem [Ps 36:25 CHECK], aliquando secundum literam debet intelligi, aliquando secundum spiritalem intelligentiam, quasi diceret ipsa divina scriptura: cum vides, me non posse intelligi secundum literam, aliud in me quaere.

This statement, Those who fear him lack nothing, is like this one: I have not seen the just man forsaken nor his seed to seek bread [Ps 36/37:25]. Sometimes it is to be understood literally, sometimes according to spiritual understanding. It is as if divine scripture says, “When you see I cannot be understood literally, seek something [else] in me.

Verbi gratia vides, justo homini nihil deesse, salus illi adest; et si videris, justum hominem necessitatem habere, ipsa sua necessitas salus36 illi est; ac si diceret S. Benedictus aliis verbis: non contingat, ut murmuret, quia minorem substantiam habet suum monasterium, sed cognoscat, quia salus illi adest in minore substantia.

For example, you see that the righteous man lacks nothing and salvation is his, and if you see that a righteous man is in need, his need is his salvation.” It is as if St. Benedict said, in different words, that it should not happen that he grumble because his monastery has meagre resources, but he should know that that its salvation is in meagre resources.

Sciendum est, quia non dicit: ‘apponentur vobis,’ sed ‘adjicientur vobis,’ quia aliud est apponere, aliud vero adjicere; illi enim apponitur, ubi non est datum aliquid, adjicitur autem, ubi jam aliquid ad augmentationem superponitur et adjungitur ei.

It should be known that [scripture] does not say “they shall be bestowed on you” but they shall be added to you [Mt 6:33],26 for it is one thing to bestow, but another to add to. Something is bestowed on a person when it is not given, but it is added when something already present is place on top and joined to it.

Sequitur: 37sciatque, quia, qui suscipit animas regendas, praeparet se ad rationem reddendam.

Next: 37He should know that he who undertakes the rule of souls must prepare to render an account.

Sunt multi libri, qui habent praeparat, et alii sunt, qui habent praeparet. Si praeparat habet, hoc modo intelligitur: est enim indicativus modus et dat ei exemplum de abbate, qui studiose suum monasterium peragit, quasi diceret: studiosus enim abbas, qui suscipit curam animarum ad eas regendas, praeparat [page 126] se ad rationem pro eis reddendam, et ideo, quia scit, se rationem redditurum, pro eis laboret, quatenus securus ipsam rationem reddere possit.

There are many books27 that have “prepares” (praeparat) and others that have must prepare (praeparet). If the reading is “prepare,” it is understood in this way: it is in the indicative mood and gives thereby an example concerning the abbot who zealously works in his monastery, as if he were saying that the zealous abbot, who undertakes the care of souls to rule them prepares himself to render an account concerning them, and therefore, because he knows that he will render an account, he works for them, so that he can render that account in safety.28

Si autem habet praeparet, intelligitur hoc modo: est enim hortativus et imperativus modus, per quem hortatur abbatem, ut laboret et praeparet se ad reddendum securus rationem pro ipsis animabus, quas regere suscipit.

But if the reading is he must prepare then it is the hortatory and imperative mood, through which he abbot is exhorted that he should labour and prepare himself for rendering account for those souls that he undertakes to rule in safety.

Sequitur: 38et quantum sub cura sua fratrum se habere scierit numerum, agnoscat pro certo, quia in die judicii ipsarum omnium animarum est redditurus Domino rationem, sine dubio addita et suae animae.

Next: 38And whatever the number of brothers he knows are under his care, let him be certain that on the Day of Judgement he will render an account to the Lord for every one of those souls, of course his own soul’s included.

Haec autem sententia ita construitur: Et agnoscat, quia pro certo redditurus est rationem Domino in die judicii ipsarum omnium animarum, quantum numerum fratrum se scierit habere, quasi diceret: agnoscat, quia pro omnibus est rationem redditurus Domino, quantos fratres habuerit sub se, i.e. sibi commissos.

This sentence is construed as follows: And let him know that of course he will render an account to the Lord, on the Day of Judgement, of each of these souls, whatever the number of brothers he knows himself to have, as if he were saying that he should know that he will render an account to the Lord concerning all the brothers he has under him, that is, were entrusted to him.

Verbi gratia si centum fratres habuerit, pro centum, si XX pro XX, et caetera his similia.

For example, if he has 100 brothers, then [he will account] for 100, if he has twenty, for twenty, and so on.

In hoc enim loco, quod dicit: addita et suae animae, subaudiendum est ratione. Sunt enim multi abbates, qui et doctrina et opere studiose praesunt suis discipulis, sed intentionem habent malam. Et sunt alii, qui doctrina et opere videntur studiose praeesse, tamen absconse mala agunt, et ob hoc dicit: addita et suae animae, ut sollicitus sit, quia non solum pro suis subjectis, sed etiam pro se redditurus est rationem.

And where he says and of course his own soul’s included we should understand account [included]. There are many abbots who zealously excel their disciples in both learning and work, but with evil intent. And there are others who seem zealously to excel in learning and work but nevertheless do evil secretly, and for this reason Benedict says his own soul’s included, so that the abbot be responsible because he will render an account not only for those subject to him, but also for himself.

Sequitur: 39et ita timens semper futuram discussionem pastoris de creditis ovibus, cum de alienis ratiociniis cavet, redditur de suis sollicitus. Ita construitur: et redditur sollicitus de suis, subaudiendum est rationiis, cum de alienis ratiociniis cavet, subaudiendum est: puniri vel condemnari de alienis ratiociniis.

Next: 39And thus always fearing the future examination of the shepherd concerning the sheep entrusted to him, although mindful of the reckonings for others, he is responsible for rendering his own. It is construed thus: and he is responsible for rendering his own, with “reckoning” understood, although mindful of others’ accounts, with 'of being punished or damned' about the reckonings of others understood.

 Ita timens semper futuram discussionem pastoris de creditis ovibus; ita timens, ac si diceret, sicut dixi. Ratiocinium est altercatio sive negotium; ratiocinatio enim est faciendi quid inficiendive excogitata ratio.

Thus always fearing the future examination of the shepherd concerning the sheep entrusted to him: thus fearing is as if he were saying as I said. Reckoning is a discussion or business; a reckoning is considered thought about what is to be done or not done.

Sequitur: 40et cum de admonitionibus suis emendationem aliis subministrat, ipso efficiatur a vitiis emendatus.

Next: 40and when he helps others to emend with his admonitions, he himself is emended of faults.

De [page 127] admonitionibus, id est per admonitiones vel doctrinas suas, ac si diceret: sollicitudo aliorum reddit illum sollicitum.

 With [page 127] admonitions, that is through his admonitions or teachings, as if he said that solicitude for others make him solicitous.


1. essentia. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
2. de fermentis = fermentum (Mittermüller).
3. vagatur. Cod Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
4. sine. Cod. Fürstzell. (Mittermüller).
5. mortis. Cod. Fürstzell. Mortem. Cod. Emmeram. Fortasse legendum est ita: Quod si majora vitia fuerint quasi peane mortis, infirmitates majores intelliguntur. (Mittermüller).
6. cf. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
7. sit. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
8. complere (?). (Mittermüller).
9. quam. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
10. promoveri debet. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
11. virtute. Cod. Divionens. ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
12. dicturi sunt. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
13. Clerici possunt preaponi et presbyteri et monachi peregrini. Cod. Emmeram.
14. serviunt. Cod. Fürstzell. (Mittermüller).
15. animali Dei. Cod. Mellicens. et Fürstzell. (Mittermüller).
16. inacqualitatem. Cod. Tegerns. (Mittermüller).
17. Fortasse corrigendum est ita: quia disciplina abbatis, cui impressa fuerit, illum ad similitudinem suam exhibet. (Mittermüller).
18. de argueno et obsecrando et increpando. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
19. cf. cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
20. Initium (?) (Mittermüller).
21. cf. Ps. 16, 14. u. Ps. 54, 22. Matth 24, 51. (Mittermüller).
22. PL gives pertimescat instead of timescat
23. verbera attinent. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
24. nimia jejunia, cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
25. Duri corde sunt, qui, sive admoneantur, sive excommunicentur, non emendantur, neque etiam erubescunt, sed obstinata mente non timentes verecundiam atque excommunicationem impetum sui cordis sequuntur. Cod. Divionens. ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
26. religiosi in actu. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller)
27. cf. Prov. 29:19?
28. scil. res. (Mittermüller).
29. et = sed. (Mittermüller).
30. cf. cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
31. Parvipendere idem est, ac magnum aliquid animo superbo despicere seu parum aestimare. Cod. Divion. ex Marten. (Mittermüller).
32. serviatis. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).
33. curam agere. (Mittermüller).
34. scil. regum Dei. (Mittermüller).
35. subaudiendum esse videtur: tunc quaeritur regnum Dei ante omnia et super omnia. (Mittermüller).
36. aeterna. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermüller).

1. The way in which Hildemar uses the word affectus is unclear. It is possible that he originally wrote affictus, which can be an accounting that has to do with distribution of property, so maybe this is, by extension, a piece of (agricultural) property.
2. Azymus also means ‘unleavened,’ giving this passage a double meaning in Latin.
3. Isidorus, Etymologiarum sive originum, book XX, c. ii, 18: “Fermentum a fervore nuncupatum, quod plus prima hora non potest contineri; crescendo enim excedit.”
4. Beda Venerabilis, In Lucae Evangelium, book 4, ch.13, col 507 (PL 92): “Fermentum ergo dilectionem dicit, quae fervefacit, et excitat mentem.”
5. Tantum iterum erit liber is a version of the text we have so far only found in Hildemar. The use of ut is not in the original quote and has been left out of this translation.
6. The Emmeran codex uses vagatur here, which may provide an even better meaning: "but is as if his mind wanders."
7. Almost a repetition of what was said on p. 92.
8. I.e. Micah.
9. The text is mistaken here. This is actually ‘below’ in the text.
10. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 12. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. Source.
11. See 2 Cor 11:13-15.
12. Repetition of p. 94, line 6-8. There may be a manuscript problem.
13. See as well ch. 63 for the places of monks within the congregation.
14. Hildemar's meaning of conditiones is somewhat unclear, but we believe that this refers to one's status as either a serf or freeman.
15. Cf. chapter 23.
16. Pepetuus is most likely an alternate spelling of perpetuus.
17. Apparently proverbial; we can’t find a source.
18. This sentence seems to contradict with what Hildemar said above about why Benedict specifically did not say quid est. Perhaps quid is a typo that should read quod.
19. Bruce Venarde provided these translations of Homilia in Evangelia.
20. The point of this textile analogy is that fear is only a placeholder for love.
21. Should this be neque and not nequo in the text?
22. For per speciem. There is no usage of species as a grammatical term, might be Neoplantonic usage.
23. There is a lacuna here. Mittermueller suggests tunc quaeritur regnum Dei ante omnia and super omnia but we should try to discover if there is any manuscript authority, which he usually mentions if there is.
24. Text from this paragraph until the end of the chapter translated by Bruce Venarde.
25. Standard use of ad quantum going back to the classical authors. Meaning of this phrase here unclear.
26. See p.124, citation of RB 2:35.
27. Here Hildemar may mean texts of the Rule, or other commentaries on it that have not survived, or both.
28. Here and below “in safety” (securus) refers to the security of the abbot’s own salvation.

Cap. III
DE ADHIBENDIS AD CONSILIUM FRATRIBUS

[Ms P, fol. 35rPaulus Diaconus – 
Ps.-Basil: Ms K2, fol. 91r; Ms E1, fol. 42r; Ms E2, fol. 58r]

Ch. 3
ON BRINGING THE BROTHERS TO COUNSEL

Translated by: Tristan Sharp

Consilium dicitur a consulendo, quia per consilium inquiritur et cognoscitur nullum, quod cavendum est, et bonum, quod agendum est. Verumtamen et hoc sciendum est, quia cum bonum per cousilium repperitur, non est permanendum in ipso bono, sed trauseundum est ad melius, deinde ad optimum, si fieri potest. Consulo enim duos sensus habet: si conjungitur cum Dativo; consulo tibi, intelligitur: prospicio tibi et pvovideo tibi, h. e. tuae utilitati et tuo profectui; si autem conjungitur cum Accusativo, intelligitur interrogo. Unde dicitur: Consuluit David Dominum; [1 Sm 3:8; 2 Sm 2:1; 2 Sm 5:19] i. e. interrogavit Dominum.

Counsel’ (consilium) comes from ‘counselling’ (consulendo), since through counsel one inquires and knows about what is of no value, which should be guarded against, and what is good, which should be carried out. To be sure, one should also know that once the good is found through counsel, one should not dwell on that good, but move on to what is better, thence to what is best, if possible. ‘I counsel’ (consulo) has two senses: if it is joined to the dative, it is understood as ‘I give counsel to you,’ ‘I will look out for you and provide for you,’ i.e. for your benefit and success; if, however, it is joined to the accusative, it is understood to mean ‘I consult’. Whence it is said that David took counsel with (consuluit) the Lord, [1 Sm 3:8; 2 Sm 2:1; 2 Sm 5:19] i.e. he consulted the Lord.

In apto enim et congruo loco nunc B. Benedictus dicit de adhibendis ad consilium fratribus, quia superius informaverat abbatem in his rebus, quae in se vel ad se attinent, i. e. qualiter debeat praeesse suis discipulis doctrina et opere; nunc autem docet illum, qualiter debeat esse in his rebus, quae extra illum sunt, i. e. qualiter debeat disponere ea, quae disponenda sunt. Nam quare hoc capitulum dixerit, manifestat illa sententia inferior, qua, dicitur: 13Omnia fac cum consilio, et post factum non poenitebis. [cf. Sir 32:24] Sicut enim illud capitulum: Qualis debeat esse abbas [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.t], creavit illa sententia, qua dicitur: Christi enim vicem agere creditu in monasterio, dicente Apostolo: Accepistis spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo clamamus: Abba, pater [Rm 8:15] [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 2.2-3], ita istud capitulum generavit haec sententia, qua, dicitur: Omnia fac cum consilio, et post factum non poenitebis.

For in an apt and suitable place, the blessed Benedict now speaks on bringing the brothers to counsel, since he has earlier instructed the abbot in those matters that apply directly to him, i.e. how he ought to surpass his disciples in learning and deeds. Now, however, he teaches him how he ought to behave in matters that are external to him, i.e. how he ought to arrange those things that need to be arranged. For the following sentence makes clear why he has written this chapter, where it says, 13Take counsel in all things, and you will not repent after the fact. [Ecl 32:24] For just as the chapter What sort of man the abbot ought to be [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.t] is created by the sentence in which it says He is entrusted with the place of Christ in the monastery— as the Apostle says, You have accepted a spirit of adoption as sons, in which we cry, ‘Abba, Father,’ [Rm 8:15] [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 2:2-3] so this chapter is begotten by this sentence, in which it says, Take counsel in all things, and you will not repent after the fact.

Haec autem sententia: Omnia fac cum consilio, dividitur in duobus modis, i. e. in praecipuis, cum dicit: 1Quoties aliqua praecipua agenda sunt in monasterio, convocet abbas omnem congregationem et dicat ipse, unde agitur; et in minoribus, cum dicit: 12si qua vero minore agenda sunt in monasterii utilitatibus seniorum utatur consilio. Et cum hoc fit, nihil excludit abbati, ut aliquid [page 128] sine consilio agere debeat.

This sentence, moreover, Take counsel in all things, is divided into two ways of acting, i.e. the way for the important matters, when it says, 1whenever some important matters are to be carried out in the monastery, let the abbot call together the whole congregation and let him explain why it is being done, and the way for lesser matters, when it says, 12if anything needs to be done about a lesser matter for the benefit of the monastery, let him take counsel with the senior monks. And when this occurs, there is no reason for the abbot to do anything [page 128] without counsel.

Nunc animadvertendum est, quare dixit seniorum, et non dixit fratrum aut aliquorum; non enim vacat in eo, quod dixit seniorum, sed innuit nobis, ut investigemus, qui sunt isti seniores. Sunt enim multi praelati, qui dum constricti sunt ab hac sententia, ut nihil sive consilio agant, illos subditos interrogant, quos sciunt sibi secundum voluntatem suam dare consilium.

Now we must consider why he says of the senior monks, and not ‘of the brothers,’ or ‘of the rest;’ for he does not say of the senior monks for no reason, but he hints to us, so that we will find out who these senior monks are. For there are many prelates, who, while they are constrained by this sentence to do nothing without counsel, consult those subordinates whom they know will give them counsel according to their own wishes.

Verbi gratia cum vult tres aut quatuor causas agere, de una interrogat illum subditum, quem cognoscit sibi secundum voluntatem suam dare consilium; de altera causa interrogat alium, et de alia interrogat alium, et de alia interrogat alium; semper enim praelati illos interrogant, quos cognoscunt secundum voluntatem suam sibi dare consilium, et cum ita agunt, dicunt, se omnia fecisse cum consilio, ac per hoe falluntur, quia regula dicit, illos seniores adhibere ad consilium, qui Deum timent, sicuti habes: Cum consilio fratrum timentium Deum ordinet ipse sibi praepositum.

For example, when he wants to deal with three or four matters, on one matter he consults that subordinate whom he knows will give him counsel according to his own wishes; on another matter he consults another subordinate, and another on another matter, and another on another, for prelates always consult those whom they know will give them counsel according to their own wishes. And when they do this, they say that they have done everything with counsel, and in this way they deceive others, since the Rule says to take counsel with those senior monks who fear God, just as you read it: Let him order his plans with the counsel of God-fearing brothers.

Consilium enim, sicut superius dictum est, a consulendo dicitur, eo quod consulit alicui rei. Dicit enim Cassiodorus: Convenire enim est, multos in simul venire; similiter et convocare est, multos in simul vocare. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 46:10, CCSL 07, p. 424]

For ‘counsel,’ as was said above, comes from ‘counselling,’ because it gives counsel in some matter. For Cassiodorus says, ‘To convene’ (convenire) means when many people come (venire) together; similarly to convoke (convocare) means calling (vocare) many people together. [Cassiodorus, Expositio psalmorum, in Ps. 46:10.]1

Isti enim seniores si non sunt aut inveniri non possunt, tamen possunt creari per admonitionem, ut sapiant, eo quod, sicut Terentius dicit, istud est sapere, non solum quod ante pedes modo est videre, sed etiam illa, quae futura sunt, prospicere. [Terence, Adephi, 1.386-388].

 For if there are not any senior monks, or they cannot be found, nevertheless they can be created through admonition, so that they may be wise, because, just as Terence says, That’s real wisdom, not only to see what is now in front of one’s face, but also to foresee those things that are to come. [Terence, Adelphi, I.386-388] 2

Istos enim seniores non debet dividere inaequalitas morum, sed debent esse diversae aetatis, eo quod difficile possint esse unius aetatis.

A disparity of character ought not to divide the senior monks, but they should be of different ages, since they could be of the same age only with difficulty.3

In istis enim senioribus tria debent requiri: fides, spes, caritas. Fides rei, qua tegant universa, quae constituuntur, ut sive una hebdomada vel mense aut anno aut certe usque ad mortem, si necessitas fuerit, tegere debeant, et nunquam ulli hominum sive parenti, sive extraneo per nullum ingenium indicent, quo mortalis infirmitas valeat agnoscere. Spes, i. e. praemium aeternorum gaudiorum, quo firmati, si persecutio ob illam rem orta fuerit, non recedant aut fugiant, quia solet persecutio post rem aliquando oriri. Caritas, i. e. talis fraternitatis amor debet esse in illis, ut, quod unus sapit, [page 129] velit etiam alium scire, et cum tres aut quatuor locuti fuerint, alius non inter illos sine vocatione accedat absque verecundia. Deinde debent cognitionem habere boni et mali, ut sit, sicut Dominus dicit ad Esaiam prophetam: Si separaveris pretiosum a vili, quasi os meum eris. [Ier 15:19]

Three things should be sought in these senior monks: faithfulness,4 hope and charity. Faithfulness in affairs, such that they will keep in confidence those matters that are decided that must be kept in confidence, whether for a week, or a month, or a year, or indeed all the way until death, if it is necessary, and never disclose them to anyone, whether a relative or a stranger, via any trickery that allows mortal weakness to learn what happened. Hope, i.e. of the reward of eternal joy, strengthened by which, if persecution arises on account of any matter, they will not retreat or flee (since it is not unusual for persecution to arise sometimes on account of some matter). Charity, i.e. such brotherly love must be in them, that each wants to share what he knows with the others, [page 129] and yet when three or four have spoken, another will not interject unasked without shame. Hence they should have knowledge of good and evil, so that it may be as the Lord says to the prophet Isaiah, If you shall have separated the precious from the common, you shall be like my own mouth. [Ier 15:19] 5

Deinde debent scire, quid sit bonum et melius et optimum, quia periculum est, si eligit bonum pro meliore, ubi melius potest inveniri; et iterum periculum est, si eligit melius pro optimo, ubi optimum potest inveniri; et similiter cognoscere debet, quid sit malum, quid sit pejus, et quid sit pessimum. 

Hence they should know what is good and better and best, since there is a danger that they may choose the good over the better, when the better can be found; and again there is a danger that they may choose the better over the best, when the best can be found. And similarly they ought to know what is bad, what is worse, and what is worst.

Omnis enim res aut solummodo congruentias sine contrarietate, aut solummodo contrarietates sine congruentia aut certe congruentias et contrarietates simul habet. Si enim res totas habet congruentias sine contrarietate, sine dubio bona est; quod si totas habet contrarietates absque congruentia, mala est; si autem cougruentias insimul cum contrarietate habet, videtur difficilis esse ad discernendum; si enim plus habuerit congruentias quam contrarietates, tanto magis judicanda est bona esse res, quanto magis habuerit congruentias quam contrarietates; si autem aequaliter habuerit congruentias cum contrarietate sicut dixi, si non potest discerni per numerum, discernenda est per pondus.

For every matter either has only advantages without difficulties, or only difficulties without advantages, or, to be sure, it has advantages and difficulties at the same time. If a matter has all advantages without a difficulty, it is good without doubt. If it has all difficulties without an advantage, it is bad. If, however, it has advantages together with difficulties, it seems that it is hard to decide. For if it has more advantages than difficulties, it should be judged to be better, insofar as it has more advantages than difficulties. If, as I have said, it has advantages equal to the difficulties, if one cannot decide by counting, one should decided based on their weight.

Verbi gratia quatuor congruentias habes et quatuor contrarietates. Considera pondus, i. e. si plus praevalent congruentiae, quam contrarietates, tunc bona est; deinde cum hoc cognoveris, postea proba per numerum, si melior est aut optima, i e. si deficiunt contrarietates, tunc est melior, et si plus deficiunt contrarietates, tunc est optima, quia non solum attendendus est numerus in contrarietatibus et congruentiis, sed etiam pondus, quia nihil valet numerus sine pondere, eo quod solet contingere, unam congruentiam pro magnitudine sui superare quatuor vel quinque contrarietates.

For example, you have four advantages and four difficulties. Consider their weight, i.e. if the advantages are more significant than the difficulties, then it is good. Thence when you have understood this, then judge by counting whether it is better or best, i.e. if the difficulties are insignificant, then it is better, and if they even less significant, it is best, since one should pay attention not only to the number of the difficulties and advantages, but also to their weight, for the number is no use without the weight. In this way it often happens that one advantage, on account of its size, overcomes four or five difficulties.

Verbi gratia, si est una congruentia vel duae contrarietates, vide, qualis est major, utrum una congruentia an duae contrarietates? si major est congruentia, tunc bona est res, aut si plus praevaluerint duae contrarietates quam una congruentia, tunc mala est. Deinde [page 130] si fuerint tot contrarietates, quot congruentiae, tunc discernendae sunt per pondus, i. e. si superaverint congruentiae illas contrarietates, tunc bona est res.

For example, if there is one advantage and two difficulties, see which is greater, the one advantage or the two difficulties. If the advantage is greater, then the thing is good, or, if the two difficulties outweigh the one advantage, then it is bad. Thence [page 130] if there were to be as many difficulties as advantages, then they should be weighed against each other, i.e. if the advantages outweigh the difficulties, then the thing is good.

Qualiter perveniatur ad optimam rem cognoscendam, superius jam dictum est; ita enim intelligendum est de contrarietatibus, utrum mala sit, an pejor aut certe pessima, sicut de congruentiis diximus, i. e. si superaverit illa contrarietas ipsae congruentias. Et ideo semper pondus debes considerare tam in contrarietatibus quam in congruentiis, sive in paucitate sive in pluralitate sive in aequalitate congrueutiarum et contrarietatum, quia solet una tam magna esse sive congruentia sive contrarietas, ut non solum alteram superet, sed etiam duas vel tres vel plures.

We have already said above how one can come to know the best thing; in the same way one should understand the difficulties, whether they are bad, or worse or indeed the worst, just as we have said concerning the advantages (i.e. if the difficulties outweigh the advantages). And on that account you should always consider the difficulties as much as the advantages, whether they are few or many or the advantages and the difficulties are equal, for often one of either the advantages or the difficulties is so great that it not only outweighs one other, but even two or three or more.

Nunc videndum est, quid sit quoties. Quoties intelligitur: quot vicibus. Praecipua est illa res, quae ad totam congregationem attinet et sub dubietate est, i. e. quae argumentationibus non potest discerni, utrum prospera est an nocua.

Now, one should see what whenever means. Whenever should be understood to mean ‘in however many instances.’ A matter is important, which pertains to the whole congregation and which is in doubt, i.e. which cannot be determined to be beneficial or harmful by sure arguments.

Cerbi gratia praecipua est illa res, cum frater novitius in monasterium suscipitur, eo quod ad totam congregationem attinet et sub dubietate est. Ideo attinet ad totam congregationem, quia, si bonus fuerit, omnibus bonum exemplum praebet, et si malus, omnibus nullum exemplum demonstrat; et ideo, quia nescitur, utrum perseveraturus sit nec ne, necesse est, omnis congregatio interrogetur ex hoc.

For example, it is an important matter when a novice is taken into the monastery, in that it pertains to the whole congregation, and it is in doubt. And for this reason it pertains to the whole congregation, namely that if he is good, he offers a good example to all, and if bad, he shows to all an example of no value. And on that account, since it is not known whether he will persevere or not, it is necessary to consult the whole congregation.

Et iterum praecipua est, cum frater de monasterio expellitur pro aliquo vitio, eo quod nescitur illius iuris, utrum cito veniat an tarde, aut forte medio anno, aut uno mense non erit postea victurus1, et forte habuit exemplum bonum fratribus tribuere, si converteretur; et ideo debet omnis congregatio ex hoc interrogari, ut quod non potest discerni argumentationibus, merito discernatur.

And again, it is an important matter, when a brother is expelled from the monastery on account of some vice, because one cannot know in this ruling, whether he will come to repentance quickly or slowly, or perhaps in half a year, or in one month, he will still not be about to overcome the vice. Yet perhaps he would have a good example to offer to the brothers, if he were to be converted. Therefore the whole congregation should be consulted, so that what cannot be decided by sure arguments may be decided by merit.

Et iterum B. Benedictus judicavit de fratre, qui gravioris culpae noxa tenetur, ut ab oratorio et a mensa simul suspendatur, et tamen hora, qua ille debet cibum percipere, aut mensuram cibi in arbitrio prioris constituit; et ideo quia nescitur, quot diebus [page 131] ille frater maneat in illa poenitentia aut qua hora debet manducare aut quali mensura ab humana infirmitate [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 35], ut Deo hoc placabile sit, necesse est super hoc, ut interrogetur omnis congregatio, ut quod non potest humanis rationibus discerni, Dei judicio discernatur.

And again the blessed Benedict judged concerning a brother who is found guilty of a serious fault, that he should be suspended from both the oratory and the dinner table, and that, moreover, the hour when he ought to take food, or the measure of the food, rested on the judgment of the prior. And on this account, since human infirmity cannot know for how many days [page 131] this brother should keep doing penance, so that it may be pleasing to God, or at what hour he ought to eat, or in what measure [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 35], it is necessary to consult the whole congregation on this matter, so that what cannot be decided by human reason, may be decided by the judgment of God.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia, dum pro tali fratre interrogatur, qui est excommunicatus, ut absolvatur, ille frater non debet esse in capitulo, sed foris. Nam de minoribus culpis debet interrogare solummodo seniores, quia non est praecipua; ideo debet interrogare, quia illum constringit regula, nil sine consilio fratrum agere.

And one must see to it that, when there is a discussion about the absolution of such a brother, who is excommunicate, this brother ought not to be in chapter, but outside. For the abbot should consult only the senior monks about lesser faults, since it is not an important matter; he should consult them because the Rule constrains him to do nothing without the counsel of the brethren.

Et hoc notandum est, quia tanto major fit culpa, quantum plus crescit. Et iterum praecipua est, dum aliquam rem grandem vult abbas aut donare, sicuti sunt XX amphoras vini, aut plus vel minus secundum potentiam monasterii, aut certe terram cambire, quae grandis quantitas est; quia nescitur, utrum istud donum aut cambium proficiat an noceat monasterio, ideo necesse est, super hoc ut interrogetur omnis congregatio, ut quod non potest ille abbas argumentationibus discernere, merito discernatur.

And one should note that the fault is greater to the extent that it grows larger. And again it is an important matter, when the abbot wishes to either donate some large amount, such as XX amphorae of wine, either more or less according to the resources of the monastery, or, to be sure, to make a deal for a large quantity of land. Since one cannot know whether this gift or deal will benefit or harm the monastery, it is therefore necessary to consult the whole congregation, so that what the abbot cannot decide by sure arguments may be decided by merit.

Sequitur: convocet omnem congregationem. Bene dixit convocet, et non vocet, quia si solummodo dixisset vocet sine adjectione con, vocaret abbas congregationis partem et diceret: totam congregationem vocavi. B. vero Benedictus quia voluit, totam congregationem vocari, ideo dixit vocet cum adjectione con. Et hoc animadvertendum est, quia ideo dixit omnes propter causam exaggerationis, eo quod voluit, ut omnimodo in praecipua causa omnem congregationem vocaret.

There follows: let him call together the whole congregation. It is good that he said call together (convocet), and not ‘call (vocet),’ since if he had only said ‘call,’ without adding ‘together,’ the abbot might call part of the congregation and say, 'I have called the whole congregation.'6 Since indeed blessed Benedict wanted the whole congregation to be called, he therefore said ‘called’ with the addition of ‘together.’ And one should see that therefore he said whole for the sake of emphasis, because he wished that the prior would be sure to call the whole congregation in important matters.

Sequitur: dicat ipse, unde agitur. Vide modo, non dixit solummodo: definiat, aut dicat et definiat, sicut multi abbates faciunt; sed dixit solum dicat, ac si diceret: debet dicere causam, et hoc oculis corporis fixis in terram et oculo cordis fixo in Deo; rogare Deum debet dicens: Domine, rogo clementiam tuam, ut, per quem vis manifestare, digneris indicare.[not identified]

There follows: let him say why this is being done. See now that he does not say only ‘let him determine,’ or ‘let him say and determine,’ as many abbots do; but he said only ‘let him say,’ as if he were saying, He ought to state the case, and this with the eyes of his body fixed on the ground, and with the eye of his heart fixed on God. He ought to entreat God, saying, 'Lord, I entreat your clemency that you may deign to indicate the one through whom you wish to reveal your will.'

Hoc est verbi gratia: 'Est nobis necessitas, ut istam rem agamus, et ideo rogamus dilectionem vestram, [page 132] ut, quod uniusquisque de hac re sentiat, dicat.' Et tunc debent monachi respondere hoc modo: 'Auctoritas vestra est interrogandi, et nobis data est licentia respondendi; nunc autem rogamus, ut, quod dicturi sumus, non procaciter esse dictum recipiatis, quod respondebimus, quia cum vestra licentia dicimus.' Ille vero abbas dicat: 'nostra licentia est, ut dicatis.' Tunc debet unusquisque dicere, quod sentit. Quod si alter e latere surgit dicens, quia hoc, quod dicis, nec bonum nec verum est, hic debet ille alter caute vigilare, ne in procacitatem cadat. Tunc debet dicere abbati: 'si vobis placet, ego mittam rationem, quam de hac re sentio; et non debet contra illum fratrem, qui sibi contrarie dixit, aliquid contrarium dicere.' Quod si abbas dederit licentiam, dicat rationem humiliter illius rei ita: tantas congruentias habet et tantas contrarietates. Si autem abbas non dederit licentiam dicendi rationem, ille [vero] taceat.

To take an example of this speech: 'We need to deal with this matter, and therefore we ask you, by your love for us, [page 132] that you say what each of you thinks concerning this matter.' And then the monks should respond in this way, 'You have the authority to consult us, and we have been given permission to respond; now we ask that you do not decide that what we are going to say has been said impudently, since we are giving our reply with your permission.' Let the abbot respond, 'You have our permission to speak.' Then each one ought to say what he thinks. If another rises from the side saying, 'What you say is neither good nor true,' that other one should take care, lest he fall into impudence. Then he ought to say to the abbot, 'If it pleases you, let me explain what I think about this matter,' and he should not say anything against that brother who contradicted him. If the abbot has given him permission, let him humbly explain the matter thus: 'It has such and such advantages, and such and such difficulties.' If, however, the abbot has not given him permission to explain the matter, let him keep silent.

Sequitur: 2Audiens consilium fratrum tractet apud se, et quod utilius judicaverit, faciat.

There follows: 2Hearing the counsel of the brethren, let him reflect on it himself, and let him do what he has judged to be more useful.

Bene dixit: tractet apud se, non dixit: spernat, aut confundat dicens: 'quia tu non dixisti bonum consilium, aut rustice respondisti', sed solummodo debet illis gratias referre dicens: 'Gratias vobis referimus et benedicat vobis Dominus, quia, quod sapuistis, dixistis. Deinde juxta qualitatem causae debet traetare illam.

With good reason he has said, let him reflect on it himself. He did not say, ‘Let him spurn it,’ or, ‘Let him confound it,’ saying, 'Since you have not given good counsel,' or 'You have responded like a country bumpkin.' Rather he ought only to thank them, saying, 'We thank you, and may the Lord bless you, since you have told us what you thought.' Then he ought to reflect on the matter in accordance with its quality.

 Verbi gratia si grandis causa est, debet surgere cum illis senioribus, qui ad hoc opus deputati sunt, et cum illis tribus aut duobus aut quatuor diebus aut plus aut minus traetare uniuscujusque consilium per congruentias et contrarietates, sicut diximus. Si vero potuerit de consiliis fratrum bonum consilium invenire, tunc debet venire postea in capitulum et dicere: 'Tractavimus consilia vestra et non potuimus reperire ex illis melius consilium, quam istud, et volo, ut fiat.' Et cum hoc dixerit, jam nullus aliquid contendere aut dicere debet, sed omnes taceant et obediant. Si autem non potuerit de illis consiliis fratrum consilium aptum reperire, tunc debet suum consilium invenire, ita tamen illis consentientibus.

For example, if it is a great matter, he ought to rise along with his senior monks, who are assigned to this work, and with them he should reflect upon the counsel of each brother according to the advantages and difficulties, as we have said, for three, or two, or four days (or more, or less). If indeed he has been able to find good counsel among the counsels of the brethren, he should come into chapter thereafter, and say, 'We have reflected upon your counsels, and we have not been able to find a better counsel among them than this, and I wish it to be carried out.' And when he has said this, then no one ought to argue or say anything, but let everyone keep silent and obey. If, however, he has not been able to find a suitable counsel among those of the brethren, the he ought to follow his own counsel, but in such a way that he nevertheless has their consent.

Verbi gratia debet dicere: 'De istis vestris consiliis nullum potuimus iuvenire vel reperire; [page 133] propterea cogitavimus istud nostrum.' Quodsi non forte placuerit fratribus, tunc debet illorum consilia et suum consilium discutere cum congruentiis et contrarietatibus, et quale praeponderaverit in melius, ipsum teneat. Istud enim, quod dicit: quod utilius judicaverit, subaudiendum est: quidquid judicaverit; utilius enim ponitur pro utillime.

For example, he should say, 'We have not been able to find any good counsel among yours, and [page 133] therefore we have considered our own counsel.' If perhaps this does not please the brethren, then he ought to discuss their counsels and his according to the advantages and difficulties, and let him follow whichever carries greater weight. For when he [i.e. Benedict] says what he has judged to be more useful, he implies, ‘whatever he has judged,’ for in this case more useful stands in for ‘most useful.’ 7

Sequitur: 3Ideo omnes vocari ad consilium diximus, quia saepius juniori Dominus revelat, quod melius est.

There follows: 3For this reason we have said that all should be called to take counsel, since often the Lord reveals to the junior monks what is better.

Nunc vero quasi interrogasset abbas S. Benedictum dicens: 'Pater Benedicte, cur dicis, omnem congregationem ad consilium vocari? grave est mihi, omnem congregationem vocare.' Ille vero quasi respondens dicit: 'Non tibi durum videatur, quod dixi, omnem congregationem vocari; ideo vocari omnem congregationem ad consilium diximus, quia saepius minori Dominus revelat, quod melius est', ac si diceret: ut, quod non potes argumentationibus cognoscere, merito discernas.

Now indeed it is as if the abbot had questioned St. Benedict, saying, 'Father Benedict, why do you say to call the whole congregation to take counsel? It is difficult for me to call the whole congregation.' He, as if replying, says, 'Since often the Lord reveals to the younger what is better, as if He were saying, ‘So that what you cannot know by sure arguments, you can decide by merit.’' 8

In hoc loco, ubi dicit: quia saepe minori Dominus revelat, quod melius est, concordari videtur Paulo apostolo dicenti: Si sedenti revelatum fuerit, prior taceat. [1 Cor 14:30]

In this place, where he says, since the Lord often reveals to the lesser what is better, he appears to agree with the Apostle Paul, when he says, If one who is sitting down receives a revelation, let the prior keep silent. [1 Cor 14:30] 9

Sequitur: 4Sic autem dent fratres consilium cum omni humilitatis subjectione, ut non praesumant procaciter defendere, quod eis visum fuerit, 5sed magis in abbatis pendeat arbitrio.

There follows: 4Thus, moreover, let the brethren give counsel with the full submission of humility, such that they may not presume to impudently defend what seemed good to them, 5but rather depend on the judgment of the abbot.

Hactenus admonuit S. Benedictus abbatem, ut convocaret totam congregationem ad consilium, et reddidit causam, quare debeat omnem congregationem ad consilium vocare; nunc autem admonet monachos, qualiter debeant consilium dare; ait enim: Sic autem dent fratres consilium cum omni humilitatis subjectione et non praesumant procacitcr defendere, quod eis visum fuerit. Et bene dixit: cum omni humilitatis subjectione, de duobus verbis causa brevitatis faciens unum; nam potest esse subjectio sine humilitate, verbi gratia potest quis subjectus esse corpore, et mente rebellis, et iterum potest quis esse humilis et non subjectus, i. e. potest esse honestus et tamen sine subjectione; et quia utrumque debet monachus habere, id est humilitatem et subjectionem, ideo dixit: humilitatis subjectione, veluti cum duo dicimus unum causa brevitatis, id est: somnum [page 134] mortis.

Thus far St. Benedict has admonished the abbot to call the whole congregation together to take counsel, and he has explained why he ought to call the whole congregation to take counsel; now, however, he admonishes the monks, telling them how they ought to give counsel. For he says: Thus let the brethren give counsel with the full submission of humility, and let them not presume to impudently defend what seemed good to them. And he rightly says with the full submission of humility, making one word out of two in order to be more concise. 10 For there can be submission without humility; for example one can submit bodily, but rebel mentally. And again one can be humble and not submissive, i.e. one can be honourable and nevertheless not be submissive. And since a monk ought to have both (that is humility and submission), therefore he said with the submission of humility, as when we say that two things are one in order to be more concise, as in: ‘the sleep of [page 134] death.’

Procaciter enim in hoc loco pro superbe ponitur; defendere vero pro demonstrare et ostendere ponitur, ac si diceret: non praesumat indicare superbe.

Impudently is used in this passage in place of ‘proudly;’ defend is used in place of ‘to demonstrate and to show,’ as if he were to say, 'Let them not presume to declare it proudly.'

Et hoc notandum est, quia non dixit tantummodo: defendere non praesumant sine procaciter; si enim dixisset solummodo: non praesumant defendere, non manifestaretur veritas, quia defendere, sicut diximus, pro manifestare ponitur; sed ideo addidit procaciter, id est superbe, quatenus cum humilitate manifestata fuisset veritas sine superbia et sine jactantia.

And one should note that he did not say only let them not presume to defend it without impudently. For if he had said only, 'Let them not presume to defend it,' then the truth would not be made manifest (since ‘to defend,’ as we have said, is used instead of ‘to manifest’), but for that reason he added impudently, that is ‘proudly,’ in order that the truth might be made manifest without pride or boasting.

Sequitur: sed magis in abbatis pendeat arbitrio, subandiendum est: non illorum, qui superbe defendunt. Pendeat, id est consistat.

There follows: but rather let him depend on the judgment of the abbot, not, one should understand, the judgment of those who proudly defend their own position. Let him depend on it, that is ‘let him stand by it.’

Sequitur: ut quod salubrius judicaverit, ei cuncti obdiant. Salubrius in hoc loco comparativus pro superlativo positus est.

There follows: that all may obey what he has judged to be more beneficial. ‘More beneficial’ is used in this passage as a comparative in place of a superlative.

Sequitur: 6sed sicut discipulis convenit obedire magistro, ita et ipsum provide et juste condecet cuncta disponere; ac si diceret: ideo admonui abbatem, salubrius judicare, et monachos, non superbe defendere, quia, sicut illis convenit obedire, ita et abbatem condecet cuncta provide et juste disponere.

There follows: 6but just as it is appropriate for disciples to obey their master, so it is fitting for him to dispose all things justly and with foresight, as if he were to say, 'There I have admonished the abbot to judge beneficially, and the monks not to defend their position proudly, since, just as it is appropriate for them to obey, it is fitting for the abbot to arrange all things justly and with foresight.

Provide intelligitur quasi porro videnter; porro enim adverbium graecum est et ponitur pro longe; longe enim pro finem rei evidenter2 dicitur; evidenter autem pro juste et provide; tunc enim provide disponit, cum videns finem rei et secundum suum finem disponit. Juste pro specialiter ponitur, id est juxta meritum uniuscujusque rei debet illam disponere.

With foresight is understood to mean ‘with vision into the distance’ (porro videnter), for porro (‘into the distance’) is a Greek adverb and it is used in place of longe (‘a long way’); for ‘a long way’ (longe) is said in place of ‘with clear sight of the end of the matter;’ ‘with clear sight’ moreover is used in place of ‘justly and with foresight.’ 11 For he disposes with foresight when, seeing the end of the matter, he arranges it according to its end. Justly is put in place of ‘specifically,’ that is he ought to arrange each matter according to its own merit.

Sequitur: 7In omnibus igitur omnes magistram sequantur regulam.

There follows: 7Therefore in all things let everyone follow the Rule as a master.

Hactenus, i.e. usque modo B. Benedictus singillatim admonuit monachos et singillatim abbatem; nunc autem illos et abbatem admonet dicens: In omnibus igitur omnes magistram sequantur regulam, ac si diceret S. Benedictus: 'nec monachis nec abbati concedo, ut sine regula quidquam agant, sed omnes secundum regulam agant.'

Thus far, i.e. up to now, blessed Benedict has admonished the monks separately and the abbot separately. Now, however, he admonishes both the monks and the abbot, saying, Therefore in all things let everyone follow the Rule as a master, as if St Benedict were to say, 'I do not permit either the monks or the abbot to do anything without the Rule, but let them do everything according to the Rule.'

Nunc [page 135] videndum est, quomodo omnes, id est tam abbas, quam monachi sequi debeant magistram regulam. Magistram regulam sequuntur, si cum auctoritate regulae faciunt spiritalia; magistram sequuntur regulam, si illa temporalia, quae agunt, honeste et saluti animae proficienter agunt.

Now [page 135] one should see how everyone—that is the abbot as much as the monks— ought to follow the Rule as a master. They follow the Rule as a master if they carry out spiritual matters by the authority of the Rule; they follow the Rule as a master if they carry out honourably those temporal matters that concern them, to bring about the health of the soul.

Sequitur: 7nullus ab ea temere declinetur a quoquam. Temere, id est praesumptive, hoc est cum, quod contrarium est regulae, agunt, sive temere intelligitur passim, sive fortuitu vel negligenter. 

There follows: 7let no one be turned aside from it rashly by someone else. Rashly, that is ‘presumptuously,’ which is when they do something that is contrary to the Rule, or rashly is understood to mean ‘frequently,’ or ‘by chance’ or ‘negligently.’ 

Verumtamen sciendum est, quia istud declinetur impersonale est, id est nullus ab ea declinetur a quoquam. A quoquam, id est ab aliquo, subaudiendum est: tam ab abbate, quam ab alio monacho.

Moreover one should know that that use of ‘to be turned aside’ is impersonal, that is let no one by turned aside from it by someone elseBy someone else, that is ‘by anyone,’ which implies, ‘by the abbot as much as by another monk.’

Sequitur: 8Nullus in monasterio proprii sequatur cordis voluntatem. Nam quid sit proprii cordis voluntas, superius in prologo jam diximus. [cf. Regula Benedicti, prol.3]

There follows: 8Let no one in the monastery follow the will of his own heart. I have already explained the will of his own heart in the prologue above. [cf. Regula Benedicti, prol.3]

Sequitur: 9neque praesumat quisquam cum abbate suo proterve aut foris monasterio contendere.

There follows: 9Let no one presume to contend with the abbot shamelessly or outside of the monastery.

Cum dicit: aut foris monasterio, subaudiendum est: intus. Iste locus varie intelligitur. Alii sunt, qui intelligunt, ut proterve ad intus attineat, ut sit sensus, ac si diceret: intra monasterium debet contendere, sed sine protervitate, hoc est dicere: si intus rogatus fuerit monachus, potest manifestare causam, sed cum humilitate, et iterum, sicut dixi, rationem illius causae, si abbas dederit licentiam, subjungere debet; foris vero monasterium solummodo causam dicere, et non licet dicere: si vobis placet, ego mitto rationem, quare mihi ita videtur, propter illos homines, qui forte alterius vitae illic fuerint, ne malum illi exemplum ex hoc accipiant, cum non intelligunt rationem illam, quam audiunt.

When he says or outside the monastery, this implies ‘inside.’ This passage is variously understood. There are some who think that shamelessly applies inside, so that the sense would be as if he were saying, 'He ought to contend inside the monastery, but without shamelessness.' That is to say, if the monk has been asked, he can make his complaint plain, but with humility. Furthermore, as I have said, he ought to add the reason for this complaint, if the abbot has given him leave. Outside of the monastery, however, it is only permitted to make his complaint, but not to say, 'If it pleases you, I will give the reason why it seems so to me,' on account of those men who belong to another way of life, and who may perhaps be present, lest they get a bad example, since they do not understand the explanation that they hear.

Alii intelligunt, ut proterve subaudiatur ad intus et foris, ac si diceret: non praesumat proterve quisquam intus cum abbate suo, aut foris proterve contendere, ut sit sensus: neque intus proterve aut etiam foris proterve contendat, h. e. sicut in monasterio manifestat et subjungit rationem per congruentias et contrarietates, ita et foris manifestet causam et subjungat rationem per congruentias et contrarietates sine protervia. Sed ille sensus primus nobilior est secundo. Et iterum [page 136] sunt alii, qui intelligunt ita; neque praesumat intus contendere proterve cum abbate suo aut foris monasterium exire.3

Others think that shamelessly should be understood to apply both inside and outside the monastery, as if he were saying, 'Let no one presume to contend shamelessly inside with his abbot, or contend shamelessly outside,' so that the sense is, 'Neither contend shamelessly inside, nor do so outside,' i.e. just as in the monastery he may add a clarification of his reasons according to the advantages and difficulties, so also outside he may add a clarification of his reasons according to the advantages and difficulties without shamelessness. But the former interpretation is nobler than the second. And again [page 136] there are those who understand it thus: Let him neither presume to contend shamelessly inside with his abbot, nor to leave the monastery.

Sequitur: 10Quodsi praesumserit, regulari disciplinae subjaceat.

There follows: 10If he presumes to do so, let him undergo regular discipline.

Regularis disciplina est: si secreta fuerit illa defensionis culpa, secreto admoneatur semel et secundo et reliq. usque ad sextum gradum, b. e. usque ad orationem. Si vero publica culpa contentionis fuerit, publice arguatur.

Regular discipline is this: if the fault of self-justification (defensio) was made in private, he should be admonished in private once, and twice and again up to the seventh grade, i.e. the grade of prayer. 12 If, however, his fault of contention was public, let him be chastised publically.

Et hoc animadvertendum est, ut coram quot fratribus deliquit, coram eisdem fratribus satisfaciat; nam publica culpa est coram totis fratribus, veluti cum est in capitulo, in refectorio, in oratorio et reliq. [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 23.2/7; c. 48.19], ubi omnes insimul consuetudo est convenire.

And one should remember that he should make satisfaction in front of the same brothers in front of whom he sinned. For a public fault is committed in front of all the brothers, as when it is committed in chapter, in the refectory, in the oratory and so forth, [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 23:2/7; c. 48:19] in places where it is the custom for all to come together at the same time.

Sequitur: 11Ipse tamen abbas cum timore Dei et observatione regulae omnia faciat sciens, se procul dubio de omnibus judiciis suis nequissimo judici Deo rationem redditurum.

There follows: 11Let the abbot, moreover, do everything with the fear of God and the observance of the Rule, knowing without a doubt that he is going to give an account of all his judgments to God, the most powerful of judges.

Vide modo, quam honeste facit. Ubi enim abbas debet judicare, quasi fraeno constringit illum dicens: de omnibus iis suis rationem Deo reddere.

See now how honourably he [i.e. Benedict] acts. For when the abbot needs to judge, he constrains him as if with a bridle, saying that he is going to give an account of all his judgments to God.

Sequitur: 12Si qua vero minora agenda sunt in monasterii utilitatibus, seniorum tantum utatur consilio.

There follows: 12If any lesser matters need to be dealt with for the good of the monastery, let him consult only the senior monks.

Minora vero sunt, quae solummodo ad uniuscujusque obedientiam attinent, veluti est cellerarius de vasculis emendis aut vestiarius de vestimentis emendis, aut certe si talis parvue locus est terrae, cambire potest. Haec quia abbas potest cum senioribus discernere argumentationibus, quae diximus, ideo necesse non est, omnem congregationem interrogare.

Lesser matters, to be sure, are those that only pertain to the duties of one person (as repairing pots pertains to the cellarer, or repairing vestments pertains to the keeper of the wardrobe), or, to be sure, if a piece of land is small enough, the abbot can make a deal for it. Since the abbot, together with the senior monks, can decide these things by sure arguments, as we have said, for that reason there is no need to consult the entire congregation.

Divinarum vero et humanarum rerum dispositio et separanda est et jungenda; separanda videlicet dignitate, quatenus in primo divinarum habeatur dispositio loco. Multum quippe distat inter bonum appetendum et necesearium, quod est sumendum, et ob hoc jungenda est, ut Deus pro se, et baec temporalia non pro se requirantur, sed pro illo singulari bono haec temporalia provideantur vel habeantur. Illi enim, qui in his unum faciunt finem, i. e. studium tantum [page 137] placendi Deo, possunt laudabiliter unius rei dispositione alterius ornare, ita et hoc4 divina deseratur, nec res humana inhoneste tractetur.

The arrangement of divine and human matters should be both separated and joined; separated, that is, in dignity, since the arrangement of divine matters has pride of place. There is a considerable difference between the good that is to be sought, and the good that is necessary, which must be undertaken. On this account the arrangement of both matters should be joined, so that God may be sought for his own sake, and temporal things not for their own sake; rather all those temporal things should be provided for and kept for the sake of that singular good. Those who chose one end in these matters, i.e. zeal for [page 137] pleasing God alone, can provide for one matter by the arrangement of the other in a praiseworthy manner, so that a divine matter is not abandoned, nor is a human matter conducted dishonourably.

De eo, quod electi atque creati firmissima conditione firmandi sunt, quatenus nec propriae mentis motu nec diaboli leviter instinctu quilibet ipsorum possit moveri.

On another topic, those who have been elected and ordained are to be strengthened by the strongest preparation, so that no one among them can be moved easily by the impulse of his own mind, or by the inspiration of the Devil

De eo (quod) definiendum est communi decreto, quo supplicio dignus habeatur, qui aliquo quolibet modo ab hac se unitate atque ordinatione subtraxevit. Valde enim cavendum est, ut a regulae observatione nullus recedat, sicut superius B. Benedictus dicit: Nullus ab ea temere declinetur a quoquam. Talis sensus potest esse in hoc loco, cum dicit temere, qualis sensus est in illo loco, ubi psalmisla dicit: Irascimini et nolite peccare [Ps 4:5].

On another topic, a universal decree should determine the punishment of one who removes himself from this unity and good order in any way whatever. For great care should be taken that no one depart from the observance of the Rule, as blessed Benedict says above, let no one be turned aside from it rashly by someone else. The same meaning can be present in this passage, when he says rashly, as is present in that passage, where the psalmist says, Be angry and do not sin. [Ps. 4:5.]

 Cognovit enim P. Benedictus fragilitatem nostram et pro fragilitate nostra nos non posse sine declinatione regulae subsistere, hoc est, ut non transgrediamur regulam, ideo dixit: non temere, quasi diceret aliis, verbis: Si tanta est vestra fragilitas, ut transgrediamini, ergo non superbe ab hac regula declinate, hoc est non temere. Tunc non temere declinat quis, cum aut non intelligit, esse negligentiam, quam agit, aut si, quamvis intelligat, tamen pro aliqua impossibilitate, quam so cognoscit habere, nullo modo posse agere5, quamvis intelligat, regulam aliter dicere; nam si intelligit et possibilitas agendi existit, sed tantummodo pro aliqua delectatione non agit, quia potuisset facere, si suae suavitati non consentiret, jam temere declinat, cum taliter declinat.

For Father Benedict knew our weakness and on account of our weakness we cannot endure without some turning aside from the Rule (i.e. so that we do not transgress the Rule); therefore he said, not rashly, as if he were saying in other words, 'If your weakness is so great that you are transgressing, do not on that account turn aside from the Rule proudly, that is not rashly.' He does not turn aside from the Rule rashly, who either does not understand that what he is doing is negligence, or, although he understands, nevertheless on account of some incapacity, which he knows himself to have, he cannot at all perform the Rule, although he understands it. To put it otherwise, if he understands, and there remains a possibility of carrying out the Rule, but he does not do it only for the sake of some pleasure, since he could have done it, if he had not consented to his own ease, then he turns aside rashly when he turns aside in this manner.

Sequitur: 13Sicut scriptum est: Omnia fac cum consilio, et post factum non poenitebis [cf. Sir 32:24].

There follows: 13As it is written: Take counsel in all things, and you will not repent after the fact. [Eccli 32:24]

In hoc enim loco B. Benedictus morem doctorum tenuit, eo quod locutus est prius aliquid et in finem causam dixit ipsius praeventionis. Sic enim faciunt doctores: in primis aliquando praeloquuntur, et in finem reddunt causam, quare praedixit ea, quae praelocutus est. Sic etiam idem B. Benedictus in ipso prologo fecit. Vide modo, quia voluit scholam monachorum [page 138] constituere, idcirco praedixit caetera et pervenit in fine ad constitutionem scholae; sic enim dicit: Constituenda est a nobis dominici schola servitii. [Regula Benedicti, prol.45]. Deinde similiter fecit, cum de generibus monachorum [c. 1] scripsit. Quia voluit ordinem coenobitarum monachorum describere, ideo isto modo clausit, ait enim: His ergo omissis ad coenobitarum fortissimum gentis adjuvante Domino veniamus. [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.13]

In this passage blessed Benedict employs the custom of teachers, in that first he says something, and at the end gives the cause of this earlier statement. For so teachers act: at first they say something beforehand, and at the end they explain why they said those things beforehand. Now see, since he wanted to [page 138] establish a school for monks, he has said other things on this topic beforehand, and comes at the end to the establishment of the school, for thus he says, We are to establish a school for the Lord’s service. [Regula Benedicti, prol.45] Thence he acted similarly, when he wrote on the kinds of monks. Since he wanted to describe the way of life (ordo) of coenobite monks, therefore he finished in this way, saying: Having passed over these things, let us come, with the Lord’s help, to the strongest kind of monks, the coenobites. [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.13]

Et iterum de abbate ita fecit; quia voluit illum sollicitum tam de suis ovibus, quam etiam de se facere, ideo, quamvis praedixit caetera, tamen ita conclusit, ait enim: Et ita timens semper futurum discussionem pastoris de creditis ovibus, cum de alienis ratiociniis cavet, redditur de suis sollicitus, et reliq. [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.39]

And again he did this concerning the abbot; since he wanted him to act in a way equally solicitous of his sheep as of himself, therefore, although he said others things beforehand, nevertheless he concluded thus, saying, And thus always fearing the examination by the shepherd that is to come concerning the sheep entrusted to him, since he takes care over the reckonings of others, let him be solicitous in giving his own accounts, and so forth. [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.39]

Et hoc sciendum est, quia in eo, quod dixit: Omnia fac cum consilio, nihil praetermisit, ut sine consilio aliquid agat; nam in duas species dividit S. Benedictus ea, quae agenda sunt in monasterii utilitatibus, i. e. in praecipua et minora, hoc est, si praecipua fuerint, agenda sunt cum consilio omnium fratrum, si vero minora, cum consilio tantum seniorum.

And one should know that when he said Take counsel in all things, he overlooked nothing that might allow one to do something without counsel. For St. Benedict divides those things that need to be done for the good of the monastery into two species, i.e. into important and lesser matters, that is, if they are important, they should be done with the counsel of all the brothers; if, indeed, they are lesser, with the counsel of the senior monks alone.

Et hoc etiam sciendum est, quia ideo diximus superius, ut consiliatores caritatem habeant inter se et cum abbate, eo quod solet contingere, ut ille, qui potest melius dare consilium, aut pro abbate, quia eum odit, non dat bonum consilium; similiter etiam non dicit bonum consilium pro illo suo fratre, qui eum odit, ut ille nesciat bonum consilium.

And it should also be known, that therefore we have said above that counsellors should be in charity among themselves and with the abbot, because it often happens that he, who can give the best counsel, on account of the abbot, because he hates him, does not give good counsel. Similarly also he does not give good counsel on account of that brother, who hates him, so that he may not know the good counsel.

Item attendendum est, ut tempore suo debeat manifestari consilium, quia si ante tempus manifestatum fuerit, non erit postmodum utile, eo quod aut non perficietur unquam, aut si perficietur, tarde perficietur, aut, frangetur ipsorum consilium.

Again one should note that counsel must be provided in its own time, for if it is provided ahead of time, it will not be useful later, so that it will either not ever be carried out, or, if it is carried out, it will be carried out late, or the counsel may be ruined.


1. venturus. Cod. Emmeram. (Mittermueller).
2. videnter (?) videre (?). (Mittermueller).
3. contendere (?). (Mittermueller).
4. Should "et hoc" be changed to "ut nec"? This is the only way that I can make sense of the passage, but perhaps I am misunderstanding the Latin here.
5. potest (?). (Mittermueller).

1. My translation differs from that found in Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms, vol. 1, Psalms 1-50, ed. and trans. P.G. Walsh, Ancient Christian Writers 51 (New York/ Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 462.
2. This translation is a modification of Terence, “The Brothers,” in Plays: Phormio, The Mother in Law, The Brothers, ed. and trans. John Barsby, Loeb Classical Library 23 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 243-368 (at 297).
3. This passage is a little obscure, but the meaning seems to be that seniority is a matter of character, not age, and it might prove too difficult to find enough sound monks of the same age to provide a sufficient number of counsellors.
4. Hildemar here takes advantage of the double meaning of the Latin fides, which can mean both faith, in the religious sense, and faithfulness, in the sense of being a loyal and trustworthy person.
5. One might guess that Hildemar was quoting from memory here, and that he misremembered the prophet in question.
6. It is difficult to reproduce Hildemar’s point in English. The Latin prefix con- adds the meaning ‘together,’ but it also adds a general sense of intensification and completeness. Hildemar thus takes the addition of con- to be a sign that all the brothers should be called together.
7. The relationship between the two parts of this sentence is not any clearer in the Latin. It seems that Hildemar is suggesting that the abbot’s power to choose whatever seems best to him is linked to a general need to always do what is best, regardless of the popularity of that course of action.
8. It may seem that Hildmar’s conception of taking counsel relies precisely on making arguments pro and con. The Latin argumentatio, however, carries the sense of a syllogistic demonstration, or a proof.
9. 1 Cor. 14:30. Hildemar here plays on (or perhaps misunderstands) the double meaning of prior in Latin, which can mean both ‘one who is first (in time),’ and ‘one who is first (in status).’ Paul is using the word in the former sense. He is referring to the practice of extempore charismatic prayer in early Christian worship, and advises that if someone starts to pray suddenly, the previous (prior) speaker should stop speaking in order to avoid cacophony. The word prior with sense ‘first in status’ became an official title in the monastery, which is how Hildemar interprets it.
10. Hildemar uses ‘word’ (verbum) in a loose sense that includes both individual words and stock phrases, such as ‘sleep of death.’ The alternative to ‘submission of humility’ would be ‘submission and humility.’ Hildemar admits that Benedict chose his words for a reason of style, but he thinks that it has a deeper implications.
11. Hildemar here appears to get caught in a circle of reference in which he looses track of the original phrase.
12. The meaning of the (at least) seven grades, and the grade of prayer, is not entirely clear. They appear to refer to different ways of dealing with the offender, and that oratio (prayer, entreaty) should either be understood to mean “prayer for the offending brother,” or “beseeching the brother to repent.”

Cap. IV
QUAE SUNT INSTRUMENTA BONORUM OPERUM

[Ms P, fol. 38rPaulus Diaconus – 
Ps.-Basil: Ms K2, fol. 98r; Ms E1, fol. 46v; Ms E2, fol. 63r]

Ch. 4
WHAT ARE THE INSTRUMENTS OF GOOD WORKS

Translated by: Daniel H. Abosso (4.1-16), and Columba Stewart (4.17-4.77)

Apto enim et congruo loco B. Benedictus hoc capitulum dicit, cujus clavis est: tQuae sunt instrumenta bonorum operum, eo quod superius quasi fundamentum posuit, cum [page 139] de generibus Monachorum scripsit. [Regula Benedicti, ch. 1] Deinde quasi fabricam collocavit, cum ordinem coenobitarum scribere constituit; in hac quippe fabrica quasi caput constituit, quia descripturus erat membra, cum abbatem ordinavit et instruxit, i. e. qualiter debeat esse in his, quae in se vel ad se attinent, et postmodum eum instruxit, qualiter debeat esse in his rebus,[cf. Regula Benedicti, ch. 2] quae extra se sunt.

For indeed in an appropriate and suitable place, blessed Benedict places (dicit) this chapter, the beginning of which is on what the instruments of good works are, because as he established a kind of foundation above, when he wrote [page 139] On the kinds of monks. [Regula Benedicti, ch. 1] Next, he assembled a kind of structure when he decided to write [about] the order of monks. Of course in this plan he established it as a sort of head, because he was about to describe the limbs, when he appointed and instructed the abbot, that is, the state in which the abbot ought to be in these matters, [cf. Regula Benedicti, ch. 2] which he keeps in himself or to himself, and a little later he instructed him in how he ought to be in matters which are outside himself.

Sciendum est enim, quia istud, quod dicit: Quae sunt instrumenta bonorum operum, potest interrogando proferri, i. e.: Quae sunt instrumenta bonorum operum? et quasi respondendo subjunxit: 1Inprimis dominum Deum diligere. Potest etiam indicando proferri hoc modo, i. e.: quae sunt instrumenta bonorum operum, subaudiendum est: dicamus vel dicendum est.

And indeed it must be understood, since that which he says: On what instruments of good works are can be subject to inquiry, that is, What are the instruments of good works? And as if by responding, he added: 1Above all love the Lord God. It can also be expanded by indicating in this way, that is: what are the instruments of good works, [this] ought to be understood: let us say it and it should be understood:1

Instrumenta sunt ea, quibus aliquod opus peragitur, verbi gratia fabri instrumenta sunt malleus, incus, forcipes, follis, rota, foscina,1 focus et reliqua. Et iterum medici instrumenta sunt fleuthomus, pigmentum, ferramenta, quibus incidit, herbarius liber et reliqua his similia, quibus medicamen medicus operatur. Scriptoris autem instrumenta sunt penna, calamus, scanellum, rasorium, pumex, pergamena et cetera his similia, quibus liber efficitur. Ita instrumenta sunt servi Dei orationes, jejunia, nuditates, obedientia corporalis et cetera his similia.

The instruments are those things through which some work is accomplished, for example, the blacksmith’s instruments are the hammer, anvil, pincers, bellow, wheel, trident, hearth, and the rest. On the other hand, the doctor’s instruments are the lancet, medicine, iron tools for cutting, a book on herbs, and the rest similar to these things, by which the doctor makes a remedy. The instruments of the scribe are the feather, reed, stool, razor, pumice stone, parchment, and the other things similar to these, through which a book is made. Therefore the instruments of God’s servant are prayers, fasting, want, bodily obedience, and the other things similar to these.

Et sicut faber bis praedictis instrumentis perficit opus, i. e. spatham aut lauceam, et sicut medicus his suis praedictis instrumentis peragit sanitatem, et scriptor librum, ita servus Dei perficit ea opera, i. e. fidem, spem, caritatem et cetera his similia, in quibus servitus Dei comprobatur.

And just as a craftsman finishes a work with his own aforementioned instruments, that is the stirrer or the lance, and just as a doctor with his own aforementioned instruments brings about health, and a scribe a book, so a servant of God completes those works, that is: faith, hope, charity, and the other things similar to these, in which service to God is shown.

Et sicut est stultum, ut faber ideo operetur opus, i. e. spatham, ut habeat instrumenta, i. e. malleum, incudem et caetera; ita etiam est stultum, si servus Dei ideo operetur fidem, spem, caritatem et caetera his similia, ut habeat instrumenta artis spiritalis, i. e. jejunium, nuditates et reliq. Non enim debet quis operari majora propter minora, sed ideo debet operari minora, ut habeat majora.

And just as it is foolish that a craftsman for that reason make a ladle, so that he may possess tools (that is, a hammer, an anvil, and the rest); so too is it foolish if the servant of God should make faith, hope, charity, and the other things similar to these, so that he may possess the instruments of the spiritual craft (that is, fasting, want, and the rest). For one should not make greater things for lesser things, but one should make lesser things, so that he may possess greater things.

Et hoc intendendum est, quare B. Benedictus solummodo [page 140] clavem istius capituli dixit: Quae sunt instrumenta bonorum operum, cum in hoc capitulo non solum instrumenta inveniuntur, i. e. jejunium et reliqua, verum etiam ipsa plura opera, in quibus servitus est Dei, i. e. caritas, spes, fides inveniuntur et reliqua? Ideo dixit solummodo instrumenta, quia, quamvis fides, spes, caritas et reliqua perfecta sint opera, non sint instrumenta, tamen sine instrumentis non possunt esse. Nunc videndum est, quid sequitur, postquam instrumenta dixit.

And so it must be understood why blessed Benedict [page 140] called the title of this chapter only What are the instruments of good works, since in this chapter not only are the instruments found (that is, hunger and the rest), but also additional works are found, in which there is the service of God, (that is, charity, hope, faith, and the rest). Therefore he only called them instruments, because although faith, hope, charity, and the rest are perfected works, they are not instruments, yet without instruments they are not able to exist. Now what follows (after he has spoken about instruments) must be considered.

Ait enim: 1Inprimis Dominum Deum diligere ex toto corde, tota anima, tota virtute.

For he says: 1Above all love the Lord God with your entire heart, entire soul, entire strength.

Bene B. Benedictus primum praeceptum esse dixit dilectionem Dei, quia sic Dominus dixit inprimis ea praecepta, quae ad dilectionem Dei attinent, cum decalogum antiquo populo daret; ait enim: Audi Israël! Dominus Deus tuus Deus unus est. [Dt 6:4] Et iterum: Ne assumas nomen Dei tui in vanum. [Ex 20:7] Et iterum: Memento, ut diem Sabbathi custodias. [Ex 20:8]

Blessed Benedict has rightly said that the first teaching is love of God, because thus the Lord first spoke about those teachings which pertain to the love of God when he gave the Decalogue to the ancient people; for he says: Listen Israel! The Lord God your God is one. [Dt 6:4] And again: Do not take the name of God in vain. [Ex 20:7] And again: Remember to observe the day of the Sabbath. [Ex 20:8]

Vide modo, quia in hoc loco Dominum imitatus est, et sicut Dominus post dilectionem Dei subjunxit in secunda tabula: Honora patrem tuum, ut sis longaevus super terram, [Eph 6:3] quia in prima tabula illa tria praecepta scripsit, quae ad dilectionem Dei attinent.2

Now see that in this place he has imitated the Lord, and like the Lord, after the love of God he added on the second tablet: Honor your father, so that you may be long-lived upon the earth, [Eph 6:3] because on the first tablet he wrote those three teachings which pertain to the love of God.

Forte dicit aliquis, quare B. Benedictus primum praeceptum esse dixit dilectionem Dei, cum Paulus apostolus dicat: Honora patrem tuum, quod est primum mandatum in lege? [Eph 6:2]

Perhaps someone asks, ‘Why did blessed Benedict say the first teaching is love of God, when the apostle Paul says: Honor your father, because it is the first commandment in the Law?’ [Eph 6:2]

Cui respondendum est, quia verum est, quod B. Benedictus dicit, primum mandatum esse: Diliges Dominum Deum tuum, [Dt 6:5] et verum est, quod Paulus apostolus dicit, primum mandatum esse: Honora patrem tuum. [Ex 20:12] Ac per hoc quantum ad decem praecepta. attinet, primum mandatum est: Diliges Dominum Deum tuum, sicut S. Benedictus dicit. Et iterum quantum ad septem praecepta attinet, quae scripta sunt in secunda tabula, primum mandatum est: Honora patrem tuum. Nam ipsa decem praecepta ita distincta sunt in duabus tabulis: quae attinent ad dilectionem Dei, scripta sunt in prima tabula, reliqua vero septem, quae attinent ad dilectionem proximi, [page 141] scripta sunt in tabula secunda.

To this person one should respond that what blessed Benedict says is true, that it is the first commandment: Love the Lord your God, [Dt 6:5] and it is true, what Paul the apostle says, that the first commandment is Honor your father. [Ex 20:12] And by this insofar as it pertains to the Ten Commandments, the first commandment is: Love the Lord your God, just as St. Benedict says. And again, insofar as it pertains to the seven commandments, which are written on the second tablet, the first commandment is: Honor your father. For the ten teachings themselves are thus separated on the two tablets: those which pertain to the love of God are written on the first tablet, however the remaining seven, which pertain to the love of fellow-man, [page 141] are written on the second tablet.

Et apte B. Benedictus primum praeceptum dixit Dei dilectionem esse, postmodum subjunxit dilectionem proximi, quia sic dicit B. papa Gregorius: Ut enim multi arboris rami ex una radice prodeunt, sic multae virtutes ex una caritate generantur. [Gregory the Great, Homilia in Evangelia XXVII, c. 1, PL 76, col. 1205A-B]

And appropriately did blessed Benedict say the first commandment is the love of God, next he added love of fellow-man, since blessed Pope Gregory says: Just as a tree’s many branches spring up from a single root, so many virtues are begotten from one love. [Gregory, Homilia in Evangelia XXVII, c. 1]

Nunc videndum est, quare dixit, tribus modis Dominum diligere, ex toto corde, tota anima, tota virtute? Quia Deus trinitas est in personis, ideo tribus modis praecipimur Dominum diligere, et propterea etiam secundum quosdam in prima tabula feria praecepta Dominus dedit pertinentia ad dilectionem Dei.

Now it must be considered why he said in three ways Love God with your whole heart, soul, strength. Because God is a triad in persons, for that reason we are taught to love God in three ways, and therefore also according to certain people, on the first tablet the Lord gave three commandments pertaining to the love of God.

Primum mandatum, cum dicit: Audi Israël, Dominus Deus tuus Deus unus est, [Dt 6:4] pertinet ad Patrem; secundum mandatum, quod dicit: Ne assumas nomen Dei tui in vanum, [Ex 20:7] pertinet ad Filium; tertium vero mandatum, quod subjunxit: Memento, ut diem sabbathi custodias, [Ex 20:8] attinet ad Spiritum sanctum.

The first commandment, which states: Listen, Israel, the Lord God your God is one, [Dt 6:4] refers to the Father; the second commandment, which says: Do not use the name of the your God in vain, [Ex 20:7] refers to the Son; the third commandment, which added: Remember to observe the day of the Sabbath, [Ex 20:8] refers to the Holy Spirit.

Et non est mirum, si anima et cor, cum unum sit, habeat diversas affectiones, id est memoria, spiritus, cum Deus, qui unus est secundum substantiam, trinitas est in personis. Nam sicut corpus habet diversa membra, id est oculos, quibus videt, aures, quibus audit, manus, quibus operatur et reliqua, ita anima etiam habet diversas affectiones, id est mentem, qua memorat, spiritum, quo spirat, et reliqua.

And it is not remarkable if the soul and heart have different senses, that is memory [and] spirit, since God, who is one according to substance, is three in persons. For just as the body has different members, that is, [it has] eyes with which it sees, ears with which it hears, hands with which it works, and so on, so too the soul has different senses, that is the mind, by which it remembers, the animating force, by which it breathes, and the rest.

Et hoc etiam animadvertendum est, quia, cum dixit: Diligere Dominum ex toto corde, tota anima, tota virtute, nil relinquit homini, ut aliud diligat praeter Dominum; 2in proximi autem dilectione mensuram posuit, cum dicit: 2sicut se ipsum.

And pay attention to this as well, that when he said Love God with your whole heart, whole soul, whole virtue, he leaves nothing to man to love except the Lord. 2In the love of one’s neighbor he established the proportion, when he says 2just as [he loves] himself.

Debet enim homo Deum diligere supra se, se autem debet diligere secundum Deum, id est secundum praecepta Dei, et proximum suum debet diligere sicut se. In dilectione namque Dei necessario tenenda est fides et vita, in dilectione autem proximi debet summopere patientia et benignitas custodiri; est enim in dilectione Dei necessaria fides et vita, quia videlicet scriptum est: Sine fide impossibile est placere Deo, [Hbr 11:6] et rursum scriptum est: Fides sine operibus mortua est [Iac 2:20]

For a man ought to love God more than himself; moreover he ought to love himself according to God, that is according to the teachings of God, and one should love his neighbor as he loves himself. For in the love of God faith and life must necessarily be preserved; in the love of one’s neighbor, great patience and kindness ought to be preserved; for in the love of God are vital faith and life, because it clearly written: Without faith it is impossible to please God, [Hbr 11:6] and again it is written: Faith without works is death. [Iac 2:20]

Est autem in dilectione proximi nobis patientia et benignitas conservanda, quoniam de eadem dilectione scriptum est: Caritas patiens [1 Cor 13:4] [page 142] est, benigna est; patiens est scilicet, ut illata a proximis mala aequanimiter portet, benigna autem, ut sua bona proximis desiderabiliter impendat.

It is moreover in the love of one’s neighbor that patience and kindness are preserved by us, since about this same love it is written: Charity is patience [1 Cor 13:4] [page 142], it is kindness; it is patience to be sure when one bears with equanimity those evils brought by one’s neighbors, while on the other hand it is kindness when he eagerly bestows his own goods upon his neighbors.

Sciendum est enim, sicut Beda dicit, quia aliud est dilectio et aliud delectio. Dilectio et diligo per i. affectionis est, id est amoris; deligo et delectio per e. attinet ad delectationem. Diligo enim per i. facit praeteritum dilexi et dilectus; deligo facit praeteritum 'delegi' et 'delectum'; delectum enim militiae aut alicujus examinis electionem appellamus. [Bede, De orthographia, CCSL 123A, p. 20]

For it should be known, as Bede states, that the one is dilectio (love) and the other is delectio (choice). ‘Love’ (dilectio) and ‘to love’ (diligo) with an i is a feeling, that is, of love; ‘to choose’ (deligo) and ‘choice’ (delectio), for example, refer to pleasure (delectatio). For diligo with an i, makes the past tense [forms] dilexi and dilectus; deligo makes the past [tense forms] delegi and delectum; for we call delectum the selection of soldiers or of some group. [Bede, De orthographia]

Sequitur: 3Non occidere. Non occidere, i. e. non homicidium facere; istud enim instrumentum prohibitionis est, et hoc animadvertendum est, quia, cum prohibet, homicidium facere, ostendit, etiam inibi virtutem generari.

Next: 3Do not kill. Do not kill, that is, do not commit murder; for this is an instrument of prohibition, and it must be noted that when he forbids one to commit murder, he shows that even there virtue is produced.

Numquid ille solummodo homicidium facit, qui hominem corporaliter occidit, i. e. ferro, veneno et reliq.? Verum etiam ille homicidium facit, qui alium odit, sicut dicit Joannes Evangelista. [cf. 1 Io 3:15] Nec non etiam ille homicidium facit, qui aliis malum exemplum praebet, quantum ad criminalia peccata attinet, vel etiam alios hortatur, illud agere.

Does he alone commit murder who kills a man bodily, that is, with a sword, poison, or the rest? But in fact he who hates another also commits murder, just as John the Evangelist says [cf. 1 Io 3:15]. And indeed that man also commits murder who offers a bad example to others, as far as it pertains to the deadly sins, and even encourages others to do this.

Pejus homicidium est istud, eo quod, qui hominem corpore occidit, solummodo unum occidit, qui vero alium malo exemplo occidit, pejus est, eo quod ille occisus alium occidit et ille alius occisus alium occidit, et sic fit, ut usque in finem saeculi percurrat. Unde quia istud homicidium pejus est, ideo majori poenitentia emendandum est, i. e. ut quot malo exemplo occidit, tot etiam bono exemplo vivificet.

That sort of murder is worse because he who kills a man with a respect to his body only kills one person, but he who kills another with a bad example is worse, since he, killed, kills another, and so it happens all the way until the end of the world. Whence since that [kind of] homicide is worse, for that reason it must be corrected by a greater contrition, that is, for as many as he kills by bad example, he would also make just as many live by good example.

Sequitur: 4Non adulterare.

Next: 4Do not commit adultery.

Adulterium est proprio, qui cum alterius conjuge agit illud peccatum; fornicatio vero ad alias mulieres attinet, sicut Dominus dicit: Qui viderit mulierem ad concupiscendam eam, jam moechatus est eam in corde suo. [Mt 5:28]

Adultery is specifically one [sic] who commits that sin with another’s spouse; fornication indeed pertains to other women, just as the Lord says: He who looks at a woman out of lust for her, already he has committed adultery with her in his heart. [Mt 5:28].

Item adulterium est illusio alieni conjugii, quod, qui alterius thorum commaculavit, adulteri nomen accepit. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae V, c. 26.13]

Likewise adultery is a deception of another’s marriage, since he who defiles another’s bed, has received the name of adulterer. [cf. Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 5.26.13]

Sequitur: 5Non facere furtum.

Next: 5Do not steal.

Numquid ille solummodo facit furtum, qui alienam rem absconse tollit? Verum etiam ille furtum facit, qui rem sibi ab abbate delegatam, i. e. deputatam vel datam, aliis sine licentia tribuit, nec non etiam ille furtum facit, qui se subtrahit de servitio [page 143] Dei, quantum ad minora peccata attinet; aut etiam ille furtum facit, qui aliis malum exemplum praebet aut hortatur agere, quantum similiter ad minora peccata attinet.

Can it be that he only commits theft who takes another’s property in secret? In truth, he too commits theft who bestows property entrusted to him by an abbot (that is, assigned or given) upon others without permission, and also, with respect to lesser sins, that man commits theft who removes himself from the servitude [page 143] of God; or that one also commits theft who offers a bad example to others, or encourages them to do this, with respect to lesser sins.

V. gr. si hora tacendi loqueris, aut hora legendi aut aliquid agendi te subtrahis, furtum agis. Quod si aliis istud exemplum praebes, furtum facis, vel si hortaris illos, istud agere, pejus furtum facis.

For example, if in the hour of silence you speak, or in the hour of reading or of doing something you remove yourself. But if you offer that example to others, you commit theft, or if you encourage others to do this, you commit a worse theft.

Furtum enim est, sicut lex romana dicit, contrectatio rei fraudulosa, vel ipsius rei vel etiam usus ejus possessionisve, illaque lege naturali prohibitum est admittere. [Codex Iustinianus, Digestae 47, tit. 2. de furtis]

For theft is, just as a Roman law states, a fraudulent handling of property, either of the property itself or also of its use or of its possession, and by that natural law it is forbidden to permit it. [Codex Iustinianus, Digestae 47. tit. 2. de furtis]

Furtum autem vel a furvo, i. e. nigro dictum est, quod clam et obscure fit et plerumque nocte, vel a fraude, vel a ferendo, i. e. auferendo, vel a graeco sermone, qui φώοας appellant fures; immo etiam Graeci άπότού φώρας, i. e. a ferendo φώρας dixerunt. [Codex Iustinianus, Digestae 47, tit. 2.1 Pr.]

Moreover theft (furtum) is so-called either from furvus (dark), that is, niger (black) that which happens secretly or hidden from sight and most commonly at night, or it is so-called from ‘deception’ (fraus), or from ‘carrying’ (ferre), that is, ‘carrying off’, or from the Greek language, which calls thieves φῶρες. More correctly, the Greeks said ἀπὸ τοῦ φέρειν” (to carry off) that is, they called them φῶρες from ‘carrying off (ferre).[Codex Iustinianus, Digestae 47, tit. 2.1 Pr.]

Sequitur: 6Non concupiscere.

Next: 6Do not covet.

Concupiscentia enim et cupiditas proprio in malum attinet, in bonum vero, si reperitur, non proprie dicitur, sed abusive.

For covetousness and desire rightly refer to wrongdoing, but if it [i.e. the term ‘covetousness’ or ‘desire’] is used [lit. found] referring to doing good, it is called as such not strictly but loosely.

De hac concupiscentia dicebat Paulus, cum dicit: Non enim quod volo facto bonum, sed quod nolo malum, hoc ago. [Rm 7:15]

Paul was talking about this kind of covetousness when he says: For the good I wish to do I do not do, but the evil which I do not wish to do I do. [Rm 7:15]

Si vero aliquam rem necessariam desideras, alio nomine debes dicere: non concupisco, sed ‘volo’.

If indeed you desire some necessary thing, you should call it with another name: not ‘I covet’, but ‘I want’.

Verbi gratia si desideras rem non tibi necessariam, concupiscentia est, si autem desideras rem necessariam, non est concupiscentia, verum cum freno debes illam rem concupiscere. V. gr. si vides vestem non tibi necessariam et illam concupiscis, concupiscentia est; si autem necesse tibi est, illam vestem habere, debes dicere absque damno fratris: 'volo habere talem vestem causa necessitatis meae.

For example, if you desire something that you do not need, it is covetousness, if moreover you desire something that is necessary, it is not covetousness, but you ought to covet that thing with restraint. For example, if you see a piece of clothing that you do not need and you covet it, it is covetousness; but if it is necessary for you to have that piece of clothing, you should say it without a brother’s condemnation: ‘I want to have such-and-such piece of clothing on account of my need.’

Sequitur: 7Non falsum testimonium dicere.

Next: 7Do not bear false witness.

Numquid ille solummodo falsum testimonium dicit, qui super alium mentitur? Vere ille falsum testimonium dicit, qui scit, falsum esse, quod audit, et tacet.

Is it possible that the one who only bears false witness is one who lies about another? Truly that man bears false witness who knows that what he hears is false and is silent.

Quid ergo isti faciendum est, qui falsum audit et tacet, ut sibi non reputetur? Debet iste talis discretus esse, i. e. debet per argumentationem, quam superius dixi, cognoscere,3 i. e. si certus non est, [page 144] ut irasci debeat frater, debet manifestare veritatem, eo quod debet dimittere incertitudinem et tenere certitudinem, i. e. dicere veritatem, quia certus est, falsum esse, quod audit, et dimittere incertitudinem, quia incertus est, utrum irascatur frater annon.

What, therefore, is to be done by that man, who hears falsehood and is silent, so that it is not ascribed to him? Such a man as that ought to be discreet, that is, he should examine the proof (as I stated above), that is if he is not certain, [page 144], whether a brother may become angry, he ought to reveal the truth, since he ought to dispel incertitude and retain certitude (that is, to speak the truth), because he is certain that what he hears is false, and to dismiss incertitude because he is uncertain whether a brother is angry or not.

Quodsi certus fuerit, quia irasci debet frater, si veritatem dixerit, debet videre congruentias et contrarietates, i. e. quanta bona inde fient, vel quanta mala propter scandalum fratris generanda sunt; si plus fuerint congruitates, si dixerit, debet dicere; si autem plus fuerint contrarietates, debet tacere usque ad tempus; tunc enim falsum testimonium dicis, cum non solum illud loqueris, sed etiam cum dicis, minorem fuisse causam, quam erat, et ideo cum dicis, in Deo primum peccas et postmodum in proximum.

But if he was certain, that a brother ought to be angered if he speaks the truth, he ought to see the similarities and differences, that is, how many good things may happen thence, or how many bad things may be created on account of a brother’s offense; if there are more similarities, if he speaks, he should speak; but if there are more differences, he ought to be silent up to that point; for then you give false testimony, when you not only say that, but even when you it was a lesser ground for complaint than it was and for this reason when you speak, you sin first against God, and then against a neighbor.

Nam si Deum dilexisses toto corde, tota anima, tota virtute, et proximum tuum sicut te ipsum, profecto verum diceres et non falsum; verum et enim ille falsum testimonium dicit, qui ea, quae audit aut videt facientem, non eodem sensu interpretatur, quo dicuntur vel aguntur.

For if you had loved God with your whole heart, whole mind, whole power, and [you had loved] your neighbor as you love yourself, surely you would not have spoken falsely; for that man gives true and false testimony, who does not explain with the same sense in which they are being said or done, the things which he hears or sees [someone] doing.

Verbi gratia vidit manducantem fratrem pro infirmitate aut necessitate; dicit alicui fratri: ‘ille frater non facit bene, quia manducat ante horam.’ Falsum iste testimonium dicit, quia alio sensu dicit, quam quo ille manducat. Similiter de caeteris rebus intelligitur.

For example, he sees a brother eating because of sickness or need; he says to another brother: ‘That brother is not acting rightly, because he is eating before it is time.’ That man gives false testimony, because he is speaking in a different sense than manner in which the brother eats. About other things it is understood similarly.

Sic etiam falsi dicuntur testes, qui de Domino dixerunt: Hic dixit, quia possum destruere templum hoc et in triduo illud reaedificare, [Mt 26:61] qui, licet pene eadem verba dixerunt, quae Dominus dixit, tamen, quia eodem sensu, quo Dominus, non dixerunt, falsi testes esse dicuntur, et quia mutaverunt verbum; Dominus enim dixit: Solvite templum hoc, [Io 2:19] illi autem dixerunt, Dominum dixisse: Possum destruere templum hoc. [Mt 26:61]

Thus they are also called false witnesses, who said about the Lord: This man said ‘I am able to destroy this temple and to rebuild it in three days.’ [Mt 26:61], who, although they said nearly the same words which the Lord said, nevertheless they did not say them in the same sense as the Lord [said to the], are said to be false witnesses, and because they changed the verb; for the Lord said: Destroy (solvite) this temple, [Io 2:19], but they state that the Lord had said: I am able to destroy (destruere) this temple. [Mt 26:61]

Dominus enim dixit de templo corporis sui: solvate, hoc est interficite; illi autem intellexerunt, eum dixisse de templo Salomonis.

For the Lord was talking about the temple of his body: open, that is, destroy; but they understood that he had spoken about Solomon’s temple.

Testes enim antiquitus superstites dicebantur, eo quod super statum causae proferebantur; nunc parte ablata nominis testes vocantur.

For in the past, witnesses were called superstites (they who stand by), because they were brought forward ‘over the status of the claim’; now, with this part of the name removed, they are called witnesses (testes).

Testis autem consideratur conditione, natura et vita; conditione, si liber, non servus; nam saepe servus metu dominantis testimonium suppprimit veritatis; natura, [page 145] si vir, non femina, nam varium et mutabile semper femina animal est; [Virgil, Aeneis IV, v. 569] vita, si innocens et integer actu, nam si vita bona defuerit, fide carebit; non enim potest justitia cum scelerato habere societatem. Duo autem sunt genera testium, aut dicendo id, quod viderunt, aut proferendo id, quod audierunt. Duobus autem modis testes deliuquunt, aut cum falsa promunt aut vera silentio obtegunt. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVIII, c. 15.8-10]

A witness, moreover, must be considered with respect to his condition, his nature, and his life; his condition (if he is free, not a slave); for often a slave, out of fear of his master withholds testimony of the truth; with respect to nature, [page 145] if he is a man, not a woman, for a woman is always a variable and changeable animal; [Virgil, Aeneis 4.569] with respect to life, if he is virtuous and pure in his conduct, for if he lacks a good life he will not be trustworthy; for justice cannot have a connection with a criminal. For there are two kinds of witnesses, either those who say what they saw, or those who say what they heard. Moreover, witnesses fail in two ways, when they offer false things or when they conceal true things by their silence. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 18.15.8-10]

Testes dicti, quod testamentum adhiberi solent, sicut signatores, quod testamentum signent, [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae V, c. 23] reus a re, de qua noxius, et reatum a reo est nuncupatum. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XVIII, c. 15.7]

They are called witnesses (testes) because they usually employed for the testament, just as signatories (signatores), because they sign (signare) the testament, [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 5.23] the accused (reus) from the lawsuit (re) concerning which he is liable, and accusation (reatus) is takes its name from the accused (reus). [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 18.7]

Quatuor modis justitia in judiciis subvertitur: timore, cupiditate, odio, amore. Timore, dum metu potestatis alicujus veritatem dicere vel judicare quislibet pavescit. Cupiditate, dum pretio muneris alicujus corrumpitur judex; odio, dum cujuslibet inimicitiae causa nocere alteri desiderat; amore, dum amicos vel propinquos contra justitiam defendit potentior. His quatuor modis saepe aequitas judicii subvertitur et innocentia laeditur. [Alcuin, De virtutibus et vitiis liber ad Widonem, PL 101, col. 628]

For justice is subverted in four ways in the courts: because of fear, greed, hatred, love. Because fear, when someone, because of the fear of someone else’s power, fears to speak the truth or declare a judgment. Because of greed, when a judge is corrupted by the value of some bribe; because of hatred, when because of some enmity he desires to harm another; because of love, amore, when he more vigorously defends friends or relatives against justice. By these four ways the justice of a judgment is subverted and innocence is harmed. [Alcuin, De virtutibus et vitiis liber ad Widonem, PL 101, col. 628]

Si falsi testes separantur, mox mendaces inveniuntur, sicut Daniel legitur fecisse. [cf. Dn 13]

If false witnesses are distinguished, soon liars are found, just as Daniel is said to have done. [cf. Dn 13]

Uterque reus est, et qui veritatem occultat, et qui mendacium dicit. Falsus testis tribus personis est obnoxius: primum Deo, cujus praesentiam contemnit, deinde judici, quem mentiendo fallit, postremo innocenti, quem falso testimonio laedit.

Each man is guilty, both the one who hides the truth, and the one who tells a lie. A false witness is harmful to three people: first to God, whose presence he holds in contempt, then to the judge, whom he deceives by lying, and finally to the innocent man, whom he harms through false testimony.

De testimonio vero servi B. Gregorius in quadam sua epistola, quam in Hispaniam misit pro quodam episcopo contra legem condemnato, judicavit adhibeus hanc legem romanam hoc modo:

Blessed Gregory gave his judgment about the true testimony of a slave, Blessed Gregory, in a certain letter, which he sent to Spain on behalf of a certain bishop who had been condemned contrary to the law, citing this Roman law as follows:   

Illud autem quod dicitur a servis suis accusatus, quia audiri minime debuerunt, haec constitutio patefacit (codicis libro nono, titulo primo, constitutione XXma, imperatores Archadius et Honorius Augusti, Eutychiano papae4:  Si quis ex familiaribus vel ex servis cujuslibet domus eujuscumque criminis delator atque accusator (exstiterit?) emerserit ejus existimationem, caput atque fortunas petiturus, cujus familiaritati vel dominio inhaeserit, ante exhibitionem testium, ante examinationem judicii in [page 146] atque accusationis exordio ultore gladio feriatur; vocem enim funestam intercidi oportet potius quam audiri. Gregory the Great, Registrum 13, no. 49, ed. Norberg CCSL 140A = Codex Theodosianus 9.6.3, 8 Nov 397]

This decree makes clear this fact, namely that [in the case of] a master who is accused by his slaves, [that] the [slaves] should not at all be listened to (in the ninth book of the codex, first heading, 20th decree, emperors Arcadius Augustus and Honorius Augustus to Pope Eutychianus [sic]: If someone from the domestics or from the slaves of any household whatever, should appear as an informer or accuser of any crime, attempting to attack the reputation, status, and fortunes of the one whose house or ownership he belongs to, before the production of witnesses, before the investigation of the court in the very exposition of the charges [page 146] and at the beginning of the accusation, let him be cut down by the avenging sword; for a deadly voice ought to be cut down rather than heard. [Gregory the Great, Registrum 13, no. 49 =Codex Theodosianus 9.6.3, 8 Nov 397]

Sequitur: 8Honorare omnes homines.

Next: 8Honor all men.

Quid est, quod dicit: Honorare omnes homines? Numquid honorare possum illos, quos non video? Honorare, hic subaudiendum est: quos vides. Et iterum: numquid honorare debeo illos, qui non debent, honorari? Hic subaudiendum est: qui debent honorari; nam debet malus honorari et diligi, in quantum creatura Dei est, vitium autem, quod agit, debet odiri.

What does it mean: Honor all men? Am I able to honor those whom I do not see? Honor – here it should be understood: [they] whom you see. And again: Am I obligated to honor those who ought not to be honored? Here it should be understood: they who ought to be honored; for a bad man ought to be honored and loved insofar as he is a creature of God, but the sin he commits ought to be despised.

Et cum hoc fecerimus, implebitur in nobis, quod psalmista dicit: perfecto odio oderam illos. [Ps 138:22] Perfecto odio odire est, cum in homine non naturam, sed vitium odimus. Et iterum debeo honorare malos, eo quod eorum bona, nescio quae, forte in illis latent, et quia finem illorum nescio, utrum in bonum conversuri sint, et meum5 forte in malum.

And when we will have done this, there will be weeping on our account, as the Psalmist says: I hated them with perfect hatred. [Ps 138:22] It is hating with perfect hatred when we hate not the nature in a man, but the sin. And again: I am obligated to honor the wicked, therefore, because whatever good things there are [in them], perhaps lie hidden in them, and because I do not know their end, whether they will turn to the good, and perhaps I2 to the bad.

Sequitur: 9Et quod sibi quis fieri non vult, alii ne faciat.

Next: 9And what one does not wish done to himself, let him not do to another.

Dilectio proximi in duobus modis dividitur, i. e. quod tibi fieri vis, alii fac, et quod tibi fieri non vis, alii ne facias.

Love of neighbor is divided into two ways, that is: what you want done to yourself, do for another, and what you do not want done to yourself, do not do to another.

In hoc loco cum dicit: quod fieri tibi vis, alii fac, omne bonum praeecipitur fieri, et in eo, quod dicit: quod tibi fieri non vis, alii ne facias, omne malum fieri vetatur.

In the place when he says: what you want done to yourself, do for another, every good [act] is instructed to be done, and in the place [when] he says: what you do not want done to yourself, do not do to another, every evil is forbidden to be done.

De hac videlicet fraterna dilectione qualiter habenda sit, B. Gregorius in libro X moralium, ubi dicitur, quod multiplex sit lex ejus, nobiliter docet hoc modo dicens: Et quod multiplex sit lex ejus. [omitted in Mittermüller, inserted from CCSL:

Concerning in what way this fraternal love should be regarded, blessed Gregory in Book 10 of the Moralia, where it is stated, that her law is manifold, he explains it nobly in this way, saying: [the following passage is omitted in Mittermüller’s edition, we quote from the translation by John Henry Parker, J. G. F. Rivington and J. Rivington, London 1844]

Publica sapientiae supernae sunt opera, cum omnipotens Deus regit quos creat, perficit bona quae inchoat; et aspirando adjuvat quos visitationis suae lumine illustrat. Cunctis etenim liquet quia quos gratis condidit benigne disponit. Et cum spiritalia dona largitur, ipse perficit quod ipse ex munere suae benignitatis inchoavit. Secreta vero sapientiae supernae sunt opera cum Deus quos creavit deserit; cum bona quae praeveniendo coeperat, nequaquam prosequendo consummat; cum claritate nos suae illustrationis illuminat et tamen, permissis carnis tentationibus, tenebris caecitatis pulsat; cum dona quae contulit minime custodit; cum et mentis nostrae ad se desideria excitat et tamen occulto judicio difficultate nos nostrae imbecillitatis angustat.

The public works of Supreme Wisdom are when Almighty God rules those whom He creates, brings to an end the good things which He begins, and aids by His inspiration those whom He illumines with the light of His visitation. For it is plain to the eyes of all men, that those whom He created of His free bounty, He provides for with lovingkindness. And when He vouchsafes spiritual gifts, He Himself brings to perfection what He has Himself begun in the bounteousness of His lovingkindness. But the secret works of Supreme Wisdom are, when God forsakes those whom He has created; when the good things, which He had begun in us by preventing us, He never brings to completion by going on; when He enlightens us with the brightness of His illuminating grace, and yet by permitting temptation of the flesh, smites us with the mists of blindness; when the good gifts which He bestowed, He cares not to preserve to us; when He at the same time prompts the desires of our soul towards Himself, and yet by a secret judgment presses us with the incompetency of our weak nature.

(7) Quae nimirum secreta ejus sapientiae pauci valent inquirere, sed nullus invenire, quia quod super nos de nobis ab immortali sapientia non injuste disponitur, justum profecto est ut a nobis adhuc mortalibus ignoretur.

(7) Which same secrets of His Wisdom, but few have strength to investigate, and no man has strength to find out; in that it is most surely just that that which is ordained not unjustly above us, and concerning us, by immortal Wisdom, should be bidden from us while yet in a mortal state.

Sed haec ipsa sapientiae illius secreta conspicere utcumque jam incomprehensibilitatis ejus est potentiam videre, quia etsi in ipsa consiliorum ejus inquisitione deficimus, deficiendo tamen verius discimus quem timeamus. Ad haec se Paulus sapientiae illius secreta tetenderat, cum dicebat: O altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei, quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus et investigabiles viae ejus. Quis enim cognovit sensus Domini? vel quis consiliarius ejus fuit? [Rm 11:33-34]

But to contemplate these same secrets of His Wisdom is in some sort already to behold the power of His incomprehensible nature, in that though we fail in the actual investigation of His secret counsels, yet by that very failure we more thoroughly learn Whom we should fear. Paul had strained to reach these secrets of that wisdom, when he said, O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His Judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? [Rm 11:33-34]

Qui superius etiam ex ipsa inquisitione lassescens, sed tamen ad cognitionem infirmitatis propriae lassescendo proficiens, praemittit dicens: O homo, tu quis es qui respondeas Deo? Numquid dicit figmentum ei qui se finxit: Quare me fecisti sic? [Rm 9:20]

He, in a part above, turning faint even with the mere search, and yet through faintness advancing to the knowledge of his own weakness, saith beforehand the words, Nay but O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast Thou made me thus? [Rm 9:20]

Qui igitur ad occulta Dei pertingere non valens ad infirmitatis suae cognitionem rediit, atque ad eruditionem se propriam deficiendo revocavit, ut ita dicam, secreta sapientiae non inveniens invenit; quia cum ad superna consilia requirenda lassesceret, didicit ut humilius timeret. Et quem sua infirmitas a cognitione intima reppulit, hunc ei verius humilitas junxit. Sophar itaque et per scientiae studium peritus et per audaciam tumidae locutionis ignarus, quia ipse gravitatem non habet, meliori optat quod habet, dicens: Atque utinam Deus loqueretur tecum et aperiret labia sua tibi, ut ostenderet tibi secreta sapientiae! Qui eam quoque, qua se super amicum pollere aestimat, optando sapientiam ostentat, cum protinus subdit: Et quod multiplex sit lex ejus. Quid hoc loco Dei lex accipi nisi charitas debet, per quam semper in mente legitur praecepta vitae qualiter in actione teneantur? De hac etenim lege Veritatis voce dicitur: Hoc est praeceptum meum ut diligatis invicem. [Io 15: 12]

He, then, that being unable to attain to the secrets of God, returned back to the recognition of his own weakness, and by thus falling short, recalled himself to the instructing of himself, in not finding out the secrets of wisdom, so to say, he did find them out. For when his strength failed him for the investigation of the counsels of the most High, he learned how to entertain fear with greater humility, and the man whom his own weakness kept back from the interior knowledge, humility did more thoroughly unite thereto. Thus Zophar, who is both instructed by the pursuit of knowledge, and uninstructed by the effrontery of highswoln speech, because he has no weight himself, wishes for a better man that thing which he has, saying, But oh that God would speak with thee, and open His lips unto thee; that He might shew thee the secrets of wisdom. And by wishing he also shews off that wisdom wherewith he reckons himself to be equipped above his friend, when he thereupon adds, And that her law is manifold. What should the ‘law’ of God be here taken to mean, saving charity, whereby we ever read in the inward parts after what manner the precepts of life should be maintained in outward action? For concerning this Law it is delivered by the voice of ‘Truth,’ This is My commandment, that ye love one another. [Io 15:12]

De hac Paulus ait: Plenitudo legis, est dilectio. [Rm 13:10] De hac iterum dicit: Invicem onera vestra portate et sic adimplebitis legem Christi. [Gal 6:2]

Concerning it Paul says, Love is the fulfilling of the law. [Rom. 13, 10] Concerning it he saith again, Bear ye one another's burthens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. [Gal 6:2]

Lex etenim Christi quid congruentius intelligi quam caritas potest, quam tunc vere perficimus cum fraterna onera ex amore toleramus.

For what can the Law of Christ be more fitly understood to mean than charity, which we then truly fulfill when we bear the burthens of our brethren from the principle of love?

(8) Sed haec eadem lex multiplex dicitur, quia studiosa sollicitudine caritas ad cuncta virtutum facta dilatatur. Quae a duobus quidem praeceptis incipit, sed se ad innumera extendit. Hujus namque legis initium dilectio Dei est ac dilectio proximi. Sed Dei dilectio per tria distinguitur, quia ex toto corde, et ex tota anima, et ex tota fortitudine diligi conditor jubetur.

(8) But this same Law is called ‘manifold;’ in that charity, full of eager solicitude, dilates into all deeds of virtue. It sets out indeed with but two precepts, but it reaches out into a countless number. For the beginning of this Law is, the love of God, and the love of our neighbour. But the love of God is distinguished by a triple division. For we are bidden to love our Maker ‘with all our heart’ and ‘with all our soul’ and ‘with all our might.’

Qua in re notandum est quod divinus sermo cum Deum diligi praecipit, non solum narrat ex quo, sed etiam informat ex quanto; cum subjungit ex toto: ut videlicet qui perfecte Deo placere desiderat sibi de se nihil relinquat.

Wherein we are to take note that when the Sacred Word lays down the precept that God should be loved, it not only tells us with what, but also instructs us with how much, in that it subjoins, ‘with all;’ so that indeed he that desires to please God perfectly, must leave to himself nothing of himself.

Proximi autem dilectio ad duo praecepta derivatur, cum et per quemdam justum dicitur: Quod ab alio tibi odis fieri, vide ne tu alteri facias. [Tb 4:16] Et per semetipsam Veritas dicit: Quae vultis ut faciant vobis homines, et vos facite illis. [Mt 7:12; Lc 6:31]

And the love of our neighbour is carried down into two precepts, since on the one hand it is said by a certain righteous man, Do that to no man which thou hatest. [Tb 4:15] And on the other ‘Truth’ saith by Himself, Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them. [Mt 7:12; Lc 6:31]

Quibus duobus scilicet utriusque testamenti mandatis, per unum malitia compescitur, per aliud benignitas praerogatur, ut malum quod pati non vult quisque non faciens, cesset a nocendi opere. Et rursum bonum quod sibi fieri appetit, impendens, erga utilitatem se proximi exerceat ex benignitate.

By which two precepts of both Testaments, by the one an evil disposition is restrained, and by the other a good disposition charged upon us, that every man not doing the ill which he would not wish to suffer, should cease from the working of injuries, and again that rendering the good which he desires to be done to him, he exert himself for the service of his neighbour in kindness of heart.

Sed haec nimirum duo dum sollicita intentione cogitantur, cor ad innumera virtutum ministeria tenditur, ne vel ad inferenda quae non debet desideriis inquieta mens ferveat, vel erga exhibenda quae debet otio resoluta torpescat.

But while these same two are thought on with heedful regard, the heart is made to open itself wide in innumerable offices of virtue, lest whether for the admitting of things which it ought not, the mind being agitated be heated by passions; or for the setting forth of whatsoever it ought, being undone by indolence, it may be rendered inactive.

Nam cum cavet alteri facere quod nequaquam vult ab altero ipsa tolerare, sollicita se intentione circumspicit ne superbia elevet, et usque ad despectum proximi animum dejiciens exaltet ne ambitio cogitationem laniet, cumque hanc ad appetenda aliena dilatat, angustet. Ne cor luxuria polluat et subjectum desideriis per illicita corrumpat; ne ira exasperet et usque ad proferendam contumeliam inflammet; ne invidia mordeat et alienis felicitatibus aemula, sua se face consumat; ne immoderate linguam loquacitas pertrahat eamque usque ad lasciviam obtrectationis extendat; ne odium malitia excitet et os usque ad jaculum maledictionis irritet.

For when it guards against doing to another what it would not on any account itself undergo at the hands of another, it looks about itself on every side with a heedful eye, lest pride lift it up, and while cutting down set up the soul even to contempt of our neighbour; lest coveting mangle the thought of the heart, and while stretching it wide to desire the things of another, straitly confine it; lest lust pollute the heart, and corrupt it, thus become the slave of its passions, in forbidden courses; lest anger increase, and inflame it even to giving vent to insult; lest envy gnaw it, and lest jealous of the successes of others it consume itself with its own torch; lest loquacity drive on the tongue beyond all bounds of moderation, and draw it out even to the extent of license in slander; lest bad feeling stir up hatred, and set on the lips even to let loose the dart of cursing.

Rursum cum cogitat ut ea alteri faciat quae ipsa sibi fieri ab altero exspectat, pensat nimirum ut malis bona, ut bonis meliora respondeat; ut erga procaces mansuetudinem longanimitatis exhibeat; ut malitiae peste languentibus gratiam benignitatis impendat; ut discordes pace uniat, ut concordes ad concupiscentiam verae pacis accingat; ut indigentibus necessaria tribuat; ut errantibus viam rectitudinis ostendat; ut afflictos verbo et compassione mulceat; ut accensos in hujus mundi desideriis increpatione restinguat; ut minas potentum ratiocinatione mitiget; ut oppressorum angustias quanta praevalet ope levet; ut foris resistentibus opponat patientiam; ut intus superbientibus exhibeat cum patientia disciplinam; ut erga errata subditorum sic mansuetudo zelum temperet, quatenus a justitiae studio non enervet; sic ad ultionem zelus ferveat ne tamen pietatis limitem fervendo transcendat; ut ingratos beneficiis ad amorem provocet; ut gratos quosque ministeriis in amore servet; ut proximorum mala cum corrigere non valet, taceat, utque cum corrigi loquendo possunt, silentium consensum esse pertimescat; ut sic ea quae tacet toleret ne tamen in anima virus doloris occultet; ut sic malevolis munus benignitatis exhibeat ne tamen per gratiam a jure rectitudinis excedat; ut cuncta proximis quae praevalet impendat, sed haec impendendo non tumeat; ut sic in bonis quae exhibet tumoris praecipitium paveat ne tamen a boni exercitio torpescat; ut sic quae possidet tribuat, quatenus quanta sit largitas remunerantis attendat; ne cum terrena largitur, suam plus quam necesse est inopiam cogitet, et in oblatione muneris hilaritatis lumen tristitia obscuret.

Again, when it thinks how it may do to another what it looks for at the hands of another for itself, it considers how it may return good things for evil, and better things for good; how to exhibit towards the impertinent the meekness of longsuffering; how to render the kindness of good will to them that pine with the plague of malice, how to join the contentious with the bands of peace, how to train up the peaceable to the longing desire of true Peace; how to supply necessary things to those that are in need; how to shew to those that be gone astray the path of righteousness; how to soothe the distressed by words and by sympathy; how to quench by rebuke those that burn in the desires of the world; how by reasoning to soften down the threats of the powerful, how to lighten the bands of the oppressed by all the means that he is master of; how to oppose patience to those that offer resistance without; how to set forth to those that are full of pride within a lesson of discipline together with patience; how, with reference to the misdeeds of those under our charge, mildness may temper zeal, so that it never relax from earnestness for the rule of right; how zeal may be so kindled for revenge, that yet by kindling thus it never transgress the bounds of pity; how to stir the unthankful to love by benefits; how to preserve in love all that are thankful by services; how to pass by in silence the misdoings of our neighbour, when he has no power to correct them; how when they may be amended by speaking to dread silence as consent to them; how to submit to what he passes by in silence, yet so that none of the poison of annoyance bury itself in his spirit; how to exhibit the service of good will to the malicious, yet not so as to depart from the claims of righteousness from kindness; how to render all things to his neighbours that he is master of, yet in thus rendering them not to be swelled with pride; in the good deeds which he sets forth to shrink from the precipice of pride, yet so as not to slacken in the exercise of doing good; so to lavish the things which he possesses as to take thought how great is the bounteousness of his Rewarder, lest in bestowing earthly things he think of his poverty more than need be, and in the offering of the gift a sad look obscure the light of cheerfulness.

(9) Bene ergo lex Dei multiplex dicitur, quia nimirum cum una eademque sit charitas, si mentem plene coeperit, hanc ad innumera opera multiformiter accendit. Cujus diversitatem breviter exprimimus, si in electis singulis bona illius perstringendo numeremus.

(9) Therefore the Law of God is rightly called manifold, in this respect, that whereas it is one and the same principle of charity, if it has taken full possession of the mind, it kindles her in manifold ways to innumerable works. The diverseness whereof we shall set forth in brief if we go through and enumerate her excellencies in each of the Saints severally.

Haec namque per Abel et electa Deo munera, obtulit, et fratris gladium non reluctando toleravit. [cf. Gn 4:4-8]

Thus she in Abel both presented chosen gifts to God, and without resistance submitted to the brother's sword. [cf. Gn 4:4-8]

Haec Enoch et inter homines vivere spiritaliter docuit, et ad sublimem vitam ab hominibus etiam corporaliter abstraxit. [cf. Gn 5:24]

Enoch she both taught to live in a spiritual way among men, and even in the body carried him away from men to a life above. [cf. Gn 5:24]

Haec Noe, despectis omnibus solum Deo placabilem ostendit, atque in arcae fabricam studio longi laboris exercuit, et mundo superstitem pio opere exercendo servavit. [cf. Gn 7:6]

Noah she exhibited the only one pleasing to God when all were disregarded, and she exercised him on the building of the ark with application to a long labour, and she preserved him the survivor of the world by the practice of religious works. [cf. Gn 7:6]

Haec per Sem et Japhet humiliter verenda patris erubuit, et superjecto dorsis pallio, quae non videbat abscondit. [cf. Gn 9:23]

In Shem and Japhet she humbly felt shame at the father's nakedness, and with a cloak thrown over their shoulders hid that which she looked not on. [cf. Gn 9:23]

Haec Abrahae dextram quia ad mortem filii obediendo extulit, hunc prolis innumerae, gentium patrem fecit. [cf. Gn 22:10]

She, for that she lifted the right hand of Abraham for the death of his son in the yielding of obedience, made him the father of a numberless offspring of the Gentiles. [cf. Gn 22:10]

Haec Isaac mentem, quia semper ad munditiam tenuit, caligantibus aetate oculis, ad videnda longe post ventura dilatavit. [cf. Gn 27:1]

She, because she ever kept the mind of Isaac in purity, when his eyes were now dim with age, opened it wide to see events that should come to pass long after. [cf. Gn 27:1]

Haec Jacob compulit et amissum bonum filium medullitus gemere, et pravorum filiorum praesentiam sub aequanimitate tolerare. [cf. Gn 37: 34]

She constrained Jacob at the same time to bewail from the core of his heart the good child taken from him, and to bear with composure the presence of the wicked ones. [cf. Gn 37: 34]

Haec Joseph docuit a fratribus venundatum, et libertate animi infracta servitium perpeti, et eisdem post fratribus mente non elata principari. [cf. Gn 37:22]

She instructed Joseph, when sold by his brethren, both to endure servitude with unbroken freedom of spirit, and not to lord it afterwards over those brethren with a high mind. [cf. Gn 37:22]

Haec Moysen, delinquente populo, et usque ad petitionem mortis in precibus stravit, et usque ad interfectionem populi per zeli studium erexit, ut et pro pereunte plebe sese morti objiceret, et contra peccantem protinus vice Domini irascentis saeviret. [cf. Ex 32:33]

She, when the people erred, at once prostrated Moses in prayer, even to the beseeching for death, and lifted him up in eagerness of indignant feeling even to the extent of slaying the people; so that he should both offer himself to die in behalf of the perishing multitude, and in the stead of the Lord in His indignation straightway let loose his rage against them when they sinned. [cf. Ex 32:33]

Haec Phinees brachium in ultionem peccantium erexit, ut arrepto gladio, coeuntes transfigeret, et iram Domini iratus placaret. [cf. Nm 25:8-9]

She lifted the arm of Phinees in revenge of the guilty souls, that he should pierce them as they lay with the sword he had seized, and that by being wroth he might appease the wrath of the Lord. [cf. Nm 25:8-9]

Haec Jesum exploratorem docuit, ut et prius contra falsiloquos cives veritatem verbo defenderet, et hanc postmodum gladio contra hostes allegaret. [Ios 1; Nm 14:6-38]

She instructed Jesus the spy, so that he both first vindicated the truth by his word against his false countrymen, and afterwards asserted it with his sword against foreign enemies. [Ios 1; Nm 14:6-38]

Haec Samuel et in principatu humilem praebuit, et integrum in dejectione servavit, qui cum persequentem se plebem diligeret, ipse sibi testimonio exstitit, quia culmen ex quo dejectus est non amavit. [cf. 1 Rg 3]

She both rendered Samuel lowly in authority, and kept him unimpaired in his low estate, who, in that he loved the People that persecuted him, became himself a witness to himself that he loved not the height from whence he was thrust down. [cf. 1 Rg 3]

Haec David ante iniquum regem et humilitate commovit ad fugam, et pietate replevit ad veniam; qui persecutorem suum et timendo fugit ut dominum, et tamen cum potestatem feriendi reperit, non agnovit inimicum. [cf. 1 Sm 24:6/18]

David before the wicked king she at once urged with humility to take flight, and filled with pitifulness to grant pardon; who at once in fearing fled from his persecutor, as his lord, and yet, when he had the power of smiting him, did not acknowledge him as an enemy. [cf. 1 Sm 24:6/18]

Haec Nathan et contra peccantem regem in auctoritatem liberae increpationis sustulit, et cum regis culpa deesset, in petitione humiliter stravit. [cf. 2 Sm 12:1]

She both uplifted Nathan against the king on his sinning in the authoritativeness of a free rebuke, and, when there was no guilt resting on the king, humbly prostrated him in making request. [cf. 2 Sm 12:1]

Haec per Isaiam nuditatem carnis in praedicatione non erubuit, et subducto carnali velamine, superna mysteria penetravit. [Is 20:2]

She in Isaiah blushed not for nakedness of the flesh in the work of preaching, and the fleshly covering withdrawn, she penetrated into heavenly mysteries. [Is 20:2]

Haec Eliam, quia fervoris zelo vivere spiritaliter docuit, ad vitam quoque et corporaliter abstraxit. [cf. 4 Rg 2:11]

She, for that she taught Elijah to live spiritually with the earnestness of a fervent soul, carried him off even in the body also to enter into life. [cf. 4 Rg 2:11]

Haec Elisaeum, quia magistrum diligere simpliciter instituit, magistri spiritu dupliciter implevit. [cf. 4 Rg 2:10]

She, in that she taught Elisha to love his master with a single affection, filled him with a double portion of his master's spirit. [cf. 4 Rg 2:10]

Per hanc Jeremias ne in Aegyptum populus descenderet restitit; sed tamen et inobedientes diligens, quo descendi prohibuit, et ipse descendit. [cf. Ier 42:18]

Through her Jeremiah withstood that the people should not go down into Egypt, and yet by cherishing them even when they were disobedient he even himself went down where he forbad the going down. [cf. Ier 42:18]

Haec Ezechielem, quia prius a terrenis desideriis sustulit, post per cincinnum capitis in aere libravit/. [Ez 8:3]

She, in that she first raised Ezekiel from all earthly objects of desire, afterwards suspended him in the air by a lock of his head. [Ez 8:3]

Haec in Daniele, quia a regiis dapibus gulam compescuit, ei et esurientium ora leonum clausit, [cf. Dn 14:40]

She in the case of Daniel, for that she refrained his appetite from the royal dainties, closed for him the very mouths of the hungry lions. [cf. Dn 14:40]

Haec tribus pueris, quia in tranquillitate positis incendia vitiorum subdidit, tribulationis tempore et flammas in fornace temperavit. [cf. Dn 3:50]

She, in the Three Children, for that she quenched the flames of evil inclinations in them whilst in a condition of peace, in the season of affliction abated the very flames in the furnace. [cf. Dn 3:50]

Haec in Petro et minis terrentium principum fortiter restitit, et in circumcisione submovenda minorum verba humiliter audivit. Haec in Paulo et manus persequentium humiliter pertulit, et tamen in circumcisionis negotio longe se imparis prioris sensum audenter increpavit. [cf. Act 15; Gal 2:11]

She in Peter both stoutly withstood the threats of frowning rulers, and in the setting aside of the rite of circumcision, she heard the words of inferiors with humility. She, in Paul, both meekly bore the violence of persecutors, and yet in the matter of circumcision boldly rebuked the notion of one by great inequality his superior. [cf. Act 15; Gal 2:11]

Multiplex ergo ista lex Dei est, quae singulis rerum articulis non permutata congruit, et causis se variantibus non variata conjungit.

Manifold then is this Law of God, which undergoing no change accords with the several particulars of events, and being susceptible of no variation yet blends itself with varying occasions.

(10) Charitas patiens est, benigna est; non aemulatur, non inflatur, non agit perperam, non est ambitiosa, non quaerit quae sua sunt, non irritatur, non cogitat malum, non gaudet super iniquitate, congaudet autem veritati. [1 Cor 13:4-6]

(10) The multiplicity of which same law, Paul rightly counts up, in the words, Charity suffereth long, and is kind, envieth not, vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. [1 Cor 13:4-6]

Patiens quippe est charitas, quia illata mala aequanimiter tolerat. Benigna vero est, quia pro malis bona largiter ministrat. Non aemulatur, quia per hoc quod in praesenti mundo nil appetit, invidere terrenis successibus nescit. Non inflatur, quia cum praemium internae retributionis anxia desiderat, de bonis se exterioribus non exaltat. Non agit perperam, quia quo se in solum Dei ac proximi amorem dilatat, quidquid a rectitudine discrepat ignorat. Non est ambitiosa, quia quo ardenter intus ad sua satagit, foras nullatenus aliena concupiscit. Non quaerit quae sua sunt, quia cuncta quae hic transitorie possidet velut aliena negligit, cum nihil sibi esse proprium nisi quod secum permaneat agnoscit. Non irritatur, quia et injuriis lacessita ad nullos se ultionis suae motus excitat, dum pro magnis laboribus majora post praemia exspectat. Non cogitat malum, quia in amore munditiae mentem solidans, dum omne odium radicitus eruit, versare in animo quod inquinat nescit. Non gaudet super iniquitate, quiaquo sola dilectione erga omnes inhiat, nec de perditione adversantium exsultat. Congaudet autem veritati, quia ut se caeteros diligens, per hoc quod rectum in aliis conspicit, quasi de augmento proprii] provetu hilarescit. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Hiob X, VI, c. 6-10, CCSL 143A, pp 537-543]

For charity ‘suffereth long,’ in that she bears with composure the ills that are brought upon her. She ‘is kind,’ in that she renders good for evil with a bounteous hand, She ‘envieth not,’ in that from her coveting nought in the present life, she thinketh not to envy earthly successes. She ‘is not puffed up,’ in that whereas she eagerly desires the recompense of the interior reward, she does not lift herself up on the score of exterior good things. She ‘doth not behave herself unseemly,’ in that in proportion as she spreads herself out in the love of God and our neighbour alone, whatever is at variance with the rule of right is unknown to her. She is not covetous, in that as she is warmly busied within with her own concerns, she never at all covets what belongs to others, ‘She seeketh not her own,’ in that all that she holds here by a transitory tenure, she disregards as though it were another's, in that she knows well that nothing is her own but what shall stay with her. She ‘is not easily provoked,’ in that even when prompted by wrongs she never stimulates herself to any motions of self avenging, whilst for her great labours she looks hereafter for greater rewards. She ‘thinketh no evil,’ in that basing the soul in the love of purity, while she plucks up all hatred by the roots, she cannot harbour in the mind aught that pollutes. She ‘rejoiceth not in iniquity,’ in that as she yearns towards all men with love alone, she does not triumph even in the ruin of those that are against her, but she ‘rejoiceth in the truth,’ in that loving others as herself, by that which she beholds right in others she is filled with joy as if for the growth of her own proficiency. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Hiob X, VI, c. 6-10 translation by John Henry Parker, J. G. F. Rivington and J. Rivington, London 1844]

Sequitur: 10Abnegare semetipsum sibi, ut sequatur Christum.

Next: 10Deny one’s self in order to follow Christ.

Bene dixit abnegare, non dixit ‘occidere’.

He spoke appropriately of denying, he did not say ‘kill.’

Nunc videndum est, quomodo potest quis abnegare semetipsum. Tunc enim seipsum abnegate, cum derelinquit vitia, quae habuit.

Now it should considered in what way one can deny one’s self. For he denies himself at that time when he forsakes those vices that he had.

Verbi gratia si superbus conversus ad Christum factus est humilis, semetipsum abnegavit; abnegavit enim id, quod fuit per vitium, non abnegavit, quod est per naturam, [page 147] quia aliud sumus per peccatum lapsi, aliud per naturam conditi, aliud quod fecimus, aliud quod facti sumus. [Gregory the Great, Homilia in evangelia XXXII, c. 2, PL 76, col. 1233C]

For example, if an arrogant man, having turned to Christ, becomes humble, he has denied himself; for he has denied that which existed through vice, he did not deny that which exists through nature, [page 147] because we have fallen partly because of sin, we are buried partly because of nature, partly because of what we have done, partly because of what we have become. [Gregory the Great, Homilia in evangelia XXXII, c. 2]

Et bene dicit: abnegare semetipsum, quia nisi quis a semetipso deficiat, ad eum, qui super ipsum est, non appropinquat, nec valet apprebendere, quod ultra ipsum est, si nescierit mactare, quod est. Sic et olerum plantae transponuntur atque, at ita dixerim, eradicantur, ut crescant. [Gregory the Great, Homilia in evangelia XXXII, c. 2, PL 76, col. 1234A]

And he says it rightly: to deny one’s self, because unless one falls away from himself, he does not draw near to Him who is above him, and he is not strong enough to grasp what is beyond him, if he does not know to honor what exists. So too vegetables are moved and, if I may say so, are rooted out, so they may grow. [Gregory the Great, Homilia in evangelia XXXII, c. 2]

Ergo abnegemus nosmetipsos, quales peccando nos fecimus, et mancamus nosmetipsi, quales per gratiam facti sumus.

Therefore let us deny ourselves (the kind of people we made through sinning), and let us remain ourselves (the kind of people we became through grace).

Unde dicitur: Verte impios, et non erunt; [Prv 12:7] conversi namque impii non erunt, non quia omnino non erunt in essentia, sed scilicet non erunt in impietatis culpa.

Whence it is said: Convert the impious, and they will not be [i.e. exist]; [Prv 12:7] for after being converted they will not be impious, not because they no longer exist at all, but clearly because they will not be guilty of impiety.

Sic enim Paulus a semetipso dicit: Vivo autem jam non ego, vivit in me Christus. [Gal 2:20]

For thus Paul says about himself: Nevertheless it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. [Gal 2:20]

Exstinctus quippe fuerat saevus ille persecutor et vivere coeperat pius praedicator; ac si aperte dicat: ‘Ego quidem a memetipso exstinctus sum, quia carnaliter non vivo, sed tamen essentialiter mortuus non sum, quia in Christo spiritaliter vivo.’

For surely that savage persecutor had been destroyed and he began to live as a pious preacher; and if openly he should say: ‘I indeed was destroyed by me myself, because I do not live carnally, but nevertheless essentially I am not dead, because I live spiritually in Christ.’

Duae enim viae sunt, una est veteris Adae, altera, est novi, i. e. Christi, una est, quae ducit ad infernum, altera est, quae ducit ad paradisum. Nisi dimiserit aut reliquerit viam, quae ducit ad perditionem, prius unusquisque quilibet Christianus, nullomodo abnegat seipsum.

For there are two paths, one is the path of ancient Adam, the other is the new path, that is, of Christ; the one leads to Hell, the other leads to Paradise. Unless each and every Christian first has forsaken or left the path that leads to destruction, in no way does he deny himself.

Deinde tanquam si ab eo protinus causam abrenuntiationis quaereret aliquis, quare debeat quis abrenuntiare seipsum, subjuuxit: ut sequatur Christum, ac si diceret aliis verbis: nisi quis reliquerit viam veteris Adae, quae ducit ad interitum, nequaquam poterit venire ad Christum, et ideo debet semetipsum abnegare, ut sequatur Christum.

Then as if immediately someone sought a reason from him as to why anyone ought to deny himself, he added: follow Christ, as if he said, in other words: Unless one abandons the path of ancient Adam, which leads to destruction, in no way will he have been able to come to Christ, and for that reason he ought to deny himself, so that he may follow Christ.

L Christus, quia graecum est, per χ scribendum est; ita et chrisma [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 1.27]; multis namque modis Christus appellari in scripturis invenitur divinis; nam ipse Dei Patris unigenitus filius Dei, dum esset aequalis Patri, propter salutem nostram formam servi accepit; proinde quaedam nomina in illo ex divinitatis substantia, quaedam ex dispensatione susceptae hunanitatis assumta sunt.A

Christ, since it is in Greek, must be written with the [Greek letter] χ; so too chrisma [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 1.27]; for Christ is found to be called in many ways in divine scriptures; for he himself is the only begotten son of God, of God the Father, although he was equal to the Father, because of our salvation he took on the appearance of a slave. From there some names concerning the substance of divinity were used for him, [and] some names concerning the dispensation of his assumed humanity were used for him.

Christus [page 148] namque a chrismate est appellatus, h. e. unctus; praeceptum enim fuerat Judaeis, ut sacrum conficerent unguentum, quo perungi possent hi, qui vocabantur ad sacerdotium vel ad regnum. Et sicut nunc regibus indumentum purpurae insigne est regiae dignitatis, sic illis unctio sacri unguenti nomen ac potestatem regiam conferebat, et inde christi dicti a chrismate, quod est unctio; nam chrisma graece latine unctio interpretatur, quae etiam Domino nomen accommodavit facta spiritalis, quia spiritu unctus est a Deo Patre, sicut in actibus dicitur apostolorum: Collecti enim sunt in hac civitate adversus filium sanctum tuum, quem unxisti, [Act 4:27] non utique oleo visibili, sed gratiae dono, quod visibili significatur unguento.

Christ [page 148] for he was called from the word chrism (chrisma [in Greek]), that is, ‘unction’ (unctio). For it had been a custom among the Jews to prepare holy unguent, with which they who were called to the priesthood or to royal power could be anointed. And just as now the purple robe is the mark of royal dignity for kings, thus for them anointing with sacred ointment conferred the royal name and power, and from there they are called ‘anointed ones’ (christi) from chrism, that is, anointing. For chrisma in Greek is translated as unctio in Latin, which, when done spiritually, offered an appropriate name for the Lord, because he was anointed with the Spirit by God the Father, just as it is said in Acts of the Apostles: For they gathered in this city against your holy son, whom you anointed, [Acts 4:27] not with visible oil, but with the gift of grace, which is signified by visible oil.

Non autem est Salvatoris proprium nomen christus, sed communis nuncupatio potestatis; dum enim dicitur Christus, commune dignitatis nomen est, dum Jesus proprium est vocabulum Salvatoris. Christi autem nomen nusquam alibi omnino nec in aliqua gente fuit, nisi tantum in illo regno, ubi Christus prophetabatur et unde futurus erat. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae VII, c. 2.2-5]

Moreover the proper name of the Savior is not “the anointed one” (christus), but the common noun [used to designate] his power; for when he is called “Christ”, it is the common name of his status, while “Jesus” is the proper name of the Savior. Moreover the name of Christ was nowhere else at all among any people, except only in that kingdom where Christ was foretold and whence he would be in the future. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae VII, c. 2.2-5]

Nam quasi interrogasset aliquis S. Benedictum dicens: ‘Cui proficit, si se ipsum abnegaverit?’ ille subjunxit dicens: sibi, i. e. sibi proficit.

For it is as if someone had asked St. Benedict, saying, ‘Whom does it benefit, if he denied he himself?’ [Benedict] responded, saying: himself, that is, it benefits himself.

Sequitur: 11Corpus castigare.

Next: 11Chasten the body.

Vide modo, non dixit: corpus ‘occidere’, sed castigare; in castigatio enim corporis magna discretio necessaria est, no aut minus aut nimium castigetur, ne, cum hostem vult ferire, civem feriat. Si enim nimium castigaveris corpus, Dei servitium operavi non potes, et iterum si non fuerit discrete castigatum, ducit te in praecipitium.

See how he did not say: “kill” the body, but chasten; for in the chastening of the body great discrimination is needed, lest it be chastened either too little or too much, lest, when he wishes to strike an enemy, he strikes a citizen. For if you chasten the body too much, you are not able to perform service of the Lord, and again, if the body is not wisely chastened, it leads you into danger.

Verbi gratia, ecce quis habet servum; si illum non constrinxerit, ille murmurans erigit se contra illum, si autem constrinxerit illum, ille iterum murmurat. Melius est, ut constrictus murmuret, quam dissolutus. Ita et corpus; si corpus castigaveris, murmurat, quia semper terrena cogitat, et iterum si non castigaveris, mittit te in praecipitium. Melius est, ut constrictum aliquid mali cogitet, quam dissolutum in praecipitium ducat.

For example, behold one who has a slave; if he does not bind him, the slave, grumbling, raises himself against his master, but if [the master] binds him, he grumbles all the same. It is better for him to grumble after being bound than after he has been freed. So too the body: if you chasten the body, it grumbles, because it is thinking about earthly things, but if you do not chasten it, it casts you into danger. It is better for the body to think about something evil after it has been bound than for it to lead you into danger when it has been freed.

Ad hanc quippe discretionem potest istud attinere, quod in Evangelio legitur: Venerunt pharisaei et Herodiani ad Jesum dicentes: ‘Licet [page 149] reddere Caesari censum an non?’ quia pharisaei dicebant: ‘non licet’, Herodiani dicebant: ‘licet’. [cf. Mt 22:17] Nec illi erant Christiani, nec Herodiani. Jesus autem dixit eis: ‘Reddite, quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari, et quae Dei, Deo’, [Mt 22:21] ac si diceret in hoc sensu, cum dicit: ‘Reddite, quae Caesaris sunt, Caesari’, i. e. reddite, quae corporis sunt, corpori, et quae Dei, Deo, i. e. quae animae sunt, animae.

Indeed one can refer what is read in the Gospel to this distinction: the Pharisees and Herodians came to Jesus, saying: Can one [page 149] pay taxes to Caesar or not? Because the Pharisees were saying: It is not permitted; the Herodians: it is permitted. [cf. Mt 22;17] And these were neither Christians nor Herodians. But Jesus said to them: Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s, [Mt 22:21] as if he spoken in this sense, when he says: Pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s, that is, pay to the body what is the body’s, and to God what is God’s, that is to the soul what is the soul’s.

Sequitur: 12Delicias non amplecti.

Next: 12Do not esteem pleasures.

Vide modo, quia non dixit: ‘delicias non manducare’, sed non amplecti, i. e. non amare; si enim mihi deliciae appositae fuerint, possum manducare causa hospitalitatis vel necessitatis tantum, i. e. non causa delectationis, eo quod non debeo illas manducare.

See how, because he did not say: ‘Do not eat luxurious [foods]’ but do not esteem, that is, do not love; for if luxurious [foods] are placed next to me, I can eat them only for the sake of hospitality or necessity, that is, because I should not eat them for the sake of pleasure.

Verumtamen et cum mauduco causa necessitatis, quantitatem inibi debeo servare, v. gr. si decem mihi pulmenta apposita fueriut, tantum debeo manducare de decem, quantum ex duobus.

But nevertheless, even when I eat because of necessity, at that point I should watch over the amount; for example, if there are ten appetizers near me, from those ten, I ought only to eat as many as two.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia non est peccatum in cibo, sed in desiderio; nam multi fuerunt, qui solummodo vilem cibum concupiscentes peccaverunt, veluti fuerunt filii Israel in deserto, qui concupierunt cepas, pepones, i. e. melones et reliq.; et iterum fuerunt alii, qui carnem manducando non peccaverunt, veluti fuit Elias propheta, cui corvi ministrabant carnes vespere et mane.

And this should be understood, that the sin is not in the food, but in the desire; for there were many who sinned only in desiring common food, as they were the sons of Israel in the desert, who desired onions, pepones (that is, melons) and the rest; and again there were others who sinned not through eating meat, as if it was the prophet Elijah, to whom crows fed meats in the evening and in the morning.

Sequitur: 13Jejunium amare.

Next: 13Love fasting.

Bene dixit: Jejunium amare, et non ‘jejunare’; sunt enim multi, qui jejunant, et tamen, quia non amant, non jejunant; et multi sunt, qui non jejunant, tamen, quia amant, jejunant; verbi gratia si pro hospite non jejuno et amo jejunare, pro jejunio ponitur; et iterum, si invite jejunavero, tamen, quia non amo, non jejuno.

He spoke rightly: Love fasting, and not ‘to fast’; for there are many who fast, and nevertheless because they do not love it, they do not fast; and there are many who do not fast, nevertheless, because they love it, they fast; for example, if I do not fast because of a guest and I love to fast, the guest is set aside [neglected?] for the sake of fasting; and again, if I reluctantly fast, nevertheless, because I do not love it, I do not fast.

Et hoc notandum est, quia hoc, quod dicitur jejunium amare, non est contrarium illi sententiae, quam superius dixit, ut, cum pro hospite quis dimittit jejunium in exteriore nomine, ita etiam in corde; quia si dimittit propter charitatem, tamen debet amare propter hoc praeceptum.

And this should be noted that this, which is called loving fasting, is not in opposition to that opinion which I expressed above, that, when for a guest one dismisses fasting in [his] outer self, he does so too in his heart; because if he dismisses it because of charity, nevertheless he ought to love it because of this teaching.

Dicit enim Isidorus: Jejunum tenue intestinum, unde et jejunum dicitur. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XI, c. 1.131] Intestina dicuntur, eo quod corporis [page 150] interiori parte cohibentur, quae idcirco longis nexibus in circulorum ordinata sunt modunt, ut susceptas escas paulatim egerant et superadditis cibis non impediantur. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XI, c. 1.129]

For Isidore says: The jejunum is a little intestine, whence also ‘fasting’ is called. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XI, c. 1.131] They are called intestines because [page 150] they are contained in the interior part of the body, which for this reason are arranged in long coils like circles, so that they digest food taken up little by little and so that they are not hindered by added food. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae XI, c. 1.129]

Sequitur: 14Pauperes recreare.

Next: 14Refresh the poor.

Hoc praeceptum ad majores, qui potestatem dandi habent, attinet; tamen pauperes recreant etiam minores monachi, si voluntatem recreandi habeut, aut etiam cohortantur priores, pauperes recreare, qui habent potestatem recreandi.

This teaching refers to the senior monks (who have the power of giving); nevertheless even junior monks may refresh the poor, if they have the desire of refreshing [the poor].

Pauper enim, sicut Cassiodorus dicit, dictus est a paululo lare. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 9:35, CCSL 97, p. 110]

For a poor man, as Cassiodorus says, is so-called from his tiny house (paululo lare). [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 9:35]

Et iterum pauper ille dictus est, qui terrena cupiditate vacuatus coelesti desiderat largitate ditescere.

And again that man is called a pauper who, having been emptied of earthly desire, desires to grow rich from heavenly abundance.

Recreare, i. e. refocillare vel aliquod adjutorium illis tribuere vel impendere.

Refresh, that is, to relieve, either to give or devote some help to the poor.

Sequitur: 15Nudos vestire.

Next: 15Clothe the naked.

Similiter et hoc praeceptum maxime ad priores attinet, qui potestatem habent dandi. Possunt etiam minores nudos vestire, si voluntatem habent vestiendi, aut etiam hortantur majores, nudos vestire, qui habent potestatem dandi.

This teaching similarly and especially pertains to those elders who possess the power of giving. Junior monks too can clothe the naked, if they have the desire of clothing [the naked], or they can also urge their elders who have the power of giving to clothe the naked.

Sequitur: 16Infimos visitare.

Next: 16Visit the sick.

Cum enim dicit infirmos visitare, non illos dicit, qui extranei infirmi sunt, quia ipse S. Benedictus dicit inferius: 78Officina vero, ubi haec omnia diligenter operemus, claustra sunt monasterii et stabilitas in congregatione. Ipsos vero infirmos, qui in claustro monasterii jacent, non debent sine licentia visitare.

For when he says to visit the sick, he does not mean those people outside the who are sick, because St. Benedict himself says a little later: 78Indeed the workshop, where diligently we do all these things, is the cloister of the monastery and stability in the congregation.

Quomodo potest quis visitare sine licentia, cum non debet habere horam, in qua sine obedientia possit existere, ut otiosus sit?

Indeed [brothers] ought not to visit the sick themselves who lie in the cloister of the monastery without permission. How can one visit [them] without permission, when he ought not to have a [free] hour, during which he may be without responsibility?

V. gr. mane legit usque ad horam secundam; deinde in capitulo ille abbas injungit unicuique obedientiam, quam exerceat. In ipso capitulo dicit cellerario: ‘Frater vade in tuam obedientiam!’ Similiter et unicuique dicit exire, sicut ei injunetum est. Deinde illis, qui non habent injunctam obedientiam, dicit: ‘Ite, et vos facite hoc aut istud, aut tu adjuva talem fratrem, et tu alter vade in hortum’ et reliqua.

For example, in the morning, [a brother] reads until the second hour; then the abbot imposes obedience upon each person in the chapter, which he may cultivate. In that very chapter he says to the steward: ‘Brother, go into your obedience!’ He says similarly to the one leaving, just as it was enjoined to him. Next, to those who do not have obedience imposed [upon them], he says: ‘Go, and do this or that, or you, help such a brother, and you, go into the garden,’ etc.

Verumtamen si vult ire aliquis ad infirmum fratrem, cum licentia debet ire, aut certe cum nuntiatur frater valde infirmus esse, tunc dicat abbas in capitulo: ‘qui vult infirmum visitare. [page 151] vadat hodie et visitet.’ Quod si propter obedientiam tibi injunctam non potuisti visitare, si voluntatem habuisti infirmum visitandi, infirmum visitasti.

Nevertheless if someone wishes to go to a sick brother, he should go with permission, or surely when it is announced that a brother is very sick, then the abbot may say in the chapter: ‘He who wishes to visit [page 151] the sick, let him go today and visit.’ But if, because of the obedience imposed upon you, you were not able to see [him], if you had the desire of seeing the sick, you have visited the sick.

 

4.17-4.77 translated by: Columba Stewart

Sequitur: 17Mortuum sepelire.

And then: 17Bury the dead.

Mortuum enim cum dicit sepelire, non dicit, ut extra claustra monasterii eas et mortuum sepelias, quia, sicut de infirmo diximus, ita etiam de mortuum sepelire6 intelligendum est, quia ipse dicit: Officina vero, ubi haec omnia diligenter operemur, claustra sunt monasterii et stabilitas in congregatione.

When he says bury the dead, he is not saying that you should go and bury the dead outside the enclosure1 of the monastery. What we said about the sick must be understood about burying the dead, for he himself says: 78The workshops where we should industriously carry all this out are the cloisters of the monastery and stability in the community

Quodsi infirmus tam pauper fuerit, ut non habeat, qui fossam fodiant et officium cantent, pro hac necessitate, i. e. ut fodias fossam et officium cantes, potes ire. Quodsi adsunt alii, qui possunt, aut qui habent alios, qui fodiant fossam aut cantent officium, tu non debes ire, si vero ieris, non in mercedem reputabitur tibi a Deo sed in vanam gloriam, quia non causa necessitatis vadis sed causa alterius rei. Si autem ambulaveris viam et iuveneris hominem mortuum aut a latronibus occisum, non debes ab illo recedere, nisi prius illum sepelias, quia multi istud exercendo placuerunt Deo, sicut Tobias. Quodsi non poteris illum ibidem sepelire, debes illum ponere in jumentum tuum et reportare ad locum tuum et sic eum sepelire. Quodsi nec hoc poteris facere, ut non habeas jumentum aut certe fossorium, quo fodias terram, debes ire ad vicum et invenire fossorium. Quodsi non poteris ibi tamdiu demorari, ut hoc facias, tunc nuntia illum mortuum aliis, ut ipsi eum sepeliant; verum etiam poteris mortuum coram Deo sepelire, si voluntatem habeas sepeliendi, quamvis aut licentiam aut facultatem non habeas sepeliendi.7 Si vero non propter necessitatem, quam supra diximus, ieris ad mortuum, ambitio est, et quia ambitio est, ideo non debes ire.

But if the sick man was poor, such that he had nobody to dig the grave and sing the office, for this necessity – i.e., so that you could dig the grave and sing the office – you could go [outside]. But if there are others who can dig the grave or sing the office, or who have others who can do so, you should not go. If you do go, it will not be reckoned to you by God as an act of mercy but as vainglory, for you are going not out of necessity but for some other reason. But if you are traveling on a road and you find a man who is dead or someone killed by thieves, you should not leave him there without first burying him, because many have pleased God by doing this, just like Tobit.2 [cf. Tb 1:19-21] And if you cannot bury him at that very spot, you should put him on your mule and take him to your place and bury him. And if you cannot do this, because you do not have a mule or a shovel by which you can dig the earth, you should go to a village and find a shovel. And if you are not able to stay there long enough to do this [yourself], then inform others about the dead man, so that they can bury him. Truly, in God’s sight you will bury the dead if you have the will to bury, even if you lack the freedom or ability to bury. But as we have said above, if you go to the dead man not out of necessity, it is a desire for favor (ambitio), and because it is a desire for favor, for that reason you should not go.

Sequitur: 18In tribulatione subvenire.

And then: 18Help those in trouble.

Iste enim locus tribus modis intelligitur; uno enim modo subvenis in tribulation, v. gr. si fratri excommunicato, qui post excommunicationem [page 152] murmurat aut non patienter suscepit illam poenitentiam, tu confortationem et exhortationem dederis aut pro illo oraveris, in tribulatione subvenisti.

This phrase is to be understood in three ways. One way of helping those in trouble is, for example, on behalf of an excommunicated brother who after excommunication murmurs [page 152] or does not bear the penalty patiently. If you give comfort or encouragement, or pray for him, you help someone in trouble.

Altero vero modo tribulanti fratri subvenis, cum frater murmurat propter necessitatem suam, quam non habet, i. e. aut vestimentum aut calcearios, et tu das illi consolationem, ut non murmuret, aut oras pro illo, tunc tribulanti subvenis.

Another way you help a brother in trouble is when a brother murmurs about lacking some necessity, such as clothing or shoes, and you offer him consolation so that he not murmur, or you pray for him: then you help the one in trouble.

Aut certe si fratrem debilem adjuvas infra tuam obedientiam, v. gr. si injunctum est tibi lavare pannos aliquos, et venerit debilis frater ad te rogans, ut etiam sua vestimenta laves aut adjuves lavare, tribulanti subvenis, ita tamen, ut tuam obedientiam pro hoc non dimittas, hoc est inprimis debes lavare illos pannos, qui tibi injuncti sunt, et postmodum lavare fratris, aut certe inter illos pannos lavas illius fratris.

Undoubtedly, you help one in trouble if you assist an infirm brother as part of your assigned task.3 For example, if you are ordered to wash some clothes and an infirm brother comes to you asking that wash his clothing or help to wash it. Yet lest you neglect your assigned task, first you should wash the clothes that you were ordered [to wash], and afterward [those] of the brother, or else among the clothes you wash [you wash] those of the brother.

Sequitur: 19Dolentem consolari; duobus modis intelligitur.

And then: 19Comfort those in mourning is to be understood in two ways.

Uno modo consolationem tribuis dolente, cum fratri, qui forte pro uno peccato, in quo cecidit, dolet et desperat, tu consolas illum et exhortaris, ut non desperet se sed agat poenitentiam. Altero modo dolentem fratrem consolas, cum forte pro multitudine peccatorum se desporat, et tu consolas illum, i. e. exhortaris illum, agere, poenitentiam, aut certe oras pro illo, dolentem consolas.

One way in which you comfort those in mourning is when a brother is greatly sorrowful and in despair about a sin in which he fell, and you comfort him and exhort him not to despair but to do penance. Another way you comfort a brother in mourning is when he is in despair about a multitude of sins and you comfort him, that is, exhort him to do penance, or at least pray for him: thus you comfort one in mourning.

Dolor enim, sicut Cassiodorus dicit,8 dictus est quasi domabilis horror. [Cassiodor, Expositio Psalmorum 7.17]

As Cassiodorus says, Mourning is said to be a tameable terror. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 7.17]

Sequitur: 20A saeculi actibus se facere alienum.

And then: 20Make yourself a stranger to the ways of the world.

Saeculi actus sunt honores, manducare et bibere, vestire, dormire. Si haec omnia, i. e. honorem, manducare, bibere, vestire, dormire pro delectatione non feceris sed pro necessitate, a saeculi actibus te facis alienum; si autem pro delectatione feceris, non te facis alienum a saeculi actibus.

The ways of the world are honors, eating and drinking, dressing, sleeping. If you do none of these things--seeking honor, eating, drinking, dressing, sleeping--for pleasure but only out of necessity, then you make yourself a stranger to the ways of the world. If however you do them for pleasure, you do not make yourself a stranger to the ways of the world.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia non est peccatum in cibo, sed in desderio; [nam] in placitum vero ire pro causis agendis nullatenus monachus debet [ire]; si vero ierit, a saeculi actibus non se facit alienum. [page 153]

And this should be known: there is no sin in food, but in desire. By no means should a monk do anything because it is agreeable. If he does so, he does not make himself a stranger to the ways of the world. [page 153]

Sequitur: 21Nihil amori Christi praeponere.;

And then: 21Put nothing above the love of Christ.

Potest etiam amori Christi praeponi isto modo sine saeculari actu, veluti est desidia, h. e. si obedientiam aut aliquod opus pigre agis, amori Christi praeponis.

One can indeed put something above the love of Christ even without worldly behavior, as with laziness, which is being slothful in doing your assigned task or some other work.

V. gr. si tempore, cum signum sonuerit et non statim cucurreris, pigritiam tuam amori Christi praeponis. Similiter de aliis causis intelligendum est, i. e. amori Christi praeponis; si, quidquid agis, pro amore Christi non agis.

For example, if you do not immediately hasten when the signal sounds, you are putting your sloth above the love of Christ. This can also be known in other situations, i.e., that you put [something] above the love of Christ, if whatever you do is not done for the love of Christ.

Sequitur: 22Iram non perficere.

Then: 22Do not give in to anger.

Dicunt enim sapientes saeculi, duobus modis fieri iram, i. e. natura et odio. Vide modo, non dixit irasci, sed iram non perficere.

The wise of the world say there are two ways to act in anger: by nature and with hate. Note that he did not say, ‘do not be angry,’ but do not give in to anger.

Ira est secundum naturam commotio mentis. V. gr. si aliquem agentem vides contra voluntatem tuam et tuuc irasceris, commotio mentis est; si autem post hanc commotionem cognoveris, non debere irasci, et duraveris in hac ira, tunc iram perficis.

Anger is, according to nature, a disturbance of the mind. For example, if you see someone doing something contrary to your will and you then become angry, it is a disturbance of the mind. If after that disturbance you learn that you should not become angry, but you persist in that anger, then you give in to anger.

De eo, quod quatuor modis ira nasci solet, docet nobiliter B. Gregorius hoc modo dicens:

Blessed Gregory nobly teaches about the four ways in which anger is typically born, saying it in this way: [the following passage is omitted in Mittermüller. We insert the translation by John Henry Parker, J. G. F. Rivington and J. Rivington, London 1844]

Sciendum vero est quod [omitted in Mittermüller, inseted from CCSL 143, pp. 278-283: nonnullos ira citius accendit, facilius deserit. Nonnullos vero tarde quidem commovet, sed diutius tenet. Alii namque accensis calamis similes, dum vocibus perstrepunt, quasi quosdam accensionis suae sonitus reddunt; citius quidem flammam faciunt, sed protinus in favillam frigescunt. Alii autem lignis gravioribus durioribusque non dispares, accensionem tarde suscipiunt, sed tamen accensi semel difficilius exstinguuntur, et quia se tardius in asperitatem concitant, furoris, sui diutius ignem servant. Alii autem, quod est nequius, et citius iracundiae flammas accipiunt, et tardius deponunt. Nonnulli vero has et tarde suscipiunt, et citius amittunt.

But we are to know that there be some, whom anger is somewhat prompt in inflaming, but quickly leaves them; while there are others whom it is slow in exciting, but the longer in retaining possession of. For some, like kindled reeds, while they clamour with their voices, give out something like a crackle at their kindling: those indeed speedily rise into a flame, but then they forth with cool down into their ashes; while others, like the heavier and harder kinds of wood, are slow in taking fire, but being once kindled, are with difficulty put out; and as they slowly stir themselves into heat of passion, retain the longer the fire of their rage. Others again, and their conduct is the worst, are both quick in catching the flames of anger, and slow in letting them go; and others both catch them slowly, and part with them quickly

In quibus nimirum quatuor modis liquido lector agnoscit, quia et ad tranquillitatis bonum ultimus plusquam primus appropinquat, et in malo secundum tertius superat. Sed quid prodest quod iracundia quomodo mentem teneat, dicimus, si non etiam qualiter compesci debeat exprimamus?

In which same four sorts, the reader sees clearly that the last rather than the first approaches to the excellence of peace of mind, and in evil the third is worse than the second. But what good does it do to declare how anger usurps possession of the mind, if we neglect to set forth at the same time, how it should be checked?

(81) Irae compescendae duo modi. – Duobus etenim modis fracta possidere animum ira desuescit. Primus quippe est, ut mens sollicita antequam agere quodlibet incipiat, omnes sibi, quas pati potest, contumelias proponat, quatenus Redemptoris sui probra cogitans, ad adversa se praeparet. Quae nimirum venientia tanto fortior excipit, quanto se cautius ex praescientia armavit. Qui enim improvidus ab adversitate deprehenditur, quasi ab hoste dormiens invenitur; eumque citius inimicus necat, quia non repugnantem perforat. Nam qui mala imminentia per sollicitudinem praenotat, hostiles incursus quasi in insidiis vigilans exspectat; et inde ad victoriam valenter aecingitur, unde nesciens deprehendi putabatur.

(81) For there are two ways whereby anger being broken comes to relax its hold upon the mind. The first method is that the heedful mind, before it begins to do any thing, set before itself all the insults which it is liable to undergo, so that by thinking on the opprobrious treatment of its Redeemer, it may brace itself to meet with contradiction. Which same, on coming, it receives with the greater courage, in proportion as by foresight it armed itself the more heedfully. For he, that is caught by adversity unprovided for it, is as if he were found by his enemy sleeping, and his foe dispatches him the sooner, that he stabs one who offers no resistance. For he, that forecasts impending ills in a spirit of earnest heedfulness, as it were watching in ambush awaits the assault of his enemy. And he arrays himself in strength for the victory in the very point wherein he was expected to be caught in entire ignorance.

Solerter ergo animus ante actionis suae primordia, cuncta debet adversa meditari; ut semper haec cogitans, semper contra haec thorace patientiae munitus, et quidquid accesserit providus superet, et quidquid non accesserit lucrum putet.

Therefore, before the outset of any action, the mind ought to forecast all contrarieties, and that with anxious heed, that by taking account of these at all times, and being at all times armed against them with the breastplate of patience, it may both in foresight obtain the mastery, whatever may take place, and whatever may not take place, it may account gain.

Secundus autem servandae mansuetudinis modus est, ut cum alienos excessus aspicimus, nostra, quibus in aliis excessimus, delicta cogitemus. Considerata quippe infirmitas propria, mala nobis excusat aliena.

But the second method of preserving mildness is that, when we regard the transgression of others, we have an eye to our own offences, by which we have done wrong in the case of others. For our own frailty, being considered makes excuse for the ills done us by others.

Patienter namque illatam injuriam tolerat, qui pie meminit quod fortasse adhuc habeat, in quo debeat ipse tolerari. Et quasi aqua ignis exstinguitur, cum surgente furore animi, sua cuique ad mentem culpa revocatur, quia erubescit peccata non parcere, qui vel Deo, vel proximo saepe se recolit parcenda peccasse.

Since that man bears with patience an injury that is offered him, who with right feeling remembers that perchance there may still be somewhat, in which he himself has need to be borne with. And it is as if fire were extinguished by water, when upon rage rising up in the mind each person recalls his own misdoings to his recollection; for he is ashamed not to spare offences, who recollects that he has himself often committed offences, whether against God or against his neighbour, which need to be spared.

(82) Ira alia ex impatientia, alia ex zelo. Prima oculum excaecat, altera ita turbat, ut ad clarius videndum disponat. – Sed inter haec solerter sciendum est quod alia est ira, quam impatientia excitat, alia quam zelus format. Illa ex vitio, haec ex virtute generatur. Si enim nulla ira ex virtute surgeret, divinae animadversionis impetum Phinees per gladium non placasset. Hanc iram quia Heli non habuit, motum contra se implacabiliter supernae ultionis excitavit. Nam quo contra subditorum vitia tepuit, eo contra illum districtio aeterni rectoris exarsit. De hac per Psalmistam dicitur: Irascimini, et nolite peccare. [Ps. 4:5]

(82) But herein we must bear in mind with nice discernment that the anger, which hastiness of temper stirs is one thing, and that which zeal gives its character to is another. The first is engendered of evil, the second of good. For if there was no anger originating in virtue, Phinees would never have allayed the fierceness of God's visitation by his sword. Because Eli lacked such anger, he quickened against himself the stirrings of the vengeance of the Most High to an implacable force. For in proportion as he was lukewarm towards the evil practices of those under his charge, the severity of the Eternal Ruler waxed hot against himself. Of this it is said by the Psalmist, Be ye angry, and sin not. [Ps 4:5]

Quod nimirum non recte intelligunt, qui irasci nos nobis tantummodo, non etiam proximis delinquentibus volunt. Si enim sic proximos ut nos amare praecipimur, restat ut sic eorum erratibus sicut nostris vitiis irascamur.

Which doubtless they fail to interpret aright, who would only have us angry with ourselves, and not with others likewise, when they sin. For if we are bidden to love our neighbours as ourselves, it follows that we should be as angry with their erring ways as with our own evil practices

De hac per Salomonem dicitur: Melior est ira risu, quia per tristitiam vultus corrigitur animus delinquentis. [Eccle 7:4] De hac iterum Psalmista ait: Turbatus est prae ira oculus meus. [Ps 6:8]

Of this it is said by Solomon, Anger [so Vulg.] is better than laughter; for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. [Ecl 7:3] Of this the Psalmist saith again, Mine eye is [V. thus] disturbed because of anger [prae ira. Vulg. a furore]. [Ps 6:8]

Ira quippe per vitium oculum mentis excaecat, ira autem per zelum turbat; quia quo saltem recti aemulatione concutitur, ea quae nisi tranquillo corde percipi non potest, contemplatio dissipatur.

For anger that comes of evil blinds the eye of the mind, but anger that comes of zeal disturbs it. Since necessarily in whatever degree he is moved by a jealousy for virtue, the world of contemplation, which cannot be known saving by a heart in tranquility, is broken up.

Ipse namque zelus rectitudinis, quia inquietudine mentem agitat, ejus mox aciem obscurat, ut altiora in commotione non videat, quae pene prius tranquilla cernebat. Sed inde subtilius ad alta reducitur, unde ad tempus, ne videat, reverberatur

For zeal for the cause of virtue in itself, in that it fills the mind with disquietude and agitation, presently bedims the eye thereof, so that in its troubled state it can no longer see those objects far up above, which it aforetime clearly beheld in a state of tranquility. But it is brought back on high with a more penetrating ken by the same means, whereby it is thrown back for a while so as to be incapable of seeing

Nam ipsa recti aemulatio aeterna post paululum in tranquillitate largius aperit, quae haec interim per commotionem claudit; et unde mens turbatur ne videat, inde proficit ut ad videndum verius clarescat: sicut infirmanti oculo cum collyrium immittitur, lux penitus negatur; sed inde eam post paululum veraciter recipit, unde hanc ad tempus salubriter amittit.

For the same jealousy in behalf of what is right after a short space opens wider the scenes of eternity in a state of tranquility, which in the mean season it closes from the effects of perturbation. And from the same quarter whence the mind is confounded so as to prevent its seeing, it gains ground, so as to be made clear for seeing in a more genuine way; just as when ointment is applied to the diseased eye, light is wholly withheld, but after a little space it recovers this in truth and reality by the same means, by which it lost the same for its healing.

Nunquam vero commotioni contemplatio jungitur, nec praevalet mens perturbata conspicere, ad quod vix tranquilla valet inhiare, quia nec solis radius cernitur, cum commotae nubes coeli faciem obducunt, nec turbatus fons respicientis imaginem reddit, quam tranquillus proprie ostendit, quia quo ejus unda palpitat, eo in se speciem similitudinis obscurat.

But to perturbation contemplation is never joined, nor is the mind when disturbed enabled to behold that, which even when in a tranquil state it scarcely has power to gaze on; for neither is the sun's ray discerned, when driving clouds cover the face of the heavens; nor does a troubled fountain give back the image of the beholder, which when calm it shews with a proper likeness; for in proportion as the water thereof quivers, it bedims the appearance of a likeness within it.

(83) Cavendum ne ira menti ex zelo commotae dominetur. – Sed cum per zelum animus movetur, curandum summopere est ne haec eadem, quae instrumento virtutis assumitur, menti ira dominetur, nec quasi domina praeeat, sed velut ancilla ad obsequium parata, a rationis tergo nunquam recedat. Tunc enim robustius contra vitia erigitur, cum subdita rationi famulatur. Nam quantumlibet ira ex zelo rectitudinis surgat, si immoderata mentem vicerit, rationi protinus servire contemnit; et tanto se impudentius dilatat, quanto impatientiae vitium virtutem putat. Unde necesse est ut hoc ante omnia, qui zelo rectitudinis movetur, attendat, ne ira extra mentis dominium transeat, sed in ultione peccati tempus modumque considerans, surgentem animi perturbationem subtilius retractando restringat, animositatem reprimat, et motus fervidos sub aequitate disponat; ut eo fiat justior ultor alienus, quo prius exstitit victor suus, quatenus sic culpas delinquentium corrigat, ut ante ipse qui corrigit, per patientiam crescat, et fervorem suum transcendendo dijudicet, ne intemperanter excitatus ipso zelo rectitudinis, longe a rectitudine aberret.

(83) But when the spirit is stirred by zeal, it is needful to take good heed, that that same anger, which we adopt as an instrument of virtue, never gain dominion over the mind, nor take the lead as mistress, but like a handmaid, prompt to render service, never depart from following in the rear of reason. For it is then lifted up more vigorously against evil, when it does service in subjection to reason; since how much soever our anger may originate in zeal for the right, if from being in excess it has mastered our minds, it thereupon scorns to pay obedience to reason, and spreads itself the more shamelessly, in proportion as it takes the evil of a hot temper for a good quality; whence it is necessary that he who is influenced by zeal for right should above all things look to this, that his anger should never overleap the mind's control, but, in avenging sin, looking to the time and the manner, should check the rising agitation of his mind by regulating it with nicety of skill, should restrain heat of temper, and control his passionate emotions in subjection to the rule of equity, that the punisher of another man may be made more just, in proportion as he has first proved the conqueror of himself; so that he should correct the faults of transgressors in such away, that he that corrects should himself first make advancement by self-restraint, and pass judgment on his own vehemency, in getting above it, lest by being immoderately stirred by his very zeal for right, he go far astray from the right.

Quia vero, sicut diximus, etiam laudanda boni aemulatio mentis oculum turbat, recte nunc dicitur: Virum stultum interficit iracundia. Ac si aperte diceretur: Ira per zelum sapientes turbat, ira vero per vitium stultos trucidat, quia illa sub ratione restringitur, haec vero irrationabiliter devictae menti dominatur. Bene autem subditur.

But as we have said, forasmuch as even a commendable jealousy for virtue troubles the eye of the mind, it is rightly said in this place, For wrath killeth the foolish man; as if it were in plain terms, ‘Anger from zeal disturbs the wise, but anger from sin destroys the fool;’ for the first is kept in under the control of reason, but the other lords it over the prostrate mind in opposition to reason. And it is well added.

(LXVI.84) Et parvulum occidit invidia. [Iob 5:2] Invidus eo cui invidet, se minorem testatur. – Invidere enim non possumus, nisi eis quos nobis in aliquo meliores putamus. Parvulus ergo est qui livore occiditur, quia ipse sibi testimonium perhibet, quod ei minor sit cujus invidia torquetur.

(LXVI.84) And envy slayeth the little I one. [Iob 5:2] For it is impossible for us to envy any but those, whom we think to be better than ourselves in some respect. And so he is ‘a little one,’ who is slain by jealousy. For he bears witness against his very own self, that he is less than him, by envy of whom he is tormented.

Hinc est quod hostis callidus primo homini invidendo subripuit, quia amissa beatitudine, minorem se immortalitati illius agnovit. Hinc est quod Cain ad perpetrandum fratricidium corruit’, [cf. Gn 4:5-7] quia despecto suo sacrificio, praelatum sibi infremuit, cujus Deus hostiam accepit: et quem meliorem se esse exhorruit, ne utcunque esset, amputavit.

It is hence that our crafty foe, in envying of the first man, despoiled him, in that having lost his estate of bliss, he knew himself to be inferior to his immortality. It is hence that Cain was brought down to commit the murder of his brother [cf. Gn 4:5-7]; in that when his sacrifice was disregarded, he was maddened that he, whose offering God accepted, was preferred to himself; and him, whose being better than himself was his aversion, he cut off, that he might not be at all.

Hinc Esau ad persecutionem fratris exarsit, [cf. Gn 25:34; 27:41] quia primogenitorum benedictione perdita, quam tamen esu lenticulae ipse vendiderat, minorem se ei, quem nascendo praeibat, ingemuit.

Hence, Esau was fired to the persecution of his brother; [cf. Gn 25:34; 27:41] for, the blessing of the firstborn being lost, which, for that matter, he had himself parted with for a mess of pottage, he bewailed his inferiority to him, whom he surpassed by his birth.

Hinc Joseph fratres sui Ismaelitis transeuntibus vendiderunt, [cf. Gn 37:27-28] quia cognito revelationis mysterio, ne se melior fieret, ejus provectibus obviare conati sunt.

Hence his own brethren sold Joseph to Ishmaelites, [cf. Gn 37:27-28] that were passing by, in that upon the mystery of the revelation being disclosed, they set themselves to resist his advancement, that he might never become superior to themselves.

Hinc Saul David subditum, lanceam intorquendo, persequitur, [1 Sm 18:11] quia quem magnis quotidie augeri virtutum successibus sensit, ultra se excrescere expavit.

Hence Saul persecutes his servant David by throwing a lance at him, [cf. 1 Sm 18:11] for he dreaded that man growing beyond his own measure, whom he perceived to be daily waxing bigger by his great achievements in the virtues.

Parvulus itaque est qui invidia occiditur, quia nisi ipse inferior existeret, de bono alterius non doleret.

Thus he is a ‘little one,’ who is slain by envy; in that except he himself proved less, he would not grieve for the goodness of another.

(85) In invidia serpens antiquus totum virus suum concutit ac vomit. Invidi descriptio. – Sed inter haec sciendum est quia quamvis per omne vitium quod perpetratur, humano cordi antiqui hostis virus infunditur, in hac tamen nequitia, tota sua viscera serpens concutit, et imprimendae malitiae pestem vomit. De quo nimirum scriptum est: Invidia diaboli mors intravit in orbem terrarum. [Sap 2:24]

(85) But herein we must bear in mind, that though in every evil thing that is done, the venom of our old enemy is infused into the heart of man, yet in this wickedness, the serpent stirs his whole bowels, and discharges the bane of spite fitted to enter deep into the mind. Of whom also it is written, nevertheless, through envy of the devil came death into the world. [Sap 2:24]

Nam cum devictum cor livoris putredo corruperit, ipsa quoque exteriora indicant, quam graviter animum vesania instigat. Color quippe pallore afficitur, oculi deprimuntur, mens accenditur, et membra frigescunt, fit in cogitatione rabies, in dentibus stridor; cumque in latebris cordis crescens absconditur odium, dolore caeco terebrat conscientiam vulnus inclusum.

For when the foul sore of envy corrupts the vanquished heart, the very exterior itself shews, how forcibly the mind is urged by madness. For paleness seizes the complexion, the eyes are weighed down, the spirit is inflamed, while the limbs are chilled, there is frenzy in the heart, there is gnashing with the teeth, and while the growing hate is buried in the depths of the heart, the pent wound works into the conscience with a blind grief.

Nil laetum de propriis libet, quia tabescentem mentem sua poena sauciat, quam felicitas torquet aliena; quantoque extranei operis in altum fabrica ducitur, tanto fundamentum mentis lividae profundius suffoditur; ut quo alii ad meliora properant, eo ipse deterius ruat; qua ruina videlicet etiam illud destruitur, quod in aliis actibus perfecto opere surrexisse putabatur. Nam invidia cum mentem tabefecerit, cuncta quae invenerit bene gesta consumit. Unde bene per Salomonem dicitur: Vita carnium, sanitas cordis; putredo ossium invidia. [Prv 14:30]

Nought of its own that is prosperous gives satisfaction, in that a self-inflicted pain wounds the pining spirit, which is racked by the prosperity of another: and in proportion as the structure of another's works is reared on high, the foundations of the jealous mind are deeper undermined, that in proportion as others hasten onward to better things, his own ruin should be the worse; by which same downfall even that is brought to the ground, which was believed to have been raised in other doings with perfect workmanship. For when envy has made the mind corrupt, it consumes all that it may have found done aright. Whence it is well said by Solomon, A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. [Prv 14:30]

Quid enim per carnes, nisi infirma quaedam ac tenera; et quid per ossa, nisi fortia acta signantur? Et plerumque contingit ut quidam cum vera cordis innocentia in nonnullis suis actibus infirmi videantur; quidam vero jam quaedam ante humanos oculos robusta exerceant, sed tamen erga aliorum bona, intus invidiae pestilentia tabescant. Bene ergo dicitur: Vita carnium, sanitas, cordis, quia si mentis innocentia custoditur, etiam si qua foris infirma sunt, quandoque roborantur. Et recte subditur: Putredo ossium invidia, quia per livoris vitium, ante Dei oculos pereunt etiam fortia acta virtutum. Ossa quippe per invidiam putrescere, est quaedam etiam robusta deperire.

For what is denoted by ‘the flesh,’ saving weak and tender things? and what by the ‘bones,’ saving strong deeds? And it is most common that some with real innocence of heart should appear to be weak in some points of their practice, whilst some now perform deeds of strength before the eyes of men, but yet towards the excellences of others they are inwardly consumed with the plague of envy; and so it is well said, A sound heart is the life of the flesh. In that where inward innocency is preserved, even if there be some points weak without, yet they are sometime made strong and fast. And it is rightly added, But envy the rottenness of the bones. For by the bad quality of envy even strong deeds of virtue go for nought before the eyes of God. Since the rotting of the bones from envy is the spoiling of the strong things even.

(86) Invidiae imminutio et mors, inchoatus aut perfectus amor aeternitatis. – Sed cur haec de invidia dicimus, si non etiam qualiter eruatur intimemus? Difficile namque est ut hoc alteri non invideat, quod adipisci alter exoptat; quia quidquid temporale percipitur, tanto fit minus singulis, quanto dividitur in multis; et idcirco desiderantis mentem livor excruciat, quia hoc quod appetit, aut funditus alter accipiens adimit, aut a quantitate restringit. Qui ergo livoris peste plene carere desiderat, illam haereditatem diligat, quam cohaeredum numerus non angustat; quae et omnibus una est, et singulis tota; quae tanto largior ostenditur, quanto ad hanc percipientium multitudo dilatatur.

(86) But why do we say such things concerning envy, unless we likewise point out in what manner it may be rooted out? For it is a hard thing for one man not to envy another that, which he earnestly desires to obtain; since whatever we receive that is of time becomes less to each in proportion as there are many to divide it amongst. And for this reason envy wrings the longing mind, because that, which it desires, another man getting either takes away altogether, or curtails in quantity. Let him, then, who longs to be wholly and entirely void of the bane of envy, set his affections on that inheritance, which no number of fellowheirs serves to stint or shorten, which is both one to all and whole to each, which is shewn so much the larger, as the number of those that are vouchsafed it is enlarged for its reception.

Imminutio ergo livoris est affectus surgens internae dulcedinis et plena mors est ejus, perfectus amor aeternitatis. Nam cum mens ab ejus rei appetitu retrahitur, quae accipientium numero partitur, tanto magis proximum diligit; quanto minus ex provectu illius sua damna pertimescit.

And so the lessening of envy is the feeling of inward sweetness arising, and the utter death of it is the perfect love of Eternity. For when the mind is withdrawn from the desire of that object, which is divided among a multitude of participators, the love of our neighbour is increased, in proportion as the fear of injury to self from his advancement is lessened.

Quae si perfecte in amore coelestis patriae rapitur, plene etiam in proximi dilectione sine omni invidia solidatur; quia cum nulla terrena desiderat, nihil est quod ejus erga proximum charitati contradicat. Quae nimirum charitas quid est aliud quam oculus mentis; qui si terreni amoris pulvere tangitur, ab internae lucis mox intuitu laesus reverberatur?

And if the soul be wholly ravished in love of the heavenly land, it is also thoroughly rooted in the love of our neighbour, and that without any mixture of envy. For whereas it desires no earthly objects, there is nothing to withstand the love it has for its fellow. And what else is this same charity but the eye of the mind, which if it be reached by the dust of earthly love, is forthwith beaten back with injury from its gaze at the inward light?

Quia autem parvulus est qui terrena diligit, magnus qui aeterna concupiscit, potest etiam sic non inconvenienter intelligi: Parvulum occidit invidia, quoniam hujus pestis languore non moritur, nisi qui adhuc in desideriis infirmatur. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Hiob V, XLV-XLVI, c. 80-86, CSEL 143, pp. 278-283]

But whereas he is ‘a little one,’ who loves earthly things, and a great one that longs after the things of eternity, it may be suitably enough rendered in this sense likewise, And envy slayeth the foolish one; in that no man perishes by the sickness of this plague, except him that is still unhealthy in his desires. [Gregory the Great, Moralia in Hiob V, XLV-XLVI, c. 80-86, translation by John Henry Parker, J. G. F. Rivington and J. Rivington, London 1844]

Sequitur: 23Iracundiae tempus non reservare.

And then: 23Do not waste time holding a grudge.

Tunc iracundiae tempus reservas, cum exspectas tempus, in quo statuis reddere vicem.

For you waste time holding a grudge when you expect there to be a time when you will be able to get revenge.

Iracundus etenim dicitur, sicut S. Hieronymus dicit, qui semper irascitur et ad levem responsionis auram atque peccati quasi a vento folium commovetur; nequo vero qui aliquando irascitur, iracundus est, sed ille dicitur iracundus, qui crebro hac passione superatur [Jerome, Commentarius in Epistulam ad Titum 1.7].

As Jerome says, One is said to be wrathful who always gets angry, and at the slightest hint of a rebuke, even for a mistake, is moved like a leaf by the wind. However, not everyone who gets angry is wrathful, but that man is said to be wrathful who is frequently overcome by this passion. [Jerome, Commentarius in Epistulam ad Titum 1.7]

Nam iracundia derivatur ab eo, quod est iracundus; sive etiam iracundus dicitur, ut Isidorus dicit, eo quod accenso [page 154] sauguine in furorem compellitur [Isidore, Etymologiae 10.130 and 6.9]. ‘Ur’ enim flamma dicitur, et ira inflammat.

Anger arises from one who is wrathful; or as Isidore says, ‘wrathful’ refers to someone who is driven to fury when the blood is inflamed. For ‘ur’ means “flame,” and anger inflames.4 [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae X, c. 129]

Sequitur: 24Dolum in corde non tenere.

And then: 24Keep no deceit in your heart.

Ille enim dolum tenet in corde, qui, quia vicem non potest reddere, tamen contra nocentem se dolum contra illum habet.

He keeps deceit in his heart who, because he cannot take revenge, still has deceitful [intentions] against the one who has harmed him.

Dolus enim dicitur, sicut dicit Isidorus, calliditas mentis ab eo, quod deludat; aliud enim agit, et aliud simulat. Petronius aliter existimat dicens: Quidest, judices, dolus? Nimirum, ubi aliquot factum est, quod legi dolet; habetis dolum, accipite nunc malum [Petronius, Satyricon, quoted in Isidore, Etymologiae 5.26.7].

As Isidore says, Deceit means the craftiness of mind of someone who plays false; he does one thing and feigns another. Petronius considered it otherwise, saying: What do you conclude deceit [Lat. dolus] to be? Obviously, when something is done that offends [Lat. dolet] against the law. You have deceit, so now receive evil. [Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae V, c. 26.7]

Sequitur: 25Pacem non dare falsam.

And then: 25Nor give false peace.

Ille enim pacem falsam dat, quem9 non diligens osculatur.

 He gives false peace who does not lovingly offer the kiss [of peace].

Sequitur: 26Caritatem non derelinquere.

And then: 26Nor abandon charity.

Duobus modis derelinquit homo caritatem, uno modo derelinquit homo caritatem, i. e. per intervallum temporis, altero modo derelinquit funditus; i. e. tunc derelinquit caritatem per intervallum temporis, si hodie caritatem habet et oras non habet, et iterum habet et non habet. Caritatem in perpetuum derelinquit, qui nunquam habet caritatem, postquam desierit caritatem habere.

There are two ways in which a man abandons charity. One way a man abandons charity is with respect to an interval of time. The other way is by abandoning it completely. He abandons charity with respect to an interval of time if today he has charity and tomorrow he does not, and then again he has and then does not. He abandons charity forever who never has charity, or later ceases from having charity.

Sequitur: 27Non jurare.

And then: 27Do not swear oaths.

 Jurare enim est, ut Cassiodorus dicit, aliquid sub attestatione promittere [Cassiodor, Expositio 14:9].

To swear oaths, as Cassiodorus says, is to promise something under attestation. [Cassiodorus, Expositio Psalmorum 14:4]

Et reddit causam, quare non debeat jurare, cum subdit: ne forte perjuret, ac si diceret: Ideo non juret, ne forte perjuret.

And he offers a reason why one should not swear oaths, when he adds: lest he swear falsely, as if to say: therefore one should not swear oaths, lest he swear falsely.

De juramento enim videamus, qualiter Dominus in Evangelio dicat, ait enim: Audistis, quia dictum est antiquis: Non perjurabis, reddes autem Domino juramento, tua. Ego autem dico vobis, non jurare omnino, neque per coelum, quia thronus Dei est, neque per terram, quia scabellum pcdum ejus est, neque per Jerosolymam, quia civilas est magni regis, neque per caput tuum juraveris, quia non potes unum capillam album facere aut nigrum. Sit autem sermo vester: est, est; non, non. Quod autem his abundantius est, a malo est [Mt 5:33-37].

Let us see how the Lord speaks about oaths in the Gospel. In fact he said: You have heard what was spoken of old: Do not swear falsely, offer your oath to the Lord. I say to you, do not swear oaths at all, neither by heaven, because it is the throne of God, nor by earth, because it is his footstool, nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great king, nor should you swear by your head, because you cannot make even a single hair white or black. Let this be your word: yes, yes; no, no. Whatever is more than this comes from evil. [Mt 5:33-37]

Pessima autem erat consuetudo Judaeorum, qui relicta licentia, quam dederat illis Dominus, jurare per semetipsum, jurabant per elementa mundi, unde saepissime redarguuntur [page 155] a Domino, quia homo rem, per quam jurat, aut veneratur aut colit aut timet. Dominus enim concesserat illis jurare per semetipsum, ne jurarent per deos alienos. Ea intentione praeceperat illis jurare per semetipsum, qua etiam intentione praeceperat illis offerre sibi sacrificium carnale; praeoecupaverat enim illos in sacrificiis offerendis sibi, ne ipsa sacrificia obtulissent diis alienis. Constrinxerat enim illos ut servos, nutrierat ut parvulos. Haec autem licentia jurandi sive sacrificandi non illis in perpetuo data est, sed tamdiu illis concessa, donec veniret ille, qui meliorem legem daret illis. Sic enim per prophetam dicit: Dedi eis praecepta non bona, in quibus non vivent [Ez 20:25].

The custom of the Jews was terrible, for having been given permission by the Lord to swear oaths by himself, they swore instead by the elements of the world, for which they were frequently rebuked [page 155] by the Lord, because the thing by which a man swears oaths he also venerates and cherishes and fears. The Lord had allowed them to swear oaths by himself, lest they swear by alien gods. And that intention by which he commanded them to swear oaths by himself was the same intention by which he commanded them to offer fleshly sacrifice to him. For he had earlier let them offer sacrifices to him lest they offer sacrifices to alien gods. He had controlled them like servants, and fed them like children. That permission to swear oaths or to sacrifice was not given to them in perpetuity, but was conceded to them until the one came who would give them a better law. So he said through the prophet: I gave them commandments that are not good, in which they will not live. [Ez. 20:25]

Ad comparationem enim meliorum non sunt bona, nam sibimetipsis comparata bona sunt. Et item dicit: Dabo eis testamentum non tale, quale dedi patribus eorum, cum educerem illos de terra Aegypti [Ier 31:32].

In comparison with the better ones they are not good, but in themselves they are good. And again he says, I will give them a covenant not like the one I gave to their fathers, when I led them out of the land of Egypt. [Jer. 31:32]

Illis enim praecepit ut servis, ut jurarent, nobis autem praecepit ut filiis, non jurare omnino; lex enim per Moysen data est a Judaeorum profectu, i. e. ad perfectionem sanctitatis sive profectum a gratia Evangelii accepit;10 omnia enim nova a veteribus sumunt testimonia. Hoc enim, quod Dominus praecipit, non jurare nos omnino, longe ante Salomon per Spiritum Sanctum praedixit dicens: Jurationi os tuum non adsuescat [Eccli 23:9]. Et iterum idem Salomon dicit: Omnis jurans aut negotians11 peccato non purgabitur [Eccli 23:11], i. e. peccato non carebit.

He commanded them as servants that they swear oaths, but us he commanded as sons, not to swear oaths at all. For the law given by Moses was for the progress of the Jews, that is, he received [it] by the grace of the Gospel for the perfection of holiness and progress; for all that is new is based on testimonies by what is old. What the Lord commanded us, not to swear oaths at all, Solomon had said long before, saying: Do not let your mouth grow used to swearing oaths. [Sir. 23:9] And again Solomon says, Everyone swearing oaths or trading5 will not be purged of sin, [Sir. 23:11] that is, will not be without sin.

Quid enim necesse est illi jurare, cujus locutio debet esse fidelis, ut pro juramento accipiatur? ldeo praecepit Dominus, non jurare omnino, ne sperarent alii aut speraremus nos, nobis inesse licentiam mentiendi absque juramento.

What must he – whose word ought to be trustworthy – swear on oath, that it be accepted as an oath? For that reason the Lord commanded not to swear oaths at all, lest others hoped, or we hoped, that there would be permission for us to lie without an oath.

Dominus enim nullam differentiam vult esse inter mendacium et juramentum; sicut enim cavenda est perfidia in juramento, ita debet caveri mendacium in locutione, quia utrumque Dominus judicat. Dicit enim Psalmista: Perdes eos, qui loquuntur mendacium. [Ps 5:7] Et Apostolus: Os quod mentitur, occidit animam [Wisd 1:11].

The Lord wishes there to be no distinction between a lie and an oath; just as treachery is to be avoided in an oath, so also lying is to be avoided in speaking, because the Lord judges both. As the Psalmist says, You will destroy those who speak falsehood. [Ps. 5:7] And the Apostle: The mouth that lies kills the soul. [Sap 1:11].

Et si [page 156] Deus perdet eos, qui loquuntur mendacium, et os, quod mentitur, occidit animam, cavendum est in omni locutione mendacium, sicut perfidia iu juramento. Fidelis enim quidquid loquitur, veraciter debet loqui, ita ut pro juramento accipiatur, quia scriptum est: Testis fidelis non mentitur [Prv 14:5].

And if [page 156] God destroys those who speak falsehood, and the mouth that lies kills the soul, falsehood is to be avoided in all speech, just like treachery in an oath. When a trustworthy person says something, he should speak truthfully so that it is accepted as if it were an oath, for it is written: A trustworthy witness does not lie [Prv 14:5].

Quamquam hoc specialiter ad Christum referatur, tamen ad unumquodque membrum ejus potest referri; Dominus enim, qui praecipit non jurare, legitur jurasse. Quare? Propter perfidiam Judaeorum hoc faciebat, quia illi nulli locutioni credebant, nisi juramento firmaretur, et propterea jurabat Dominus, ut, qui nolebant credere vera loquenti, saltem crederent juranti. Iterum audistis, quia dictum est antiquis: Non perjurabis [Mt 5:33]. Minor justitia est scribarum et pharisaeorum, non perjurare, major justitia est illorum, qui intraturi sunt in regnum coelorum, non jurare omnino. Dominus enim, qui praecepit non jurare, non solvit legem, sed implevit, quia qui non jurat, uon perjurat.

Although this refers especially to Christ, nevertheless it can be referred to any of his members. Yet the Lord who commanded do not swear oaths, is read to have sworn. How? He did this because of the treachery of the Jews, for they believed nothing he said unless he backed it with an oath. For this reason the Lord swore an oath, so that those who were unwilling to believe the one speaking true things would at least believe one who swore an oath. Again you have heard, for it was said to those of old, Do not swear falsely. [Mt 5:33] Lesser is the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees in not swearing falsely, and greater is the righteousness of those who will enter the kingdom of heaven in not swearing oaths at all. For the Lord, who commanded do not swear oaths, did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it, because the one who does not swear oaths does not swear falsely.

 

[The following section is inspired by Augustine, De sermone Domini in Monte I, c. 17.51, which is partly paraphrased, partly quoted literally]

Sicuti enim ille, qui non loquitur, non mentitur, ita non perjurat, qui non jurat, et quia homo rem, per quam jurat, aut invocat aut advocat, ideo necesse est, ut subtilius investigemus ne Paulus, qui legitur jurasse, contra Dominica praecepta videatur jurasse. Dicit enim: Ecce, quae scribo vobis, coram Deo, quod non mentior [Gal 1:20]. Et iterum: Deus et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, qui est benedictus in secula, scit, quod non mentior [2 Cor 11:31]. Et iterum: Testis est mihi Deus, cui servio in spiritu meo in Evangelio filii ejus, quod sine intermissione memoriam vestri facio semper in orationibus meis pro vobis ad Deum, fraters [Rm 1:9].

Just as he who does not speak does not lie, so he does not swear falsely who does not swear oaths. Because a man both invokes and calls upon the thing by which he swears, it is therefore necessary that we investigate carefully whether Paul, who is read to have sworn an oath, is considered to have sworn an oath against the commandments of the Lord. For he says: Consider what I write to you, for before God I do not lie. [Gal 1:20] And again: The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. [2 Cor 11:31] And again: Brothers, God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the Gospel of his Son, that I remember you always without ceasing in my prayers to God on your behalf. [Rm 1:9]

Sunt enim nonnulli, qui conantur defendere Paulum dicentes: ‘quia ille jurat, qui per aliquid dicit; Paulus autem non juravit, quia per aliquid non dicit’.

For there are some who try to defend Paul by saying, ‘because he who swears oaths speaks by something, Paul did not swear an oath because it did not speak by something.’

Quod B. Augustinus ridiculum dicit esse. Nunc autem propter hos contentiosos, qui ita defendunt Paulum, necesse est, ut etiam istud testimonium adhibeatur, quo Paulus eo modo reperitur jurasse, quo illi dicunt esse jurandum. Dicit enim: Quotidie enim morior per vestram gloriam, fratres.

Blessed Augustine says this is ridiculous.6 But now for the sake of the contentious who defend Paul, it is necessary to consider that testimony in which Paul is found to have sworn oaths, in which they say he must have been swearing oaths. For he says: Brother, daily I am dying by your glory. [1 Cor 15:31].

Hic enim per vestram gloriam [1 Cor 15:31] non ita intelligendum est, quasi diceret: pro vestra gloria morior, aut vestra gloria me facit [page 157] quotidie mori, aut, sicut dicitur: per illius magisterium doctus factus est, i. e. illius magisterio factum est, ut perfecte doceretur, quod sermo graecus excludit, quia sermo ille graecus, unde hoc translatum est, nullomodo aliter potest intelligi, nisi a jurante; unde quamvis in nostra locutione talis locutio diverse intelligi potest, tamen in hoc loco non aliter potest intelligi, sicut diximus, nisi juramentum.

This [phrase] by your glory is not to be interpreted as if it says: for your glory I am dying, or your glory makes me [page 157] die daily, as when it is said: someone became learned by his teaching, that is, it was done by his teaching, for it can be shown perfectly that the Greek word excludes it, for the Greek word from which this is translated can be understood in no way other than swearing an oath.7 Whereas in our manner of speaking such a phrase can be variously understood, nevertheless in this place it cannot be understood otherwise, as we have said, than as an oath. [cf. Augustine, De sermone Domini in Monte I, c. 17.51, CCSL 35, p. 56-58]

Nunc autem, quia non potest Paulus defendi, non jurasse, subtilius inspicienda est sententia Salvatoris, quam pleno Paulus noverat, qua intentione prohibuit Dominus jurare, ne Paulus, sicut diximus, contra praecepta magistri videatur jurasse.

Since Paul cannot be defended from having sworn an oath, the saying of the Savior – which Paul obviously knew – must be examined more closely [to know] for what purpose the Lord prohibited swearing oaths, lest Paul be seen to have sworn oaths against the commandments of the Master.

Dominus enim, cum dicit, non jurare omnino [Mt 5:37], non dicit, ut omnino non juretur, sed dicit, ut jusjurandum pro bono omnino non esset appetendum.

For the Lord, when he says, Do not swear oaths at all [Mt 5:37], does not say it so that oaths not be sworn at all, but he says it because an oath must not at all be sought for a good thing.

Sunt enim nonnullae res, quae per se aut pro se non sunt bonae, sed propter alias res adjacentes aut accidentes sibi accipiuntur pro bonis, ut v. gr. si suades alicui necessaria aut utilia, et ille tuis dictis suam non accomodat fidem, tu autem pro salute illius, ut ille credat, juras illi, tunc uteris ibi re non bona bene.

For there are some things which by themselves or for themselves are not good, but because of circumstances or events are accepted as good things. For example, if you recommend necessary or useful things to someone, and he does not have confidence in your words, you might swear an oath to him, for his well-being, so that he might believe you. In such a case you are using something that is not good well.

Unde Dominus, cum dicit, non jurare per coelum et terram, quia ita voluit intelligi non jurare omnino, sicut diximus, ideo pervenit usque in illum locum, ubi subjuuxit dicens: quod autem his abundantius est, a malo est [Mt 3:37], i. e. a malo infirmitatis illius, qui non credit; ipsa enim infirmitas illius sive iucredulitas nullum est, a quo malo quotidie rogamus Dominum in oratione ut liberari mereamur, i. e. ut non minus creduli inveniamur, quam opportet; quamvis caeteri minus intelligentes hoc, quod dicitur a malo, ita velint intelligere, i. e. a diabolo, quia scriptum est: Diabolus mendax est et pater ejus [cf Io 8:44], quod captioni patet magis quam rationi, quia si ita intelligatur, et Paulus et caeteri Sancti, qui inveniuntur jurasse, contra praeceptum Domini videntur jurasse.

Therefore, when the Lord says not to swear by heaven or earth, because he wanted it to mean do not swear oaths at all, as we have said, he went so far in that instance as to add what is more than these [“yes” or “no”] is from evil, [Mt 5:37] that is, from the evil of the weakness of the one who does not believe. This weakness or disbelief is not the evil that we ask the Lord daily in the prayer that we be worthy to be liberated from. It is, rather, that we not be found less believing than we ought to be. Other, less intelligent, people want to interpret the saying from evil to mean from the devil [“Evil One”], because it is written, The devil is a liar and the father of lies. [cf. Io 8:44] [Such an interpretation] owes more to sophistry than to reason, because if it is understood in that way, then Paul and other saints who are found to have sworn oaths appear to have sworn oaths against the commandment of the Lord.

Hic etiam subtilius investigandum est, cur dixit a malo, et non dixit ‘malum’? Si enim ‘malum’ dixisset, dubium fuisset, utrum illi esset malum, qui loquitur, an illi, cui suadetur. Sed quia hoc malum non attinere voluit Dominus loquanti, sed non credenti, ideo dixit a [page 158] malo, quia non est malum illi, qni suadet, si juraverit pro salute illius, sed ille, cui suadetur, quia a malo infirmitatis, i. e. incredulitatis illius, qui credere non vult, descendit.

This should be investigated more carefully, for why did he say from evil and not ‘evil’? If he had said ‘evil’, it would have been uncertain whether evil would be [applicable] to the one who speaks, or to the one who is persuaded. But because the Lord did not want this evil to pertain to the one who speaks, but rather to one who does not believe, therefore he said from [page 158] evil, for it is not evil for the one who persuades if he swears oaths for the good of the other. But it pertains to the one who is persuaded, from the evil of his weakness, that his, from his failure to believe.

Sequitur: neque per coelum, quin thronus Dei est, neque per terram, quia scabellum pedum ejus est [Mt 5:34], et reliq.

He continues: neither by heaven, which is the throne of God, nor by earth, which is his footstool, [Mt 5:34] and the rest.

Pro duobus enim modis Dominus prohibuit jurare per elementa; uno enim modo, ne veneratio Creatoris transferatur in venerationem creaturarum, sicut superius diximus, quia homo rem, per quam jurat, aut veneratur aut colit aut timet.

The Lord forbade swearing by the elements in two ways: in one way, lest the veneration of the Creator be transferred to veneration of created things, as we said above, for the thing by which a man swears an oath he also venerates, honors, and fears.

Quem errorem Paulus apostolus non solum in gentibus reprehendit, quae paene ab ipsa creatione mundi per culturam idolorum a Deo recesserunt, verum etiam in Judaeis, qui saepius a Deo recedentes leguntur, dicens: Coluerunt et servierunt creaturae potius, quam creatori [Rm 1:25]. Altero vero modo, quia Judaei timentes jurare per Dominum, sicut illis concessum fuerat, ne juramento tenerentur, sicut dictum erat illis: Reddes autem Domino juramenta tua [Mt 5:33], callide jurabant per elementa, et ex hoc decipiebant illos, quibus jurabant, quia se aestimabant non teneri a juramento, si per elementa jurarent, et illos,12 quibus jurabant, talibus juramentis credere putabant, facientes contra illud, quod Psalmista dicit: Nec juravit in dolo proximo suo [cf. Ps 14:3], qui hujuscemodi jurat,13 i. e. ut ille, qui jurat, non pro juramento teneat, ipse autem, cui juratur, pro juramento accipiat.

The other way [in which the Lord forbade swearing by the elements] is because the Jews were afraid to swear by the Lord, as had been allowed them, lest they be held to their oath, as had been said to them: Render your oaths unto the Lord. [Mt 5:33] They cleverly swore by the elements, and so deceived those to whom they swore oaths, because they considered themselves not to be bound by the oath if they swore by the elements. And they supposed that those to whom they swore would suppose they could trust such oaths, acting against what the Psalmist says: Nor does he swear in deceit to his neighbor. [cf. Ps. 14:3] One who swears oaths in such a way [does it so that] he who swears not be held to his oath, even though the one to whom it is sworn accepts it as an oath.

Quam vero calliditatem etiam Dominus in alio loco denudat dicens: Qui ergo jurat in altari, jurat in eo et in omnibus, quae super illud sunt; et qui juraverit in templo, jurat in illo et in eo, qui habitat in ipso. Et qui jurat in coelo, jurat in throno Dei et in eo, qui sedet super eum [Mt 23:20-22].

The Lord exposes such trickery in another place, saying: Whoever swears by the altar, swears by it and by everything that is upon it; and whoever swears by the Temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven, swears by the Throne of God and by him who sits upon it. [Mt 23:20-22]

Quomodo potest immunis esse a juramento, qui per coelum jurat, cum coelum thronus Dei est? Vel quomodo similiter potest non teneri a juramento, qui per terram aut per Hierosolymam aut per caput jurat, cum terra scabellum pedum Dei est, et Hierosolyma praefigurationem illius coelestis [page 159] Jerusalem, i. e. corporis Christi tenet, et caput figuram Christi tenet, sicut Apostolus dicit: Caput viri Christus est [1 Cor 1:11].

How can someone who swears by heaven be free of an oath, when heaven is the throne of God? Similarly, how can he not be bound by an oath who swears by the earth or by Jerusalem or by his head, when the earth is God’s footstool, and Jerusalem represents a prefiguring of the heavenly [page 159] Jerusalem, that is, of the Body of Christ, and the head represents a figure of Christ, as the Apostle says: The head of a man is Christ? [1 Cor 11:3]

Et hoc animadvertendum est, ut Hieronymus dicit, quin jusjurandum hos habet comites: veritatem, judicium atque justitiam. Si ista defuerint, nequaquam erit juramentum, sed perjurium. [Jerome, Commentarii in Jeremiam 4:2]

And it must be observed, as Jerome says, that an oath has these companions: truth, judgment, and justice. If these are absent, it will not be an oath at all, but rather a false oath. [Jerome, Commentarii in Jeremiam 4:2]

Item qui jurat per coelum, jurat in eo et in illo, qui coelum creavit, et qui jurat per terram, jurat in illa et in eo, qui creator ejus est, et qui jurat per Hierosolymam, jurat in illa et in eo, cujus civitas est. Dicit enim: neque per Hierosolymam, quid civitas est magni Regis [Mt 5:35].

Also, he who swears by heaven, swears by it and by the one who created heaven, and he who swears by earth, swears by it and by him who is its Creator, and he who swears by Jerusalem swears by it and by him whose city it is. Indeed, he says: nor by Jerusalem, which is the great King’s city. [Mt 5:35]

Melius enim fuerat dicere magni regis, quam ‘mea’, quamqnam et ipse magnus rex sit, quia suo tempore manifestanda erat suae potentia divinitatis. Neque per caput tuum juraveris, nihil enim nobis propius attinet quam caput, sed non est nostrum, quia in subsequentibus dicit: neque per caput tuum juraveris, quia non potes unum capillum album facere aut nigrum [Mt 5:36].

Although he is himself the great King, it was better to say the great King’s rather than ‘my,’ because at that time the power of his divinity was yet to be shown. Nor should you swear by your head, since nothing is closer to us than the head, [Mt 5:36] and yet it is not our own, as he subsequently says: nor ought you to swear by your head, since you cannot make a single hair white or black. [Mt 5:36]

Et si unum capillum non possumus facere album aut nigrum, restat, ut illius sit, qui hoc facere potest, i. e. capillum nigrum aut album. Et si jam caput non est nostrum, quare Dominus tuum dicit, i. e. neque per caput tuum juraveris?

And if we cannot make even a single hair white or black, then [the head] must belong to him, the one who can do this, that is, make a hair black or white. And if even the head is not ours, why does the Lord say, nor ought you to swear by your head?

More enim nostro Dominus locutus est, cum dicit per caput tuum, i. e. per caput, quod tu tuum putas. Idcirco Dominus a magno elemento coepit dicens: neque per coelom et reliqua, et pervenit usque ad minimum, i. e. capillum album aut nigrum, quia ostendere voluit, nil creaturarum nobis attinere et nil creaturarum sua gubernatione non subsistere; et si nil creaturarum nobis attinet, et nil creaturarum sine sua gubernatione potest subsistere, superest, ut omnis creatura sua sit, et nos per nullum creaturam velit jurare.

The Lord spoke according to our custom when he said ‘by your head’, that is, by the head, which you suppose is yours. Therefore the Lord began with a great element, saying: nor by heaven and the rest, and continued down to the least, that is, a white or black hair, for he wanted to show that nothing created depends on us, and nothing created exists without his control. If nothing created depends on us, and nothing created can exist without his control, then every created thing must be his, and he does not want us to swear oaths by any created thing.

Nunc autem propter minus intelligentes necesse est, ut investigemus, quid sit, quod Dominus dicit: neque per coelum, quia thronus Dei est, neque per terram, quia scabellum pedum ejus est [Mt 5:35], ne Deum membra, sicut homines, habere credant.

For the sake of the less intelligent it is now necessary that we investigate what it means when the Lord says: neither by heaven, because it is the throne of God, nor by earth, because it is his footstool, [Mt 5:35] lest they believe God to have limbs like men.

Quid est, quod hic Dominus dicit: neque per coelum, quia thronus Dei est, neque per terram, quia scabellum pedum ejus est? et per prophetam clamat: Coelum [page 160] mihi sedes est, terra autem scabellum pedum meorum? [Act 7:49]

So what is it that the Lord is saying here: neither by heaven, because it is the throne of God, nor by earth, because it is his footstool? And through the Prophet is crying out: Heaven [page 160] is my throne, and earth is the stool for my feet? [Act 7:49]

Numquid Deus membra veluti homo habet? Homo enim in alio loco sedet, in alio loco pedes ponit. Numquid et Deus, sicuti homo, alibi, i. e. in coelo sedet, et in terra pedes ponit? Nequaquam, sed more nostro loquitur; nos enim, cum sedemus, in eminentiore ac praecellentiore loco sedemus.

Can it be that God has limbs like a man? For a man sits in one place, and puts his feet in another place. Can it be that God, like a man, can be somewhere else, that is, sit in heaven but put his feet on earth? Not at all! But he is speaking according to our custom. For when we sit, we sit in a higher or more prominent place.

In corpore enim mundi quatuor sunt principalia elementa, et his elementis eminentius et excellentius est coelum, minus est terra. Et tunc, cum dicit: Coelum mihi sedes est, quasi vis divina praesentior sit eminentiori et praestantiori elemento, i. e. coelo, terram vero minus elementum in infimis atque in extremis ordinet et regat atque gubernet.

There are four principal elements in the composition of the world, and the most eminent and excellent of these elements is heaven [air], and the least is earth. And so when he says: Heaven is my throne, it is as though the divine power favors the more eminent and worthy element, that is heaven, while he orders and rules and governs the earth, the lesser element, to its lowest and farthest bounds.

Spiritaliter autem coeli nomine sanctae animae intelliguntur, et terrae peccatrices; et quia per coelum animae justorum intelliguntur, manifestat Salomon, qui dicit: Anima justi sedes est sapientiae [Wisd 7:27]. Et Paulus dicit: Christus Dei virtus et Dei sapientia est [1 Cor. 1:24]. Et si anima justi Dei sedes est et sapientia Dei est, bene animae justorum Dei sedes dicuntur; et ecce, probasti, animas sanctorum Dei sedem esse.

On the spiritual level, the name ‘heaven’ means holy souls, and ‘earth’ means sinful one. Solomon explains that ‘heaven’ means the souls of the just when he says: The soul of the just one is the throne of wisdom. [Sap 7:27] And Paul says: Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. [1 Cor 1:24] And if the soul of the just one is the throne of God, and wisdom is of God, then aptly are the souls of the just said to be the throne of God. Look: you have proven that the souls of the saints are the throne of God.

Nunc autem videndum est, qua ratione ipsae animae sedes dicuntur, et noc habitatio. Per sessionem enim coeli judiciaria potestas intelligitur, (et Apostolus dicit: Spiritalis omnia dijudicat [1 Cor 2:15]), quae sanctis, meritis suis exigentibus, data est. Per terram vero peccatrices animae intelliguntur, quia homo, postquam peccavit, audivit: Terra es et in terram ibis [cf Gn 3:19]. Et si animae peccatrices intelliguntur per terram, et per scabellum quare?14 Ideo enim nomine scabelli animae peccatrices intelliguntur, quia homo nolens stare in lege, factus est sub lege, quasi scabellum sub pedibus constitutus est, et in inferiore loco ponimus pedes.

Now it must be seen why souls are said to be a ‘throne’ rather than a ‘dwelling.’ The ‘sitting of heaven’ means judicial power (the Apostle says: The spiritual man judges all things [1 Cor 2:15]), which is given to the saints, who examine [things] by their merit. ‘Earth’ means sinful souls because after he had sinned, the man heard: You are earth and unto earth you shall go. [cf. Gn 3:19] And if ‘earth’ means sinful souls, what then is ‘footstool’? ‘Footstool’ means sinful souls as well, because man, not willing to remain within the law, was placed under the law, and was made like a footstool under feet, and we place our feet in a lower place.

Quid laboriosius et operosius cogitari potest, quam membra abscidere, i. e. oculum vel manum, per quam intelliguntur carissimi amici, [cf. Mt 18:8-9] quam malas consuetudines expellere, quam diversas incommoditates uxoris, quae excogitari aut dici et quidquid accidere possunt except15 causa fornicationis, [page 161] olerare, vel si non habeat, non ducat16 eam, quae soluta est a viro, pulchram, sanam, divitem foecundamque. Si hoc facere non licet, multo minus licere sibi arbitretur, ad ullnm alium illicitum concubitum accedere. [cf. Augustine, De sermone Domini in Monte I, c. 18.54] Et qui labor hoc sit, nullus agnoscit, nisi qui illum expertus est.

Can one think of anything more laborious and painstaking than to cut off limbs (for example an eye or a hand, [cf. Mt 18:8-9] which mean a dear friend); to get rid of bad habits; to have to put up with the various misfortunes and events that can be imagined or alleged of a wife (apart from a case of fornication [cf. Mt 5:32]). [page 161] And if he does not have [a wife], let him not take someone divorced from a man, [even if she] is beautiful, healthy, rich and fertile. If it is not lawful to do this, much less is one to consider it lawful to give himself over to any other unlawful sexual act. [cf. Augustine, De sermone Domini in Monte I, c. 18.54] No one knows what a labor this is except someone who has experienced it.

V. gr. ut si habeat quis carissimum amicum consilium sibi prabentem in divinis rebus, qui intelligitur per oculum, et postea sibi scandalum praebuerit in via Dei, aut certe alterum amicum, qui sibi in divinis rebus adjutorium praebeat, qui intelligitur per manum, et postea cum scandalizaverit et audierit Dominum dicentem: Si scandalizaverit te oculus vel manus tua, projice illam abs te; bonum est tibi, debilem intrare ad vitam, quam tota membra habentem mitti in gehennam ignis [cf. Mt 18:8-9], et voluerit abjicere a se, nullus cognoscit, qui labor sit, nisi ille, qui hoc jam operatus est.

For example, someone has a dear friend who provides him advice in divine things (signified by ‘eye’), but then later places a stumbling block for him in the way of God. Or perhaps [he has] another friend, who offers help in divine things (signified by ‘hand’) and later causes scandal, and he hears the Lord saying: if your eye or your hand is a stumbling block for you, cast it away from you; for it is better for you to enter life crippled than to have all of your limbs and be cast into the gehenna of fire. [cf. Mt 18:8-9] So he wants to cast him away from himself, and no one knows what a labor that is, except him, who has now done it.

Et iterum, si habet quis malas consuetudines jurandi et audierit Dominum dicentem: non jurare omnino neque, per coelum, neque per terram [Mt 5:34] etc., voluerit17 has consuetudines a se abjicere, qui labor sit, nullus cognoscit, nisi ille, qui jam eas a se expulit.

And again, if someone has bad habits of swearing oaths and hears the Lord saying: do not swear oaths at all, neither by heaven nor by earth. [Mt 5:34] etc., he will want to cast off these habits from himself. And what a labor that is, no one knows, except him, who has now driven these things out from himself.

Et iterum si habet aliquis uxorem morbis confectam, i. e. caecam, sterilem, deformem, debilem, leprosam, surdam, claudam et quidquid excepto causa fornicationis accidere illi potest, audiens Dominum dicentem: Si quis dimiserit uxorem suam excepto causa fornicationis, facit eam moechari, i. e. adulterari, et qui dimissam duxerit, moechatur [Mt 5:32], non audit18 illam dimittere, qui labor sit hoc tolerare, nullus cognoscit, nisi ille, qui jam tale sustinuit.

And again, if someone has a wife consumed with diseases--blind, sterile, deformed, crippled, leprous, deaf, lame and whatever else can befall her—and hears the Lord saying: If someone divorces his wife except for reason of fornication, he makes her commit adultery, and whoever takes a divorced woman commits adultery, [Mt 5:32] he does not dare to dismiss her for any reason besides fornication. And what a labor it is to bear this, no one knows, except him who now endures such a thing.

Haec omnia,19 i. e. ad membra praecidenda et consuetudines malas expellendas et incommoditates uxoris tolerandas, magna fortitudo illi necessaria est, et nullus potest ad hanc Christi militiam accedere, nisi ille, qui esurierit et sitierit justitiam, quia sicut ille, qui esurit, nil cogitat nisi cibum, vel ille, qui sitit, nil amat nisi potum, ita et ille, qui esurit et sitit justitiam, [page 162] nil illi utilius est, quam sola justitia, ut ea, quae amatores saeculi impossibilia dicunt, illi possibilia Domino adjuvante fiant. Et implebitur in illo hoc, quod Dominus dicit: Beati, qui esuriunt et sitiunt justitiam, quia ipsi saturabuntur [Mt 5:6].

For all these things – cutting off limbs and casting out bad habits and bearing a wife’s misfortunes – great strength is necessary. No one can join this army of Christ except the one who hungers and thirsts for justice, for just as the one who is hungry thinks of nothing but food, or the one who thirsts loves nothing except drink, so it is also for the one who hungers and thirsts for justice: [page 162] nothing is more useful to him than simply justice, so that those things which the lovers of the world say are impossible become possible for him with the Lord’s help. And so will be fulfilled in him what the Lord says: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. [Mt 5:6]

Ecce jam ingressus es in hanc arduam viam et invenisti, circumstare tibi undique tribulationes et adeo fortissimas, ut desperes, te hoc, quod coepisti, non posse perficere; quid tibi est faciendum, nisi ad consilium fugere, ad illud videlicet, de quo propheta dicit: Spiritus consilii [Isa 11:2] i. e, patienter toleres mala proximorum et eis, quantum potes, opituleris, qui tuae divinitus desideras tibimet subvenire.20

See, now that you are embarked upon this difficult way and have encountered trials, even strong ones, surrounding you on all sides, to the point that you despair of finishing what you have begun, what is there for you to do except flee for counsel to the one of whom the Prophet clearly speaks: The Spirit of counsel, [Isa 11:2] so that you patiently bear the evil deeds of your neighbors and, as much as you can, help those whom you desire to assist by divine inspiration.

Sequitur: 28Veritatem ex corde et ore proferre.

And then: 28Speak truth with heart and tongue.

Sunt enim multi, qui veritatem loquuntur in ore et non in corde. Et sunt multi, qui loquuntur in corde veritatem et non in ore. Illi autem, qui in ore loquuntur et non in corde, sunt hypocritae; illi autem, qui loquuntur veritatem in corde et non in ore, meliores sunt, quam illi, qui in ore et non in corde loquuntur veritatem. S. vero Benedictus utrumque vult, i. e. et in ore et in corde.

There are many who speak the truth with their tongue and not in their heart. And there are many who speak truth in their heart and not with their tongue. Those who speak with their tongue but not in their heart are hypocrites; those who speak truth in their heart and not with their tongue are better than those who speak truth with their tongue but not in their heart. St. Benedict wants them both, [to speak with] tongue and heart.

Sequitur: 29Malum pro malo non reddere.

And then: 29Do not return evil for evil.

In hoc enim loco B. Benedictus secundum sensum Origenis dicit; ait enim Origenes: Pejor est ille, qui vicem reddit, quam illc, qui malum in primis facit [?].

In this place Blessed Benedict speaks according to Origen’s meaning, for Origen said: Worse is the one who returns the same than he who did evil in the first place.

De hoc, quod dicit: Malum pro malo non reddere, Dominus in Evangelio dicit: Audistis, quia dictum est antiquis: Oculum pro oculo, dentem pro dente. Ego autem dico vobis, non resistere malo [Mt 5:38-39].

About this, which says: Do not return evil for evil, the Lord in the Gospel says: You have heard that it was said to your ancestors: An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, do not resist evil. [Mt 5:38-39]

Minor est justitia scribarum et pharisaeorum, modum vindictae non excedere, et major justitia illorum, qui intraturi sunt in regnum coelorum, nil reddere.

The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, which was not to exceed the measure of vengeance, is less than the righteousness of those who will enter the kingdom of heaven, which is not to return anything at all.

His verbis ostenditur aequitas legis et compressio furoris volentium se vindicare, sive sine ratione, sive cum ratione. Aequitas legis ostenditur, quantum ad nos attinet, i. e. quantum ad humanam aestimationem pertinet. Humana aestimatio est, ut laesus nil plus laedat, quam laesus est.

By these words are shown the fairness of the law and restraining of the fury of those wanting to avenge themselves, whether with or without cause. The fairness of the law is shown in how much it applies to us, that is, how much it speaks to a human way of reckoning. The human reckoning is that the one who is hurt should not hurt more than he has been hurt.

Compressio furoris ostenditur, quia vix invenitur, qui tantum cupiat reddere, quantum [page 163] aesus est.

Restraint of fury is shown, because there can hardly be found someone who desires to return as much as [page 163] he has been hurt.

V. gr. ut pro uno pugno reddat unum et pro una alapa unam et pro uno verbo convitii reddat unum et ejusdem quantitatis. Et nisi comprimeretur ab hoc freno legali ille, qui sine ratione vult se vindicare tractus impetu furoris sui, tantum repercuteret, quantum valeret. Similiter et ille, qui cum ratione vult se vindicare post laesionem sibi allatam, nisi constringeretur ab hac lege, accepta occasione ulciscendi colligendo rationem diceret, quia dignus est ille, qui prius laesit, ut amplius laedatur.

For example, that he return one blow for another, and one slap for another, and one word of reproach for another of the same degree. And unless restrained by that rein of the law, he who without cause is dragged by the urging of his fury to avenge himself strikes as much as he can. Similarly, he who with cause wants to avenge himself after being hurt, unless he is constrained by that law, takes the opportunity for vengeance and finds cause, saying that it is proper that the one who struck first be struck more.

Inter istum, qui legem observando modum non excedit et illum, qui evangelium observando nil reddit, magna distantia est; in isto enim inchoatio pacis est, qui modum vindictae non excedit, in illo est consummatio pacis, qui evangelium observando nil reddit. Judaeis non poterat dari talis lex, in qua esset consuminatio pacis, sed inchoatio, quia carnales erant; et idcirco illis data est lex carnalis, ut qui amore coelestis patriae vel timore gehennae non poterant corrigi, saltem corrigerentur lege carnali.

Between the one who observes the law and does not exceed due measure, and the one who observes the Gospel and returns nothing at all, there is a vast distance. In the former person, who does not exceed the measure of vengeance, there is the beginning of peace. In the latter, the one who observes the Gospel and returns nothing, there is the fullness of peace. Such a law, in which there is the fullness of peace, could not be given to the Jews, but only its beginning, for they were fleshly-minded. Therefore the fleshly law was given to them, so that those who could not be corrected by love of the heavenly homeland or fear of Hell could at least be corrected by the fleshly law.

Iste autem, qui modum vindictae non excedit, a magno malo et a magna iniquitate recessit, i. e. recessit ab illo, qui prius laedit, et ab illo, qui plus, quam laesus est, reddit.

One who does not surpass the bounds of vengeance avoids great evil or iniquity. That is, he avoids being either someone who is the first to cause hurt or someone who returns more than he was hurt.N

Animadvertere debemus, quia Dominus de duabus personis loquitur, de legali scilicet et de evangelica, in quibus duo sunt gradus, juxta quos quatuor consistunt, duo scilicet, qui longe recedunt a lege, duo vero, qui appropiuquant evangelicae gratiae.

We should note that the Lord speaks of two persons, namely one under the law and one under the Gospel. In each there are two levels, so that there are actually four: two which are very far from the law, and two that come close to the grace of the Gospel.

Unus est enim in illo, qui recedit a lege, ut est, qui modum vindictae excedit, alter vero est in illo, qui prius laedit.

One is found in someone so far from the law as to surpass the bounds of vengeance. Another is found in someone who is the first to cause hurt.

Item prinius est, qui appropinquat evangelicae gratiae in illo, qui, cum audit legem dicentem sibi, oculum pro oculo reddere, et hoc ipsum interdictum sibi audit in evangelio, et tunc laesus non vult laedere: verumtamen non potest coercere animum suum, ut non laedat, minus tamen laedit, quam accepit. Iste jam ad comparationem illius, qui modum non excedit, bonus est.

The first one that comes close to the grace of the Gospel is found in someone who when he hears the law spoken to him to return ‘an eye for an eye,’ and then this same thing forbidden him in the Gospel, does not want to cause hurt even when he has been hurt. Even though he cannot force his soul not to cause hurt, it causes less hurt than it received. He is good in comparison to the one who does not surpass the bounds of vengeance.

Alter vero gradus est in illo, qui laesus non laedit, et tamen ita consistit, ut, si iterum laedatur, laedat. Iste jam melior est, qui laesus non laedit illo, qui minus laedit. Ille vero in tertio gradu constitutus [page 164] est, qui laesus non solum non laedit, sed etiam paratus est, ut amplius laedatur.

Another degree is found in someone who has been hurt but does not cause hurt, and even if hurt again, does not cause hurt. He who having been hurt does not cause hurt is better than the one who causes less hurt. But the one who having been hurt not only does not cause hurt, but is ready to be hurt even more, is truly established in the third8 degree. [page 164]

Et sicut iste optimus est, qui laesus non solum non laedit, sed etiam paratus est, ut amplius laedatur, ita e contrario pessimus est ille, qui, priusquam laedatur, laedit, quia ille, qui dixit: Oculum pro oculo [Mt 5:38], ille etiam praecepit: injuriam proximo tuo ne facias. [cf. Act 7:27]

And so that one is the best: someone who has been hurt and not only does not cause hurt, but is ready to be hurt even more. In contrast, he is worse who, having earlier been hurt then causes hurt, because the one who says: An eye for an eye, [Mt 5:38] also commanded: do no wrong to your neighbor. [cf. Act 7:27]

Nunc autem videndum est, qua ratione Dominus dixerit: non resistere malo [Mt 5:39], et non dixerit: reddere21 malum pro malo, quamquam et hoc bonum sit?

Now we must see why the Lord said: do not resist evil, [Mt 5:39], and did not say: do not return evil for evil, and why that was good too.

Non resistere enim malo est, non solum laesus nil reddere, sed etiam so praeparare ad amplius se laedendum. Unde Dominus volens, hoc ad praeparationem mentis attinere, quam soli sancti habent, et non ad ostentationem operis, ideo subjunxit quasi exponens, quid sit, non resistere malo: Si quis te percusserit in dexteram maxillam, praebe ei et alteram. [Mt 5:39]

Not to resist evil is not only not to return anything, but even to prepare oneself to be hurt more. Because the Lord means to apply this to the preparation of mind that only the saints have, rather than demonstrating something to be done, he then adds, as if explaining what it means not to resist evil: If someone strikes you on the right cheek, offer him the other. [Mt 5:39]

Hanc vero vim evangelii in illo utcunque cognoscimus, qui percussus a dilectissimo filio suo parvulo, non solum nil reddit, sed etiam paratus est, ut amplius percutiatur. Similiter et in illo utcunque hanc vim evangelii cognoscimus, qui habens carissimum amicum infirmitate detentum forte phreneticum, qui percussus ab illo, si viderit, illi expedire, praeparat se ad amplius percutiendum.

This strength from the Gospel we see in someone who, struck by his beloved little son, not only returns nothing, but is even ready to be struck more. Similarly, we see this strength from the Gospel when someone is struck by a dear friend greatly afflicted with madness, and then, if he sees that it would help him, prepares himself to be struck again.

Hi autem idcirco haec sustinent, quia unus illorum exspectat finem aetatis, alter vero similiter finem infirmitatis, quo desistant haec agere: et quod ab illis exigit amor carnalis, hoc a te debet exigere amor spiritalis, et ab illis carnalibus convinceris, te mentiri, si dixeris, hoc praeceptum Domini impossibile esse, quia sicut illi pro carnali amore sustinent improbitatem proximorum,22 — a te autem non solum ita, sed etiam plus debet exigere amor divinus.

They endure this because one of them waits for the end of a stage of life and the other waits for the end of an illness, when they will stop behaving like this. And what fleshly love requires from them, a spiritual love ought to require from you. You are overcome by fleshly things and deceive yourself if you say, ‘this commandment of the Lord is impossible,’ for just as they endure the misbehavior of their neighbors for the sake of fleshly love, so divine love should require from you not only the same, but even more.

Quid ergo aliud Dominus coelestis medicus debuit docere eos, qui ut se debent proximos diligere, nisi ut eorum, quos diligunt, improbitates deberent sustinere? Et sicut ex infirmitate corporis descendit illa improbitas, qua proximi percutiuntur, ita ex infirmitate animi descendit [page 165] iniprobitas, qua proximi laeduntur, quia sicut corpus habet suas infirmitates, ita et anima, quarum infirmitatum animae una est infirinitas cupiditas ulciscendi, quam Dominus non solum constringendo23 vult, ut non laedat, sed etiam ut parata sit ad amplius laedendum;24 ideo dixit, non resistere malo. [Mt 5:39]

For what else was the Lord, the heavenly physician, trying to teach those who should love their neighbors, other than that they should endure the misbehavior of those whom they love? And just as that misbehavior by which neighbors are struck stems from weakness of the body, [page 165] so the misbehavior by which neighbors are hurt stems from a weakness of the soul. As the body has its weaknesses, so too does the soul, and one of those weaknesses of soul is desire for vengeance. The Lord not only wants to restrain it lest one cause hurt, but even wants [the soul] prepared to be hurt even more. For that reason he said, do not resist evil. [Mt 5:39]

Et implebitur in illo, qui hoc praeceptum servaverit, quod Paulus dicit: Si esurierit inimicus tuus, ciba illum, si sitierit potum, da illi; hoc autem faciens carbones ignis congres super caput ejus [Rm 12:20]. Et illud Isaiae Prophetae dicentis: Habes carbones, sede super eos, ipsi erunt tibi in adjutorium [cf Isa 44:19]. Loquitur sermo propheticus ad Jerusalem, i. e. Ecclesiam, sive ad unamquamque animam fidelem: habes carbones, i. e. praecepta caritatis; et quia per carbones praecepta caritatis intelliguntur, sede super eos, i. e. observa illa praecepta, ipsi erunt tibi in adjutorium, hoc est dicere, quia si praecepta caritatis observaveris, ipsa caritas erit tibi in adjutorium ad convertendum inimicum tuum ad amorem ejusdem caritatis.

And it will be fulfilled in him who will keep this commandment that Paul says: If your enemy is hungry, give him food, if he is thirsty, give him drink; for doing this you heap burning coals on his head. [Rm 12:20] And that said by Isaiah the Prophet: You have coals, sit on them, for they will be of help to you. [cf Isa 44:19] The prophetic word is spoken to Jerusalem, that is, to the Church, or to every faithful soul: you have coals, that is, the commandments of charity; and because the commandments of charity are signified by ‘coals,’ sit on them, that is, keep the commandments, and they will be of help to you. That is to say, if you keep the commandments of charity, that same charity will be of help to you for converting your enemy to love of that same charity.

Sequitur: 30Injuriam non facere, sed et factam patienter sustinere.

And then: 30Do no injury, but even bear patiently those done to you.

Quod autem dicit: Injuriam non facere, attinet ad hoc, quod dicit: Quod tibi non vis fieri, alii ne feceris [Martial, Epigrammata 10, 47, 12]. De hoc autem, quod dicit: sed et factam patienter sustinere, debet respicere ille ad passiones Christi, ut melius possit injurias sustinere.

When he says: Do no injury, it pertains to where he says: What you do not want done to you, do not do to another [Martial, Epigrammata 10, 47, 12]. As for this, when he says: but even bear patiently those done to you, one should consider the sufferings of Christ, so as to be more able to