LEO I (the Great
 
SERMONS 39, 42 & 88
With parallels in the Rule of Benedict
 

 Pope Leo the Great


Sermon 72. NPNF 2, vol 12 , ; PL 54 


[2.] The glorification of our nature; [3.]wounds heal unbelief


 

 

 

 

SERMON 39
On Lent, I.

143 SERMO XXXIX [Al. XXXVIII]. De Quadragesima I.

 

 

 

 

I. The benefits of abstinence shown by the example of the Hebrews

CAP. I. [0263B] Hebraeorum exemplo esse jejunandum maxime contra hostes invisibiles

IN former days, when the people of the Hebrews and all the tribes of Israel were oppressed for their scandalous sins by the grievous tyranny of the Philistines, in order that they might be able to overcome their enemies, as the sacred story declares, they restored their powers of mind and body by the injunction of a fast. For they understood that they had deserved that hard and wretched subjection for their neglect of Godís commands, and evil ways, and that it was in vain for them to strive with arms unless they had first withstood their sin. Therefore abstaining from food and drink, they applied the discipline of strict correction to themselves, and in order to conquer their foes, first conquered the allurements of the palate in themselves. And thus it came about that their fierce enemies and cruel taskmasters yielded to them when fasting, whom they had held in subjection when full. And so we too, dearly beloved, who are set in the midst of many oppositions and conflicts, may be cured by a little carefulness, if only we will use the same means. For our case is almost the same as theirs, seeing that, as they were attacked by foes in the flesh so are we chiefly by spiritual enemies. And if we can conquer them by Godís grace enabling us to correct our ways, the strength of our bodily enemies also will give way before us, and by our self-amendment we shall weaken those who were rendered formidable to us, not by their own merits but by our shortcomings.

Hebraeorum quondam populus et omnes Israeliticae tribus, cum propter peccatorum suorum offensiones gravi Philistinorum dominatione premerentur, ut superare hostes suos possent, sicut sacra manifestat historia, vires animi et corporis indicto sibi reparavere jejunio. Intellexerant enim duram et miseram illam subjectionem neglectu se mandatorum Dei et morum corruptione meruisse, frustraque se armis certare, nisi prius vitiis repugnassent. Abstinentes ergo a cibo et potu severae sibi castigationis adhibuere censuram; et ut hostes suos vincerent, gulae illecebram in seipsis ante vicerunt. Factumque est hoc modo ut saevi adversarii et graves domini esurientibus cederent, quos sibi saturos subjugarant. [0263C] Et nos itaque, dilectissimi, inter multas adversitates et praelia constituti, si similibus remediis uti cupimus, simili observatione curemur. Eadem enim propemodum causa nostra est quae illorum fuit: quoniam sicut illi a carnalibus adversariis, ita et nos a spiritalibus maxime impugnamur inimicis. Qui si donata nobis per Dei gratiam morum 144 correctione vincantur, etiam corporeorum nobis hostium fortitudo succumbet; et emendatione nostra infirmabuntur, quos graves nobis, non ipsorum merita, sed nostra delicta fecerunt.

 

 

II. Use Lent to vanquish the enemy, and be thus preparing for Eastertide

CAP. II.
II. Quadragesimae praesertim tempore parari insidias a daemone

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, that we may be able to overcome all our enemies, let us seek Divine aid by the observance of the heavenly bidding, knowing that we cannot otherwise prevail against our adversaries, unless we prevail against our own selves. For we have many encounters with our own selves: the flesh desires one thing against the spirit, and the spirit another thing against the flesh. And in this disagreement, if the desires of the body be stronger, the mind will disgracefully lose its proper dignity, and it will be most disastrous for that to serve which ought to have ruled. But if the mind, being subject to its Ruler, and delighting in gifts from above, shall have trampled under foot the allurements of earthly pleasure, and shall not have allowed sin to reign in its mortal body , reason will maintain a well-ordered supremacy, and its strongholds no strategy of spiritual wickednesses will cast down: because man has then only true peace and true freedom when the flesh is ruled by the judgment of the mind, and the mind is directed by the will of God. And although this state of preparedness, dearly-beloved, should always be maintained that our ever-watchful foes may be overcome by unceasing diligence, yet now it must be the more anxiously sought for and the more zealously cultivated when the designs of our subtle foes themselves are conducted with keener craft than ever. For knowing that the most hallowed days of Lent are now at hand, in the keeping of which all past slothfulnesses are chastised, all negligences alerted for, they direct all the force of their spite on this one thing, that they who intend to celebrate the Lordís holyPassover may be found unclean in some matter, and that cause of offense may arise where propitiation ought to have been obtained.

Quapropter, dilectissimi, ut omnes hostes [0264A] nostros superare valeamus, per observantiam coelestium mandatotum divinum quaeramus auxilium, scientes non aliter nos praevalere posse adversariis nostris, nisi praevaluerimus et nobis. Sunt enim intra nosmetipsos multa certamina, et aliud caro adversus spiritum, aliud adversus carnem spiritus concupiscit (Galat. V, 17). In qua dissensione si cupiditates corporis fuerint fortiores, turpiter animus amittet propriam dignitatem, et perniciosissimum erit eum servire quem decuerat imperare. Si autem mens rectori suo subdita, et supernis muneribus delectata, terrenae voluptatis incitamenta calcaverit, et in suo mortali corpore regnare peccatum non siverit (Rom. VI, 12), ordinatissimum tenebit ratio principatum, et [0264B] munitiones ejus nulla spiritalium nequitiarum labefactabit illusio: quia TUNC EST vera pax homini et vera libertas, quando et caro animo judice regitur, et animus Deo praeside gubernatur. Haec autem praeparatio, dilectissimi, licet omni tempore salubriter assumatur, ut pervigiles hostes incessabili superentur industria, nunc tamen sollicitius expetenda est, et studiosius instruenda, quando et ipsi subtilissimi adversarii acriori insidiantur astutia. Scientes enim adesse sacratissimos Quadragesimae dies, in quorum observantia omnes praeteritae desidiae castigantur, omnes negligentiae diluuntur, ad hoc utique totam vim suae malignitatis intendunt, ut celebraturi sanctum Pascha Domini, in aliquo inveniantur immundi; et unde eis obtinenda erat propitiatio, inde [0264C] contrahatur offensio.

 

 

III. Fights are necessary to prove our Faith

CAP. III.
III. Cur Christus tentari voluerit, et quantae sint hominis pugnae in hac vita.---

As we approach then, dearly-beloved, the beginning of Lent, which is a time for the more careful serving of the Lord, because we are, as it were, entering on a kind of contest in good works, let us prepare our souls for fighting with temptations, and understand that the more zealous we are for our salvation, the more determined must be the assaults of our opponents. But stronger is He that is in us than He that is against us (1 Jn 4:4), and through Him are we powerful in whose strength we rely: because it was for this that the Lord allowed Himself to be tempted by the tempter, that we might be taught by His example as well as fortified by His aid. For He conquered the adversary, as you have heard , by quotations from the law, not by actual strength, that by this very thing He might do greater honour to man, and inflict a greater punishment on the adversary by conquering the enemy of the human race not now as God but as Man. He fought then, therefore, that we too might fight thereafter: He conquered that we too might likewise conquer. For there are no works of power, dearly-beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict. This life of ours is in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles; if we do not wish to be deceived, we must watch: if we want to overcome, we must fight. And therefore the most wise Solomon says, My son in approaching the service of God prepare your soul for temptation (Sir 2:1) . For He being a man full of the wisdom of God, and knowing that the pursuit of religion involves laborious struggles, foreseeing too the danger of the fight, forewarned the intending combatant; lest haply, if the tempter came upon him in his ignorance, he might find him unready and wound him unawares.

Accedentes ergo, dilectissimi, ad Quadragesimae initium, id est, ad diligentiorem Domini servitutem, quia quasi ad quemdam agonem sancti operis introimus, ad pugnas 145 tentationum animas praeparemus; et intelligamus quanto studiosiores pro nostra salute fuerimus, tanto nos vehementius ab adversariis impetendos. Sed fortior est qui in nobis est quam qui adversum nos est, et per ipsum validi sumus, in cujus virtute confidimus: quia ob hoc Dominus se tentari a tentatore permisit, ut cujus munimur auxilio, ejusdem erudiremur exemplo. [0265A] Vicit enim adversarium, ut audistis, testimoniis legis, non potestate virtutis; ut hoc ipso et hominem plus honoraret, et adversarium plus puniret, cum hostis generis humani non quasi a Deo jam, sed quasi ab homine vinceretur. Pugnavit ergo ille tunc, ut et nos postea pugnaremus; vicit ille, ut et nos similiter vinceremus. NULLA SUNT enim, dilectissimi, sine tentationum experimentis opera virtutis, nulla sine probationibus fides, nullum sine hoste certamen, nulla sine congressione victoria. Vita haec nostra in medio insidiarum, in medio praeliorum est. Si nolumus decipi, vigilandum est; si volumus superare, pugnandum est. Et ideo sapientissimus Salomon, Fili, inquit, accedens ad servitutem Dei, praepara animam tuam ad tentationem (Eccli. II, 1). [0265B] Vir enim sapientia Dei plenus, sciens studium religionis laborem habere certaminis, cum praevideret pugnae periculum, ante admonuit pugnaturum: ne forte si ad ignorantem tentator accederet, imparatum citius vulneraret.

 

 

IV. The Christianís armour is both for defence and for attack

CAP. IV.
IV. Quanta invidia daemonis. Quae Christianorum arma?

So, dearly-beloved, let us who instructed in Divine learning come wittingly to the present contest and strife, hear the Apostle when he says, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this dark world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly things (Eph 6:12), and let us not forget that these our enemies feel it is against them all is done that we strive to do for our salvation, and that by the very fact of our seeking after some good thing we are challenging our foes. For this is an old-standing quarrel between us and them fostered by the devilís ill-will, so that they are tortured by our being justified, because they have fallen from those good things to which we, God helping us, are advancing. If, therefore, we are raised, they are prostrated: if we are strengthened, they are weakened. Our cures are their blows, because they are wounded by our woundsí cure. Stand, therefore, dearly-beloved, as the Apostle says, having the loins of your mind girt in truth, and your feet shod in the preparation of the gospel of peace, in all things taking the shield of faith in which you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one, and put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph 6:14-17) . See, dearly-beloved, with what mighty weapons, with what impregnable defences we are armed by our Leader, who is famous for His many triumphs, the unconquered Master of the Christian warfare. He has girt our loins with the belt of chastity, He has shod our feet with the bonds of peace: because the unbelted soldier is quickly vanquished by the suggester of immodesty, and he that is unshod is easily bitten by the serpent. He has given the shield of faith for the protection of our whole body; on our head has He set the helmet of salvation; our right hand has He furnished with a sword, that is with the word of Truth: that the spiritual warrior may not only be safe from wounds, but also may have strength to wound his assailant.

Nos itaque, dilectissimi, qui divinis eruditionibus instituti, ad agonem praesentis certaminis scienter accedimus, audiamus dicentem Apostolum: Non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, sed adversus principes et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritalia nequitiae, in coelestibus (Ephes. VI, 12); et non ignoremus quod hi hostes nostri contra se geri omnia sentiunt, quaecumque nos pro nostra salute agere tentamus; et hoc ipso quod boni aliquid appetimus, [0265C] adversarios provocamus. Haec enim inter nos atque illos 146 per diabolicae invidiae fomitem inveterata dissensio est, ut quia illi ab his bonis exciderunt, ad quae nos Deo auxiliante provehimur, nostris justificationibus torqueantur. Si ergo nos erigimur, illi corruunt; si nos convalescimus, illi infirmantur. Remedia nostra plagae ipsorum sunt, quia curatione nostrorum vulnerum vulnerantur. State ergo, dilectissimi, [0266A] ut Apostolus ait, succincti lumbos mentis vestrae in veritate, et calceati pedes in praeparatione Evangelii pacis, in omnibus sumentes scutum fidei, in quo possitis omnia tela maligni ignea exstinguere, et galeam salutis assumite, et gladium spiritus, quod est verbum Dei (Ephes. VI, 14). Videte, dilectissimi, quam potentibus nos telis, quam insuperabilibus munimentis dux multis insignis triumphis, et invictus Christianae militiae magister armaverit. Succinxit lumbos balteo castitatis, calceavit pedes vinculis pacis: quia et discinctus miles cito, ab impudicitiae incentore vincitur, et non calceatus facile a serpente mordetur. Scutum fidei ad protectionem totius corporis dedit, capiti galeam salutis imposuit, dexteram gladio, id est verbo veritatis, instruxit: ut spiritalis [0266B] praeliator non solum sit tutus a vulnere, sed et repugnantem valeat vulnerare.

 

 

V. Abstinence not only from food but from other evil desires, especially from wrath, is required in Lent

CAP. V.
V. Quae potissimum virtutes jejunium comitari debeant?

Relying, therefore, dearly-beloved, on these arms, let us enter actively and fearlessly on the contest set before us: so that in this fasting struggle we may not rest satisfied with only this end, that we should think abstinence from food alone desirable. For it is not enough that the substance of our flesh should be reduced, if the strength of the soul be not also developed. When the outer man is somewhat subdued, let the inner man be somewhat refreshed; and when bodily excess is denied to our flesh, let our mind be invigorated by spiritual delights. Let every Christian scrutinise himself, and search severely into his inmost heart: let him see that no discord cling there, no wrong desire be harboured. Let chasteness drive incontinence far away; let the light of truth dispel the shades of deception; let the swellings of pride subside; let wrath yield to reason; let the darts of ill-treatment be shattered, and the chidings of the tongue be bridled; let thoughts of revenge fall through, and injuries be given over to oblivion. In fine, let every plant which the heavenly Father has not planted be removed by the roots (Mt15:13) . For then only are the seeds of virtue well nourished in us, when every foreign germ is uprooted from the field of wheat. If any one, therefore, has been fired by the desire for vengeance against another, so that he has given him up to prison or bound him with chains, let him make haste to forgive not only the innocent, but also one who seems worthy of punishment, that he may with confidence make use of the clause in the Lordís prayer and say, Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.  Which petition the Lord marks with peculiar emphasis, as if the efficacy of the whole rested on this condition, by saying, For, he says,  if you forgive men their sins, your Father which is in heaven also will forgive you: but if you forgive not men, neither will your Father forgive you your sins. (Mt 6).

His igitur, dilectissimi, freti armis, impigre atque intrepide propositum nobis certamen ineamus: ut in isto jejuniorum stadio, non eo tantum simus fine contenti, ut solam ciborum abstinentiam putemus esse sectandam. Parum enim est si carnis substantia tenuatur, et animae fortitudo non alitur. Afflicto paululum exteriore homine, reficiatur interior; et subtracta carni saturitate corporea, spiritalibus mens deliciis roboretur. Circumspiciat se omnis anima Christiana, et severo examine cordis sui interna discutiat. Videat ne quid ibi discordiae inhaeserit, ne quid cupiditatis insederit. Castitas incontinentiam procul pellat, tenebras simulationis [0266C] lux abigat veritatis. Detumescat superbia, resipiscat iracundia, 147 comminuantur jacula noxarum, et obtrectatio linguae frenetur. Cessent vindictae, et oblivioni mandentur injuriae. Omnis postremo plantatio quam non plantavit Pater coelestis, radicitus auferatur (Matth. XV, 13). Tunc enim in nobis bene virtutum semina nutriuntur, quando de agro cordis nostri omne germen externum evellitur. Si quis [0267A] ergo in quempiam ita cupiditate ultionis exarsit, ut eum aut carceri tradiderit, aut vinculis illigaverit, absolutionem non solum insontis, sed etiam ejus qui poena dignus videtur acceleret: ut illa Dominicae orationis regula fidenter utatur, dicens: Dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. (Matth. VI, 12). Quam partem petitionum ita Dominus speciali insinuatione commendat, quasi totius orationis effectus in hac conditione consistat: Si enim, inquit, dimiseritis hominibus peccata eorum, dimittet et Pater vester vobis, qui in coelis est. Si autem non dimiseritis hominibus, nec Pater vester dimittet vobis peccata vestra (Ibid. 14).

 

 

VI. The right use of Lent will lead to a happy participation in Easter

CAP. VI.
VI. In misericordiae maxime operibus verum jejunium esse.

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, being mindful of our weakness, because we easily fall into all kinds of faults, let us by no means neglect this special remedy and most effectual healing of our wounds. Let us remit, that we may have remission: let us grant the pardon which we crave: let us not be eager to be revenged when we pray to be forgiven. Let us not pass over the groans of the poor with deaf ear, but with prompt kindness bestow our mercy on the needy, that we may deserve to find mercy in the judgment. And he that, aided by Godís grace, shall strain every nerve after this perfection, will keep this holy fast faithfully; free from the leaven of the old wickedness, in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Cor. 5:8), he will reach the blessed Passover, and by newness of life will worthily rejoice in the mystery of manís reformation through Christ our Lord Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Proinde, dilectissimi, memores infirmitatis nostrae, quia facile in quaelibet delicta prolabimur, [0267B] hoc potissimum remedium, et istam efficacissimam vulnerum nostrorum curationem nullatenus negligamus. Remittamus, ut remittatur nobis; demus veniam, quam rogamus; et non studeamus vindicari, qui nobis precamur ignosci. Pauperum gemitus surdo non transeamus auditu, et misericordiam indigentibus prompta benignitate praestemus, ut misericordiam in judicio mereamur invenire. Ad quam perfectionem qui studium suum gratia Dei adjutus intenderit, hic sanctum jejunium fideliter peraget (I Cor. V, 8), hic a fermento malitiae veteris alienus, in azymis sinceritatis et veritatis ad beatum Pascha perveniet, et per novitatem vitae digne laetabitur in sacramento reformationis humanae: per Christum Dominum nostrum, qui cum Patre et Spiritu [0267C] sancto vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

 

SERMON_42

 

 

 

SERMON 42
On Lent, IV.

SERMO XLII [Al. XLI]. De Quadragesima IV.

 

 

 

 

I. The Lenten fast an opportunity for restoring our purity.

CAP. I.
 
Quadragesimam purgandis animarum [0274D] sordibus salubriter esse institutum

IN proposing to preach this most holy and important fast to you, dearly beloved, how shall I begin more fitly than by quoting the words of the Apostle, in whom Christ Himself was speaking, and by reminding you of what we have read : behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation.(2 Cor. 6:2) For though there are no seasons which are not full of Divine blessings, and though access is ever open to us to Godís mercy through His grace, yet now all menís minds should be moved with greater zeal to spiritual progress, and animated by larger confidence, when the return of the day, on which we were redeemed, invites us to all the duties of godliness: that we may keep the super-excellent mystery of the Lordís passion with bodies and hearts purified. These great mysteries do indeed require from us such unflagging devotion and unwearied reverence that we should remain in Godís sight always the same, as we ought to be found on the Easter feast itself. But because few have this constancy, and, because so long as the stricter observance is relaxed in consideration of the frailty of the flesh, and so long as oneís interests extend over all the various actions of this life, even pious hearts must get some soils from the dust of the world, the Divine Providence has with great beneficence taken care that the discipline of the forty days should heal us and restore the purity of our minds, during which the faults of other times might be redeemed by pious acts and removed by chaste fasting.

Praedicaturus vobis, dilectissimi, sacratissimum maximumque jejunium, quo aptius utar exordio, quam ut verbis Apostoli, in quo Christus loquebatur, incipiam, dicamque, quod lectum est: Ecce nunc tempus acceptabile, ecce nunc dies salutis (II Cor. VI, 2)? Quamvis enim nulla sint tempora quae divinis non sint plena muneribus, et semper nobis ad misericordiam Dei per ipsius gratiam praestetur accessus, nunc tamen omnium mentes majori studio ad spiritales profectus moveri, et ampliori fiducia oportet animari, quando ad universa pietatis [0275B] officia, illius nos diei, in quo redempti sumus, recursus invitat: ut excellens super omnia passionis Dominicae sacramentum purificatis et corporibus et animis celebremus. Debebatur quidem tantis mysteriis ita incessabilis devotio et continuata reverentia, ut tales permaneremus in conspectu Dei, quales nos in ipso paschali festo dignum est inveniri. Sed quia haec fortitudo paucorum est, et dum carnis fragilitati austerior observantia relaxatur, dumque per varias actiones vitae hujus sollicitudo distenditur, necesse est de mundano pulvere etiam religiosa corda sordescere; magna divinae institutionis salubritate provisum est, ut ad reparandam mentium puritatem quadraginta nobis dierum exercitatio mederetur, in quibus aliorum temporum culpas et pia opera redimerent, [0275C] et jejunia casta decoquerent.

 

 

II. Lent must be used for removing all our defilements, and of good works there must be no stint

CAP. II.
II. Omnibus virtutibus studendum hoc tempore, quae ex voluntate pensantur

As we are therefore, dearly-beloved, about to enter on those mystic days which are dedicated to the benefits of fasting, let us take care to obey the Apostleís precepts, cleansing ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit (2 Cor 7:1): that by controlling the struggles that go on between our two natures, the spirit which, if it is under the guidance of God, should be the governor of the body, may uphold the dignity of its rule: so that we may give no offense to any, nor be subject to the chidings of reprovers. For we shall be rightly attacked with rebukes, and through our fault ungodly tongues will arm themselves to do harm to religion, if the conduct of those that fast is at variance with the standard of perfect purity. For our fast does not consist chiefly of mere abstinence from food, nor are dainties withdrawn from our bodily appetites with profit, unless the mind is recalled from wrong-doing and the tongue restrained from slandering. This is a time of gentleness and long-suffering, of peace and tranquillity: when all the pollutions of vice are to be eradicated and continuance of virtue is to be attained by us. Now let godly minds boldly accustom themselves to forgive faults, to pass over insults, and to forget wrongs. Now let the faithful spirit train himself with the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, (2 Cor.7:1) that through honour and dishonour, through ill repute and good repute, the conscience may be undisturbed in unwavering uprightness, not puffed up by praise and not wearied out by revilings. The self-restraint of the religious should not be gloomy, but sincere; no murmurs of complaint should be heard from those who are never without the consolation of holy joys. The decrease of worldly means should not be feared in the practice of works of mercy. Christian poverty is always rich, because what it has is more than what it has not. Nor does the poor man fear to labour in this world, to whom it is given to possess all things in the Lord of all things. Therefore those who do the things which are good must have no manner of fear lest the power of doing should fail them; since in the gospel the widowís devotion is extolled in the case of her two mites, and voluntary bounty gets its reward for a cup of cold water. (Lk.21:2) For the measure of our charitableness is fixed by the sincerity of our feelings, and he that shows mercy on others will never want for mercy himself. (Mt 10.42) The holy widow of Sarepta discovered this, who offered the blessed Elias in the time of famine one dayís food, which was all she had, and putting the prophetís hunger before her own needs, ungrudgingly gave up a handful of grain and a little  oil (3Ki.17:12). But she did not lose what she gave in all faith, and in the vessels emptied by her godly bounty a source of new plenty arose, that the fullness of her substance might not be diminished by the holy purpose to which she had put it, because she had never dreaded being brought to want.

Ingressuri igitur, dilectissimi, dies mysticos et jejuniorum remediis consecratos, praeceptis apostolicis obedire curemus, emundantes nos ab omni inquinamento carnis ac spiritus (II Cor. VII, 1): ut castigatis colluctationibus quae sunt inter utramque [0276A] substantiam, animus, quem sub Dei gubernaculis constitutum corporis sui decet esse rectorem, dominationis suae obtineat dignitatem: ut nemini dantes ullam offensionem, vituperationibus obloquentium non simus obnoxii. Digna enim ab infidelibus reprehensione carpemur, et nostro vitio linguae impiae in injuriam se religionis armabunt, 157 si jejunantium mores a puritate perfectae continentiae discreparint. Non enim in sola abstinentia cibi stat nostri summa jejunii, aut fructuose corpori esca subtrahitur, nisi mens ab iniquitate revocetur et ab obtrectationibus lingua cohibeatur. Sic ergo nobis edendi est castiganda libertas, ut etiam aliae cupiditates eadem lege frenentur. Mansuetudinis et patientiae, pacis et tranquillitatis hoc tempus est: in quo exclusa omnium [0276B] contaminatione vitiorum, perpetuitas nobis est acquirenda virtutum. Nunc piarum mentium fortitudo donare culpas, negligere contumelias, et oblivisci assuescat injurias. Nunc fidelis animus per arma justitiae a dextris se exerceat et sinistris (II Cor. VI, 7): ut per gloriam et ignobilitatem, per infamiam et bonam famam, securam conscientiam constantemque probitatem nec laudes inflent, nec opprobria defatigent. Religiosorum modestia non sit moesta, sed sancta; nec inveniantur in eis ullarum murmura querelarum, quibus numquam desunt sanctorum solatia gaudiorum. Non timeatur inter opera misericordiae terrenarum diminutio facultatum. Semper dives est Christiana paupertas, quia plus est quod habet quam quod non habet. Nec pavet in isto mundo indigentia laborare, [0276C] cui donatum est in omnium rerum Domino omnia possidere. Operantibus ergo quae bona sunt, non est omnino metuendum ne eis desit facultas operandi; cum et in duobus nummis evangelicae illius viduae sit magnificata devotio (Luc. XXI, 2), et pro calice aquae frigidae praemium habeat 158 gratuita largitio [0277A] (Matth. X, 42). Ex affectibus enim piorum benignitatis mensura taxatur; et numquam eum miserendi efficacia deserit, in quo misericordia ipsa non deficit. Experta est hoc vidua sancta de Sarepta, quae beato Eliae in tempore famis, unius diei cibum, quem solum habebat, apposuit (III Reg. XVII, 12), et prophetae esuriem necessitati suae praeferens, exiguum farinae et pusillum olei incunctanter expendit. Sed non defuit ei quod fideliter erogavit, et in vasis pia effusione vacuatis, fons novae facultatis exortus est: ut sanctis usibus non minueretur ejus substantiae plenitudo, cujus non fuerat formidata defectio.

 

 

III. As with the Saviour, so with us, the devil tries to make our very piety its own snare

CAP. III.
III. Ex ipsa pietate insidiari diabolum; cujus
156 tentationum erga Christum ordo et ratio explicantur.

But, dearly-beloved, doubt not that the devil, who is the opponent of all virtues, is jealous of these good desires, to which we are confident you are prompted of your own selves, and that to this end he is arming the force of his malice in order to make your very piety its own snare, and endeavouring to overcome by boastfulness those whom he could not defeat by distrustfulness. For the vice of pride is a near neighbour to good deeds, and arrogance ever lies in wait hard by virtue: because it is hard for him that lives praise-worthily not to be caught by manís praise unless, as it is written, he that glories, glories in the Lord 1 Corinthians 10:17 . Whose intentions would that most naughty enemy not dare to attack? Whose fasting would he not seek to break down? Seeing that, as has been shown in the reading of the Gospel , he did not restrain his wiles even against the Saviour of the world Himself. For being exceedingly afraid of His fast, which lasted 40 days and nights, he wished most cunningly to discover whether this power of abstinence was given Him or His very own: for he need not fear the defeat of all his treacherous designs, if Christ were throughout subject to the same conditions as He is in body. And so he first craftily examined whether He were Himself the Creator of all things, such that He could change the natures of material things as He pleased: secondly, whether under the form of human flesh the Godhead lay concealed, to Whom it was easy to make the air His chariot, and convey His earthly limbs through space. But when the Lord preferred to resist him by the uprightness of His true Manhood, than to display the power of His Godhead, to this he turns the craftiness of his third design, that he might tempt by the lust of empire Him in Whom the signs of Divine power had failed, and entice Him to the worship of himself by promising the kingdoms of the world. But the devilís cleverness was rendered foolish by Godís wisdom, so that the proud foe was bound by that which he had formerly bound, and did not fear to assail Him Whom it behooved to be slain for the world.

His autem studiis, dilectissimi, ad quae vos voluntarie confidimus praeparatos, non ambigatis diabolum, qui omnium virtutum est adversarius, [0277B] invidere et ad hoc vim suae malignitatis armare, ut pietati laqueos de ipsa pietate praetendat, et quos non potuerit dejicere per diffidentiam, conetur superare per gloriam. Vicinum est enim rectis actionibus superbiae malum, et de proximo semper virtutibus insidiatur elatio: quia difficile est ut laudabiliter viventem laus humana non capiat, nisi, ut scriptum est, qui gloriatur, in Domino glorietur (II Cor. X, 17). Cujus vero ille hostis nequissimus non audeat impugnare propositum? cujus non appetat violare jejunium? quando versutias suas, sicut evangelica lectione patefactum est, nec ab ipso mundi Salvatore continuit? Expavescens enim in illo quadraginta dierum noctiumque jejunium, explorare callidissime voluit utrum hanc 159 continentiam [0277C] donatam haberet an propriam: ut non metueret deceptionum suarum opera resolvenda, si Christus [0278A] ejus esset conditionis cujus est corporis. Primo itaque dolo scrutatus est an ipse esset substantiarum creator, qui rerum corporearum posset in quas vellet mutare naturas; secundo, an sub humanae carnis specie Divinitas obumbrata tegeretur, cui facile esset pervium sibi aerem facere, et terrena per vacuum membra librare. Sed cum illi Dominus justitiam maluisset opponere veri hominis, quam potentiam manifestare Deitatis, ad hoc convertit tertiae fraudis ingenium, ut eum in quo divinae potestatis signa cessaverant, dominandi cupiditate tentaret, et ad venerationem sui regna mundi pollicendo traduceret. Sed prudentiam diaboli stultam fecit sapientia Dei: ut superbus hostis de eo quod quondam ligaverat ligaretur, nec eum metueret persequi, quem pro mundo [0278B] oportebat occidi.

 

 

IV. The perverse turn even their fasting into sin

CAP. IV.
IV. De perversa Manichaeorum abstinentia

This adversaryís wiles then let us beware of, not only in the enticements of the palate, but also in our purpose of abstinence. For he who knew how to bring death upon mankind by means of food, knows also how to harm us through our very fasting, and using the Manichśans as his tools, as he once drove men to take what was forbidden, so in the opposite direction he prompts them to avoid what is allowed. It is indeed a helpful observance, which accustoms one to scanty diet, and checks the appetite for dainties: but woe to the dogmatizing of those whose very fasting is turned to sin. For they condemn the creatureís nature to the Creatorís injury, and maintain that they are defiled by eating those things of which they contend the devil, not God, is the author: although absolutely nothing that exists is evil, nor is anything in nature included in the actually bad. For the good Creator made all things good and the Maker of the universe is one, Who made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them.  Of which whatever is granted to man for food and drink, is holy and clean after its kind. But if it is taken with immoderate greed, it is the excess that disgraces the eaters and drinkers, not the nature of the food or drink that defiles them. For all things, as the Apostle says, are clean to the clean. But to the defiled and unbelieving nothing is clean, but their mind and conscience is defiled (Titus 1:15 .

Hujus igitur adversarii dolos, non solum in illecebris gulae, sed etiam in proposito abstinentiae caveamus. Qui enim scivit humano generi mortem inferre per cibum, novit et per ipsum nocere jejunium; et ad contrariam fraudem, famulis utendo Manichaeis, sicut impulit interdicta praesumi, ita suadet concessa vitari. Utilis quidem est observantia, quae parco assueta victu, deliciarum cohibet appetitum; sed vae illorum dogmati, apud quos etiam jejunando 160 peccatur! Damnant enim creaturarum naturas in Creatoris injuriam, et contaminari edentes asserunt iis quorum non Deum, sed diabolum conditorem esse definiunt; cum prorsus nulla sit substantia mala, nec ipsius mali sit ulla natura. [0278C] Omnia enim bona bonus auctor instituit, et unus est universarum rerum creator, qui fecit coelum et terram, [0279A] mare et omnia quae in eis sunt (Psal. CXLV, 6). Ex quibus quidquid homini ad cibum potumque concessum est, sanctum et mundum est in sui generis qualitate. Quod si immoderata aviditate sumatur, nimietas edaces et bibaces dedecorat, non cibi neque poculi natura contaminat. Omnia enim, sicut Apostolus ait, munda sunt mundis. Coinquinatis autem et infidelibus nihil est mundum, sed coinquinata sunt eorum mens et conscientia (Ad Tit. I, 15).

 

 

V. Be reasonable and seasonable in your fasting

CAP. V.
V. Eosdem in honorem solis et
[0275A] lunae die Dominica et feria secunda jejunare, a participatione sanguinis Christi abstinere, etc

But you, dearly-beloved, the holy offspring of the catholic Mother, who have been taught in the school of Truth by Godís Spirit, moderate your liberty with due reasonableness, knowing that it is good to abstain even from things lawful, and at seasons of greater strictness to distinguish one food from another with a view to giving up the use of some kinds, not to condemning their nature. And so be not infected with the error of those who are corrupted merely by their own ordinances, serving the creature rather than the Creator (Romans 9:26, and offering a foolish abstinence to the service of the lights of heaven: seeing that they have chosen to fast on the first and second days of the week in honour of the sun and moon, proving themselves in this one instance of their perverseness twice disloyal to God, twice blasphemous, by setting up their fast not only in worship of the stars but also in contempt of the Lordís Resurrection. For they reject the mystery of manís salvation and refuse to believe that Christ our Lord in the true flesh of our nature was truly born, truly suffered, was truly buried and was truly raised. And in consequence, condemn the day of our rejoicing by the gloom of their fasting. And since to conceal their infidelity they dare to be present at our meetings, at the Communion of the Mysteries they bring themselves sometimes, in order to ensure their concealment, to receive Christís Body with unworthy lips, though they altogether refuse to drink the Blood of our Redemption. And this we make known to you, holy brethren, that men of this sort may be detected by you by these signs, and that they whose impious pretences have been discovered may be driven from the society of the saints by priestly authority. For of such the blessed Apostle Paul in his foresight warns Godís Church, saying: but we beseech you, brethren, that you observe those who make discussions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you learned and turn away from them. For such persons serve not Christ the Lord but their own belly, and by sweet words and fair speeches beguile the hearts of the innocent (Romans 16:17-18 .

Vos autem, dilectissimi, catholicae matris sancta generatio, quos in schola veritatis Dei Spiritus erudivit, libertatem vestram congrua ratione moderamini, scientes quoniam bonum est etiam a licitis abstinere, et cum castigatius vivendum est, ita discernere cibos ut usus eorum semoveatur, non [0279B] natura damnetur. Nullo itaque vos contagio eorum error attingat, qui sua maxime observantia polluuntur, servientes creaturae potius quam Creatori (Rom. I, 25), et luminaribus coeli stultam abstinentiam devoventes: siquidem in honorem solis ac lunae prima et secunda Sabbati jejunare delegerunt, uno perversitatis suae 161 opere bis impii, bis profani, qui jejunium suum et ad siderum cultum, et ad resurrectionis Dominicae instituere contemptum. Resiliunt enim a sacramento salutis humanae, et Christum Dominum nostrum, in vera naturae nostrae carne vere natum, vere passum, vere sepultum et vere suscitatum esse non credunt. Et ob hoc diem nostrae laetitiae, jejunii sui moerore condemnant. Cumque ad tegendam infidelitatem suam nostris audeant interesse [0279C] conventibus, ita in sacramentorum communione [0280A] se temperant, ut interdum, ne penitus latere non possint, ore indigno Christi corpus accipiant, sanguinem autem redemptionis nostrae haurire omnino declinent. Quod ideo vestrae notum facimus sanctitati, ut vobis hujuscemodi homines et his manifestentur indiciis, et quorum deprehensa fuerit sacrilega simulatio, a sanctorum societate sacerdotali auctoritate pellantur. De talibus enim beatus Paulus apostolus Ecclesiam Dei provide monet, dicens: Rogamus autem vos, fratres, ut observetis eos qui dissensiones et offendicula praeter doctrinam quam didicistis faciunt, et declinate ab illis. Hujuscemodi enim Christo Domino non serviunt, sed suo ventri; et per dulces sermones et benedictiones seducunt corda innocentium (Rom. XVI, 27).

 

 

VI. Make your fasting a reality by amendment in your lives

CAP. VI.
VI. Uti per opera virtutum sanctificetur Quadragesima.

Being therefore, dearly-beloved, fully instructed by these admonitions of ours, which we have often repeated in your ears in protest against abominable error, enter upon the holy days of Lent with Godly devoutness, and prepare yourselves to win Godís mercy by your own works of mercy. Quench your anger, wipe out enmities, cherish unity, and vie with one another in the offices of true humility. Rule your slaves and those who are put under you with fairness, let none of them be tortured by imprisonment or chains. Forego vengeance, forgive offenses: exchange severity for gentleness, indignation for meekness, discord for peace. Let all men find us self-restrained, peaceable, kind: that our fastings may be acceptable to God. For in a word to Him we offer the sacrifice of true abstinence and true Godliness, when we keep ourselves from all evil: the Almighty God helping us through all, to Whom with the Son and Holy Spirit belongs one Godhead and one Majesty, for ever and ever. Amen.

[0280B] His ergo, dilectissimi, admonitionibus nostris, quas auribus vestris contra exsecrandum errorem frequenter ingessimus, 162 sufficienter instructi, sanctos Quadragesimae dies pia devotione suscipite, et ad promerendam misericordiam Dei per opera vos misericordiae praeparate. Iram exstinguite, odia delete, unitatem diligite, et sincerae vos humilitatis officiis invicem praevenite. Servis et his qui vobis subjecti sunt cum aequitate dominamini, nullus eorum aut claustris crucietur aut vinculis. Cessent vindictae, remittantur offensae; severitas lenitate, indignatio mansuetudine, discordia pace mutetur. Omnes nos modestos, omnes placidos, omnes experiantur benignos; ut jejunia nostra accepta sint Deo. Cui ita demum sacrificium verae abstinentiae et [0280C] verae pietatis offerimus, si nos ab omni malitia contineamus: [0281A] auxiliante nobis per omnia Deo omnipotente, cui cum Filio et Spiritu sancto una est Deitas, una majestas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

 

NIHIL ASPERUM Ė NIHIL GRAVE

 

SERMON_88

 

 

 

SERMON 88
On the Fast of the Seventh Month, III.

SERMO LXXXVIII [Al. LXXXVI], De Jejunio septimi mensis III.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I. The Fasts, which the ancient prophets proclaimed, are still necessary

CAP. I
I. Jejunia, sine quibus antiquis justitia Dei non est placata, nobis quoque esse necessaria. ---

Of what avail, dearly-beloved, are religious fasts in winning the mercy of God, and in renewing the fortunes of human frailty, we know from the statements of the holyProphets, who proclaim that justice of God, Whose vengeance the people of Israel had again and again incurred through their iniquities, cannot be appeased save by fasting. Thus it is that the Prophet Joel warns them, saying, thus says the Lord your God, turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning, and rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God, for He is merciful and patient, and of great kindness, and very merciful , and again, sanctify a fast, proclaim a healing, assemble the people, sanctify the church.  And this exhortation must in our days also be obeyed, because these healing remedies must of necessity be proclaimed by us too, in order that in the observance of the ancient sanctification Christian devotion may gain what Jewish transgression lost.

Ad exorandam, dilectissimi, misericordiam Dei, et ad renovandum statum fragilitatis [0441B] humanae, quantum valeant religiosa jejunia, sanctorum prophetarum praedicatione cognoscimus; qui divinae justitiae commotionem, quam frequenter populus Israel merito iniquitatis inciderat, non nisi jejunio protestantur posse placari. Unde et Joel propheta admonet dicens: Haec dicit Dominus Deus vester: Convertimini ad me in toto corde vestro, in jejunio, et fletu, et planctu, et disrumpite corda vestra et non vestimenta vestra, et convertimini ad Dominum Deum vestrum: quia misericors est, et patiens, et magnanimus, et multum misericors (Joel. II, 12, 13); et iterum: Sanctificate jejunium, praedicate curationem, congregate plebem, sanctificate Ecclesiam (Ibid., 15). Quae cohortatio, dilectissimi, nostris quoque est amplectenda temporibus, quia hujus curationis remedia [0441C] etiam a nobis sunt necessarie praedicanda, ut in observantia sanctificationis antiquae, quod perdidit 345 Judaica praevaricatio, acquirat Christiana devotio.

 

 

II. Public services are of a higher character than private

CAP. II.
II. Multo potentiora esse quando ab omnibus simul fidelibus celebrantur.---

But the respect that is paid to the Divine decrees always brings a special blessing, whatever may be the extent of our voluntary services, so that publicly proclaimed celebrations are of a higher character than those which rest on private institution. For the exercise of self-restraint, which each individual imposes on himself at his own discretion, concerns the benefit of a certain portion only of the Church, but the fast which the whole Church undergoes leaves out no one from the general purification, and Godís people then become strongest, when the hearts of all the faithful meet together in one common act of holy obedience, when in the camp of the Christian army there is on all sides the same making ready for the fight and for defence. Though the cruel enemy rage in restless fury, and spread all round his hidden snares, yet he will be able to catch no one and wound no one, if he find no one off his guard, no one given up to sloth, no one inactive in works of piety.

Divinarum autem reverentia sanctionum, inter quaelibet spontaneae observantiae studia, habet semper privilegium suum: ut sacratius sit quod publica lege celebratur quam quod privata institutione dependitur. Exercitatio enim continentiae, quam sibi quisque proprio indicit arbitrio, ad utilitatem cujusdam pertinet portionis; jejunium vero, quod universa Ecclesia suscipit, neminem a generali purificatione sejungit; et tunc fit potentissimus Dei [0442A] populus, quando in unitatem sanctae obedientiae omnium fidelium corda conveniunt, et in castris militiae Christianae similis ex omni parte praeparatio, et eadem est ubique munitio. Fremat licet cruenti hostis pervigil furor, et latebrosas undique praetendat insidias, neminem tamen capere, neminem poterit vulnerare, si nullum inermem, nullum desidem, nullum invenerit ab opere pietatis exsortem.

 

 

III. The September fast calls us in this public way to self-amendment

CAP. III.
III. Debere se quemque interdum curis subtrahere, ut saluti suae intentius vacet. Unitas orationis quam potens sit.-

To this unconquerable strength of unity, therefore, dearly-beloved, we are even now invited by the solemn Fast of the Seventh Month, that we may lift our souls to the Lord free from worldly cares and earthly concerns. And because, always needful as this endeavour is, we cannot all adhere to it perpetually, and often through human frailty we fall back from higher things to the things of earth, let us at least on these days, which are most healthfully ordained for our correction, withdraw ourselves from worldly occupations, and steal a little time for promoting our eternal welfare. For in many things, as it is written, we all stumble (James 3:2 . And though by the daily gift of God we be cleansed from various pollutions, yet there cling to unwary souls for the most part darker stains, which need a greater care to wash them out, a stronger effort to destroy them. And the fullest abolition of sins is obtained when the whole Church offers up one prayer and one confession. For if the Lord has promised fulfilment of all they shall ask, to the holy and devout agreement of two or three, what shall be denied to many thousands of the people who unite in one act of worship, and with one breath make their common supplications (Matthew 18:19-20?

Ad hujus ergo invictae unitatis potentiam, dilectissimi, etiam hoc nos solemne jejunium septimi mensis invitat: ut a curis saecularibus actibusque terrenis liberos ad Dominum animos erigamus. Et quia hanc intentionem semper necessariam non omnes possumus habere perpetuam, saepiusque per humanam fragilitatem a supernis in [0442B] terrena recidimus, istis saltem diebus, qui nobis ad saluberrima sunt remedia praestituti, mundanis nos occupationibus subtrahamus, et aliquid temporis quod prosit ad bona aeterna furemur. In multis enim, sicut scriptum est, offendimus omnes (Jacob. III, 2). Et licet quotidiano Dei munere a diversis contaminationibus emundemur, inhaerent tamen incautis animis plerumque maculae crassiores, quas oporteat diligentiori cura ablui et impendio majore deleri. Plenissima autem peccatorum obtinetur abolitio quando totius Ecclesiae una est oratio et una confessio. Si enim duorum vel trium sancto pioque consensui omnia quae poposcerint Dominus praestanda promittit (Matth. XVIII, 20), quid negabitur multorum millium plebi unam observantiam pariter exsequenti, [0442C] et 346 per unum spiritum concorditer supplicanti?

 

 

IV. Community of goods and of actions is most precious in Godís sight

CAP. IV.
IV. Plurimum valere apud Deum consensum bonorum. Animum, non censum in eleemosynis pensari

It is a great and very precious thing, beloved, in the Lordís sight, when Christís whole people engage together in the same duties, and all ranks and degrees of either sex co-operate with the same intent: when one purpose animates all alike of declining from evil and doing good; when God is glorified in the works of His slaves, and the Author of all godliness is blessed in unstinted giving of thanks. The hungry are nourished, the naked are clothed, the sick are visited, and men seek not their own but that which is anotherís , so long as in relieving the misery of others each one makes the most of his own means; and it is easy to find a cheerful giver , where a manís performances are only limited by the extent of his power. By this grace of God, which works all in all , the benefit and the deserts of the faithful are both enjoyed in common. For they, whose income is not like, can yet think alike, and when one rejoices over anotherís bounty his feelings put him on the same level with him whose powers of spending are on a different level. In such a community there is no disorder nor diversity, for all the members of the whole body agree in one strong purpose of godliness, and he who glories in the wealth of others is not put to shame at his own poverty. For the excellence of each portion is the glory of the whole body, and when we are all led by Godís Spirit, not only are the things we do ourselves our own but those of others also over the doing of which we rejoice.

Magnum est in conspectu Domini, dilectissimi, valdeque pretiosum, cum totus Christi populus eisdem simul instat officiis, et in utroque sexu omnes gradus omnesque ordines eodem cooperantur affectu; cum in declinando malo ac faciendo bono par cunctorum et una sententia est; cum in operibus servorum suorum glorificatur Deus, et totius pietatis auctori in multa gratiarum actione benedicitur. Aluntur esurientes, vestiuntur nudi, visitantur infirmi, et nemo quod suum est quaerit, sed quod alterius (I Cor. X, 24), dum ad relevandam alienam miseriam unicuique mensura sua sufficit, et [0443A] facile est invenire hilarem largitorem, ubi modum operis ratio temperat facultatis. Per hanc autem Dei gratiam, quae operatur omnia in omnibus (I Cor. XII, 6), communis fidelium fructus et commune fit meritum. Quoniam quidem potest et eorum par esse animus quorum impar est census, et cum alter de alterius laetatur largitate, cui aequari non potuit impendio, aequatur affectu. Nihil in tali populo inordinatum nihilque diversum est, ubi ad unum pietatis vigorem omnia sibi totius corporis membra consentiunt; nec de sua tenuitate confunditur qui de aliorum opulentia gloriatur. Decus enim universitatis est excellentia portionis, et cum Dei spiritu omnes agimur, non solum illa nostra sunt quae ipsi gerimus, sed etiam illa de quibus in aliorum actione gaudemus.

 

 

V. Let us then make the best use possible of the opportunity

CAP. V.
V. Quemque debere pro facultate sua eleemosynas erogare sine diffidentia.

Let us then, dearly-beloved, lay hold upon this most sacred unity in all its blessed integrity and engage in the solemn fast with the concordant purpose of a good will. Nothing hard, nothing harsh is asked of anyone, nor is anything imposed beyond our strength, whether in the discipline of abstinence or in the amount of alms. Each knows what he can and what he cannot do: let every one pay his quota, assessing himself at a just and reasonable rate, that the sacrifice of mercy be not offered sadly nor reckoned among losses. Let so much be expended on pious work, as will justify the heart, wash the conscience, and in a word profit both giver and receiver. Happy indeed is that soul and truly to be admired which in its love of doing good fears not the failing of the means, and has no distrust that He will give him money still to spend, from Whom he had what he spent in the past. But because few possess this greatness of heart, and yet it is truly a pious thing for each one not to forsake the care of his own, we, without prejudice to the more perfect sort, lay down for you this general rule and exhort you to perform Godís bidding according to the measure of your ability. For cheerfulness becomes the benevolent man, who should so manage his liberality that while the poor rejoice over the help supplied, home needs may not suffer. And He that ministers seed to the sower, shall both provide bread to be eaten and multiply your seed and increase the fruits of your righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:10. On Wednesday and Friday therefore let us fast; and on Saturday keep vigil all together in the presence of the most blessed Apostle Peter, by whose merits and prayers we are sure Godís mercy will be vouchsafed to us in all things through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Amplectamur igitur, dilectissimi, beatam istam sacratissimae unitatis soliditatem, et solemne jejunium concordante proposito bonae voluntatis ineamus. Nihil a quoquam arduum, nihil asperum quaeritur, nec aliquid nobis quod vires nostras excedat indicitur, sive in abstinentiae castigatione, sive in eleemosynae largitate. Sciunt singuli quid possint quidve non possint. Ipsi modulum suum pendant, ipsi justa et rationabili taxatione se censeant, ut sacrificium misericordiae non cum tristitia offeratur, nec inter damna numeretur. Hoc pio 347 impendatur operi quod cor justificet, quod conscientiam lavet, quod denique et accipienti prosit et danti. Felix quidem ille est animus multumque mirabilis, qui facultatum defectionem benefaciendi amore non metuit, et daturum [0443C] sibi eroganda non diffidit, a quo quod erogaret accepit. Sed quia magnanimitas ista paucorum est, et plenum etiam pietatis est ut suorum curam quisque non deserat, nos perfectioribus non praejudicantes, ea vos regula generaliter cohortamur ut mandatum Dei secundum possibilitatis vestrae mensuram operemini. Hilarem enim benevolentiam esse decet, quae sic suam temperet largitatem, ut de illa et pauperum refectio gaudeat, et domestica sufficientia non laboret. Qui autem ministrat semen seminanti, et panem ad manducandum praestabit, et multiplicabit semen vestrum, et augebit incrementa frugum [0444A] justitiae vestrae (II Cor. IX, 10). Quarta igitur et sexta feria jejunemus, sabbato autem apud beatissimum Petrum apostolum pariter vigilias celebremus, cujus meritis et orationibus confidimus nobis per omnia misericordiam Dei nostri esse praestandam: per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, qui vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

 

 

Leo and Benedict Sermons 39  42  88

Sermons 39  42  88

Leo. M. tract. These seem to be the sermons inNPNF 2:12  Tractatus septem et nonaginta:PL 54.141; CCL 138,138A.

2,2,3: 49.3

5,2: 49.2

18,2: 1.4Ė5


39,1: 1.11

39,2: 49.1Ė4

39,4: 1.5

 5 And well-armed, they go forth from the battle line held by their brothers to the solitary combat of the desert; now able to fight safely without the support of another, single-handed against the vices of flesh and thoughts with Godís help.

5 et bene exstructi fraterna ex acie ad singularem pugnam eremi, securi iam sine consolatione alterius, sola manu vel brachio contra vitia carnis vel cogitationum, Deo auxiliante, pugnare sufficiunt.

 


 40,1: 1.5; 49.5


 42,1,6: 49.1Ė4

1 Although at all times the life of a monk to be a Lenten observance, 2 yet since few have the strength for this we encourage all during these days of Lent to keep themselves in all purity of life, 3 and to wash away the negligences of other times during these holy days. 4 This we will do worthily do if we abstain from all vices and give ourselves to prayer with tears, reading, compunction of heart, and abstinence.

 1 Licet omni tempore vita monachi quadragesimae debet observationem habere, 2 tamen, quia paucorum est ista virtus, ideo suademus istis diebus quadragesimae omni puritate vitam suam custodire omnes pariter, 3 et neglegentias aliorum temporum his diebus sanctis diluere. 4 Quod tunc digne fit si ab omnibus vitiis temperamus, orationi cum fletibus, lectioni et compunctioni cordis atque abstinentiae operam damus. 

 

42,2: 49.7

42,4: 1.11


88,3Ė4: 1.4Ė5

88,5: Prol.46  NIHIL ASPERUM, NIHIL GRAVE


89,2: 1.4Ė5; 49.3

90,2: Prol.2

 


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