Gregory the Great prestnts the Scholia on Job to Bishop Leander of Seville.  Hartker MS.


Pope St. Gregory the Great

(ca. 540-604)

(Regula Pastoralis)




 of Saint Gregory The Great Roman Pontiff To John, Bishop of The City of Ravenna
(NPNF ser. 2 vol. 12)


Part I.


Gregory to His Most Reverend and Most Holy Brother and Fellow-Bishop, John.

[0013A] 1 Reverentissimo et sanctissimo fratri Joanni coepiscopo, Gregorius .

WITH kind and humble intent you reprove me, dearest brother, for having wished by hiding myself to fly from the burdens of pastoral care; Pastoralis curae me pondera fugere delitescendo voluisse, benigna, frater carissime, atque humili intentione reprehendis; 
[And] in regard to these [burdens], lest to some they should appear light, I express with my pen in the book before you all my own estimate of their heaviness, in order both that  quae ne quibusdam levia esse videantur, praesentis libri stylo exprimo de eorum gravedine omne quod penso, ut et 

he who is free from them may not unwarily seek them,

and that he who has so sought them may tremble for having obtained them. 

haec qui vacat, incaute non expetat;

et qui incaute expetiit, adeptum se esse pertimescat.

THIS book is divided into four separate heads of argument, that it may approach the readerís mind by allegations arranged in order-by certain steps, as it were.  Quadripartita vero disputatione liber iste distinguitur, ut ad lectoris sui animum ordinatis allegationibus quasi quibusdam pastibus gradiatur. 
For, as the necessity of things requires, we must especially consider  Nam cum rerum necessitas exposcit, pensandum

[1] in what way a person should come to high leadership; 

[2] and, having attained it, in what way he should live;

[3] and, living well, in what way he should teach

[4] and, teaching rightly, with how great consideration he should daily become aware of his own infirmity;

valde est ad culmen quisque regiminis qualiter veniat; 

atque ad hoc rite perveniens, qualiter vivat; 

et bene vivens, qualiter doceat; 

et recte [0013B] docens, infirmitatem suam quotidie quanta consideratione cognoscat, 

 lest either[:]

[1] humility fly from the approach, 

[2] or life contradict with the arrival,

[3] or teaching be absent the life,

[4] or presumption unduly exalt the teaching.

ne aut humilitas accessum fugiat, 

aut perventioni vita contradicat; 

aut vitam doctrina destituat; a

ut doctrinam praesumptio extollat. 2


[1] first let fear temper the desire

[2] but afterwards, authority being assumed by one who sought it not, let his life commend it.

[3] But then it is necessary that the good which is displayed in the life of the pastor should also be propagated by his speech.

[4] And at last it remains that, whatever works are brought to perfection, consideration of our own infirmity should oppress us in their own regard, test the swelling of elation extinguish even them before the eyes of hidden judgment.

Prius ergo 

appetitum timor temperet: 

post autem magisterium quod a non quaerente suscipitur, vita commendet; 

ac deinde necesse est ut pastoris bonum quod vivendo ostenditur, etiam loquendo propagetur. 

Ad extremum vero superest ut perfecta quaeque opera consideratio propriae infirmitatis deprimat, ne haec ante occulti arbitrii oculos tumor elationis exstinguat. 

BUT inasmuch as there are many, like me in awkwardness, 

who, while they do not know how to measure themselves,

are covetous of teaching what they have not learned; 

who estimate lightly the burden of authority

in proportion as they are ignorant of the pressure of its greatness;

Sed quia sunt plerique mihi imperitia similes,

qui dum metiri se nesciunt

quae non didicerint docere concupiscunt

qui pondus magisterii tanto levius aestimant,

quanto vim magnitudinis illius ignorant

let them be reproved from the very beginning of this book;  ab ipso libri hujus reprehendantur [0013C] exordio; 

so that, while, unlearned and precipitate, they desire to hold the citadel of teaching, they may be repelled at the very door of our discourse from the ventures of their precipitancy.

   ut quia indocti ac praecipites doctrinae [0014A] arcem tenere appetunt, a praecipitationis suae ausibus in ipsa locutionis nostrae janua repellantur.

That the Inexperienced Should not Venture to Apply for Leadership.


Ne venire imperiti ad magisterium audeant.  

NO one presumes to teach an art 

until he has first learned it through intent meditation, .

Nulla ars doceri praesumitur, 

nisi intenta prius meditatione discatur. 

What rashness is it, then, for the unskilful to assume pastoral authority

since spiritual guidance [leadership of souls] is the ART of ARTS

Ab imperitis ergo pastorale magisterium qua temeritate suscipitur, 

quando 3 ars est artium regimen animarum

FOR who can be ignorant that wounds of thoughts are more hidden than the wounds of the bowels?  Quis autem cogitationum vulnera occultiora esse nesciat vulneribus viscerum? 

And yet how often do men who have no knowledge whatever of spiritual precepts

fearlessly profess themselves physicians of the heart,

Et tamen saepe qui nequaquam spiritalia praecepta cognoverunt,

cordis se medicos profiteri non metuunt:

though those who are ignorant of the effect of drugs 

blush to appear as physicians of the flesh! 

dum qui pigmentorum vim nesciunt, v

ideri medici carnis erubescunt. 

BUT because, through the ordering of God, all the highest in rank of this present age are inclined to reverence religion, there are some who, through the outward show of rule within the holy Church, affect the glory of distinction.  Sed quia auctore Deo ad religionis reverentiam omne jam praesentis saeculi culmen inclinatur, sunt nonnulli qui intra [0014B] sanctam Ecclesiam per speciem regiminis gloriam affectant honoris; 

They desire to appear as teachers, 

they covet superiority to others, 

and, as the Truth attests, they seek the first salutations in the market-place, the first rooms at feasts, the first seats in assemblies (Matth. 23:6-7)

videri doctores appetunt,

transcendere caeteros concupiscunt

atque attestante Veritate, primas salutationes in foro, primos in coenis recubitus, primas in conventibus cathedras quaerunt (Matth. XXIII, 6, 7);

being all the less able to administer worthily the office they have undertaken of pastoral care, 

as they have reached the magisterial position of humility only out of [self-]exaltation.

qui susceptum curae pastoralis officium ministrare digne tanto magis nequeunt,

 quanto ad humilitatis magisterium ex sola elatione pervenerunt.

For, indeed, in a magisterial position language itself is confounded when one thing is learned and another taught .    

 Against such the Lord complains by the prophet, saying, They have reigned, and not by Me ; they have been set up as prices, and I knew it not (Hos. viii. 4). For those reign of themselves, and not by the Will of the Supreme Ruler, who, supported by no virtues, and in no way divinely called, but inflamed by their own desire, seize rather than attain supreme rule. But them the Judge within both advances, and yet knows not; for whom by permission he tolerates them surely by the judgment of reprobation he ignores. Whence to some who come to Him even after miracles He says, Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity, I know you not who ye are (Luke xiii. 27). The unskilfulness of shepherds is rebuked by the voice of the Truth, when it is said through the prophet, The shepherds themselves have not known understanding (Isai. lvi. 11); whom again the Lord denounces, saying, And they that handle the law knew Me not (Jer. ii. 8). And therefore the Truth complains of not being known of them, and protests that He knows not the principality of those who know not Him; because in truth these who know not the things of the Lord are unknown of the Lord; as Paul attests, who says, But if any man knoweth not, he shall not be known (1 Cor. xiv. 38). Yet this unskilfulness of the shepherds doubtless suits often the deserts of those who are subject to them, because, though it is their own fault that they have not the light of knowledge, yet it is in the dealing of strict judgment that through their ignorance those also who follow them should stumble. Hence it is that, in the Gospel, the Truth in person says, If the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch (Matth. xv. 14). Hence the Psalmist (not expressing his own desire, but in his ministry as a prophet) denounces such, when he says, Let their eyes be blinded that they see not, and ever bow thou down their back (Ps. lxviii. 242 ). For, indeed, those persons are eyes who, placed in the very face of the highest dignity, have undertaken the office of spying out the road; while those who are attached to them and follow them are denominated backs. And so, when the eyes are blinded, the back is bent, because, when those who go before lose the light of knowledge, those who follow are bowed down to carry the burden of their sins.

  Ipsa quippe in magisterio lingua confunditur, quando aliud discitur, et aliud docetur. Quos contra Dominus per prophetam queritur, dicens: Ipsi regnaverunt, et non ex me; principes exstiterunt, et ego ignoravi (Osee VIII, 4). Ex se namque, et non ex arbitrio summi Rectoris regnant, qui nullis fulti virtutibus nequaquam divinitus vocati, sed sua cupidine accensi, culmen regiminis rapiunt potius quam [0014C] assequuntur. Quos tamen internus judex et provehit, [0015A] et nescit, quia quos permittendo tolerat, profecto per judicium reprobationis ignorat. Unde ad se quibusdam et post miracula venientibus dicit: Recedite a me operarii iniquitatis, nescio qui estis (Luc. XIII, 27). Pastorum imperitia voce Veritatis increpatur, cum per Prophetam dicitur: Ipsi pastores ignoraverunt intelligentiam (Isai. LVI, 11). Quos rursum Dominus detestatur, dicens: Et tenentes legem nescierunt me (Jer. II, 8). Et nesciri ergo se ab eis Veritas queritur, et nescire se principatum nescientium protestatur, quia profecto hi qui ea (Dist. 38, c. Qui ea) quae sunt Domini nesciunt, a Domino nesciuntur, Paulo attestante qui ait: Si quis autem ignorat, ignorabitur (I Cor. XIV, 38). Quae nimirum Pastorum saepe imperitia meritis congruit subjectorum, quia quamvis lumen [0015B] scientiae sua culpa exigente non habeant, districto tamen judicio agitur, ut per eorum ignorantiam hi etiam qui sequuntur offendant. Hinc namque in Evangelio per semetipsam Veritas dicit: Si caecus caeco ducatum praebeat, ambo in foveam cadunt (Matth. XV, 14). Hinc Psalmista non optantis animo, sed prophetantis ministerio denuntiat, dicens: Obscurentur oculi eorum ne videant, et dorsum illorum semper incurva (Psal. LXVIII, 24). Oculi quippe sunt, qui in ipsa honoris summi facie positi, providendi itineris officium susceperunt: quibus hi nimirum qui subsequenter inhaerent; dorsa nominantur. Obscuratis ergo oculis dorsum flectitur, quia cum lumen scientiae perdunt qui praeeunt, profecto ad portanda peccatorum curvantur onera qui sequuntur.

Chapter II. That None Should Enter on a Place of Government Who Practise Not in Life What They Have Learnt by Study.

CAPUT II. Ne locum regiminis subeant, qui vivendo non perficiunt quae meditando didicerunt. [0015C]

There are some also who investigate spiritual precepts with cunning care, but what they penetrate with their understanding they trample on in their lives: all at once they teach the things which not by practice but by study they have learnt; and what in words they preach by their manners they impugn. Whence it comes to pass that when the shepherd walks through steep places, the flock follows to the precipice. Hence it is that the Lord through the prophet complains of the contemptible knowledge of shepherds, saying, When ye yourselves had drunk most pure water, ye fouled the residue with your feet ; and My sheep fed on that which had been trodden by your feet, and drank that which your feet had fouled (Ezek. xxxiv. 18, 19). For indeed the shepherds drink most pure water, when with a right understanding they imbibe the streams of truth. But to foul the same water with their feet is to corrupt the studies of holy meditation by evil living. And verily the sheep drink the water fouled by their feet, when any of those subject to them follow not the words which they hear, but only imitate the bad examples which they see. Thirsting for the things said, but perverted by the works observed, they take in mud with their draughts, as from polluted fountains. Hence also it is written through the prophet, A snare for the downfall of my people are evil priests (Hos. v. 1; ix. 8). Hence again the Lord through the prophet says of the priests, They are made to be for a stumbling-block of iniquity to the house of Israel. For certainly no one does more harm in the Church than one who has the name and rank of sanctity, while he acts perversely. For him, when he transgresses, no one presumes to take to task; and the offence spreads forcibly for example, when out of reverence to his rank the sinner is honoured. But all who are unworthy would fly from the burden of so great guilt, if with the attentive ear of the heart they weighed the sentence of the Truth, Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matth. xviii. 6). By the millstone is expressed the round and labour of worldly life, and by the depth of the sea is denoted final damnation. Whosoever, then, having come to bear the outward show of sanctity, either by word or example destroys others, it had indeed been better for him that earthly deeds in open guise should press him down to death than that sacred offices should point him out to others as imitable in his wrong-doing; because, surely, if he fell alone, the pains of hell would torment him in more tolerable degree.

Et sunt nonnulli qui solerti cura spiritalia praecepta perscrutantur, sed quae intelligendo penetrant, vivendo conculcant; repente docent 4 quae non opere, sed meditatione didicerunt; et quod verbis praedicant, moribus impugnant. Unde fit ut cum Pastor per abrupta graditur, ad praecipitium grex sequatur. Hinc namque per prophetam Dominus contra contemptibilem Pastorum scientiam queritur, dicens: Cum ipsi limpidissimam aquam biberetis, reliquam pedibus vestris turbabatis; et oves meae quae conculcata pedibus vestris fuerant, pascebantur; et quae pedes vestri turbaverant, haec bibebant (Ezech. [0015D] XXXIV, 18, 19). Aquam quippe limpidissimam Pastores bibunt, cum fluenta veritatis recte intelligentes hauriunt. Sed eamdem aquam pedibus perturbare, est sanctae meditationis studia male vivendo corrumpere. Aquam scilicet eorum turbatam pedibus oves bibunt, cum subjecti quique non sectantur verba quae audiunt, sed sola quae conspiciunt exempla pravitatis imitantur. Qui cum dicta sitiunt, quia per [0016A] opera pervertuntur, quasi corruptis fontibus in potibus lutum sumunt. Hinc quoque scriptum est per prophetam: Laqueus ruinae populi mei, sacerdotes mali (Osee. V, 1; IX, 8). Hinc rursum de sacerdotibus Dominus per prophetam dicit: Facti sunt domui Israel in offendiculum iniquitatis. Nemo quippe (Dist. 83, c. Nemo quippe) amplius in Ecclesia nocet, quam qui perverse agens, nomen vel ordinem sanctitatis habet. Delinquentem namque hunc redarguere nullus praesumit; et in exemplum culpa vehementer extenditur, quando pro reverentia ordinis peccator honoratur. Indigni autem quique tanti reatus pondera fugerent, si veritatis sententiam sollicita cordis aure pensarent, quae ait: Qui scandalizaverit unum de pusillis istis qui in me credunt, expedit ei ut suspendatur [0016B] mola asinaria in collo ejus, et demergatur in profundum maris (Matth. XVIII, 6). Per molam quippe asinariam, secularis vitae circuitus ac labor exprimitur, et per profundum maris extrema damnatio designatur. Qui ergo ad sanctitatis speciem deductus, vel verbo caeteros destruit, vel exemplo; melius profecto fuerat, ut hunc ad mortem sub exteriori habitu terrena acta constringerent, quam sacra officia in culpa caeteris imitabilem demonstrarent, quia nimirum si solus caderet, utcunque hunc tolerabilior inferni poena cruciaret.

Chapter III. Of the Weight of Government; And that All Manner of Adversity is to Be Despised, and Prosperity Feared.

CAPUT III. De pondere regiminis; et quod adversa quaeque despicienda sunt, et prospera formidanda.

So much, then, have we briefly said, to shew how great is the weight of government, lest whosoever is unequal to sacred offices of government should dare to profane them, and through lust of pre-eminence undertake a leadership of perdition. For hence it is that James affectionately deters us, saying, Be not made many masters, my brethren (James iii. 1). Hence the Mediator between God and man Himself-He who, transcending the knowledge and understanding even of supernal spirits, reigns in heaven from eternity-on earth fled from receiving a kingdom. For it is written, When Jesus therefore perceived that they would came and take Him by force, to make Him a king, He departed again into the mountain Himself alone (Joh. vi. 15). For who could so blamelessly have had principality over men as He who would in fact have reigned over those whom He had Himself created? But, because He had come in the flesh to this end, that He might not only redeem us by His passion but also teach us by His conversation, offering Himself as an example to His followers, He would not be made a king; but He went of His own accord to the gibbet of the cross. He fled from the offered glory of pre-eminence, but desired the pain of an ignominious death; that so His members might learn to fly from the favours of the world, to be afraid of no terrors, to love adversity for the truthís sake, and to shrink in fear from prosperity; because this often defiles the heart through vain glory, while that purges it through sorrow; in this the mind exalts itself, but in that, even though it had once exalted itself, it brings itself low; in this man forgets himself, but in that, even perforce and against his will, he is recalled to memory of what he is; in this even good things done aforetime often come to nothing, but in that faults even of long standing are wiped away. For commonly in the school of adversity the heart is subdued under discipline, while, on sudden attainment of supreme rule, it is forthwith changed and becomes elated through familiarity with glory. Thus Saul, who had before fled in consideration of his unworthiness, no sooner had assumed the government of the kingdom than he was puffed up (1 Kings x. 22; xv. 17, 30); for, desirous of being honoured before the people while unwilling to be publicly blamed, he cut off from himself even him who had anointed him to the kingdom. Thus David, who in the judgment of Him who chose him was well pleasing to Him in almost all his deeds, as soon as the weight of pressure was removed, broke out into a swelling sore (2 Kings xi. 3, seq.), and, having been as a laxly running one in his appetite for the woman, became as a cruelly hard one in the slaughter of the man; and he who had before known pitifully how to spare the bad learnt afterwards, without impediment of hesitation, to pant even for the death of the good (Ibid. 15). For, indeed, previously he had been unwilling to smite his captured persecutor; and afterwards, with loss to his wearied army, he destroyed even his devoted soldier. And in truth his crime would have snatched him farther away from the number of the elect, had not scourges called him back to pardon.

Haec itaque breviter diximus, ut quantum sit pondus [0016C] regiminis monstraremus, ne temerare sacra regimina quisquis his impar est audeat, et per concupiscentiam culminis, ducatum suscipiat perditionis. Hinc enim pie Jacobus prohibet, dicens: Nolite plures magistri fieri, fratres mei (Jac. III, 1). Hinc ipse Dei hominumque Mediator regnum percipere vitavit in terris, qui supernorum quoque spirituum scientiam sensumque transcendens, ante saecula regnat in coelis. Scriptum quippe est: Jesus ergo cum cognovisset quia venturi essent ut raperent eum, et facerent eum regem, fugit iterum in montem ipse solus (Joan. VI, 15). Quis enim principari hominibus tam sine culpa potuisset, quam is qui hos nimirum regeret, quos ipse creaverat? Sed quia idcirco in carne venerat, ut non solum nos per passionem redimeret, [0016D] 5 verum etiam per conversationem doceret, exemplum se sequentibus praebens, rex fieri noluit, ad crucis vero patibulum sponte convenit; oblatam gloriam culminis fugit, poenam probrosae mortis appetiit; ut membra ejus videlicet discerent favores mundi fugere, terrores minime timere, pro veritate adversa diligere, prospera formidando declinare, quia et ista saepe per tumorem cor inquinant, [0017A] et illa per dolorem purgant. In istis se animus erigit, in illis autem etiamsi quando se erexerit, sternit. In istis sese homo obliviscitur, in illis vero ad sui memoriam nolens etiam coactusque revocatur. In istis saepe et anteacta bona depereunt, in illis autem longi quoque temporis admissa terguntur. Nam plerumque adversitatis magisterio sub disciplina cor premitur: quod si ad regiminis culmen eruperit, in elationem protinus usu gloriae permutatur. Sic Saul, qui indignum se prius considerans fugerat, mox ut regni gubernacula suscepit, intumuit (I Reg. X, 22; XV, 17, 30); honorari namque coram populo cupiens, dum reprehendi publice noluit, ipsum qui in regnum se unxerat, scidit (Act. XIII, 22). Sic David auctoris judicio pene in cunctis actibus placens, [0017B] mox ut pressurae pondere caruit, in tumorem vulneris erupit (II Reg. XI, 3, seq.), factusque est in morte viri crudeliter rigidus, qui in appetitu feminae fuit enerviter fluxus; et qui malis ante noverat pie parcere, in bonorum quoque necem post didicit sine obstaculo retractationis anhelare (Ibid., 15). Prius quippe ferire deprehensum persecutorem noluit, et post cum damno desudantis exercitus etiam devotum militem exstinxit. Quem profecto ab electorum numero culpa longius raperet, nisi hunc ad veniam flagella revecassent.

Chapter IV. That Far the Most Part the Occupation of Government Dissipates the Solidity of the Mind.

CAPUT IV. Quod plerumque occupatio regiminis soliditatem dissipet mentis.

Often the care of government, when undertaken, distracts the heart in divers directions; and one is found unequal to dealing with particular things, while with confused mind divided among many. Whence a certain wise man providently dissuades, saying, My son, meddle not with many matters (Ecclus. xi. 10); because, that is, the mind is by no means collected on the plan of any single work while parted among divers. And, when it is drawn abroad by unwonted care, it is emptied of the solidity of inward fear: it becomes anxious in the ordering of things that are without, and, ignorant of itself alone, knows how to think of many things, while itself it knows not. For, when it implicates itself more than is needful in things that are without, it is as though it were so occupied during a journey as to forget where it was going; so that, being estranged from the business of self-examination, it does not even consider the losses it is suffering, or know how great they are. For neither did Hezekiah believe himself to be sinning (2 Kings xx. 13), when he shewed to the strangers who came to him his storehouses of spices; but he fell under the anger of the judge, to the condemnation of his future offspring, from what he supposed himself to be doing lawfully (Isai. xxxix. 4). Often, when means are abundant, and many things can be done for subordinates to admire, the mind exalts itself in thought, and fully provokes to itself the anger of the judge, though not breaking out in overt acts of iniquity. For he who judges is within; that which is judged is within. When, then, in heart we transgress, what we are doing within ourselves is hidden from men. but yet in the eyes of the judge we sin. For neither did the King of Babylon then first stand guilty of elation (Dan. iv. 16, seq.) when he came to utter words of elation, inasmuch as even before, when he had given no utterance to his elation, he heard the sentence of reprobation from the prophetís mouth For he had already wiped off the fault of the pride he had been guilty of, when he proclaimed to all the nations under him the omnipotent God whom he found himself to have offended.

Saepe suscepta cura regiminis cor per diversa diverberat, [0017C] et impar quisque invenitur ad singula, dum confusa mente dividitur ad multa. Unde quidam sapiens provide prohibet, dicens: Fili, ne in multis sint actus tui (Eccli. XI, 10), quia videlicet nequaquam plene in uniuscujusque operis ratione colligitur, dum mens per diversa partitur. Cumque foras per insolentem curam trahitur, a timoris intimi soliditate vacuatur: fit in exteriorum dispositione sollicita, et sui solummodo ignara, scit multa cogitare, se nesciens. Nam cum plus quam necesse est se exterioribus implicat, quasi occupata in itinere obliviscitur quo tendebat; ita ut ab studio suae inquisitionis aliena, ne ipsa quidem quae patitur damna consideret, et per quanta delinquat ignoret. Neque enim peccare se Ezechias credidit (IV Reg. XX, 13), cum venientibus [0017D] ad se alienigenis aromatum cellas ostendit; sed in damnationem secuturae prolis ex eo iram judicis pertulit, quod se facere licenter aestimavit (Isai. XXXIX, 4). Saepe dum multa suppetunt, dumque agi possunt, quae subjecti quia acta sunt admirentur, in [0018A] cogitatione se animus elevat, et plene in se iram judicis provocat, quamvis per iniqua foras opera non erumpat. 6 Intus quippe est qui judicat, intus quod judicatur. Cum ergo in corde delinquimus, latet homines quod apud nos agimus, sed tamen ipso judice teste peccamus. Neque enim rex Babyloniae tunc reus de elatione exstitit (Dan. IV, 16, seq.), cum ad elationis verba pervenit; quippe qui ore prophetico et ante cum ab elatione tacuit, sententiam reprobationis audivit. Culpam namque perpetratae superbiae jam ante deterserat, qui omnipotentem Deum quem se offendisse reperit, cunctis sub se gentibus praedicavit.

        But after this, elevated by the success of his dominion, and rejoicing in having done great things, he first preferred himself to all in thought, and afterwards, still vain-glorious, said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom, and in the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? (Dan. iv. 30.) Which utterance of his, as we see, fell openly under the vengeance of the wrath which his hidden elation kindled. For the strict judge first sees invisibly what he afterwards reproves by publicly smiting it. Hence him He turned even into an irrational animal, separated him from human society, changed his mind and joined him to the beasts of the field, that in obviously strict and just judgment he who had esteemed himself great beyond men should lose even his being as a man. Now in adducing these things we are not finding fault with dominion, but guarding the infirmity of the heart from coveting it, lest any that are imperfect should venture to snatch at supreme rule, or those who stumble on plain ground set foot on a precipice.

Sed post haec successu suae potestatis elevatus, dum magna se fecisse gauderet, cunctis prius in cogitatione se praetulit, et post adhuc tumidus dixit: [0018B] Nonne haec est Babylon magna, quam ego aedificavi in domum regni, et in robore fortitudinis meae, et in gloria decoris mei? (Ibid., IV, 27.) Quae videlicet vox illius irae vindictam aperte pertulit, quam occulta elatio accendit. Nam districtus judex prius invisibiliter vidit quod postea publice feriendo reprehendit. Unde et in irrationale animal hunc vertit, ab humana societate separavit, agri bestiis mutata mente conjunxit, ut districto videlicet justoque judicio homo quoque esse perderet, qui magnum se ultra homines aestimasset. Haec itaque proferentes, non potestatem reprehendimus, sed ab appetitu illius cordis infirmitatem munimus, ne imperfecti quique culmen arripere regiminis audeant, et qui in planis stantes titubant, in praecipiti pedem ponant.



Chapter V. Of Those Who are Able to Profit Others by Virtuous Example in Supreme Rule, But Fly from It in Pursuit of Their Own Ease.

[CAPUT V. De his qui in regiminis culmine prodesse exemplo virtutum possunt, sed quietem propriam sectando refugiunt. 0018C]

For there are some who are eminently endowed with virtues, and for the training of others are exalted by great gifts, who are pure in zeal for chastity, strong in the might of abstinence, filled with the feasts of doctrine, humble in the long-suffering of patience, erect in the fortitude of authority, tender in the grace of loving-kindness, strict in the severity of justice. Truly such as these, if when called they refuse to undertake offices of supreme rule, for the most part deprive themselves of the very gifts which they received not for themselves alone, but for others also; and, while they meditate their own and not anotherís gain, they forfeit the very benefits which they desire to keep to themselves. For hence it was that the Truth said to His disciples, A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid: neither do they light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house (Matth. v. 15). Hence He says to Peter, Simon, Son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? (Joh. xv. 16, 17); and he, when he had at once answered that he loved, was told, If thou lovest Me, fled My sheep. If, then, the care of feeding is the proof of loving, whosoever abounds in virtues, and yet refuses to feed the flock of God, is convicted of not loving the chief Shepherd. Hence Paul says, If Christ died/or all, then all died. And if He died for all, it remaineth that they which live should now no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again (2 Cor. v. 15). Hence Moses says (Deut. xxv. 5) that a surviving brother shall take to him the wife of a brother who has died without children, and beget children to the name of his brother; and that, if he haply refuse to take her, the woman shall spit in his face, and her kinsman shall loose the shoe from off one Of his feet, and call his habitation the house of him that hath his shoe loosed. Now the deceased brother is He who, after the glory of the resurrection, said, Go tell My brethren (Matth. xxviii. 10). For He died as it were without children, in that He had not yet filled up the number of His elect. Then, it is ordered that the surviving brother shall have the wife assigned to him, because it is surely fit that the care of holy Church be imposed on him who is best able to rule it well. But, should he be unwilling, the woman spits in his face, because whosoever cares not to benefit others out of the gifts which he has received, the holy Church exprobrates even what he has of good, and, as it were, casts spittle on his face; and from one foot the shoe is taken away, inasmuch as it is written, Your feet shod in preparation of the Gospel of Peace (Ephes. vi. 15). If, then, we have the care of our neighbour as well as of ourselves upon us, we have each foot protected by a shoe. But he who, meditating his own advantage, neglects that of his neighbours, loses with disgrace one footís shoe. And so there are some, as we have said, enriched with great gifts, who, while they are ardent for the studies of contemplation only, shrink from serving to their neighbourís benefit by preaching; they love a secret place of quiet, they long for a retreat for speculation. With respect to which conduct, they are, if strictly judged, undoubtedly guilty in proportion to the greatness of the gifts whereby they might have been publicly useful. For with what disposition of mind does one who might be conspicuous in profiting his neighbours prefer his own privacy to the advantage of others, when the Only-begotten of the supreme Father Himself came forth from the bosom of the Father into the midst of us all, that He might profit many?

Nam sunt nonnulli, qui eximia virtutum dona percipiunt, et pro exercitatione caeterorum magnis muneribus exaltantur, qui studio castitatis mundi, abstinentiae robore validi, doctrinae dapibus referti, patientiae longanimitate humiles, auctoritatis fortitudine erecti, pietatis gratia benigni, justitiae severitate districti sunt. Qui nimirum culmen regiminum si vocati suscipere renuunt, ipsa sibi plerumque dona adimunt, quae non pro se tantummodo, sed etiam pro aliis acceperunt. Cumque sua et non aliorum lucra [0018D] cogitant, ipsis se, quae privata habere appetunt, bonis privant. Hinc namque ad discipulos Veritas dicit: Non potest civitas abscondi super montem posita; neque accendunt lucernam, et ponunt eam sub modio, sed super candelabrum, ut luceat omnibus qui [0019A] in domo sunt (Matth. V, 15). Hinc Petro ait: Simon Joannis, amas me? (Joan. XV, 16, 17.) Qui cum se amare protinus respondisset, audivit: Si diligis me, pasce oves meas. Si ergo dilectionis est testimonium cura pastionis, quisquis virtutibus pollens gregem Dei renuit pascere, pastorem summum convincitur non amare. Hinc Paulus dicit: Si Christus pro omnibus mortuus est, ergo omnes mortui sunt. Et si pro omnibus mortuus est, superest ut qui vivunt, jam non sibi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est, et resurrexit (II Cor. V, 15). Hinc Moyses ait (Deuteron. XXV, 5), ut uxorem fratris sine filiis defuncti, superstes frater 7 accipiat, atque ad nomen fratris filios gignat: quam si accipere forte renuerit, huic in faciem mulier exspuat, unumque ei pedem propinquus [0019B] discalciet, ejusque habitaculum domum discalceati vocet. Frater quippe defunctus ille est, qui post resurrectionis gloriam apparens, dixit: Ite, dicite fratribus meis (Matth. XXVIII, 10). Qui quasi sine filiis obiit, quia adhuc electorum suorum numerum non implevit. Hujus scilicet uxorem superstes frater sortiri praecipitur, quia dignum profecto est, ut cura sanctae Ecclesiae ei qui hanc bene regere praevalet imponatur. Cui nolenti in faciem mulier exspuit, quia quisquis ex muneribus quae perceperit prodesse aliis non curat, bonis quoque ejus sancta Ecclesia exprobrans, ei quasi in faciem salivam jactat. Cui ex uno pede calceamentum tollitur, ut discalceati domus vocetur. Scriptum quippe est: Calceati pedes in praeparatione Evangelii pacis (Ephes. VI, 15). Si ergo [0019C] ut nostram, sic curam proximi gerimus, utrumque pedem per calceamentum munimus. Qui vero suam cogitans utilitatem, proximorum negligit, quasi unius pedis calceamentum cum dedecore amittit. Sunt itaque nonnulli qui magnis, ut diximus, muneribus ditati, dum solius contemplationis studiis inardescunt, parere utilitati proximorum in praedicatione refugiunt, secretum quietis diligunt, secessum speculationis appetunt. De quo si districte judicentur, ex tantis proculdubio rei sunt, quantis venientes ad publicum prodesse potuerunt. Qua enim mente is qui proximis profuturus enitesceret, utilitati caeterorum secretum praeponit suum, quando ipse summi Patris unigenitus, ut multis prodesset, de sinu Patris egressus est ad publicum nostrum?

Chapter VI. That Those Who Fly from the Burden of Rule Through Humility are Then Truly Humble When They Resist Not the Divine Decrees.

CAPUT VI. Quod hi qui pondus regiminis per humilitatem fugiunt, tunc vere sunt humiles, cum divinis judiciis non reluctantur. [0019D]

There are some also who fly by reason only of their humility, lest they should be preferred to others to whom they esteem themselves unequal. And theirs, indeed, if it be surrounded by other virtues, is then true humility before the eyes of God, when it is not pertinacious in rejecting what it is enjoined to undertake with profit. For neither is he truly humble, who understands how the good pleasure of the Supernal Will ought to bear sway, and yet contemns its sway. But, submitting himself to the divine disposals, and averse from the vice of obstinacy, it be be already prevented with gifts whereby he may profit others also, he ought, when enjoined to undertake supreme rule, in his heart to flee from it, but against his will to obey.

Et sunt nonnulli qui ex sola humilitate refugiunt, ne eis quibus se impares aestimant praeferantur. Quorum profecto humilitas, si caeteris quoque virtutibus cingitur, tunc ante Dei oculos vera est, cum ad respuendum hoc quod utiliter subire praecipitur pertinax [0020A] non est. Neque enim vere humilis est, qui superni nutus arbitrium ut debeat praeesse intelligit, et tamen praeesse contemnit. Sed divinis dispositionibus subditus, atque a vitio obstinationis alienus, cum sibi regiminis culmen imperatur, si jam donis praeventus est, quibus et aliis prosit, et ex corde debet fugere, et invitus obedire.

Chapter VII. That Sometimes Same Laudably Desire the Office of Preaching, While Others, as Laudably, are Drawn to It by Compulsion.

CAPUT VII. Quod nonnunquam praedicationis officium et nonnulli laudabiliter appetunt, et ad hoc nonnulli laudabiliter coacti pertrahuntur.

Although sometimes some laudably desire the office of preaching, yet others are as laudably drawn to it by compulsion; as we plainly perceive, if we consider the conduct of two prophets, one of whom offered himself of his own accord to be sent to preach, yet the other in fear refused to go. For Isaiah, when the Lord asked whom He should send, offered himself of his own accord, saying, Here I am; send me (Isai. vi. 8). But Jeremiah is sent, yet humbly pleads that he should not be sent, saying, Ah, Lord God! behold I cannot speak: for I am a child (Jer. i. 6). Lo, from these two men different voices proceeded outwardly, but they t flowed from the same fountain of love. For there are two precepts of charity; the love of God and of our neighbour. Wherefore Isaiah, eager to profit his neighbours through an active life, desires the office of preaching; but Jeremiah, longing to cleave sedulously to the love of his Creator through a contemplative life, remonstrates against being sent to preach. Thus what the one laudably desired the other laudably shrunk from; the latter, lest by speaking he should lose the gains of silent contemplation; the former, lest by keeping silence he should suffer loss for lack of diligent work. But this in both cases is to be nicely observed, that he who refused did not persist in his refusal, and he who wished to be sent saw himself previously cleansed by a coal of the altar; lest any one who has not been purged should dare to approach sacred ministries, or any whom supernal grace has chosen should proudly gainsay it under a show of humility. Wherefore, since it is very difficult for any one to be sure that he has been cleansed, it is safer to decline the office of preaching, though (as we have said) it should not be declined pertinaciously when the Supernal Will that it should be undertaken is recognized. Both requirements Moses marvellously fulfilled, who was unwilling to be set over so great a multitude, and yet obeyed. For peradventure he were proud, were he to undertake without trepidation the leadership of that innumerable people; and, again, proud he would plainly be were he to refuse to obey his Lordís command. Thus in both ways humble, in both ways submissive, he was unwilling, as measuring himself, to be set over the people; and yet, as presuming on the might of Him who commanded him, he consented. Hence, then, hence let all rash ones infer how great guilt is theirs, if they fear not to be preferred to others by their own seeking, when holy men, even when God commanded, feared to undertake the leadership of peoples. Moses trembles though God persuades him; and yet every weak one pants to assume the burden of dignity; and one who can hardly bear his own load without falling, gladly puts his shoulders under the pressure of others not his own: his own deeds are too heavy for him to carry, and he augments his burden.

Quamvis nonnunquam praedicationis officium et nonnulli laudabiliter appetunt, et ad hoc nonnulli laudabiliter coacti pertrahuntur: quod liquido cognoscimus, si duorum prophetantium facta pensamus, [0020B] quorum unus ut ad praedicandum mitti debuisset sponte se praebuit, quo tamen alter 8 pergere cum pavore recusavit. Isaias quippe Domino quaerenti quem mitteret, ultro se obtulit, dicens: Ecce ego, mitte me (Isai. VI, 8). Jeremias autem mittitur, et tamen ne mitti debeat humiliter reluctatur, dicens: A, a, a, Domine Deus, ecce nescio loqui, quia puer ego sum (Jerem. I, 6). En ab utrisque exterius diversa vox prodiit, sed non a diverso fonte dilectionis emanavit. Duo quippe sunt praecepta charitatis, Dei videlicet amor et proximi. Per activam igitur vitam prodesse proximis cupiens Isaias officium praedicationis appetit; per contemplativam vero Jeremias amori conditoris sedulo inhaerere desiderans, ne mitti ad praedicandum debeat contradicit. Quod ergo laudabiliter [0020C] alter appetiit, hoc laudabiliter alter expavit: iste ne tacitae contemplationis lucra loquendo perderet, ille ne damna studiosi operis tacendo sentiret. Sed hoc in utrisque est subtiliter intuendum, quia et is qui recusavit, plene non restitit; et is qui mitti voluit, ante per altaris calculum se purgatum vidit; ne aut non purgatus adire quisque sacra ministeria audeat, aut quem superna gratia elegit, sub humilitatis specie superbe contradicat. Quia igitur valde difficile est purgatum se quemlibet posse cognoscere, praedicationis officium tutius declinatur; nec tamen declinari, ut diximus, pertinaciter debet, cum ad suscipiendum hoc superna voluntas agnoscitur. Quod Moyses utrumque miro opere explevit, qui praeesse tantae multitudini et noluit et obedivit. Superbus enim [0020D] fortasse esset, si ducatum plebis innumerae sine trepidatione susciperet; et rursum superbus existeret, si auctoris imperio obedire recusaret. Utrobique ergo humilis, utrobique subjectus, et praeesse populis semetipsum metiendo noluit, et tamen de imperantis viribus praesumendo consensit. Hinc ergo, hinc quique praecipites colligant cum quanta culpa ex appetitu proprio caeteris praeferri non metuunt, si sancti viri plebium ducatum suscipere Deo etiam jubente [0021A] timuerunt. Moyses suadente Domino trepidat, et infirmus quisque ut honoris onus percipiat anhelat; et qui ad casum valde urgetur ex propriis, humerum libenter opprimendus ponderibus submittit alienis; quae egit ferre non valet, et auget quod portet.

Chapter VIII. Of Those Who Covet Pre-Eminence, and Seize on the Language of the Apostle to Serve the Purpose of Their Own Cupidity.

CAPUT VIII. De his qui praeesse concupiscunt, et ad usum suae libidinis instrumentum Apostolici sermonis arripiunt.

But for the most part those who covet pre-eminence seize on the language of the Apostle to serve the purpose of their own cupidity, where he says, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work (1 Tim. iii. 1). But, while praising the desire, he forthwith turns what he has praised to fear when at once he adds, but a bishop must be blameless (1 Tim. iii. 2). And, when he subsequently enumerates the necessary virtues, he makes manifest what this blamelessness consists in. And so, with regard to their desire, he approves them, but by his precept he alarms them; as if saying plainly, I praise what ye seek; but first learn what it is ye seek; lest, while ye neglect to measure yourselves, your blamefulness appear all the fouler for its haste to be seen by all in the highest place of honour. For the great master in the art of ruling impels by approval and checks by alarms; so that, by describing the height of blamelessness, he may restrain his hearers from pride, and, by praising the office which is sought, dispose them to the life required. Nevertheless it is to be noted that this was said at a time when whosoever was set over people was usually the first to be led to the torments of martyrdom. At that time, therefore, it was laudable to seek the office of a bishop, since through it there was no doubt that a man would come in the end to heavier pains. Hence even the office of a bishop itself is defined as a good work, when it is said, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work (1 Tim. iii. 1). Wherefore he that seeks, not this ministry of a good work, but the glory of distinction, is himself a witness against himself that he does not desire the office of a bishop; inasmuch as that man not only does not love at all the sacred office, but even knows not what it is, who, panting after supreme rule, is fed by the subjection of others in the hidden meditation of his thought, rejoices in his own praises, lifts up his heart to honour, exults in abundant affluence. Thus worldly gain is sought under colour of that honour by which worldly gains should have beth destroyed; and, when the mind thinks to seize on the highest post of humility for its own elation, it inwardly changes what it outwardly desires.

Plerumque vero qui praeesse concupiscunt, ad usum suae libidinis instrumentum Apostolici sermonis arripiunt, quo ait: Si quis episcopatum desiderat, bonum opus desiderat (I Tim. III, 1); qui tamen laudans desiderium, in pavorem vertit protinus quod laudavit, cum repente subjungit: Oportet autem episcopum irreprehensibilem esse (Ibid., 2). Cumque virtutum [0021B] necessaria subsequenter enumerat, quae sit irreprehensibilitas ipsa manifestat. Et favet ergo ex desiderio, et terret ex praecepto, ac si aperte dicat: Laudo quod quaeritis, sed prius discite quid quaeratis; ne dum vosmetipsos metiri negligitis, tanto foedior vestra reprehensibilitas appareat, quanto et a cunctis conspici in honoris arce festinat. 9 Magnus enim regendi artifex favoribus impellit, terroribus retrahit, ut auditores suos et descripto irreprehensibilitatis culmine restringat a superbia, et officium laudando quod quaeritur, componat ad vitam. Quamvis notandum quod illo in tempore hoc dicitur, quo quisquis plebibus praeerat, primus ad martyrii tormenta ducebatur. Tunc ergo laudabile fuit episcopatum quaerere, quando per hunc quemque dubium non [0021C] erat ad supplicia graviora pervenire. Unde ipsum quoque episcopatus officium boni operis expressione definitur, cum dicitur: Si quis episcopatum desiderat, bonum opus desiderat (I Tim. III, 1). Ipse ergo sibi testis est quia episcopatum non appetit, qui non per hunc boni operis ministerium, sed honoris gloriam quaerit. Sacrum quippe officium non solum non diligit omnino, sed nescit, qui ad culmen regiminis anhelans, in occulta meditatione cogitationis caeterorum subjectione pascitur, laude propria laetatur, ad honorem cor elevat, rerum affluentium abundantia exsultat. Mundi ergo lucrum quaeritur sub ejus honoris specie quo mundi destrui lucra debuerunt. Cumque mens humilitatis culmen arripere ad elationem cogitat, quod foris appetit, intus immutat.

Chapter IX. That the Mind of Than Who Wish for Pre-Eminence Far the Most Part Flatters Itself with a Feigned Promise of Good Works.

CAPUT IX. Quod mens praeesse volentium plerumque sibi ficta bonorum operum promissione blanditur. 0021D

But for the most part those who covet pastoral authority mentally propose to themselves some good works besides, and, though desiring it with a motive of pride, still muse how they will effect great things: and so it comes to pass that the motive suppressed in the depths of the heart is one thing, another what the surface of thought presents to the muserís mind. For the mind itself lies to itself about itself, and feigns with respect to good work to love what it does not love, and with respect to the worldís glory not to love what it does love. Eager for domination, it becomes timid with regard to it while in pursuit, audacious after attainment. For, while advancing towards it, it is in trepidation lest it should not attain it; but all at once, on having attained, thinks what it has attained to be its just due. And, when it has once begun to enjoy the office of its acquired dominion in a worldly way, it willingly forgets what it has cogitated in a religious way. Hence it is necessary that, when such cogitation is extended beyond wont, the mindís eye should be recalled to works already accomplished, and that every one should consider what he has done as a subordinate; and so may he at once discover whether as a prelate he will be able to do the good things he has proposed to do. For one can by no means learn humility in a high place who has not ceased to be proud while occupying a low one: one knows not how to fly from praise when it abounds, who has learnt to pant for it when it was wanting: one can by no means overcome avarice, when advanced to the sustentation of many, whom his own means could not suffice for himself alone. Wherefore from his past life let every one discover what he is, lest in his craving for eminence the phantom of his cogitation illude him. Nevertheless it is generally the case that the very practice of good deeds which was maintained in tranquillity is lost in the occupation of government; since even an unskilful person guides a ship along a straight course in a cain, sea; but in one disturbed by the waves of tempest even the skilled sailor is confounded. For what is eminent dominion but a tempest of the mind, in which the ship of the heart is ever shaken by hurricanes of thought, is incessantly driven hither and thither, so as to be shattered by sudden excesses of word and deed, as if by opposing rocks? In the midst of all these dangers, then, what course is to be followed, what is to be held to, except that one who abounds in virtues should accede to government under compulsion, and that one who is void of virtues should not, even under compulsion, approach it? As to the former, let him beware lest, if he refuses altogether, he be as one who binds up in a napkin the money which he has received, and be judged for hiding it (Matth. xxv. 18). For, indeed, to bind up in a napkin is to hide gifts received under the listlessness of sluggish torpor. But, on the other hand, let the latter, when he craves government, take care lest, by his example of evil deeds, he become an obstacle to such as are journeying to the entrance of the kingdom, after the manner of the Pharisees, who, according to the Masterís voice (Matth. xxiii. 13), neither go in themselves nor stiffer others to go in. And he should also consider how, when an elected prelate undertakes the cause of the people, he goes, as it were, as a physician to one that is sick. If, then, ailments still live in his body, what presumption is his, to make haste to heal the smitten, while in his own face carrying a sore!

Sed plerumque hi qui subire magisterium pastorale cupiunt, nonnulla quoque bona opera animo proponunt; et quamvis hoc elationis intentione appetant, [0022A] operaturos tamen se magna pertractant; fitque ut aliud in imis intentio supprimat, aliud tractantis animo superficies cogitationis ostendat. Nam saepe sibi de se mens ipsa mentitur, et fingit se de bono opere amare quod non amat, de mundi autem gloria non amare quod amat: quae principari appetens, fit ad hoc pavida cum quaerit, audax cum pervenerit. Tendens enim, ne non perveniat trepidat; sed repente perveniens, jure sibi hoc debitum ad quod pervenerit putat. Cumque percepti principatus officio perfrui saeculariter coeperit, libenter obliviscitur quidquid religiose cogitavit. Unde necesse est ut cum cogitatio extra usum ducitur, protinus mentis oculus ad opera transacta revocetur; ac penset quisque quid subjectus egerit, et repente [0022B] cognoscit si praelatus bona agere quae proposuerit possit, quia nequaquam valet in culmine humilitatem discere, qui in imis positus non desiit superbire. Nescit laudem cum suppetit fugere, qui ad hanc didicit cum deesset anhelare. Nequaquam vincere avaritiam potest, quando ad multorum sustentationem tenditur is cui sufficere propria nec soli potuerunt. Ex anteacta ergo vita se quisque inveniat, ne in appetitu se culminis imago cogitationis illudat. Quamvis plerumque in occupatione regiminis ipse quoque boni operis usus perditur, qui in tranquillitate tenebatur, quia quieto mari recte 10 navem et imperitus dirigit; turbato autem tempestatis fluctibus, etiam peritus se nauta confundit. Quid namque est potestas culminis, nisi tempestas mentis? In qua [0022C] semper cogitationum procellis navis cordis quatitur, huc illucque incessanter impellitur, ut per repentinos excessus oris et operis quasi per obviantia saxa frangatur. Inter haec itaque quid sequendum est, quid tenendum, nisi ut virtutibus pollens coactus ad regimen veniat, virtutibus vacuus nec coactus accedat? Ille si omnino renititur, caveat ne acceptam pecuniam in sudarium ligans, de ejus occultatione judicetur (Matth. XXV, 18). Pecuniam quippe in sudario ligare, est percepta dona sub otio lenti torporis abscondere. At contra, iste cum regimen appetit, attendat ne per exemplum pravi operis, Pharisaeorum more, ad ingressum regni tendentibus obstaculum fiat: qui juxta Magistri vocem (Matth. XXIII, 13) nec ipsi intrant, nec alios intrare permittunt. Cui considerandum [0022D] quoque est, quia cum causam populi electus praesul suscipit, quasi ad aegrum medicus accedit. Si ergo adhuc in ejus opere passiones vivunt, qua praesumptione percussum mederi properat, qui in facie vulnus portat?

Chapter X. What Manner of Man Ought to Come to Rule.

CAPUT X. Qualis quisque ad regimen venire debeat. [0023A]

That man, therefore, ought by all means to be drawn with cords to be an example of good living who already lives spiritually, dying to all passions of the flesh; who disregards worldly prosperity; who is afraid of no adversity; who desires only inward wealth; whose intention the body, in good accord with it, thwarts not at all by its frailness, nor the spirit greatly by its disdain: one who is not led to covet the things of others, but gives freely of his own; who through the bowels of compassion is quickly moved to pardon, yet is never bent down from the fortress of rectitude by pardoning more than is meet; who perpetrates no unlawful deeds, yet deplores those perpetrated by others as though they were his own; who out of affection of heart sympathizes with anotherís infirmity, and so rejoices in the good of his neighbour as though it were his own advantage; who so insinuates himself as an example to others in all he does that among them he has nothing, at any rate of his own past deeds, to blush for; who studies so to live that he may be able to water even dry hearts with the streams of doctrine; who has already learnt by the use and trial of prayer that he can obtain what he has requested from the Lord, having had already said to him, as it were, through the voice of experience, While thou art yet speaking, I will say, Here am I (Isai. lviii. 9). For if perchance any one should come to us asking us to intercede for him with some great man, who was incensed against him, but to us unknown, we should at once reply, We cannot go to intercede for you, since we have no familiar acquaintance with that man. If, then, a man blushes to become an intercessor with another man on whom he has no claim, with what idea can any one grasp the post of intercession with God for the people, who does not know himself to be in favour with Him through the merit of his own life? And how can he ask of Him pardon for others while ignorant whether towards himself He is appeased? And in this matter there is yet another thing to be more anxiously feared; namely, lest one who is supposed to be competent to appease wrath should himself provoke it on account of guilt of his own. For we all know well that, when one who is in disfavour is sent to intercede with an incensed person, the mind of the latter is provoked to greater severity. Wherefore let one who is still tied and bound with earthly desires beware lest by more grievously incensing the strict judge, while he delights himself in his place of honour, he become the cause of ruin to his subordinates.

Ille igitur, ille modis omnibus debet ad exemplum vivendi pertrahi, qui cunctis carnis passionibus moriens jam spiritaliter vivit, qui prospera mundi postposuit, qui nulla adversa pertimescit, qui sola interna desiderat. Cujus intentioni bene congruens, nec omnino per imbecillitatem corpus, nec valde per contumeliam repugnat spiritus. Qui ad aliena cupienda non ducitur, sed propria largitur. Qui per pietatis viscera citius ad ignoscendum flectitur, sed nunquam plus quam deceat ignoscens, ab arce rectitudinis inclinatur. Qui nulla illicita perpetrat, sed perpetrata ab aliis ut propria deplorat. Qui ex affectu cordis alienae infirmitati compatitur, sicque in [0023B] bonis proximi sicut in suis provectibus laetatur. Qui ita se imitabilem caeteris in cunctis quae agit insinuat, ut inter eos non habeat quod saltem de transactis erubescat. Qui sic studet vivere, ut proximorum quoque corda arentia doctrinae valeat fluentis irrigare. Qui orationis usu et experimento jam didicit, quod obtinere a Domino quae poposcerit, possit, cui per effectus vocem jam quasi specialiter dicitur: Adhuc loquente te, dicam, Ecce adsum (Isai. LVIII, 9). Si enim fortasse quis veniat, ut pro se ad intercedendum nos apud potentem quempiam virum, qui sibi iratus, nobis vero est incognitus, ducat, protinus respondemus: Ad intercedendum venire non possumus, quia familiaritatis ejus notitiam non habemus. Si ergo homo apud hominem de quo minime [0023C] praesumit fieri intercessor erubescit, qua mente apud Deum intercessionis locum pro populo arripit, qui familiarem se ejus gratiae esse per vitae meritum nescit? 11 Aut ab eo quomodo aliis veniam postulat, qui utrum sibi sit placatus ignorat? Qua in re adhuc aliud est sollicitius formidandum, ne qui placare posse iram creditur, hanc ipse ex proprio reatu mereatur (Dist. 49, initio, et c. 1). Cuncti enim liquido novimus, quia cum is qui displicet ad intercedendum mittitur, irati animus ad deteriora provocatur. Qui ergo adhuc desideriis terrenis astringitur, caveat ne districti iram judicis gravius accendens, dum loco delectatur gloriae, fiat subditis auctor ruinae.

Chapter XI. What Manner of Man Ought Not to Come to Rule.

CAPUT XI. Qualis quisque ad regimen venire non debeat.

Wherefore let every one measure himself wisely, lest he venture to assume a place of rule, while in himself vice still reigns unto condemnation; lest one whom his own guilt depraves desire to become an intercessor for the faults of others. For on this account it is said to Moses by the supernal voice, Speak unto Aaron; Whosoever he be of thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, he shall not offer loaves of bread to the Lord his God (Lev. xxi. 17). And it is also immediately subjoined; If he be blind, if he be lame, if he have either a small or a large and crooked nose, if he be brokenfooted or brokenhanded, if he be hunchbacked, if he be bleareyed (lippus), if he have a where speck (albuginem) in his eye, if chronic stables, if impetigo in his body, or if he be ruptured (ponderosus) (Ibid. 183 ). For that man is indeed blind who is unacquainted with the light of supernal contemplation, who, whelmed in the darkness of the present life, while he beholds not at all by loving it the light to come, knows not whither he isí advancing thesteps of his conduct. Hence by Hannah prophesying it is said, He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness (1 Kings ii. 9). But that man is lame who does indeed see in what direction he ought to go, but, through infirmity of purpose, is unable to keep perfectly the way of life which he sees, because, while unstable habit rises not to a settled state of virtue, the steps of conduct do not follow with effect the aim of desire. Hence it is that Paul says, Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed (Heb. xii. 12, 13). But one with a small nose is he who is not adapted for keeping the measure of discernment. For with the nose we discern sweet odours and stenches: and so by the nose is properly expressed discernment, through which we choose virtues and eschew sins. Whence also it is said in praise of the bride, Thy nose is as the tower which is in Lebanon (Cant. vii. 4); because, to wit, Holy Church, by discernment, espies assaults issuing from this or that quarter, and detects from an eminence the coming wars of vices. But there are some who, not liking to be thought dull, busy themselves often more than needs in various investigations, and by reason of too great subtilty are deceived. Wherefore this also is added, Or have a large and crooked nose. For a large and crooked nose is excessive subtility of discernment, which, having become unduly excrescent, itself confuses the correctness of its own operation. But one with broken foot or hand is he who cannot walk in the way of God at all, and is utterly without part or lot in good deeds, to such degree that he does not, like the lame man, maintain them however weakly, but remains altogether apart from them. But the hunchbacked is he whom the weight of earthly care bows down, so that he never looks up to the things that are above, but is intent only on what is trodden on among the lowest. And he, should he ever hear anything of the good things of the heavenly country, is so pressed down by the weight of perverse custom, that he lifts not the face of his heart to it, being unable to erect the posture of his thought, which the habit of earthly care keeps downward bent. Of this kind of men the Psalmist says, I am bent down and am brought low continually (Ps. xxxviii 8). The fault of such as these the Truth in person reprobates, saying, But the seed which fell among thorns are they which, when they have heard the word, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of life, and bear no fruit (Luke viii. 14). But the blear eyed is he whose native wit flashes out for cognition of the truth, and yet carnal works obscure it. For in the blear-eyed the pupils are sound; but the eyelids, weakened by defluxion of humours, become gross; and even the brightness of the pupils is impaired, because they are worn continually by the flux upon them. The blear-eyed, then, is one whose sense nature has made keen, but whom a depraved habit of life confuses. To him it is well said through the angel, Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see (Apoc. iii. 18). For we may be said to anoint our eyes with eyesalve that we may see, when we aid the eye of our understanding for perceiving the clearness of the true light with the medicament of good conduct. But that man has a white speck in his eye who is not permitted to see the light of truth, in that he is blinded by the arrogant assumption of wisdom or of righteousness. For the pupil of the eye, when black, sees; but, when it bears a white speck, sees nothing; by which we may understand that the perceiving sense of human thought, if a man understands himself to be a fool and a sinner, becomes cognizant of the clearness of inmost light; but, if it attributes to itself the whiteness of righteousness or wisdom, it excludes itself from the light of knowledge from above, and by so much the more fails entirely to penetrate the clearness of the true light, as it exalts itself within itself through arrogance; as of some it is said, Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Rom. i. 22). But that man has chronic scabies whom the wantonness of the flesh without cease overmasters. For in scabies the violent heat of the bowels is drawn to the skin; whereby lechery is rightly designated, since, if the heartís temptation shoots forth into action, it may be truly said that violent internal heat breaks out into stables of the skin: and it now wounds the body outwardly, because, while sensuality is not repressed in thought, it gains the mastery also in action. For Paul had a care to cleanse away this itch of the skin, when he said, Let no temptation take you but such as is human (1 Cor. x. 13); as if to say plainly, It is human to suffer temptation in the heart; but it is devilish, in the struggle of temptation, to be also overcome in action. He also has impetigo in his body whosoever is ravaged in the mind by avarice; which, if not restrained in small things, does indeed dilate itself without measure.

[0023D] Solerter ergo se quisque metiatur ne locum regiminis assumere audeat, si adhuc in se vitium damnabiliter regnat, ne is quem crimen depravat proprium, intercessor fieri appetat pro culpis aliorum. Hinc etenim superna voce ad Moysen dicitur: Loquere ad Aaron: Homo de semine tuo per familias qui [0024A] habuerit maculam, non offeret panes Domino Deo suo, nec accedet ad ministerium ejus (Lev. XXI, 17). Ubi et repente subjungitur: Si caecus fuerit, si claudus, si vel parvo, vel grandi et torto naso, si fracto pede, si manu, si gibbus, si lippus, si albuginem habens in oculo, si jugem scabiem, si impetiginem in corpore, vel ponderosus (Ibid., 18). Caecus quippe est, qui supernae contemplationis lumen ignorat; qui praesentis vitae tenebris pressus, dum venturam lucem nequaquam diligendo conspicit, quo gressus operis porrigat nescit. Hinc etenim prophetante Anna dicitur, Pedes sanctorum suorum servabit, et impii in tenebris conticescent (I Reg. II, 9). Claudus vero est qui quidem quo pergere debeat aspicit, sed per infirmitatem mentis, vitae viam perfecte non valet tenere [0024B] quam videt, quia ad virtutis statum dum fluxa consuetudo non erigitur, quo desiderium innititur, illuc gressus operis efficaciter non sequuntur. Hinc enim Paulus dicit: Remissas manus et dissoluta genua erigite, et gressus rectos facite pedibus vestris, ut non claudicans quis erret, magis autem sanetur (Heb. XII, 12, 13). Parvo autem naso est, qui ad tenendam mensuram discretionis idoneus non est. Naso quippe odores fetoresque discernimus. Recte ergo per nasum discretio exprimitur, per quam virtutes eligimus, delicta reprobamus. Unde et in laude sponsae dicitur: Nasus tuus sicut turris quae est in Libano (Cant. VII, 4), quia nimirum sancta Ecclesia quae ex causis singulis tentamenta prodeant, per discretionem conspicit, et ventura vitiorum bella ex alto [0024C] deprehendit. Sed sunt nonnulli qui dum aestimari hebetes nolunt, saepe se in quibusdam inquisitionibus plus quam necesse est exercentes, ex nimia subtilitate falluntur. Unde hic quoque subditur: Vel grandi et torto naso. Nasus enim grandis et tortus est discretionis subtilitas immoderata, quae dum plus quam decet excreverit, actionis suae rectitudinem ipsa confundit. Fracto autem pede vel manu est, qui viam Dei pergere omnino non valet, atque a bonis actibus funditur exsors vacat, quatenus haec non ut claudus saltem cum infirmitate teneat, sed ab his omnimodo alienus existat. Gibbus vero est quem terrenae sollicitudinis pondus deprimit, 12 ne unquam ad superna respiciat, sed solis his quae in infimis calcantur intendat. Qui et si quando aliquid ex bono [0024D] patriae coelestis audierit, ad hoc nimirum perversae consuetudinis pondere praegravatus, cordis faciem non attollit, quia cogitationis statum erigere non valet, quem terrenae usus sollicitudinis curvum tenet. Ex horum quippe specie Psalmista dicit: Incurvatus sum et humiliatus sum usquequaque (Psal. XXXVIII, 8, sec. LXX). Quorum culpam quoque per semetipsam [0025A] Veritas reprobans, ait: Semen autem quod in spinis cecidit, hi sunt qui audierunt verbum, et a sollicitudinibus et divitiis et voluptatibus vitae euntes suffocantur, et non referunt fructum (Luc. VIII, 14). Lippus vero est, cujus quidem ingenium ad cognitionem veritatis emicat, sed tamen hoc carnalia opera obscurant. In lippis quippe oculis pupillae sanae sunt, sed humore defluente infirmatae palpebrae grossescunt; quorum, quia infusione crebro atteruntur, etiam acies pupillae vitiatur. Et sunt nonnulli quorum sensum carnalis vitae operatio sauciat, qui videre recta subtiliter per ingenium poterant, sed usu pravorum actuum caligant. Lippus itaque est, cujus sensum natura exacuit; sed conversationis pravitas confundit. Cui bene per angelum dicitur: Collyrio [0025B] inunge oculos tuos ut videas (Apoc. III, 18). Collyrio quippe oculos ut videamus inungimus, cum ad cognoscendam veri luminis claritatem intellectus nostri aciem medicamine bonae operationis adjuvamus. Albuginem vero habet in oculo, qui veritatis lucem videre non sinitur, quia arrogantia sapientiae seu justitiae caecatur. Pupilla namque oculi nigra videt, albuginem tolerans nil videt, quia videlicet sensus humanae cogitationis si stultum se peccatoremque intelligit, cognitionem intimae claritatis apprehendit. Si autem candorem sibi justitiae seu sapientiae tribuit, a luce se supernae cognitionis excludit; et eo claritatem veri luminis nequaquam penetrat, quo se apud se per arrogantiam exaltat; sicut de quibusdam dicitur: Dicentes enim se esse sapientes, stulti facti [0025C] sunt (Rom. I, 22). Jugem vero habet scabiem, cui carnis petulantia sine cessatione dominatur. In scabie etenim fervor viscerum ad cutem trahitur, per quam recte luxuria designatur, quia si cordis tentatio usque ad operationem prosilit, nimirum fervor intimus usque ad cutis scabiem prorumpit; et foris jam corpus sauciat, quia dum in cogitatione voluptas non reprimitur, etiam in actione dominatur. Quasi enim cutis pruriginem Paulus curabat abstergere, [0026A] cum dicebat: Tentatio vos non apprehendat, nisi humana (I Cor. X, 13); ac si aperte diceret: Humanum quidem est tentationem in corde perpeti, daemoniacum vero est in tentationis certamine et in operatione superari. Impetiginem quoque habet in corpore, quisquis avaritia vastatur in mente: quae si in parvis non compescitur, nimirum sine mensura dilatatur

For, as impetigo invades the body without pain, and, spreading with no annoyance to him whom it invades, disfigures the comeliness of the members, so avarice, too, exulcerates, while it pleases, the mind of one who is captive to it. As it offers to the thought one thing after another to be gained, it kindles the fire of enmities, and gives no pain with the wounds it causes, because it promises to the fevered mind abundance out of sin. But the comeliness of the members is destroyed, because the beauty of other virtues is also hereby marred: and it exulcerates as it were the whole body, in that it corrupts the mind with vices of all kinds; as Paul attests, saying, The love of money is the root of all evils (1 Tim. vi. 10). But the ruptured one is he who does not carry turpitude into action, but yet is immoderately weighed down by it in mind through continual cogitation; one who is indeed by no means carried away to the extent of nefarious conduct; but his mind still delights itself without prick of repugnance in the pleasure of lechery. For the disease of rupture is when humor viscerum ad virilia labitur, quae propeta cum malestin dedecatis intumescunt. He, then, may be said to be ruptured who, letting all his thoughts flow down to lasciviousness, bears in his heart a weight of turpitude; and, though not actually doing deeds of shame, nevertheless in mind is not withdrawn from them. Nor has he power to rise to the practice of good living before the eyes of men, because, hidden within him, the shameful weight presses him down. Whosoever, therefore, is subjected to any one of these diseases is forbidden to offer loaves of bread to the Lord, lest in sooth he should be of no avail for expiating the sins of others, being one who is still ravaged by his own.

. Impetigo quippe sine dolore corpus occupat, et absque occupati taedio excrescens membrorum decorem foedat, quia et avaritia capti animum dum quasi delectat, exulcerat; dum adipiscenda quaeque cogitationi objicit, ad inimicitias accendit, et dolorem in vulnere non facit, quia aestuanti animo ex culpa abundantiam 13 promittit. Sed decor membrorum perditur, quia aliarum quoque virtutum per hanc pulchritudo [0026B] depravatur; et quasi totum corpus exasperat, quia per universa vitia animum supplantat, Paulo attestante qui ait: Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas (I Tim. VI, 10). Ponderosus vero est, qui turpitudinem non exercet opere, sed tamen ab hac cogitatione continua sine moderamine gravatur in mente; qui nequaquam quidem usque ad opus nefarium rapitur, sed ejus animus voluptate luxuriae sine ullo repugnationis stimulo delectatur. Vitium quippe est ponderis, cum humor viscerum ad virilia labitur, quae profecto cum molestia dedecoris intumescunt. Ponderosus ergo est, qui totis cogitationibus 14 ad lasciviam defluens, pondus turpitudinis gestat in corde; et quamvis prava non exerceat opere, ab his tamen non evellitur mente. Nec ad [0026C] usum boni operis in aperto valet assurgere, quia gravat hunc in abditis pondus turpe. Quisquis ergo quolibet horum vitio subigitur, panes Domino offerre prohibetur, ne profecto diluere aliena delicta non valeat is quem adhuc propria devastant.

And now, having briefly shewn after what manner one who is worthy should come to pastoral authority, and after what manner one who is unworthy should be greatly afraid, let us now demonstrate after what manner one who has attained to it worthily should live in it.

Quia igitur paucis ad pastorale magisterium dignus qualiter veniat, atque hoc indignus qualiter pertimescat ostendimus, nunc is qui ad illud digne pervenerit, in eo qualiter vivere debeat demonstremus.



Apr 20;  Aug 20;  Dec 20

(cf. RM 93, title)



IN 1 appointing an abbot this should always be the guiding principle: the one selected is to be chosen by the whole community acting in concord in the fear of God, or by some part of the community, however small, which possesses sounder counsel.  2 It is for the merit of his life and the wisdom of his teaching that the one appointed should be chosen, even if he comes last in community rank.

             1 In abbatis ordinatione illa semper consideretur ratio ut hic constituatur quem sive omnis concors congregatio secundum timorem Dei, sive etiam pars quamvis parva congregationis saniore consilio elegerit. 2 Vitae autem merito et sapientiae doctrina eligatur qui ordinandus est, etiam si ultimus fuerit in ordine congregationis.

      BUT 3 even if it were the entire community that acted together in electing a person (and may this never happen!) who consented to their vices, 4 if these vices somehow came to the notice of the bishop in whose diocese the place belongs, or if they were perceived by the neighboring abbots or Christians, 5 then they would be obliged to prevent this depraved consensus from prevailing and to constitute instead a worthy steward for the house of God, 6 knowing that for this they will receive a good reward if act purely and out of zeal for God; and that to neglect this would on the contrary be sinful.

             3 Quod si etiam omnis congregatio vitiis suis - quod quidem absit - consentientem personam pari consilio elegerit, 4 et vitia ipsa aliquatenus in notitia episcopi ad cuius dioecesim pertinet locus ipse vel ad abbates aut christianos vicinos claruerint, 5 prohibeant pravorum praevalere consensum, sed domui Dei dignum constituant dispensatorem, 6 scientes pro hoc se recepturos mercedem bonam, si illud caste et zelo Dei faciant, sicut e diverso peccatum si neglegant.

Apr 21;  Aug 21;  Dec 21

(cf. RM 15:35; 27:25; 3:72)

  THE 7 one appointed abbot should always ponder what a burden he has received, and to whom he will have to give an account of his stewardship (Luke 16:2) 8 and he must know how much more fitting it is to provide for others than to preside over them.  9 He should therefore be learned in divine law, so that he knows how to bring forth new things and old (Matt 13:52).; he is to be chaste, sober, merciful, 10 and he should always allow mercy to triumph above judgment (Jas 2:13), so that he may receive mercy (Mt. 5:7).

             7 Ordinatus autem abbas cogitet semper quale onus suscepit et cui redditurus est rationem vilicationis suae, 8 sciatque sibi oportere prodesse magis quam praeesse. 9 Oportet ergo eum esse doctum lege divina, ut sciat et sit unde proferat nova et vetera, castum, sobrium, misericordem, 10 et semper superexaltet misericordiam iudicio, ut idem ipse consequatur.

     1 HE is to hate vices and love the brothers.  12 But in correcting them he is to act prudently and avoid extremes, lest in trying too ardently to scrape off the rust, he breaks the vessel:13 his own frailty he must always keep before his eyes, recalling that the bruised reed is not to be broken (Isa 42:3).  14 By this we do not mean he should permit vices to sprout: on the contrary, he should prudently and charitably cut them off as he sees best for each, as we have said: 15 and he should strive to be loved rather than feared.

             11 Oderit vitia, diligat fratres. 12 In ipsa autem correptione prudenter agat et ne quid nimis, ne dum nimis eradere cupit aeruginem frangatur vas; 13 suamque fragilitatem semper suspectus sit, memineritque calamum quassatum non conterendum. 14 In quibus non dicimus ut permittat nutriri vitia, sed prudenter et cum caritate ea amputet, ut viderit cuique expedire sicut iam diximus, 15 et studeat plus amari quam timeri.

    HE 16  is not to be turbulent and anxious, nor excessive and obstinate, nor jealous and prone to suspicion; for otherwise he will never be at rest:  17 In his commands he is to be farsighted and considerate; and whether the works he enjoins concern God or the world he is to be discerning and moderate, 18 reflecting on the discretion of holy Jacob, who said: If I drive my flocks too hard, they will all die in one day (Gen 33:13). 19 Thus by means of this and other examples of discretion, the mother of virtue, he is to regulate everything so that the strong have something to yearn for and the weak are not frightened away. 

16 Non sit turbulentus et anxius, non sit nimius et obstinatus, non sit zelotypus et nimis suspiciosus, quia numquam requiescit; 17 in  ipsis imperiis suis providus et consideratus, et sive secundum Deum sive secundum saeculum sit opera quam iniungit, discernat et temperet, 18 cogitans discretionem sancti Iacob dicentis: Si greges meos plus in ambulando fecero laborare, morientur cuncti una die. 19 Haec ergo aliaque testimonia discretionis matris virtutum sumens, sic omnia temperet ut sit et fortes quod cupiant et infirmi non refugiant.

    AND 20 in particular he is to keep this Rule in every way, 21 so that, having ministered well, he will hear from the Lord what was heard by the good servant who gave grain to his fellow-servants in due season: 22 Truly I say to you, he said, he sets him over all his goods  (Matt 24:27)..

                   20 Et praecipue ut praesentem regulam in omnibus conservet, 21 ut dum bene ministraverit audiat a Domino quod servus bonus qui erogavit triticum conservis suis in tempore suo: 22 Amen dico vobis, ait, super omnia bona sua constituit eum.


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