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[Ms P, fol. 126vPaulus Diaconus
Ps.-Basil: Ms K1, fol. 121v; Ms E1, fol. 142r; Ms E2, fol. 216v]

Ch. 43

Translated by: Brendan Cook

1Ad horam divini officii mox ut auditum fuerit signum, relictis omnibus, quaelibet fuerint in manibus, summa cum festinatione curratur.

1The instant the signal has been heard for an hour of the divine office, the monk will immediately set aside all that he has in hand, whatever it may be, and run with the utmost speed.

Rectum etiam in hoc loco ordinem tenuit S. Benedictus in eo, quod dixit, quibus horis reficiendum est, [Regula Benedicti, c. 41] et dixit de completorii ratione, [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 42] et subjunxit tde his, qui ad opus Dei vel ad mensam tarde occurrunt. Quasi quis interrogasset S. Benedictum dicens: ‘Ecce pater Benedicte, dixisti, quibus horis reficere debeamus, deinde dixisti, qualiter ad completorium agendum pervenire debeamus, et dixisti, quomodo linito completorio silentium tenere debeamus; dic etiam nunc, qualiter agendum est erga illos, qui tarde ad Signum divini officii occurrunt vel ad mensam’ - ille quasi respondens dicit: Ad horam divini officii mox ut auditum fuerit signum, relictis omnibus et reliq.

Here too, St. Benedict has maintained the correct order, in his statement on the hours for refreshment [Regula Benedicti, c. 41], and in his statement on the practice of evening prayers, [cf. c. 42] and adding now: ton those who hasten late to the work of God or to the table. It is as if someone had questioned St. Benedict saying: ‘Behold, father Benedict, you have told us the times for us to refresh ourselves, then you have told us how we should go to perform our evening prayers, and you have told us how we should keep silence when evening prayers are done; now tell us as well how we should treat those who hasten late after the signal of the divine office or to the table.’ He answers by way of response: The instant the signal has been heard for an hour of the divine office, the monk will immediately set aside all that he has in hand and so on.

Iste [page 458] enim locus ita intelligitur: Si infra claustram monasterii est frater, sicuti est scriptor ac sutor et ceteri, qui sine magna obedientia sunt, statim, ut audierint, debent currere. Quodsi non cucurrerint, per septem gradus ducendi sunt. Si autem fuerit frater, qui infirmis servit aut hospitibus aut in coquina aut in caeteris officiis, qui si in his obedientiis ita fuerit praeoccupatus, ut non possit statim dimittere, v. gr. si infirmum tenuerit in manibus, hi tales non debent constringi per hoc, quod dicit mox ut auditum fuerit signum, relictis omnibus et reliq.

So indeed [page 458] this passage is understood: if a monk is within the cloister of the monastery, such as the copyist and the shoemaker and the rest, who are not engaged in serious service, they ought to run the instant they have heard it. But if they have not run, they must be led through the seven steps. However in the case of a brother who has been serving with the sick or with a guest, or in the kitchen or in other tasks, and who is so occupied in performing them that he cannot set them aside at once – say if someone held a sick man in his arms – such men should not be constrained by the statement: The instant the signal has been heard, the monk will immediately set aside all and so on.

Illi vero, qui possunt relinquere, et non occurrerint ante gloriam primi psalmi, debent stare in ultimo loco aut seorsum usque ad satisfactionem. Illi autem, qui infirmis aut hospitibus serviendo aut in coquina, aut forte de longo veniunt, qui non per negligentiam cognoscuntur non occurrere ante gloriam primi psalmi, cum veniunt, statim debet innuere illis abbas, ut stent in ordine suo, et tum: debent stare in ordine suo absque satisfactione, quia sine culpa videntur ante Deum esse; Deus enim magis cor respicit, quam factum.

Of course if the monks are able to set their work aside and they have failed to arrive before the Gloria of the first psalm, they should stand in the last place or stand apart until they have provided satisfaction. However in the case of those who come from serving the sick or guests, or in the kitchen, or who perhaps have come from afar, men who are known to have arrived after the Gloria of the first psalm through no negligence on their part, the abbot should immediately nod to them on their arrival for them to stand in their regular place. And then they should stand in their regular place without providing satisfaction, since they appear blameless before God; for indeed God beholds their heart rather than their deed.

Illi autem, qui per negligentiam ante gloriam non veniunt primi psalmi, usque ter ad primum officium satisfacere debent, ad quod non venerunt legitime. Si autem quarta aut quinta vice hoc fecerint, debent etiam ad alia officia satisfacere; v. gr. si ad primam ante gloriam primi psalmi non venerunt, debent satisfacere ad primam et tertiam et sextam, prout abbas viderit illos esse negligentes, quia ista est lex illis, qui ad divinum officium tarde occurrunt.

However in the case of those who fail to arrive before the Gloria of the first psalm through negligence, they must provide satisfaction up to three times at the first office for failing to come lawfully. But if, however, they have failed to do this a fourth or fifth time, they should also provide satisfaction at the other offices – say if they have not arrived before the first Gloria of the first psalm, they must provide satisfaction at Prime, Terce, and Sext, as being found negligent by the abbot, for this is the law for those who hasten late to the divine office.

Verum debent admoneri hi, qui ita praeoccupati sunt, ut non possint occurrere, si corpore non possunt occurrere, occurrant mente. Hi autem possunt, occurrant mente et corpore; si autem non possunt occurrere corpore, occurrant mente, quia meliores sunt apud Deum isti, qui mente occurrunt et con corpore, quam illi, qui corpore occurrunt et con mente; quia illi, qui corpore tantum occurrunt et non mente, aut faciunt pro timore hominum aut pro amore vanae gloriae.

Of course those who are so occupied that they cannot hasten should be reminded that if they cannot hasten in body, they may still hasten in mind. However let those who are able hasten in mind and body. If, however, they cannot hasten in body, let them hasten in mind; for God prefers those who hasten in mind rather than body to those who hasten in body rather than mind; for those who hasten only in body rather than in mind act either from fear of men or from love of false glory.

Et hoc notandum est, quia ita intelligi debet hoc, quod dicit relictis omnibus, quaelibet fuerint in manibus, v. gr. Scriptor [page 459] non debet pro versu complendo stare aut certe pro litera perficienda; similiter et sutor, si acum in pannum vel subulam in calciamentum missam habuerit, non debet stare, ut permittatur acus vel subula pertranseat, sed statim ut sonum signi audierit, ita imperfecta debet dimittere, sicuti illa sonus signi invenerit.

And this must be considered, for so we must understand his statement set aside all that he has in hand – say if he is a scribe, [page 459] he must not stay to complete a verse, or certainly not to finish a letter. This also applies to the shoemaker: if he has set the needle in the cloth or the awl in the sole, he must not remain, though the needle be dropped or the awl pierce the sole. But the instant he has heard the sound of the signal, he must leave them just as unfinished as the sound of the signal found them.

Si autem foris est frater super famulos, si talis causa est, quam facit operari, veluti fodere aut aliqua opera, debet ille statim dimittere et occurrere; si autem est talis res, quam timet perdere, veluti est granum aut vinum, non debet statim dimittere, sed prius ita debet illa ordinare, ut exinde damnum non habeat, et post occurrere, quia iste, qua pro hoc vel pro infirmo aut hospite non occurrerit, si mente occurrerit, duo bona facere comprobatur, unum, quod rem fratrum sibi injunctam diligenter agit, et alterum, quod mente occurrit.

If, however, the brother is outside overseeing laborers, if he is making them perform some manner of outdoor work such as a ditch or another task, he should dismiss them at once and hasten away. But if, however, it is a project he fears to ruin, such as one involving grain or wine, he should not dismiss the workers at once, but first he must organize them, so that it will not lead to loss, and afterwards he must hasten away. For indeed the man who does not hasten, whether for the latter reason or for a sick man or a guest, is judged to have done two good deeds if he hastens in mind: the first is that he carefully performs the business of the brothers assigned to him, and the second is that he hastens in his mind.

Sequitur: 2cum gravitate tamen, ut non scurrilitas inveniat fomitem. 3Ergo nihil operi Dei praeponatur.

Next: 2yet with gravity and without supplying kindling to frivolity. 3Indeed nothing is to be preferred to the work of God.

Quod vero dicit ita tamen, ut scurrilitas non inveniat fomitem, est, ac si diceret aliis verbis: quia dixi currere, cum auditum fuerit signum, nunc dico, ita currat, et ex hoc non iuveniat jocus occasiones currendi. Fomes, i. e. nutrimentum vel hastula, unde prius ignis accenditur. Scurrilitas, i. e. jocus.

But of course his meaning when he says yet with gravity and without giving occasion for frivolity, is that, to use other words: ‘Indeed I have said run when the signal has been heard, now I say run in this way, and this will ensure the running will not provide occasion for mockery.’ Kindling, that is to say nourishment or a twig, from which a fire is first lighted. Frivolity, that is to say, mockery.

Sequitur: 4Quodsi quis ad nocturnas vigilias post Gloriam psalmi nonagesimi quarti, quem propter hoc omnino subtrahendo et morose volumus dici, non occurrerit, non stet in ordine suo in choro, 5sed ultimus omnium stet aut in loco, quem talibus negligentibus seorsum constituerit abbas, ut videatur ab ipso vel ab omnibus, usque dum completo opere Dei publica satisfactione poeniteat.

Next: 4But if at Vigils anyone arrives after the Gloria of Psalm Ninety-Four, which we wish, therefore, to be said quite deliberately and slowly, he is not to stand in his regular place in the choir; 5he must take the last place of all, or one set apart by the abbot for such careless ones, that he might be seen by him and by all, until they do penance by public satisfaction at the end of the work of God.

Hoc autem, quod dicit: non stet in ordine suo in choro, sed ultimus omnium stet aut in loco, quem talibus negligentibus constituerit abbas seorsum, ut videatur ab ipso vel ab omnibus et reliq. – i. e. si talis est frater, qui loco superiore stat, debet in ultimo stare; si autem ultimus est aut certe in medio et post, debet stare seorsum; sed tamen in nostro monasterio omnes seorsum stant. [page 460]

However this statement: he is not to stand in his regular place in the choir; he must take the last place of all, or one set apart by the abbot for such careless ones, that he might be seen by him and by all and so on, is to say that if he is the sort of brother who stands in a higher place, he must stand in the last place of all; if however he is last, or certainly in the middle and behind, he should stand apart; but nonetheless, everyone in our monastery stands apart. [page 460]

Sequitur: 7Ideo autem eos in ultimo aut seorsum judicavimus stare debere, ut visi ab omnibus vel pro ipsa verecundia sua emendentur. 8Nam si foris Oratorium remaneant, erit forte talis, qui se aut recollocet aut dormiat, aut certe sedeat foris vel fabulis vacet, et datur occasio maligno, 9sed ingrediatur intro, ut nec totum perdat et de reliquo emendetur.

Next: 7We have decided, therefore, that they should stand either in last place or apart from the others, so that in being seen by all, they will be shamed into amending. 8Should they remain outside the oratory, there may be those who would return to bed and sleep, or actually settle down outside and engage in idle talk, thereby giving occasion to the Evil One. 9He should come inside, so that he may not lose everything and may amend in the future.

Notandum est enim, quia in eo, quod dixit aut seorsum aut ultimus stet, tribus modis intelligi potest S. Benedictus illud dixisse. Uno modo autem dixit: si in ultimo est ille frater, qui tarde venit, quia iste talis, si in ultimo stat, non verecundabitur, eo quod in suo loco stat, [et] ideo iste talis non in ultimo, sed seorsum stet. Ille alter, qui tarde venit, forte est secundus aut tertius aut quartus etc. – iste talis in ultimo stet, quia ex hoc potest verecundari, sicut ille superior in ultimo stando.

This indeed should be noted, for in his statement either in the last place or apart, St. Benedict may be understood to have spoken in three senses. Indeed according to one sense he has said: If the brother who comes late belongs in last place, being this sort of man, he will not be ashamed to stand last, for he is standing in his regular place, and for that reason such a man should stand not last but apart. Another man who comes late is perhaps second, third, or fourth, and so on; let such a man stand in last place, since this may cause him shame in being a superior person standing last.

Secundo modo forte ideo dixit aut in ultimo aut seorsum, i. e. si talis est frater, qui potest illum chorum adjuvare, stet in ultimo; si vero talis est, qui non potest adjuvare, stet seorsum, quia, quamvis in ultimo stet, tamen melius potest illum chorum adjuvare, quam, qui seorsum stat.

According to the second sense, perhaps he said either in last place or apart, for this reason: namely that if a man is the sort of brother who can assist the choir, let him stand in last place. Of course if he is the sort of man who cannot be of assistance, let him stand apart, since however far someone may stand behind, he can still assist the choir better than one who stands apart.

Tertio modo forte ideo dixit in ultimo aut seorsum, i. e. ille, qui majorem negligentiam fecit, stet seorsum, ille qui minorem, stet in ultimo. Tamen in Francia nullus horum stat in ultimo, sed omnes seorsum.

According to the third sense, perhaps he said in last place or apart for this reason: namely that the man whose negligence has been greater should stand apart, if it is lesser, he should stand in last place. Nonetheless, in France none of these men stands in last place, but all stand apart.

Hoc autem notandum est, quia debet ille circator, quando audierit signum, ire in ecclesiam, et cum oraverit, debet per claustram monasterii ire et, cum quem per negligentiam stare conspexerit, corrigere, quia si ita fuerit factum, tarde contingit, ut frater seorsum aut in ultimo loco stet. Similiter et in nocte cum cereo accenso debet ire per dormitorium et somnolentos vel pigros excitare.

However care should be taken here, for the circator ought to enter the church when he has heard the signal, and once he has prayed, he should pass through the monastery’s cloister, and on seeing someone standing carelessly, he should correct him, since if this practice is followed, the brother arrives late, so that he must stand aside or in last place.

Et hoc iterum notandum est, quia sicut intelligitur de fratribus, ita etiam de abbate intelligendum est; non enim debet propter illum opus Dei morari. Et hoc sciendum est, cum dicit: Si quis ad nocturnas vigilias post Gloriam XCIV psalmi occurrerit, intelligendum est, ac si diceret: si quis antequam Gloria psalmi XCIV dicta fuerit, non occurrerit, non stet in choro in ordine suo. Verumtamen [page 461] tamen debent in dormitorio ac cum lumine accenso decani, sicut diximus superius de circatoribus, et pigros et sonmolentos excitare.

Likewise the circator should also go through the dormitory at night with his candle lit to rouse the sleepy or lazy. And again care should be taken here, that just as this is understood for the brothers, so it should also be understood for the abbot; indeed the work of God should not be delayed for his sake. And this must be known, that when he says if at Vigils anyone arrives after the Gloria of Psalm Ninety-Four, he must be understood as if he had said: If anyone has not arrived before the Gloria of Psalm Ninety-Four has been spoken, he is not to stand in his regular place in the choir. Of course [page 461] the deans should still rouse both the lazy and sleepy, as we said earlier of the circators, with kindled lights in the dormitory.

Sequitur: 10Diurnis autem horis qui ad opus Dei post versum et Gloriam primi psalmi, qui post versum dicitur, occurrerit, lege, qua supra diximus, in ultimo stet, 11nec praesumat sociari choro psallentium usque ad satisfactionem, nisi furte abbas licentiam dederit permissione sua, 12ita tamen, ut satisfaciat reus ex hoc.

Next: 10During the daylight hours, the rule we have mentioned above applies to anyone who arrives after the opening verse, and the Gloria of the first psalm, which is spoken after it; he is to stand in last place. 11Until he has made satisfaction, he is not to presume to join the choir of those praying the psalms, unless perhaps the abbot pardons him and grants an exception. 12Even then, the one at fault is bound to satisfaction.

Quod vero dicit: Diurnis autem horis qui ad opus Dei post versum et Gloriam primi psalmi, qui post versum, dicitur, occurrerit, ad primam, tertiam, sixtam, nonani debent dicere: Deus in adjutorium meum intende, nomine ad adjuvandum nie festina, [Ps 69:2] et Gloriam, deinde hymnum, post hymnum psalmum, h. e. qui ante Gloriam istius psalmi, qui post hymnum dicitur, intelligitur, sicuti est ad tertiam: Ad, Dominum cum tribularer [Ps 119:1] et reliq. Ad vesperam: i. e. in primis Deus in adjutorium meum intende et reliq.; deinde psalmos, sicuti est in die dominico: Dixit Dominus Domino meo [Ps 109:1] etc. et tunc, qui ante Gloriam istius Psalmi Dixit Dominus Domino meo etc. non occurrerit, intelligitur de illius psalmi Gloria.

But as for his statement, During the daylight hours, the rule we have mentioned above applies to anyone who arrives after the opening verse, and the Gloria of the first psalm, which is spoken after it, at Prime, Terce, Sext, and None, the monks are supposed to say: O God, turn to assist me; O Lord, hasten to help me [Ps 69:2]; then the Gloria, and then the hymn, and after the hymn, the psalm. That it is to say the statement is understood to apply to the monk who has failed to arrive before the Gloria of the psalm which is spoken after the hymn. It is the same at Terce: I cried to the Lord when I was troubled [Ps 119:1], and so on. At Vespers, they should begin with O God, turn to assist me, and so on; then they should move on to the psalms, as on the Lord’s day, The Lord said to my lord [Ps 109:1], and so on. And so the one who has failed to hasten before the Gloria of the psalm The Lord said to my lord is known from the Gloria of this psalm.

Satisfactio autem duobus modis intelligitur; aut enim dixit, satisfactionem illam esse, qua stat in ultimo, aut certe dixit, satisfactionem illam esse, qua prostratus debet jacere, cum fratres genua flectunt.

Satisfaction is understood in two senses, however. Indeed he has either said that satisfaction consists in standing at the very end, or he has clearly said that satisfaction consists in being obliged to lie prostrate while the brothers bend their knees.

Quod autem dicit ita tamen, ut satisfaciat reus ex hoc, ita intelligitur: v. gr. si cantor est, et pro necessitate non dimittitur illic seorsum stare propter necessitatem, debet ire in choro innuente priore, sed tamen cum completur opus Dei, debet satisfacere, i. e. ire in illum locum et ibi satisfacere.

However his statement even then, the one at fault is bound to satisfaction, is understood in this sense: say for example he is a singer, and from need he is not dismissed to stand by himself on account of need. He should enter the choir with the prior’s permission, but when the work of God is fulfilled, he must still provide satisfaction, that is to say go into the constituted place and there provide satisfaction.

Sequitur: 13Ad mensam autem qui ante versum non occurrerit, ut simul omnes dicant versum et orent et sub uno omnes accedant ad mensam, 14qui per negligentiam suam aut vitium non occurrerit, usque ad secundam vicem pro hoc corripiatur.

Next: 13But, if anyone does not hasten to the table before the verse so that all may say the verse and pray and sit down at table together, 14and if this failure happens through the individual’s own negligence or fault, he should be reproved up to the second time.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia ad mensam melius est, ut ille, qui, quamvis non pro negligentia nec vitio, non potuit ante versum occurrere, eo quod, cum in [page 462] refectorium ibant fratres, mittitur pro hospite videndo aut pro alia aliqua re agenda in illa hora mittitur, [ut] postmodum cum ministris manducet, quam intret refectorium dicto versu; sedent forte omnes, et ille deberet sedere in medio, tunc surgunt omnes minores, et facit illis impedimentum. Hoc quod dicit qui per negligentiam aut vitium non occurrerit, - negligentia attinet ad incuriam, vitium vero pertinet ad studium.

And this must be known: for in the case of the individual who, through any reason other than negligence and fault, is unable to hasten to the table before the verse because, at the moment when [page 462] the brothers are going into the refectory, he is tasked with seeing to a guest, or tasked with performing some other business in that hour, it is better that he eat afterward with the laborers than that he enter the refectory after the verse has been spoken. All are seated by chance, and he would be obliged to sit in their midst; then all minors arise, and he hinders them. In the statement he who has not hastened through negligence and fault, negligence refers to carelessness, fault indeed to inclination.

Sequitur: 15Si denuo non emendaverit, non permittatur ad mensae communionis participationem, 16sed sequestratus a consortio omnium reficiat solus, sublata ei portione sua de vino usque ad satisfactionem.

Next: 15If he still does not amend, let him not be permitted to share the common table, 16but let him take his meals alone, separated from the company of all. His portion of wine should be taken away until there is satisfaction.

Quod vero dicit sequestratus a consortio omnium reficiat solus, sunt, qui intelligunt, ut post refectionem fratrum reficiat aut cum ministris aut solus; sed hic sensus non est sanus, sed quia, sicut de oratorio dicit, pro verecundia illlum separatum stare, ut emendetur, ergo pro emendatione ita intelligendum est, ut sedeat solus ad mensam aliam separatam ab aliis mensis, manducantibus aliis.

The truth is that when St. Benedict says but let him take his meals alone, separated from the company of all, there are those who understand this as meaning that after the refreshment of the brothers, he may refresh himself either with the laborers or alone. But this interpretation is unsound, and rather, just as he says concerning the oratory that the brother should stand apart out of shame for his amendment, amendment must therefore be understood as sitting alone at a different table separate from the other tables while the rest of the monks eat.

Cum separatus solus dicit, non est intelligendum, ut postquam alii manducaverint, ille manducet, sed quando alii manducant, ille separatus manducet et non bibat vinum; nam in Francia in meo monasterio in medio refectorio manducantibus fratribus manducare vidi talem fratrem negligentem.

When he says alone and separated it is not to be understood that after the rest have eaten, he may eat, but that while others eat, he must eat separately and must not drink wine. For in my monastery in France, I have seen such a careless brother eating the midst of the refectory while the rest of the brothers eat.

Quod autem dicit usque ad satisfactionem, ita intelligendum est, i. e. cum postquam manducaverint et voluerint jam fratres exire, debet ille abbati coram fratribus veniam petere. Si hoc fecerit ad sextam, jam ad vesperam non debet hoc iterum facere.

However when he says until there is satisfaction, it must be understood in this sense, that is after the brothers have eaten and wish to leave, this man must ask pardon from the abbot in the presence of the brothers. If he has done this at Sext, he is not obliged to do this again at Vespers.

Quod autem dicit nequidquam potus aut cibi percipere, intelligendum est, sicut de vino, ita et de aqua, quia non dicit specialiter: non debet quisquam ante horam aut aquam aut vinum bibere; potest, si necessitas fuerit; si autem necessitas fuerit laboris, debet ille prior dicere abbati: quia frater noster necesse habet bibere propter laborem, quem habet. Deinde debet illum abbas cum decano dirigere ad cellararium, ut det illi bibere.

However when he says take no drink or food, it must be understood to apply to water just as it does to wine, for he does not speak in specifics: No one should drink either water or wine before the hour. It is permitted if it is necessary. If it is necessary to his labor, however, his superior must say to the abbot: For our brother is in need of drink owing to the labor he is assigned. Then the abbot should direct him to the cellar with the dean, so that he may give him something to drink.

Et hoc sciendum est, quia non est regularis ratio aut lectori aut ceteris ministris abbatem [page 463] quasi sub benedictione aliquid panis aut potus vel pulmenti tribuere, eo quod consuetudo laicorum est, quia regula illis dicit suam justitiam accipere ante, h. e. mixtum; praeter si pro debilitate vel infirmitate dederit, bonum est, eo quod regula dicit: Dabatur singulis, prout cuique opus erat [Act 4:35] [Regula Benedicti, c. 45.20] et reliq. Nani pro lectione vel ministerio non debet, quia non est regularis actus, sicut jam supra diximus.

And it must be known that the abbot is not acting in accordance with the rule in giving either the lector or the others who labor [page 463] any bread, or drink, or fruit, as if with his blessing because this is the custom for layman; for the rule tells them to receive their due, that is to say wine mixed with water, beforehand. However, if it is given to relieve weakness or illness, it is good, according to the statement of the rule: to each one as he had need [Act 4:35] [Regula Benedicti, c. 45:20], and so on. For it is not owed in exchange for reading or service, since it is not an act according to the rule, as we have already said above.

Sequitur: 17Similiter autem patiatur, qui ad illum versum non fuerit praesens, qui post cibum dicitur; 18nec quisquam praesumat ante statutam horam aut postea quidquam cibi aut potus percipere. 19Sed et si cui offertur aliquid a priore et accipere renuerit, hora, qua desideraverit hoc quod prius recusavit aut aliud, nihil omnino accipiat usque ad emendationem congruam.

Next: 17Anyone not present at the verse said after meals is to be treated in the same manner. 18No one is to presume to take drink or food before or after the time appointed. 19Moreover, if anyone is offered something by a superior and refuses it, then, if later he wants what he refused or anything else, he should receive nothing at all until he has made appropriate amends.

Hoc enim notandum est, quia, ille versus, de quo dicit qui ad illum versum, qui post cibum dicitur, non fuerit praesens, similem patiatur excommunicationis vindictam, significat illum versum, qui in refectorio dicitur post cibum. Ille autem versus, qui in ecclesia dicitur, et ille Miserere mei Deus [Ps 50:3], non est regularis, eo quod illum non dicit regula dicere, sed consuetudo monachorum.

Indeed care should be taken here, for the verse which he mentions in saying anyone not present at the verse said after meals should suffer a similar punishment of excommunication refers to the verse which is said in the refectory after the meal. However the verse which is spoken in the church, and the Have mercy on me God [Ps 50:3], are not according to the rule in the sense that it is not the rule which decrees that they should be spoken, but the practice of the monks.

Hoc vero quod dicit sed et si cui offertur aliquid a priore, et accipere renuerit, ita intelligitur: i. e. si fratri fleuthomato aut etiam in refectorio, quando prandet aut coenat aut aliqua hora, cum necessarium debet accipere, vult dare cibum, h. e. aut ovum aut pulmentum, non tale, quale aliis aut nimis, et illi non placuerit, et ideo recusat illum ingeniose dicens: 'non necesse est mihi iste cibus,' quatenus ipse cibus detur alio fratri, ut postea illi melius detur, aut forte si in refectorio illum cibum expulerit nolens accipere, non debet illi aliud dare de simili genere pulmenti, nisi illud, quod recusavit, aut certe nihil usque ad satisfactionem congruam.

But indeed when he says Moreover if anyone is offered something by a superior and refuses it, it must be applied in this sense: that is to say, if a brother has been bled or indeed is in the refectory, at breakfast or lunch, or at some other hour when he must receive the necessary nourishment, and his superior would give him food, that is either an egg or some fruit. If it is not such as others receive, or it is too much, and it displeases him, and he decides to refuse it, cleverly saying ‘I do not need this food,’ in order that the food in question may be given to another brother, and that he might receive something better afterwards. Or if by chance he has cast aside that food in the refectory, being unwilling to receive it, he should not be given some fruit of a similar kind, unless it is that which he refused, or surely not until he makes appropriate satisfaction.

V. gr. dat fratri cuidam cibum in refectorio, tamdiu debet illud pulmentum servari, donec potest servari, ut cum quaesierit illud, possit illi dari, i. e. si piscem recusavit, [aut] piscem illum accipiat, si in alio die iterum piscem apposuerit fratribus si alio die non apposuerit fratribus piscem, sed alio genere pulmenta, debet illi dare de omnibus [page 464] pulmentis, quia non de illo genere pulmentum recusavit, sed piscem. Si autem usque ad decem dies servatus fuerit ille piscis, quem recusavit, semper ei detur; cum vero jam non poterit servari, tunc non debet ei dari de alio pisce, donec poeniteat se et satisfaciat.

Say for example a certain brother is given food in the refectory: that food ought to be preserved, so long as it may be preserved, so that when he asks for it, it may be given to him. That is to say if he has refused fish, either let him receive that fish, if fish is set before the brothers again the next day, or if fish is not set before the brothers the next day, but some other kind of fruit, he should be given [page 464] fruit of all kinds, for he did not refuse that kind of fruit, but fish. If however, that fish which he refused has been preserved for up to ten days, let it always be given to him; but when at last it truly cannot be preserved, then he does not need to be given other fish, as long as he repents and makes satisfaction.

Emendatio congrua est, quando illum poenitet coram priore de hoc, quia recusavit; si piscem recusavit, piscem non accipiat tantum, nam aliud accipiat. Si saricam recusavit, saricam non accipiat tantum; nam pedules aut alterum alterius genus accipiat. Aut certe coram illis, coram quibus fecit hoc malum, poenitet se et petit veniam, tunc jam det illi aliud; si vero ipsum tulerit, quod recusavit, similiter etiam det illi aliud, sicut ceteris fratribus.

Appropriate amends signifies his repentance in the presence of his superior, regarding that which he refused. If he has refused fish, let him be refused only fish, but let him receive other things. If he has refused a tunic, let him be refused only a tunic, but let him be given gaiters or something else of another kind. Or surely let him repent and seek forgiveness before those in whose presence this wicked action was performed, and then let him be given something else. If indeed he has accepted the very thing that he refused, likewise let him be given something else, like the other brothers.

Verum secundum hanc regulam: usquedum potest servari ille cibus, quem recusavit, semper debet servari, ita faciendum est de vestimentis, de calciariis, de mappulis sive de tabulis sive de omnibus, quae juste debet accipere. Illud vero vestimentum, quod recusavit, etiam usque ad unum annum vel plus debet servari, et sic, illi dari, cum quaerit aliud.

Indeed this rule – as long as the food can be preserved, the one who has refused it must always preserve it – applies to clothing, to shoes, to napkins, or indeed to tablets, or indeed to all things which he rightly ought to accept. Indeed the vestment which he has refused ought to be preserved even for one year or more, and so it should be given to him when he asks for another.

Quod vero dicit hora, qua desideraverit, subaudiendum est: aut hoc accipiat, quod prius recusavit, aut nihil aliud.

Indeed the statement if later he wants what he refused should imply: either let him accept what he refused before, or nothing else.

Forte dicit quis: ‘Cur debeo accipere, si mihi sicut aliis non tribuerit?’ Cui respondeadum est: ‘praeceptum est tibi accipere cum humilitate et postea illud priori significare cum humilitate, sicut regula dicit: si qua requirenda sunt a priore [Regula Benedict, c. 6.7] et reliq.’; non coram omuibus, sed secrete, si secretum fuerit, cum summa humilitate et mansuetudine.

Perhaps someone says: ‘Why should I accept it, if it was not given to me as to the others?’ The answer should be: ‘You have been taught to receive with humility and afterwards relinquish it to the prior with humility – as the rule says: If anything is requested of a superior [Regula Benedicti, c. 6:7], and the rest – not before all, but privately, if it was given privately, with the deepest humility and docility.’

Hoc notandum est, qua ratione dixit S. Benedictus mox ut auditum fuerit signum, debent relinquere omnia, et postea subjunxit legem, i. e. qui ad Gloriam et reliq. Duo voluit S. Benedictus ostendere: unum, ut relinqueret omnia statim, deinde festinanter veniret; alterum, ut si ante terminum venisset, forte fuisset talis, ut statim dimitteret, sed tarde venisset propter negligentiam.

Here we should consider St. Benedict’s reasoning in saying: The instant the signal has been heard, they must set aside all things, and following it shortly afterwards with a law, that is: Those who do not come, and so on. St. Benedict wished to demonstrate two things: first, that the brother should set aside all things at once and then come in haste, second that he might have been the sort of man who could have arrived before the limit, if he had set down his work at once, but who had come late through negligence.

Unde ille, qui non relinquit statim, ut auditum fuerit signum, et venit festin unter, quamvis ante signum vadat statutum, i. e. gloriam, per sex gradus ducendus est; ille autem, qui ita negligenter vadit, ut post terminum statutum, i. e. gloriam, tunc non debet [page 465] stare in choro.

And so it follows that the man who does not set things aside at once and come in haste on hearing the signal, although he may come before the established signal, that is the Gloria, must still be led through the six steps. However, when a man is so careless that he comes after the established limit, that is the Gloria, then he should not [page 465] stand in the choir.

Et hoc iterum notandum est, quia duae sunt personae, quae libere sunt ab hac lege: una, quae voluit et1 propter necessitatem infirmi aut hospitis aut coquinae aut damni, quam nullo modo potuit dimittere; altera, quae voluit et non impedita venit. Istae duae ante Deum non sunt reae, i. e. culpabiles, et ideo magis laudandae sunt quam vindicandae.

And again, it should be noted here that there are two types who are free from this law. The first is willing and is unable because he is performing some necessary labor, which cannot be set down, with a sick man, or with a guest, or in the kitchen, or with work that may be ruined. The other is willing and comes without delay. These two are not guilty, that is to say culpable, before God, and for that reason they should be praised rather than punished.

Duae iterum sunt, quae, quamvis ab hominibus non videntur teneri ista lege, tamen apud Deum reae sunt; i. e. culpabiles: una est, quae statim dimittit et festinanter venit causa timoris, ne excommunicetur; altera est, quae causa humanae laudis statim dimittit et vadit. Isti tales solummodo admonendi sunt, quia non cognoscunt, qua intentione hoc faciunt.

Again there are two types, who, however much men do not consider them bound by this law, are nevertheless guilty in the sight of God, that is to say culpable. The first is the one who sets aside his work at once and comes in haste from the fear of excommunication, the other is the one who sets down his work at once and comes for the sake of men’s praise. Such as these should only be admonished, since they do not understand the motive which inspires their action.

Iterum sunt duae personae, quae judicio Dei et humano reae sunt. Una est, quae cum audit, statim non dimittit et negligenter vadit, quamvis ante Gloriam; iste talis per sex gradus ducendus est. Altera persona est, quae sive non dimittat statim, sive statim dimittat, mens sua2 hoc faciente post Gloriam vadit, ideo solum, quod S. Benedictes dicit: debet sustinere [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 7.38], i. e. non debet intrare in chorum, sed in illo loco stare, qui talibus negligentibus constitutus est. Quod vero dicit cum summa festinatione, istud summa potest attinere ad tempus, ut mox currat sine mora, et potest attinere ad honestatem, ut cum religione vadat.

Again there are two types who are guilty in the judgment of God and men. The first is the one who, on hearing the signal, does not set aside his work at once and comes carelessly, albeit before the Gloria; this man should be led through the six steps. The other type is the one, who, regardless of whether he sets his work aside at once or whether he does not, does so with an idle mind and comes after the Gloria. For that reason, St. Benedict’s statement applies to him alone: he should bear the punishment [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 7.38], that is to say he should not enter into the choir, but stand in the place which has been established for such careless ones. Indeed when he says with utmost speed, that utmost can apply to time, that he hastens quickly without delay, and can apply to integrity, that he comes with a reverent attitude.

Festinatio intelligitur passus, non cursus, excepto si longinquitas non impedit; ac per hoc, ubi dicit summa festinatione, subaudi: religionis et honestatis. Diximus enim, si talis et tantus fuerit hospes, qui non possit dimitti, propter signum non debet dimitti.

By speed is understood a stride, not a run, as long as distance does not hinder him. And where he says with utmost speed, we must understand him to imply ‘with reverence and integrity’. Indeed we have said that if the guest is the sort of man and of such importance that he cannot be dismissed, he should not be dismissed on account of the signal.

Verumtamen de hac re ita tenetur in Francia, i. e. si talis fuerit hospes, veluti est monachus, cui cognitus est ordo regularis, aut certe alius, qui non scandalizatur, si dimissus fuerit, debet audito signo occurrere, et si tanta ac talis fuerit necessitas, ut revertatur facta oratione, debet cautare suum officium, et sic debet ad hospitem [page 466] reverti.

For in truth, this is how the matter is understood in France: that is to say if the guest is the sort of man, such as a monk, who understands the rule of the order, or certainly someone who is not scandalized at being dismissed, the brother should hasten away on hearing the signal, and if he is under such great necessity that he must return after the prayer, he should take thought to his business, and so he should [page 466] return to his guest.

Similiter agendum est etiam in aliis locis, sive cum infirmo servitur, sive cum aliam talem obedientiain exercet, quae tempore signi potest dimitti, et ire oratum, et tamen necessitas exigit, ut statim revertatur. Iste talis, ut diximus, facta oratione et cantato officio debet reverti.

Similar conduct is also enjoined in other cases, whether in caring for a sick man or practicing another such obedience, in which he may set down his work at the time of the signal and go pray, but in which need still drives him to return at once. Such a man as this, as we have said, should return after performing his prayers and singing the office.

Deinde si talis fuerit hospes, i. e. aut episcopus aut comes aut alicujus potestatis, qui scandalizatur, si dimissus fuerit, [et] tune propter vitandum scandalum non debet dimitti, sed audito signo et erecto cordis oculo in coelum debet inibi sua conscientia orare et cum timore suum officium debet cantare, quia sicut de infirmis diximus, ut non pro omnibus infirmis debeat stare, sed occurrere, et de illis infirmis, qui nulle modo possunt dimitti, ita intelligendum est de hospitibus et. de aliis rebus, quae possunt et non possunt dimitti, et ad quas oratione facta debent reverti et non debent.

And so if the guest be the sort of man, that is either a bishop or a count, or some other powerful person, who is scandalized at being dismissed, then he should not dismiss him and avoid scandal, but rather, having heard the signal and lifted his heart’s eye up to Heaven, he should pray in his inward being and fearfully sing the office. For just as we have said of the sick, that he should not stay for all sick men, but should hasten, and that certain sick men cannot be dismissed by any means, so it must be understood regarding guests and regarding other things, which may and may not be dismissed, and to which they should and should not return after performing their prayer.

Verumtamen sciendum est, quia sunt multi monachi, qui suam obedientiam non studiose nec cito exercent, sed intermissis fabulis aut vanis locutionibus aut etiam aliqua alia levitate tarde ipsam obedientiam exercent et ita agendo, cum auditum fuerit signum, inveniuntur ipsa obedientia praeoecupati; et quia forte talis est ipsa obedientia, quae non potest sine damno aut aliqua contrarietate dimitti, [et] pro tali causa non dimittunt tunc ipsam obedientiam audito signo. Deinde cum increpantur, quare non dimiserunt, excusant atque defendunt se dicentes: ‘obedientiam nostram dimittere non potuimus’. Isti tales omnino negligentes et tepidi sunt et existunt.

In truth, it must still be known that there are many monks who practice their obedience without eagerness or haste, but instead practice their obedience tardily, interspersed with tale-telling and idle chatter, or even some other manner of frivolity; and while behaving thus, they are found to be preoccupied in that very obedience when the signal is heard. And since it happens that their obedience is of the sort which cannot be set aside without loss or some hindrance, this becomes a reason for them not to set aside their obedience on hearing the signal. And so when they are reproached for failing to set their work aside, they seek to excuse and even defend themselves by saying: ‘We were unable to set aside our obedience.’ Such men as these are and remain entirely careless and without enthusiasm.

De talibus S. Basilius loquitur dicens: Unusquisque in opere suo observare debet proprium regulam, sicut membrum in corpore, et damnum habebit, si neglexerit in eo, quod injunctum est ei; sed communem utilitatem fratrum negligens amplius periclitabitur, et ideo mente et devotione complere debet id, quod scriptum est: 'cantantes et psallentes in cordibus vestris Domino.' [Eph 5:19] [Regula Basilii, c. 107, CSEL 86, pp. 134-135]

St. Basil speaks of such men saying: Each and every man ought to observe the rule of his order, like the limb of a body, and he will suffer injury if he is careless in what has been enjoined to him. But ignoring the common benefit of the brothers will make his position even more precarious, and therefore he should thoughtfully and prayerfully fulfill what has been written: Singing and playing to the Lord in their hearts. [Eph. 5:19] [Regula Basilii, c. 107]2

Si enim hic, qui circa cellarium vel coquinam vel alia hujuscemodi opera occupatus est, [si enim] corporaliter non occurrerit adesse cum ceteris ad orationis locum, in quocunque loco inventus fuerit, quod devotionis est, [page 467] expleat. Oportet tamen observare, ne forte quis possit complere in tempore suo, quod complendum est, et occurrere, sed dum non vult, occasiones nectit tamquam in ministerii opere occupatus. Quod qui facit, et offendiculum ceteria parat, et ipse negligentia crimen incurrit: Maledictus omnis, qui opus Dei negligenter facit. [Ier 48:10]

If indeed a man is busied around the cellar, or the kitchen, or with other works of this kind, if indeed he does not hasten in body to be with the others in the place of prayer, he will fulfill whatever worship there may be wherever he may be found. [page 467] It is still important to take care against the chance that someone may be able to fulfill his task within its time, but since he is unwilling to do so, he stitches together favorable moments as if he were occupied in service. The person who does this both acts as an impediment to others and strays himself into the crime of negligence: Cursed be every man who is careless in performing the work of God. [Ier 48:10]

1. non potuit. (Mittermüller).
2. mentis suae (?). (Mittermüller).

1. Apart from a few small changes in the interest of greater consistency with the text used in Hildemar’s.
2. See http://www.ora-et-labora.net/regulabasilii.html.

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