S. Bonaventurae Bagnoregis
H. R. E. Cardinalis & Doctor Ecclesiae Universalis


I. Grace: Its Rise, Use and Fruit



1. We urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 1. -- Grace is spread upon thy lips, on that account God has blest thee in eternity. 2. The word proposed secondly is directed to Our Lord Jesus Christ, according to what appears in the Psalm from the preceding and subsequent text. For it is first said in the Psalm -- where these words are written -- An imposing form before the sons of men 3; and there follows: Thy throne, God, unto age of age. 4 etc.. Therefore it speaks of Christ, who is blest, in whom all the nations of the Earth are blest. In Thy seed shall all nations be blest 5, was said to Abraham; and because Christ is the Word, through which all things are blest; and [because] those who are blest from God the Father are blest from Christ; for that reason all things are blest through Christ.
1. Hortamur vos ne in vacuum gratiam Dei recipiatis 1. -- Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis, propterea benedixit te Deus in aeternum 2. Verbum secundo propositum dirigitur ad Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, secundum quod apparet in Psalmo ex textu praecedenti et subsequenti. Praemittitur enim in Psalmo -- ubi scribuntur haec verba -- Speciosus forma prae filiis hominum 3; et subsequitur: Sedes tua, Deus, in saeculum saeculi 4 etc. Loquitur ergo de Christo, qui est benedictus, in quo benedicuntur omnes gentes terrae. In semine tuo benedicentur omnes gentes 5 , dictum est Abrahae; et quia Christus est Verbum, per quod omnia bendicuntur; et qui benedicitur de Deo Patre benedicitur de Christo: ideo omnia per Christum benedicuntur.


A. For salvation: knowing the truth by Law and exercising virtue by Grace



2. It is said in Ecclesiasticus: The words of the mouth of the wise man [are] grace 6. There is a word that is written in John: The Law has been given through Moses, but grace and truth have been wrought through Christ 7. For salvation two things are necessary, namely the knowing of the truth and the exercising of virtue. The knowing of the truth is had through the Law, but the exercising of virtue is had through grace. "Virtue is a good quality of the mind, by which one lives uprightly, which no one uses badly, which God works in us". The Law is held for grace, as apprehensive virtue is for motive, and as an instrument for operative virtue. Though it be, that a bird have the power of sight to see the sky and not have virtue in its wings, it cannot fly nor reach there. So, however much a Jew glories in the Law, from which one is without grace, he is nothing. The craftsman, when he has the instrument, by which he works, unless he has operative virtue in his hands, can make nothing good. Perfidious Jew, you have the Law in your hand, but unless you have operative virtue, in vain do you think, that you have the Law. For that reason no one is saved through the Law, unless grace be there. And so it is clear, that much more excellent is the grace of God than the Law itself. -- At another time I spoke to you of the Law of the Decalogue, and now I shall speak to you of grace; and more necessary is grace for us than the Law; to receive which grace fruitfully Mother Church and the Apostle Paul urge us. And in the beginning we shall beg the Lord, that our words may zealously serve grace, and the intention of our mind, if it has grace, be strengthened in words, to be able to say something, which is for the praise of God and the salvation of our souls.
2. Dicitur in Ecclesiaste: Verba oris sapientis gratia 6. Verum est quod scribitur in Ioanne: Lex per Moysen data est, gratia vero et veritas per Christum facta est 7. Ad salutem duo sunt necessaria, scilicet notitia veritatis et exercitatio virtutis. Notitia veritatis habetur per Legem, sed exercitatio virtutis habetur per gratiam. "Virtus est bona qualitas mentis, qua recte vivitur, qua nemo male utitur, quam Deus in nobis operatur". Lex se habet ad gratiam, sicut virtus apprehensiva ad motivam, et sicut instrumentum ad virtutem operativam. Esto, quod avis haberet aspectum ad videndum caelum et non haberet virtutem in alis, non posset volare nec ibi pertingere. Sic, quantumcumque glorietur Iudaeus in Lege, ex quo est sine gratia, nihil est. Artifex, quando habet instrumentum, per quod operatur, nisi habeat virtutem operativam in manibus, nihil boni potest facere. Iudaee perfide, Legem habes in manu, sed nisi habeas virtutem operativam, frustra putas, te Legem habere. Ideo per Legem nemo salvatur, nisi adsit gratia. Et sic patet, quod multo excellentior est gratia Dei quam ipsa Lex. -- Alias dixi vobis de lege decalogi, et modo dicam vobis de gratia; et magis necessaria est nobis gratia quam Lex; ad quam gratiam furctuose recipiendam hortaur nos mater Ecclesia et apostolus Paulus. Et in principio rogabimus Dominum, ut verba nostra gratiae deserviant, et intentio mentis nostrae, si gratiam habeat, corroboretur in verbis, ut possimus aliquid dicere, quod sit ad Dei laudem et salutem animarum nostrarum.


3. We urge you 8 etc.. The Apostle Paul in this brief word rouses us up to take up divine grace, to guard what has been taken up, and to multiply the grace taken up and guarded. He urges us, not to accept the grace of God in vain, but to receive it fruitfully; therefore he wants to say, that we are to be prompt to take up, guard, and multiply the grace of God. Moreover that this exhortation of his be able to be fulfilled in us, three things occur here for us to consider: first, what is the rise of grace; second, what is the use of grace; and third, what is the fruit of grace. I do not want to speak except in the plainer manner, by which I am able, so that everyone can understand.
3. Hortamur vos 8 etc. Apostolus Paulus in isto brevi verbo excitat nos ad divinam gratiam suscipiendam, ad susceptam custodiendam et ad gratiam susceptam et custoditam multiplicandam. Hortatur nos, ne in vacuum gratiam Dei accipiamus, sed fructuose eam recipiamus: ergo vult dicere, quod simus prompti ad gratiam Dei suscipiendam, custodiendam et multiplicandam. Ut autem ista exhortatio in nobis impleri possit, tria occurrunt nobis hic consideranda: primo, quis sit gratiae ortus; secundo, quis sit gratiae usus; et tertio, quis sit gratiae fructus. Nolo dicere nisi planiori modo, quo potero, ut quilibet capere possit.


B. Rise of Grace



4. First I say: if we consider the rise of grace, I ask, what is the original principle of grace. It is certain, that grace is the best given and the perfect gift, descending from above from the Father of lights 9 . I make this argument from the Canonical [Letter] of James. I posit the major, affirmative universal thus: Every best given and every perfect gift is from above, descending from the Father of lights, among whom there is no transmutation nor overshadowing of alternation 10 ; but grace, as I will show in the following [points], is the best given and the perfect gift -- the whole of what I say, I want to order towards proving this assumption -- but if grace is the best given and the perfect gift: therefore it is descending from above from the Father of lights.
4. Primo dico: si consideremus gratiae ortum, quaero, quid sit originale principium gratiae. Certum est, quod gratia est datum optimum et donum perfectum, desursum descendens a Patre luminum 9 . Facio argumentum ex Canonica Iacobi. Pono maiorem universalem affirmativam sic: Omne datum optimum et omne donum perfectum desursum est, descendens a Patre luminum, apud quem non est transmutatio nec vicissitudinis obumbratio 10 ; sed gratia, ut ostendam in sequentibus, est datum optimum et donum perfectum -- totum, quod dicam, volo ordinare ad probandum istam assumptam -- sed si gratia est datum optimum et donum perfectum: ergo est desursum descendens a Patre luminum.


1. Incarnate Word



5. But by which way does grace descend into men? Job asks (this) saying: Through which way is light scattered, and heat distributed over the earth? 11 I respond and say, that grace descends over rational minds through the Incarnate Word, through the Crucified Word, and through the Inspired Word. -- Proof. It is said in the Canonical [Letter] of James: He has voluntarily begotten us in the Word of truth, so that we be a certain beginning of His creation.13. It is certain that the original Principle, which is God, when He created man in accord with His image and similitude in the state of innocence, did so near create him to Himself, that through the Uncreated Word man was informable in accord with grace. But after man fell through sin, the Divine Wisdom provided a manner of condescension through the Incarnate Word, through which man was to be adapted to grace. And because that was done in the womb of the glorious Virgin, for that reason it was said to Her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee 15 . -- Thus, therefore, prima facie there occurs to us the Father of mercies and the Mother of mercies and the Son, who is the Light of mercies. Thus is clear the first origination of grace in us, which happens through the Incarnate Word. O most unhappy ones! who do not know how they can have that beginning of grace.
5. Sed qua via descendit gratia in homines? Quaerit Iob dicens: Per quam viam spargitur lux, et dividitur aestus super terram? 11 Respondeo et dico, quod gratia descendit super mentes rationales per Verbum incarnatum, per Verbum crucifixum et per Verbum inspiratum. -- Probatio. Dicitur in Canonica Iacobi: Voluntarie genuit nos Verbo veritatis, ut simus initium aliquod creaturae eius 13 . Certum est quod originale principium, quod est Deus, quando creavit homninem ad imaginem et similitudinem suam in statu innocentiae, ita propinquum creavit illum sibi, ut per Verbum increatum informabilis esset homo ad gratiam. Postquam vero homo lapsus est per peccatum, providit divina sapientia modum condescensionis per Verbum incarnatum, per quod homo adaptaretur ad gratiam. Et quia istud factum est in utero Virginis gloriosae, ideo dictum est ei: Ave, gratia plena, Dominus tecum 15 . -- Sic ergo prima facie occurrit nobis Pater misericordiarum et mater misericordiarum et Filius, qui est lux misericordiarum. Sic patet prima originatio gratiae in nobis, quae fit per Verbum incarnatum. O infelicissimi! qui ignorant istud initium gratiam habere non possunt.


2. Crucified Word



6. Second, grace descends into us through the Crucified Word. We were not only inept to take up grace on account of (our) ignorance of the divine precepts, yes indeed, also on account of our infirmity and impotence and concupiscence for earthly things: for that reason the Lord wanted to prop (us up). To heal our languors 16 , He descended into us through the Crucified Word. Whence the Apostle to the Ephesians: God, who is rich in mercy, on account of His exceeding charity, with which He has loved us; when we had died with sins, vivified us together with Christ, by whose grace we have been saved 17. We have been vivified by Christ through Christ, because Christ has triumphed from death; whence death could not absorb Him, rather the Fount of life absorbed death, according to that which is written: I will be thy death, O Death! 18 . Otherwise we could not be healed and saved. Whence the Apostle to the Galatians: I do not throw away the grace of God; for if justice (is) through the Law, therefore Christ died without recompense19; However Christ has died, to resuscitate the dead for the taking up of life and grace; therefore grace is flowed into us through the Incarnate Word and through the Crucified Word. -- And the Blessed Virgin took up that Word (that is) full of grace 20; and the stream of graces has come forth from the side of Him, who has the efficacy to heal us.
6. Secundo, descendit gratia in nos per Verbum crucifixum. Non solum eramus inepti ad gratiam suscipiendam propter ignorantiam divinorum praeceptorum, immo etiam propter infirmitatem nostram et impotentiam et concupiscentiam terrenorum: ideo voluit Dominus ponere fulcimenta. Ut sanaret languores nostros 16 , descendit in nos per Verbum crucifixum. Unde Apostolus ad Ephesios: Deus, qui dives est in misericordia, propter nimiam caritatem suam, qua dilexit nos; cum essemus mortui peccatis, convivificavit nos Christo, cuius gratia salvati estis 17 . Nos sumus vivificati Christo per Christum, quia Christus de morte triumphavit; unde non potuit ipsum mors absorbere, immo fons vitae absorbuit mortem, secundum quod dictum est: Ero mors tua, o mors 18 . Aliter sanari et salvari non potuimus. Unde Apostolus ad Galatas: Non abiicio gratiam Dei; si enim per Legem iustitia, ergo gratis Christus mortuus est 19 ; mortuus autem est Christus, ut mortuos resuscitaret ad susceptionem vitae et gratiae: ergo influitur nobis gratia per Verbum incarnatum et per Verbum crucifixum. -- Et beata Virgo suscepit istud Verbum plenum gratia 20 ; et egressus est fluvius gratiarum de eius latere, qui habet efficaciam nos sanandi.


3. Inspired Word



7. Third, grace rises in us through the Inspired Word. However much God has sent His Son 21 into flesh, unless you believe that He was crucified, you will not have grace. Whence the Apostle to Titus: Not out of the works of justice, which we have done, but according to His mercy has He saved us through the laver of regeneration and the renovation of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured forth abundantly into us through Jesus Christ, Our Savior 22. Dear ones! It is the Holy Spirit, who is the giver of graces and the Love proceeding from the Father and the Son. Whatever therefore the Father does and the Son suffers, it is nothing without the Holy Spirit. For He joins us to the Father and the Son. Whence the Apostle: The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in regard to the Second (Person), and the charity of God, in regard to the First, and the communication of the Holy Spirit, in regard to the Third, be with all of you. Amen 23.
7. Tertio oritur nobis gratia per Verbum inspiratum. Quantumcumque Deus misit Filium suum 21 in carnem, nisi credas ipsum crucifixum, non habebis gratiam. Unde Apostolus ad Titum: Non ex operibus iustitiae, quae fecimus nos, sed secundum misericordiam suam salvos nos fecit per lavacrum regenerationis et renovationis Spiritus sancti, quem effudit abunde in nos per Iesum Christum, Salvatorem nostrum 22. Carissimi! Spiritus sanctus est, qui est dator gratiarum et amor procedens a Patre et Filio. Quidquid igitur agat Pater et patiatur Filius, sine Spiritu sancto nihil est. Ipse enim iungit nos Patri et Filio. Unde Apostolus: Gratia Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quantum ad secundum, et caritas Dei, quantum ad primum, et communicatio Spiritus sancti, quantum ad tertium, sit cum omnibus vobis. Amen 23.


8. Therefore, if you want to have the love of the Son and of the original Principle and of the Gift, the Holy Spirit, dispose yourself to grace. Whence therefore does grace rise? I say, that it rises from the Father of lights through the Incarnate Word, through the Crucified Word and through the Inspired Word. Noble influence, which has its origin from God incarnate! Much better ought that grace be guarded; but you lose it through sin. In what manner have you dared to introduce into your house a prostitute, who carries off all of what you have? You love temporal things; much more ought you love grace. Since he who is worthy of eternal life, through sin makes himself worthy of eternal death. Such a one ought to be punished much. Whence the Apostle to the Hebrews: He who makes void the Law of Moses dies without any mercy on the testimony of two or three. How much more do you think one merits worse punishments, who tramples upon the Son of God and reckons polluted the Blood of the Testament, in which he was sanctified, and who speaks contumely against the Spirit of grace? 25 . A serpent pouring forth venom kills, thus sin kills the life of grace. -- Now it is clear, what is the rise of grace.
8. Igitur, si vis habere amorem Filii et originalis Principii et Doni Spiritus sancti, dispone te ad gratiam. Unde igitur oritur gratia ? Dico, quod oritur a Patre luminum per Verbum incarnatum, per Verbum crucifixum et per Verbum inspiratum. Nobilis influentia, quae a Deo incarnato habet originem! Multum bene deberet custodiri ista gratia; sed perdis eam per peccatum. Quomodo ausus esses introducere in domum tuam meretricem, quae totum asportaret quidquid haberes? Diligis res temporales; multo plus deberes diligere gratiam. Cum quis dignus est vita aeterna, per peccatum facit se dignum morte aeterna. Talis multum debet puniri. Unde Apostolus ad Hebraeos: Irritam quis faciens Legem Moysi sine ulla misericordia duobus aut tribus testibus moritur. Quanto magis putatis deteriora mereri supplicia, qui Filium Dei conculcaverit et sanguinem testamenti pollutum duxerit, in quo sanctificatus est, et Spiritui gratiae contumeliam fecerit? 25 . Coluber effundens venenum occidit, ita peccatum occidit vitam gratiae. -- Patet modo, quis sit gratiae ortus.


C. Use of Grace



1. Faithful in Respect to God



9. Let us see, what the use of grace is. You ought to understand, that the use of grace is for this, that it leads us in making progress; moreover for this it is required, that the use of grace be faithful in respect to God, virile in itself and liberal unto one's neighbor. -- First, I say, the use of grace ought to be faithful in respect to God. Whence the Apostle: Since it thoroughly pleased Him who set me apart from the womb of my mother and called me through His grace . . I immediately did not take comfort in flesh or blood 26. He is faithful who does not diminish the gift, which He accepted on behalf of another. But when you seek something more principally than God, you are not faithful. For that reason the Apostle says: I did not take comfort in flesh or blood, that is, "I did not seek carnal glory, but only divine." Those wise in optics say, that if a ray (of light) falls perpendicularly upon a clean and polished body; it is necessary, that it be reflected by the same angle. The influx of grace is as a perpendicular ray; I speak of grace which makes one pleasing, because grace freely given is as an incident ray; it is necessary therefore, that he who truly takes up the grace of God, render God the glory. Whence if you preach for your own glory, there is nothing better for you (to expect). Upon this Ecclesiastes: To the place, whence the rivers go forth, they return 27; (St. Bernard) says, that "the origin of springs is the sea, the origin of virtues and sciences is Christ". Therefore he says To the place, whence the rivers go forth, that is of graces, they return, to flow again 28. For as the spring does not have length, unless it has a continuous conjunction with its origin, so also light; thus the grace of the Holy Spirit cannot grow in the soul unless through its reversion to is own original Principle.
9. Videamus, quis sit gratiae usus. Intelligere debetis, quod usus gratiae est ad hoc, quod nos ducat in profectum; ad hoc autem requiritur, quod usus gratiae sit fidelis respectu Dei, virilis in se et liberalis in proximum. -- Primo, dico, debet usus gratiae esse fidelis respectu Dei. Unde Apostolus: Cum autem complacuit ei qui me segregavit ex utero matris meae et vocavit per gratiam suam, continuo non acquievi carni et sanguini 26. Fidelis est qui donum, quod accipit pro alio, non diminuit. Sed quando quaeris aliquid principalius Deo, non es fidelis. Ideo dicit Apostolus: Non acquievi carni et sanguini, id est, non quaesivi carnalem gloriam, sed solum divinam. Sapientes in perspectiva dicunt, quod si radius perpendiculariter cadat super corpus tersum et politum; necesse est, quod per eandum viam repercutiatur. Influxus gratiae est sicut radius perpendicularis; dico de gratia gratum faciente, quia gratia gratis data est sicut radius incidentiae; necesse est igitur, quod qui gratiam Dei vere suscipit, quod gloriam Deo reddat. Unde si ad gloriam tuam praedicas, nihil melius est tibi. Super illud Ecclesiastae: Ad locum, unde exeunt flumina revertuntur 27 ; dicit Bernardus, quod "origo fontium mare est, virtutum et scientiarum origo est Christus". Dicit igitur: Ad locum, unde exeunt flumina, scilicet gratiarum, revertuntur, ut iterum fluant 28. Sicut enim fons non habet durationem, nisi habeat continuam coniunctionem cum sua origine, nec etiam lux; sic gratia Spiritus sancti non potest vigere in anima nisi per reversionem eius in ipsius originale principium.


10. That reversion and conjunction protects humility, and dissolves pride. Whence in the Canonical (Letter) of James: God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble 29. And what is the reason? Who is humble? Certainly, he who of all the good things which he has, attributes them to their original Principle; but the proud man attributes all his own to himself. The humble man is in continuity with his origin, but the proud is in discontinuity and (is) as one who says: "this I have not accepted from Thee." And for that reason Lucifer became darkened, because he receded from his original Principle; but Christ leads Himself back into His own original Principle through humility, and for that reason He was bright. On account of this it is said in Ecclesiasticus: As much as you are great, humble yourself in all things 30. Are you an archbishop or bishop; do you want to find grace? Humble yourself. Otherwise we are thieves, if we do not humble ourselves. If a king had enriched anyone, and he did not want to recognize that he had received goods from the former; he would be very unfaithful and ought to be stoned. We see others exalted by God, who nevertheless set themselves up against God, saying: Our exalted hand, and not God, has wrought these things 31. Such men loose both the land of the living and the grace of the Holy Spirit.
10. Istam reversionem et coniunctionem servat humilitas, et dissolvit superbia. Unde in Canonica Iacobi: Deus superbis resistit, humilibus autem dat gratiam 29. Et quae est ratio? Quis est humilis? Certe, qui omnia bona quae habet, attribuit suo originali principio; sed superbus attribuit omnia sibi ipsi. Humilis continuatur cum sua origine, sed superbus discontinuatur et quasi dicit: hoc non accepi a te. Et ideo lucifer factus est obscurus, quia recessit a suo originali principio; sed Christus reduxit se in suum originale principium per humilitatem, et ideo clarus fuit. Propter hoc dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Quanto magnus es, humilia te in omnibus 30. Es archiepiscopus vel episcopus; vis invenire gratiam? Humilia te. Aliter sumus latrones, nisi nos humiliamus. Si rex ditasset aliquem, et ille non vellet recognoscere, se recepisse bona ab ipso; esset multum infidelis et deberet lapidari. Videmus aliquos exaltatos per Deum, qui tamen erigunt se contra Deum, dicentes: Manus nostra excelsa, et Deus non fecit haec 31. Tales et terram viventium perdunt et gratiam Spiritus sancti.


2. Virile in Itself



11. The second difference, the use of grace, is that it ought to be virile in itself. Whence the Apostle to the Hebrews: It is best that grace stabilize the heart 32, he did not say "the belly". In other seasons you have labored to stabilize your hearts. It is proper that he who wants to have strong arms exercise himself by strong works. Similarly, it is proper that he who wants to have stabilizing grace, exercise himself in works of virtue. The Apostle, when he said: By the grace of God, I am what I am 33; added further: I have labored more abundantly than all 34. Therefore you praise yourself, Apostle? No; whence he added further: Not I, but the grace of God with me 35. It is a noble example, that some are acquainted with their own virtue and are not proud from it. How virtuously do some act with the grace of the Holy Spirit! -- Sampson with his hair was the strongest man; his fortitude went above nature 36. And why was his fortitude in his seven hairs? I say, that the seven hairs signified the septiform grace of the Holy Spirit, through which his fortitude was strengthened 37. But when he reclined in the lap of Delilah and had not his hair, he became in strength as all other men. Give me one without grace, who can sustain what blessed Lawrence sustained! For a man can do nothing without grace; and nothing is so hard, that a man cannot sustain with grace. Whence the Apostle: I can (do) all things in Him who strengthens me together with (Himself) 38.
11. Secunda differentia usus gratiae est, quod debet esse virilis in se. Unde Apostolus ad Hebraeos: Optimum est gratia stabilire cor 32, non dicit ventrem. Aliis temporibus laborastis ad stabiliendum corpora vestra. Qui vult habere brachia fortia, oportet, quod exerceat se ad opera fortia. Similiter, qui vult habere gratiam stabilientem, oportet, quod exerceat se in operibus virtutum. Apostolus, quando dixit: Gratia Dei sum id quod sum 33 ; subdit: Abundantius omnibus laboravi 35 . Nobile exemplum est, quod aliqui cognoscant virtutem suam et non superbiant de ea. Quam virtuosa agunt aliqui cum gratia Spiritus sancti! -- Samson capillatus fortissimus fuit; ibat fortitudo eius super naturam34. Therefore you praise yourself, Apostle? No; whence he added further: Not I, but the grace of God with me 36. Ergo laudas te, Apostole? Non; unde subdit: Non ego, sed gratia Dei mecum 35 . Nobile exemplum est, quod aliqui cognoscant virtutem suam et non superbiant de ea. Quam virtuosa agunt aliqui cum gratia Spiritus sancti! -- Samson capillatus fortissimus fuit; ibat fortitudo eius super naturam36. Et quare erat fortitudo eius in septem capillis? Dico, quod septem capillis significatur septiformis gratia Spiritus sancti, per quem roboratur fortitudo eius37. Sed quando accubuit in sinum Dalilae et capillos non habebat, factus est in viribus sicut ceteri homines. Detis mihi unum sine gratia, qui possit sustinere quod beatus Laurentius sustinuit. Nihil enim potest homo facere sine gratia; et nihil est ita durum, quod homo non possit sustinere cum gratia. Unde Apostolus: Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat 38.


3. Liberal Unto One's Neighbor



12. Third, the use of grace ought to be liberal unto one's neighbor. Whence in Matthew: Freely you have accepted, freely give 39. O Sun, why do you not sell your light? And you, O Seine, why do you not sell drops of water? Certainly, because it has accepted freely, it for that reason communicates freely. Man alone is wretched, who sells the grace collected by himself. Whence has entered that first sale? Certainly from Simon the wizard, to whom the Apostle Peter said: May your money be with you unto perdition! 40. The peak of the Apostles, blessed Peter said: Whichever one has accepted grace, ministering unto the other, as good dispensers of the manifold grace of God 41. Dionysius (the Areopagite) determines for us the use of grace in The Angelic Hierarchy and The Celestial Hierarchy and he says, that if the superior angels contain themselves and do not want to influence the inferior angels, then they themselves close their own way to the influence of God. If the good, which you have from God, you deny to others and you see one poor in life or in merit; you are not worthy of eternal life, and your life is the worst and like a swine 42. -- It is difficult for a man to be faithful, virile and liberal; for that reason many err about the use of grace.
12. Tertio debet esse usus gratiae liberalis in proximum. Unde in Matthaeo: Gratis accepistis, gratis date 39. O sol, quare non vendis lucem tuam? Et tu, Sequana, quare non vendis guttas aquae? Certe, quia gratis accepit, ideo gratis communicat. Solus miser homo est, qui vendit gratiam sibi collatam. Unde intravit primo ista venditio? Certe a Simone mago, cui dixit apostolus Petrus: Pecunia tua tecum sit in perditionem 40 . Vertex Apostolorum, beatus Petrus dicit: Unusquisque accepit gratiam, in alterutrum ministrantes, sicut boni dispensatores multiformis gratiae Dei 41. Dionysius determinat nobis usum gratiae in Angelica hierarchia et caelesti et dicit, quod si superiores angeli continerent se et non vellent influere in inferiores angelos, tunc ipsi clauderent sibi viam influentiae Dei. Si bonum, quod habes a Deo, denegas alii et vides pauperem in vita aut in merito; non es dignus vita aeterna, et vita tua est pessima et porcina42. -- Difficile est, quod homo sit fidelis, virilis et liberalis; ideo multi errant circa usum gratiae.


D. Fruit of Grace



13. But what is the fruit of all these things? He who plants a vine plants it on account of its fruit. Moreover threefold is the fruit of grace, which one can never discover, except in him who is in grace. The first is the remission of fault, the second is the fullness of justice, and the third is the perpetuation of blessed life.
13. Sed quis est fructus omnium istorum? Qui plantat vineam plantat eam propter fructum. Triplex autem est fructus gratiae, qui numquam potest reperiri, nisi in eo qui est in gratia. Primus est remissio culpae, secundus est plenitudo iustitiae, et tertius est perpetuatio vitae beatae.


1. Remission of Fault



14. The first fruit, I say, of grace is the remission of fault. Whence the Apostle to the Romans: Justified through faith, we have peace towards God through Our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we also have access through faith in that grace (of His), in which we stand and glory in the hope of the glory of the sons of God 43. As the Philosopher would have it, that no one be changed from viciousness to virtues except through being accustomed to the contrary habit; so fault is not remitted in eternity except through grace. Can the greedy man come to liberality except through the exercise of liberality? The Philosopher considers vice, in as much as he calls it a certain disordering; when God is known to me, I judge of sin, that it is offensive to God; for through the privation of the law you do not honor God 44; whence it is necessary that you be subject to the vengeance of God. It is necessary, that he who has not honored out of fault, be subject to punishment. -- Sin is subject to the vengeance of God; therefore it is proper, that punishment be eternal, because the offense is infinite. For the offense is as great, as He who is offended; but God is immense, and (His) majesty is infinite; therefore also is the offense infinite; therefore also the punishment is infinite, not in intensity, but in duration; because it is impossible that, created, active virtue be infinite. Therefore it is necessary, that eternal virtue be at work; but God is infinite; therefore if He changes the soul, it is proper, that this be done through some influence of grace. Likewise, (a sin meriting) Gehenna is not forgiven except through grace. See, therefore, in what manner grace frees from the servitude of sin and of the devil 45.
14. Primus, dico, fructus gratiae est remissio culpae. Unde Apostolus ad Romanos: Iustificati per fidem, pacem habeamus ad Deum per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, per quem et habemus accessum per fidem in gratiam istam, in qua stamus et gloriamur in spe gloriae filiorum Dei 43. Sicut vult Philosophus, non mutatur quis de vitiositate ad virtutes nisi per assuefactionem ad contrarium habitum; ita non remittetur culpa in aeternum nisi per gratiam. Potestne avarus in liberalitatem devenire nisi per exercitium liberalitais? Philosophus considerat vitium, in quantum dicit deordinationem quandam; quando habeo notitiam de Deo, iudico de peccato, quod est offensa Dei; nam per privationem legis Deum inhonoras 44; unde necesse est quod subiaceas vindictae Dei. Qui inordinatus est in culpa, necesse est, quod subiaceat poenae. -- Peccatum subiacet vindictae divinae; oportet igitur, quod poena sit aeterna, quia offensa est infinita. Tanta enim est offensa, quantus est ille qui offenditur; sed Deus est immensus, et maiestas est infinita: ergo et offensa est infinita: ergo et poena est infinita, non intensive, sed processive; quia impossibile est, virtutem creatam activam infinitam esse. Necesse set igitur, quod virtus aeterna operetur; sed Deus infinitus est; ergo si ipse mutet animam, oportet, quod hoc fiat per aliquam influentiam gratiae. Item, gehenna non dimittitur nisi per gratiam. Videte, igitur, quomodo gratia liberat a servitute peccati et diaboli45.


2. Fullness of Justice



15. The second fruit of grace is the fullness of justice, which consists in this, that man be just in himself both as regards God and neighbor, that is that man avoids evil and works good. And in what manner? The Apostle says to Titus: The grace of God Our Savior has appeared to all men, instructing us, to live in this age soberly, justly, and piously, renouncing impiety and secular desires, awaiting the blessed hope and advent of the glory of the Great God 46. -- The grace of Our God and of Jesus Christ has appeared etc.. This is the grace, which expels all evils and grants all goods; therefore in grace is the fullness of justice. Whence in Ecclesiasticus Uncreated Wisdom says: I (am) the mother of beautiful love and of fear and of acknowledgement and of holy hope; in Me (there is) every grace of way and of truth; in Me every hope of life and of truth; pass over to me all you, who desire Me, and be filled up by what I have brought forth 47. Do you want to be full of grace and virtue? Passover to me, that is, to Christ. And how? We cannot do this, unless we be raised over ourselves; but some things impede us, lest we be raised over ourselves; for that reason it is proper, that we rise up against those things which impede us. In that fullness of grace one is not placed, unless one rises up against oneself and is raised above oneself and loves God above all things and (his) enemy as his very self 48; because by the name of neighbor every man is understood. Therefore full justice is to love God above all things, and this is to love every man, therefore both family member and enemy. But what brings it about, that a man is raised against himself and above himself? Grace, certainly; I say, the grace of way and of truth. It is difficult for anyone, to love one's enemy, except through grace. A stone cannot be warmed by itself; but if it is placed near a burning furnace, one can then warm it. If you love those who love you, what thanks (is there in that)? 49 To love only your friend is not the virtue of grace.
15. Secundus fructus gratiae est plenitudo iustitiae, quae consistit in hoc, quod homo sit iustus in se et quoad Deum et quoad proximum, scilicet quod homo vitet malum et operetur bonum. Et quomodo? Dicit Apostolus ad Titum: Apparuit gratia Dei Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus, erudiens nos, ut abnegantes impietatem et saecularia desideria, sobrie, iuste et pie vivamus in hoc saeculo, exspectantes beatem spem et adventum gloriae magni Dei 47. -- Apparuit gratia Dei nostri et Iesu Christi etc. Haec est gratia, quae omnia mala expellit et omnia bona tribuit: ergo in gratia est plenitudo iustitiae. Unde in Ecclesiastico dicit Sapientia increata: Ego mater pulcrae dilectionis et timoris et agnitionis et sanctae spei; in me omnis gratia viae et veritatis; in me omnis spes vitae et virtutis; transite ad me omnes, qui concupiscitis me, et a generationibus meis adimplemini 47. Vultis esse pleni gratia et virtute? Transite ad me, scilicet ad Christum. Et qualiter? Non possumus hoc facere, nisi supra nos elevamur; sed aliqua impediunt nos, ne elevemur supra nos: ideo oportet, quod insurgamus contra illa quae nos impediunt. In ista plenitudine gratiae non collocatur, nisi qui insurgat contra se et elevetur supra se et diligat Deum super omnia et inimicum sicut se ipsum48 ; quia nomine proximi omnis homo intelligitur. Plena igitur iustitia est diligere Deum super omnia, et hoc est diligere omnem hominem, ergo et domesticum et inimicum. Sed quid faciet, quod homo elevetur contra se et supra se? Certe gratia; dico, gratia viae et veritatis. Difficile est alicui, quod diligat inimicum, nisi per gratiam. Lapis non potest calefacere per se; sed si ponatur iuxta fornacem ardentem, potest postea calefacere. Si diligitis qui vos diligunt, quae gratia? 49. Diligere amicum tantum non est virtus gratiae.


3. Attainment of Eternal Beatitude



16. The third fruit of grace is the attainment of eternal beatitude. Whence the Apostle to the Romans: The stipend of sin (is) death; however the grace of God (is) eternal life 50. You have the planting ground for life and death. The grace of God is eternal life. What however is sin? Certainly nothing other but the tree of death. Here is the tree of death, and here the tree of life; place yourself in the garden, where the Tree of life is 51. One would be stupid who would plant a tree of death; if you have planted the tree, upon which you ought to be hung, you were stupid. Therefore evil men plant that tree of sin. -- Therefore threefold is the fruit of grace: the first is the remission of fault, the second is the fullness of justice, and the third is the attainment of eternal beatitude.
16. Tertius fructus gratiae est assecutio beatitudinis aeternae. Unde Apostolus ad Romanos: Stipendia peccati mors; gratia autem Dei vita aeterna 50 . Habes plantationem vitae et mortis. Gratia Dei est vita aeterna. Quid autem est peccatum? Certe nihil aliud nisi arbor mortis. Hic est arbor mortis, et hic est arbor vitae; pone te in horto, ubi est lignum vitae 51 . Stultus esset qui plantaret arborem mortis; si plantasti arborem, in qua deberes suspendi, stultus esses. Mali igitur illam arborem peccati plantant. -- Est igitur triplex fructus gratiae: primus est remissio culpae, secundus est plenitudo iustitiae, et tertius est assecutio beatitudinis aeternae.


17. And according to this grace is threefold, that is curing grace, strengthening grace and consummating grace. -- Curing grace is given in the seven Sacraments against the sevenfold disease; in the just it is guarded through the seven exercises of justice, which are dealt with in the seven penetential Psalms. And not without reason are these said to be the seven penetential Psalms and not others, and that they cannot be changed nor multiplied. Likewise, curing grace is perfected in the seven works of mercy. 52 -- But strengthening grace consists in two things. For either it is considered in the manner of one rectifying, and so consists in the seven virtues; or it is considered in the manner of one expediting, and so consists in the seven gifts of the Holy Spriit. -- But consummating grace consists in two septenaries, that is grace (which) consummates on the way, in the seven beatitudes, which are touched upon in the Gospel, when it is said: Blessed (are) the poor, since theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven 53 etc.; but consummating grace (consists) in seven dowries of the fatherland to the soul itself, which (dowries) are seeing, enjoyment, and holding. The first responds to faith; the second, to hope; and the third to charity. It also consists in four dowries to the body, which redound unto the body from the beatitude of the soul and they are clarity, subtlety, agility and impassibility; which respond to the four cardinal virtues.
17. Et secundum hoc est triplex gratia, scilicet gratia curans, gratia corroborans et gratia consummans. -- Gratia curans datur in septem sacramentis contra septemplicem morbum; in iustis custoditur per septem exercitia iustitiae, de quibus agitur in septem Psalmis poenitentialibus. Et non sine ratione dicuntur illi septem Psalmi poenitentiales et non alii, nec mutari possunt nec multiplicari. Item, perficitur gratia curans in septem operibus misericordiae52. -- Gratia vero corroborans consistit in duobus. Aut enim se habet per modum rectificantis, et sic consistit in septem virtutibus; aut se habet per modum expedientis, et sic consistit in septem donis Spiritus sancti. -- Gratia vero consummans consistit in duobus septenariis, scilicet gratia consummans in via in septem beatitudinibus, quae tanguntur in Evangelio, cum dicitur: Beati pauperes, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum 53 etc.; sed gratia consummans patriae in septem dotibus ipsius animae, quae sunt visio, fruitio et tentio. Prima respondet fidei; secunda, spei; et tertia respondet caritati. Consistit etiam in quatuor dotibus corporis, quae in corpus redundant ex beatitudine animae et sunt claritas, subtilitas, agibilitas et impassibilitas; quae respondent quatuor virtutibus cardinalibus.


18. And thus are the seven septenaries. To speak of the seven Sacraments, of the seven exercises of justice and of the seven works of mercy would be exceedingly long; to speak also of the seven beatitudes and of the seven dowries would be exceedingly arduous at the present. And for that reason we propose in the middle to hold and speak of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are the gift of wisdom and understanding, the gift of counsel and fortitude, the gift of knowledge and piety and the gift of the fear of the Lord. And let us proceed not in that manner, by which Isaiah proceeded 54, but let us begin from the last gift, that is from the fear of the Lord; and let us beg the Lord, that He grant us the gifts of the Holy Spirit, who with the Father and the Son lives and reigns . . .
18. Et sic sunt septem septenarii. Dicere de septem sacramentis, de septem exercitiis iustitiae et de septem operibus misericordiae esset nimis longum; dicere etiam de septem beatitudinibus et de septem dotibus ad praesens esset nimis arduum. Et ideo in medio proponimus nos tenere et dicere de septem donis Spiritus sancti, quae sunt donum sapientiae et intellectus, donum consilii et fortitudinis, donum scientiae et pietatis et donum timoris Domini. Et procedemus non eo modo, quo procedit Isaias54 , sed incipiemus ab ultimo dono, scilicet a dono timoris Domini; et rogabimus Dominum, quod det nobis dona Spiritus sancti, qui cum Patre et Filio vivit et regnat etc.


1 . 2 Co 6, 1.
2 . Ps 44, 3.
3 . Ps 44, 3.
4 . Ps 44, 7.
5 . Gen 26, 4.
6 . Eccle 10, 12.
7 . Io 1, 17.
8 . 2 Co 6, 1.
9 . Iac 1, 17.
10 . Iac 1, 17.
11 . Iob
12 . Iac 1, 18.
13 . Io 1, 16.
14 . Lc 1, 28.
15 . Heb 4, 16.
16 . Cf. Is 53, 4.
17 . Eph 2, 4-5.
18 . Os 13, 14.
19 . Gal 2, 21.
20 . Io 1, 14.
21 . Gal 4, 4.
22 . Tit 3, 5-6.
23 . 2 Co 13, 13.
24 . Heb 10, 28-29.
25 . Eccli 21, 2.
26 . Gal 1, 15-16. Textus plenus est: Cum autem complacuit ei qui me segregavit ex utero matris meae et vocavit per gratiam suam, ut revelaret Filium suum in me, ut evangelizarem illum in Gentibus: continuo non acquievi carni et sanguini.
27 . Eccle 1, 7.
28 . Eccle 1, 7.
29 . Iac 4, 6.
30 . Eccli 3, 20.
31 . Deut 32, 27.
32 . Heb 13, 9.
33 . 1 Co 15, 10.
34 . 1 Co 15, 10.
35 . 1 Co 15, 10.
36 . Cf. Iudic 16, 17-19.
37 . Cf. Dan 8, 24.
38 . Phil 4, 13; cf. Io 15, 5.
39 . Mt 10, 8.
40 . Act 8, 20.
41 . 1 Petr 4, 10.
42 . Cf. 1 Io 3, 17; Iac 2, 15-17.
43 . Rom 5, 1-2.
44 . Rom 2, 23.
45 . Cf. Rom 6, 16-17.
46 . Tit 2, 11-13.
47 . Eccli 24, 24-26.
48 . Cf. Mt 5, 43-44.
49 . Mt 5, 46.
50 . Rom 6, 23.
51 . Cf. Gen 2, 9.
52 . Cf. Mt 25, 35-36.
53 . Mt 5, 3-9.
54 . Cf. Is 11, 2-3.


S. Bonaventurae Bagnoregis
H. R. E. Cardinalis &
Doctor Ecclesiae Universalis


II. Fear of the Lord



A. Review of Conference I



1. Come, sons, hear Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord 1. -- Hear, one (who) keeps silence, and for (thy) reverence good grace will come to thee 2. This word is written in Ecclesiasticus, in which the Wise Man urges the good listener, that silently and with reverence, he hear the word of God; because keeping silent and reverence is not un-useful to him, because through these good grace will come to him. What is good grace? Or what are evil graces? Good is the grace, which makes a man good; but a false and vain grace is beauty 3, as is said in Proverbs. Grace freely given stands with mortal sin. That grace Ecclesiasticus reputes little, but the grace which makes one pleasing he apprises much. -- That grace he describes for you in a threefold manner 4, that is as much as regards the rise of grace, the use of grace and the fruit of grace. As much as regards the rise of grace I said, because grace is nothing other than the best given and the perfect gift, descending from the Father of lights 5 through the Incarnate Word, through the Crucified Word and through the Inspired Word. And I said, that that Word leads us back into the Most High Principle; and this Dionysius (the Areopagite) notes, in his discussion of this word: every best given etc., and he adds and says: "But also after the Father acts, every process of manifestations, coming upon us bountifully [large] and in a good manner, and (every) unifying virtue fills us full and converts us unto the Father of lights" -- As much as regards the use of grace I said, that the use of grace ought to be faithful, virile and liberal; therefore the grace which makes us pleasing is the perfect gift, through which we use it and other things for good. And the use of grace ought to be, that a man use grace for good faithfully as much as regards God, virilely as much as regards his very self and liberally as much as regards his neighbor. -- Third, as much as regards the fruit of grace, I said, that grace cures from fault, thoroughly strengthens in virtue and consummates in glory. -- And from this there is elicited such a description of grace, that grace is the best given and perfect gift, descending from the Father of lights, curing from evil, thoroughly strengthening in good and consummating in glory. Curing grace is given in the seven Sacraments, guarded in the seven exercises of justice and perfected in the seven works of mercy. Thoroughly strengthening grace consists in the seven habits of the virtues; and in seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. But consummating grace consists in the seven Beatitudes and in the seven dowries. -- Those are the seven septenaries, which are counted in the jubilee year. Of that multitude we said that we cannot speak except of the one septenary, that is the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will beg the Lord ...
1. Venite, filii, audite me; timorem Domini docebo vos 1. -- Audi tacens, et pro reverentia accedet tibi bona gratia 2. Verbum ultimum scribitur in Ecclesiastico, in quo hortatur Sapiens bonum auditorem, quod tacite et cum reverentia audiat verbum Dei; quia non est ei inutilis taciturnitas et reverentia, quia per haec accedet ei bona gratia. Quae est bona gratia? Nunquid sunt malae gratiae? Bona est gratia, quae hominem facit bonum; sed fallax gratia et vana est pulcritudo 3, ut dicitur in Proverbiis. Gratia gratis data stat cum mortali peccato. Istam gratiam parum reputat Ecclesiasticus, sed gratiam gratum facientem multum appretiatur. -- Istam gratiam descripsi vobis tripliciter 4, scilicet quantum ad gratiae ortum, quantum ad gratiae usum et quantum ad gratiae fructum. Quantum ad gratiae ortum dixi, quod gratia nihil aliud est quam datum optimum et donum perfectum, descendens a Patre luminum 5 per Verbum incarnatum, per Verbum crucifixum et per Verbum inspiratum. Et dixi, quod Verbum illud reducit nos in summum principium; et hoc notat Dionysius tractans hoc verbum: omne datum optimum etc., et addit et dicit: "Sed et omnis, Patre moto, manifestationum processus in nos large ac bene proveniens et unifica virtus nos replet et convertit nos in Patrem luminum". -- Quantum ad usum gratiae dixi, quod usus gratiae debet esse fidelis, virilis et liberalis; ergo gratia gratum faciens est donum perfectum, per quod bene utimur ipso et aliis. Et debet usus gratiae esse, ut bene fideliter utatur homo gratia quantum ad Deum, viriliter quantum ad se ipsum et liberaliter quantum ad proximum. -- Tertio, quantum ad fructum gratiae dixi, quod gratia curat a culpa, corroborat in virtute et consummat in gloria. -- Et ex hoc elicitur descriptio gratiae talis, quod gratia est datum optimum et donum perfectum, descendens a Patre luminum, curans a malo, corroborans in bono et consummans in gloria. Gratia curans datur in septem Sacramentis, custoditur in septem exercitiis iustitiae et perficitur in septem operibus misericordiae. Gratia corroborans consistit in septem habitibus virtutum et in septem donis Spiritus sancti. Gratia vero consummans consistit in septem beatitudinibus et in septem dotibus. -- Isti sunt septem septenarii, qui numerantur in anno iubilaeo. De ista multitudine diximus quod non possumus dicere nisi de uno septenario, scilicet septem donorum Spiritus sancti. Rogabimus Dominum etc.


B. Seven Sins Impugned through the Seven Gifts



2. There shall rest upon him the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of piety, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord will fill him full 6. Concerning those spirits I want you to understand what John saw in the Apocalypse in the midst of the throne and the four animals, the Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into every land 7. John puts forth a fantastic vision and expresses the truth. He calls the gifts of the Holy Spirit horns and eyes. And why? You ought to understand, that of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is a certain efficacy, through which all evils are impugned; there is another efficacy of the gifts, through which man is expedited towards all good things. And because in horns is fortitude, for that reason he call the gifts, through which evils are impugned, horns. And because expeditive virtue is in the eyes, for that reason he calls the gifts, through which man is expedited towards all good things, eyes. -- Seven are the sins, which are impugned through the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. The first is the sin of pride, the second sin is envy, the third wrath, the fourth sloth:, the fifth avarice, the sixth is gluttony and the seventh is luxury.
2. Requiescet super eum Spiritus Domini, spiritus sapientiae et intellectus, spiritus consilii et fortidudinis, spiritus scientiae et pietatis, et replebit eum spiritus timoris Domini 6. De istis spiritibus volo quod intelligatis quod Ioannes in Apocalypsi vidit in medio throni et quatuor animalium Agnum habentem cornua septem et oculos septem, qui sunt septem spiritus Dei missi in omnem terram 7. Ponit Ioannes visionem phantasticam et exprimit veritatem. Vocat dona Spiritus sancti cornua et oculos. Et quare? Debetis intelligere, quod donorum Spiritus sancti est quaedam efficacia, per quam impugnantur omnia mala; est alia efficacia donorum, per quam homo expeditur ad omnia bona. Et quia in cornibus est fortitudo, ideo dona, per quae impugnantur mala, vocat cornua. Et quia virtus expeditiva est in oculis, ideo dona, per quae homo expeditur ad omnia bona, vocat oculos. -- Septem sunt peccata, quae impugnantur per septem dona Spiritus sancti. Primum est peccatum superbiae, secundum peccatum est invidia, tertium ira, quartum accidia, quintum avaritia, sextum est gula et septimum est luxuria.


3. Those vices are expelled through the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the seven virtues are introduced, which Christ taught, when He proposed the foundations of salvation upon the Mount. The first virtue is voluntary poverty, of which in the Gospel: Blessed the poor in spirit. The Second is gentleness or meekness, of which in the Gospel: Blessed the meek etc.. The third is morning, of which in the Gospel: Blessed those, who mourn. The fourth is the hunger for justice, of which in the Gospel: Blessed those, who hunger and thirst for justice. The fifth is mercy, of which in the Gospel: Blessed the merciful. The sixth virtue is cleanliness of heart, of which in the Gospel: Blessed the clean of heart. And the seventh is peace, of which in the Gospel: Blessed the peacemakers 8. -- Through those seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, designated by the seven horns, the seven mortal sins are destroyed, and the seven virtues are introduced. The gift of fear destroys pride and induces the good of poverty; the gift of piety destroys envy and introduces gentleness or meekness of soul; the gift of knowledge destroys an angry disposition and introduces the gift of mourning -- nothing is so contrary to an angry disposition than the clearing of the mind -- the gift of fortitude destroys sloth: and introduces the hunger for justice; the gift of counsel destroys avarice and introduces mercy; the gift of understanding destroys gluttonous behavior and introduces cleanliness of heart; the gift of wisdom destroys luxury and introduces peace. -- Whence through the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit all evils are destroyed, and all good things are introduced.
3. Ista vitia expelluntur per septem dona Spiritus sancti, et septem virtutes introducuntur, quas Christus docuit, quando fundamenta salutis proposuit in monte. Prima virtus est paupertas voluntaria, de qua in Evangelio: Beati pauperes spiritu. Secunda est mansuetudo sive mititas, de qua in Evangelio: Beati mites etc. Tertia est luctus, de qua in Evangelio: Beati, qui lugent. Quarta est esuries iustitiae, de qua in Evangelio: Beati, qui esuriunt et sitiunt iustitiam. Quinta est misericordia, de qua in Evangelio: Beati misericordes. Sexta virtus est munditia cordis, de qua in Evangelio: Beati mundi corde. Et septima est pax, de qua in Evangelio: Beati pacifici 8. -- Per ista septem dona Spiritus sancti, designata per septem cornua, destruuntur septem peccata mortalia, et introducuntur septem virtutes. Donum timoris destruit superbiam et inducit bonum paupertatis; donum pietatis destruit invidiam et introducit mansuetudinem sive mititatem animae; donum scientiae destruit iracundiam et introducit donum luctus -- nihil ita contrarium est iracundiae quam serenatio mentis -- donum fortitudinis destruit accidiam et introducit esuriem iustitiae; donum consilii destruit avaritiam et introducit misericordiam; donum intellectus destruit gulositatem et introducit munditiam cordis; donum sapientiae destruit luxuriam et introducit pacem. -- Unde per septem dona Spiritus sancti omnia mala destruuntur, et omnia bona introducuntur.


C. Charisms and the Lord's Prayer



4. Those gifts of the Holy Spirit are touched upon in the Lord's Prayer 9. Those gifts are not had except from the Father of lights; for that reason Christ wanting to teach us, in what manner we can obtain them, teaches us to ask for them in the Lord's Prayer. In the first part the gift of fear is asked for, when He says: Our Father, who art in Heaven , hallowed be Thy Name. Secondly piety is asked for, when He says: May Thy Kingdom come. Third the gift of knowledge is asked for, when He says: Thy will be done on earth as it is in the heavens. Fourth the gift of fortitude is asked for, when He says: Give us this day our daily bread. Bread strengthens the heart of a man 10. Fifth the gift of counsel is asked for, when He says: And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. Sixth the gift of understanding is asked for, when He says: And put us not to the test. Seventh the gift of wisdom is asked for, when He says: But free us from evil. Amen.
4. Ista dona Spiritus sancti tanguntur in oratione dominica 9. Ista dona non habentur nisi a Patre luminum; ideo Christus volens nos docere, quomodo possumus ea obtinere, docet nos ista petere in oratione dominica. In prima parte petitur donum timoris, cum dicit: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Secundo petitur pietas, cum dicit: Adveniat regnum tuum. Tertio petitur donum scientiae, cum dicit: Fiat voluntas tua sicut in caelo et in terra. Quarto petitur donum fortitudinis, cum dicit: Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. Panis cor hominis confirmat 10. Quinto petitur donum consilii, cum dicit: Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Sexto petitur donum intellectus, cum dicit: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. Septimo petitur donum sapientiae, cum dicit: Sed libera nos a malo. Amen.


5. In the first our sanctification is asked for, and this through the gift of fear, when He says, Our Father, who art in Heaven; hallowed be Thy Name. Isaiah: Hallow the Lord of Hosts, He is both thy trembling and thy fear 11. In the second the consummation of human salvation is asked for, which is not had except through the gift of piety; let there be judgment without mercy for him who has not worked mercy 12. That gift is touched upon, when He says: Thy Kingdom come. In the third part the fulfillment of the divine law is asked for through the gift of knowledge, because it teaches how to ask well and avoid evils. This gift is touched upon, when He says: Thy will be done etc.. In the fourth part the reheating of eternal virtue is asked for, and through this the gift of virtue or of fortitude, when He says: Give us this day our daily bread. Bread strengthens the heart of a man 13. In the fifth the remission of sins is asked for through the gift of counsel, when He says: And forgive us our debts, as etc.. In the sixth petition the warding off of hostile deceit is asked for through the gift of understaning, when He says: And put us not to the test. In the seventh petition the subjugation of carnal concupiscence is asked for through the gift of wisdom, when He says: But free us from evil. Amen. It is impossible, that the soul tame its flesh, unless it be filled full with the gift of wisdom. To speak of these would take a long time.
5. In prima petitur sanctificatio nostra, et hoc per donum timoris, cum dicit: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Isaias: Dominum exercituum sanctificate, et ipse est pavor et timor vester 11. In secunda petitur consummatio humanae salutis, quae non habetur nisi per donum pietatis; iudicium sine misericordia fiat ei qui non fecerit misericordiam 12. Istud donum tangitur, cum dicit: Adveniat regnum tuum. In tertia parte petitur adimpletio divinae legis per donum scientiae, quod docet bene agere et mala vitare. Hoc donum tangitur, cum dicit: Fiat voluntas tua etc. In quarta parte petitur refocillatio aeternae virtutis, et per hoc donum virtutis sive fortitudinis, cum dicit: Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. Panis cor hominis confirmat 13. In quinta petitur remissio peccati per donum consilii, cum dicit: Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut etc. In sexta petitione petitur propulsatio fraudis hostilis per donum intellectus, cum dicit: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. In septima petitione petitur subiugatio concupiscentiae carnalis per donum sapientiae, cum dicit: Sed libera nos a malo. Amen. Impossibile est, quod anima domet carnem suam, nisi repleatur dono sapientiae. De istis loqui esset longum.


D. Origin



6. Come, sons 14 etc.. Those words belong to the prophet David, in which He invites the sons of God's grace and the sons of adoption to learn in addition that reading; and he not only invites children, but also those advanced (in age) and old men and the decrepit. This is one reading, which ought to be taught in youth and never deserted. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: Keep the fear of the Lord and grow old in it 15. And in Tobias it is said, that Tobias begot a son, whom from his infancy he taught to fear God 16. Therefore this reading belongs to everyone. It is true that Sacred Scripture speaks of the fear of the Lord; and the fear of the Lord is handed down in Sacred Scripture. A preacher speaks as the man, who is in the field and collects flowers; he cannot collect them all, but he collects some and from that makes a wreath. It is said in Ecclesiasticus: A crown of wisdom the fear of the Lord 17. I want to make for you a wreath from flowers, which I have collected, which at the present I want to minister to you. It seems to me, that the fear of the Lord is the most beautiful tree planted in the heart of a holy man, (and) which God waters continuously; and when the tree is consummated, then the man is worthy of eternal glory. I want to describe for you the root of that tree and its branches with its one fruit. -- (There are) three things to be considered here that I want to say to you, so that as one of you I may learn to fear God. I want to describe for you, what is the origin of the divine fear, what its utility, and what is perfection.
6. Venite, filii 14 etc. Verba ista sunt prophetae David, in quibus invitat filios gratiae Dei et filios adoptionis ad addiscendam istam lectionem; et non solum invitat parvulos, sed etiam provectos et senes et decrepitos. Haec est una lectio, quae doceri debet in iuventute et nunquam deseri. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Serva timorem Domini et in illo inveterasce 15. Et in Tobia dicitur, quod Tobias genuit filium, quem ab infantia sua docuit timere Deum 16. Omnium est igitur ista lectio. Verum est quod sacra Scriptura loquitur de timore Domini; et traditur timor Domini in sacra Scriptura. Praedicator facit sicut homo, qui est in prato et colligit flores; non potest omnes colligere, sed colligit aliquos et facit inde sertum. Dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Corona sapientiae timere Dominum 17. Volo vobis facere sertum de floribus, quos collegi, quod ad praesens volo vobis ministrare. Videtur mihi, quod timor Domini sit arbor pulcherrima in corde viri sancti plantata, quam Deus rigat continue; et cum consummata est arbor, tunc dignus est homo gloria aeterna. Volo vobis describere radicem istius arboris et ramificationem eius una cum fructu. -- Tria hic consideranda volo vobis dicere, ut una vobiscum discam timere Deum. Volo vobis describere, quae sit divini timoris origo, quae utilitas, et quae perfectio.


1. Sublimity of the Divine Power



7. What is the root of the fear of the Lord? For it is proper to go to the original principle, to know, the way through which the fear of the Lord rises in us. Moreover the fear of the Lord rises in us first from the consideration of the sublimity of the Divine Power; second, from the consideration of the perspicacity of the Divine Wisdom; third, from the consideration of the severity of the Divine Vengeance. -- First, I say, the fear of God rises in us from the consideration of the Divine Power. Whence in Jeremiah: There is none like Thee, Lord, great art Thou, and great Thy Name in strength; who will not fear Thee, O King of the nations? For Thy distinction is among all the other wise men of the nations and in their diverse kingdoms who is like Thee? 18 First he speaks of the magnitude of the Divine Power, when he says: There is none like Thee, Lord etc.. Whence in the Book of Wisdom: As a drop of pre-dawn dew, so before Thee (is) all the earth 19. Therefore who will not fear Thee, except the impious and the stupid? Wherefore there is also said in Malachi: A son honors his father and a slave his own lord; if I am thy Father, where is My honor? And if I am thy Lord, where is fear of Me? 20 If a man is impious, he is in want of punishment; if he is stupid, he is in want of sense. That the most high stupidity is not-fearing (the Lord), the Lord says in Jeremiah: Hear he says, stupid people, who have not a heart; because having eyes, you do not see; ears, and you do not hear. Therefore you will not fear Me and grieve from My Face? Who has placed the sand as the terminus of the sea, a sempiternal precept, which will not pass away 21. You will not fear Me? -- Therefore I say, that fear first rises in us from the consideration of the Divine Power.
7. Et quae est radix timoris Domini? Oportet enim ire ad originale principium, ut sciamus, per quam viam oritur timor Dei in nobis. Oritur autem timor Dei in nobis primo ex consideratione sublimitatis divinae potentiae; secundo, ex consideratione perspicacitatis divinae sapientiae; tertio, ex consideratione severitatis divinae vindictae. -- Primo, dico, oritur timor Dei in nobis ex consideratione divinae potentiae. Unde in Ieremia: Non est similis tui, Domine, magnus es tu, et magnum nomen tuum in fortitudine; quis non timebit te, o rex gentium? Tuum enim est decus inter cunctos sapientes gentium et in diversis regnis eorum quis similis tui? 18 Praemittit primo magnitudinem divinae potentiae, cum dicit: Non est similis tui, Domine etc. Unde in libro Sapientiae: Sicut gutta roris antelucani, sic ante te omnis orbis terrarum 19. Igitur quis non timebit te, nisi impius et stultus? Quare et dicitur in Malachia: Filius honorat patrem et servus dominum suum; si ego sum pater, ubi est honor meus? Et si sum Dominus, ubi est timor meus? 20 Si homo est impius, indiget poena; si est stultus, indiget sensu. Quod summa stultitia sit non timere, dicit Dominus in Ieremia: Audi, inquit, popule stulte, qui non habetis cor; quia habentes oculos, non videtis; aures, et non auditis. Me ergo non timebitis et a facie mea non dolebitis? Qui posui arenam terminum mari, praeceptum sempiternum, quod non praeteribit 21. Me non timetis? -- Dico igitur, quod oritur primo in nobis timor ex consideratione divinae potentiae.


2. Perspicacity of the Divine Wisdom



8. But secondly the fear of the Lord rises in us from the consideration of the perspicacity of the Divine Wisdom. Whence Job: For He is the only One; and no one can avert His thoughts. And about that I am troubled by His face and considering Him, I am disquieted by fear 22. -- He is the only One, that is, from Himself alone does he have ‘being’, and all other things from Him. And as from the first being all things flow, so God is the Cause of all. Therefore if God is the Cause of all, there is no creature, which is not naked in His eyes, because He himself sees and intently gazes upon the thoughts of men. For that reason Job in the person of the man considering the Divine Wisdom, (which) weighs all other things, says: Considering Him, I am disquieted by fear. Whence upon this the Psalms: Who respects the earth and makes it tremble 23 etc.; the Gloss says: "God then respects the earth and makes it tremble, when He brightens earthly man in respect to His grace and converts him to his original Principle, through which all others are derived and governed. And then man trembles thoroughly". -- For that reason a man ought to consider, what he thinks, what he speaks, and what he does; because God sees all things. Whence Boethius in his book On the Consolation says: "If you do not want to be concealed, there is a great, unspoken necessity of your being proved, since all other things you do in the sight of the Judge (who) sifts all other things". And in Ester it is said: I saw Thee, Lord, as does the Angel of God, and thoroughly disturbed was my heart because of the fear of Thy glory; for Thou art very wonderful, Lord, and Thy Face (is) full of graces 24. -- I saw Thee, Lord, as does an angel of God. An angel sees and circumspects all things, he approves good things and reproves evil ones; likewise, an angel loves the good and hates evil.
8. Secundo vero oritur in nobis timor Domini ex consideratione perspicacitatis divinae sapientiae. Unde Iob: Ipse enim solus est; et nemo potest avertere cogitationes eius. Et idcirco a facie eius turbatus sum et considerans eum, timore sollicitor 22. -- Ipse solus est, id est, a se solo habet esse, et omnia alia ab ipso. Et sicut a primo ente manant omnia, ita Deus omnium est causa. Igitur si Deus omnium est causa, nulla creatura est, quae non sit nuda in oculis eius, quia ipse videt et intuetur cogitationes hominum. Ideo Iob in persona hominis considerantis divinam sapientiam cuncta librantem dicit: Considerans eum, timore sollicitor. Unde super illud Psalmi: Qui respicit terram et facit eam tremere 23 etc.; dicit Glossa: "Tunc Deus terram respicit et tremere facit, quando terrenum hominem illustrat respectu gratiae suae et convertit ad originale principium suum, per quod cuncta principiantur et gobernantur. Et tunc homo contremiscit". -- Ideo multum debet homo considerare, quid cogitet, quid loquatur et quid agat; quia Deus omnia videt. Unde Boethius in libro De consolatione dicit: "Magna vobis, si dissimulari non vultis, indicta est necessitas probitatis, cum cuncta agatis in conspectu iudicis cuncta cernentis". Et in Esther dicitur: Vidi te, Domine, quasi Angelum Dei, et conturbatum est cor meum prae timore gloriae tuae; valde enim mirabilis es, Domine, et facies tua plena gratiarum 24. - Vidi te, Domine, quasi angelum Dei. Angelus omnia videt et circumspicit, bona approbat et mala reprobat; item, angelus bonum diligit et malum odit.


3. Severity of the Divine Vengeance



9. The third origination of the fear of the Lord is from the consideration of the severity of the Divine Vengeance. Whence in Habakkuk: Lord, I have heard what is heard of Thee and I fear. I have heard and thoroughly disturbed is my stomach ; from speaking my lips thoroughly tremble. May rot step into my bones and gush beneath me, that I may rest on the day of tribulation 25. He says: I have heard what is heard of Thee and I fear, that is, that which is said, when it is said: Go, accursed ones, into the eternal fire 26. He says: May rot step into my bones and gush beneath me, that I may rest on the day of tribulation. Not only on the day of tribulation or of the severity of the Last Judgment, but of whatever other judgment, because God's judgments are very many. Whence the Psalm: Fasten together my flesh with Thy fear, for I am afraid of Thy judgments 27.
9. Tertia originatio timoris Domini est ex consideratione severitatis divinae vindictae. Unde in Habacuc: Domine, audivi auditionem tuam et timui. Audivi et conturbatus est venter meus; a voce contremuerunt labia mea. Ingrediatur putredo in ossibus meis et subter me scateat, ut requiescam in die tribulationis 25. Dicit: Audivi auditionem tuam et timui, scilicet, illam auditionem, quando dicetur: Ite, maledicti, in ignem aeternum 26. Dicit: Ingrediatur putredo in ossibus meis, et subter me scateat; ut requiescam in die tribulationis. Non solum in die tribulationis sive severitatis ultimi iudicii, sed cuiuslibet alterius iudicii, quia plura sunt iudicia Dei. Unde Psalmus: Confige timore tuo carnes meas, a iudiciis enim tuis timui 27.


4. Seven are God's Judgments



10. For seven are God's judgments; six are in the present, and the seventh in death, and that will be doubled. -- The God's first judgment is that of confinement; the second judgment is that of acute blinding; God's third judgment is that of obstinacy; God's fourth judgment is that of dereliction; the fifth is that of dissipation; the sixth is that of desperation, and the seventh is that of condemnation. -- God's first, I say, judgment is that of confinement, because the sinner, when he sins, is despoiled of gratuitous things and wounded in natural ones. And so the sinner is bound by two chains, that is by proneness to evil and by difficulty to good. By those two chains a sinner is bound unto the hands of the devil, as Peter was unto the hands of Herod 28. -- After that judgment there follows another judgment, that is the judgment of acute blinding, which figures in the Book of Judges, where it is said, that the Philistines, when they had captured Sampson, tore out his eyes and made him grind at a millstone 29. For from sin a man has a chain on his mind, so that he reputes nothing a sin; he thinks, that light is darkness and darkness is light 30, because he has acutely blinded his spiritual eyes.
10. Septem enim sunt iudicia Dei; sex sunt in praesenti, et septimum in morte, et illud duplicabitur. -- Primum iudicium Dei est alligationis; secundum iudicium est excaecationis; tertium iudicium Dei est obstinationis; quartum iudicium Dei est derelictionis; quintum est dissipationis; sextum est desperationis, et septimum est condemnationis. -- Primum, dico, iudicium Dei est alligationis, quia peccator, quando peccat, spoliatur gratuitis et vulneratur in naturalibus. Et sic duabus catenis ligatur peccator, scilicet pronitate ad malum et difficultate ad bonum. Istis duabus catenis ligatur peccator in manus diaboli, sicut Petrus fuit in manus Herodis 28. - Post istud iudicium sequitur aliud iudicium, scilicet iudicium excaecationis, quod figuratur in libro Iudicum, ubi dicitur, quod philisthaei, cum cepissent Samsonem, eruerunt ei oculos et ad molam fecerunt eum molere 29. Ex peccato enim habet homo caliginem in mente, ita quod nihil reputet peccatum; putat, lumen esse tenebras et tenebras esse lucem 30, quia oculos spirituales habet excaecatos.


11. God's third judgment is the judgment of obstinacy, that is when the heart of a man can be softened neither with promises nor threats nor whips nor torments. Of such a one it is said: His heart is hardened as a stone 31. The wife of Lot was converted into a stone. I would rather, that my heart to be converted into a stone 32, than to be so hard. -- God's fourth judgment is the judgment of dereliction, that is when God forsakes a man and exposes him to whatever temptation and sin. The Psalm: When my virtue has failed, do not forsake me 33, Lord. Do not depart from me 34. Great is the danger, when a father exposes his son in the midst of wolves. -- God's fifth judgment is the judgment of dissipation, when all things, which a man does are dissipated. Nothing upright does he say, nothing prosperous, nothing ordered does he do; rather the whole of what he does, is iniquitous.
11. Tertium iudicium Dei est iudicium obstinationis, scilicet quando cor hominis nec promissis nec minis nec flagellis nec tormentis emolliri potest. De tali dicitur: Cor eius indurabitur quasi lapis 31. Uxor Lot in lapidem est conversa. Magis vellem, quod cor meum converteretur in lapidem 32, quam sic obduraretur. -- Quartum iudicium Dei est iudicium derelictionis, scilicet quando Deus derelinquit hominem et exponit eum cuilibet tentationi et peccato. Psalmus: Cum defecerit virtus mea, ne derelinquas me 33, Domine. Ne discesseris a me 34. Magnum periculum est, quando pater exponit filium in medio luporum. -- Quintum iudicium Dei est iudicium dissipationis, quando omnia, quae facit homo dissipata sunt. Nihil recte loquitur, nihil prosperum, nihil ordinatum facit; immo totum est iniquum, quod facit.


12. God's sixth judgment is the judgment of desperation, that is, when the Lord bears off a man's hope, and a man believes, that he has been deprived of eternal glory. Of such (men) it is said: The desperate have betrayed themselves to impurity , in working every uncleanness, in avarice 35. That is the most horrible judgment. In that judgment fell Judas; and that is the greatest judgment, so that in the present life a greater one cannot be given. -- The seventh judgment is in death, that is the judgment of condemnation. When a man dies in mortal sin, he is separated forever from eternal glory, and his soul is condemned to eternal fire unto the end of the world, and then he will be punished also in his body. Whence the Apostle says: Terrible is the expectation of judgment 36. That judgment Habakkuk feared 37, but David feared all God's judgments; whence he said: For I am afraid of Thy judgments 38.
12. Sextum iudicium Dei est iudicium desperationis, scilicet quando Dominus auffert homini spem, et credit homo, se esse privatum gloria aeterna. De talibus dicitur: Desperantes semetipsos tradiderunt impudicitiae, in operationem immunditiae omnis, in avaritiam 35. Istud est horribilissimum iudicium. In istud iudicium cecidit Iudas; et est istud iudicium maximum, ita quod in vita praesenti non potest dari maius. -- Septimum iudicium est in morte, scilicet iudicium condemnationis. Quando moritur homo in peccato mortali, separatur perpetuo a gloria aeterna, et aeterno igni condemnatur anima usque ad finem mundi, et tunc punietur etiam in corpore. Unde dicit Apostolus: Terribilis est exspectatio iudicii 36. Istud iudicium timebat Habacuc 37, sed omnia iudicia Dei timebat David; unde dixit: A iudiciis enim tuis timui 38.


13. Therefore collect these three consideration, that is the consideration of the sublimity of the Divine Power, the consideration of the perspicacity of the Divine Wisdom and the consideration of the severity of the Divine Vengeance. And who will there be, who will not fear? Whence Job says: Always as if waves swelled over me I have feared God, and His weight I could not bear 39. If you were in a small boat, when the waves went over the boat on all sides; you could not flee, because the waves would be everywhere; you could not hide, because you could not hide yourself away, as a man hides himself away from lightning; you could not even resist, because you would have nothing, which you could place against a wave. Collect these three; if they would be yours, more would you fear. And Job says, Always as if waves swelled over me I have feared God. And why? I cannot flee on account of the sublimity of the Divine Power; because if I ascend into Heaven, Thou art there; if I descend into the Inferno, Thou art present; if I take up my wings before dawn and dwell at the extremities of the sea, for indeed to that place will Thy hand lead me, and Thou will hold me with Thy right hand. 40. Likewise, I cannot hide on account of the perspicacity of the Divine Wisdom, because God sees all things. Likewise, I cannot resist on account of the severity of the Divine Vengeance, because he who sins is punished with an eternal judgment. Whence in the Gospel: Do not fear those who kill the body and after that have nothing more, to do; however I will show you, whom to fear; fear Him, who after He has killed, has the power to send into Gehenna 41. Therefore it is necessary, that we fear God. I would prefer throughout seven thousand years to be under the greatest punishment in the world, than to sustain the least eternal punishment; the Apostle: One must dread to fall into the hands of the living God 42, because God afflicts in eternity. -- Behold the origin of the fear of God. Consider the sublimity of the Divine Power, the perspicacity of the Divine Wisdom and the severity of the Divine Vengeance, so that you may fear God.
13. Collige igitur tres istas considerationes, scilicet considerationem sublimitatis divinae potentiae, considerationem perspicacitatis divinae sapientiae et considerationem severitatis divinae vindictae. Et quis erit, qui non timebit? Unde dicit Iob: Semper quasi tumentes super me fluctus timui Deum, et pondus eius ferre non potui 39. Si esses in navi parva, quando fluctus transcenderent navem ex omni parte; non posses fugere, quia fluctus essent undique; non posses latere, quia non posses te abscondere, sicut homo abscondit se contra fulgura; non posses etiam resistere, quia nihil haberes, quod contra undam ponere posses. Collige ista tria; si sic esset tibi, multum timeres. Et Iob dicit: Semper quasi tumentes super me fluctus Deum timui. Et quare? Non possum fugere propter sublimitatem divinae potentiae; quia, si ascendero in caelum, tu illic es; si descendero in infernum, ades; si sumpsero pennas meas diluculo et habitavero in extremis maris, etenim illuc manus tua deducet me, et tenebit me dextera tua 40. Item, non possum latere propter perspicacitatem divinae sapientiae, quia Deus omnia videt. Item, non possum resistere propter severitatem divinae vindictae, quia aeterno iudicio punitur qui peccat. Unde in Evangelio: Nolite timere eos qui occidunt corpus et post haec non habent amplius, quid faciant; ostendam autem vobis, quem timeatis; timete eum qui, postquam occiderit, habet potestatem mittere in gehennam 41. Necesse est igitur, quod timeamus Deum. Mallem per septem millia annorum esse in maxima poena de mundo, quam sustinere minimam poenam aeternam; Apostolus: Horrendum est incidere in manus Dei viventis 42, quia Deus in aeternum affligit. -- Ecce, origo timoris Dei. Consideretis sublimitatem divinae potentiae, perspicacitatem divinae sapientiae et severitatem divinae vindictae, ut timeatis Deum.


E. Usefulness in Fearing God



14. But what usefulness is there in fearing God? Tobias says: Do not fear, my son; we indeed live a poor life, but we will have many good things, if we fear God 43. To three things does the fear of God prevail, that is to impetrate the influence of divine grace, to introduce the rectitude of divine justice and to obtain the brightening of divine wisdom. In those three things all good things are comprehended.
14. Sed quae utilitas est in timendo Deum? Dicit Tobias: Noli timere, fili mi; pauperem quidem vitam gerimus, sed multa bona habebimus, si timuerimus Deum 43. Ad tria valet timor Dei, scilicet ad impetrandam divinae gratiae influentiam, ad introducendam divinae iustitiae rectitudinem et ad obtinendam divinae sapientiae illustrationem. In istis tribus omnia bona comprehenduntur.


1. Impetrate the Influence of Divine Grace



15. I say, the first usefulness of the fear of God is, that the fear of God prevails to impetrate the influence of divine grace. Whence Isaiah: Whom shall I respect except the little poor man and the contrite in spirit and the one who trembles at My sermons? 44 However much a man be powerful, rich, knowledgeable and strong, unless he fears God, it is worth nothing to him. Whence the Psalm: His desire will not be in the fortitude of a horse, nor His pleasure in the swift feet of a man; the pleasure of the Lord is upon those who fear Him, and in them who hope upon His mercy 45; and the Apostle to the Philippians: Since we have wrought your salvation in fright and fear. For God is He, who works in you both to will and to accomplish on behalf of your good will 46. We cannot have the grace of God except through the fear of God, because the mercy of the Lord (is) from eternity and unto eternity upon those who fear Him 47. No one receives the grace of God, except him who fears God. (St.) Bernard: "In truth did I tell you, that there is nothing equally efficacious to deserve, conserve and multiply the grace of God, than if every time (you are) before God you find that you do not know His height, but fear it. Fear therefore, when grace dries up; fear, when it goes away; fear, when it returns again". He who does not have grace, ought to fear for himself much; similarly, if the Lord renders unto a man a lost grace, he ought to fear for himself much, lest he lose that and become ungrateful, and (that) man's final state become worse than before 48. -- Therefore the fear of God prevails to impetrate the influence of divine grace.
15. Prima, dico, utilitas timoris Dei est, quia timor Dei valet ad impetrandam divinae gratiae influentiam. Unde Isaias: Ad quem respiciam nisi ad pauperculum et contritum spiritu et trementem sermones meos? 44 Quantumcumque sit homo potens, dives, sciens et fortis, nisi timeat Deum, nihil valet ei. Unde Psalmus: Non in fortitudine equi voluntatem habebit, nec in tibiis viri beneplacitum erit ei; beneplacitum est Domino super timentes eum, et in eis qui sperant super misericordia eius 45; et Apostolus ad Philippenses: Cum metu et timore vestram salutem operamini. Deus est enim, qui operatur in vobis et velle et perficere pro bona voluntate 46. Non possumus habere gratiam Dei nisi per Dei timorem, quia misericordia Domini ab aeterno et usque in aeternum super timentes eum 47. Nullus recipit gratiam Dei, nisi qui timet Deum. Bernardus: "In veritate didixi, nihil aeque efficax esse ad gratiam Dei promerendam, conservandam et multiplicandam, quam si omni tempore coram Deo inveniaris non altum sapere, sed timere. Time ergo, cum arriserit gratia; time, cum abierit; time, cum denuo revertetur". Qui non habet gratiam, multum debet sibi timere; similiter, si Dominus reddit homini gratiam perditam, debet multum sibi timere, ne ipsam perdat et ingratus fiat, et fiant novissima hominis peiora prioribus 48. -- Valet igitur timor Dei ad impetrandam divinae gratiae influentiam.


2. Introduce the Rectitude of Divine Justice



16. Secondly the fear of God prevails to introduce the rectitude of divine justice. Whence Ecclesiasticus: The fear of the Lord expels sin. For he who is without fear can not be justified 49. Injustice does not enter into the soul except through sin; moreover the first justification of the soul is, that it subjects itself to the divine sublimity. Having destroyed that fear, it is necessary, that the latter things be destroyed. On this account it is said in Ecclesiasticus: Son, approach God's service, stand in justice and in fear and prepare your soul for temptation 50; and Ecclesiasticus says: If you do not urgently hold yourself in the fear of the Lord, your house will be swiftly subverted 51. Consider David, who says: Serve the Lord in fear and exult Him with trembling 52.
16. Secundo valet timor Dei ad introducendam divinae iustitiae rectitudinem. Unde Ecclesiasticus: Timor Domini expellit peccatum. Nam qui sine timore est non poterit iustificari 49. Iniustitia non intrat in animam nisi per peccatum; prima autem iustificatio animae est, quod subiaceat divinae sublimitati. Isto timore destructo, necesse est, quod posteriora destruantur. Propter hoc dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Fili, accedens ad servitutem Dei, sta in iustitia et timore et praepara animam tuam ad tentationem 50; et Ecclesiasticus dicit: Si non in timore Domini tenueris te instanter, cito subvertetur domus tua 51. Considera David, qui dicit: Servite Domino in timore et exultate ei cum tremore 52.


3. Obtain the Brightening of Divine Wisdom



17. Third the fear of the Lord prevails to obtain the brightening of divine wisdom, because the beginning of wisdom (is) the fear of the Lord 53. For the fear of the Lord is wisdom's extrinsic principle and intrinsic principle and the complement of wisdom; because fear is servile, and that is an initiative to wisdom, because, as a bristle introduces a thread and does not remain with the thread, so servile fear introduces wisdom and does not remain with wisdom. Another thing is the fear of the vengeance and offense of God; and that is the beginning of intrinsic wisdom and the root of wisdom. The third fear is that of filial reverence; and that is the complement of wisdom, because the fullness of wisdom is to fear God 54.
17. Tertio valet timor Dei ad obtinendam divinae sapientiae illustrationem, quia principium sapientiae timor Domini 53. Est enim timor Domini sapientiae principium extrinsecum et principium intrinsecum et sapientiae complementum; quia est timor servilis, et iste est initiativus sapientiae, quia, sicut seta introducit filum et non remanet cum filo, ita timor servilis introducit sapientiam et non remanet cum sapientia. Alius est timor vindictae et offensae Dei; et iste est initium sapientiae intrinsecum et radix sapientiae. Tertius est timor filialis reverentiae; et iste est sapientiae complementum, quia plenitudo sapientiae est timere Deum 54.


18. Those three things cause fear in us, because the beginning of wisdom (is) the fear of the Lord; and the root of wisdom (is) to fear God 55, and the fullness of wisdom is to fear God; Job: Behold, the fear of the Lord is itself wisdom 56. He who does not fear God, knows nothing. And because the fear of the Lord prevails to (accomplish) those three things, that is to impetrate the influence of divine wisdom, to introduce the rectitude of divine justice and to obtain the brightening of divine wisdom; for that reason Ecclesiasticus says: The fear of the Lord (is) as a paradise of blessing 57. And Solomon in Proverbs (says): The fear of the Lord (is) a fount of life, to turn them away from the ruin of death 58; Jeremiah: I know and see, that it is an evil and bitter thing, for you to have forsaken the Lord Thy God, and to not have fear of Me before you 59. If you do not fear God, you have lost grace, you have lost justice and you have lost true wisdom. See therefore, how evil and bitter it is, for you to have forsaken the Lord Thy God. Where there is not fear, there is not wisdom nor justice nor grace. The Psalm: A sepulcher lying open is their throat, the poison of asps under their lips, with their lips they were acting deceitfully, swift their feet to shed blood; whose mouth is full of malediction and bitterness, obliteration and unhappiness in their ways etc.; The fear of God is not before their eyes 60. When a man does not have the fear of God, then his sense is converted unto wickedness and it steps outside as asps' poison. Whence he says: A sepulcher lying open is their throat, the poison of asps beneath their tongue. Iniquity follows in work; whence he says: With their lips they were acting deceitfully, swift their feet to shed blood. When a man has been disordered in his affection as much as regards thinking, in his speech as much as regards speaking and in his work as much as regard its effect; then he has nothing good. Whence he says: Swift their feet to shed blood. Obliteration and unhappiness in their ways, and with the way of peace they have not acquainted themselves, that is the way of grace of the Holy Spirit. And why? Because the fear of God is not before their eyes. Let us make a demonstration through the impossible. If you want to strive to have grace, justice and wisdom; and those are not able to be had without fear, there is insipience, wickedness and iniquity, obliteration and unhappiness; but those must be fled from as the worst things; therefore etc.. -- Therefore having considered the origin and utility of the fear of the Lord, we ought to strive to have the fear of God.
18. Ista tria facit timor in nobis, quia principium sapientiae timor Domini; et radix sapientiae timere Deum 55, et plenitudo sapientiae timere Deum; Iob: Ecce, timor Domini ipsa est sapientia 56. Qui non timet Deum, nihil scit. Et quia timor Domini valet ad ista tria, scilicet ad impetrandam divinae sapientiae influentiam, ad introducendam divinae iustitiae rectitudinem et ad obtinendam divinae sapientiae illustrationem; ideo dicit Ecclesiasticus: Timor Domini sicut paradissus benedictionis 57. Et Salomon in Proverbiis: Timor Domini fons vitae, ut declinent a ruina mortis 58; Ieremias: Scito et vide, quia malum et amarum est, te dereliquisse Dominum Deum tuum, et non esse timorem mei apud te 59. Si non times Deum, perdidisti gratiam, perdidisti iustitiam et perdidisti veram sapientiam. Vide ergo, quam malum et amarum est, te dereliquisse Dominum Deum tuum. Ubi non est timor, ibi non est sapientia nec iustitia nec gratia. Psalmus: Sepulcrum patens est guttur eorum, venenum aspidum sub labiis eorum, linguis suis dolose agebant, veloces pedes eorum ad effundendum sanguinem; quorum os maledictione et amaritudine plenum est, contritio et infelicitas in viis eorum etc.; non est timor Dei ante oculos eorum 60. Quando homo non habet timorem Dei, tunc sensus eius convertitur in malitiam et egredietur foras sicut venenum aspidum. Unde dicit: Sepulcrum patens est guttur eorum, venenum aspidum sub lingua eorum. Sequitur iniquitas in opere; unde dicit: Linguis suis dolose agebant, veloces pedes eorum ad effundendum sanguinem. Quando homo deordinatus est in affectione quantum ad cogitationem, in sermone quantum ad locutionem et in opere quantum ad effectum; tunc nihil boni habet. Unde dicit: Veloces pedes ad effundendum sanguinem. Contritio et infelicitas in viis eorum, et viam pacis non cognoverunt, scilicet viam gratiae Spiritus sancti. Et quare? Quia non est timor Dei ante oculos eorum. -- Faciamus demonstrationem per impossibile. Si vis conari ad habendam gratiam, iustitiam et sapientiam; et ista haberi non potes sine timore, ibi est insipientia, malitia et iniquitas, contritio et infelicitas; sed ista sunt fugienda tanquam res pessimae: ergo etc. -- Considerata igitur origine et ultilitate timoris Domini, debes conari ad timorem Dei habendum.


F. Perfection of the Fear of God



1. Sanctification or Cleansing-out of the Conscience



19. The third sub-part of the fear of the Lord concerns the perfection of the fear of God. Moreover the perfection of the fear of God consists in three things, that is in the perfect sanctification and cleansing-out of the conscience, in the perfect promptitude of obedience and in the perfect firmness of trust. -- First, I say, that the perfection of the fear of God consists in the perfect sanctification or cleansing-out of the conscience. Whence the Apostle to the Corinthians: Let us cleanse ourselves from every iniquity of the flesh and spirit, accomplishing (our) sanctification in the fear of God 61. And in what manner shall we accomplish (our) sanctification? It is said in Ecclesiasticus: They who fear the Lord will prepare their hearts and will sanctify their souls in His sight 62. The Apostle to the Romans: Do you not know, that the kindness of God leads you towards penance? You however according to (your) hardness and impenitent heart treasure up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and the revelation of the just judgment of God 63. -- They who fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, that is, they will hold themselves back and cease from sins. Let us approach therefore to cleanse (our) conscience. It is a wonder, how a man can stand in mortal sin. When a man enters his bed, he enters into a sepulcher. I do not believe, that a man would enter his bed, unless he hopes, that if he dies, that God will be merciful to his soul. I saw some spiritual men, that when they had a little venial (sin), they could scarcely sleep. If I had bound a lion to myself, how could I sleep? The enemy holds you bound, if you are in mortal sin. Rise up therefore and sanctify your soul. Do not halve your confession, but confess most perfectly and most entirely. Let the fear of the Lord lead you to this.
19. Tertia particula timoris Domini est de perfectione timoris Dei. Perfectio autem timoris Dei in tribus consistit, scilicet in perfecta conscientiae sanctificatione et emundatione, in perfecta obedientiae promptitudine et in perfecta fiduciae firmitate. -- Primo, dico, consistit perfectio timoris Dei in perfecta conscientiae sanctificatione sive emundatione. Unde Apostolus ad Corinthios: Mundemus nos ab omni inquinamento carnis et spiritus, perficientes sanctificationem in timore Dei 61. Et quomodo perficiemus sanctificationem? Dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Qui timent Dominum praeparabunt corda sua et in conspectu illius sanctificabunt animas suas; dicentes: si poenitentiam non egerimus, incidemus in manus Domini et non in manus hominum 62. Apostolus ad Romanos: An ignoras, quoniam benignitas Dei ad poenitentiam te adducit? Tu autem secundum duritiam et cor impoenitens theraurizas tibi iram in die irae et revelationis iusti iudicii Dei 63. -- Qui timent Dominum praeparabunt corda sua, id est abstinebunt se et cessabunt a peccatis. Accedamus igitur ad conscientiam mundificandam. Mirum est, quomodo homo potest stare in peccato mortali. Quando homo intrat lectum suum, intrat in sepulcrum. Non credo, quod homo intret in lectum suum, nisi speret, quodsi moriatur, quod Deus misereatur animae ipsius. Vidi de spiritualibus hominibus, quod quando modicum veniale habebant, vix potuerunt dormire. Si haberem leonem mecum ligatum, quomodo possem dormire? Inimicus tenet te ligatum, si es in peccato mortali. Surge igitur et sanctifica animam tuam. Non dimidies confessionem tuam, sed perfectissime et integerrime confitearis. Timor Domini inducat te ad hoc.


2. Promptitude of Obedience



20. The other subpart of the perfection of the fear of the Lord consists in the perfect promptitude of obedience. Whence in the Book of Paralipomenon: Let the fear of the Lord be with you, and with diligence do all other things 64; as if he says: "Do not be sluggish nor negligent," because it is written in Ecclesiastes: He who fears God neglects nothing 65. If I believed, that a thief ought to enter my room and carry of (my) treasure; you would not leave the window open. You ought always to fear God, because he who observes the whole Law, (and) however offends in one thing, becomes liable for (violating) all 66. And in Deuteronomy it is said: And now Israel, what does the Lord Thy God ask of you, except that you fear Him and keep all His mandates and walk in His ways? 67 And Solomon says: Fear God and observe His mandates; every man is by this 68, that is, "(is by this) perfected." Therefore if you want to be perfect, fear God.
20. Alia particula perfectionis timoris Domini consistit in perfecta obedientiae promptitudine. Unde in libro Paralipomenon: Sit timor Domini vobiscum, et cum diligentia cuncta facite 64; quasi dicat: non sitis segnes neque negligentes, quia scribitur in Ecclesiaste: Qui timet Deum nihil negligit 65. Si crederem, quod latro deberet intrare cameram meam et asportare thesaurum; non dimitterem fenestram apertam. Debes semper timere Deum, quia qui totam legem servaverit, offendat autem in uno, factus est omnium reus 66. Et in Deuteronomio dicitur: Et nunc, Israel, quid petit Dominus Deus tuus a te, nisi ut timeas ipsum et custodias omnia mandata eius et ambules in viis eius? 67 Et Salomon dicit: Deum time et mandata eius observa; hoc est omnis homo 68, id est perfectus. Ergo si vis perfectus esse, time Deum.


3. Firmness of Trust



21. The third part of the perfection of the fear of the Lord consists in the perfect firmness of trust; because the fear of the Lord is a tower of firmness and of trust. The Psalm: As a shield will His truth surround you, you will not fear from the nighttime fear, from the arrow flying by day, from the difficulty of walking about in darkness, from invasion and the noonday demon 69. And in Proverbs: The fear of the Lord (is) a tower of fortitude 70. It is proper that he who does not fear God, fear Him everywhere; and he who truly fears God has that which none can bear off from him. But he who fears something from God has that which ought to be borne off from him. He who fears God cannot lost God. Not so concerning money. If a man has money, he fears, lest he loose it, and it is sure, that he will lose it. But he who fears God is secure everywhere. How great the multitude of Thy sweetness, Lord, which Thou has hidden away for those (who) fear Thee; it follows: Thou has perfected them who hope in Thee 71. For that reason the fear of God ought to be perfect, because To those (who) fear God (all) will be well. 72, because they will come to the blessing of glory, to which (glory) may He lead us, who with the Father etc..
21. Tertia pars perfectionis timoris Domini consistit in perfecta fiduciae firmitate; quia timor Domini est firmitatis et fiduciae turris. Psalmus: Scuto circumdabit te veritas eius, non timebis a timore nocturno, a sagitta volante in die, a negotio perambulante in tenebris, ab incursu et daemonio meridiano69. Et in Proverbiis: Timor Domini turris fortitudinis70. Qui Deum non timet, oportet eum ubique timere; et qui Deum vere timet habet quod nullus potest ei auferre. Qui vero aliud a Deo timet habet quod ei auferri debet. Qui timet Deum non potest perdere Deum. Non sic est de pecunia. Si habet homo pecuniam, timet, ne perdat eam, et securus est, quod perdet eam. Sed qui Deum timet securus est ubique. Quam magna multitudo dulcedinis tuae, Domine, quam abscondisti timentibus te; sequitur: Perfecisti eis qui sperant in te71. Ideo debet timor Dei esse perfectus, quia timentibus Deum bene erit72, quia venient ad benedictionem gloriae, ad quam nos perducat qui cum Patre etc.


 1. Ps 33, 12.
2. Eccli 32, 9.
3. Prov 31, 30.
4. Cf. Prov 22, 20.
5. Cf. Iac 1, 17.
6. Is 11, 2-3.
7. Ap 5, 6.
8. Cf. Mat 5, 3-9.
9. Mat 6, 9-13; cf. Lc 11, 2-4.
10. Ps 103, 15.
11. Is 8, 13.
12. Iac, 2, 13.
13. Ps 103, 15.
14. Ps 33, 12.
15. Eccli 2, 6.
16. Tob 1, 10.
17. Eccli 1, 22.
18. Ier 10, 6-7.
19. Sap 11, 23.
20. Mal 1, 6.
21. Ier 5, 21- 22.
22. Iob 23, 13.15.
23. Ps 103, 32.
24. Est 15, 16.
25. Hab 3, 2.16.
26. Mt 25, 41.
27. Ps 118, 120.
28. Cf. Act 12, 6.
29. Iudic 16, 21.
30. Cf. Is 5, 20.
31. Iob 41, 15.
32. Cf. Gen 19, 26.
33. Ps 70, 9.
34. Ps 21, 12.
35. Eph 4, 19.
36. Heb 10, 27.
37. Cf. Hab 3, 2.16.
38. Ps 118, 120.
39. Iob 31, 23.
40. Ps 138, 8-10.
41. Lc 12, 4-5; cf. Mt 10, 28.
42. Heb 10, 31.
43. Tob 4, 23.
44. Is 66, 2.
45. Ps 146, 10-11.
46. Phil 2, 12-13.
47. Ps 102, 17.
48. Nt 12, 45,
49. Eccli 1, 27-28.
50. Eccli 2, 1.
51. Eccli 27, 4.
52. Ps 2, 11.
53. Prov 9, 10; 1, 7; Ps 110, 10; Eccli 1, 16.
54. Eccli 1, 20.
55. Eccli 1, 25.
56. Iob 28, 28.
57. Eccli 40, 28.
58. Prov 14, 27.
59. Ier 2, 19.
60. Ps 13, 3.
61. 2 Cor 7, 1.
62. Eccli 2, 20-22.
63. Rom 2, 4-5.
64. 2 Par 19, 7.
65. Eccle 7, 19.
66. Iac 2, 10.
67. Deut 10, 12-13.
68. Eccle 12, 13.
69. Ps 90, 5-6.
70. Prov 14, 26: In timore Domini fiducia fortitudinis; 18, 10: Turris fortissima, nomen Domini; Ps 60, 4: Quia factus es spes mea, turris fortitudinis a facie inimici.
71. Ps 30, 20.
72. Eccli 1, 13.19: Timenti Dominum bene erit.


S. Bonaventurae Bagnoregis
H. R. E. Cardinalis & Doctor Ecclesiae Universalis




III. Piety



1. Exercise your very self in piety. For corporal exercising is useful a little bit, however piety prevails to (accomplish) all things, having (as it does) the promise of the life, which is now and is to come. 1. Those words are in the First Letter to Timothy, in which the Apostle shows, that twofold is the exercise, which befits man: one corporal, and the other spiritual; and he shows, that spiritual exercise is to be preferred to corporal as a more noble exercise and as a more useful one. For corporal exercising has little utility; whence he says: Corporal exercising is useful a little bit; but spiritual exercising has the greatest utility. Whence spiritual exercising is to be preferred to corporal; as much as spiritual things are to be preferred to corporal things, eternal things to temporal things, and invisible things to visible things; so much is that spiritual exercising to be preferred to corporal. For that reason, if one is wise, he rather ought to seek spiritual exercising than corporal, because corporal exercising it useful a little bit, because it is useful for the body's fitness; but sometimes it is the cause and occasion of the contrary. Some believe they are going to play, and go off to war; they seek jocundity, and they find sadness. Whence Seneca says: "I have found many men exercising their body, but few their genius". One would be foolish who could dig for gold and wanted to dig for clay. Spiritual exercise exceeds corporal more than gold transcends clay. Of that spiritual exercise, in as much as it is ordered to piety, we ought to speak: for after speaking of fear we ought to speak of piety. -- But that most sacred exercise we cannot explicate in a sermon nor put into work except through the help of the Holy Spirit and we will beg the Lord, that He may give me something to say, that is for His honor and the utility of our souls.
1. Exerce temetipsum ad pietatem. Nam corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est, pietas autem ad omnia valet, promissionem habens vitae, quae nunc est et futurae 1. Verba ista sunt in prima Epistola ad Timotheum, in quibus Apostolus ostendit, duplex esse exercitium, quod competit homini: unum corporale, et aliud spirituale; et ostendit, quod exercitium spirituale praeferendum est corporali tanquam exercitium nobilius et tanquam utilius. Corporalis enim exercitatio modicam habet utilitatem; unde dicit: Corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est; spiritualis vero exercitatio maximam habet utilitatem. Unde spiritualis exercitatio praeferenda est corporali: quantum spiritualia praeferenda sunt corporalibus, aeterna temporalibus, et invisibilia visibilibus; tantum illa exercitatio spiritualis praeferenda est corporali. Ideo, si quis sapiens est, magis debet quaerere exercitationem spiritualem quam corporalem, quia corporalis exercitatio ad modicum ultilis est, quia utilis est ad commoditatem corporis; sed quandoque est causa et occasio contrarii. Credit aliquis ire ad iocum, et vadit ad bellum; quaerit iucunditatem, et invenit tristitiam. Unde dicit Seneca: "Multos inveni exercitantes corpus, paucos vero ingenia". Fatuus esset qui posset fodere aurum et vellet fodere lutum. Plus excedit exercitatio spiritualis corporalem, quam aurum transcendat lutum. De ista exercitatione spirituali, in quantum ordinata est ad pietatem, loqui debemus; post timorem enim loqui debemus de pietate. -- Sed istam sacratissimam exercitationem non possumus explicare sermone nec in opus ponere nisi per adiutorium Spiritus sancti et rogabimus Dominum, quod det mihi aliquid dicere, quod sit ad eius honorem et ad utilitatem animarum nostrarum.


2. Exercise your very self in piety etc.. The Apostle Paul as a good teacher rouses up the solicitude of our genius and of our minds to a good use of the divine gift. And having (already) supposed the influx of piety, he invites us to the exercise of piety and proposes the result of the effort of piety. If you have accepted the gift of God, exercise yourself to obtain piety. He assigns the reason for this, when he says further: Piety prevails to (accomplish) all things etc.. For that reason he shows, that about that gift of piety there are three things for us to consider, that is the exercise of piety, the result of the effort of piety, and the original principle of piety. If it is a gift, it is proper to know, in what way it is given; if it is a noble gift, it is proper to know, in what way we are to make progress in it; if it is a useful gift, let us see, what fruit we are to successfully pursue from it. -- See, my whole intention is, that you conceive the gift of piety in your soul and that you learn, what it is to be pious.
2. Exerce temetipsum ad pietatem etc. Apostolus Paulus tanquam bonus magister excitat sollicitudinem ingeniorum et mentium nostrarum ad bonum usum divini doni. Et supposito pietatis influxu, invitat nos ad pietatis exercitium et proponit pietatis emolumentum. Si accepisti donum Dei, exerce te ad pietatem obtinendam. Rationem huius assignat, cum subdit: Pietas ad omnia valet etc. Ideo ostendit, quod circa istum donum pietatis tria sunt nobis consideranda, scilicet pietatis exercitium, pietatis emolumentum et pietatis originale principium. Si est donum, oportet scire, qualiter donatur; si est nobile donum, oportet scire, qualiter in ipso proficiamus et nos exerceamus; si est donum utile, videamus, quem fructum inde consequamur. -- Videte, tota intentio mea est, quod concipiatis donum pietatis in anima et discatis, quid sit esse pium.


3. Let us begin from exercise. Moreover the exercise of piety consists in a threefold act, namely in the reverence of divine veneration, in the custody of intrinsic sanctification and in the super-overflowing of internal pity. The first two modes of piety are more radical than the third.
3. Incipiamus ab exercitio. Exercitium autem pietatis in triplici actu consistit, videlicet in reverentia venerationis divinae, in custodia sanctificationis intrinsecae et in superaffluentia miserationis internae. Primi duo modi pietatis sunt magis radicales quam tertius.


A. Exercise of Piety



1. Reverence of Divine Veneration



4. First, I say, the exercise of piety consists in the reverence of divine veneration. Whence in Ecclesiasticus it is said of Josiah, that he bore away the abominations of impiety and governed his heart in accord with the Lord and in (his own) days thoroughly strengthened the piety of sinners. 2. It is certain, that before the advent of Christ the cult of God did not thrive except in the Israelite people and not in the whole people did it thrive, because ten tribes in the time of Jeroboam adored idols, that is the golden calf; nor even during the whole time did the cult of God thrive in the two tribes; because David was the best worshipper of God, afterwards come Manasses the worst, who made the people worship idols; but after him came Josiah, who in his eighth year began to reign and bore away all idolatry and in (his) days he thoroughly strengthened the piety of sinners, that is the divine cult.
4. Primo, dico, consistit exercitium pietatis in reverentia venerationis divinae. Unde in Ecclesiastico dicitur de Iosia, quod abstulit abominationes impietatis et gubernavit ad Dominum cor illius et in diebus peccatorum corroboravit pietatem 2. Certum est, quod ante adventum Christi cultus Dei non vigebat nisi in populo Israelitico et non viguit in toto populo, quia decem tribus tempore Ieroboam adorabant idola, scilicet vitulum aureum; nec etiam secundum totum tempus viguit cultus Dei in duabus tribubus; quia David optimus cultor Dei fuit, postea venit Manasses pessimus, qui populum fecit idololatrare; post ipsum vero venit Iosias, qui octavo anno suo coepit regnare et abstulit totam idolatriam et in diebus peccatorum corroboravit pietatem, id est cultum divinum.


5. That piety is the cult of God, Job says: Behold, he says, piety itself is wisdom 3. Another translation has: Behold, fear itself is wisdom; but in the Septuagint translation there is had: Behold piety itself is wisdom. And (St.) Augustine says, that piety in Greek is the same as theosebeia, which is the same as "the cult of God". Moreover the cult of God consists most of all in the reverence of God, which is not had without fear. For it is proper, that the worshipper of God with reverence and fear hold the highest and most pious opinions of God. -- If you hold a diminished opinion of the power of God, that is, that he cannot create all things from nothing; you do not have the highest opinion (of Him). Similarly, if you hold a diminished opinion of the wisdom of God, that is, that through His wisdom he cannot penetrate the most interior things; you do not hold the highest opinion (of Him). As we have the testimony of light, which not only shines in itself, but can illumine many other bodies; so God sees all things and brightens them, because He Himself is Light. If you hold an opinion of the power of God and of the wisdom of God, that He cannot repair bodies well or ill; then you hold an evil opinion of God and you do not hold the highest opinion (of Him). Likewise, if you do not believe the divine condescensions and pity, through which God fills full with grace, indulgence and beatitude the creature serving Him; you are not a worshipper of God. -- Therefore I say, that piety is nothing other than a pious sense, a pious affection and a pious domestic-servitude for the pious, first, and Most High Origin. The Most High Good cannot be had nor worshipped without piety. Naturally every thing tends towards its origin; a stone downwards, and fire upwards, and rivers run towards the sea, a tree is in continuity with its roots, and all other things have continuity with their root. Deiform is the rational creature, which can return upon its origin through memory, intelligence and will; and is not pious, unless it pours itself back upon its origin. For that reason I said, that piety is nothing other than a pious sense, a pious affection and a pious domestic-servitude for the pious, first, and Most High Origin. -- Therefore the first exercise of the gift of piety consists in the reverence of divine veneration.
5. Quod pietas sit cultus Dei, dicit Iob: Ecce, inquit, pietas ipsa est sapientia 3. Alia translatio habet: Ecce, timor ipse est sapientia; sed in translatione Septuaginta habetur: Ecce pietas ipsa est sapientia. Et Augustinus dicit, quod pietas in Graeco idem est quod theosebeia, quod est idem quod cultus Dei. Consistit autem cultus Dei maxime in reverentia Dei, quae non habetur sine timore. Oportet enim, cultorem Dei altissime, piissime, cum reverentia et timore sentire de Deo. -- Si sentis diminute de potentia Dei, scilicet quod non possit omnia de nihilo creare; non sentis altissime. Similiter, si diminute sentis de sapientia Dei, scilicet quod per sapientiam suam non possit intima penetrare; non sentis altissime. Sicut habemus testimonium lucis, quod non solum in se lucet, sed multa alia corpora possit illuminare; ita Deus omnia videt et illustrat, quia ipse est lux. Si sentis de Dei potentia et de Dei sapientia, quod non possit corpora reparare male, vel bene; tunc male sentis de Deo nec sentis altissime. Item, si non credis condescensiones et miserationes divinas, per quas Deus creaturam sibi servientem gratia, indulgentia et beatitudine replet; non es cultor Dei. -- Dico igitur, quod pietas nihil aliud est quam piae, primae et summae originis pius sensus, pius affectus et pius famulatus. Summum bonum non potest haberi nec coli sine pietate. Naturaliter quaelibet res tendit ad suam originem: lapis deorsum, et ignis sursum, et flumina currunt ad mare, arbor continuatur cum radice, et ceterae res continuationem habent cum radice. Deiformis est creatura rationalis, quae potest redire super originem suam per memoriam, intelligentiam et voluntatem; et non est pia, nisi refundat se super originem suam. Ideo dixi, quod pietas nihil aliud est quam piae, primae et summae originis pius sensus, pius affectus et pius famulatus. -- Prima igitur exercitatio doni pietatis consistit in reverentia venerationis divinae.


2. Custody of Intrinsic Sanctification



6. The second exercise of the gift of piety consists in the custody of intrinsic sanctification; of which the Apostle says: I earnestly entreat first of all, that requests , earnest entreaties, prayers and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all etc.; there follows: so that we may conduct a quiet life in all piety and chastity 4. You ought to understand, that the sum of the Christian religion consists in piety and purity. For a man can never become pious, unless he has peace. This (peace) is the Christian religion, which consists in these two things. Tranquility of peace is not, except in tranquility of conscience. And a conscience is not holy, unless it be good and pious, that is, that it prefer the life of virtue and grace to the life of nature. -- See well, if a man paid more attention to his shoe than to his foot, he would not love his foot much. He who would expose his foot to being broken on account of a shoe, would he love his foot much and pay much attention to his foot? Certainly not. He who on account of a little thing would expose himself to hanging would not love his life much. Is it not proper, that a man guard his soul in holiness? 5 Certainly it is. But he exposes his soul to confusion, who is not wary of his own sin.
6. Secunda exercitatio doni pietatis consistit in custodia sanctificationis intrinsecae; de qua dicit Apostolus: Obsecro primum omnium, fieri postulationes, obsecrationes, orationes et gratiarum actiones pro omnibus etc.; sequitur: ut quietam vitam agamus in omni pietate et castitate 4. Intelligere debetis, quod summa christianae religionis consistit in pietate et puritate. Nunquam enim potest homo pie ad se ipsum affici, nisi habeat pacem. Haec est religio christiana, quae consistit in his duobus. Tranquillitas pacis non est nisi in tranquillitate conscientiae. Et non est conscientia sancta, nisi sit bona et pia, scilicet quod praeferat vitam virtutis et gratiae vitae naturae. -- Videatis bene, si homo plus afficeretur ad calceamentum quam ad pedem, non multum diligeret pedem. Qui pedem exponeret fractioni propter calceamentum, nunquid multum diligeret pedem et multum afficeretur ad pedem? Certe non. Qui propter modicam rem exponeret se suspendio non multum diligeret vitam suam. Nunquid oportet, quod homo custodiat animam suam in sanctitate? 5 Certainly it is. But he exposes his soul to confusion, who is not wary [caveat] of his own sin.


7. O how few there are, who guard the piety of (our) religion! But the Lord interrogates the impious 6. It is said in Ecclesiasticus: Have mercy on your soul 7, that is, have piety for your soul; pleasing God, that is, that you study to please God. And in what manner? Gather and contain your heart in holiness. -- Some are content, that they have an exterior sanctity, that is in word and in gesture and in exerterior comportment; but this is the external decoration of holiness, as the man, who whitewashes the eterior, and makes a sepulcher for the dead, which has been whitewashed exteriorly 8. But as "simulated equity is not equity, but a twofold iniquity"; so a simulated sanctify is not sanctity, but rather iniquity. Against such the Apostle speaks: in the last times there will be men (who are) lovers of pleasures, having the appearance of piety, however denying its virtue 9. -- Having the appearance of piety, "that is of religion", says the Gloss. Those (who) have the appearance of piety are hypocrites. For such a one is the son of perdition 10. Of such is said: With the spirit of His lips He shall strike the impious 11, that is the one who will have the greatest appearance of piety. -- Therefore the second exercising of the gift of peity is through the guard of intrinsic piety. -- But certain ones do not have mercy on their own soul, nay rather they make it as worse as they can. They hate their own soul in the most high manner, (who) could not makes it worse, than they do, because they do all things, which the devil suggests to them. Have mery on your soul! And certain ones under the appearance of piety take up those things which are contrary to their soul. They say: "I will go unto turpitude under the appearance of piety". What piety is that? Certainly none (at all).
7. O, quam pauci sunt, qui pietatem religionis custodiunt! Sed Dominus interrogat impium 6. Dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Miserere animae tuae 7, id est, habeas pietatem ad animam tuam; placens Deo, scilicet, ut studeas placere Deo. Et quomodo? Congrega et contine cor tuum in sanctitate. -- Aliqui contenti sunt, quod sanctitatem exteriorem habeant, scilicet in verbo et in gestu et exteriori conversatione; sed hoc est ornare sanctitatem exterius, sicut homo, qui dealbat exterius, et facit sepulcrum mortuorum, quod exterius est dealbatum 8. Sed sicut "simulata aequitas non est aequitas, sed duplex iniquitas"; ita simulata sanctitas non est sanctitas, sed potius iniquitas. Contra tales dicit Apostolus: In novissimis temporibus erunt homines voluptatum amatores, habentes speciem pietatis, virtutem autem eius abnegantes 9. -- Habentes speciem pietatis, "id est religionis", dicit Glossa. Speciem pietatis habentes sunt hypocritae. Talis enim filius est perditionis 10. De tali dicitur: Spiritu labiorum suorum percutiet impium 11, scilicet illum qui habebit maximam speciem pietatis. -- Igitur secunda exercitatio doni pietatis est per custodiam sanctitatis intrinsecae. -- Sed quidam de anima sua non habent misericordiam, immo faciunt animae suae peius, quod possunt. Summe odiunt animam suam, non possent ei peius facere, quam faciunt, quia faciunt omnia, quae diabolus suggerit eis. Miserere animae tuae! Et quidam sub specie pietatis assumunt quae sunt contra animam suam. Dicunt: ibo ad turpitudinem sub specie pietatis. Quae pietas est ista? Certe nulla.


3. Overflowing of Internal Pity



8. The third exercising of the gift of piety is in the overflowing of internal pity. Of this it is said in Ecclesiasticus: These are the men of mercy, whose piety was not lacking; since their good (deeds) remain in seed 12. -- Dearest ones! you ought to run through the ways of the holy Patriarchs, and you will see, that these were the men of mercy, that is Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joseph and Samuel. How (great) was the piety of Noah! For one hundred years he did nothing except build the ark, to save the human race 13. How great was piety in most holy Abraham! God descended to strike cities, in which there were abominations of sin; and Abraham interceded with the Lord on their behalf and extorted from the Lord, that if He found ten just ones in the cities, the Lord would spare them 14. How great was the piety of Joseph! He who was sold by his brothers -- nay rather his brothers wanted to slay him -- and (yet) he guarded his brothers, governed and even enriched their sons; he had the piety to conserve the whole globe by gathering and conserving grain 15. How great was the piety of Moses! He who loved the people (who were) provoking the Lord and prayed on their behalf to the Lord saying: Hear me, Lord, that people (of Thine) has sinned; either forgive this people this offense, or if Thou does not do (this), blot me out from Thy book, which Thou has written 16. (St.) Bernard gives the example of the wife, who has her little infant and is outside her house. If he says to her: "Leave your little infant outside your house and enter your house;" she would not want to enter her house, for the boy would remain outside. So did Moses will, that the Lord would forgive their sin, or blot him out from the book of life. So it was concerning Samuel, when the people asked him for a king; afterwards the people recognized, that Samuel has ruled the people well, and since the people had sinned, Samuel feared, lest he would want to pray to the Lord on their behalf. And the people begged him, to pray in their behalf, and Samuel said: Away from me, lest I cease praying on your behalf 17. Of such great piety was David, the king of Israel! Saul was seeking to slay him, and David had Saul in his hand; he could have slain him, nor was God preventing it, because God said to him: I have betrayed him into your hand 18. He could have slain him, nor was man preventing it, nor was the law preventing it; and nevertheless he spared him and his house. These, therefore, are the men of mercy, whose piety failed not.
8. Tertia exercitatio doni pietatis est in affluentia miserationis internae. De ista dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Hi sunt viri misericordiae, quorum pietates non defuerunt; cum semine eorum permanent bona 12. -- Carissimi! debetis percurrere vias sanctorum Patrum, et videbitis, quod hi sunt viri misericordiae, scilicet Noe, Abraham, Moyses, Ioseph et Samuel. Quae fuit pietas Noe! Per centum annos non fecit nisi aedificare arcam, ut salvaret genus humanum 13. Quanta pietas fuit in sacratissimo Abraham! Deus descendit ut percuteret civitates, in quibus erant abominationes peccati; et intercessit Abraham ad Dominum pro illis et extorsit a Domino, quod si inveniret decem iustos in civitatibus, parceret eis Dominus 14. Quanta pietas fuit Ioseph! Qui venditus a fratribus suis -- immo volebant ipsum interficere fratres sui -- et fratres suos custodivit, gubernavit et ditavit et filios eorum; et pietatem habuit ad conservandum universum orbem colligendo et conservando bladum 15. Quanta pietas fuit Moysi! Qui populum Dominum irritantem dilexit et pro eo oravit ad Dominum dicens: Audi me, Domine, peccavit populus iste; aut dimitte populo huic hanc noxam, aut si non facis, dele me de libro tuo, quem scripsisti 16. Ponit Bernardus exemplum de muliere, quae habet infantulum suum et est extra domum. Si dicatur ei: dimitte infantulum tuum extra domum, et tu intra domum; non vellet domum intrare, ita quod puer remaneret extra. Ita Moyses voluit, quod Dominus populo dimitteret peccatum suum, aut quod deleret ipsum de libro vitae. Sic fuit de Samuel, quando populus petiit regem; postea cognovit populus, quod Samuel bene rexerat populum, et cum populus peccasset, timebat, ne Samuel pro ipso vellet ad Dominum orare. Et rogavit eum populus, ut pro ipso oraret, et dixit Samuel: Absit a me, ut cessem orare pro vobis 17. Quantae pietatis fuit David rex Israel! Saul quaerebat eum ad interficiendum, et David habebat Saulem in manu sua; potuit ipsum interficere, nec prohibente Deo, quia Deus dixit ei: Tradam eum in manus tuas 18. Potuit ipsum interficere, nec prohibente homine, nec prohibente lege; et tamen pepercit ei et domui suae. Hi sunt igitur viri misericordiae, quorum pietates non defuerunt.


9. To that piety blessed Peter invites us, who was the other Apostle, saying in his second Canonical (letter): Minister virtue in faith, knowledge in virtue, abstinence in knowledge, patience in abstinence, piety in patience, love of brotherhood in piety and charity in the love of brotherhood 19. What does he want to say? He places piety in the midst of two things, that is among patience and charity. He says that piety is the purple robe and he calls patience and charity the royal garment. It is fitting that he, who want to be pious to his neighbor, support him patiently and love him charitably. David conducted himself patiently and charitably towards his enemy; thus is it proper, that a man conduct himself towards his neighbor. -- Where is piety today? It is not the mean, because God bears extremes away; there is such cruelty today, that a man cannot be satisfied with vengeance; there reigns today impatience and angry behavior; man judges evilly; even if a man does not offend me, nevertheless I will judge evilly about him. Whence is this? Certainly, because I do not have charity. Blessed Peter knew well to say, in what manner I could have charity, because if I have patience on one side, and charity on the other; behold the exercise of piety.
9. Ad istam pietatem invitat nos beatus Petrus, qui fuit alter Apostolus, in secunda Canonica sua dicens: Ministrate in fide virtutem, in virtute scientiam, in scientia abstinentiam, in abstinentia patientiam, in patientia pietatem, in pietate amorem fraternitatis et in amore fraternitatis caritatem 19. Quid vult dicere? Pietatem ponit in medio duorum, scilicet inter patientiam et caritatem. Pietatem dicit esse vestem purpuream, et patientiam et caritatem dicit esse vestem regiam. Qui vult esse pius ad proxiumum, oportet, quod supportet ipsum patienter et caritative diligat. David patienter et caritative se habuit ad hostem; ita oportet, quod homo se habeat ad proximum. -- Ubi est pietas hodie? Non est medium, quia Deus abstulit extrema; tanta est hodie crudelitas, quod homo non potest satiari de vindicta; regnat hodie impatientia et iracundia; male iudicat homo; etiam si non offendit me homo, male tamen iudicabo de ipso. Unde est hoc? Certe, quia non habeo caritatem. Beatus Petrus bene scit dicere, quomodo potero habere caritatem, quia, si habeo patientiam ex una parte, et caritatem ex altera; ecce exercitium pietatis.


B. The Original Principle of Piety



10. You say loudly, brother: I do not have that gift. Therefore it is proper, that I explain to you the original principle of piety. And you say: "You ought to begin from the beginning; and you have begun from the exercise." No, brother, I cannot lead you to the original principle of piety except through the act and exercise of piety. Moreover the gift of piety originates first from the Uncreated Trinity, second from the Incarnate Wisdom, and third from Holy Mother Church, sanctified through the Spirit.
10. Dices forte, frater: non habeo istud donum. Oportet igitur, ut explicem tibi originale principium pietatis. Et dices: tu debuisti incipere a principio; et incepisti ab exercitio. Non, frater, non possem te ducere ad originale principium pietatis nisi per actum et exercitium pietatis. Originatur autem donum pietatis primo a Trinitate increata, secundo a Sapientia incarnata, et terio a sancta matre Ecclesia per Spiritum sanctificata.


1. Uncreated Trinity



11. See, I say, that the gift of piety rises first from the Uncreated Trinity, that is from God the Father. Although God has all the most noble properties, He is nevertheless the most excellent in that property, that is of piety; whence it is said in the prayer: God, to whom it is proper to be merciful always and to spare etc.. And in Ecclesiasticus: Pious and merciful God, He both at all times forgives the sins of tribulation and is the Protector of all who seek Him out in truth 20. -- He is pious and merciful, because He spares and protects. The Lord says: In the manner a father is merciful to his sons, so have I been merciful to you 21. Search all the works of God from beginning unto the end, you will find great, greater and the greatest workings of pity. The great workings of divine pity are the workings of nature; the greater workings of divine pity are the workings of grace, but the greatest workings are the workings of glory. Hear! You are an image of God; and (what) is called an image if not a copy; therefore if you are truly a copy of God, you ought to configure yourself to God in piety. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: In judging be merciful as a father to orphans and (stand) in the place of the man of their mother; and you will be as an obedient son of the Most High , and He will be merciful to you 22. -- In judging, that is in fostering law, be merciful to orphans, that is to be truly a son of the Most High. When the glorious God is compassionate unto to the wretched; why do you not imitate Him? If there were any fountain, which makes desiccated plants grow green, it would be valued much. A soul without piety has desiccated plants. The stream of divine pity pours itself most copiously upon (these) and makes dead plants grow green. Is it not proper, that you introduce that stream into your soul? But you can not introduce Him except through piety. Therefore the first original influence of piety is from the Uncreated Trinity.
11. Videte, dico, quod donum pietatis oritur primo a Trinitate increata, scilicet a Deo Patre. Quamquam Deus habeat omnes proprietates nobilissimas, excellentissimus tamen est in ista proprietate, scilicet pietatis; unde dicitur in oratione: "Deus, cui proprium est misereri semper et parcere" etc. Et in Ecclesiastico: Pius et misericors Deus, et in tempore tribulationis peccata dimittit et protector est omnibus exquirentibus se in veritate 20. -- Pius est et misericors, quia parcit et protegit. Dicit Dominus: Quomodo miseretur pater filiorum, sic misertus sum tui 21. -- Quaere omnia opera Dei a principio usque in finem, semper invenies operationes miserationis magnas, maiores et maximas. Magnae operationes miserationis divinae sunt operationes naturae; maiores operationes miserationis divinae sunt operationes gratiae, sed maximae operationes sunt operationes gloriae. Audi! es imago Dei; et imago dicitur quisi imitago: igitur si vere es imitago Dei, debes te configurare Deo in pietate. Unde in Ecclesiastico: In iudicando esto pupillis misericors ut pater et pro viro matri illorum; et eris velut filius Altissimi obediens, et miserebitur tui 22. -- In iudicando, id est in fovendo ius, esto pupillis misericors, scilicet ut sis vere filius Altissimi. Quando Deus gloriosus compatitur in miseros; quare tu non imitaris ipsum? Si esset aliquis fons, qui faceret virescere plantas desiccatas, multum appretiaretur. Anima sine pietate habet plantas desiccatas. Fluvius miserationis divinae copiosissime se infundit et facit virescere plantas mortuas. Nonne oportet, quod tu introducas in animam tuam illum fluvium? Sed non potes eum introducere nisi per pietatem. Prima igitur originalis influentia pietatis est a Trinitate increata.


2. Incarnate Wisdom



12. The second original influence of piety itself is from the Incarnate Wisdom. Whence the Apostle to Timothy: Manifestly a great thing of piety is the sacrament, which has been manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, has appeared to angels, has been preached to the Gentiles, has been believed in the world, has been assumed in glory 23. The Mystery of human redemption accomplished through the Incarnate and Crucified Word is a great sacrament of piety. -- He says, which has been manifested in the flesh, through the Incarnation; has been justified in the Spirit, on the patibulum of the Cross; has appeared to Angels, in being glorified; has been preached to the Gentiles, in the mission of the Holy Spirit; has been believed in the world, through the spreading of the faith; has been assumed into glory, through the exam of the final judgment. I say, that the Incarnate Son of God assumed our indigence. What did this? Piety certainly. Whence He ought to be made like to His brothers in all things, to become a merciful and faithful High Priest before God, to propitiate anew the crimes of the people 24. Through piety He assumed flesh, ascended the Cross, came back to life from the dead, sent the Holy Spirit upon the earth, called the Church to Himself and through piety freed everything fitting from misery. The Apostle says to the Romans: Do you contemn the riches of His goodness and patience and longanimity? Or are you ignorant, that the goodness of God leads you towards penance? But you according to your hardness and your impenitent heart treasure up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and of the revelation of the just judgment of God 25. The Son of God offered the Holocaust, that is His very Self on our behalf; this is the great sacrament of piety. -- This sacrament is repeated daily upon the altar. For those reasons He gave us the Sacrament of the Altar, so that, mindful of the sacrament of piety, we might put on the internals of piety. 26. Cruel is the heart which is not softened to those.
12. Secunda influentia originalis ipsius pietatis est a Sapientia incarnata. Unde Apostolus ad Timotheum: Manifeste magnum pietatis est sacramentum, quod manifestatum est in carne, iustificatum in Spiritu, aparuit angelis, praedicatum est gentibus, creditum est in mundo, assumptum est in gloria 23. Mysterium redemptionis humanae factum per Verbum incarnatum et crucifixum est magnum pietatis sacramentum. -- Dicit, quod manifestatum est in carne, per incarnationem; iustificatum est in Spiritu, in crucis patibulo; apparuit Angelis, in glorificatione; praedicatum est gentibus, in Spiritus sancti missione; creditum est in mundo, per dilatationem fidei; assumptum est in gloria, per examen finalis iudicii. Dico, quod filius Dei incarnatus assumsit inopiam nostram. Quid fecit hoc? Certe pietas. Unde debuit per omnia fratribus similari, ut misericors fieret et fidelis pontifex ad Deum, ut repropitiaret delicta populi 24. Per pietatem carnem assumpsit, crucem ascendit, resuscitatus est a mortuis, Spiritum sanctum in terram misit, Ecclesiam ad se vocavit et omnes idoneos a miseria per pietatem liberavit. Apostolus ad Romanos dicit: An divitias bonitatis eius et patientiae et longanimitatis contemnis? An ignoras, quod benignitas Dei ad poenitentiam te adducit? Tu vero secundum duritiam tuam et cor impoenitens thesaurizas tibi iram in die irae et revelationis iusti iudicii Dei 25. Filius Dei obtulit holocaustum, scilicet se ipsum pro nobis; hoc est magnum pietatis sacramentum. -- Hoc sacramentum quotidie iteratur in altari. Pro istis rationibus dedit nobis Sacramentum altaris, ut, memores sacramenti pietatis, induamur viscera pietatis 26. Crudele est cor quod ad ista non emollitur.


3. Holy Mother Church



13. The third original influence of the gift of piety is from Holy Mother Church, sanctified through the Holy Spirit, who has the pledge of the Holy Spirit. Holy Mother Church has pointed out piety to all. Those who are born from one father and one mother love each other more, than those born from one father, and/or from only one mother. The Holy Spirit makes us sons of one father and of one mother and members of one body. The Apostle: The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of all us men, has appeared, instructing us, to live soberly and justly and piously in this age, as ones denying impiety and secular desires27. -- Dearest ones! see, if your piety is of a brother for a brother, and of a brother-in-a-womb for a brother-in-the-womb! Who is your father? God certainly. Who is your mother? She is the Church, who bore us from her womb through the Holy Spirit and will give us birth, when we will be presented in eternal light. Do you not see, that as one member suffers together with the other 28, so also we ought to have compassion on one another? We are all members of one body, we eat from one food, we are produced from the same womb, we tend towards the same inheritance; and our inheritance will be magnified, as much as we are more, not lessened. We are one body, we ought to be piously concerned for one another. Come to your father, your father receives you, and/or your mother; if Holy Mother Church assists, even disgraceful sinners will be compelled to return. Therefore we ought to have compassion on one another.
13. Tertia influentia originalis doni pietatis est a sancta matre Ecclesia per Spiritum sanctum sanctificata, quae habet pignus Spiritus sancti. Sancta mater Ecclesia omnibus pietatem indixerat. Qui nati sunt ab uno patre et una matre plus se diligunt invicem, quam qui nati sunt ab uno patre, vel ab una matre tantum. Spiritus sanctus facit nos filios unius patris et unius matris et membra unius corporis. Apostolus: Apparuit gratia Domini nostri Iesu Christi, Salvatoris nostri omnibus hominibus, erudiens nos ut, abnegantes impietatem et saecularia desideria, sobrie et iuste et pie vivamus in hoc saeculo 27. -- Carissimi! videte, si pietas vestra est fratris ad fratrem, et fratris uterini ad fratrem uterinum! Quis est pater noster? Certe Deus. Quae mater nostra? Est Ecclesia, quae de utero suo genuit nos per Spiritum sanctum et pariet nos, quando praesentati erimus in luce aeterna. Nonne videtis, quod sicut unum membrum compatitur alteri membro 28, sic et nos debemus nobis invicem compati? Omnes sumus membra unius corporis, uno cibo cibamur, ab eodem utero producimur, ad eandem hereditatem tendimus; et magnificabitur hereditas nostra, quanto plures erimus, non angustiabitur. Sumus unum corpus, pie debemus affici ad invicem. Veni ad patrem, pater recipit te, vel mater; si assistat sancta mater Ecclesia, etiam flagitiosi peccatores compellentur redire. Debemus igitur nobis invicem compati.


14. To point this out there is written in the Psalm: Behold, how good and how jocund (it is) that brothers live as one. As ointment upon the head, which descended upon the beard, the beard of Aaron. 29. We have One Father, one sacrifice, one Sacrament and one reward. He says: As ointment upon the head etc.. First there is the ointment upon the head; afterwards it descends unto all others, who approach the head. -- Piety ought to be first in prelates and the members of the ruling class and afterwards in the common folk; whence it says: that it descended upon the collar of his vestment 30. Of that oil of piety there is said in the fourth (Book) of Kings, that a certain woman came to Elisha and said, that her creditors wanted to accept her boys (as payment); and she said My man was a God fearing man 31. And Elisha told (her), to take away all the vases of her neighbors and to place inside each of them some of that oil, until all were filled full 32. For what (purpose) did he precept here to take away the vases of her neighbors? Could such a wife multiply the oil and fill the wine-jar, and not have worked? I say, that the wife represents a type of the Church, Elisha represents a type of Christ. When the Church is a poor little (woman) in merits, is it not also proper, that She return interest? Through what does She return it? It is proper, that she fills full the vases of her neighbors. You want, the piety of Mother Church to descend to you? Fill full the vases of your neighbors. That oil of piety ought to be had among all. Whence in the Canticle (of Canticles): (As) an oil poured out, (so) Thy Name 33.
14. In huius designationem scribitur in Psalmo: Ecce, quam bonum et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum. Sicut unguentum in capite, quod descendit in barbam, barbam Aaron 29. Unum Patrem habemus, unum sacrificium, unum Sacramentum et unum praemium. Dicit: Sicut unguentum in capite etc. Primo est unguentum pietatis in capite; postea descendit in omnes alios, qui appropinquant capiti. -- Primo debet esse pietas in praelatis et maioribus et postea in plebe; unde dicit: quod descendit in ora vestimenti eius 30. De isto oleo pietatis dicitur in quarto Regum, quod mulier quaedam venit ad Eliseum et dixit, quod creditores sui volebant pueros suos accipere; et dixit: Vir meus fuit vir timens Deum 31. Et dixit Eliseus, quod afferret omnia vasa vicinorum suorum et imponeret in quolibet aliquid de illo oleo, donec omnia impleta essent 32. Ad quid praecepit ei afferre vasa vicinorum? Nunquid multiplicare non potuit oleum et implere dolium, et non laborasset tantum mulier? Dico, quod mulier tenet typum Ecclesiae, Eliseus tenet typum Christi. Quando Ecclesia paupercula est in meritis, et oportet, quod fenus reddat; per quid reddet? Oportet, quod impleat vasa vicinorum. Vis, quod pietas matris Ecclesiae ad te descendat? Impleas vasa vicinorum. Istud oleum pietatis apud omnes debet haberi. Unde in Cantico: Oleum effusum nomen tuum 33.


15. Especially ought it be in the hearts of pontiffs. Whence pontiffs are anointed on the head, and having been enjoined they ought afterwards to purify all of the common folk. It is said in the Book of Machabees: When the holy city was held in peace, and they guarded the laws in the best manner on account of the piety of Onias and held their souls with hatred of evil; it came to be, that they lead kings and pontiffs in reverence to the (Holy) Place and brightened it with many gifts 34. Afterwards Menelaus and his own entered the Temple 35, and Antiochus defiled the Temple 36. I believe, that the impediment was, that the Holy Spirit was not in the common folk, because the impediment was in the pastor. -- Blessed Gregory (the Great) was a noble and rich man; he founded seven monasteries and enriched them and in the seventh in the city of Rome he became a monk, afterwards a cardinal and then Pope. Blessed Gregory, when he was Pope, was accustomed to have twelve poor, who used to eat before him. On a certain day there was with those twelve one, who sometimes appeared youthful, sometimes with venerable grey hair. After lunch blessed Gregory rose up and lead him into his room and questioned, who he was. Who responded: "I am that shipwreck-survivor, to whom you were merciful near the sea port. I said, that my ship had been endangered, and I asked you for alms, whence I would be able to be sustained. You caused me to be given 50 aurei [about US$ 30,000], afterwards all the silver saucers, which were in your house; and then I knew, that the eternal God had disposed you to this honor, and that you had arrived at that dignity by arraignment, so that you could give much on God's behalf." And blessed Gregory said: "Who are you?" He responded: "I am His angel." And blessed Gregory was terrified, because he had seen an Angel; and so he was consoled, because his work of piety pleased God so much. (Saints) Martin and Nicholas, because they were merciful men, for that reason oil flows out of their tombs. -- Now it is clear concerning the exercise of piety and concerning its original influence.
15. Specialiter debet esse in cordibus pontificum. Unde pontifices unguntur in capite, et ipsi iniuncti postea omnes de plebe debent purificare. Dicitur in libro Machabaeorum: Cum sancta civitas in pace habitaretur, et leges optime custodirent propter Oniae pietatem et animos odio habentes malum; fiebat, ut locum reges et pontifices in reverentia ducerent et multis muneribus illustrarent 34. Postea Menelaus et sui intraverunt templum 35, et Antiochus contaminavit templum 36. Credo, quod impedimentum fuit, quod Spiritus sanctus non fuit in plebe, quia impedimentum fuit in pastore. -- Beatus Gregorius fuit nobilis et dives; septem monasteria fundavit et ditavit et in septimo in urbe Romana factus est monachus, postea cardinalis et Papa tandem. Consuevit beatus Gregorius, cum fuit Papa, habere pauperes duodecim, qui comedebant ante ipsum. Quadam die fuit cum illis duodecim unus, qui aliquando apparuit iuvenis, aliquando venerandae canitiei. Post prandium surrexit beatus Gregorius et duxit illum in cameram suam et quaesivit, quis esset. Qui respondit: Ego naufragus ille sum, cui tu fecisti misericordiam circa portum maris. Dixi, quod navis mea erat periclitata, et petii a te eleemosynam, unde possem sustentari. Fecisti mihi dari quinquaginta aureos, postea omnes scutellas argenteas, quae fuerunt in domo tua; et tunc scivi, quod Deus aeternus disposuit te ad istum honorem, et dispensative ad istam dignitatem devenisti, ut posses multum dare pro Deo. Et dixit beatus Gregorius: Quis es tu? Respondit ille: Ego sum angelus eius. Et territus est beatus Gregorius, quia vidit Angelum; et sic consolatus est, quia opera pietatis tantum placent Deo. Martinus et Nicolaus quia viri misericordes fuerunt, ideo ex ipsorum tumba manat oleum. -- Patet modo de exercitio pietatis et de eius originali influentia.


C. Utility of the Gift of Piety



16. But what is the utility of the gift of piety? He says: Piety prevails to (accomplish) all things, having (as it does) the promise of the life, which is now and is to come 37. I do not know how to add more. Do you have temporal goods? For them piety prevails; and similarly for spiritual goods. Those who have endured the deceitfulness of the flesh, have been freed at all times through the gift of piety, and afterwards have successfully pursued mercy. For piety prevails to (accomplish) all things: it prevails to become acquainted with true things, to turn away all evils, and to successfully pursue all good things.
16. Sed quae est utilitas doni pietatis? Dicit: Pietas ad omnia valet, promissionem habens vitae, quae nunc est, et futurae 37. Non scio plus addere. Habes bona temporalia? Ad illa valet pietas; et similiter ad bona spiritualia. Qui lubricum carnis passi sunt, liberati sunt quandoque per donum pietatis, et postea misericordiam consecuti sunt. Pietas enim valet ad omnia: valet ad vera cognoscenda, ad omnia mala declinanda et ad omnia bona consequenda.


1. Acquainted with True Things



17. First, I say, piety prevails to become acquainted with true things, that is salutary things; whence in Ecclesiasticus: The Lord does all things and gives wisdom to those who act piously 38. God grants His gifts upon every creature; but the knowing of the truth He does not give except to those acting piously. In what manner can one attain originals who does not attain the origin of truth? In what manner does one know the origin of truth who turns away from the origin of truth? The Apostle says to Timothy: If anyone teaches otherwise and does not acquiesce to the sane sermons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to that doctrine which is according to piety, he is proud both knowing nothing and growing faint about questionings and about fights of words 39. It is proper, that man assent to the doctrine, which is according to piety. It is said in Daniel: Furthermore let the impious act impiously 40; revelation is closed to the impious. If you want to be true scholars, it is proper, that you have piety.
17. Primo, dico, valet pietas ad vera cognoscenda, scilicet salutaria; unde in Ecclesiastico: Omnia fecit Dominus et pie agentibus dedit sapientiam 38. Dat Deus dona sua super quamlibet creaturam; sed notitiam veritatis non dat nisi pie agentibus. Quomodo posset attingere originata qui non attingit originem veritatis? Quomodo originem sciret veritatis qui adversatur origini veritatis? Dicit Apostolus ad Timotheum: Si quis aliter docet et non acquiescit sanis sermonibus Domini nostri Iesu Christi, et ei quae secundum pietatem est doctrinae, superbus est et nihil sciens et languens circa quaestiones et pugnas verborum 39. Oportet, quod homo assentiat doctrinae, quae est secundum pietatem. Dicitur in Daniele: Porro impie agent impii 40; claudetur revelatio impiis. Si vultis esse veri scholares, oportet, vos habere pietatem.


2. Prevails to Turn Away All Evils



18. Second, piety prevails to turn away all evils. Whence blessed Peter: The Lord knows how to snatch the pious from temptation, (and) how, moreover, to reserve the impious to be tormented on the day of judgment 41. The impious are those who do not recognize divine piety. Moreover the impious one, when he has come into the depth of his sins, contemns (piety) 42. The impious one is he who defends his own impiety, that is, his sin. Of such ones the Psalm says: A sepulcher lying open is their throat, with their lips they act deceitfully; judge them God! They fall down from their thoughts; according to the multitude of their impieties expel them, since they have provoked Thee, Lord! 43. Do you want to be freed from evil? Hear David, who says: I said: I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord, and Thou has remitted the impiety of my sin 44. Praise God and grow angry against your sin and do not defend sin, because to defend sin is a twofold sin. Notable is what the Psalm says: Blessed the man, who does not go off in the counsel of the impious, by consenting to sin: and in the way of sinners has not stood, by remaining in sin; and in the cathedra of pestilence does not sit45, by defending his sin.
18. Secundo valet pietas ad omnia mala declinanda. Unde beatus Petrus: Novit Dominus pios de tentatione eripere, impios autem cruciandos in diem iudicii reservare 41. Impii sunt qui non recognoscunt pietatem divinam. Impius autem, cum in profundum peccatorum venerit, contemnit 42. Impius est qui propriam impietatem defendit, scilicet peccatum. De talibus dicit Psalmus: Sepulcrum patens est guttur eorum, linguis suis dolose agebant; iudica illos Deus. Decidant a cogitationibus suis; secundum multitudinem impietatum eorum expelle eos, quoniam irritaverunt te, Domine 43. Vis liberari a malo? Audi David, qui dicit: Dixi: Confitebor adversum me iniustitiam meam Domino, et tu remisisti impietatem peccati mei 44. Lauda Deum et irascaris contra peccatum et noli defendere peccatum, quia defendere peccatum est duplex peccatum. Notabile est quod dicit Psalmus: Beatus vir, qui non abiit in consilio impiorum, peccato consentiendo; et in via peccatorum non stetit, in peccato permanendo; et in cathedra pestilentiae non sedit 45, peccatum suum defendendo.


3. Successfully Pursue Every Good



19. The third utility of the gift of piety is, that it causes one to successfully pursue every good. Whence it is said in the Book of Maccabees, that Judas used to consider, that those who had gone to sleep with piety, brought back the best grace 46, which (grace) may He deign to bestow on us, who with the Father ... .
19. Tertia utilitas doni pietatis est, quod facit consequi omne bonum. Unde dicitur in libro Machabaeorum, quod considerabat Iudas, quod hi qui cum pietate dormitionem acceperant, optimam reportabant gratiam 46, quam nobis praestare dignetur qui cum Patre etc.


 1. 1 Tim 4, 7-8.
2. Eccli 49, 3-4.
3. Iob 28, 28.
4. 1Tim 2, 1-2,
5. Cf. Deut 4, 9: Custodi igitur temetipsum et animam tuam sollicite, etc.
6. Ps 10, 6.
7. Eccli 30, 24.
8. Cf. Mt 23, 27.
9. 2 Tim 3, 1-5.
10. Cf. Io 17, 12; 2 Thes 2, 3.
11. Is 11, 4.
12. Eccli 44, 2.
13. Cf. Gen 6-7.
14. Cf. Gen 18, 20-33.
15. Cf. Gen 37, 19-28; 42-47.
16. Ex 32, 31-32.
17. 1 Reg 12, 23.
18. 1 Reg 24, 5; cf. 24, 11; 26, 23.
19. 2 Petr 1, 5-7.
20. Eccli 2, 13.
21. Ps 102, 13.
22. Eccli 4, 10-11.
23. 1 Tim 3, 16.
24. Heb 2, 17.
25. Rom 2, 4-5.
26. Cf. Col 3, 12.
27. Tit 2, 11-12.
28. Cf. 1 Cor 12, 26; 10, 17.
29. Ps 132, 2.
30. Ps 132, 2.
31. 4 Reg 4, 1.
32. 4 Reg 4, 3-7.
33. Cant 1, 2.
34. 2 Mach 3, 1-2.
35. 2 Mach 4, 23-33.
36. cf. 2 Mach 6, 1-5.
37. 1 Tim 4, 8.
38. Eccli 43, 37.
39. 1 Tim 6, 3-4.
40. Dan 12, 9-10.
41. 2 Petr 2, 9.
42. Prov 18, 3.
43. Ps 5, 11.
44. Ps 31, 5.
45. Ps 1, 1.
46. 2 Mach 12, 45.


IV. Knowledge



A. Illumination



1. God, who told light to grow bright from the darkness, has Himself shown in our hearts for the illumination of the knowledge of the brightness of God upon the Face of Christ Jesus. 1. -- Will He who corrects the Gentiles not put it in clear light, He who teaches men knowledge ? 2 The Psalm of David says, that God is a great teacher of all knowledge. You know, if anyone draws up water, he draws it up more freely from its original beginning than from a rivulet. For that reason, if the Lord is a great teacher and grantor of gifts, of which we intend to speak; it is proper, that we run back to the that fount to sucessively pursue illumination. Thus did the Psalmist, thus did Solomon and he became a great cleric. In the beginning it is proper that we raise our souls and beg the largessor of gifts, because we do not ask for temporal things, but for the utility and salvation of our soul; and this is pleasing to God, as did Solomon, who asked for wisdom from the Lord. Therefore let us beg the Lord that He may open the eyes of our mind and give me the knowing-light, so that I can say something of the gift of knowledge, which may be for the honor of God, (who lives and reigns ... ).
1. Deus, qui dixit de tenebris lucem splendescere, ipse illuxit in cordibus nostris ad illuminationem scientiae claritatis Dei in facie Cristi Iesu 1. -- Qui corripit gentes non arguet, qui docet homines scientiam? 2 Psalmus David dicit, quod magnus doctor scientiarum Deus est. Scitis, si aliquis habet haurire aquam, libentius haurit eam ab originali suo principio quam a rivulo. Ideo, si Dominus est doctor magnus et donator doni, de quo intendimus loqui; oportet, quod recurramus ad fontem illum ad illuminationem consequendam. Sic fecit Psalmista, sic fecit Salomon et factus est clericus magnus. In principio oportet quod elevemus animas nostras et rogemus largitorem donorum, quia non petimus temporalia, sed ultilitatem et salutem animae nostrae; et hoc placet Deo, sicut fecit Salomon, qui petiit sapientiam a Domino. Rogemus ergo Dominum ut ipse aperiat oculos mentis nostrae et det mihi lumen scientiale, ut possim aliquid loqui de dono scientiae, quod sit ad honorem Dei, etc.


2. God, who told light to grow bright from darkness etc.. That word was written in the Second Epistle to the Corithians, in which the Apostle Paul, a great teacher, explained the gift of that knowledge; and he explained that gift as much as regards its antecedents and its subsequents. The gift of knowledge is anteceded by two things: one is as an innate light, and the other is as an infused light. The innate light is the natural light of the judgement or the reason; the superinfused light is the light of faith. As much as regards the first he says: God, who told light to grow bright, that is, the natural light of judgement impresses the rational creature, that is, not only the possible intellect, but even the agent intellect. As much as regards the superinfused light of faith he says: He has shown in our hearts etc.; that is, through the infusion of the light of faith. God founded (our) rational nature and superadded grace. Two, therefore are the antecedents. -- The consequents are also two, that is, a clear knowing of the Creator, and a revealed knowing of the Savior. As much as regards the antecedents he says: God, who told etc.; as much as regards the consequents he says: for the illumination of the knowledge of the brightness of God, where the clear knowing of the Creator is touched upon; upon the Face of Christ Jesus, where the revealed knowing of the Savior is touched upon. -- The Apostle give (us) to understand, that the soul has a multiform brightness and from one it transcends into another. Whence the Apostle to the Corinthians: But we all, gazing on the glory of the Lord with revealed faces, are transformed into the same image from brightness into brightness, as by the Spirit of the Lord 3. The brightness of the soul is knowledge, and conversely the darkness of the soul is ignorance. He says We are transformed from brightness into brightness.
2. Deus, qui dixit de tenebris lucem splendescere etc. Verbum istud scriptum est in secunda Epistola ad Corinthios, in quo apostolus Paulus, doctor magnus, explicat ipsius scientiae donum; et explicat ipsum donum quantum ad antecedentia et subsequentia. Donum scientiae duo antecedunt: unum est sicut lumen innatum, et aliud est sicut lumen infusum. Lumen innatum est lumen naturalis iudicatorii sive rationis; lumen superinfusum est lumen fidei. Quantum ad primum dicit: Deus, qui dixit lucem splendescere, id est lumen naturalis iudicatorii impressit creaturae rationali, id est non solum intellectum possibilem, sed etiam intellectum agentem. Quantum ad lumen fidei superinfusum dicit: Illuxit in cordibus nostris etc.; scilicet per infusionem lucis fidei. Deus naturam rationalem condidit et superaddidit gratiam. Duo igitur sunt antecedentia. -- Consequentia etiam sunt duo, scilicet clara notitia Creatoris, et revelata notitia Salvatoris. Quantum ad antecedentia dicit: Deus, qui dixit etc.; quantum ad consequentia dicit: Ad illuminationem scientiae claritatis Dei, ubi tangitur clara notitia Creatoris; in facie Christi Iesu, ubi tangitur revelata notitia Salvatoris. -- Dat Apostolus intelligere, quod anima multiformem habet claritatem et ab una transcendit in alteram. Unde Apostolus ad Corinthios: Nos vero omnes, revelata facie gloriam Domini speculantes, in eandem imaginem transformamur a claritate in claritatem, tanquam a Domini Spiritu 3. Claritas animae est scientia, econtra tenebra animae est ignorantia. Dicit: Transformamur a claritate in claritatem.


3. Here it must be noted, what is the brightness of philosophical knowledge, of theological knowledge, of gratuitous knowledge, and (what is) the brightness of glorious knowledge. The brightness of philosophical knowledge is great according to the opinion of worldly men, nevertheless it is small in comparison to the brighness of Christian knowledge. But the brightness of theological knowledge seems small according to the opinion of worldlings, but according to truth it is great. The brightness of gratuitous knowledge is greater, but the brightness of glorious knowledge is the greatest; it is in that (brightness) that Paul has stood. The Psalm: Wonderful has Thy knowledge become in me, it has strengthened (me), and I can not face it 4, that is, in this life.
3. Hic notandum est, quod est claritas scientiae philosophicae, scientiae theologicae, scientiae gratuitae, et claritas scientiae gloriosae. Claritas scientiae philosophicae est magna secundum opinionem hominum mundialium, parva tamen est in comparatione ad claritatem scientiae christianae. Claritas vero scientiae theologicae parva videtur secundum opinionem mundialium, sed secundum veritatem magna est. Claritas scientiae gratuitae est maior, sed claritas scientiae gloriosae est maxima; ibi est status. Psalmus: "Mirabilis facta est scientia tua ex me, confortata est, et non potero ad eam 4, scilicet in hac vita.


4. All that knowledge and its brightness is divinely given, although always in granting them the gift is greater. It is true, that philosophical and theological knowledge is a gift of God; but properly speaking the gift of God is gratuitous knowledge; but glorious knowledge is not only a gift, but also a reward. Moreover, In the Canticle of Anna in the Book of Kings there is said: Let the old things recede from your mouth, because the God of all knowledge is the Lord, and thoughts are prepared for Him 5; not stupid thoughts, which are scattered through the ways of error, but good thoughts are prepared for the Lord through the ways of truth. Job: Have you known the paths of the clouds, the great paths and all perfect knowledge ? 6 He calls the paths great, that is philosophical and theological knowledge, which are called great paths, because they comprehend many sciences; he calls the paths perfect as much as regards gratuitous and glorious knowledge. Of the path of the clouds are the sciences of perfect men, because, as clouds drag away the virtue of heat into the heights, so perfect men are raised aloft in abstraction of mind. -- Of these four sciences we want to talk, so that we can arrive at the third, of which we are speaking here.
4. Omnes istae scientiae et claritates earum divinitus dantur, quamquam semper in donatione ipsarum sit maius donum. Verum est, quod scientia philosophica et theologica est donum Dei; proprie vero est donum Dei scientia gratuita; scientia vero gloriosa non tantum est donum, sed etiam praemium. In Cantico autem Annae dicitur in libro Regum: Recedant vetera de ore vestro, quia Deus scientiarum Dominus est, et ipsi praeparantur cogitationes 5; non stultae cogitationes, quae dissipantur per vias errorum, sed bonae cogitationes praeparantur Domino per vias veritatis. Iob: Nunquid nosti semitas nubium, semitas magnas et perfectas scientias? 6 Dicit semitas magnas, id est scientiam philosophicam et theologicam, quae dicuntur magnae semitae, quia multas scientias comprehendunt; semitas perfectas dicit quantum ad scientiam gratuitam et gloriosam. Semitae nubium sunt virorum perfectorum scientiae, quia, sicut nubes abstrahuntur virtute caloris in altum, ita viri perfecti in abstractione mentis sublimantur. -- De istis quatuor scientiis volumus dicere, ut ad tertiam possimus pervenire, de qua loquimur hic.


5. Philosophical knowledge is nothing other than a certain knowing of the truth as scrutable. Theological knowledge is a pious knowing of the truth as credible. Gratuituous knowledge is a holy knowing of the truth as lovable. Glorious knowledge is a sempiternal knowing of the truth as desirable.
5. Scientia philosophica nihil aliud est quam veritatis ut scrutabilis notitia certa. Scientia theologica est veritatis ut credibilis notitia pia. Scientia gratuita est veritatis ut diligibilis notitia sancta. Scientia gloriosa est veritatis ut desiderabilis notitia sempiterna.


B. Philosophical Knowledge



6. First let us begin from philosophical knowledge. I say, that philosophical knowledge is a certain knowing of truth as scrutable. Of this knowledge it is said in Proverbs: Behold, I have described (my doctrine) in a threefold manner and with knowledge, to show you the firmness and eloquences of (its) truth 7. That can be the word of Solomon and the word of God. I say, that it can be the word of God. For He describes philosophical knowledge in a threefold manner, that is He describes it according to a threefold reason, as natural, as rational, and as moral, that is, inasmuch as it is "the cause of existing, the reason for understanding and the order of living". Inasmuch as it is the cause of existing, it designates natural knowledge; inasmuch as it is the reason for understanding, it signifies rational knowledge; inasmuch as it is the order of living, it describes moral knowledge.
6. Primo incipiamus a scientia philosophica. Dico, quod scientia philosophica est veritatis ut scrutabilis notitia certa. De hac scientia dicitur in Proverbiis: Ecce, descripsi eam tripliciter in cogitationibus et scientia, ut ostenderem tibi firmitatem et eloquia veritatis 7. Potest illud verbum esse Salomonis et verbum Dei. Dico, quod postet esse verbum Dei. Ipse enim describit scientiam philosophicam tripliciter, id est secundum triplicem rationem decribit eam, ut naturalem, ut rationalem, et ut moralem, scilicet in quantum est "causa essendi, ratio intelligendi et ordo vivendi". In quantum est causa essendi, designat scientiam naturalem; in quantum est ratio intelligendi, significat scientiam rationalem; in quantum est ordo vivendi, describit scientiam moralem.


7. Nor is it only the word of God, nay rather it is also that of Solomon, who discussed (everything) from a ceder of Lebanon even to hyssop. 8 He said: Behold, I have described (my doctrine) to you in a threefold manner, to show you the firmness, that is the solid and firm truth, and the eloquences of (its) truth; he described it in a threefold manner, that is inasmuch as it is the truth of things, the truth of conversations and the truth of morals, according to which (his doctrine) is the non-division of a being from being, and a non-division a being to being, and of a being from its end. The truth of things is an non-division of a being from being; the truth of conversations is a non-division of a being to being; the truth of morals is a non-division of a being from its end. -- The truth of morals is rectitude, according to which a man lives well, inside and out, according to the dictate of law, because law is the rule of rectitude; the truth of conversations is the adequation of voice and intellect; the truth of things is "the adequation of intellect and thing". And because philosophical knowledge teaches the eloquences of truth; truth is also threefold: for that reason he said, that he described (his doctrine) in a threefold manner.
7. Nec tantum est verbum illud Dei, immo est etiam Salomonis, qui disputavit a cedro Libani usque ad hyssopum 8. Ipse dicit: Ecce, descripsi eam tibi tripliciter, ut ostenderem tibi firmitatem, id est solidam et firmam veritatem, et eloquia veritatis; ipse describit eam tripliciter, scilicet in quantum est veritas rerum, veritas sermonum et veritas morum, secundum quod est indivisio entis ab esse, et indivisio entis ad esse, et entis a fine. Veritas rerum est indivisio entis ab esse; veritas sermonum est indivisio entis ad esse; veritas morum est indivisio entis a fine. -- Veritas morum est rectitudo, secundum quam homo bene vivit intus et extra secundum dictamen iuris, quia ius est regula rectitudinis; veritas sermonum est adaequatio vocis et intellectus; veritas rerum est "adaequatio intellectus et rei". Et quia scientia philosophica eloquia veritatis docet; et triplex est veritas: ideo dicit, quod descripsit eam tripliciter.


8. Do you not believe, that Solomon acquired that threefold knowing? -- Of the knowledge of conversing he says, that he had it. Whence in the Book of Wisdom he says: Give me, Lord, the wisdom standing before Thy thrones, that I may be worthy of the thrones of my father (David) 9. There it was written: Moreover God gave to me to speak from consideration and to anticipate the worthy (sayings) of those which were given to me. In His hand are we and our conversations 10. It is impossible, that wisdom become doctrine except through conversation. Moreover conversation is not sufficient to teach, unless it be full of considerations. And a man cannot speak in a manner full of considerations, unless his conversation be discussive, inquisitive and persuasive, that is, that he has conversation powerful to speak every thing, whicht he can apprehend and/or know, and/or to which his affection can be inclined. Moreover he suitably expresses what he says through grammer, rationally investigates through the science of logic and efficaciously persuades through rhetoric. That therefore is a part of philosophy, that is, the conversational science, which is threefold, as is clear, which Solomon did obtain.
8. Non creditis, quod Salomon istam triplicem notitiam acquisierit? -- De scientia sermocinandi dicit, quod eam habuit. Unde in libro Sapientiae dicit: Da mihi, Domine, sedium tuarum assistricem sapientiam, ut dignus sim sedium patris mei 9. Ibi scriptum est: Mihi autem dedit Deus dicere ex sententia et praesumere digna horum quae mihi dantur. In manu eius sumus nos et sermones nostri 10. Impossibile est, quod sapientia fiat doctrina nisi per sermonem. Sermo autem non est sufficiens ad docendum, nisi sit sententiosus. Et non loquitur homo sententiose, nisi sit sermo eius discussivus, inquisitivus et persuasivus, scilicet quod habeat sermonem potentem ad loquendum omne illud, quod potest apprehendi vel nosci, vel ad quod affectus potest inclinari. Congrue autem exprimit quod dicit per grammaticam, rationabiliter investigat per scientiam logicam et efficaciter persuadet per rhetoricam. Ista est igitur pars philosophiae, scilicet scientia sermocinalis, quae triplex est, ut patet, quam adeptus est Salomon.


9. The other part of philosophy, that is, which is in the truth of things, Solomon says he obtained. Whence he says in the Book of Wisdom: God gave me of those which are true knowledge, that I may know the disposition of the globe and the virtues of the elements 11. It is certain, that a knowing of the truth of things is triform, accord to which there are concrete forms, abstract forms and separated forms. Concrete forms he considers physics, abstract forms metaphysics, and separated forms mathematics. Whence he says: God gave me knowledge of those things which are, that is principally of beings, which (are) true beings, as much as regards the science of metaphysics; that I may know the dispositions of the globe, as much as regards mathematics; and the virtues of the elements, as much as regards natural philosophy. Solomon knew the course of the year from the disposition of the stars, the nature of the animals and the virtues of roots; Solomon learned everything.
9. Alteram partem philosophiae, scilicet quae est in veritate rerum, dicit se Salomon adeptum esse. Unde dicit in libro Sapientiae: Mihi dedit Deus eorum quae sunt scientiam veram, ut sciam dispositionem orbis terrarum et virtutes elementorum 11. Certum est, quod notitia veritatis rerum triformis est, secundum quod sunt formae concretae, formae abstractae et formae separatae. Formas concretas considerat physicus, formas abstractas metaphysicus, et formas separatas mathematicus. Unde dicit: Mihi Deus dedit scientiam eorum quae sunt, id est entium principaliter, quae vera entia, quantum ad scientiam metaphysicam; ut sciam dispositiones orbis terrrarum, quantum ad mathematicam; et virtutes elementorum, quantum ad naturalem philosophiam. Salomon scivit anni cursum ex dispositione stellarum, naturas animalium et virtutes radicum; omnia docuit Salomon.


10. Of the third part of philosophy, that is of morals, Solomon also says, that he obtained it. Whence in Ecclesiastes: I have purified all things with my soul, to know and consider and seek wisdom and reason, and to become acquainted with the impiety of the stupid and the error of the imprudent 12. He says that he has considered many things and has ordained all towards morals. -- Dearest ones! The impiety of the stupid is in having an evil opinion of the Cause of causes; the error of the imprudent is about the regimen of monastic life, and/or of economic life, and/or of political, that is, about the regimen of their own things, and/or of one's family, and/or of a city-state. Great prudence is required for one's own regimen, greater for the regimen of the family, but the greatest about the regimen of a city-state. It is impossible, that the sun illumine bodies remote from itself and not illumine those near to itself. One cannot have an ordered family, unless he himself be ordered. If one wants to have chaste servants; and will not himself be chaste, it cannot be. Similarly unless a man rules his family well, he cannot rule the city-state well, because as is the prince of a city-state, such also those dwelling in it 13.
10. De tertia parte philosophiae, scilicet de morali, dicit etiam Salomon, quod eam est adeptus. Unde in Ecclesiaste: Lustravi universa animo meo, ut scirem et considerarem et quaererem sapientiam et rationem, et ut cognoscerem impietatem stulti et errorem imprudentium 12. Multa dicit se considerasse et omnia ordinasse ad mores. -- Carissimi! Impietas stulti est in male sentiendo de causa causarum; error imprudentium est circa regimen vitae monasticae, vel vitae oeconomicae, vel politicae, id est circa regimen sui, vel familiae, vel civitatis. Magna prudentia requiritur ad regimen sui, maior ad regimen familiae, sed maxima circa regimen civitatis. Impossibile est, quod sol illuminet remota corpora a se et non illuminet propinqua sibi. Non potest aliquis habere ordinatam familiam, nisi ipse sit ordinatus. Si velit aliquis habere servientes castos; et ipse non erit castus, hoc non potest esse. Similiter nisi homo bene regat familiam suam, non poterit bene regere civitatem, quia qualis princeps civitatis, tales et habitantes in ea 13.


11. Therefore Solomon shows, that he arrived at the triform description of philosophical knowledge, that is, to a description of rational, moral and natural knowledge and to a triform description of each of those. -- He who has a description of those sciences according to truth, would have the largest mirror for becoming acquainted with (all things), because nothing is in any of those sciences which does not import the vestige of the Trinity. That would be easy to show, but it would be long (to speak about it).
11. Ostendit igitur Salomon, se pervenisse ad triformem descriptionem scientiae philosophicae, scilicet ad descriptionem scientiae rationalis, moralis et naturalis et ad triformem descriptionem quarumlibet istarum. -- Qui haberet descriptionem istarum scientiarum secundum veritatem, maximum speculum haberet ad cognoscendum, quia nihil est in aliqua istarum scientiarum quod non importet vestigium Trinitatis. Illud esset facile ostendere, sed longum esset.


12. The first brightness, that is, of philosophical knowledge, is great according to the opinion of worldly men; but it is easily eclipsed, unless a man himself beware of the head and tail of the dragon. If anything is interposed between himself and the Sun of justice, he will suffer the eclipse of stupidity. Jerimiah: Stupid has every man become from his own knowledge 14, that is, occasionally, not causally. He who confides in philosophical knowledge and apprises himself on account of this and believes himself to be better, has become stupid, that is, when through that science without an ultierior light he believes, that he apprehends the Creator; as if a man by candles wanted to see heaven and/or a solar body. It is certain, that rational philosophy is consummated in rhetoric; since threefold is the genus of the deliberative, that is, when one deliberates on the utility, the security, the honesty, and its opposite, that is on damage, on danger and on sin or on dishonesty. A man cannot know, what be useful, what be damaging, except from an addition beyond that science. There is said in the Gospel: What does it profit a man if he gain the entire world, but suffer the detriment of his own soul? 15 What value is it, that a man know many things, if he reliquishes true honesty of soul? -- It is also certain, that according to moral knowledge a man cannot know, what be useful, what be damaging, except from an addition beyond moral knowledge, according to which moral knowledge is a rite of worshipping, a norm of living and a censure of judging. Who can know the rite of worshipping through natural philosophy? -- It will (only) be, because a man has natural and metaphysical knowledge, which extends itself towards the highest substances, and there a man arrive, to rest there; it is impossible, that he not fall into error, unless he be assisted by the light of faith, that is, that man believe God, Three and One, most powerful and best according to the ultimate influence of goodness. Otherwise if you believe insane things about God; you attribute what is proper to God to another, you blaspheme and are an idolater, as if a man were to attribute the simplicity of God and/or something of this kind to another. -- Therefore that knowledge casts philosophers down headlong and obsures them, because they do not have the light of faith. Whence the Apostle: They who when they have become acquainted with God, have not glorified Him as God, nor have given thanks; but have become vain in (their own) thoughts, and their foolish heart has been obscured; calling themselves wise they have become stupid 16. And in the Book of Wisdom: For if only they could know how to judge the age, by this means would they not have found the Lord more easily? 17 -- Philosophical knowledge is the way to the other sciences; but he who wants to stand still there, falls into darkness.
12. Prima claritas, scilicet scientiae philosophicae, magna est secundum opinionem hominum mundialium; sed de facili eclipsatur, nisi homo caveat sibi a capite et cauda draconis. Si aliquid interponatur inter ipsum et solem iustitiae, patitur eclipsim stultitiae. Ieremias: Stultus factus est omnis homo a scientia sua 14, scilicet occasionaliter, non causaliter. Qui confidit in scientia philosophica et appretiatur se propter hoc et credit se esse meliorem, stultus factus est, scilicet quando per istam scientiam sine ulteriori lumine credit, se apprehendere Creatorem; sicut si homo per candelas vellet videre caelum vel corpus solare. -- Certum est, quod rationalis philosophia in rhetorica consummatur; cum sit triplex genus deliberativae, scilicet quando deliberat de utilitate, de securitate, de honestate, et eius opposito, scilicet de damno, de periculo et de peccato sive de inhonestate. Non potest homo scire, quid utile, quid damnosum, nisi ex additione ultra istam scientiam. Dicitur in Evangelio: Quid prodest homini si mundum universum lucretur, animae vero suae detrimentum patiatur? 15 Quid valet, quod homo multa sciat, si vera honestas animae relinquatur? -- Certum est etiam, quod secundum scientiam moralem non potest homo scire, quid utile, quid damnosum, nisi ex additione ultra scientiam moralem, secundum quod scientia moralis est ritus colendi, norma vivendi et censura iudicandi. Quis potest scire ritum colendi per philosophiam naturalem? -- Esto, quod homo habeat scientiam naturalem et metaphysicam, quae se extendit ad substantias summas, et ibi deveniat homo, ut ibi quiescat; hoc est impossibile, quin cadat in errorem, nisi sit adiutus lumine fidei, scilicet ut credat homo Deum trinum et unum, potentissimum et optimum secundum ultimam influentiam bonitatis. Si aliter credas insanis circa Deum; quod proprium est Dei attribuis alteri, blasphemas et idolatra es, sicut si homo simplicitatem Dei vel huiusmodi attribuat alteri. -- Igitur ista scientia praecipitavit et obscuravit philosophos, quia non habuerunt lumen fidei. Unde Apostolus: Qui cum cognovissent Deum, non sicut Deum glorificaverunt, aut gratias egerunt; sed evanuerunt in cogitationibus suis, et obscuratum est insipiens cor eorum; dicentes se sapientes stulti facti sunt 16. Et in libro Sapientiae: Si enim tantum potuerunt scire, ut possent aestimare saeculum, quomodo huius Dominum non facilius invenerunt? 17 -- Philosophica scientia via est ad alias scientias; sed qui ibi vult stare cadit in tenebras.


C. Theological Knowledge



D. Sacred Scripture is Compared to the Water of the Sea



13. Beyond philosophical knowledge God has given us theological knowledge, which is the pious knowing of credible truth; because Eternal Light, that is God, is a light inaccessible to us, so long as we are mortal and have eyes for twilight. Whence (St.) Augustine: "keeness of the mind (is) weak, in so far as it is not fastened by an excellent light, unless it be cleansed through the justice of faith". For that reason theological knowledge is founded upon faith: as the philosophical sciences are founded upon their first principles, so the knowledge of Scripture is founded upon the articles of faith, which are the twelve foundations of the (heavenly) city 18. Of that knowledge it is said in Isaiah: They will not wound and they will not kill on all My holy mountain; there follows: because the earth has been filled full with the knowledge of God and as the waters of the sea covering it up 19, Sacred Scripture is compared to the water of the sea on account of its profundity of mysteries, on account of its multiformity of senses and on account of its stabilizing of the Churches.
13. Ultra scientiam philosophicam dedit nobis Deus scientiam theologicam, quae est veritatis credibilis notitia pia; quia lux aeterna, scilicet Deus, est lux inaccessibilis nobis, quamdiu sumus mortales et habemus oculos vespertilionis. Unde Augustinus: "Acies mentis invalida in tam excellenti lumine non figitur, nisi per iustitiam fidei emundetur". Ideo super fidem fundata est scientia theologica: sicut scientiae philosophicae super prima principia sua fundantur ita scientia Scripturae fundatur super articulos fidei, qui sunt duodecim fundamenta civitatis 18. De ista scientia dicitur in Isaia: Non nocebunt et non occident in universo monte sancto meo; sequitur: quia repleta est terra scientia Domini et velut aquae maris operientes 19 eam, comparatur sacra Scriptura aquae maris propter profundidatem mysteriorum, propter multiformitatem sensuum et propter stabilitionem Ecclesiarum.


1. Profundity of Mysteries



14. First, I say, Sacred Scripture is compared to the water of the sea on account of its profundity of mysteries. The sea is profound nor can a man rush accross it; so great is the profundity of mysteries of Sacred Scripture, that, however much a man be illumined and however much he be industrious, he cannot attain to their profundity. Whence Isaiah: You will have a vision of all things as words of a sealed book, which when they give it to one who knows letters, they say: "Read!", and he responds: &quotI cannot; for it is sealed". And a book is given to one not knowing letters, and it will be said to him: "Read!"; and he will respond "I do not know letters". Neither the one knowing nor the one not knowing could read. Who therefore will read it? I say, that he who by pride wants to enter the sanctuary of God will not be able, even though he be litterate; similiarly, if the illiterate wants to enter, he is stupid. It is proper therefore, that one have literacy and spirit.
14. Primo, dico, comparatur sacra Scriptura aquae maris propter profunditatem mysteriorum. Mare est profundum nec potest homo ipsum transvadere; ita est tanta profunditas mysteriorum sacrae Scripturae, quod, quantumque homo sit illuminatus et quantaecumque sit industriae, non potest ad ipsarum profunditatem attingere. Unde Isaias: Erit vobis visio omnium sicut verba libri signati, quem cum dederint scienti litteras, dicent: "Lege istum", et respondebit: "Non possum; signatus est enim". Et dabitur liber nescienti litteras, diceturque ei: "Lege"; et respondebit" "Nescio litteras". Nec sciens nec non sciens poterit legere. Quis ergo leget ipsum? Dico, quod qui cum superbia vult intrare sanctuarium Dei non poterit, licet sit litteratus; similiter, si illitteratus velit intrare, stultus esset. Oportet igitur, quod habeat litteraturam et spiritum.


2. Multiformity of Senses



15. Second, Sacred Scripture is compared to the water of the sea on account of its multiformity of senses. In the sea there are diverse currents; thus Sacred Scripture in one letter is manifold with consideration. Whence in Daniel: Moreover, you, Daniel, close (your) conversations and seal the book until the time established; very many things will pass by, and manifold will knowledge be 20. -- Some wonder, that in the same Scripture we have so many considerations. (St.) Anselm says, that in the same earth diverse things can be planted; the earth through divine virtue makes various things sprout; so through the Holy Spirit there are in the same letter various considerations. Nor is it inconvenient when the equivocal has been positied in a manifold manner as equivocal. In theology both things and voices are signified. For that reason, when there are very many properties of a thing, then through one thing very many things are signified. As many as are the properties of the sun, all, when the sun signifies what is just, are properties of the just.
15. Secundo comparatur sacra Scriptura aquae maris propter multiformitatem sensuum. In mari sunt diversae scaturitiones; ita ut sacra Scriptura in una littera est multiplex sententia. Unde in Daniele: Tu autem, Daniel, claude sermones et signa librum usque ad tempus statutum; plurimi pertransibunt, et multiplex erit scientia 20. -- Mirantur aliqui, quod in eadem Scriptura habemus tot sententias. Dicit Anselmus, quod in eadem terra possunt diversa plantari; terra per virtutem divinam varias facit pullulationes; ita per Spiritum sanctum in eadem littera sunt sententiae variae. Nec est inconveniens aequivoco multipliciter posito uti aequivoce. In theologia significant et res et voces. Ideo, quando sunt plures proprietates rei, tunc per unam rem plura significantur. Quot sunt proprietates solis, tot, quando sol significat iustum, sunt proprietates iusti.


3. Stabilizing of the Churches



16. The third reason, why sacred Scripture is compared to the water of the sea, is on account of its stabilizing of the Churches. The Psalm: Upon the seas Thou has founded her 21; and elsewhere: Thou who has founded the earth upon its stability 22. Some deride David, who said, that God founded the earth upon waters. The earth, since it is dry, unless there be moisture, which penetrates the earth, is driven back into dust; and as the human body receives humor through veins, so it is necessary, that from the sea come sweet waters and that they hold the earth (together). He said, that He founded the earth upon the waters, on account of a mystery. The earth, which the Holy Spirit fills, is the ecclesiastical hierarchy; (He said:) He who weighs on three fingers the mass of the earth 23, because He founded the sacred Church upon divine eloquences. Sacred eloquences are stabilizers. The Apostle says to Timothy: I write to you, Timothy, so that you may know, in what manner it is proper that you comport yourself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God, the column and firmament of the truth 24.
16. Tertia ratio, quare sacra Scriptura comparatur aquae maris, est propter stabilitionem Ecclesiarum. Psalmus: Super maria fundavit eam 21; et alibi: Qui fundasti terram super stabilitatem suam 22. Deriserunt aliqui David, quia dixit, quod Deus fundavit terram super aquas. Terra, cum sit sicca, nisi esset humidum, quod penetrat terram, redigeretur in pulverem; et sicut corpus humanum per venas recipit humorem, ita necesse est, quod a mari veniant aquae dulces et teneant terram. Dicit, quod fundavit terram super aquas, propter mysterium. Terra, quam implevit Spiritus, est hierarchia ecclesiastica; qui appendit tribus digitis molem terrae 23, quia fundavit sacram Ecclesiam super eloquia divina. Eloquia sacra sunt stabilimenta. Dicit Apostolus ad Timotheum: Scribo tibi, Timothee, ut scias, qualiter oportet te in domo Dei conversari, quae est Ecclesia Dei vivi, columna et firmamentum veritatis 24.


17. Where Sacred Scripture is lacking, it is necessary, that the earth, that is the Church, be thoroughly moved: They have not known nor have they understood, they walk in darkness; all the foundations of the earth shall be moved 25. Arius, who wanted to bear off the foundation of the Trinity; Nestorius, who wanted (to bear off) the unity of the Person, and Eutyches, who wanted to confound the natures in Christ; those thoroughly struck at the foundations of the Church. -- Every pontiff ought to know that science; whence it is sought from the hierarch: Do you know the Old and New Testament? -- The King of the Angles sought from a certain bishop, what the two horns signified upon his mitre. He responded, and well, that they signified the two Testaments, which bishops ought to know. "And what do those two little hanging things signify, which hang behind (your) back?" He responded, that they signified the ignorance of both, "because we know neither the one nor the other, but throw both behind (our) back." And in this he spoke badly.
17. Ubi sacra Scriptura deficit, necesse est, terram, id est Ecclesiam, commoveri: Nescierunt neque intellexerunt, in tenebris ambulant; movebuntur omnia fundamenta terrae 25. Arius, qui fundamentum Trinitatis voluit auferre; Nestorius, qui voluit unitatem personae, et Eutyches, qui volebat confundere naturas in Christo; isti concusserunt fundamenta Ecclesiae. -- Omnis pontifex debet scire istam scientiam; unde petitur ab hierarcha: Scis vetus testamentum et novum? -- Rex Angliae petiit a quodam episcopo, quid significarent duo cornua in mitra sua. Respondit, et bene, quod significant duo testamenta, quae espicopi scire debent. "Et quid significant illa duo pendicula, quae pendent post tergum?" Respondit, quod significant ignorantiam utriusque, "quia neque hoc neque illud scimus, sed totum proiecimus post tergum". Et in hoc male dixit.


18. Because the ecclesiastical hierarchy has been founded on Scriputre, which is compared to the water of the sea on account of those three things; for that reason a sentence has been given against those who do not have that science. In Hosea: Because you have repelled knowlege, I will repell you, lest you busy yourself in My priesthood 26. From the helm of a ship and from the regimen of a city-state is repelled him who knows nothing of regimen. If the foundations of the Church consist in the science of Sacred Scipture, for that reason he who does not know Sacred Scripture must be repelled from the ecclesiastical office and dignity. If a blind man wants to lead another, it would be the greatest folly 27. Neither by lot nor by friendship must one be chosen as a sailor. -- And it must be known, that knowledge is repelled, when a man does not care to learn more of it. Isaiah: On that account My people were lead captive, because they had not knowledge 28, that is, neither in (their) head nor in (their) members. -- Likewise, knowledge is repelled, when a man knows a science and does not want to live according to that science nor employ it. Whence the Lord says: Woe to you, Scribes and experts in the Law! because you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves have not entered and those who were entering, you have prohibited 29. If a doctor eats the food, which he prohibits to an infirm person, the infirm person is scandalized and wants to eat that food. -- Wherefore Woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees! because for the one knowing good and not doing it, it is a sin 30, as blessed James says. From knowledge fault is increased and also punishment; whence in Luke: The servant, who is acquainted with the wil of his Lord and does not prepare and does not act according to his will, will be flogged with many things 31. If a man does not prohibit evil by example, and/or counsel, woe to him! You make yourself a doctor of Sacred Scripture, but you recommend the contrary to good and truth. He who ought to have marched by the right way, and another says to him, that he marches through the crooked way; for him it would be an inexpiable sin. To the one impeding the salvation of anther by example, counsel, and/or by persuasion, it is proper to give your life soul on behalf of his soul 32. Do I, if I can draw another to that which is better, and I draw him to what is worse, not sin gravely? If I impede the good of another, I act worse than the devil; because the devil acts as an enemy. -- That knowledge, if fulfillment of the work is not present, it is not useful, but dangerous. The first brightness can darken, but that one can damn.
18. Quia hierarchia ecclesiastica fundata est in Scriptura, quae comparatur aquae maris propter ista tria; ideo sententia data est contra illos qui non habent istam scientiam. In Osee: Quia tu repulisti scientiam, repellam te, ne sacerdotio fungaris mihi 26. A gubernaculo navis et a regimine civitatis repellitur qui nihil scit de regimine. Si fundamenta Ecclesiae consistunt in scientia sacrae Scripturae, ideo qui sacram Scripturam nescit repellendus est ab officio et dignitate ecclesiastica. Si caecus vellet alium ducere, maxima fatuitas esset 27. Non sorte nec amicitia eligendus est nauta. -- Et sciendum, quod scientia repellitur, quando homo non curat eam addiscere. Isaias: Propterea captivus ductus est populus meus, quia non habuit scientiam 28, scilicet in capite neque in membris. -- Item, repellitur scientia, quando homo scit scientiam et non vult secundum scientiam vivere nec eam implere. Unde dicit Dominus: Vae vobis, Scribae et Legisperiti! quia tulistis clavem scientiae; ipsi non introistis et eos qui introibant, prohibuistis 29. Medicus si comedit cibum, quem prohibet infirmo, scandalizatur infirmus et vult illum cibum comedere. -- Quare vae vobis, Scribae et Pharisaei! quia scienti bonum et non facienti peccatum est 30, ut dicit beatus Iacobus. Ex scientia culpa augetur etiam et poena; unde in Luca: Servus, qui cognovit voluntatem Domini sui et non praeparavit et non fecit secundum voluntatem eius, vapulabit multis 31. Si homo non prohibeat malum exemplo, vel consilio, vae ipsi! Facis te doctorem sacrae Scripturae, sed suades contrarium bono et veritati. Qui deberet incedere per viam rectam, et alter diceret ei, quod incederet per viam tortam; esset peccatum eius inexpiabile. Impediendo salutem alterius exemplo, consilio, vel suadendo, oportet dare animam tuam pro anima illius 32. Nunquid, si possum alium trahere ad id quod melius, et traho ipsum ad peius, non graviter pecco? Si impedio bonum alterius, peius facio quam diabolus; quia diabolus facit sicut hostis. -- Ista scientia, si non adsit operis impletio, non est utilis, sed damnosa. Prima claritas potest obscurari, sed ista potest damnari.


E. Gratuitous Knowledge



19. For that reason it is proper to have the other brightness, that is of gratuitous knowledge, which is the form of the two preceding brightnesses. You are lacking in the third sign 33, if you do not have that knowledge. That knowledge is a holy knowing of the truth as credible and lovable. Of that knowledge it is said in the Book of Wisdom: The Lord has lead forth the just through straight ways and has shown him the Kingdom of God; He has honored him in labors and given him the science of the saints 34. Gratuitous knowledge is called the science of the saints for a threefold reason.
19. Ideo aliam claritatem oportet habere, scilicet scientiae gratuitae, quae est forma claritatum duarum praecedentium. Deficis in tertio signo 33, si non habes istam scientiam. Ista scientia est veritatis ut credibilis et diligibilis notitia sancta. De ista scientia dicitur in libro Sapientiae: Iustum deduxit Dominus per vias rectas et ostendit illi regnum Dei; honestavit illum laboribus et dedit illi scientiam sanctorum 34. Scientia gratuita dicitur scientia sanctorum ex triplici causa.


1. Given by the Holy Spirit



20. First, because it is given by the Holy Spirit; I say by the Holy Spirit moving the soul, inspiring and informing it to sanctity. I say by the Holy Spirit inspiring it to the knowing of sanctity, to the agreeableness of sanctity and to the custody of sanctity. Whence the Apostle to the Corinthians: We have not accepted the spirit of this world, but the spirit, which is from God, that we may know the things which have been granted by God to us 35; and in what manner? If we know, guard and approve the things inspired by the Holy Spirit for the knowing of sanctity, for the agreeableness of sanctity and its custody. Whence in John: Father, sanctify them in the truth 36 .
20. Primo, quia a Spiritu sancto datur; dico a Spiritu sancto movente animam, inspirante et informante ad sanctitatem. Dico a Spiritu sancto inspirante ad sanctitatis notitiam, ad sanctitatis placentiam et ad sanctitatis custodiam. Unde Apostolus ad Corinthios: Nos non spiritum huius mundi accepimus, sed spiritum, qui ex Deo est, ut sciamus quae a Deo donata sunt nobis 35; et quomodo? Si scimus, custodimus et approbamus inspirata per Spiritum sanctum ad sanctitatis notitiam, ad sanctitatis placentiam et custodiam. Unde in Ioanne: Pater, sanctifica eos in veritate 36.


21. In another manner gratuitous knowledge is called the science of the Saints, because it has mixed into it nothing of viciousness, nothing of carnality, nothing of curiosity and nothing of vanity. Whence in Leviticus: The Lord also said to Aaron: Wine and all, that can inebriate, do not drink, you and your sons, that you may have the knowledge of discerning among the holy and the profane 37. He who has the knowledge of discerning among the holy and the profane will abstain from all that, which can inebriate, that is, from all superfluous delectation in a creature; this is the wine (that) inebriates. Anyone who either on account of vanity, or on account of curiosity, or on account of carnality inclines to a superfluous delectation, which is in a creature; does not have the science of the saints. It is said in Genesis: From every tree, which is in paradise, you may eat; however of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you may not eat, because, in whatever hour you eat it, you will die by death 38. Adam with his wife contracted the vice of curiosity, when the devil said to them: You will be as gods, knowing good and evil 39; He also contracted the vice of carnality, when he ate of the fruit; he also contracted the vice of vanity, when he wanted to be as gods (are). -- Hear, brothers; who have the science of the saints, that is, you clerics, bewares of yourselves, lest you have mixed into (yourselves) something of viciousness; because, if a man mix into himself something of viciousness, he looses the knowledge of discerning between good and evil.
21. Alio modo dicitur scientia gratuita scientia Sanctorum, quia nihil vitiositatis habet admixtum, nihil carnalitatis, nihil curiositatis et nihil vanitatis. Unde in Levitico: Dixit quoque Dominus ad Aaron: Vinum et omne, quod inebriare potest, non bibetis tu et filii tui, ut habeatis scientiam discernendi inter sanctum et profanum 37. Qui habet scientiam discernendi inter sanctum et profanum ab omni eo, quod inebriare potest, abstinebit, id est ab omni delectatione superflua in creatura; haec est vinum inebrians. Sive quis propter vanitatem, sive propter curiositatem, sive carnalitatem inclinet ad delectationem superfluam, quae est in creatura; non habet scientiam sanctorum. Dicitur in Genesi: De omni ligno, quod est in paradiso, comedes; de ligno autem scientiae boni el mali non comedes, quia, quacumque hora comederitis, morte moriemini 38. Adam cum uxore sua contraxit vitium curiositatis, quando diabolus dixit eis: Eritis sicut dii, scientes bonum et malum 39; contraxit etiam vitium carnalitatis, quando comedit de fructu; contraxit etiam vitium vanitatis, quando voluit esse sicut dii. -- Audite, fratres: qui scientiam habent sanctorum, scilicet clerici, caveant sibi, ne aliquid vitiositatis habeant admixtum; quia, si admisceat homo aliquid vitiositatis, amittit scientiam discernendi inter bonum et malum.


22. Third, gratuitous knowledge is called the science of the Saints, because it contains a rivalry for all sanctity. -- Whence in the Book of Ecclesiastes: In much knowledge will indignation be; he who adds knowledge adds grief 40. A man knowing his defects, has the grief of compunction on his own behalf, the grief of compassion on behalf of his neighbor, and the grief of rivalry on behalf of the honor of God. -- The Psalm: Sons of men, how long heavy in heart? So that you love vanity and seek mendacity? And you shall know, that the Lord has made His Holy One wonderful; the Lord will hear me out, when I cry to Him. Grow angry and do not sin; for what you say in your hearts upon your beds, be sorry 41. He who has true knowledge and knows God and sees, that he does not walk uprightly nor perfectly, is in continuous grief, because he sees, that his affections and thoughts are scattered. (St.) Augustine: "Knowledge begets the expression of sorrow". -- A man sees a carnage of bodies, he grieves much. Therefore he who sees a carnage of souls, in what manner can he abstain from tears? That grief pleases God much. The Lord says of that knowledge: Mercy I want and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than holocaust 42. I know others' infirmities; I ought to suffer with them. Isaiah: We saw Him, a man of griefs and one knowing infirmity 43. There is not the spirit of the knowledge of God in that member, when he sees a member of his Head wounded and does not grieve with him. David grieved from the death of Absalom, who nevertheless had persecuted him. Therefore there is grief of compunction on one's own behalf, grief of compassion on behalf of one's neighbor. -- The third grief is the rivalry on behalf of the divine honor. Whence in the Book of Maccabees: Thou, Lord, who have knowledge, have known, that when I can be freed from death, I sustain hard griefs of the body; but according to my soul on account of fear of Thee I freely suffer this 44. Those words Eleazar said, when he wanted rather to die, than make a semblance of eating pieces of pork. This, philosophy does not teach, that on behalf of a conclusion I expose myself to death.
22. Tertio dicitur scientia gratuita scientia Sanctorum, quia habet aemulationem omnis sanctitatis. -- Unde in libro Ecclesiastae: In multa scientia erit indignatio; qui addit scientiam addit dolorem 40. Sciens homo defectus suos, habet dolorem compunctionis pro se ipso, dolorem compassionis pro proximo, et dolorem aemulationis pro honore Dei. -- Psalmus: Filii hominum, usquequo gravi corde? Ut quid diligitis vanitatem et quaeritis mendacium? Et scitote, quoniam mirificavit Dominus Sanctum suum; Dominus exaudiet me, cum clamavero ad eum. Irascimini, et nolite peccare; quae dicitis in cordibus vestris in cubilibus vestris compungimini 41. Qui veram habet scientiam et novit Deum et videt, se non ambulare recte nec perfecte, in continuo dolore est, quia videt, quod dissipentur eius affectus et cogitationes. Augustinus: "Scientia parit luctum". -- Videt homo strages corporum, dolet multum. Qui igitur videt strages animarum, quomodo potest se abstinere a lacrimis? Dolor iste multum placet Deo. Dicit Dominus de ista scientia: Misericordiam volo et non sacrificium, et scientiam Dei plus quam holocausta 42. Scio infirmitates alienas; debeo compati eis. Isaias: Vidimus eum, virum dolorum et scientem infirmitatem 43. Non est spiritus scientiae Dei in isto membro, quando videt membrum capitis sui laesum et non condolet ei. David dolebat de morte Absalonis, qui tamen ipsum persecutus erat. Est igitur dolor compunctionis pro se ipso, dolor compassionis pro proximis. -- Tertius dolor est aemulationis pro honore divino. Unde in libro Machabaeorum: Tu, Domine, qui habes scientiam, nosti, quod cum a morte liberari possem, duros sustineo corporis dolores; secundum animam vero propter timorem tuum libenter hoc patior 44. Verba ista dixit Eleazarus, quando potius voluit mori, quam simulationem comedendi carnes porcinas facere. Hoc non docet philosophia, quod pro conclusione exponam me morti.


23. The Psalm: Thy servant am I; give me understanding, to know Thy testimonies 45. Gratuitous knowledge teaches one to know and the manner of knowing. Whence upon this matter of the Apostle: However if anyone estimates himself to know something, he has not yet become acquainted with the manner in which it is proper to know 46; (St.) Bernard says: "You see, that the Apostle does not approve the one knowing much, but the manner of knowing; see, that he has established every fruit and utility of knowledge in the manner of knowing. What does he call the manner of knowing? To know, in what order, in what study, to what end anyone learns (something) more; in what order, to learn in addition first that, which is more suited to (his) salvation; in what study, to (learn in addition) more ardently that, which more vehemently draws him to the love of God; to what end, to learn more not on account of inane glory, or curiostiy, but on account of his own edification and that of his neighbor. There are those who want only, to know, and that is foul curiosity. There are those who learn more and want to know, to be known, and that is foul vanity. And there are those who want to know, to sell knowledge for money, or for honors, and that is a foul source of profit. There are those who want to know, to edify others, and that is charity. And there are those who want to know, to be edified, and that is prudence".
23. Psalmus: Servus tuus sum ego; da mihi intellectum, ut sciam testimonia tua 45. Scientia gratuita docet scire et modum sciendi. Unde super illud Apostoli: Si quis autem se existimat scire aliquid, nondum cognovit, quomodo oporteat eum scire 46; dicit Bernardus: "Vides, quod non approbat Apostolus multa scientem, sed modum sciendi; vide, quod omnem fructum et utilitatem scientiae in modo sciendi constituit. Quid dicit modum sciendi? Scire, quo ordine, quo studio, quo fine quisque addiscat: quo ordine, ut id prius addiscat, quod maturius est ad salutem; quo studio, ut id ardentius, quod vehementius trahit ad amorem Dei; quo fine, ut non propter inanem gloriam, aut curiositatem, sed propter aedificationem suam et proximi addiscat. Sunt qui scire volunt tantum, ut sciant, et turpis curiositas est. Sunt qui addiscunt et scire volunt, ut sciantur, et turpis vanitas est. Et sunt qui scire volunt, ut scientiam vendant pro pecunia, aut honoribus, et turpis quaestus est. Sunt qui scire volunt, ut alios aedificent, et caritas est. Et sunt qui scire volunt, ut aedificentur, et prudentia est".


24. Knowledge inflates, but charity edifies 47; for that reason it is proper to join charity with knowledge, so that a man have at once knowledge and charity, to be able to fulfill that which the Apostle says: In charity (be) rooted and founded, so that you can comprehend with all the saints, what is the length, breadth, sublimity and depth, to know also the supereminent brightness of the knowledge of Christ 48. That is the knowledge, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
24. Scientia inflat, sed caritas aedificat 47; ideo oportet iungere cum scientia caritatem, ut homo habeat simul scientiam et caritatem, ut possit impleri illud quod dicit Apostolus: In caritate radicati et fundati, ut possitis comprehendere cum omnibus sanctis, quae sit longitudo, latitudo, sublimitas et profundum, scire etiam supereminentem scientiae claritatem Christi 48. Ista est scientia, quae est donum Spiritus sancti.


F. Glorious Knowledge



25. Of the last knowledge, that is, of glorious knowledge, I will speak one word. Of this it is said in the Book of Wisdom: To know[nosse] Thee is most high justtice; there follows: and it is the root of immortality 49. That knowledge is initiated in contemplatives, perpetuated in sleepers and consummated in the resurrected. May He deign to present that knowledge to us, who with the Father (lives and reigns ...).
25. De ultima scientia, scilicet de scientia gloriosa, dicam unum verbum. Dicitur de ea in libro Sapientiae: Nosse te summa iustitia est; sequitur: et radix est immortalitatis 49. Ista scientia initiatur in contemplativis, perpetuatur in dormientibus et consummatur in resurgentibus. Istam scientiam nobis praestare dignetur qui cum Patre, etc.


 1. 2 Cor 4, 6.
2. Ps 93, 10.
3. 2 Cor 3, 18.
4. Ps 138, 6.
5. 1 Reg 2, 3.
6. Iob 37, 16.
7. Prov 22, 20-21.
8. 3 Reg 4, 33.
9. Sap 9, 4.12.
10. Sap 7, 15-16.
11. Sap 7, 17.
12. Eccle 7, 26.
13. Eccli 10, 2; cf. 1 Tim 3, 2-7.
14. Ier 10, 14.
15. Mt 16, 26.
16. Rom 1, 21-22.
17. Sap 13, 9.
18. Cf. Ap 21, 14.
19. Is 11, 9.
20. Dan 12, 4.
21. Ps 23, 2.
22. Ps 103, 5.
23. Is 40, 12.
24. 1 Tim 3, 14-15.
25. Ps 81, 5.
26. Os 4, 6.
27. Cf. Mt 15, 14.
28. Is 5, 13.
29. Lc 11, 52.
30. Iac 4, 17.
31. Lc 12, 47.
32. Cf. Ex 21, 23-24.
33. Cf. Ex 8, 19. ???
34. Sap 10, 10.
35. 1 Cor 2, 12.
36. Io 17, 17.
37. Lev 10, 8-10.
38. Gen 2, 16-17.
39. Gen 3, 5.
40. Eccle 1, 18.
41. Ps 4, 3-5.
42. Os 6, 6.
43. Is 53, 2-3.
44. 2 Mach 6, 30.
45. Ps 118, 125.
46. 1 Cor 8, 2.
47. 1 Cor 8, 1.
48. Eph 3, 17-19.
49. Sap 15, 3.


V. Fortitude



A. A Strong Woman: the Church



1. A strong woman who will find (one)? Far off and from the last ends (of the earth) her price. She sought wool and flax and worked by the counsel of her hands 1. -- Your neck (is) as the Tower of David, which has been built with ramparts; a thousand round-shields hand from her, all the armor of the strong 2. This word is written in the Canticle of Canticles and it is said of the spouse or of Mother Church, whose neck is similar to the Tower of David; a thousand round-shields etc.. It is called a neck, whence steps forth the doctrine of truth. A neck serves us for two things, that is, to take up food and to express conversations. Thus Mother Church is called a neck, because from Her steps forth the doctrine of truth; whence he says: a thousand round-shields hang from her. Likewise there proceeds from her a universe of conversations to thoroughly strengthen souls; whence he says: all the armor of the strong. There is nothing, which is valuable for the attainment of spritual fortitude, that Sacred Scripture does not explain. -- We ought to speak of the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit, that is, of the gift of fortitude. We will beg in the beginning the Lord, (who lives and reigns ...).
1. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? Procul et de ultimis finibus pretium eius. Quaesivit lanam et linum et operata est consilio manuum suarum 1. -- Sicut turris David collum tuum, quae aedificata est cum propugnaculis; mille clypei pendent ex ea, omnis armatura fortium 2. Verbum ultimum scribitur in Cantico canticorum et dictum est sponsae sive matri Ecclesiae, cuius collum simile est turri David; mille clypei etc. Collum dicitur, unde egreditur doctrina veritatis. Collum ad duo servit nobis, scilicet ad suscipiendam escam et ad exprimendum sermones. Ita dicitur mater Ecclesia collum, quia ex ea egreditur doctrina veritatis; unde dicit: mille clypei pendent ex ea. Item procedit ab ea universitas sermonum ad corroborandum animas; unde dicit: omnis armatura fortium. Nihil est, quod valet ad habendam spiritualem fortitudinem, quod sacra Scriptura non explicet. -- Debemus loqui de quarto dono Spiritus sancti, scilicet de dono fortitudinis. Rogabimus in principio Dominum, etc.


2. A strong woman who will find (one) etc.. That word is written in Proverbs; without doubt it is said for the commendation of Mother Church, especially for the commendation of the glorious Virgin. In which word She is commended for three things: first, for strengthening of spiritual fortitude; second, for fecundity of supernatural conceiving; and third, for discretion of salutary counsel. The first is noted, when he says: A strong woman who will find (one) etc.. The second, when he says: Far off and from the last ends (of the earth) her price. The third he adds: She sought wool and flax etc.. -- Of the gift of fortitude we will now speak; of the privilege of fecundity tomorrow in the morning, and of the gift of counsel tomorrow in the evening.
2. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet etc. Verbum istud scriptum est in Proverbiis; absque dubio dictum est ad commendationem matris Ecclesiae, specialiter ad commendationem Virginis gloriosae. In quo verbo a tribus commendatur: primo, a spiritualis fortitudinis roboratione; secundo, a supernaturalis conceptus fecunditate; et terio, a salutaris consilii discretione. Primum notatur, cum dicit: Mulierem fortem quis inveniet etc. Secundum, cum dicit: Procul et de ultimis finibus pretium eius. Tertium subdit: Quaesivit lanam et linum etc. -- De dono fortitudinis dicemus nunc; de privilegio fecunditatis cras in mane, et de dono consilii cras in sero.


3. First, I say, She is commended for the strength of spiritual fortitude, when he says: A strong woman who will find (one)? One seeks not by despairing, but by trusting. Who therefore will find? Certainly He who reaches from end even to end 3; He will find Her and send a best-man to Her, that is, the Archangel Gabriel. "Gabriel" is interpreted "the fortitude of God", and he was sent to find a strong woman. Without doubt Solomon wanted to rest in Her as in a secure place; but this could not be, unless he was strong, because it is said in the Canticle, that before the couch of Solomon sixty strongmen stood in flanks 4. "Solomon" is interpreted "desireable king"; sixty strongmen flanked his couch. -- The number sixty is perfect and results from the multiplication of a group of six into a group of ten, and by this the entirety signifies the ten precepts of the Decalogue. As much as one is strong and unshackled accdording to the dictate of the Law and the precepts of the Decalogue; then one is strong, so that he cannot be wounded by what is exterior. Whence in Proverbs: Fortitude and ornament (are) His clothes 5. As the body is embellished from habit, so the soul is embellished from fortitude; for that reason it is called a piece of clothing for the soul; nor is only fortitude a piece of clothing for the soul, and/or for the glorious Virgin, nay rather (also) for Mother Church. Whence Isaiah: Thoroughly rise up, thoroughly rise up, daughter Sion; put on the vestments of your glory 6.
3. Primo, dico, commendatur a spiritualis fortitudinis robore, cum dicit: Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? Quaerit non desperando, sed confidendo. Quis igitur inveniet? Certe ille qui attingit a fine usque ad finem 3; ipse inveniet eam et misit ad eam paranymphum, id est Gabrielem Archangelum. Gabriel interpretatur fortitudo Dei, et ipse missus est ad inveniendum fortem mulierem. Absque dubio Salomon in ea voluit requiescere tanquam in loco securo; sed hoc non potuit esse, nisi esset fortis, quia dicitur in Cantico, quod ante lectum Salomonis ambiunt sexaginta fortes 4. Salomon interpretatur rex desiderabilis; lectum eius ambiunt sexaginta fortes. -- Sexagenarius numerus est perfectus et resurgit ex duplicatione numeri senarii in denarium, et sic per ipsum significatur universitas operum; vel resurgit ex duplicatione numeri denarii in senarium numerum, et significatur per ipsum universitas decem praeceptorum decalogi. Quantum aliquis est fortis et expeditus secundum dictamen legum et praeceptorum decalogi; tunc est fortis, ita quod ab exteriori laedi non potest. Unde in Proverbiis: Fortitudo et decor indumentorum eius 5. Sicut corpus ornatur ex habitu, ita ornatur anima ex fortitudine; ideo dicitur indumentum animae; nec solum fortitudo est indumentum animae, vel Virginis gloriosae, immo matris Ecclesiae. Unde Isaias: Consurge, consurge, filia Sion; induere vestimentis gloriae tuae 6.


4. This talk concerns the habit of fortitude, how we can be clothed (by it). If we want to rightly describe fortitude; one must pay attention, that it is from Heaven. Whence in the Book of Maccabees: Not in the multitude of an army (is) the victory of war, but from Heaven is fortitude 7. The Psalm: God is wonderful in His saints; the God of Israel Himself will give virtue and fortitude to His common-folk 8. Therefore fortitude is a gift of God. And so that we may better become acquainted with the gift of fortitude, we want to say three things concerning this gift. First I want to describe it on the part of the one giving it; secondly, on the part of the one taking it up; and third, on the part of the work of the one sucessfully pursuing it.
4. De habitu fortitudinis, qualiter possimus indueri, est sermo. Si recte volumus describere fortitudinem; attendendum, quod de caelo est. Unde in libro Machabaeorum: Non in multitudine exercitus victoria belli, sed de caelo fortitudo est 7. Psalmus: Mirabilis Deus in sanctis suis; Deus Israel ipse dabit virtutem et fortitudinem plebi suae 8. Ergo fortitudo est donum Dei. Et ut melius cognoscamus donum fortitudinis, tria volumus dicere de isto dono. Primo volo ipsum describere ex parte dantis; secundo, ex parte suscipientis; et tertio, ex parte operis consequentis.


B. The One Giving It



1. God Protecting



5. First, I say, I want to describe it on the part of the one giving it; and I say, that it is given by God protecting, by God redeeming and by God indwelling. -- First, I say, the gift of fortitude is given by God protecting. For God protects us according to a hierarchical ordering, by walling us inside and out. It is written in Proverbs: A tower most strong (is) the Name of the Lord, to it runs the just and he shall be exalted 9; and in the same (passage): The substance of the rich (is) the city of fortitude and as the withstanding wall surrounding it 10. Fortitude is from God, as from a solid, sublime, and strong principle; and the eternal God is the origin of fortitude in all things; because nothing is powerful nor strong except through the fortitude of the First Principle. Therefore that fortitude descends from God protecting us as from the First Principle according to hierarchical dispositions; which fortitude renders every man rich and secure and powerful and confident.
5. Primo, dico, volo ipsum describere ex parte dantis; et dico, quod datur a Deo protegente, a Deo redimente et a Deo inhabitante. -- Primo, dico, datur donum fortitudinis a Deo protegente. Protegit enim nos Deus secundum ordinationem hierarchicam, muniens nos intus et extra. Scribitur in Proverbiis: Turris fortissima nomen Domini, ad ipsum currit iustus et exaltabitur 9; et in eodem: Substantia divitis urbs fortitudinis et quasi murus validus circumdans eum 10. Fortitudo est, sicut a principio solido, sublimi et forti, a Deo; et Deus aeternus est origo fortitudinis in omnibus rebus; quia nihil est potens neque forte nisi per fortitudinem primi principii. Igitur ista fortitudo descendit a Deo nos protegente tanquam a primo principio secundum hierarchicas dispositiones; quae fortitudo reddit omnem hominem divitem et securum et potentem et confidentem.


2. God Redeeming



6. Second, that fortitude is from God redeeming through the Incarnation of the Divine Word. Whence Isaiah: My fortitude and my praise (is) the Lord, and He has been made (man) to save me; you will draw waters in joy from the fountains of the Savior 11. Those are the waters, in which the soul is fortified, purified, redeemed, santified and snatched from the power of the demons. Through which is the soul redeemed? It is said in Habakuk: His splendor shall be as the light; horns in his hands; where His fortitude is hidden away 12. Likewise it is written: When the armed strongman guards his entrancehall, in peace are those things which he possesses; however if one stronger overcoming him conquers him, all his arms, in which he trusted, shall be borne away, and he will distribute his spoils 13. That one who is stronger is God, because what is infirm in God is stronger than men 14. The Son of God was made infirm for our sake.
6. Secundo est ista fortitudo a Deo redimente per Verbi divini incarnationem. Unde Isaias: Fortitudo mea et laus mea Dominus, et factus est mihi in salutem; haurietis aquas in gaudio de fontibus Salvatoris 11. Istae sunt aquae, in quibus anima fortificatur, purificatur, redimitur, sanctificatur et eripitur de potestate daemonum. Per quid redimitur anima? Dicitur in Habacuc: Splendor eius ut lux erit; cornua in manibus eius; ubi abscondita est fortitudo eius 12. Item scribitur: Cum fortis armatus custodit atrium suum, in pace sunt ea quae possidet; si autem fortior eo superveniens vicerit eum, universa arma eius auferet, in quibus confidebat, et spolia eius distribuet 13. Iste fortior est Deus, quia quod infirmum est Dei fortius est hominibus 14. Filius Dei factus est infirmus propter nos.


3. God Indwelling



7. The third reason for the influence of fortitude is from God indwelling. Whence in Micah: I am filled full with the fortitude of the Lord, with judgement and with virtue 15. The human body, when it does not have spirit, does not have virtue, even if it is a gigantic body; thus if God is not in the soul, then it does not have virtue. Of our most strongman, that is, of Christ, it is said: There will rest upon Him the Spirit of the Lord, the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and of piety 16 etc.; and he places fortitude in the middle, because Christ does not dwell in us, unless we have those two things, that is, the Spirit of the Lord and fortitude; and for that reason he placed fortitude in the middle. (St.) Peter at the voice of the handmaid denied (Him) 17, and (yet) he stood against Caesar; because without the Spirit of the Lord the soul is weak, and with the Spirit of the Lord it is strong. Against Caesar he stood, because he was then strong with the Spirit of the Lord.
7. Tertia ratio influentiae fortitudinis est a Deo inhabitante. Unde in Michaea: Repletus sum fortidudine Domini, iudicio et virtute 15. Corpus humanum, quando non habet spiritum, non habet virtutem, etiam si esset corpus giganteum; ita si Deus non est in anima, tunc ipsa non habet virtutem. De fortissimo nostro, scilicet de Christo, dicitur: Requiescet super eum Spiritus Domini, spiritus sapientiae et intellectus, spiritus consilii et fortitudinis, spiritus scientiae et pietatis 16 etc.; et ponit in medio fortitudinem, quia non habitat Christus in nobis, nisi habeamus ista duo, scilicet Spiritum Domini et fortitudinem; et ideo in medio posuit fortitudinem. Petrus ad vocem ancillae negavit 17, et stetit contra Caesarem; quia sine Spiritu Domini anima est debilis, et cum Spiritu Domini est fortis. Contra Caesarem stetit, quia cum Spiritu Domini tunc fortis fuit.


8. In designating this mystery it is said, that Samson according to the doctrine of the Angel did not permit a razor to ascend upon his head 18; but his hairs grew, and he became the strongest of men. It was wonderful, because he was strong with hairs and without hair he became infirm. Dalila the prostitute deceived him; she asked him, where his fortitude was. Four times she asked him, and on the fourth time he told her the truth, but the first three times he concealed the truth from her. The first time he said: If I be bound with seven sinew-like ropes, I will be similar to all other men 19; and when he was bound, and the Philistines camw towards him, to sieze him, he immediately broke the ropes. Likewise she asked him, where his fortitude was; and he said: If I be bound with seven new ropes, which have not yet been at work; I will be as all other men 20. The third time he said to her: If you fasten my seven hairs upon the earth with a nail, I will be as all other men 21. The fourth time he revealed to her the truth and he said: If you scrape off the seven hairs, which are on my head, I wil be similar to all other men. 22; and then the Philistines siezed him. What is this? -- I say that the scraping off of the hairs signified the subtraction of the septiform grace of the Holy Spirit. Of all saints it is plane, that as long as there remained with them the grace of the Holy Spirit, they were strong. -- Why did she not say to him, where is your fortitude? See, hers is that process of sending away the Holy Spirit, through which the Holy Spirit is lost. Four are the amusements of the senses, that is, being occupied, thinking, the bending of the interior affections and the impunging of divine laws. In the last the Holy Spirit is sent away, but in the others a man is only disposed towards this. First the devil offers the delights of sense; and by this one is bound by seven sinew-like ropes. Afterwards, when a man delays in thinking upon the delight offered, then one is bound by seven new ropes, which were not yet at work. After, there follows the bending of the affections: as from a multitude of rays, heat is generated; so, when manifold thinking is in the soul, then the soul is bent toward that; and this "the binding of hairs upon the earth with a nail" signifies. Still a man has not lost the Holy Spirit. But fourth there follows the impugning of the divine laws, when the hairs of the head are scrapped off, that is, when the grace of the Holy Spirit is subtracted. -- We have the means, by which the gift of the Holy Spirit proceeds, because (it is) from God protecting, from God redeeming and from God indwelling. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit nature guards the origin of life and we ought to guard the spirit of life. What value is a man, unless he have the Holy Spirit?
8. In huius mysterii designationem dicitur, quod Samson secundum doctrinam Angeli non permisit, novaculam ascendere super caput suum 18; sed creverunt crines, et factus est fortissimus hominum. Mirabile fuit, quod cum crinibus fortis fuit et sine capillis factus est infirmus. Dalila meretrix decepit eum; petiit ab eo, ubi esset fortitudo eius. Quatuor vicibus petiit ab eo, et quarta vice dixit ei veritatem, tribus vero primis vicibus celavit ei veritatem. Prima vice dixit: Si septem funibus nerviceis fuero ligatus, ero similis ceteris hominibus 19; et cum esset ligatus, et venirent philistaei ad eum, ut caperent eum, statim rupit funes. Item petiit ab eo, ubi esset fortitudo sua; et dixit: Si ligatus fuero septem funibus novis, qui nondum fuerunt in opere; ero sicut ceteri homines 20. Tertio dixit ei: Si septem capillos meos infixeris in terra cum clavo, ero sicut ceteri homines 21. Quarto revelavit ei veritatem et dixit: Si septem capillos meos, qui sunt in capite meo, abraseris, ero similis certeris hominibus 22; et tunc ceperunt eum philistaei. Quid est hoc? -- Dico quod abrasio capillorum significat subtractionem septiformis gratiae Spiritus sancti. De omnibis sanctis planum est, quod, quamdiu remansit cum eis gratia Spiritus sancti, fortes fuerunt. -- Quare non dixit ei, ubi esset fortitudo sua? Videte, in amissione Spiritus sancti est iste processus; per istam viam perditur Spiritus sanctus. Quatuor sunt oblectamenta sensuum, scilicet occupatio, cogitatio, incurvatio affectionum interiorum et impugnatio divinarum legum. In ultimo amittitur Spiritus sanctus, in aliis vero disponitur homo ad hoc. Primo diabolus offert delectabilia sensus; et hoc est septem funibus nerviceis ligari. Postea, cum homo immoratur cogitationibus in delectabili oblato, tunc ligatur septem funibus novis, qui nondum fuerunt in opere. Post sequitur incurvatio affectionum: sicut ex multitudine radiorum generatur calor; sic, quando est multiplex cogitatio in anima, tunc incurvatur anima ad illud; et hoc significat ligatio crinium cum clavo in terra. Adhuc non perdit homo Spiritum sanctum. Sed quarto sequitur impugnatio divinarum legum, cum crines capitis abraduntur, id est, cum gratia Spiritus sancti subtrahitur. -- Habemus modo, a quo procedit donum Spiritus sancti, quia a Deo protegente, a Deo redimente et a Deo inhabitante. Per gratiam Spiritus sancti natura custodit originem vitae et nos debemus custodire spiritum vitae. Quid valeret homo, nisi haberet Spiritum sanctum?


C. Through What is the Soul Disposed



9. You now may say: through what is the soul disposed to taking up the influx of that gift? I say, that fortitude, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit, comes into us first through the inexpungable shield of faith; second, through the imperturbable solace of hope; and third, through the inexstinguishable kindling of charity.
9. Dicas modo: per quid disponitur anima ad susceptionem influxus istius doni? Dico, quod fortitudo, quae est donum Spiritus sancti, venit in nos primo per inexpugnabile fidei scutum; secundo, per imperturbabile spei solatium; et tertio, per inextinguibile caritatis incendium.


1. Inexpungable Shield of Faith



10. First, I say, the soul is disposed to the gift of fortitude through the inexpungable shield of faith. Whence the Apostle to the Hebrews: Who through faith conquered kingdoms etc..; were made strong in war 23; to the Ephesians: In all things taking the shield of faith in which you can exstinguish all the fiery darts of the worthless one 24; and in Ezra: A strong thing is wine, stronger is a king, stronger are wives, he said third; and fourth he said: The strongest thing is truth 25. -- He shows, how a man can conquer the fortitude of the devil. The devil draws a man towards concupiscence of the flesh, towards concupiscence of the eyes and towards pride of life 26. The concupiscence of the flesh renders men most strong; men suffer much, to be able to quench the lust of the flesh. Similarly, ambition renders men strong; on account of ambition for honors many suffer many things. Likewise, concupiscence of the eyes, which is the foment of concupiscence and of pride, renders men strong, because men suffer many things, to acquire temporal things. In the king pride is signified; in the wine, that makes a man drunk and renders a man bold, concupiscence of the eyes is signified. It is written: Do not look at wine attentively, when it becomes yellow 27 in the goblet. By wives, concupiscense of the flesh is signified. What material withstands them? In what manner can wine or the other two be conquered? I say: through truth. The Psalm: As a shield, will His truth surround you, that is, by indwelling faith, you shall not be afraid of the night-time fear 28 etc.. And blessed Peter said: Your adversary goes around as a roaring lion, seeking, whom to devour; resist him, (being yourselves) strong in faith 29. If we loved the truth, we would not fear the devil, because it is written: The eyes of the Lord contemplate the entire earth and they provide fortitude to those who believe in Him with a perfect heart 30.
10. Primo, dico, disponitur anima ad donum fortitudinis per inexpugnabile fidei scutum. Unde Apostolus ad Hebraeos: Qui per fidem vicerunt regna etc.; fortes facti sunt in bello 23; ad Ephesios: In omnibus sumentes scutum fidei in quo possitis omnia tela nequissimi ignea exstinguere 24; et in Esdra: Fortis res est vinum, fortior est rex, fortiores sunt mulieres, dixit tertius; et quartus dixit: Fortissima res est veritas 25. -- Ostendit, qualiter homo potest vincere fortitudinem diaboli. Diabolus trahit hominem ad concupiscentiam carnis, ad concupiscentiam oculorum et ad superbiam vitae 26. Concupiscentia carnis reddit homines fortissimos; multa patiuntur homines, ut possint explere libidinem carnis. Similiter, ambitio reddit homines fortes; propter ambitionem honorum multi multa patiuntur. Item, concupiscentia oculorum, quae est fomentum concupiscentiae et superbiae, reddit homines fortes, quia multa patiuntur homines, ut temporalia acquirant. In rege significatur superbia; in vino, quod facit hominem ebriosum et reddit hominem audacem, significatur concupiscentia oculorum. Scribitur: Ne intuearis vinum, cum flavescit 27 in scypho. Per mulieres significatur concupiscentia carnis. Quae est materia resistendi istis? Quomodo potest vinci vinum et alia duo? Dico: per veritatem. Psalmus: Scuto circumdabit te veritas eius, scilicet per fidem inhabitantem, non timebis a timore nocturo 28 etc. Et beatus Petrus dixit: Adversarius vester tamquam leo rugiens circuit, quaerens, quem devoret; cui resistite fortes in fide 29. Si amaremus veritatem, non timeremus diabolum, quia scriptum est: Oculi Domini contemplantur universam terram et praebent fortitudinem his qui corde perfecto credunt in eum 30.


2. Imperturbable Solace of Hope



11. The second disposition to the influx of the gift of fortitude is through the imperturbable solace of hope. Whence the Apostle to the Hebrews: We have the strongest solace, who take refuge in holding the hope proposed to us 31. And in Isaiah: They who hope in the Lord will change their fortitude; they will assume wings as eagles, they will run and they will not labor; the will walk and they will not become weak 32. A man would freely bear a great burden for a mark of gold [approx. US $4,000]. If a fly refreshes so much; you ought, therefore, to move yourself to sustain much for the hope of a future and eternal reward. In God we ought to confide, because to the weary He gives fortitude 33. The Philospher wants, that one of the cardinal virtues be magnanimity; but it is not proper, that that magnanimity, which is a virtue, be in you, but in God.
11. Secunda dispositio influxus doni fortitudinis est per imperturbabile spei solatium. Unde Apostolus ad Habraeos: Fortissimum habemus solatium, qui confugimus ad tenendam propositam nobis spem 31. Et in Isaia: Qui sperant in Domino mutabunt fortitudinem suam; assument pennas ut aquilae, current et non laborabunt; ambulabunt et non deficient 32. Homo libenter portaret magnum onus pro marca auri. Si tantum reficit musca; igitur multum deberes te movere ad sustinendum pro spe futuri praemii et aeterni. In Deo debemus confidere, quia dat lasso fortitudinem 33. Philosophus vult, quod una de virtutibus cardinalibus sit magnanimitas; sed non oportet, quod sit in te, sed in Deo ista magnanimitas, quae est virtus.


3. Inexstinguishable Kindling of Charity



12. Third, a man is disposed to the influx of the gift of fortitude through the inexstinguishable kindling of charity. Whence in the Canticle: Place me as a token upon your heart, as a token upon your arm; because strong as death is love, durable as Hell (its) rivalry; its lamps the lamps of fire and of flames; many waters could not exstinguish charity 34. Do you believe that you (can) exstinguish a burning furnace with a drop of water? Every virtue is as a drop of water in respect to the soul of the lover. Strong as death is love; death conquers all (men), similarly love conquers everything Durable as Hell (its) rivalry; Hell because it holds does not let go, thus charity conquers and strongly holds all things. Paul, what do you say of charity? Who, he says, will separate me from the charity of God? He responds: Tribulation? or anguish? or hunger? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword? And he says: I am certain, that neither death nor life, neither things imminent nor future could separate me from the charity, which is in Christ Jesus 35. (St. John) Chrysostom says, that Paul enumerated all creatures and says: Nor can anyother creature separate me from the charity which is in Christ Jesus; that is, if a new creature could be made, it would not separate me. -- That charity is drawing us to (our) heavenly nature, it does not release a foreign attack upon us; as much as it is of itself, it is perpetual; unless I give (Him) a writ of devorce, God will not take His charity away from us (sic). In the Psalm: I love Thee, Lord, my fortitude, the Lord my firmament and my refuge and my liberator 36. Protector of my life, from whom shall I be anxious ? 37 (Sts.) Catherine and Lucy were strong through the love of God. If we have not been bound with the Lord through charity, we easily let go of our fortitude.
12. Tertio disponitur homo ad influxum doni fortitudinis per inextinguibile caritatis incendium. Unde in Cantico: Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super brachium tuum; quia fortis est ut mors dilectio, dura sicut infernus aemulatio; lampades eius lampades ignis atque flammarum; aquae multae non potuerunt exstinguere caritatem 34. Credis exstinguere fornacem ardentem cum gutta aquae? Omnis virtus est sicut gutta aquae respectu animae amantis. Fortis est ut mors dilectio; mors omnes vincit, similiter dilectio totum vincit. Dura sicut infernus aemulatio; infernus quod tenet non dimittit, ita caritas omnia vincit et fortiter tenet. Paule, quid dicis de caritate? Quis, inquit, separabit me a caritate Dei? Respondet: Tribulatio? an angustia? an fames? an nuditas? an periculum? an persecutio? an gladius? Et dicit: Certus sum, quia neque mors neque vita neque instantia neque futura poterunt me separare a caritate, quae est in Christo Iesu 35. Chrysostomus dicit, quod Paulus enumerat omnes creaturas et dicit: Neque creatura alia poterit me separare a caritate, quae est in Christo Iesu; id est, si de novo posset fieri creatura, non posset separare me. -- Ista caritas est trahens nos ad naturam caelestem, non permittit peregrinam impressionem in nobis; quantum est de se, perpetua est; nisi dem libellum repudii, non auferet Deus caritatem suam a nobis. In Psalmo: Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea, Dominus firmamentum meum et refugium meum et liberator meus 36. Protector vitae meae, a quo trepidabo? 37 Catharina et Lucia fortes fuerunt per amorem Dei. Si non sumus ligati cum Domino per caritatem, facile amittimus fortitudinem nostram. -- Patet modo, a quo est origo doni fortitudinis, et per quae disponimur ad istum influxum doni fortitudinis.


D. For what Purpose



E. Accomplish Manly Works



13. But you know, that a habit without act is nothing; for that reason it must be known, that for three things is the gift of fortitude given: first, to accomplish manly works; second, to cast down the powers of the air; and third, to endure worldly tribulations. -- First, I say, that the gift of fortitude is given to accomplish manly works; whence in Proverbs: A negligent hand has worked indigence; however the hand of the strong prepares riches 38. And of the strong woman it is said: She dispatches her hands to strong (works), and her fingers grasp the spindle 39. (This) is spoken of the Church and of Her members. It is proper to place one's hand to strong (works) before (one's) fingers grasp the spindle, that is, it is proper first to act strongly, afterwards a man can teach in a perspicacious manner. In the spindle, by which the thread is extracted from the tow, there is signified the industry, through which men accept doctrine and explain it. It is proper that he, who wants to teach well, dispatch his hands to strong (works). In the Book of Kings it is said: Step inside, because you are a strong man, and you announce good things 40; and in Isaiah: Ascend upon an exalted mountain, you who evangelize Sion 41. If an arm is weak, even if the sword was strong and good; there will not be a good blow. Some are full of conversations and have too little of works.
13. Sed scitis, quod habitus sine actu nihil est; ideo sciendum, quod ad tria datur donum fortitudinis: primo, ad perficiendum operationes viriles; secundo, ad prosternendum aëreas potestates; et tertio, ad perferendum mundiales tribulationes. -- Primo, dico, datur donum fortitudinis ad perficiendum operationes viriles; unde in Proverbiis: Egestatem operata est manus remissa; manus autem fortium parat divitias 38. Et de forti muliere dicitur: Manum suam misit ad fortia, et digiti eius apprehenderunt fusum 39. Loquitur de Ecclesia et de membris eius. Prius oportet ponere manum ad fortia, quam digiti apprehendant fusum, id est, oportet prius fortiter agere, antequam homo possit perspicaciter docere. In fuso, quo extrahitur filum de stupa, significatur industria, per quam homines accipiunt doctrinam et explicant eam. Qui vult bene docere, oportet, quod manum mittat ad fortia. In libro Regum dicitur: Ingredere, quia vir fortis es, et bona annuntias 40; et in Isaia: Super montem excelsum ascende tu, qui evangelizas Sion 41. Si brachium est debile, etiam si gladius fuerit fortis et bonus; non erit bonus ictus. Aliqui pleni sunt sermonibus et parum habent de operationibus.


F. Cast Down the Powers of the Air



14. Second, the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to cast down the powers of the air. Whence in John: I write to you, young men, since your are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the malignant one 42. That fortitude ought to be in every Christian and especially in the leader of the army of the Christian people. It is written in the Book of Maccabees, that Let Judas strong in strengths from his youth, be for you the prince of the militia, and he himself will conduct the people's war 43. Everyone who accepts the care of souls, becomes a prince of the militia; and when the prince is not good, then the army is in great danger. Whence Jerimiah complains aloud: Vanished, he says, is every ornament from daughter Sion; they have become her princes as rams not finding pasture, and the have gone away without fortitude before the face of the one pursuing them 44. There were two, to whom the Lord gave fortitude, that is, Caleb and Joshua. Of Caleb it is said: The Lord gave fortitude to him, Caleb, and even to his old age that virtue remained, so that he could ascend unto the exalted place of the land 45. And similarly it is said of Joshua, that he was made strong in war 46. Caleb is interpreted "whole heart". And Joshua is interpreted "salvation". On behalf of the salvation of others those (men) went about exploring the land of promise 47.
14. Secundo datur donum Spiritus sancti ad prosternendas aëreas potestates. Unde in Ioanne: Scribo vobis, iuvenes, quoniam fortes estis, et verbum Dei manet in vobis, et vicistis malignum 42. Ista fortitudo debet esse in omni christiano et specialiter in duce exercitus populi christiani. Scribitur in libro Machabaeorum, quod Iudas fortis viribus a iuventute sua, ipse sit vobis princeps militiae, et ipse aget bellum populi 43. Omnis, qui accipit curam animarum, efficitur princeps militiae; et quando princeps non est bonus, tunc exercitus est in magno periculo. Unde conqueritur Ieremias: Recessit, inquit, omnis decor a filia Sion; facti sunt principes eius sicut arietes non invenientes pascua, et abierunt absque fortitudine ante faciem subsequentis 44. Duo fuerunt, quibus Dominus dedit fortitudinem, scilicet, Caleb et Iosue. De Caleb dicitur: Dedit Dominus fortitudinem ipsi Caleb, et usque in senectutem permansit illa virtus, ut ascenderet in excelsum terrae locum 45. Et similiter dicitur de Iosue, quod fortis in bello 46 factus est. Caleb interpretatur totum cor. et Iosue interpretatur salvatio. Isti pro salute aliorum circumierunt explorare terram promissionis 47.


G. Endure Worldly Tribulations



15. Third, the gift of fortitude is given to endure worldly tribulations. Whence it is said in the Book of Maccabees, that Eleazar, when he passed from life, leaving an example of fortitude for the young and old, said: Freely for Thy loveI suffer these things 48. He could have been freed, if he pretended, that he had eaten pieces of pork; but he did not want to, nay rather he wanted to die and to leave an example of fortitude to all. -- Who will have that gift? All now flee for a little thing, for the loss of a little temporal thing, and/or of a little convenience; and why? Because they do not have fortitude. But Job himself says: The just will hold his way 49. The way of Christ Himself is, that a man walk cleanly and strongly. Gird, he says, your loins with fortitude 50. And elsewhere it is said: The victor has lead me, as I sing in psalms, forth upon the heights 51. -- We will beg Our Lord Jesus Christ, that He through His mercy may deign to thus lead and rule us in this mortal life, that we may be able to obtain the aforesaid gifts of the Holy Spirit and arrive at that ineffable joy, in which there lives an reigns He, whom "we will see, love and praise", by His leave, who is Three and One; the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
15. Tertio datur donum fortitudinis ad perferendas mundiales tribulationes. Unde dicitur in libro Machabaeorum, quod Eleazarus, quando a vita decessit, exemplum fortitudinis iuvenibus et senibus derelinquens dixit: Libenter pro amore tuo haec patior 48. Potuit liberari, si simulasset, se carnes porcinas comedisse; sed noluit, immo potius voluit mori et exemplum fortitudinis aliis relinquere. -- Quis habebit illum donum? Omnes modo fugiunt pro modico, pro amissione modicae rei temporalis, vel modici commodi; et quare? Quia non habent fortitudinem. Sed dicit ipse Iob: Tenebit iustus viam suam 49. Via ipsius Christi est, quod homo munde et fortiter ambulet. Accinxit, inquit, fortitudine lumbos suos 50. Et alibi dicitur: Super excelsa deducet me victor in psalmis canentem 51. -- Rogabimus Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, ut ipse per suam misericordiam dignetur nos ita ducere et regere in ista vita mortali, ut possimus dona praedicta Spiritus sancti obtinere et pervenire ad illud ineffabile gaudium, in quo vivit et regnat ille quem "videbimus, amabimus, et laudabimus", praestante ipso, qui est trinus et unus; Pater et Filius et Spiritus sanctus. Amen.


 1. Prov 31, 10-13.
2. Cant 4, 4.
3. Sap 8, 1.
4. Cant 3, 7.
5. Prov 31, 25.
6. Is 50, 1.
7. 1 Mach 3, 19.
8. Ps 67, 36.
9. Prov 18, 10.
10. Prov 18, 11; cf. 10, 15.
11. Is 12, 2-3.
12. Hab 3, 4.
13. Lc 11, 21-22.
14. 1 Cor 1, 25.
15. Mich 3, 8.
16. Is 11, 2-3.
17. Cf. Mt 26, 69-75.
18. Iudic 13, 3-5.
19. Iudic 16, 7.
20. Iudic 16, 11.
21. Iudic 16, 13.
22. Cf. Iudic 16, 17..
23. Heb 11, 33.34.
24. Eph 6, 16.
25. 3 Esd 3, 10-12.
26. Cf. 1 Io 2, 16.
27. Prov 23, 31.
28. Ps 90, 5.
29. 1 Petr 5, 8-9; cf. etiam Breviarium Romanum, ad Completorium, lectio brevis.
30. 2 Par 16, 9.
31. Heb 6, 18.
32. Is 40, 31.
33. Is 40, 29.
34. Cant 8, 6-7.
35. Rom 8, 35.38.
36. Ps 17, 2-3.
37. Ps 26, 1.
38. Prov 10, 4.
39. Prov 31, 19.
40. 3 Reg 1, 42.
41. Is 40, 9.
42. 1 Io 2, 14.
43. 1 Mach 2, 66.
44. Lam 1, 6.
45. Eccli 46, 11.
46. Eccli 46, 1.
47. Cf. Num 13, 7.17.
48. 2 Mach 6, 26-30.
49. Iob 17, 9.
50. Prov 31, 17.
51. Hab 3, 19.


VI. Fortitude II



1. A strong woman, who will find (one)? 1 etc.. -- Pray for us, because you are a holy woman 2. This word was the word of the priests to Judith; and it can be our word to the Most Glorious Virgin, who is full of sanctity and grace, that She may pray for us to obtain grace and wisdom: wisdom to know the truth, and grace to do truth. Those two we ought to seek from God. For this purpose we come to talk, to have a good understanding and bring back an affection for penitence. But we need prayer for this; and because we are dull and tardy, for that reason we need the moral support of the glorious Virgin, to implore the Divine Assistence through Her moral support, so that we may be able to say something (worthy of Him who lives and reigns ....).
1. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? 1 etc. -- Ora pro nobis, quia mulier sancta es 2. Verbum ultimum fuit verbum sacerdotum ad Iudith; et potest esse verbum nostrum ad Virginem gloriosissimam, quae plena est sanctitate et gratia, ut oret pro nobis ad obtinendam gratiam et sapientiam: sapientiam ad cognoscendam veritatem, et gratiam ad faciendam veritatem. Ista duo debemus petere a Deo. Ad hoc venimus ad sermonem, ut intellectum bonum habeamus et affectum poenitentiae reportemus. Sed indigemus prece ad hoc; et quia sumus hebetes et tardi, ideo indigemus suffragio Virginis gloriosae, ut per eius suffragium imploremus divinum auxilium, quod possimus aliquid dicere, etc.


2. A strong woman etc.. In the evening we touched upon that word, which is from Solomon to the glorious Virgin, in which he commends Her for three things: first, for strength of spiritual fortitude; second, for fecundity of supernatural conceiving; and third, for discretion of salutary counsel. -- And rightly are those three conjoined: because the strength of spiritual fortitude was the beginning of the supernatural conceiving, and the gift of counsel was as its complement, because that Virgin, who ought to have conceived Christ, the Son of God, the Virtue of God and the Wisdom of God 3, ought to be strong and gifted with sense through wisdom. And for that reason the Wise man, wanting to give an explanation of the Virgin's conceiving, speaks first of the spirit of fortitude and speaks afterwards of the gift of counsel, because She, over whom there ought to rest a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of counsel and of fortitude, a spirit of knowledge and of piety, and a spirit of the fear of the Lord, ought to (Herself) be filled full with the spirit of the septiform gifts of the Holy Spirit, but especially of the spirit of fortitude and of counsel.
2. Mulierem fortem etc. In sero tangebamus verbum illud, quod est Salomonis ad Virginem gloriosam, in quo commendat eam a tribus: primo, a spiritualis fortitudinis robore; secundo, a supernaturalis conceptus fecunditate; et tertio, a salutaris consilii discretione. -- Et recte coniunguntur ista tria: quia robur fortitudinis spiritualis initium fuit supernaturalis conceptus, et donum consilii fuit quasi complementum, quia illa Virgo, quae debebat concipere Christum, Dei Filium, Dei virtutem et Dei sapientiam 3, debuit esse fortis et sensata; fortis virtute et sensata per sapientiam. Et ideo Sapiens, volens explicare de conceptu Virginis, praemittit de spiritu fortitudinis et subiungit de dono consilii, quia illa, super quam debuit requiescere spiritus sapientiae et intellectus, spiritus consilii et fortitudinis, spiritus scientiae et pietatis et spiritus timoris Domini 4, debuit esse repleta spiritu septiformi donorum Spiritus sancti, specialiter vero spiritu fortitudinis et consilii.


A. Fecundity of Supernatural Conceiving: the Price



3. In this, moreover, which he says: Far off and from the last ends her price 5, the glorious Virgin is understood to be commended for the fecundity of supernatural conceiving. This I do not have on my own authority, but (St.) Bernard says: "If our salvation and that of all (men), if the restitution of innocence has been placed in the hand of a woman; it is necessary, that a strong woman be sought, who is necessary for so great a work"; and he adds: "Not from the earth, not from the sky nearby, but from the highest heaven Her stepping forth" 6. -- Far off therefore and from the last ends her price. This is the price, of which the Apostle says: You have been bought at a great price: bear and glorify God in your body 7. Because that price is great, the Apostle Peter says: Not with the corruptible things of gold and/or silver have you been redeemed from your vain comportment of (your) fathers' tradition, but with the precious blood as if of an immaculate and unpolluted Lamb 8. This was the great price that was owed, by which the whole world and the whole human race ought to be redeemed: because man could not satisfy, because no man could be worth all men, nor could any creature. Nothing was sufficient to redeem the whole human race, unless one had a human nature and a nature above every creature; therefore it was proper, that He have a divine and a human nature.
3. In hoc autem, quod dicit: Procul et de ultimis finibus pretium eius 5, intelligitur Virgo gloriosa commendari a supernaturali conceptus fecunditate. Hoc non habeo ex me, sed Bernardus dicit: "Si nostra et omnium salus, si innocentiae restitutio posita est in manu mulieris; necesse est, ut fortis mulier quaeratur, quae ad tantum opus est necessaria"; et subdit: "Non de terra, non de caelo propinquo, sed a summo caelo eggresio eius" 6. -- Procul igitur et de ultimis finibus pretium eius. Hoc est pretium, de quo dicit Apostolus: Empti estis pretio magno; portate et glorificate Deum in corpore vestro 7. Quod pretium illud sit magnum, dicit apostolus Petrus: Non corruptibilibus auro vel argento redempti estis de vana vestra conversatione paternae traditionis, sed pretioso sanguine quasi Agni immaculati et incontaminati 8. Hoc debuit esse pretium magnum, quo redimi debebat totus mundus et totum genus humanum: quia homo satisfacere non potuit, quia nullus homo potuit valere omnes homines, nec creatura aliqua. Nihil fuit sufficiens ad redimendum totum genus humanum, nisi haberet humanam naturam et naturam super omnem creaturam; ergo oportuit, quod haberet naturam divinam et humanam.


4. That price where will one find it? Certainly nowhere except in the womb of the glorious Virgin. Whence Isaiah: Behold, the Virgin will conceive and will give birth to a son, and His name will be called Immanuel 9. -- Immanuel is interpreted "God is with us". I was not fitting that the Virgin have a son except God, nor that God have a mother except the Virgin. Far off and from the last ends is He, because in Him there is conjoined the highest with the lowest, and the first with the last. That price is far off, by which the whole human race is redeemed; because the lowest is redeemed, for that reason also the highest; because the last is redeemed, for that reason also the first. Man among the creatures was created last. 10.
4. Illud pretium ubi invenietur? Certe nusquam nisi in utero Virginis gloriosae. Unde Isaias: Ecce, Virgo concipiet et pariet filium, et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel 9. -- Emmanuel interpretatur nobiscum Deus. Non decebat Virginem habere filium nisi Deum, nec Deum habere matrem nisi Virginem. Procul et de ultimis finibus est, quia in ipso coniunctum est summum cum infimo, et primum cum ultimo. Pretium illud procul est, quo redimitur totum genus humanum; quia redimitur infimum, ideo et summum; quia redimitur ultimum, ideo et primum. Homo inter creaturas ultimo creatus est 10.


5. Far off and from the last ends her price; and of whom (is) her? Of this blest woman, the Virgin, is the price, through which we prevail to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven; or it is Hers, that is, taken from Her, payed through Her and possessed by Her: taken from Her in the Incarnation of the Word; payed through Her in the redemption of the human race; and possessed from Her in the pursuing of the glory of paradise. She brought forth, payed and possessed that price; therefore it is Hers as the one originating, as the one paying and as the one possessing. That woman brought forth that price as one strong and holy; payed it as one strong and pious; possessed it as one strong and strenuous.
5. Procul et de ultimis finibus pretium eius; et cuius eius? Huius mulieris Virginis benedictae est pretium, per quod regnum caelorum obtinere valeamus; sive est eius, id est ex ea sumptum, per eam solutum et ab ea possessum: ex ea sumptum in incarnatione Verbi; per eam solutum in redemptione generis humani; et ab ea possessum in assecutione gloriae paradisi. Ipsa pretium illud protulit, solvit et possedit: ergo est eius ut originantis, ut persolventis et ut possidentis. Mulier ista protulit pretium illud ut fortis et sancta; solvit ut fortis et pia; possedit ut fortis et strenua.


B. In Sanctity Mary Brought forth the Price



1. Incorrupt Chastity



6. I say first, that She brought forth that price, that is God and man. The blest Virgin brought forth as a woman strong and holy, I say, in the sanctity of incorrupt chastity, in the sanctity of prompt obedience and in the sanctity of full benevolence. -- First I say, the blest Virgin brought forth that price as one strong and holy in the sanctity of incorrupt chastity. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: Grace upon grace (is) a woman holy and chastened 11; and the Angels said: Hail, full of grace 12, because (She was) holy and chastened; holy in Her flesh and chastened in Her mind. The Apostle: A woman, (who is) unmarried and a virgin, thinks of those things which are the Lords, to be holy in body and in spirit 13. On this: The Angel Gabriel was sent 14, etc., (St.) Bernard says: "Gabriel was send to the Virgin, whom the Apostle describes, as holy in mind and body, not recently nor fotuituously found, but elect from the age, foreknown by the Most High and prepared for Him, served by the Angels, signified beforehand by the Patriarchs, promissed by the Prophets". To that Virgin Gabriel ought to have been sent as a best-man. She alone pleased the Most High. Likewise (St.) Bernard: "The royal Virgin, outshining with a twin ornament of mind, provoked the sight of the citizens upon Herself, to incline the heart of the King into desiring Her and to draw to Herself from the supernal regions the heavenly messanger".
6. Dico primo, quod pretium illud protulit, scilicet Deum et hominem. Protulit Virgo benedicta ut mulier fortis et sancta, sanctitate, dico, pudicitiae incorruptae, sanctitate obedientiae promptae et sanctitate benevolentiae plenae. -- Primo dico, protulit pretium illud Virgo benedicta ut fortis et sancta sanctitate pudicitiae incorruptae. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Gratia super gratiam mulier sancta et pudorata 11; et Angelus dixit: Ave, gratia plena 12, quia sancta et pudorata: sancta carne et pudorata mente. Apostolus: Mulier innupta et virgo cogitat quae Domini sunt, ut sit sancta corpore et spiritu 13. Super illud: Missus est Angelus Gabriel 14, etc., dicit Bernardus: "Missus est Gabriel ad Virginem, qualem decribit Apostolus, mente et corpore sanctam, nec de novo nec fortuitu inventam, sed a saeculo electam, ab Altissimo praecognitam et sibi praeparatam, ab Angelis servatam, a Patriarchis praesignatam, a Prophetis promissam". Ad istam Virginem mitti debuit Gabriel tanquam paranymphus. Haec sola placuit Altissimo. Item Bernardus: "Virgo regia, gemino mentis decore praefulgida civium in se provocavit aspectus, ita ut Regis animum in sui concupiscentiam inclinaret et caelestem nuntium ad se de supernis adduceret".


2. Prompt Obedience



7. Second, the blest Virgin brought forth that price as one strong and holy in the sanctity of prompt obedience. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: The eternal foundations (are) upon solid rock, and the mandates of God in the heart of a holy woman 15. The Church ought to have been founded; for that reason it was proper to lay the foundations, that is, the mandates of God, and it was proper, that in some person they be located. This could not be except in the glorious Virgin; the Psalm: Her foundations (are) on holy mountains; a man is born in her and the Most High Himself has founded her. 16. He says: The mandates of God (are) in the heart of a holy woman, that is the glorious Virgin's. She was not lazy, She was not knowing and not doing, but was obedient. For that reason in Her heart there had been founded those mandates of God. It is said in the Gospel: Everyone, who hears the word of God and does it, is similiar to him who builds his house upon firm rock; however he who hears and does not do, is similar to him who builds upon sand 17. -- First it was proper to find a person, in whom the mandates of God were located, that is, a strong woman. This was the glorious Virgin, Whence in Luke: Lifting up her voice, a certain woman from the crowd, said to Him: Blessed the womb, which carried Thee, and the breasts, which Thou did suckle. And Jesus said: Rather, blessed those who hear the word of God and guard it 18. -- Not only was She blessed, who conceived and nursed Him, but also those who follow Her. And who are they? They who hear the word of God and fulfill it. Eve, having transgressed the mandate of God, destroyed the house, which God prepared for us for our salvation; but the wise woman built the house and repaired our salvation.
7. Secundo protulit Virgo benedicta illud pretium ut fortis et sancta sanctitate obedientiae promptae. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Fundamenta aeterna supra petram solidam, et mandata Dei in corde mulieris sanctae 15. Ecclesia debuit fundari; ideo oportuit iacere fundamenta, scilicet mandata Dei, et oportuit, quod in aliqua persona essent collocata. Non potuit hoc esse nisi in Virgine gloriosa; Psalmus: Fundamenta eius in montibus sanctis; homo natus est in ea et ipse fundavit eam Altissimus 16. Dicit: Mandata Dei in corde mulieris sanctae, id est Virginis gloriosae. Non fuit otiosa, non fuit sciens et non faciens, sed fuit obediens. Ideo in corde eius fuerunt fundata ista mandata Dei. Dicitur in Evangelio: Omnis, qui audit verbum Dei et facit, similis est ei qui aedificat domum suam supra firmam petram; qui autem audit et non facit, similis est ei qui aedificat super arenam 17. -- Primo oportuit invenire personam, in qua mandata Dei collocarentur, scilicet mulierem fortem. Haec fuit Virgo gloriosa. Unde in Luca: Extollens vocem quaedam mulier de turba, dixit ei: Beatus venter, qui te portavit, et ubera, quae suxisti. Et dixit Iesus: Quinimmo, beati qui audiunt verbum Dei et custodiunt illud 18. -- Non solum ipsa beata est, quae ipsum concepit et lactavit, sed etiam qui eam sequuntur. Et qui sunt illi? Qui audiunt verbum Dei et implent illud. Eva, transgressa mandatum Dei, destruxit domum, quam Deus nobis praeparavit ad salutem; sed mulier sapiens aedificavit domum et reparavit salutem nostram.


3. Full Benevolence



8. Third, the blest Virgin brought forth that price as one strong and holy in the sanctity of full benevolence. Whence the Angel Gabriel said to Her: Blest (art) Thou among women 19 etc.. The Holy Spirit shall come upon Thee, and the virtue of the Most Hight will overshadow Thee. And for that reason He also who shall be born from Thee shall be called Son of God 20. (St.) Augustine: "The Holy Spirit is love, and although He is given with His gifts, there is not a gift, from which one cannot be separated, except the gift of love. Since all other virtues are common to the good and to the evil; the love of God and neighbor belongs to the good and the pious; it is that alone, which sanctifies. The Holy Spirit comes upon (us), because love is added to love, to transcend the boundary of the others." Whence Hugo says: "Becasue the love of God was burning in the mind of the Virgin in a singular manner, for that reason it worked wonders in Her flesh". -- It is said in Exodus: That the bramble-bush was burning and was not being burnt up 21, that is, the glorious Virgin, bringing forth the Son of God even (into) the light of day, through the fire of divine love gave light to the world and was not corrupted. The love of charity preserved Her from corruption. And for that reason He also who shall be born from Thee, through an undiminished and unpolluted love, will be called Son of God. As out of the love of a man with a woman there is born a son of flesh; so out of the love of the Virgin with God is born the Son of God.
8. Tertio protulit pretium illud Virgo benedicta ut fortis et sancta sanctitate benevolentiae plenae. Unde Gabriel Angelus dixit ei: Benedicta tu in mulieribus 19 etc. Spiritus sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum vocabitur Filius Dei 20. Augustinus: "Spiritus sanctus amor est, et quamquam detur cum donis suis, non est donum, a quo non possit separari, nisi donum amoris. Cum ceterae virtutes communes sint bonis et malis; dilectio Dei et proximi propria est bonis et piis; ipsa sola est, quae sanctificat. Supervenit Spiritus sanctus, quia additur amor amori, ut metas aliorum transcenderet." Unde dicit Hugo: "Quia amor Dei in mente Virginis singulariter ardebat, ideo in carne mirabilia faciebat". -- Dicitur in Exodo: Quod rubus ardebat et non comburebatur 21, id est, Virgo gloriosa, Filium Dei et (in) lucem proferens, per ignem divini amoris lucem mundo dedit et corrupta non fuit. Amor caritatis a corruptione conservat. Ideoque et quod nascetur ex te, per amorem illibatum et impollutum, vocabitur Filius Dei. Sicut ex amore viri cum muliere nascitur filius carnalis; ita ex amore Virginis cum Deo natus est Dei Filius.


9. But there preceeded the figure in the bramble-bush and fire, which Moses saw; the figure in the rod and flower of Aaron 22; the figure in the fleece and dew of Gideon 23; and there preceeded the figure in the strong woman and her price, which Solomon desired; the figure in the woman and man, because Jerimiah says: The woman will surround the man 24. All this was consumated in the glorious Virgin. Whence (St.) Bernard: "What has been shown to Moses in the bramble-bush and fire, to Aaron in the rod and flower, to Gideon in the fleece and dew; this openly did Solomon foresee in the strong woman and Her price; more openly did Jeremiah sing of the woman and the man; most openly did Isaiah declare concerning the Virgin and Her son; and at last Gabriel exhibited in greeting the Virgin".
9. Sed praecessit figura in rubo et igne, quam vidit Moyses; figura in virga et flore Aaron 22; figura in vellere et rore Gedeonis 23; et praecessit figura in forti muliere et eius pretio, quam desideravit Salomon; figura in femina et viro, quia dicit Ieremias: Mulier circumdabit virum 24. Illud totum consummatum est in Vergine gloriosa. Unde Bernadus: "Quod monstratum est Moysi in rubo et igne, Aaron in virga et flore, Gedeoni in vellere et rore; hoc aperte praevidit Salomon in forti muliere et eius pretio; apertius praecinuit Ieremias de femina et viro; apertissime Isaias declaravit de Virgine et eius filio; et tandem exhibuit Gabriel Virginem salutando".


10. Historic events are touched upon here: The first historic event is in the bramble-bush and he fire, where the Mystery of the Incarnation is expressed. The second historic event is in the rod of Aaron, which having been cut off and dry in the space of one night sprouted leaves, flowered, and brought forth fruit. The third historic event is, because Gideon asked the Lord, that dew would fall wholly on the fleece, and the area remain dry; and he filled a conch full with dew. -- The other three words are of Solomon, Jerimiah and Isaiah. The word of Solomon concerns the strong woman and her price. The word of Jeremiah concerning the woman and the man: A new thing, he says, will the Lord do upon the earth: a woman will surround a man 25. The word of Isaiah concerning the Virgin and Her Son: Behold, he says, the Virgin will conceive and will bear a son, and his name will be called Immanuel. And this (will be) a sign for you 26 etc.
10. Tanguntur hic historiae. Prima historia est in rubo et igne, ubi exprimitur mysterium incarnationis. Secunda historia est in virga Aaronis, quae praecisa et sicca in noctis unius spatio fronduit, floruit et fructum protulit. Tertia historia est, quod Gedeon petiit a Domino, quod ros cadens totus in vellere esset, et area remaneret sicca; et implevit concham rore. -- Tria alia verba sunt Salomonis, Ieremiae et Isaiae. Verbum Salomonis est de forti muliere et eius pretio. Verbum Ieremiae de muliere et viro: Novum, inquit, faciet Dominus super terram; mulier circumdabit virum 25. Verbum Isaiae de Virgine et eius filio: Ecce, inquit, Virgo concipiet et pariet filium, et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel. Et hoc vobis signum 26 etc.


11. Who caused the Virgin to conceive? Certainly the Holy Spirit, who is fervent, fecund, unpolluted, manly, incorrupt and deifying love. That He is fervent love, is signified to us in the bramble-bush and fire. That He is fecund love, is signified in the rod of Aaron, which in the space of a night sprouted leaves, flowered and brought forth fruit. That He is unpolluted love, is signified in fleece filled full, because dew does not dirty fleece, but cleans it. That He is manly love, is signified to us in the woman and the man, because the woman surrounded the man, that is girded him on every side. That He is incorrupt love, is signified to us in the Virgin, who conceived a son. That He is deifying love, is signified to us in the Virgin giving birth to God. -- That price is most precious. On account of this Isaiah says: More precious will a man be than gold, and man than the finest, pure gold 27. This he said of Christ, who made us precious.
11. Quis fecit, quod Virgo conciperet? Certe Spiritus sanctus, qui est amor fervens, fecundus, impollutus, virilis, incorruptus et deificus. Quod sit amor fervens, significatur nobis in rubo et igne. Quod sit amor fecundus, significatur in virga Aaron, quae in noctis spatio fronduit, floruit et fructum protulit. Quod sit amor impollutus, significatur in vellere completo, quia ros vellus non inquinavit, sed mundavit. Quod sit amor virilis, significatur nobis in muliere et viro, quia mulier circumdedit virum, id est ex omni parte cinxit. Quod sit amor incorruptus, significatur nobis in Virgine, quae concepit filium. Quod sit amor deificus, significatur nobis in Virgine pariente Deum. -- Pretium illud pretiosissimum est. Propter hoc dicit Isaias: Pretiosior erit vir auro, et homo mundo obryzo 27. Hoc dicit de Christo, qui nos pretiosos fecit.


C. Price of Sin



12. Everyone, who wants to be holy, ought to follow the glorious Virgin in the sanctity of incorrupt chastity, of prompt obedience and of full benevolence. And as by following the glorious Virgin we become precious and holy, so by following Eve we become evil and vile. Whence in Proverbs: The price of a harlot barely one loaf of bread; however a woman siezes the precious soul of a man 28. Stupid Eve, for eating one piece of fruit you have sold yourself and your man and all of us! O son of Eve! beware lest you be an imitator of Eve; but for whatever delectation you give your soul; you are an imitator of Eve. What does it proft a man, if he gain the entire world, but suffer the detriment of his soul? Or what a man give in exchange for his soul? 29 For the entire (universe), which God created, I would not give my soul. Christ gave His own blood for redeming my soul, and for sin you sell yourself and your soul!
12. Omnis, qui vult esse sanctus, debet sequi Virginem gloriosam in sanctitate pudicitiae incorruptae, obedientiae promptae et benevolentiae plenae. Et sicut sequendo Virginem gloriosam efficimur pretiosi et sancti, ita sequendo Evam efficimur mali et viles. Unde in Proverbiis: Pretium scorti vix unius panis; mulier autem viri pretiosam animam capit 28. Eva stulta, pro esu unius pomi te et virum tuum et omnes nos vendidisti! O fili Evae! cave ne sis imitator Evae; sed pro quacumque delectatione animam tuam das; imitator es Evae. Quid prodest homini, si universum mundum lucretur, detrimentum autem animae suae patiatur? Aut quam commutationem dabit homo pro anima sua? 29 Pro toto, quod Deus creavit, non darem animam meam. Christus sanguinem suum dedit pro anima tua redimenda, et pro peccato vendis te et animam tuam!


1. The Fornicating Woman as a Harlot



13. Do you know, what comes about through sin? The most precious becomes the most vile. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: The fornicating woman as a harlot is trampled upon in the street 30. Therefore a fornicating cleric or priest what is he? Certainly an abomination to the Lord. Therefore fly concupiscences and let us follow the Virgin, who believed the Archangel Gabriel, not the woman, who believed the serpent. Solomon followed foolish women, for that reason he grieved and says in Ecclesiastes: I have found a woman more bitter than death, who is a hunters' snare, and a net her heart, chains are her hands. He who pleases God will flee from her, however he who is a sinner will be siezed by her 31. A snare is for those looking at it, a net for those desiring and consenting to it, and chains for those grasping them.
13. Scitis, quid accidit per peccatum? Pretiosissimus fit vilisimus. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Mulier fornicaria quasi stercus conculcabitur in via 30. Clericus igitur et sacerdos fornicarius quid est? Certe abominatio Domino. Fugite igitur concupiscentias et sequimini Virginem, quae credidit Gabrieli archangelo, non mulierem, quae credidit serpenti. Salomon secutus est mulieres fatuas, ideo luget et dicit in Ecclesiate: Inveni mulierem amariorem morte, quae laqueus est venatorum, et sagena cor eius, vincula sunt manus illius. Qui placet Deo effugiet eam, qui autem peccator est capietur ab ea 31. Laqueus est aspicientibus, sagena concupiscentibus et consentientibus, et vincula contingentibus.


a. Snare for Those Looking at Her



b. Net to those Desiring and Consenting to Her



c. Chains to those Grasping her Hands



14. I say first, that she is a snare for those looking at her; whence it is written: Many having admired the appearance of another's woman, have become reprobate 32. One reads of blessed Bernard, that his sister came to see him, adorned with the most beautiful dress; he himself spit in her face and fled from her. Not enduring that she asked, why he did this; he responded: "because you come in the dress of a prostitute to sieze souls and you carry the devil with you". For that reason he says: is a hunters' snare, that is the devil's, who through her siezes souls; because he who sees a woman to desire her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart 33. -- Likewise, she is a net to those desiring and consenting to her. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: On account of the appearance of a woman many have perished 34. It is difficult to carry fire in a fold, so as not to burn up one's garments 35. -- Likewise, the hands of a woman are chains to those grasping them, because she holds (so) tightly, that the man cannot be separated from her. Whence the Apostle: It is good for a man not to touch a woman 36. -- From a (woolen) vestiment proceeds (moth) larva, and from a woman the iniquity of a man 37. -- If we want to be most precious, we ought to adhere to the price of the strongest woman, the incorrupt Virgin, most obedient and most loving. That woman, that is, Eve, expelled us from paradise and sold us, this one leads us back and purchases us. -- Therefore She brought forth that price as a strong and holy woman.
14. Dico primo, quod est laqueus aspicientibus; unde scribitur: Speciem mulieris alienae multi admirati, reprobi facti sunt 32. Legitur de beato Bernardo, quod soror eius venit eum videre, ornata pulcherrimo ornatu; ipse spuit in faciem eius et fugit ab ea. Illa impatiens quaesivit, quare hoc faceret; respondit: "quia in meretriceo ornatu venis ad capiendum animas et portas diabolum tecum". Ideo dicit: Laqueus est venatorum, id est diaboli, qui per eam capit animas; quia qui viderit mulierem ad concupiscendum eam, iam moechatus est eam in corde suo 33. -- Item, est sagena concupiscentibus et consentientibus. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Propter speciem mulieris multi perierunt 34. Difficile est ignem portare in sinu, ut non comburantur vestimenta 35. -- Item, manus mulieris sunt vincula contingentibus, quia stricte tenet, quod non potest homo ab ea separari. Unde Apostolus: Bonum est homini mulierem non tangere 36. -- A vestimento procedit tinea, et a muliere iniquitas viri 37. -- Si volumus esse pretiosissimi, debemus adhaerere pretio mulieris fortissimae, Virginis incorruptae, obedientissimae et amantissimae. Illa mulier, scilicet Eva, nos a paradiso expellit et vendit, ista nos reducit et emit. -- Protulit igitur pretium illud ut mulier fortis et sancta.


D. In Piety She Payed Off that Price as a Strong and Pious Woman



15. Second, She payed off that price as a strong and pious woman, that is, when Christ suffered on the Cross to pay off that price, to purge, wash and redeem us; then the blest Virgin was present, accepting and agreeing to the Divine Will. And it pleased Him, that the price of Her womb be offered on the Cross on our behalf. Whence in John: She stood near the Cross, the Mother of Jesus, and the sister of His Mother, Mary of Clophas, and Mary Magdalene. When, therefore, Jesus saw the Mother and disciple standing, whom He loved, He said to His Mother: Woman behold Thy son 38, that is, Him who is handed over as the price of the redemption of the human race; and as if He said: it is proper, that Thou lack Me, and that I lack Thee -- and Thou Thyself as one holy did conceive Him and as one pious Thou doest offer Him -- may it please thee, Virgin, that I redeem the human race and that I please God. And lest She be destitute, He said to the disciple: Behold, your Mother 39; He gave the virginal man the Virgin.
15. Secundo, persolvit istud pretium ut mulier fortis et pia, scilicet quando Christus passus est in cruce ad persolvendum pretium istud, ut nos purgaret, lavaret et redimeret; tunc beata Virgo fuit praesens, acceptans et concordans voluntati divinae. Et placuit ei, quod pretium uteri sui offerretur in cruce pro nobis. Unde in Ioanne: Stabat iuxta crucem Iesu mater eius et soror matris eius, Maria Clophae, et Maria Magdalena. Cum vidisset ergo Iesus matrem et discipulum stantem, quem diligebat, dicit matri suae: Mulier ecce filius tuus 38, scilicet qui tradetur in pretium redemptionis generis humani; ac si diceret: oportet, te carere me, et me carere te -- et tu ipsa sicut sancta ipsum concepisti et sicut pia eum offers -- placeat tibi, Virgo, quod genus humanum redimo et Deum placo. Et ne destituta esset, dixit discipulo: Ecce, mater tua 39; hominem virginem dedit Virgini.


16. Let us hear something of Her piety. She is our hope, who payed off that price, as one pious in the piety of divine veneration; second, in the piety of compassion for Christ; and third, in the piety of pity for the world, and chiefly for the Christian people.
16. Audiamus aliquid de pietate eius. Haec est spes nostra, quae persolvit pretium istud, ut pia pietate venerationis divinae; secundo, pietate compassionis ad Christum; et tertio, pietate miserationis ad mundum, et praecipue ad populum christianum.


1. Divine Veneration



17. First, I say, She payed off that price as one strong and pious with the piety of divine veneration. Whence in Proverbs: A false and vain grace is beauty, a woman fearing the Lord will be herself praised 40. Moreover there is no one, who could return the honor taken from God except Christ. And the blest Virgin is venerative and restorative of the honor taken from God, and the Mother consenting, that Christ be offered as the price. Therefore shall She be praised. Anna was praised, because she offered Samuel 41; whence it is said of her: The woman went on her way and ate, and her expressions were no more changed into diverse ones 42. She offered a son to serve; but the Blessed Virgin offered Her Son to be sacrificed. -- Abraham, you wanted to offer your son, but offered a ram! 43 but the glorious Virgin offered Her Son. -- The poor little widown is praised, becasue she offered everything, which she had 44; but this woman, that is the glorious Virgin, most merciful, pious and devoted to God offered Her whole substance. -- In this is reprehended the impiety of men, who do not render thanks to God from that which they have accepted. So many good things you have received from God, that is, prebends and other things; if one does something on God's behalf, it seems to him something great. But if you give yourself and everything, which you have, on God's behalf, it is nothing. The Blessed Virgin payed that price strong and pious in the piety of the divine veneration. Piety principally consists in the worship of God.
17. Primo, dico, persovit pretium istud ut fortis et pia pietatis venerationis divinae. Unde in Proverbiis: Fallax gratia et vana est pulcritudo, mulier timens Dominum ipsa laudabitur 40. Nullus autem est, qui posset reddere honorem subtractum Deo nisi Christus. Et beata Virgo est venerativa et restaurativa honoris Deo subtracti, et mater consentiens, quod Christus in pretium offerretur. Ergo laudabitur. Laudata fuit Anna, quia obtulit Samuelem 41; unde dicitur de ipsa: Abiit in viam suam mulier et comedit, vultusque illius non sunt amplius in diversa mutati 42. Ipsa obtulit filium ad serviendum; sed beata Virgo obtulit filium suum ad sacrificandum. -- Abraham, voluisti offerre filium tuum, sed obtulisti arietem! 43 sed Virgo gloriosa filium suum obtulit. -- Laudatur vidua paupercula, quia obtulit totum, quod habuit 44; sed haec mulier, scilicet Virgo gloriosa, misericordiosissima, pia et Deo devota obtulit totam substantiam suam. -- In hoc reprehenditur impietas hominum, qui non reddunt grates Deo de hoc quod acceperunt. Tot bona recepisti a Deo, scilicet praebendas et alia; si aliquid facit pro Deo, videtur tibi magnum. Sed si te et omne, quod habes, pro Deo des, nihil est. Beata Virgo solvit pretium illud fortis et pia pietate venerationis divinae. Pietas principaliter consistit in cultu Dei.


2. Compassion for Christ



18. Second, the glorious Virgin payed off that price, strong and pious in the piety of compassion for Christ. It is said in John: A woman when she gives brith, has pain because her hour has come 45. On account of childbirth a woman has pain, that is, before giving birth. But the Blessed Virgin did not have pain before giving birth; because She did not conceive out of sin, as (did) Eve, to whom the malediction was given; but She had pain after birth. Whence She gave birth, before She was in labour. On the Cross She was in labour; whence in Luke: And your very soul shall a sword pierce 46. In other women there is pain of body, in this one there is sorrow of heart; in others there is the pain of corruption, in this one there is the sorrow of compassion and of charity. Whence He invites us to consider Her sorrow in Jeremiah: All, He says, who pass by in the street, attend and see if there is a sorrow as my sorrow 47.
18. Secundo persolvit pretium illud Virgo gloriosa, fortis et pia pietate compassionis ad Christum. Dicitur in Ioanne: Mulier, cum parit, tristitiam habet, quia venit hora eius 45. Propter parturitionem habet mulier dolorem, scilicet antecedentem ad partum. Sed beata Virgo non habuit dolorem antecedentem ad partum; quia non concepit ex peccato, sicut Eva, cui maledictio data est; sed habuit dolorem post partum. Unde peperit, antequam parturiret. In cruce parturivit; unde in Luca: Et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius 46. In aliis mulieribus est dolor corporis, in ista est dolor cordis; in aliis est dolor corruptionis, in ista est dolor compassionis et caritatis. Unde invitat nos ad considerandum dolorem ipsius in Ieremia: Omnes, inquit, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus 47.


19. That sorrow ought to transverberate the minds of all. Christ on your account has died, ought you not suffer together with Him? The Blessed Virgin suffered together with Him in the greatest manner; but on the other hand it pleased Her, that He was betrayed on our behalf. No one knows, how great suffering with Christ is worth. There is nothing, that extinguishes temptations and elation so much, than that the mind be guarded in suffering the sorrow of Christ with Him. The time of the Passion of Christ comes; and some again are crucifying the Son of God for themselves 48, that is, as much as they can. It is a most high cruelty of Christian iniquity, that you who have been washed by the Blood of Christ, by sinning, do again crucify Him, as much as you can.
19. Iste dolor debet tranverberare mentes omnium. Christus propter te mortuus est, nonne debes ei compati? Beata Virgo compatiebatur ei maxime; sed ex altera parte placebat ei, quod pro nobis traderetur. Nullus scit, quantum valet compassio Christi. Nihil est, quod tantum extinguit tentationes et elationem, quam quod mens custodiatur in compassione doloris Christi. Venit tempus passionis Christi; et aliqui rursus sunt crucifigentes sibimetipsis Filium Dei 48, scilicet quantum in ipsis est. Summa crudelitas inquitatis christianae est, quod qui lotus es sanguine Christi peccando iterum crucifigis ipsum, quantum in te est.


3. Mercy for the World



20. Third, the Blessed Virgin payed off that price as a woman strong and pious in the piety of mercy for the world, and especially for the Christian people. Isaiah: Can a mother forget her infant, to not have pity on the son of her womb? Even if she has forgotten, nevertheless I will not forget you 49. This is said of Christ. -- And here it can be understood, that the whole Cristian people have been produced from the womb of the glorious Virgin; that is signified to us through the woman formed from the side of the man, which (woman) signifies the Church. Whence in Genesis: The Lord sent upon Adam a deep sleep; and when he was asleep He took one of his ribs[de costis] and made a woman and He brought her to Adam. And Adam said, that she would be "woman" [virago: lit. "a heroine"] ,because she had been taken from a man. This (is), he said, the bone of my bones, and the flesh of my flesh 50. And the Lord said: On this account a man relinquishes father and mother and (their) sons and daughters, and clings to his wife 51. And the Apostle said: This is a great sacrament; moreover I say, in Christ and in the Church 52. -- And why, with him sleeping, did He take one of his ribs? Could he not do this, with him making vigil? This is mysterious. Was not the Church formed from the side of Christ, while Christ was asleep on the Cross? And from his side there overflowed blood and water 53, that is the Sacraments, through which the Church is reborn. From the rib of Adam was formed Eve, who was joined with him in marriage. As man was formed from the virgin earth, so Christ from the glorious Virgin. And as from the side of Adam sleeping there was formed a woman, so the Church from Christ hanging upon the Cross. And as from Adam and Eve there was formed Abel and his successors, so from Christ and the Church the whole Christian people. And as Eve is the mother of Abel and of us all, so the Christian people have, as mother, the Virgin.
20. Tertio persolvit beata Virgo pretium illud sicut mulier fortis et pia pietate miserationis ad mundum, et specialiter ad populum chistianumn. Isaias: Nunquid oblivisci potest mulier infantem suum, ut non misereatur filio uteri sui? Et si illa oblita fuerit, ego tamen non obliviscar tui 49. Hoc dicitur de Christo. -- Et potest intelligi hic, quod totus populus christianus de utero Virginis gloriosae sit productus; quod significatur nobis per mulierem de latere viri formatam, quae significat Ecclesiam. Unde in Genesi: Immisit Dominus soporem in Adam; cumque obdormisset tulit unam de costis eius et fecit mulierem et adduxit eam ad Adam. Et dixit Adam, quod esset virago, quia de viro sumta est. Hoc, inquit, os ex ossibus meis, et caro de carne mea 50. Et dixit Dominus: Propter hoc relinquet homo patrem et matrem et filios et filias, et adhaerebit uxori suae 51. Et Apostolus dixit: Sacramentum hoc magnum est; ego autem dico, in Christo et in Ecclesia 52. -- Et quare, eo dormiente, tulit unam de costis eius? Nonne potuit facere hoc, ipso vigilante? Hoc est mysteriale. Nunquid formata est Ecclesia de latere Christi, donec Christus obdormivit in cruce? Et de latere eius refluxit sanguis et aqua 53, id est sacramenta, per quae renascitur Ecclesia. De costa Adam formata est Eva, quae ei copulata est in coniugium. Sicut homo formatus est de terra virginea, sic Christus de Virgine gloriosa. Et sicut de latere Adae dormientis formata est mulier, ita Ecclesia de Christo in cruce pendente. Et sicut de Ada et Eva formatus est Abel et successores sui, sic de Christo et Ecclesia totus populus christianus. Et sicut Eva mater est Abel et omnium nostrum, ita populus christianus habet matrem Virginem.


21. O what a pious Mother we have! Let us be configured to Our Mother and let us follow Her piety. She has suffered so much for souls, because She reputed as nothing temporal danger and corporal suffering. So on account of the salvation of our soul may it please us to crucify our body. It is said in Matthew: When Jesus was in the house of Simon the leper, there came a woman having an alabaster jar of oinment, and she brok the alabaster jar and poured the ointment upon Jesus' head. And the house was filled from the odor of oinment. The disciples seeing this, a certain ones of them murmured saying: For what this loss? For she could have offered it for sale and given it to the poor. And Jesus said: For what have you bothered this woman? A good work has she worked on Me; for you will always have the poor with you, however Me you will not always have 54. Magdalene bears the type of the penitents; she broke the alabaster jar of ointment out of the piety, which she had for Christ. And we for the universal Church and for our soul ought to have a penitent piety. And as Magdalene by offending lost God; so, when she annointed the feet and head of Christ, did she find Him. -- See, that whoever of you have that ointment, that it is employed on God and that he repents and be wary of his own sin. Some have compassion on their flesh, not their soul. Whence in Lamentations: The hands of merciful women have cooked their sons 55. Such a one is not similiar to the Virgin nor to Christ. One cooks one's sons who has not compassion on his soul, but exposes it to the burning of concupiscences and infernal torments. Of such a woman it is said: Better is the iniquity of a man than a benificent woman 56; you cannot afflict your body too much. Let us not give our body to sin. We have been bought at a great price 57. Do not become the slaves of men 58 nor of demons nor or sinners. If you had redeemed some slave, you would not give him (away) for nothing. -- Now it is clear, in what manner the glorious Virgin brought forth that price as one strong and holy and payed it off as one strong and pious.
21. O quam piam matrem habemus! Configuremus nos matri nostrae et sequamur eius pietatem. Tantum compassa est animabus, quod damnum temporale et passionem corporalem nihil reputavit. Ita propter salutem animae nostrae placeat nobis crucifigere corpus nostrum. Dicitur in Matthaeo: Cum esset Iesus in domo Simonis leprosi, venit mulier habens alabastrum unguenti, et fregit alabastrum et infudit unguentum super caput Iesu. Et impleta est domus ex odore unguenti. Videntes hoc discipuli, murmuraverunt quidam ex eis dicentes: Ut quid perditio haec? Potuit enim venumdari multo et dari pauperibus. Et dixit Iesus: Ut quid molesti estis huic mulieri? Bonum opus operata est in me; nam semper pauperes habetis vobiscum, me autem non semper habetis 54. Magdalena typum gerit poenitentium; fregit alabastrum unguenti ex pietate, quam habuit ad Christum. Et nos ad universalem Ecclesiam et ad animam poenitentem debemus habere pietatem. Et sicut Magdalena offendendo perdidit Deum; ita, quando ungebat pedes Christi et caput, invenit ipsum. -- Videte, quod quilibet vestrum habeat illud unguentum, ut pie afficiatur ad Deum et poeniteat et a peccato sibi caveat. Compatiuntur aliqui carni suae, non animae. Unde in Threnis: Manus mulierum misericordium coxerunt filios suos 55. Talis non est similis Virgini neque Christo. Filios coquit qui animae suae non compatitur, sed eam exponit incendio concupiscentiarum et tormentorum infernalium. De tali muliere dicitur: Melior est iniquitas viri quam mulier benefaciens 56; non potes nimis affligere corpus. Non demus corpus nostrum peccato. Empti sumus pretio magno 57. Nolite fieri servi hominum 58 neque demonum neque peccatorum. Si redemissem servum aliquem, non darem eum pro nihilo. -- Patet modo, quomodo Virgo gloriosa pretium illud protulit sicut fortis et sancta et persolvit sicut fortis et pia.


E. She Possesses that Price Glorified in Heaven Strong and Strenuous



F. Fighting in a Manly Manner



22. Third, She possesses that price glorified in heaven. because (She is) strong and strenuous, fighting in a manly manner, triumphing in a noble manner and reigning in a sublime manner. -- First, I say, the Blessed Virgin possessess that price, because (She is) strong and strenuous as one fighting in a manly manner. In Genesis: The Lord said to the serpent: I will place emnity between you and the woman and your seed and her seed; She shall crush your head, and you will lie in wait for her heel 59. (St.) Bernard says of the glorious Virgin: "The head of the ancient serpent She crushed, while every manner of malign suggestion as much from the allurements of the flesh as from pride of mind She brought to nothing". -- Do not permitt, that the serpent enter into your heart through suggestion; because (St.) Gregory says, that when the head of a serpent enters into some opening, then the whole body easily enters. On this account the Psalm says: Blessed (is) he who will hold and smash your little ones upon the rock 60, that (deed) is the first movement towards Christ; and then one has peace. He who want to defend his land fears for himself, lest the enemy enter the land; because he who holds the borders of a land with fortitude, possesses the interior more securely.
22. Tertio, possidet pretium illud in caelo glorificatum, quia fortis et strenua, viriliter pugnans, nobiliter triumphans et sublimiter regnans. -- Primo, dico, beata Virgo possidet pretium illud, quia fortis et strenua tanquam viriliter pugnans. In Genesi: Dixit Dominus ad serpentem: ponam inimicitias inter te et mulierem et semen tuum et semen illius; ipsa conteret caput tuum, et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius 59. Bernardus de Virgine gloriosa dicit: "Caput serpentis antiqui ipsa contrivit, dum omnimodam maligni suggestionem tam de carnis illecebra quam de mentis superbia ad nihilum deduxit". -- Non permittas, quod serpens intret in cor tuum per suggestionem; quia dicit Gregorius, quod quando caput serpentis intravit in aliquod foramen, tunc de facili totum corpus intrat. Propter hoc dicit Psalmus: Beatus qui tenebit et allidet parvulos suos ad petram 60, id est primus motus ad Christum; et tunc habebit pacem. Qui vult defendere terram suam timet sibi, ne hostis intret in terram; quia qui confinia terrae in fortitudine tenet meditullium securius possidet.


G. Triumphing in a Noble Manner



23. Second, the Blessed Virgin possesses that price, because as one strong and strenous (She is) triumphing in a noble manner, which is signified in Judith, where it says: One Hebrew woman wrought confusion in the house of Nebchadnezzar 61. Judith amputated the head of Holofernes, and all his (servants) fled. In the Gospel it is said: Your very soul shall a sword pierce 62, that is a living sorrow. From what? Certainly from the Passion of Christ. Who brought on the Passion of Christ? Judas; the pagan; (and) Pilate. Those were the instruments; but who moved them to this? Certainly the devil wrought a sword, from which the soul of the Virgin was transfixed; and She was cured, and the devil was conquered. The devil wanted to have the bait of the Flesh of Christ; but the Deity clung to his throat as a hook; a nail was thrust into the forehead of Sisara. He who destroyed the army of the Madianites triumphed in a noble manner. -- Therefore in accord with this example let us not permitt ourselves to be conquered.
23. Secundo possidet beata Virgo istud pretium, quia fortis et strenua nobiliter triumphans, quod significatur in Iudith, ubi dicitur: Una mulier hebraea fecit confusionem in domo Nabuchodonosor 61. Iudith amputavit caput Holoferni, et omnes sui fugerunt. In Evangelio dicitur: Tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius 62, id est dolor vivus. Unde? Certe de passione Christi. Quis intulit passionem Christo? Iudaeus, paganus, Pilatus. Isti fuerunt instrumenta; sed quis movebat eos ad hoc? Certe diabolus faciebat gladium, unde transfigebatur anima Virginis; et ipsa curata est, et diabolus victus. Diabolus voluit escam carnis Christi habere; sed Deitas adhaesit gutturi eius tanquam hamus; clavum infixit in tempus Sisarae. Qui destruxit exercitum Madianitarum nobiliter triumphavit. -- Igitur ad eius exemplum non permittamus nos vinci.


H. Reigning in a Sublime Manner



24. Third, the Blessed Virgin possesses that price, because as one strong and strenuous (She is) reigning in a sublime manner. Whence in Ester it is said, that Ester found grace in the sight of Asuerus before all other women, and he placed the diadem on her head and made her queen 63. The Blessed Virgin on account of Her sanctity, piety and sublimity had a crown of precious stone 64. Who is that stone? Certainly Christ. Whence blessed Peter: Behold, I will place a precious stone upon the foundation 65. The Blessed Virgin has been crowned with that stone in the flesh; seeing in the flesh the glorified body of Christ, seeing in spirit His glorified soul and in mind His Divinity. First Christ was crowned, and She after (Him). Whence in the Canticle: Step forth, daughters of Sion, and see king Solomon with his diadem, with which his mother crowned him on the day of his betrothment and on the day of the gladness of his heart 66, that is in flesh and mind, because He first put on flesh, suffered and afterwards was glorified; and the whole Church was crowned through Him. Whence in the Apocalypse: A great sign appeard in Heaven; a woman girt with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars 67. -- We will have that crown, if we want to imitate the glorious Virgin. Whence it is written: Blessed the man, who suffers tempation, since, when he has been proven, he will accept the crown of life 68; and in the Apocalypse: Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life 69; which (crown) may He present to us, who with the Father (and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns ...).
24. Tertio possidet beata Virgo illud pretium, quia fortis et strenua sublimiter regnans. Unde in Esther dicitur, quod Esther invenit gratiam coram Asuero prae cunctis mulieribus, et posuit diadema in caput eius et fecit eam reginam 63. Beata Virgo propter suam sanctitatem, pietatem et sublimitatem habuit coronam de lapide pretioso 64. Quis est iste lapis? Certe Christus. Unde beatus Petrus: Ecce, mittam in fundamento lapidem pretiosum 65. Coronata est lapide isto beata Virgo in carne; videns in carne corpus Christi glorificatum, videns in spiritu animam eius glorificatum et in mente eius Divinitatem. Coronatus est primo Christus, et ipsa post. Unde in Cantico: Egredimini, filiae Sion, et videte regem Salomonem in diademate, quo coronavit eum mater sua in die desponsationis illius et in die laetitiae cordis eius 66, id est in carne et mente, quia induit primo carnem, passus et postea glorificatus est; et tota Ecclesia coronata est per ipsum. Unde in Apocalypsi: Signum magnum apparuit in caelo; mulier amicta sole, et luna sub pedibus eius, et in capite eius corona stellarum duodecim 67. -- Istam coronam habebimus, si volumus Virginem gloriosam imitari. Unde scribitur: Beatus vir, qui suffert tentationem, quoniam, cum probatus fuerit, accipiet coronam vitae 68; et in Apocalypsi: Esto fidelis usque ad mortem, et dabo tibi coronam vitae 69; quam nobis praestare dignetur qui cum Patre etc.


 1. Prov 31, 10.
2. Iud 8, 29.
3. 1 Cor 1, 24.
4. Is 11, 2-3; cf. Lc 1, 35.
5. Prov 31, 10.
6. Ps 18, 7.
7. 1 Cor 6, 20.
8. 1 Petr 1, 18-19.
9. Is 7, 14.
10. Cf. Gen 1, 26-27.
11. Eccli 26, 19.
12. Lc 1, 28.
13. 1 Cor 7, 34.
14. Lc 1, 26.
15. Eccli 26, 24.
16. Ps 86, 1.5.
17. Mt 7, 25-26.
18. Lc 11, 27-28.
19. Lc 1, 28.
20. Lc 1, 35.
21. Ex 3, 2.
22. Cf. Num 17, 16-25; Heb 9, 4.
23. Iudic 6, 37-40; Ps 71, 6.
24. Ier 31, 22.
25. Ier 32, 22.
26. Is 7, 14.
27. Is 13, 12.
28. Prov 6, 26.
29. Mt 16, 26.
30. Eccli 9, 10.
31. Eccle 7, 27.
32. Eccli 9, 11.
33. Mt 5, 28.
34. Eccli 9, 9.
35. Prov 6, 27.
36. 1 Cor 7, 1.
37. Eccli 42, 13.
38. Io 19, 25-26.
39. Io 19, 27.
40. Prov 31, 30.
41. 1 Reg 1, 11.
42. 1 Reg 1, 18.
43. Cf. Gen 22, 9-13.
44. Cf. Mc 13, 41-44; Lc 21, 1-4.
45. Io 16, 21.
46. Lc 2, 35.
47. Lam 1, 12.
48. Heb 6, 6.
49. Is 49, 15.
50. Gen 2, 21-23.
51. Mt 19, 5; cf. Mc 10, 7-8; Gen 2, 24.
52. Eph 5, 52.
53. Io 19, 34.
54. Mt 26, 6-11.
55. Lam 4, 10.
56. Eccli 42, 14.
57. 1 Cor 6, 20.
58. 1 Cor 7, 23.
59. Gen 3, 14-15.
60. Ps 136, 9.
61. Iud 14, 16.
62. Lc 2, 35.
63. Cf. Est 2, 17.
64. Ps 20, 4.
65. 1 Petr 2, 6.
66. Cant 3, 11.
67. Ap 12, 1.
68. Iac 1, 12.
69. Ap 2, 10.


VII. Counsel



1. A strong woman who will find one? 1 etc.. -- Wisdom, where will it be found? and who is the place of intelligence? Man does not know her price, nor is she found in a savory manner in the land of the living 2. Job questions where wisdom is found; and he responds negatively that she is not found by men living in the human manner, saying: Man does not know her price, nor is she found in a savory manner in the land of the living. That last (phrase) explains the reason; this is the cause, why carnal man does not know the price of wisdom, because carnal man does not perceive the taste of wisdom; nor can man know wisdom, unless he find her taste; and he does not find taste in her, if he lives in delights, because carnal delights cannot exist with wisdom. Man does not know her price. Who can say: I am more than man? It is true that wisdom is drawn from the secrets 3 of mysteries. -- It (often) happens, that a preacher pours wisdom upon others and (himself) tastes and makes others taste her, and (yet) he knows not, what she is; too little is she worth for him and for those who hear him, unless they be of a good disposition. -- That most glorious One found Wisdom and in Herself She also brought Him forth for the world. We will invoke Her, that in the spirit of counsel She may will to impetrate for us wisdom, that I may be able to say something (worthy of Him who lives and reigns ...).
1. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? 1 etc. -- Sapientia ubi invenitur? Et quis est locus intelligentiae? Nescit homo pretium eius, nec invenitur in terra suaviter viventium 2. Iob facit quaestionem ubi inveniatur sapientia; et respondet negative quod non invenitur ab homine humano modo vivente, dicens: Nescit homo pretium eius, nec invenitur in terra suaviter viventium. Illud ultimum reddit causam: haec est causa, quare carnalis homo nescit pretium sapientiae, quia carnalis homo non percipit saporem sapientiae; nec potest homo scire sapientiam, nisi inveniat saporem; et non invenit in ea saporem, si deliciose vivat, quia deliciae carnales non possunt esse cum sapientia. Nescit homo pretium eius. Quis potest dicere: ego sum plus quam homo? Verum est quod sapientia trahitur de occultis 3 mysteriorum. -- Accidit, quod predicator transfundit aliis sapientiam et gustat et facit eam alios gustare, et ipse nescit, quid sit; parum valet ei et eis qui audiunt eum, nisi bonae dispositionis sint. -- Ista gloriosissima invenit Sapientiam et in se ipsa et protulit eam mundo. Invocabimus eam, ut spiritu consilii velit nobis impetrare sapientiam, ut possim aliquid dicere etc.


2. A strong woman who will find one? etc.. I said yesterday and today, that the Most Blessed glorious Virgin is commended in those words first for strength of spiritual fortitude; second, for fecundity of supernatural conceiving; and third, for discretion of salutary counsel. The first is noted there: A strong woman who will find one?, the second there: Far off and from the last ends her price; the third there: She sought wool and flax and worked by the counsel of her hands 4. Of two things we spoke: yesterday we spoke of (Her) strength and gift of fortitude, today in the morning we said, in what manner She brought forth, payed off and possesses the price of the redemption of man and/or of the human race. It is true, that I had proposed to give you an example; but because I ought to speak of the gift of counsel, the Blessed Virgin also has a part here and She wanted us to have a part; for that reason I have reserved it until now.
2. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? etc. Dixi heri et hodie, quod beatissima Virgo gloriosa commendatur in verbis istis primo a spiritualis fortitudinis robore; secundo, a supernaturalis conceptus fecunditate; et tertio a salutaris consilii discretione. Primum notatur ibi: Mulierum fortem quis inveniet?, secundum ibi: Procul et de ultimis finibus pretium eius; tertium ibi: Quaesivit lanam et linum et operata est consilio manuum suarum 4. De duobus diximus: heri diximus de robore et dono fortitudinis, hodie in mane diximus, qualiter pretium redemptionis hominis vel generis humani mundo protulit, persolvit et possidet. Verum est, quod exemplum proposueram vobis dicere; sed quia dicere debeo de dono consilii et beata Virgo hic partem habet et nos voluit habere partem; ideo reservavi usque nunc.


A. A Monk Devoted to the Virgin finds Reprieve



3. The price of anyone is the glorious Virgin, and why? Because She brought forth, payed off and posseses our price for the world. A certain converso was in the religion of the Cistercians; he had a good will towards the glorious Virgin, every day he recited for Her a psalter of one hundred and fifty Ave Maria's; but he was stiff necked. On a certain day he became infirm and was carried to the abbey of the grange. On a certain night, when all were at Matins, he alone remained in the infirmary; and it seemed to him, that certain ones were carrying him into the greatest fore-court, in which he saw Christ and the Apostles and the assemblage of the angels; and demons presented him to Christ. And he who was carrying him, said: "Thou art a just judge; that one is ours". The Blessed Virgin said: "He is Mine, because he served Me". A grave dispute broke out. The enemy said: "Thou art a just judge, a non-acceptor of persons; I want, that you judge according to the truth". And Christ said: "Let us see whose he is". And all his defects written on the paper were place on one side of the balance, and on the other side of the balance were placed the good things, which he had done. And the side, in which his defects were, was bent down to the earth. And then the enemy said: "See, Lord, that that one is ours: I ask for justice". And then the Blessed Virgin said to Christ: "Thou art My Son; the blood, which Thou doest have, Thou hast from Me; I ask that Thou give Me one drop". And Christ said: "I cannot deny this to You". And then the Blessed Virgin placed the drop of Blood together with his merits; and immediately that side of the balance bend down to the earth. And the enemy said: "It is not good to fight with Thee". Nevertheless, because the Lord did not want to let the evil, which he had done, go unpunished; He gave the demons power over his body; and then they beat him most atrociously, so that there scarcely remained in him any member, which was not entirely beaten. And the Judge said: "It is sufficient". When the brothers returned from Matins, they found him as if dead. The abbot questioned and caused it to be inquired, who did this. No one was found, who knew anything concerning this. Afterwards he spoke and asked his abbot and confessed to him; and assumed by noble compunction, he migrated to the Lord, and that was his punishment in place of purgatory.
3. Pretium cuiuslibet est Virgo gloriosa, et quare? Quia pretium nostrum ipsa protulit mundo, persolvit et possidet. Quidam conversus fuit in religione monachorum alborum; bonae voluntatis fuit ad Virginem gloriosam, omni die persolvit ei psalterium de centum et quinquaginta Ave Maria; at fuit durae cervicis. Quadam die infirmatus est et portatus est ad abbatiam de grangia. Una quadam nocte, cum omnes essent ad matutinas, solus remansit in infirmaria; et visus est ei, quod quidam portarent eum in aulam maximam, in qua videbat Christum et apostolos et coetum angelorum; et daemones praesentabant eum Christo. Et ille qui portabat eum, dixit: "Iustus es iudex; iste noster est". Dixit beata Virgo: "Meus est, quia mihi servivit". Facta est contentio gravis. Hostis dixit: "Iustus es iudex, non acceptor personae; volo, quod secundum veritatem iudices". Et dixit Christus: "Videamus cuius sit". Et omnes defectus sui scripti in charta positi sunt ex parte staterae, et ex alia parte staterae posita sunt bona, quae fecerat. Et pars, in qua fuerunt defectus eius, incurvata est ad terram. Et tunc dixit hostis: "Vides, Domine, quod iste noster est; peto iustitiam". Et tunc beata Virgo dixit ad Christum: "Tu es filius meus; sanguinem, quem habuisti, a me habuisti; peto quod des mihi unam guttam". Et dixit Christus: "Hoc non possum vobis negare". Et tunc posuit beata Virgo guttam sanguinis cum meritis illius; et statim illa pars staterae incurvata est ad terram. Et dixit hostis: "Non est bonum pugnare tecum". Tamen, quia Dominus malum, quod ille fercerat, noluit dimittere impunitum; dedit daemonibus potestatem super corpus suum; et tunc atrocissime ipsum percusserunt, ita quod vix remansit in eo aliquod membrum, quod non esset totaliter allisum. Et dixit iudex: "Satis est". Cum redirent fratres de matutinis, invenerunt ipsum quasi mortuum. Quaesivit abbas et fecit inquiri, quis hoc fecisset. Nullus inventus est, qui de hoc aliquid sciret. Postea locutus est et petiit abbatem suum et confessus est ei; et assumpta nobili compunctione, migravit ad Dominum, et fuit ei poena illa pro purgatorio.


4. Let us speak of counsel. -- She sought wool and flax and worked by the counsel of her hands 5. See, that the Holy Spirit described this gift of counsel as much as regards its preambulary act, and this as much as regards the intrinsic and extrinsic act, and as much as regards the proper act. The first and second are noted when He says: She sought wool and flax; and the third there: she worked by the counsel of her hands.
4. Dicamus de consilio. -- Quaesivit lanam et linum et operata est consilio manuum suarum 5. Videte, quod Spiritus sanctus describit hic donum consilii quantum ad actum praeambulum, et hoc quantum ad actum intrinsecum et extrinsecum, et quantum ad actum proprium. Primum et secundum notatur cum dicit: Quasivit lanam et linum; et tertium ibi: Operata est consilio manuum suarum.


B. Counsel's Proper Act



5. Let us first speak of the proper act. You ought to understand, that it is the counsel, by which we are instructed to discern, what it licit, what is fitting, what is helpful for salvation according to the indication of upright reason; the other is the counsel, by which we are instructed to choose what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the rule of a good will. -- The third is the counsel, by which we are instructed to seek after what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the exercise of virtuous acting. -- And of that counsel it is said: she worked by the counsel of her hands.
5. Dicamus primo de actu proprio. Intelligere debetis, quod est consilium, quo erudimur ad discernendum, quid licet, quid decet, quid expedit ad salutem secundum indicium rationis rectae; aliud est consilium, quo erudimur ad eligendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum imperium voluntatis bonae. -- Tertium est consilium, quo erudimur ad prosequendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum exercitium operationis virtuosae. -- Et de isto consilio dicitur: Operata est consilio manuum suarum.


1. Instructed to Discern



6. First, I say, counsel is that, by which we are instructed to discern, what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the judgement of upright reason. Whence in Proverbs: I, Wisdom, dwell in counsel and I am among learned thoughts 6. -- I dwell in counsel, that is, that by which a man is instructed to discern what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the judgement of upright reason. -- First a man ought to consider, whether it be licit, or whether it be fitting; many things are licit, which are not fitting. Afterwards he ought to consider, if it is even helpful, because the Apostle says: All things are licit to me; but not all things are helpful 7. Having made that threefold consideration, thoughts are instructed, and wisdom dwells in a man's counsel.
6. Primum, dico, consilium est, quo erudimur ad discernendum, quid licet, quid decet, et quid expedit secundum iudicium rationis rectae. Unde in Proverbiis: Ego sapientia habito in consilio et eruditis intersum cogitationibus 6. -- Habito in consilio, scilicet quo homo eruditur ad discernendum quid licet, quid decet, et quid expedit secundum iudicium rationis rectae. -- Primo debet homo considerare, an liceat, an deceat; multa licent, quae non decent. Postea debet considerare, si et expediat, quia dicit Apostolus: Omnia mihi licent; sed non omnia expediunt 7. Habita ista triplici consideratione, erudiuntur cogitationes, et habitat sapientia in consilio hominis.


2. Raised to Choose



7. Another is the counsel, by which we are raised to choose what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the proposal of a good will. Whence in Ecclesiaticus: Gold and silver is the resting place of the feet, and upon both a well-pleasing counsel 8. By gold there is signified Sacred Scripture, by silver the science of philosophy. Both are speculative, and/or practical. Sacred Scripture concerns faith and morals, partly speculative and partly practical. Through those sciences ones feet are stabilized, because the heart is stabilized through theological and philosophical proofs; nevertheless counsel stabilizes it more.
7. Aliud est consilium, quo elevamur ad eligendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum propositum voluntatis bonae. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Aurum et argentum est constitutio pedum, et super utrumque consilium beneplacitum 8. Per aurum significatur sacra Scriptura, per argentum scientia philosophiae. Utraque est speculativa, vel practica. Sacra Scriptura est de fide et moribus, partim speculativa et partim practica. Per istas scientias stabiliuntur pedes, quia cor stabilitur per documenta theologica et philosophica; tamen consilium magis stabilit.


3. Helped to Seek



8. Third is the counsel, by which we are helped to seek after what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the exercise of virtuous acting. Of that counsel it is said in Judith, that the priests said to Judith: May the God of our Fathers give you grace and may every counsel of your heart be thoroughly strengthened with virtue 9. -- Counsel of your heart etc., that is, what you have conceived in mind, may you consumate in work. The Psalm: May He grant to you according to your heart and may He confirm your every counsel 10. That counsel adds in addition helpfulness. -- Threefold is its act, that is, to discern well, to choose well, and to seek after in a helpful manner. For that reason He says: She worked by the counsel of her hands. Not only did she decide and choose, but she also sought after. It is not sufficient to have a good will, unless a man want to help it along in work, from intellective virtue into affective (virtue) and from affective into action. The Philosopher says, that there are three necessaries for virtue, that is, "to know, to will and to work in an unalterable manner".
8. Tertium est consilium, quo expedimur ad prosequendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum exercitium operationis virtuosae. De isto consilio dicitur in Iudith, quod dixerunt sacerdotes ad Iudith: Deus Patrum nostrorum det tibi gratiam et omne consilium cordis tui sua virtute corroboret 9. -- Consilium cordis tui etc., id est, quod bene concepisti in mente, consumes in opere. Psalmus: Tribuat tibi secundum cor tuum et omne consilium tuum confirmet 10. Consilium illud superaddit expeditionem. -- Triplex est operatio, scilicet discernere bene, eligere bene et prosequi expedite. Ideo dicit: Operata est consilio manuum suarum. Non solum decrevit et elegit, sed prosecuta fuit. Non sufficit bonam voluntatem habere, nisi homo velit eam expedire in opere, a virtute intellectiva in affectivam et ab affectiva in operationem. Philosophus dicit, tria ad virtutem esse necessaria, scilicet "scire, velle et impermutabiliter operari".


C. She Sought Wool and Flax



9. And He not only explains the gift of counsel as much as regards its proper act, nay also as much as regards it preambulary act, when He says: She sought wool and flax. Wool is that, from which one makes a thick vestment; flax is that, from which one makes a sublte vestment. From wool one makes a warm vestment, from flax one makes a delicate vestment. Likewise, from wool an outer vestment is made, from flax an inner vestment is made. According to that threefold property there are three understandings, that is, the allegorical, the anagogical and the tropological.
9. Et non solum explicat donum consilii quantum ad actum propium, immo etiam quantum ad actum praeambulum, cum dicit: Quaesivit lanam et linum. Lana est, de qua fit vestimentum grossum; linum est, de quo fit vestimentum subtile. De lana fit vestimentum calidum, de lino vestimentum delicatum. Item, de lana fit vestimentum extrinsecum, de lino fit vestimentum intrinsecum. Secundum istam triplicicem proprietatem tres sunt intelligentiae, scilicet allegorica, anagogica et tropologica.


10. According to allegory by wool and flax there is signified the New and Old Testament. -- According to anagogy by wool, from which one makes a warm vestment, there is signified the revelation of prayer, because prayer is as warmth; but by flax, from which one makes a delicate vestment, there is signified delights. -- According to tropology by wool forensic things are given to be understood, by flax the experiences of just men. -- Therefore when it says: She sought wool and flax etc., there is understood the New and Old Testament, the revelation of prayers and delights, similarly there are understood forensic things and the experiences of just men. -- Out of those I choose, that which is the counsel, by which we are instructed to discern, what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the judgement of upright reason; that (which) is the counsel, by which we are raised to choose what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the proposal of a good will; the third (which) is the counsel, by which we are helped along to successively pursue what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the exercise of a virtuous act.
10. Secundum allegoriam per lanam et linum significatur novum et vetus Testamentum. -- Secundum anagogiam vero per lanam, de qua fit vestimentum calidum, significatur orationis revelatio, quia oratio est sicut calor; per linum vero, de quo fit vestimentum delicatum, significantur deliciae. -- Secundum tropologiam per lanam forinseca dantur intelligi, per linum virorum iustorum experientiae. -- Igitur cum dicitur: Quaesivit lanam et linum etc., intelligitur novum et vetus Testamentum, orationum revelatio et deliciae, similiter intelliguntur forinseca et virorum iustorum experientiae. -- Ex istis elicio, quod est consilium, quo erudimur ad discernendum, quid licet, quid decet, et quid expedit secundum iudicium rationis rectae; id est consilium, quo elevamur ad eligendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum propositum voluntatis bonae; tertium est consilium, quo expedimur ad consequendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum exercitium operationis virtuosae.


D. Regulated according to the Dictate of Divinely:



1. Instituted Laws



11. The first counsel is regulated according to the dictate of divinely instituted laws; the second counsel is regulated according to the dictate of divinely inspired reasons; the third counsel is regulated according to the dictate of divinely illumened men. -- The first counsel, I say, is regulated according to the dictate of divinely inspired laws. Whence in Proverbs: Guard law and counsel, and you shall have grace for your throat and life for your soul 11. What is that law? Certainly a law written for public places and a law divinely inspired. Of that law he says: Guard law etc.. The Psalm: For Thy testimony is also my meditation and Thy justifications my counsel 12; because counsel is made in testaments and in testimonies. In designating this, there is said in Exodus, that when Moses ought to have entered the oracle, he used to enter through he midst of the two cherubim 13. He used to go through the middle, because Christ ought to be respected in accord with two Testaments.
11. Primum consilium regulatur secundum dictamen institutarum divinitus legum; secundum consilium regulatur secundum dictamen inspiratarum divinitus rationum; tertium consilium regulatur secundum dictamen illustratorum divinitus hominum. -- Primum, dico, consilium regulatur secundum dictamen divinitus institutarum legum. Unde in Proverbiis: Custodi legem atque consilium, et habebis gratiam faucibus tuis et vitam animae 11. Quae est ista lex? Certe lex foris scripta et lex divinitus inspirata. De ista lege dicit: Custodi legem etc. Psalmus: Nam et testimonia tua meditatio mea est et consilium meum iustificationes tuae 12; quod consilium fit in testamentis et testimoniis. In designationem huius dicitur in Exodo, quod quando Moyses debebat intrare oraculum, intrabat per medium duorum cherubim 13. Ibat per medium, quia Christus debet habere respectum ad duo testamenta.


2. Inspired Reasons



12. Second, counsel is regulated according the dictate of divinely inspired reasons. Of this it is said in Tobias: In every season bless the Lord and ask Him, to direct your ways, and that all your counsels remain continually in Him 14. The Psalm: Reveal to the Lord your way, and He shall grant you the petitions of your heart. Be subject to the Lord 15 etc.. However much a man have knowledge of the New and Old Testament, it is nevertheless proper, that he consult the Lord; I do not say, that he is to have a special allocution with Him, but that it is proper, that the Lord thoroughly teach the truth to him as a light. -- In this some are reprehended, because they want to rule by their own knowledge; concerning which ones Isaiah (says): Woe deserting sons! to have made counsel and not from Me, and to have begun a web and not through My spirit 16. They make spiders' webs who employ Sacred Scripture for evil things. (St.) Bernard says: "You will never understand Paul unless you discover the spirit of Paul".
12. Secundo regulatur consilium secundum dictamen divinitus inspiratarum rationum. De hoc dicitur in Tobia: Omni tempore benedic Dominum et pete ab eo, ut vias tuas dirigat, et omnia consilia tua in ipso permaneant 14. Psalmus: Revela Domino viam tuam, et ipse dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui. Subditus esto Domino 15 etc. Quantumcumque homo habeat scientiam novi et veteris Testamenti, oportet tamen, quod consulat Dominum; non dico, quod habeat specialem allocutionem cum eo, sed oportet, quod Dominus educat sibi tanquam lucem veritatem. -- In hoc reprehenduntur aliqui, qui propria scientia regi volunt; de quibus Isaias: Vae filii desertores! ut faceretis consilium et non ex me, et ordiremini telam et non per spiritum meum 16. Faciunt telas aranearum qui sacram Scripturam allegant ad mala. Dicit Bernardus: "Nunquam Paulum intelligis nisi spiritum Pauli invenias".


3. Inspired Men



13. It is counsel, by which we are instructed according to the dictate of divinely instituted and inspired laws; but because it is difficult for a man to be instructed by himself; for that reason there is required the third counsel, by which one is regulated according to the dictate of divinely inspired men. Of which (gift) it is written: Let a heart of good counsel stand with you 17. Conversely of evil counselors it is written: From a counselor guard your soul 18. Do not attend to these (men) in every counsel. But with a holy man be persistent, whoever you know is observing the fear of God; whose soul is according to your soul 19. He gives the reason: Because the soul of a holy man sometimes states true things (more) clearly, than do seven watchmen, sitting on the height to see 20, and he sees more than you do. -- Let us gather from this, that one counsel consists in this, that a man not put counsel in his own self; but he ought to ask counsel from another. Nor does it only consist in this, nay also, that he knows to discern a counselor and to choose a good one and to flee a bad one.
13. Est consilium, quo erudimur secundum dictamen divinitus institutarum et inspiratarum legum; sed quia difficile est, hominem erudiri per se; ideo requiritur tertio consilium, quo reguletur secundum dictamen divinitus inspiratorum hominum. De quo scribitur: Cor boni consilii statue tecum 17. Econtra de malis consiliariis scribitur: A consiliario serva animam tuam 18. Non attendas his in omni consilio. Sed cum viro sancto assiduus esto, quemcumque cognoveris observantem timorem Dei; cuius anima est secundum animam tuam 19. Reddit causam: Quia anima viri sancti enuntiat aliquando vera, quam septem circumspectores sedentes in excelso ad speculandum 20, et videt plus quam tu. -- Colligimus ex hoc, quod unum consilium in hoc consistit, quod homo consilium in se ipso non ponat; sed debet postulare consilium ab alio. Nec tantum consistit in hoc, immo etiam, quod sciat discernere consiliarium et eligere bonum et fugere malum.


E. Christ, the Good Counselor



14. But who is a good counselor? Certainly he, of whom Ecclesiasticus says: There are many peacemakers for you, one in a thousand a counselor 21. -- One counselor, that is, Christ, of whom Isaiah says: His Name will be called the Admirable, the Counselor, God, the Strong, Father of the age to come, the Prince of peace 22. He is the Angel of great counsel 23; that is the One, to whom we ought to attend with a pure heart. Ecclesiasticus says: Before all works let a true word precede you, and before every act a stable counsel 24. -- A true Word, that can neither deceive nor be decieved, is the Only-begotten Son of God, both in His doctrine and in His life. Let that Word and His stable counsel go before you. There is not a stable counsel except from my God: The counsel of the Lord remains for ever 25.
14. Sed quis est bonus consiliarius? Ille certe, de quo dicit Ecclesiasticus: Multi pacifici sint tibi, unus consiliarius de mille 21. -- Unus consiliarius, id est, Christus, de quo dicit Isaias: Vocabitur nomen eius admirabilis, consiliarius, Deus, fortis, pater futuri saeculi, princeps pacis 22. Ipse est Magni consilii Angelus 23; iste est, ad quem debemus puro corde attendere. Dicit Ecclesiasticus: Ante omnia opera verbum verax praecedat te, et ante omnem actum consilium stabile 24. -- Verbum verax, quod nec falli nec fallere potest, est unigenitus Dei Filius et sua doctrina et sua vita. Istud verbum praecedat te et consilium stabile. Stabile consilium non est nisi Dei mei: Consilium Domini in aeternum manet 25.


15. That Counselor, that is, Christ, has many counselors, with whom He shares His counsel. Paul said: One will be more blessed, if he remains such continually according to my counsel; moreover I think, that (in this) I also have the spirit of God 26. Whence to the Corinthians: You know the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, since when He was rich, He became needy on our behalf 27. And the Apostle himself says: In this I give counsel, however I do not have a precept 28. (St.) Augustine says in the orginal, that "in as much as Christ was made (so) needy, that he did not have what wolves had, because wolves have dens; however the Son of man does not have where to recline His head 29; hear what is said below: Christ became needy so that we may imitate His poverty". The Master says, that we are to imitate Him in giving alms, in humility, in poverty and in obedience 30.
15. Iste consiliarius, scilicet Christus, habet multos conciliarios, quibus consilium suum participat. Dixit Paulus: Beatior erit, si sic permanserit secundum meum consilium; puto autem, quod et ego spiritum Dei habeo 26. Unde ad Corinthios: Scitis gratiam Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quoniam cum dives esset, pro vobis egenus factus est 27. Et ipse Apostolus dicit: In hoc consilium do, praeceptum autem non habeo 28. Augustinus dicit in originali, quod "in tantum factus est Christus egenus, quod non habet quod vulpes habent, quia vulpes foveas habent; Filius autem hominis non habet ubi reclinet caput suum 29; subaudi: factus est Christus egenus ut eius paupertatem imitemur". Magister dicit, ut ipsum imitemur in dando eleemosynas, in humilitate, in paupertate et in obedientia 30.


16. That counsel was confirmed by the Twelve Apostles and by the counsels of the Saints. Whence it is said in Ecclesiastes: The words of wisemen as goads and as nails on high, I have fixed upon; which through the counsel of masters have been given by one shepherd 31. If you want the testimony of the Saints concerning those counsels, ask (Sts.) Anthony, Paphnutius and Macarius, who all established the observing of those counsels. Ask the pontiffs Basil, Augustine, Martin and Gregory; all were monks and established the observing of those counsels and observed them. Ask also (St.) Benedict, who was an abbot; ask (St.) Dominic, ask (St.) Francis, who established all those counsels to be observed. From the Lamb there proceeded lamps 32 and they are illuminations to manifest counsels. It is written: God who has been glorified in the counsel of the saints 33; The Psalm: I will confess to Thee, Lord, in my whole heart, in the counsel of the just and (their) congregation 34. We ought, therefore, to choose a good counselor.
16. Consilium istud confirmatum est per duodecim Apostolos et per consilia Sanctorum. Unde dicitur in Ecclesiaste: Verba sapientium sicut stimuli et quasi clavi in altum defixi; quae per magistrorum consilium data sunt a pastore uno 31. Si vis testimonium Sanctorum de istis consiliis, quaere Antonium, Paphnutium et Macarium, qui omnes statuerunt servare ista consilia. Quaere pontifices Basilium, Augustinum, Martinum et Gregorium; omnes monachi fuerunt et statuerunt servare consilia et ea servaverunt. Quaere etiam Benedictum, qui fuit abbas; quaere Dominicum, quaere Franciscum, qui omnia ista consilia statuerunt servanda. Ab Agno procedunt lampades 32 et sunt illuminationes ad consilia manifestanda. Scribitur: Deus qui glorificatus est in consilio sanctorum 33; Psalmus: Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo, in consilio iustorum et congregatione 34. Debemus igitur eligere bonum consiliarium.


F. Evil Counselor



1. Converts Great Things into Nothing



17. It is not sufficient for you to choose a good counselor, unless yourself beware of a evil counselor. Whence it is written: From a evil counselor keep your soul 35; and in Ecclesiasticus: A spirit of evil counsel squanders intelligence 36. Who is that spirit? He who converts great things into nothing, and good things into evil, and certain things into doubts. And why does he squander them? I say, because intelligence is for this, that from doubt one makes progress into certitude; therefore, when anyone leads into doubt, then he causes intelligence to fall. -- First, I say, an evil counselor is he, who converts great things into nothing, as (are) they who say, that the counsels of God are evil and nothings. Such counselors were the Pharisees and experts in the Law, of whom it is said: The Pharisees and experts in the Law have spurned the counsel of God 37. Would that now there be none such (as this)! -- Someone will say: "Do you praise me, because I follow the counsels and enter the religion of the Friars Minor and/or the (Friar) Preachers"? He says: "It is a contrived order, recently instituted, it has (only) exterior signs". He says further: "It is too little to spurn temporal things; we cannot let go of them. Why ought we to let go of those few goods? What value is barefootedness? Corporal exercising is useful a little bit, piety, however, for all things" 38. -- Most dear ones! however much the Order be contrived and new, nevertheless it is good. And what he says, that corporal exercising is useful a little bit, and too little to let go of temporal goods; I say, that those are the greatest sacrifices. Christ came not on behalf of the small (of heart). It is the greatest thing to live in chastity and poverty. Those are the greatest, highest and noblest sacrifices, and you repute the counsel of God as nothing, you contemn the counsel of God in yourself and in others. If you do not want to enter religion, do not prohibit another. (St.) Gregory says, that, "So much is let go by those who follow, that it can be desired by those not following". For that reason blessed Peter says: Behold, we have relinquished all things 39. It is the greatest thing that a man reduce his body to perpetual servitude 40. A holocaust to the marrow 41 is to place one's own will into the will of another. When I do that for the sake of God, it is worth more than the whole world. Against those who speak against the counsels of God, there is said in Proverbs: I called and you refused; you have despised My every counsel and neglected My rebukings; on this account I will laugh at your destruction 42. -- A dog, when it lies on straw and does not want to eat, does not permit, that another eat. Thus those do not want to enter religion nor do they permit others to enter. -- Therefore the first counselor is he, who converts great things into nothing.
17. Non sufficit tibi eligere consiliarium bonum, nisi caveas tibi a consiliario malo. Unde scribitur: A consiliario malo serva animam tuam 35; et in Ecclesiastico: Spiritus consilii mali disperdit intelligentiam 36. Quis est iste spiritus? Qui convertit magna in nihilum, et bona in malum, et certa in dubia. Et quare disperdit? Dico, quod intelligentia est ad hoc, quod processus de dubio veniat in certitudinem; igitur, quando aliquis ducit in dubium, tunc facit cadere intelligentiam. -- Primo, dico, consiliarius malus est, qui magna convertit in nihilum, sicut qui dicunt, consilia Dei esse mala et nulla. Tales consiliarii fuerunt Pharisaei et Legisperiti, de quibus dicitur: Pharisaei et Legisperiti spreverunt Dei consilium 37. Utinam nulli sint modo tales! -- Dicet aliquis: "Laudas mihi, quod sequar consilia et intrem religionem Fratrum Minorum vel Praedicatorum"? Dicit: "Ordo fictitius est, de novo institutus, habet signa exteriora". Ulterius dicit: "Parum est spernere temporalia; non possumus ea dimittere. Quare debemus dimittere ista pauca bona? Quid valet nuditas pedum? Corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est, pietas autem ad omnia" 38. -- Carissimi! quantumcumque sit ordo fictitius et novus, est tamen bonus. Et quod dicit, quod corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est, et parum dimittere temporalia; dico, quod ista sunt sacrificia maxima. Venit Christus non pro parvo. Maximum est in castitate et paupertate vivere. Ista sunt sacrificia maxima, altissima et nobilissima, et tu pro nihilo reputas consilium Dei, contemnis consilium Dei in te et in aliis. Si non vis intrare religionem noli prohibere alium. Gregorius dicit, quod, "tot a sequentibus dimissa sunt, quod a non sequentibus concupisci poterunt". Ideo dicit beatus Petrus: Ecce, nos reliquimus omnia 39. Maximum est quod homo corpus suum in perpetuam servitutem redigat 40. Holocaustum medullatum 41 est propriam voluntatem in potestatem alterius ponere. Quando illud facio propter Deum, valet plus quam totus mundus. Contra illos qui loquuntur contra consilia Dei, dicitur in Proverbiis: Vocavi et renuistis; despexistis omne consilium meum et increpationes meas neglexistis; propter hoc in interitu vestro ridebo 42. -- Canis, quando iacet in paleis et non vult manducare, non permittit, quod alius manducet. Ita isti nolunt intrare religionem nec permittunt alios intrare. -- Igitur primus consiliarius est, qui magna convertit in nihilum.


2. Converts Good Things into Evil



18. The other evil counselor is he, who converts good things into evil. The Psalm: Since they have deflected evils upon you, they have thought counsels which could not stabilize; since you put them behind 43 etc.. It is an evil thing, when someone says something, from which the counsel of Christ can be reputed evil; as when someone reproves the counsel of entering holy religion. Stupid, dangerous, pernicious and temarious is, that which Christ called converting good into evil. Of entering religion some say, that one shoe does not fit all feet; but religion imposes one rule upon all. If you say this, you are saying that Christ and the Apostles are stupid. He also says: No one, putting his hand to the plow of God and looking backwards, is fit for the Kingdom of God 44; and blessed Peter says: It is better to become acquainted with the way of justice than after acknowledging it to have turned backwards 45. -- Dearest ones! I say: if one shoe can be made, according to which any foot can be fitted, that shoe can be made for all. Anyone can fit himself to the rule of religion, because one way it is made for the youth, in another for the elderly, in another for the stong, in another for the weak. Whence (St.) Augustine says: "Let there be distribued to each one of you by your superior food and clothing, not equally to all, because not all equally fare well, but rather to each one, as there is need". Whence in Ecclesiasticus: Put your feet into her chains and your neck into her torque. And for you her foot gear will be as the protection of fortitude and the bases of virtue, and her torque as a stole of glory. For the ornament of life is in her, and in her chains the saving bindings 46. -- You will say: "To give purgative medicine, not preparatory, this is foolish". I say, that religion has purgative and preparative medicine, because one has despised himself before being able to be among those being received. -- You say, that "there is danger in false brothers" 47. This is not said of religious, but of false brother Christians, not yet religious. -- You will say: "Many fall"; and blessed Peter says: It was better that they did not become acquainted with the way of justice, than after acknowledging it, to have turned backwards 48. You ought not to fall with those falling, but stand with those standing.
18. Alius consiliarius malus est, qui bona convertit in malum. Psalmus: Quoniam declinaverunt in te mala, cogitaverunt consilia quae non potuerunt stabilire; quoniam pones eos dorsum 43 etc. Malum est, quando aliquis dicit aliquid, unde consilium Christi possit reputari malum; sicut quando aliquis reprobat consilium introëundi sanctam religionem. Stultum, periculosum, pernitiosum et temerarium est, illud quod Christus dixit bonum in malum convertere. De ingressione religionis dicunt aliqui, quod unum calceamentum non competit omnibus pedibus; sed religio imponit unam regulam omnibus. Si dicis hoc, dicis Christum esse stultum et apostolos. Dicit etiam: Nemo, mittens manum ad aratrum Dei et respiciens retro, aptus est regno Dei 44; et beatus Petrus dicit: Melius est viam iustitiae non cognoscere quam post agnitionem retrorsum converti 45. -- Carissimi! dico: si posset fieri calceamentum, ad quod posset quilibet pes informari, illud calceamentum posset fieri omnibus. Quilibet potest se informare ad regulam religionis, quia aliter fit iuveni, aliter seni, aliter forti, aliter debili. Unde dicit Augustinus: "Distribuatur unicuique vestrum a praeposito vestro victus et tegumentum, non aequaliter omnibus, quia non aequaliter valetis omnes, sed potius unicuique, sicut opus fuerit". Unde in Ecclesiastico: Iniice pedum tuum in vincula illius et in torques illius collum tuum. Et erunt tibi compedes eius in protectionem fortitudinis et bases virtutis, et torques illius in stolam gloriae. Decor enim vitae est in illa, et in vincula illius alligatura salutaris 46. -- Dices: "Dare medicinam purgatoriam, non praeparatoriam, hoc est fatuum". Dico, quod religio habet medicinam purgatoriam et praeparatoriam, quia contemperat se secundum posse recipientium. -- Dicis, quod "est periculum in falsis fratribus" 47. Hoc non dictum est de religiosis, sed de falsis fratribus christianis nondum religiosis. -- Dices: "Multi cadunt"; et beatus Petrus dicit: Melius erat illis non cognoscere viam iustitiae, quam post agnitionem retrorsum converti 48. Non debes cadere cum cadentibus, sed stare cum stantibus.


3. Reduces Certain Things into Doubt



19. The third evil counselor is he, who reduces certain things into doubt. Whence it is said in Ezra, that certain ones came, who were across the stream, and they said to the Jews: Who gave you counsel, to build this house and establish its walls? 49 The Jews had the counsels of God and of the Prophets; nevertheless those across the stream came to give counsel, nor did they know, what to do in Jerusalem. -- Some do not know, what to do in religion, and nevertheless they want to give counsel and say to one willing to enter: "What do you want to do? Attend to what pleases God: It is better to be in the will of God than in the hand of counsel 50. -- By this way if you want to wait, for the Lord to reveal (it) to you, and you do not want to do what Holy Scripture and holy men tell you, and what Christ inspires you, you will always be able to be at the crossroad." Of such it is said: A duplicitous man is inconstant in all his ways 51. A man ought to follow the counsels of the saints, of (St.) Benedict and the others. He ought not to bring forth new counselors, but follow the counsel of Christ, whose life is the certain form of living. If a religious says: "There is no salvation except among us"; he speaks evilly. One ought not to praise as holy, what others reprove. One can stand on behalf of his religion, so that he does not exceed (decency) in the manner of speaking and urging. He who thus follows counsel shall have joy. Whence in Proverbs: Those who go into the counsels of peace, joy follows forever, to which may He thoroughly lead us, who with the Father (and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns ... ).
19. Tertius consiliarius malus est, qui certa deducit in dubium. Unde dicitur in Esdra, quod venerunt quidam, qui fuerunt trans fluvium, ad iudaeos et dixerunt: Quis dedit vobis consilium, ut domum hanc aedificaretis et muros eius instauraretis? 49 Iudaei habuerunt consilia Dei et prophetarum; tamen isti trans fluvium venerunt dare consilium, nescierunt tamen, quid ageretur in Ierusalem. -- Nesciunt aliqui, quid agatur in religione, et tamen volunt dare consilium et dicunt volenti intrare: "Quid vis facere? Attende divinum beneplacitum: Melius est esse in voluntate Dei quam in manu consilii 50. -- Per istam viam si vis exspectare, donec Dominus revelet tibi, et non vis facere quod sancta Scriptura et sancti viri dicunt tibi, et quod Christus inspirat tibi, semper poteris esse in bivio." De tali dicitur: Vir duplex animo inconstans est in omnibus viis suis 51. Debet homo sequi consilia sanctorum Benedicti et aliorum. Non debet adducere consiliarios novos, sed sequi consilium Christi, cuius vita est certa forma vivendi. Si dicat religiosus: "Non est salus nisi apud nos"; male dicit. Non debet se sanctum laudare, quod alios reprobet. Potest stare pro religione sua, ita quod non excedat in modo dicendi et suadendi. Qui sic sequitur consilium habebit gaudium. Unde in Proverbiis: Qui pacis ineunt consilia, sequitur eos gaudium 52 in aeternum, ad quod nos perducat qui cum Patre etc.


 1. Prov 31, 10.
2. Iob 28, 12-13.
3. Iob 28, 18.
4. Prov 31, 13.
5. Prov 31, 13.
6. Prov 8, 12.
7. 1 Cor 6, 12; 10, 23.
8. Eccli 10, 25.
9. Iud 10, 8.
10. Ps 19, 5.
11. Prov 3, 21-22.
12. Ps 118, 24.
13. Cf. Ex 25, 18-22.
14. Tob 4, 20.
15. Ps 36, 4-7.
16. Is 30, 1.
17. Eccli 37, 17.
18. Eccli 37, 9.
19. Eccli 37, 14-16.
20. Eccli 37, 18.
21. Eccli 6, 6.
22. Is 9, 6.
23. Secundum Septuagintum, Is 9, 5.
24. Eccli 37, 20.
25. Ps 32, 11.
26. 1 Cor 7, 40.
27. 2 Cor 8, 9.
28. 1 Cor 7, 25; 2 Cor 8, 10.
29. Mt 8, 10.
30. Cf. Mt 11, 29; 19, 21; Lc 12, 33.
31. Eccle 12, 11.
32. Cf. Ap 4, 5; 5, 6.
33. Ps 88, 8.
34. Ps 110, 1.
35. Eccli 37, 9.
36. Eccli 32, 22: "Vir consilii non disperdet intelligentiam" (per opositionem ad haec formavit S. Bonaventura textum).
37. Lc 7, 30.
38. 1 Tim 4, 8.
39. Mt 19, 27.
40. Cf. 1 Cor 9, 27.
41. Ps 65, 15.
42. Prov 1, 24-26.
43. Ps 20, 12-13.
44. Lc 9, 62.
45. 2 Petr 2, 21.
46. Eccli 6, 25.30-31.
47. 2 Cor 11, 26.
48. 2 Petr 2, 21.
49. 1 Esd 5, 3.
50. Eccli 15, 14.
51. Iac 1, 8.
52. Prov 12, 20.


VIII. Understanding



1. I will bless the Lord, who has again granted me understanding 1. -- The wise (man) listening wiser shall be, and the one understanding shall possess rudders 2. In the second word Solomon shows, that it is useful to hear the word of God; and the reason is, that in hearing the word of God one makes progress, both he who understands, and similarly he who does not understand: therefore both the wise and the simple ought to go to hear the word of God. That the wise make progress by hearing the word of God, it is clear, because he says, that the wise (man) hearing wisdom wiser shall be. Likewise, that the simple make progress by hearing the Word of God, it is clear, because it is said in the Psalm: The declaration of Thy sermons illumines and gives understanding to little ones 3. The little one is addressed here who on account of the mediocrity of his knowledge is called a little one, as one is said to have a small soul, who knows few things, and similarly one is said (to be) of great understanding who knows many things. One is also called a little one who regards himself humbly, even if he knows many things and he be one understanding much. Whence in the Gospel it is said: You have hidden these away from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to little ones 4, that is to the humble. -- For nothing so obscures understanding in those which belong to God as presumption. We all praise humility and scold presumption. Nevertheless few are immune from presumption. Richard of St. Victor says, that "by disputing against pride a man frequently is proud". Behold, that a strong deceiver deceives many. No one can illumine the hearts of men except Him who knows the consciences of men. In the beginning let us beg God . . ..
1. Benedicam Dominum, qui retribuit mihi intellectum 1. -- Audiens sapiens sapientior erit, et intelligens gubernacula possidebit 2. In secundo verbo ostendit Salomon, quod utile est audire verbum Dei; et ratio est, quia in auditu verbi Dei proficit et ille qui intelligit, et similiter ille qui non intelligit: ergo et sapientes et simplices ire debent ad audiendum verbum Dei. Quod sapientes proficiant audiendo verbum Dei, patet, quia dicit, quod audiens sapiens sapientiam sapientior erit. Item, quod proficiant simplices audiendo Verbum Dei, patet, quia dicitur in Psalmo: Declaratio sermonum tuorum illuminat et intellectum dat parvulis 3. Parvulus appellatur hic qui propter mediocritatem scientiae suae parvulus dicitur, sicut parvam animam dicitur habere qui pauca novit, et similiter magni intellectus dicitur qui multa novit. Parvulus etiam dicitur qui humiliter se habet, etsi multa noverit et sit multum intelligens. Unde in Evangelio dicitur: Abscondisti haec a sapientibus et prudentibus et revelasti ea parvulis 4, id est humilibus. -- Nihil enim tam obscurat intellectum in his quae Dei sunt sicut praesumptio. Omnes laudamus humilitatem et vituperamus praesumptionem. Pauci tamen inmunes sunt a praesumptione. Dicit Richardus de sancto Victore, quod "disputando contra superbiam homo frequenter superbit". Ecce, quod fortis deceptor decipit multos. Nullus potest illuminare corda hominum nisi ille qui novit conscientias hominum. In principio rogemus Deum etc.


A. Disposition to Take Up the Gift



2. I will bless the Lord, etc.. That brief word belongs to David himself through the Holy Spirit explaining for us that gift of understanding given to us by the Holy Spirit, and he explains it for us as much as it regards the humble gratitude of the one taking it up and as much as regards the liberal diffusion of the One giving it. The humble gratitude of the one taking it up is noted when he says: I will bless the Lord; the liberal diffusion of the One giving it is noted, when he adds below: Who grants me understanding. That gift requires, that a man be grateful to God, and causes, that a man recognize himself and the gift and the Principle of the gift; and by understanding the Principle of the gift a man recognizes himself, and so gives thanks. And then he blesses God and pours back the beauty of the gift upon the very Author of the gift and praises Him and does not impugn the Giver. -- Moreover we dispose ourselves to take up that gift through three things: first, through holiness of life; second, through the manageability of meekness; and third, through the capturing of the intelligence, that we may bless the Author of that gift.
2. Benedicam Dominum, etc. Istud breve verbum est ipsius David per Spiritum sanctum explicantem nobis ipsum donum intellectus datum nobis a Spiritu sancto, et explicat ipsum nobis quantum ad suscipientis gratitudinem humilem et quantum ad dantis diffusionem liberalem. Suscipientis gratitudo humilis notatur cum dicit: Benedicam Dominum; dantis liberalis diffusio notatur, cum subdit: Qui tribuit mihi intellectum. Donum istud requirit, hominem esse gratum Deo, et facit, quod homo recognoscat se ipsum et donum et doni principium; et intelligendo doni principium recognoscat homo se ipsum, et sic gratias agat. Et tunc benedicit Deum et refundit pulcritudinem doni in ipsum auctorem doni et ipsum laudat et dantem non impugnat. -- Disponimus autem nos ad suscipiendum istud donum per tria: primo, per vitae sanctimoniam; secundo, per mansuetudinis tractabilitatem; et tertio, per intelligentiae captivationem, ut benedicamus auctorem istius doni.


1. Holiness of Life



3. First, I say, we dispose ourselves to take up that gift of understanding through holiness of life; whence Isaiah: Whom will He teach knowledge, and whom will He make understand hearing? Those who have been weaned from milk and plucked from breasts 5. -- Milk signifies the sweetness of carnal delights, on which delight carnal men and infants feed, that is, those who follow infantile movements. And as long as a man has been joined to these carnal consolations, he is called a suckling-child and he is not fit to take up the solid food of life and of understanding. If we want to bless God and receive that gift, it is proper, that we be plucked from those consolations and that we sequester ourselves form the milk of concupiscences. Of Daniel and his companions, who were continent, it is said, that God gave them knowledge and discipline in every book and in wisdom 6. Delectation over touch greatly impugns that gift, (as does) drunkenness before this and luxury afterwards.
3. Primo, dico, disponimus nos ad suscipiendum istud donum intellectus per vitae sanctimoniam; unde Isaias: Quem docebit scientiam, et quem intelligere faciet auditum? Ablactatos a lacte et avulsos ab uberibus 5. -- Lac significat dulcedinem delectationum carnalium, qua dulcedine pascuntur carnales et infantes, id est, qui sequuntur motus infantiles. Et quandiu homo coniunctus est istis consolationibus carnalibus, dicitur lactans et non est idoneus ad suscipiendum solidum cibum vitae et intellectus. Si volumus benedicere Deum et recipere istud donum, oportet, quod simus avulsi ab istis consolationibus et sequestremus nos a lacte concupiscentiarum. De Daniele et sociis eius, qui continentes erant, dicitur, quod dedit eis Deus scientiam et disciplinam in omni libro et sapientia 6. Delectatio circa tactum impugnat maxime istud donum, ebrietas ex parte anteriori et luxuria ex parte posteriori.


2. Manageability of Meekness



4. Second, a man is disposed to receive that gift through the manageability of meekness. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: Be meek to hear a word, so that you understand it 7. Concupiscence beclouds the intellect, and rage impedes the intelligence, because "anger impedes the soul, so that it cannot determine (what is) true". -- The Philosopher says, that "by quieting the soul one becomes prudent and knowing". When water is quiet, then a man sees his face well in it; but when it is disturbed, then one can see nothing in it. Thus, when a man is in anger, then he cannot see the truth. The contentious impede intelligence in themselves and in others. The enraged also pertinaciously defend (what is) false. Whence the Lawgiver was the most gentle. Isaiah says: Only shaking alone will give understanding to hearing 8. A manageable man learns more and becomes gentle.
4. Secundo disponitur homo ad recipiendum istud donum per mansuetudinis tractabilitatem. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Esto mansuetus ad audiendum verbum, ut intelligas 7. Consupiscentia obnubilat intellectum, et furor impedit intelligentiam, quia "impedit ira animum, ne possit cernere verum". -- Philosophus dicit, quod "quiescendo anima fit prudens et sciens". Quando aqua est quieta, tunc homo videt in ea bene faciem suam; sed quando est turbata, tunc nihil potest in ea videre. Ita, quando homo est in ira, tunc non videt veritatem. Contentiosi intelligentiam impediunt in se et in aliis. Iratus etiam pertinaciter defendit falsum. Unde Legislator mitissimus fuit. Dicit Isaias: Tantummodo sola vexatio intellectum dabit auditui 8. Homo tractabilis addiscit et fit mitis.


3. Capturing of (his) Intelligence



5. Third, a man is disposed to worthily take up the gift of understanding through a capturing of (his) intelligence. Whence Isaiah according to the Septuagint translation says: Unless you believe, you will not understand 9. And (St.) Augustine says: "Unless a man capture his intellect and follow by faith those things which he hears, he is not disposed to the gift of understanding". And the Apostle says: Taking captive the intellect into the submission of Christ 10. He who according to the light of his own intelligence wants to investigate Sacred Scripture, thinks the most false errors. In this life of ours we are small, and "it is proper that the one learning more believe"; for it is proper to believe God and most of all in sublime things, which transcend our intelligence. The first Angel erred, because he presumed of himself. -- The disordered concupiscible (appetite) impedes that gift; similarly also the irascible, when it is disordered; but when the rational (appetite) is disordered, it impedes that gift most of all. It is proper, therefore, that we capture our intellect if we want to take up that gift. Rage-bound is he who despises all things; he is not disposed to take up that gift nor (is) the presumptuous. Therefore it is proper, that we capture our intellect, because he who believes that he knows more, frequently knows less. -- Through these three things a man is disposed to worthily take up the gift of understanding. The first is now clear, that is, the humble gratitude of the one taking it up.
5. Tertio disponitur homo ad donum intellectus digne suscipiendum per intelligentiae captivationem. Unde Isaias secundum translationem Septuaginta dicit: Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis 9. Et Augustinus dicit: "Nisi homo captivet intellectum suum et sequatur per fidem ea quae audit, non disponitur ad donum intellectus". Et Apostolus dicit: Captivantes intellectum in obsequium Christi 10. Qui secundum lucem intelligentiae suae vult sacram Scripturam indagare, cogitat errores falsissimos. In vita ista sumus parvuli, et "oportet addiscentem credere"; Deo enim oportet credere et maxime in sublimibus, quae transcendunt intelligentiam nostram. Primus Angelus erravit, quia praesumpsit de se. -- Concupiscibilis deordinata impedit istud donum; similiter et irascibilis, quando est deordinata; sed quando rationalis est deordinata, maxime impedit istud donum. Oportet igitur, quod captivemus intellectum nostrum si volumus suscipere istud donum. Furibundus est qui omnia despicit; non est dispositus ad suscipendum istud donum nec praesumptuosus. Oportet igitur, quod captivemus intellectum nostrum, quia qui plus credit scire frequenter minus scit. -- Per ista tria disponitur homo ad digne suscipiendum donum intellectus. Patet modo primum, scilicet suscipentis humilis gratitudo.


B. Radiation of the Intelligence



6. Liberality follows on the part of the One giving, which is touched upon, when he says: Who grants me understanding 11. May God give me something to say and grant understanding to me to say something appropriate concerning this gift of understanding. -- Every radiation of the intelligence comes from that fount of intelligence. And though the radiation of the intelligence be multiform, I want nevertheless to say something at the present of three things, that is, that understanding is the rule of moral circumspections, the door of sciential considerations and the key of heavenly contemplations; and that is a gift.
6. Sequitur liberalitas ex parte dantis, quae tangitur, cum dicit: Qui tribuit mihi intellectum 11. Deus det mihi aliquid dicere et tribuat mihi intellectum ad dicendum aliquid congruum de isto dono intellectus. -- Omnis radiositas intelligentiae ab illo fonte intelligentiae venit. Et licet multiformis sit radiositas intelligentiae, volo tamen ad praesens dicere de tribus, scilicet quod intellectus est regula circumspectionum moralium, ianua considerationum scientialium et clavis contemplationum caelestium; et iste est donum.


C. Rule of Moral Circumspections



7. First, I will begin from that which is the rule of moral circumspections. For it is proper, that you have complied (with it), if you want to have that gift of understanding. The Psalm: I shall give you understanding and I will instruct you in this way, in which you shall step; I shall make My eyes firm upon you. Do not become as horse and mule, who do not have an intellect 12. The Lord promises us that understanding and shows us, in what manner we ought to receive it. -- I will make, he says, My eyes firm upon you. The Divine Pleasure accepts what we do by approving (it) in the present and by remunerating (us) in the future. If you want to be regulated according to that rule, beware of yourself, that you be not bestial, but regular: to be directed not according to the impulse of sense, but according to the judgment of reason; nor according to bestial fantasies, but according to intellectual judgments. Otherwise there will happen to you what happened to Adam, who, having contemned the rule of truth, followed the instinct of the woman, and the woman followed the instinct of the serpent. The Psalm: A man, when he is in honor, has not understood; he has been compared to the foolish beasts of burden and became similar to them 13. Man became brutal and subject to (his) passions.
7. Primo incipiam ab illo qui est regula circumspectionum moralium. Oportet enim, te esse morigeratum, si vis habere istud donum intellectus. Psalmus: Intellectum dabo tibi et instruam te in via hac, qua gradieris; firmabo super te oculos meos. Nolite fieri sicut equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus 12. Dominus promittit nobis istum intellectum et ostendit nobis, qualiter debemus ipsum recipere. -- Firmabo, inquit, super te oculos meos. Divina complacentia acceptat quod facimus approbando in praesenti et remunerando in futuro. Si vis regulari secundum istam regulam, caveas tibi, ut non sis bestialis, sed regularis: non dirigaris secundum impetum sensus, sed secundum iudicium rationis; non secundum phantasmata bestialia, sed secundum iudicia intellectualia. Aliter accidet tibi quod accidit Adae, qui, comtempta regula veritatis, secutus est instinctum mulieris, et mulier secuta est instinctum serpentis. Psalmus: Homo, cum in honore esset, non intellexit; comparatus est iumentis insipientibus et similis factus est illis 13. Factus est homo brutalis et subiectus passionibus.


1. Prudential Understanding



a. To Be Avoided



8. That understanding is prudential, by which a man is instructed according to the dictate of divine law to become acquainted with, what is to be avoided, that is, every evil; what is to be followed to the grave, that is, every good; and what is to be expected, that is, the Most High Good. -- First, I say, prudential understanding teaches, what is to be avoided, that is, every evil. Whence the Wiseman says: If you invoke wisdom and incline your heart to prudence and seek her as if money and dig her up as treasures; then you shall understand the fear of the Lord and shall find knowledge of God 14. He who wants to have that understanding, ought to seek it with the desire of (his) heart and the studiousness of work; and what then shall he find? Certainly the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God. That every man, who wants to be directed to good, ought to fear God, so that he may avoid every evil; the Psalm says: Holy, he says, and terrible His Name; the beginning of wisdom the fear of the Lord; good the understanding of all who have it. Behold, the fear of the Lord (is) wisdom, and to recede from evil, prudence 15, says the Wiseman. Therefore prudential understanding teaches first, what is to be avoided, that is, every evil.
8. Iste intellectus prudentialis est, quo instruitur homo secundum dictamen divinae legis ad cognoscendum, quid evitandum, quia omne malum; quid exsequendum, quia omne bonum; et quid exspectandum, quia summum bonum. -- Primo, dico, intellectus prudentialis docet, quid evitandum, quia omne malum. Unde dicit Sapiens: Si sapientiam invocaveris et inclinaveris cor tuum prudentiae et quaesieris eam quasi pecuniam et sicut thesauros effoderis illam; tunc intelliges timorem Domini et scientiam Dei invenies 14. Qui intellectum istum vult habere, debet ipsum quaerere cum desiderio cordis et studiositate operis; et quid tunc invenies? Certe timorem Domini et scientiam Dei. Quod omnis homo, qui vult dirigi in bonum, debet timere Deum, ut vitet omne malum; dicit Psalmus: Sanctum, inquit, et terribile nomen eius; initium sapientiae timor Domini; intellectus bonus omnibus facientibus eum. Ecce, timor Domini sapientia, et recedere a malo prudentia 15, dicit Sapiens. -- Igitur intellectus prudentialis docet primo, quid evitandum, quia omne malum.


b. To Be Followed



9. Second, it teaches, what is to be followed to the grave, that is, every good according to the way of interior thinking and of exterior acting. It is written in Joshua: Do not turn from the Law; there follows: so that you may understand all the other things, which you do 16. The wisdom of the cunning is to understand their own way, and the imprudent of the stupid, erring 17. It is written: If understanding is yours, respond to your neighbor; if not, let your hand be upon your mouth 18. And in the Book of Wisdom: The Holy Spirit of discipline flees falsehood and bears Himself away from thoughts which are without understanding 19. For God wills, that we do all things rationally. And blessed Ambrose says, that we ought to do nothing nor speak of that, of which we cannot render an account. -- That is the second part of moral understanding. Solomon says: There is a season for every business and an opportunity 20.
9. Secundo docet, quid exsequendum, quia omne bonum secundum viam interioris cogitatus et exterioris operationis. Scribitur in Iosue: Non declines a lege; sequitur: ut intelligas cuncta, quae agis 16. Sapientia callidi est inteliigere viam suam, et imprudentia stultorum errans 17. It is written: If understanding is yours, respond to your neighbor; if not, let your hand be upon your mouth 18. And in the Book of Wisdom: The Holy Spirit of discipline flees falsehood and bears Himself away from thoughts which are without understanding 19. For God wills, that we do all things rationally. And blessed Ambrose says, that we ought to do nothing nor speak of that, of which we cannot render an account. -- That is the second part of moral understanding. Solomon says: There is a season for every business and an opportunity 20.


c. To Be Expected



10. Third, prudential understanding instructs (us), what it to be expected, that is, the Most High Good. Whence in Proverbs: A most free gem (is) the expectation of the one asking; to whatever he turns himself, he understands prudently 21. In all things, which direct our intelligence in acting and avoiding, a man ought to take counsel from its end. For it is proper, that a man expect something in that which he does. If you intend a temporal convenience, you expect a vile wage. A free, nay a most free gem is the eternal Good. Whence in Baruch: Learn, where prudence is, where virtue is, where understanding is, so that you may know at the same time, where there is eternal length of life and food, where there is light for the eyes and peace 22. -- He says: so that you may know, where there is eternal length of life and food, light for the eyes and peace. And where is that? Certainly, the length of days (is) in His right hand 23; and the Psalm says: In Thy house is the fount of life 24 etc.. If you have light for your eyes, you act prudently.
10. Tertio instruit intellectus prudentialis, quid exspectandum, quia summum bonum. Unde in Proverbiis: Gemma gratissima exspectatio postulantis; quocumque se vertit, prudenter intelligit 21. In omnibus, quae dirigunt intelligentiam nostram in agendis et in vitandis, debet homo uti consilio finis. Oportet enim, quod homo aliquid exspectet in eo quod agit. Si intendis temporale commodum, vilem mercedem exspectas. Grata, immo gratissima gemma est bonum aeternum. Unde in Baruch: Disce, ubi sit prudentia, ubi sit virtus, ubi sit intellectus, ut scias simul, ubi sit longiturnitas vitae et victus, ubi sit lumen oculorum et pax 22. -- Dicit: ut scias, ubi sit longiturnitas vitae et victus et lumen oculorum et pax. Et ubi est? Certe, longitudo dierum in dextera eius 23; et Psalmus dicit: Apud te est fons vitae 24 etc. Si lumen oculorum habetis, prudenter agetis.


11. Here there is a threefold prudential understanding, and he who does not have that understanding cannot be rectified. Whence it is written: A nation without counsel is also without prudence: so that they do not taste nor understand nor foresee the last things 25. He touches upon the three parts of intelligence, that is the memory of past things, the intelligence of present things and the circumspection of future things. -- That understanding is the rule of moral circumspections together with the desire of the heart and the prosecution of work, so that a man may consider, what is to be avoided, what is to be done, and what is to be expected. For God gives that understanding, and it is a gift of God. Whence the Psalm: I shall give you understanding and shall instruct you in this way, in which you shall step 26.
11. Hic est intellectus prudentialis triplex, et qui non habet istum intellectum rectificari non potest. Unde scribitur: Gens absque consilio est et sine prudentia: utinam saperent et intelligerent ac novissima providerent 25. Tangit tres partes intelligentiae, scilicet memoriam praeteritorum, intelligentiam praesentium et circunspectionem futurorum. -- Intellectus iste est regula circumspectionum moralium cum desiderio cordis et prosecutione operis, ut homo consideret, quid sit vitandum, quid agendum, et quid exspectandum. Deus enim dat istum intellectum, et est donum Dei. Unde Psalmus: Intellectum tibi dabo et instruam te in via hac, qua gradieris 26.


D. Door of Sciential Considerations



12. Another is the understanding, which is the door of sciential considerations, of which there is said in Ecclesiasticus: In the treasures of wisdom (is) understanding 27 etc.; this is to say, that the treasures of knowledge (have) been hidden away and/or that they consist in becoming acquainted with the highest causes, and/or conclusions, and/or principles. And it is proper to dig by the study of truth, so that a man may arrive at that treasure. -- That understanding, which is the door of sciential considerations, is partly form the dictate of nature, that is from interior light; partly from the frequency of experience, as from an exterior light; and partly from the brightening of eternal Light, as from a superior light.
12. Alius est intellectus, qui est iuanua considerationum scientialium, de quo dicitur in Ecclesiastico: In thesauris sapientiae intellectus 27 etc.; hoc est dicere, quod thesauri absconditi scientiae vel consistunt in cognitione causarum altissimarum, vel conclusionum, vel principiorum. Et oportet fodere per studium veritatis, ut homo ad istum thesaurum perveniat. -- Iste intellectus, qui est iuanua considerationum scientialium, partim est a dictamine naturae, id est a lumine interiori; partim ex frequentia experientiae, sicut a lumine exteriori; et partim ex illustratione lucis aeternae, sicut a lumine superiori.


1. Dictate of Nature



13. What is partly from the dictate of nature, is clear in Ecclesiasticus, where it is said: God created man from the earth, that is, as much as regards the body, and according to His image He made him 28, that is, as much as regards the soul. There follows: He created out of him a helper similar to himself; counsel and tongue and eyes and ears and heart did He give them for thinking things out, and with the discipline of understanding He filled them full. 29. He gives one to understand, that the human soul has three acts, according to which it has power and act. "Every noble soul has three acts", by which it turns itself completely upon its body, upon itself, and towards divine things. Sometimes it turns itself completely upon its body: it has a tongue for speaking, ears for hearing, etc.; sometimes it turns itself completely upon itself; sometimes towards understanding and becoming acquainted with God. -- And this is according to the threefold consideration of the soul; for the soul is considered as the form and perfection of the body, as this something and as image. -- Moreover that that understanding is partly from the dictate of nature, is clear in Adam, because he imposed names on all things. But that God filled him full with the discipline of understanding, that was his privilege; wherefore it is not in us. Moreover our soul has stamped upon it a certain light of nature, through which one is capable to become acquainted with the first principles, but that alone does not suffice, because, according to the Philosopher, "we are acquainted with principles, inasmuch as we are acquainted with their terms". For when I know, what the whole is, what the part is; I immediately know, that "every whole is greater that its part".
13. Quod sit partim ex dictamine naturae, patet in Ecclesiastico, ubi dicitur: Deus de terra creavit hominem, scilicet quantum ad corpus, et secundum imaginem suam fecit illum 28, scilicet quantum ad animam. Sequitur: Creavit ex ipso adiutorium simile sibi; consilium et linguam et oculos et aures et cor dedit illis excogitandi, et disciplina intellectus replevit illos 29. Dat intelligere, quod anima humana tres habet operationes, secundum quod est eius potentia et operatio. "Omnis anima nobilis tres habet operationes", quibus se convertit super corpus suum, super se et ad divina. Aliquando convertit se super corpus: habet linguam ad loquendum, aures ad audiendum, etc.; aliquando convertit se super se; aliquando ad intelligendum et cognoscendum Deum. -- Et hoc est secundum triplicem considerationem animae; consideratur enim anima ut forma et perfectio corporis, ut hoc aliquid et ut imago. -- Quod autem iste intellectus sit partim a dictamine naturae, patet in Adam, quia omnibus rebus nomina imposuit. Sed quod Deus eum replevit disciplina intellectus, istud fuit privilegium eius; unde non est in nobis. Anima autem nostra habet supra se quoddam lumen naturae signatum, per quod habilis est ad cognoscenda prima principia, sed illud solum non sufficit, quia, secundum Philosophum, "principia cognoscimus, in quantum terminos cognoscimus". Quando enim scio, quid totum, quid pars; statim scio, quod "omne totum maius est sua parte".


2. Frequency of Experience



14. Second, I say, that partly it is from the frequency of experience: in Ecclesiasticus: An expert in many strengths is acquainted with many things 30. The Philosopher: "Out of many sensations there is made one memory; out of many memories there is made one experience; out of many experiences there is made one universal, which is the principle of art and of science".
14. Secundo dico, quod partim est a frequentia experientiae: in Ecclesiastico: Vis in multis expertus cognoscit multa 30. Philosophus: "Ex multis sensibus fit una memoria; ex multis memoriis fit una experientia; ex multis experientiis fit unum universale, quod est principium artis et scientiae".


3. Brightening through a Divine Influence



15. And however much a man has a good natural judgment and with this frequency of experience, they are not sufficient, unless there be a brightening through a divine influence. Whence it is said in Daniel: Give wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those understanding discipline. He Himself revels things profound and hidden away and knows the things constituted in darkness; and light is with Him 31. He touches upon sapiential, sciential and intellectual certitude. And whence is that certitude? Certainly from God. He touches upon sapiential certitude, when he says: He Himself reveals things profound. The Apostle: He Himself has begun to shine in our hearts for the illumination of the knowledge of the brightness of God 32. That light is pure and it is with Him; whence in John: He Himself is the True Light, which illumines every man coming into this world 33. No one is certainly illuminated except through Him. And (St.) Augustine in the fourteenth (chapter) On the Trinity asks, whence (is) this, that the impious sometimes judges well; whence he asks: "Where have those laws of justice been written, according to which the impious judges well?" And he responds, that "they have been written in the book of eternal Light, and not by migrating, but by impressing they descend upon the soul, as the image of a ring, which is pressed upon wax, does not leave the ring" etc.. Moreover this brightening is assisted by the Angels; in Daniel it is said: It came to pass, however, when I, Daniel, saw the vision and sought intelligence; behold, there stood in my sight as if the appearance of a man etc., and he shouted and said: Gabriel, make that one understand the vision 34. Those visions descended from the Father of lights, and the Angel assisted the intellect of Daniel, to seize the light of God and through this to understand. The Gloss says, that the intellect by nature has the strength to understand, accord to which a man is discerned from a sheep; but God alone illumines perfectly. It is true that a man is instructed in the manner of a minister and in a supportive manner by an Angel, as was clear in Daniel: but effectively God alone has the power over that rational soul, because it itself is immediately formed by God. For He Himself illumines all men. Whence an Angel thus illumines, as he who opens a window, is said to illumine a house. "For He alone has His cathedra in the heavens who teaches man throughout the earth". -- Whence it is not true what philosophers say, that one intelligence creates another, because to create belongs to the Omnipotent God, and not to any other created virtue; whence to that Light, which is pure act, belongs this making. Paul said in the Acts of the Apostles: In Him we live and move and are 35; and (St.) Augustine says that the Apostle does not speak there of corporal life, but of intellectual life. Whence it is said there of God, according to which He is for all things "the cause of existing, the reason for understanding and the order for living". He is the cause of existing immediately producing all perpetual things, but mediately (all) temporal things, nevertheless (these) immediately through elementary virtues. Moreover He is the reason for understanding, because intelligences are made certain by Him above the transmutability of (their) nature. Even if every creature were to attack, God nevertheless is to be loved; nor can God cause Himself not to be loved. With all things corrupted, the certitude of truth remains. God is also the order for living; unless the gift of the Holy Spirit indwell in a man, he is not ruled according to the rule of upright life. -- According to which God is the cause of existing, He enters in the soul as its Principle; but according to which He is the order for living, He enters into the soul as an infused gift; according to which He is the reason for understanding, He enters into the soul as the sun of the intelligence. That One is the sun, who illumines all; from whom some wander away, according to which the impious say in the Book of Wisdom: Therefore let us wander from the way of truth and justice; light has not shown upon us, and the sun of the intelligence has not risen for us 36 etc..
15. Et quantumcumque homo habeat naturale iudicatorium bonum et cum hoc frequentiam experientiae, non sufficiunt, nisi sit illustratio per divinam influentiam. Unde dicitur in Daniele: Dat sapientiam sapientibus et scientiam intelligentibus disciplinam. Ipse revelat profunda et abscondita et novit in tenebris constituta; et lux cum eo est 31. Tangit certitudinem sapientialem, scientialem et intellectualem. Sed unde est ista certitudo? Certe a Deo. Certitudinem sapientialem tangit, cum dicit: Ipse revelat profunda. Apostolus: Ipse illuxit in cordibus nostris ad illuminationem scientiae claritatis Dei 32. Lux ista pura est et est cum eo; unde in Ioanne: Ipse est lux vera, quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum 33. Nullus certitudinaliter illuminatur nisi per ipsum. Et Augustinus decimo quarto De Trinitate quaerit, unde hoc, quod impius bene iudicat aliquando; unde quaerit: "Ubi scriptae sunt illae leges iustitiae, secundum quas iudicat bene impius?" Et respondet, quod "scriptae sunt in libro lucis aeternae, et non migrando, sed imprimendo descendunt in animam, sicut imago anuli, quae cerae imprimitur, anulum non relinquit" etc. Haec autem illuminatio iuvatur per Angelos; in Daniele dicitur: Factum est autem, cum viderem ego Daniel visionem et quaererem intelligentiam; ecce, stetit in conspectu meo quasi species viri etc.; et clamavit et ait: Gabriel, fac intelligere istum visionem 34. Visiones istae descenderunt a Patre luminum, et Angelus adiuvat intellectum Danielis, ut capiat lucem Dei et per hanc intelligat. Dicit Glossa, quod intellectus per naturam habet vim intelligendi, secundum quod discernitur homo a pecore; sed solus Deus illuminat perfecte. Verum est quod homo ministerialiter ac adminiculative per Angelum instruitur, sicut patuit in Daniele; sed effective solus Deus habet potestatem super ipsam animam rationalem, quia ipsa immediate a Deo formatur. Ipse enim illuminat omnem hominem. Unde Angelus sic illuminat, sicut ille qui fenestram aperit, dicitur illuminare domum. "Solus enim habet cathedram in caelis qui docet hominem in terris". -- Unde non est verum quod dicunt philosophi, quod una intelligentia aliam creat, quia creare est omnipotentis Dei, non alicuius virtutis creatae; unde illius lucis, quae est actus purus, est hoc facere. Dixit Paulus in Actibus Apostolorum: In ipso vivimus et movemur et sumus 35; et dicit Augustinus quod Apostolus non loquitur ibi de vita corporali, sed de vita intellectuali. Unde loquitur ibi de Deo, secundum quod est omnibus "causa essendi, ratio intelligendi et ordo vivendi". Causa est essendi immediate producens omnia perpetua, mediate vero temporalia, immediate tamen per virtutes elementares. Ratio autem intelligendi est, quia certificantur per ipsum intelligentiae super transmutabilitatem naturae. Si omnes creaturae impugnarent, Deus tamen est amandus; nec Deus potest facere, quin sit amandus. Corruptis omnibus, remanet certitudo veritatis. Est etiam Deus ordo vivendi; nisi donum Spiritus sancti inhabitat in homine, non regetur secundum regulam rectae vitae. -- Secundum quod Deus est causa essendi intrat in animam ut principium; secundum vero quod est ordo vivendi, intrat in animam ut donum infusum; secundum quod est ratio intelligendi, intrat in animam ut sol intelligentiae. Iste est sol, qui omnes illuminat; a quo aliqui aberrant, secundum quod dicunt impii in libro Sapientiae: Ergo erravimus a via veritatis et iustitiae; lumen non luxit nobis, et sol intelligentiae non est ortus nobis 36 etc.


E. Three Things to Beware of



16. In the sciences there are three things to beware of, which banish Sacred Scripture and the Christian Faith and every wisdom; one of which is against the cause of existing, another against the reason for understanding, and the third against the order for living. The error against the cause of existing concerns the eternity of the world, as positing the world as eternal. The error against the reason for understanding concerns fatal necessity, as positing that all things come about from necessity. The third concerns the unity of the human intellect, as positing that there is intellect in all (men). -- Those errors are signified in the Apocalypse in the number of the name of the beast. There it is said, that he has a name whose number (is) 666 37, which is a cyclical number. The first stream upon a circle of motion and time; the second, upon the motion of the stars; the third, upon one intelligence, by saying, that it steps into and out of the body.
16. Tres sunt errores cavendi in scientiis, qui sacram Scripturam et fidem christianam et omnem sapientiam exterminant; quorum unus est contra causam essendi, alius contra rationem intelligendi, et tertius contra ordinem vivendi. Error contra causam essendi est de aeternitate mundi, ut ponere mundum aeternum. Error contra rationem intelligendi est de necessitate fatali, sicut ponere quod omnia eveniunt de necessitate. Tertius est de unitate intellectus humani, sicut ponere quod unus est intellectus in omnibus. -- Isti errores significantur in Apocalypsi in numero nominis bestiae. Dicitur ibi, quod habuit nomen cuius numerus sexcenti sexaginta sex 37, qui est numerus ciclicus. Primi fundant se super circulum motus et temporis; secundi, supra motum siderum; tertii, supra intelligentiam unam, dicendo, quod ingreditur et egreditur in corpus.


The whole (of it) is false. The first error is refuted by that which is written in the Old Testament: In the beginning God created heaven and earth 38. According to the second error there is nothing from free will, the Cross of Christ is worth nothing. According to the third, there is no difference in merit and reward, if one (and the same) is the soul of Christ and of Judas the betrayer. The whole (of it) is heretical.
Totum istud est falsum. Primus error refellitur per id quod scriptum est in veteri Testamento: In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram 38. Secundum errorem secundum nihil est de libero arbitrio, nihil valet crux Christi. Secundum tertium, non est differentia in merito et praemio, si una est anima Christi et Iudae proditoris. Totum est haereticum.


1. Destroys the Cause of Existing



17. The first error, I say, destroys the cause of existing; (it says:) because you have the opinion, that God is the cause of all things, (it must be) either according to a part, or according to the whole. If according to a part: therefore you take from God His principality of causing. If according to the whole: therefore God is the cause of any other: therefore God produces it not from His very self, not from something else, because there is nothing; therefore from nothing. — Likewise, there follows that second error, that a thing had at the same time a ‘to be’ and a ‘not-to be’, and that (its) ‘to be’ (is) before (its) ‘not-to-be’; and many other inconveniences. Whence it is certain, that God created all things. And for that reason that good woman said to her son in the Book of Machabees, that he should look back at all (things), because from nothing did God create them 39.
17. Primus, dico, error destruit causam essendi; quia tu sentis, Deum esse causam omnium aut secundum partem, aut secundum totum. Si secundum partem: ergo aufers Deo suam principalitatem causandi. Si secundum totum: ergo cuiusque alterius Deus est causa: ergo producit illud non de se ipso, non de aliquo alio, quia nihil est: ergo de nihilo. -- Item, sequitur secundum istum errorem, quod res habuit simul esse et non-esse, et quod esse ante non-esse; et multa alia inconvenientia. Unde certum est, quod Deus omnia creavit. Et ideo dixit illa bona mulier filio suo in libro Machabaeorum, quod respiceret omnia, quia de nihilo ea creavit Deus 39.


2. Fatal Necessity - Astrology



18. The second error concerns fatal necessity, as concerns the constellations: (it says,) if a man be born in such a constellation, of necessity will he be a thief, and/or evil, and/or good. That voids free will and merit and reward; because if a man does out of necessity what he does, what value is the liberty of judgment? What will he merit? -- It also follows, that God would be the origin of all evils. It is true that some disposition remains from the stars; but nevertheless God alone rules over the rational soul. Jeremiah says: They have been vehemently confounded, because they have not understood everlasting disgrace 40. They who err thus shall have an everlasting disgrace.
18. Secundus error est de necessitate fatali, sicut de constellationibus: si homo sit natus in tali constellatione de necessesitate erit latro, vel malus, vel bonus. Istud evacuat liberum arbitrium et meritum et praemium: quia si homo facit ex necessitate quod facit, quid valet libertas arbitrii? Quid merebitur? -- Sequitur etiam, quod Deus sit origo omnium malorum. Verum est quod aliqua dispositio relinquitur ex stellis; sed tamen solus Deus principatur animae rationali. Dicit Ieremias: Confundentur vehementer, quia non intellexerunt opprobrium sempiternum 40. Opprobrium sempiternum habebunt qui sic errant.


3. Understand the Intellect in an Evil Manner



19. The third error, which comprehends both, is the worst. Some insane (men) understood the intellect in an evil manner. Whence certain ones say, that it is fire; certain ones, that it is water; those have be reproved by the philosophers. -- That that intellect is one in all (men), that is against the root of distinction and individuation, because in diverse (persons) the intellect has distinct being: therefore it has proper and distinct and individuating principles of its essence. -- That others say, that one intelligence radiates over all. that is impossible; because no creature can (do) that. Whence it belongs to God alone.
19. Tertius error est pessimus qui comprehendit utrumque. Aliqui insani male intellexerunt de intellectu. Unde quidam dixerunt, quod esset ignis; quidam, quod aqua; isti reprobati sunt per philosophos. -- Quod iste intellectus sit unus in omnibus, istud est contra radicem distinctionis et individuationis, quia in diversis intellectus habet esse distinctum: ergo habet principia suae essentiae propria et distincta et individuantia. -- Quod alii dicunt, quod una Intelligentia irradiat super omnes, istud est impossibile; quia nulla creatura istud potest. Unde hoc est solius Dei.


20. "Every intellectual substance is knowing and returning upon itself with a complete return". Whence every intellectual substance understands and loves and judges itself. Whence it has reason for reflection and light radiating upon it. And this indeed is true in God, and as much in the Angel as in man; but differently: Because in God there is likewise reflection and light by itself, but they differ in reason. In the Angel, moreover, they differ in reason and nature, but not in time, because it cannot understand more than it understands, because "(its) intelligence is full of forms". But in man they differ both in reason and in nature and in time, because man does not understand at once, when he can understand. If therefore the human intellect has a reason for its apprehending and judging, (it has) a possible and agent intellect; nor can that intellect sufficiently be illumined without the assistance of a superior and higher light, because the Wiseman says: The body, which is corrupted, weighs down the soul 41 etc.; and the Philosopher says: "As the eye of twilight is held towards the light of the sun, so our intellect is held towards the most manifest things of nature".
20. "Omnis substantia intellectualis est sciens et rediens supra se reditione completa". Unde omnis substantia intellectualis intelligit se et diligit et iudicat. Unde habet rationem speculi et lucem super illud radiantem. Et hoc quidem verum est in Deo, et tam in Angelo quam in homine; sed differenter: Quia in Deo idem sunt speculum et lux ipsa re, sed differunt ratione. In Angelo autem differunt ratione et natura, sed non tempore, quia non potest intelligere plus quam intelligat, quia "intelligentia plena est formis". Sed in homine differunt et ratione et natura et tempore, quia homo non statim intelligit, cum potest intelligere. Sic ergo intellectus humanus habet rationem apprehendentis et iudicantis, intellectum possibilem et agentem; nec potest iste intellectus sufficienter illuminari sine adminiculo superioris et altioris lucis, quia Sapiens dicit: Corpus, quod corrumpitur, aggravat animam 41 etc.; et Philosophus dicit: "Sicut se habet oculus vespertilionis ad lucem solis, sic se habet intellectus noster ad manifestissima naturae".


F. Key of the Contemplation



Of the third understanding, that is, that which is the key of the contemplation of heavenly things, it would be long to speak. We will beg the Lord, ....
De tertio intellectu, scilicet qui est clavis contemplationis caelestium, longum esset dicere. Rogabimus Dominum, etc.


 1. Ps 15, 7.
2. Prov 1, 5.
3. Ps 118, 130.
4. Mt 11, 25.
5. Is 28, 9.
6. Dan 1, 17.
7. Eccli 5, 13.
8. Is 28, 19.
9. Is 7, 9.
10. 2 Cor 10, 5.
11. Ps 15, 7.
12. Ps 31, 8-9.
13. Ps 48, 13.
14. Prov 2, 3-5.
15. Iob 28, 28.
16. Ios 1, 7.
17. Prov 14, 8.
18. Eccli 5, 14.
19. Sap 1, 5.
20. Eccle 8, 6.
21. Prov 17, 8.
22. Bar 3, 14.
23. Prov 3, 10.
24. Ps 35, 10.
25. Deut 32, 28-29.
26. Ps 31, 8.
27. Eccli 1, 26.
28. Eccli 17, 1.
29. Eccli 1, 5.
30. Eccli 34, 9.
31. Dan 2, 21.
32. 2 Cor 4, 6.
33. Io 1, 9.
34. Dan 8, 15-16.
35. Act 17, 28.
36. Sap 5, 6-7.
37. Ap 13, 18.
38. Gen 1, 1.
39. 2 Mach 7, 28.
40. Ier 20, 11.
41. Sap 9, 15.


IX. Wisdom



A. Seek the Things Which are Above



1. If you have risen together with Christ, seek the things which are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; taste the things which are above, not those which are upon the earth 1. -- Son, desiring wisdom, preserve justice, and God will hold it out to you 2. The last words are in Ecclesiasticus, in which Ecclesiasticus shows, in what manner a man can obtain the gift of wisdom. It is true, that this gift is from God; but if you want to have it, it is proper, that you desire wisdom, because wisdom does not enter into the soul, unless it be brought towards it by a great affection, nor is it denied to the soul desiring it; whence in the Book of Wisdom: I wished, and sense was given to me; and I invoked, and there came to me the spirit of wisdom 3. After (having obtained) a desire for wisdom, justice ought to be observed, because wisdom is not in harmony with iniquity; whence he says: preserve justice. Among other things this is most high justice, that a man be not ungrateful to God, but pour back the gifts collected by him upon the Giver. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: To the One giving me wisdom, I shall give glory 4, because, if you glory over wisdom, by this very thing you lose wisdom; Jeremiah: Let not the wiseman glory in his wisdom, and let not the strongman glory in his fortitude 5. And the reason for this is given in Ezechiel, where it is said: You, full of wisdom and comeliness, were in the delights of the paradise of God; in your comeliness you lost your wisdom 6. -- This is most high justice, that we give God the glory and ask wisdom from Him. Whence in the Canonical (Letter) of (St.) James: If one of you lacks wisdom, let him ask for it from God etc., in faith nothing (is) hesitating 7. And because I am going to speak of wisdom I am lacking wisdom, and similarly you the listeners; for that reason in the beginning let us beg the Lord ...
1. Si consurrexistis cum Christo, quae sursum sunt quaerite, ubi Christus est in dextera Dei sedens; quae sursum sunt sapite, non quae super terram 1. -- Fili, concupiscens sapientiam, conserva iustitiam, et Deus praebebit illam tibi 2. Verba ultima sunt in Ecclesiastico, in quibus ostendit Ecclesiasticus, qualiter homo poterit adipisci donum sapientiae. Verum est, quod a Deo est illud donum; sed si vis ipsum habere, oportet, te sapientiam concupiscere, quia non intrat sapientia in animam, nisi quae magno affectu fertur ad eam, nec negatur animae desideranti; unde in libro Sapientiae: Optavi, et datus est mihi sensus; et invocavi, et venit in me spiritus sapientiae 3. Desiderio sapientiae debet servari iustitia, quia non concordat sapientia iniquitati; unde dicit: conserva iustitiam. Inter alia haec est summa iustitia, ut homo non sit ingratus Deo, sed dona sibi collata refundat in datorem. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Danti mihi sapientiam dabo gloriam 4, quia, si de sapientia gloriaris, hoc ipso sapientiam perdis; Ieremias: Non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua, et non glorietur fortis in fortitudine sua 5. Et causa huius redditur in Ezechiele, ubi dicitur: Tu, plenus sapientia et decore, in deliciis paradisi Dei fuisti; perdidisti sapientiam tuam in decore tuo 6. -- Haec est iustitia summa, ut demus Deo gloriam et petamus ab ipso sapientiam. Unde in Canonica Iacobi: Si quis vestrum indiget sapientia, postulet eam a Deo etc., in fide nihil haesitans 7. Et quia ego locuturus de sapientia indigeo sapientia, et vos auditores similiter; ideo in principio rogemus Dominum etc.


2. If you have risen together with Christ, etc.. That word is suitable for the present season and our proposal; that (word) is written in the Epistle which is read at Mass, and it is the word of the Apostle to the Colossians, in which the sacred Apostle urges us to obtain true wisdom and to flee from vain wisdom. He touches upon the first when he says: If you have risen together with Christ, seek the things which are above, etc.. He touches upon the second, when he says: not those which are upon the earth; in which he gives one to understand, that as the soul has a twofold power of sight, so does it have a twofold affection. It has one power of sight for heavenly and invisible things, it has another for earthly and corruptible things; thus the soul also has a twofold affection: one is for eternal things, and the other is for temporal things. So also is it with the wisdom, which is from above, and the other, which is from below. He urges us towards the first and he discourages us from that, which is upon the earth. -- That, which is from above, blessed James describes, saying: Do not glory and be evil against the truth. For this is not the wisdom descending from above, but earthly, animal, and diabolic 8. By such an entire solicitude one seeks to delight in every savor, in the affluence of secular riches and in the experience of sensual delectations and in the excellence or in the ambition of secular ostentation. Inasmuch as it makes a man solicitous, to delight with every savor in the affluence of riches, it is earthly; inasmuch as it makes a man solicitous, to delight in the experience of sensual delectations, it is animal; but inasmuch as it makes a man solicitous, to delight in the excellence and ambition of secular ostentation, it is diabolic; because the root of all evils (is) pride, and it is principally damned in the diabolic kingdom.
2. Si consurrexistis cum Christo, etc. Verbum illud competit praesenti tempori et nostro proposito; ipsum est scriptum in Epistola quae legitur in Missa, et est verbum Apostoli ad Colossenses, in quo sacer Apostolus hortatur nos adipisci sapientiam veram et effugere sapientiam vanam. Primum tangit cum dicit: Si consurrexistis cum Christo, quae sursum sunt quaerite, etc. Secundum tangit, cum dicit: non quae super terram; in quo dat intelligere, quod sicut est duplex aspectus animae, sic est duplex eius affectus. Unus aspectus eius est ad caelestia et invisibilia, alius est ad terrena et corruptibilia; ita est etiam duplex affectus animae: unus est aeternorum, et alius est temporalium. Sic est etiam sapientia, quae est desursum, et alia, quae est deorsum. Hortatur nos ad primam et dehortatur nos ad illam, quae est super terram. -- Illam, quae est deorsum, describit beatus Iacobus dicens: Nolite gloriari et mali esse adversus veritatem. Non est enim haec sapientia desursum descendens, sed terrena, animalis, diabolica 8. Ista tota sollicitudine quaerit delectari in omni suavitate, in affluentia divitiarum saecularium et in experientia sensualium delectationum et in excellentia sive in ambitione saecularium pompositatum. In quantum facit hominem sollicitum, ut delectetur omni suavitate in affluentia divitiarum, est terrena; in quantum facit hominem sollicitum, ut delectetur in experientia sensualium delectationum, est animalis; sed in quantum facit hominem sollicitum, ut delectetur in excellentia et ambitione saecularium pompositatum, est diabolica; quia radix omnium malorum superbia, et principaliter damnatur in rege diabolico.


3. Of that threefold wisdom the Apostle says to the Corithianis: It is written: I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise, and reprove the prudence of the prudent 9. That is the wisdom, of which Jeremiah says: They are wise, to do evil things, however they do not know how to do well 10. To disperse that wisdom Christ died, became poor, afficted and humble, to teach us to beware of it. The Apostle to the Corinthians: Has God not made the wisdom of this world stupid? 11 as if he says, when on the Cross He chose things contrary to wordly wisdom. The Apostle: It pleased God through the stupidity of preaching to save those who believe. Because the stupid (deed) belongs to God, it is wiser than men 12. You appreciate the affluence of riches, and Christ chose poverty; you appreciate the experience of sensual delectations, and Christ chose the sharpness of the Passion; you appreciate the ambition of secular ostentation, and Christ wanted to be despised and emptied. And the wisdom of God did prevail; for that reason he says: Because the stupid thing belongs to God, it is wiser than men. Solomon in Proverbs says: I am the most stupid of men, and the wisdom of men is not with me. I have not learned wisdom and I have not known the wisdom of the saints 13. Christ was stupid by exterior appearance, when He withdrew from the appetite of the stupid; more stupid, when He wanted to be afflicted; but most stupid, when He chose the death of the Cross and died by the most foul death. -- This is the wisdom of the saints. The Apostle: This is our glory, the testimony of our conscience, because not in carnal wisdom, but in the wisdom of God have we comported ourselves in this world 14. The Apostle: If anyone seems among you to be wise in this age, let him become stupid, so that he may be wise 15. And to the Phillipians he says: Many walk, (about) whom I often used to tell you, now however also crying I say, they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ, whose end (is) destruction, whose god is their belly, on account of animal wisdom; and (whose) glory (is) in their own confusion, on account of diabolic wisdom; who taste earthly things 16, that is, on account of earthly wisdom.
3. De ista triplici sapientia dicit Apostolus ad Corinthios: Scriptum est: perdam sapientiam sapientium, et prudentiam prudentium reprobabo 9. Illa est sapientia, de qua dicit Ieremias: Sapientes sunt, ut faciant mala, bene autem facere nescierunt 10. Ad istam sapientiam dispergendam mortuus est Christus, pauper factus est, afflictus et humilis, ut nos doceret cavere ab ista. Apostolus ad Corinthios: Nonne stultam fecit Deus sapientiam huius mundi? 11 quasi dicat, quando in cruce elegit contraria sapientiae mundiali. Apostolus: Placuit Deo per stultitiam praedicationis salvos facere credentes. Quod stultum est Dei sapientius est hominibus 12. Tu appretiaris affluentiam divitiarum, et Christus elegit paupertatem; appretiaris experientiam sensualium delectationum, et Christus elegit acerbitatem passionis; appretiaris ambitionem saecularium pompositatum, et Christus voluit esse despectus et confusus. Et praevaluit sapientia Dei; ideo dicit: Quod stultum est Dei, sapientius est hominibus. Salomon in Proverbiis dicit: Stultissimus sum virorum, et sapientia hominum non est mecum. Non didici sapientiam et non novi sapientiam sanctorum 13. Stultus fuit Christus apparentia exteriori, quando recessit ab appetitu stultorum; stultior, quando voluit affligi; stultissimus vero, quando mortem crucis elegit et turpissima morte mortuus est. -- Haec est sapientia sanctorum. Apostolus: Gloria nostra haec est, testimonium conscientiae nostrae, quia non in sapientia carnali, sed in sapientia Dei conversati sumus in hoc mundo 14. Apostolus: Si quis videtur inter vos sapiens esse in hoc saeculo, stultus fiat, ut sit sapiens 15. Et ad Philippenses dicit: Multi ambulant, quos saepe dicebam vobis, nunc autem et flens dico, inimicos crucis Christi, quorum finis interitus, quorum deus venter est, propter sapientiam animalem; et gloria in confusione ipsorum, propter sapientiam diabolicam; qui terrena sapiunt 16, scilicet propter sapientiam terrenam.


4. Do not therefore taste the things which are upon the earth, because Christ has been crucified, to empty that wisdom; and as Christ has died, to empty out and destroy vain wisdom; so has He risen again and ascended, to teach true wisdom and to establish (it) in our hearts. On the Cross He taught (us) to spurn the wisdom of the world, and going into heaven He taught us to seek after the wisdom of God and to love the Fount of life. Every wisdom of the world is to spurn that. However it is the greatest stupidity to empty out the death of Christ; which they do who taste the things which are upon the earth; for that reason it is proper to empty that wisdom and to seek after the wisdom which is from above.
4. Non ergo sapiatis quae sunt super terram, quia crucifixus est Christus, ut istam sapientiam evacuaret; et sicut mortuus est Christus, ut vanam sapientiam evacuaret et perderet; ita resurrexit et ascendit, ut veram sapientiam doceret et in cordibus nostris stabiliret. In cruce docuit sapientiam mundi spernere, et in caelum vadens docuit sapientiam Dei appetere et fontem vitae diligere. Omnis sapientia mundi est spernere ista. Maxima autem stultitia est mortem Christi evacuare; quod faciunt qui sapiunt quae sunt super terram; ideo oportet sapientiam istam evacuare et sapientiam, quae desursum est, appetere.


B. The Wisdom from Above Descends to:



1. Illumine Our Cognitive Power



5. But what is the wisdom, which is from above? The Wiseman says in Ecclesiastes: See, that only wisdom precedes stupidity, as much as light differs from darkness 17. Therefore he gives one to understand, that wisdom is light; the light, I say, descending from above from the Father of lights, from whom (is) every best given and every perfect gift 18. That light descends to illumine our cognitive power, to gladden our affective (power) and to thoroughly strengthen our operative (power). It descends from God Most High into the intellect, from the intellect into the affection, and even to the lowest (part), that is, operation. -- That there is light descending to illumine our intellective power, is clear, because there is written in the Book of Wisdom, that she is the warmth of eternal light, the reflection without spot of the Majesty of God and the image of His Goodness. And since she is one, she can do all things and remaining continually in herself she makes all things new and throughout the nations she transfers herself into holy souls and establishes them as friends of God and prophets. For God loves no one, except him with whom wisdom dwells. For she is more imposing than the sun and above every dispostion of the stars, compared to light she is found to be superior 19. Deservedly it is said that wisdom is the throne of God, and that (her) soul, which has been described as more beautiful than heaven, nay than the whole universe, is the throne of God.
5. Sed quae est sapientia, quae est desursum? Dicit Sapiens in Ecclesiaste: Vidi, quod tantum praecederet sapientia stultitiam, quantum differt lux a tenebris 17. Ergo dat intelligere, quod sapientia est lux; lux, inquam, descendens desursum a Patre luminum, a quo omne datum optimum et omne donum perfectum 18. Lux ista descendit ad nostram potentiam cognoscitivam illuminandam, ad nostram affectivam laetificandam et ad nostram operativam corroborandam. Descendit a summo Deo in intellectum, ab intellectu in affectum, et usque ad infimum, scilicet operationem. -- Quod sit lux descendens ad nostram potentiam intellectivam illuminandam, patet, quia scribitur in libro Sapientiae, quod est candor lucis aeternae, speculum sine macula Dei maiestatis et imago bonitatis illius. Et cum sit una, omnia potest et in se permanens omnia innovat et per nationes in animas sanctas se transfert et amicos Dei et prophetas constituit. Neminem enim diligit Deus, nisi eum qui cum sapientia inhabitat. Est enim haec speciosior sole et super omnem dispositionem stellarum, luci comparata invenitur prior 19. Merito sapientia sedes Dei dicitur, et anima sit descripta, quae pulcrior est caelo, immo toto universo, sedes Dei est.


2. Gladden Our Affective (power)



6. Second, wisdom descends from above as a light to gladden our affective (power). Whence in Ecclesiasticus: Wine and music gladded the heart, and above both the delight of wisdom 20. -- Wine and music gladded the heart, that is, from the exterior and according the species impressed, which are not the truth itself, but a certain similitude of the thing, nor do they fill the soul nor do they truly, but in the manner of a phantasm, gladden it. But where there is a union according to truth, there is jocundity, where truth slips into the soul it both fills it full and gladdens it. Of that wisdom the Wiseman says: This one have I loved 21 and I have placed her before (me), I have reckoned kingdoms and thrones and riches to be nothing in comparison to her 22; above health and beauty have I loved her 23. Moreover all good things have come to me equally with her and innumerable honesty through her hands; and I have been gladden in all things since that wisdom went before me 24. The Philsopher says, that wisdom has the greatest delectations. If it is a great thing to be brightened with wisdom, it is more (s0) to be gladdened (by her), inasmuch as one loves her Principle.
6. Secundo descendit sapientia desursum tanquam lux ad nostram affectivam laetificandam. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Vinum et musica laetificant cor, et super utraque dilectio sapientiae 20. -- Vinum et musica laetificant cor, scilicet ab exteriori et secundum species impressas, quae non sunt ipsa veritas, sed similitudo quaedam rei, nec implent animam et non vere, sed phantastice laetificant. Sed ubi est unio secundum veritatem, ibi est iucunditas, ubi veritas illabitur animae et eam replet et laetificat. De ista sapientia dicit Sapiens: Hanc amavi 21 et praeposui illam, regnis et sedibus et divitias nihil esse duxi in comparatione illius 22; super salutem et speciem dilexi illam 23. Venerunt autem mihi omnia bona pariter cum illa et innumerabilis honestas per manus illius; et laetatus sum in omnibus, quoniam antecedebat me ista sapientia 24. Philosophus dicit, quod sapientia maximas habet delectationes. Si magnum est illustrari sapientia, plus est laetificari, in quantum diligit principium suum.


3. Strengthen Our Operative (power)



7. Third, wisdom descends from above as a light to thoroughly strengthen our operative (power). Whence in Ecclesiastes: Wisdom makes wisdom strong above ten princes of the city 25. Note, that no subcelestial virtue, neither earthly nor human, either heavenly or angelic, so thoroughly strengthens the soul, as supercelestial wisdom. Whence in the Book of Wisdom: Wisdom entered into the soul of the servant of God, and he stood against kings 26. A strong contest did He give to him, so that he may conquer and know, that wisdom is more powerful than all 27.
7. Tertio descendit sapientia desursum tanquam lux ad nostram operativam corroborandam. Unde in Ecclesiaste: Sapientia confortavit sapientem super decem principes civitatis 25. Nota, quod nulla virtus subcaelestis, nec terrena nec humana, vel caelestis vel angelica, tantum corroborat animam, sicut supercaelestis sapientia. Unde in libro Sapientiae: Sapientia intravit in animam servi Dei, et stetit contra reges 26. Certamen forte dedit illi, ut vinceret et sciret, quoniam omnium potentior est sapientia 27.


C. Wisdom Builds Her Own House, Seven Columns



8. And thus this wisdom edifies the Church and the soul, to be a little dwelling of God and the house of God, (to be) I say, a pleasant house, a beautify house, and a oak-strong house. There is said in Matthew: Everyone, who hears My words and does them, will be likened to the wise man, who built his house upon firm rock 28. That house is principally built by wisdom: whence in Proverbs: Wisdom builds her own house, she carves out seven columns 29. It is certain, that wisdom delights to be with men; whence she says: My delights: to be with the sons of men 30. However, that wisdom does not dwell with us, is not a defect on her part, but on ours. If we want, the aforesaid light to dwell in us; it is proper, that we have the seven columns. -- But what are the seven columns of her house? Will I make them out of my head? Be off! Sacred Scripture suffiently explains them. Where therefore do we find them? Blessed James, describing the wisdom, which is from above, posits seven conditions for her, saying: First indeed, she is pure, then peaceable, modest, persuadable, consenting to good things, full of mercy and good fruits, not judging, without simulation 31. If I can explain those to you, I do not believe that I would waste my words, nay I would give you a great way towards wisdom.
8. Et sic haec sapientia aedificat Ecclesiam et animam, ut sit habitaculum Dei et domus Dei, domus, dico, amoena, domus pulcra et domus robusta. Dicitur in Matthaeo: Omnis, qui audit verba mea haec et facit ea, assimilabitur viro sapienti, qui aedificavit domum suam supra firmam petram 28. Domus ista principaliter aedificatur a sapientia: unde in Proverbiis: Sapientia aedificat sibi domum, excidit columnas septem 29. Certum est, quod sapientia delectatur esse cum hominibus; unde dicit: Deliciae meae esse cum filiis hominum 30. Quod autem sapientia non habitet nobiscum, non est defectus ex parte sui, sed ex parte nostra. Si volumus, quod lux praedicta habitet in nobis; oportet, quod habeamus columnas septem. -- Sed quae sunt septem columnae huius domus? Nunquid eas fabricabo de capite meo? Absit; sacra Scriptura satis explicat eas. Ubi igitur inveniamus eas? Beatus Iacobus, describens sapientiam, quae desursum est, ponit septem eius conditiones dicens: Primum quidem pudica est, deinde pacifica, modesta, suadibilis, bonis consentiens, plena misericordia et fructibus bonis, non iudicans, sine similitudine 31. Si possem ista vobis explicare, non crederem perdere verba mea, immo darem vobis magnam viam ad sapientiam.


9. Those columns of hers are not but certain steps towards wisdom. Gather the seven columns. The first is purity in the flesh; the second is innocence in the mind; the third is moderation in speech; the fourth is persuasibility in the affection, and the fifth is liberality in effect; the sixth is maturity in judgement and the seventh is simplicity in intention. Through these the house of wisdom is stablized.
9. Istae columnae non sunt nisi gradus quidam ad sapientiam. Collige septem columnas. Prima est pudicitia in carne; secunda est innocentia in mente; tertia est moderantia in sermone; quarta est suadibilitas in affectu, et quinta est liberalitas in effectu; sexta est maturitas in iudicio, et septima est simplicitas in intentione. Per ista stabilitur domus sapientiae.


1. Purity in the Flesh



10. The first column, I say, of the house of wisdom is purity in the flesh; whence he says: First indeed she is pure. Why is that first? Because this is that, by which it is proper to begin; for it is written in the Book of Wisdom: into a malevolent soul wisdom will not enter, nor will she dwell in a body subdued by sins 32. An impure body has been subdued by sins; for that reason wisdom cannot dwell in it. There is said in the Book of Wisdom: Since I knew, that I could not otherwise be continent, unless God gave it 33. -- (St.) Gregory Nazianzen was a most pure youth. It happened, that he was studying at Athens. On a certain night, as he slept, there came to him a very beautiful lady, having two attendants as virgins; he began to drive her away. And the lady said: "Do not flee me, because I do not come to corrupt you. I am Wisdom, and (my) two attendands are humility and Chastity or Purity. If you want me, who am Wisdom, keep those attendants (as your own), that is, Humility and Chastity, because where there is pride, there will be contumely; however where there is humility, there is wisdom" 34. True virginity is that, in which wisdom is associated. Humility, with purity, is the principle column of wisdom. Solomon says: A luxurious thing wine, and a tumultuous thing, drunkeness; whoever delights in these, shall not be wise 35; and elsewhere: Wine and women cause wisemen to apostatize and reveal those whoe are sensible 36. You have a ready example in Solomon, who apostatized on account of women even to the cult of idolatry; who nevertheless had been filled full with wisdom as a river 37. If there was a tavern, in which a wine was sold, which induced the forgetfulness of every wisdom; I believe that no one would be so foolish, that he would buy that wine. I believe, that the eternal God by the highest dispensation of His counsel permitted Solomon to fall, to teach all men to flee women.
10. Prima, dico, columna domus sapientiae est pudicitia in carne; unde dicit: Primum quidem pudica est. Quare ista est prima? Quia haec est, qua oportet incipere; scribitur enim in libro Sapientiae: In malevolam animam non introibit sapientia, nec habitabit in corpore subdito peccatis 32. Corpus impudicum est subditum peccatis; ideo sapientia in eo non potest habitare. Dicitur in libro Sapientiae: Ut scivi, quoniam aliter non possem esse continens, nisi Deus det 33. -- Gregorius Nazianzenus fuit iuvenis mundissimus. Accidit, quod studebat Athenis. Quadam nocte, cum dormiret, venit ad eum domina pulcherrima, habens duas pedissequas tanquam virgines; ipse incepit eam repellere. Et dixit domina: "Non fugias me, quia non veni ad te corrumpendum. Sum sapientia, et duae pedissequae sunt humilitas et castitas sive pudicitia. Si vis me, quae sum sapientia, serva pedisequas istas, scilicet humilitatem et castitatem, quia ubi fuerit superbia, ibi erit contumelia; ubi autem est humilitas, ibi est sapientia" 34. Vera virginitas est, in qua sapientia associatur. Humilitas cum pudicitia est principalis columna sapientiae. Dicit Salomon: Luxuriosa res vinum, et tumultuosa ebrietas; quicumque his delectatur, non erit sapiens 35; et alibi: Vinum et mulieres apostatare faciunt sapientes et arguent sensatos 36. Exemplum tractabile habes in illo Salomone, qui apostatavit propter mulieres usque ad cultum idolatriae; qui tamen repletus fuit sapientia sicut fluvius 37. Si esset taberna, in qua venderetur vinum, quod induceret omnis sapientiae oblivionem; credo quod nullus esset ita fatuus, quod emeret vinum illud. Credo, quod Deus aeternus altissima sui consilii dispensatione permisit Salomon cadere, ut omnes homines doceret fugere mulieres.


2. Innocence in the Mind



11. The second column of the house of wisdom is innocence in the mind; which is noted, when he says: then she is peacable. (St.) Augustine says, that "peace is the tranquility of order", that is, when a thing humbly subdues itself to its superior, regards itself equal to its peer and discretely presides over its inferior. All, who are sons of wisdom, have this order. It is said in Ecclesiaticus: For the sons of wisdom, the church of the just 38. Whence (is) war? If you loved peace, obeyed your superior and presided in an orderly manner over your inferior, you would have peace. He who thoroughly troubles peace has destroyed the house of wisdom. It is written in Proverbs: He who is patient is governed by much wisdom; he who is impatient exalts his own stupidity 39, and thus he perverts the house of wisdom. Blessed James: Who is the wise and disciplined man among you? Let him show from his good comportment his own accomplishment in the meekness of wisdom 40.
11. Secunda columna domus sapientiae est innocentia in mente; quod notatur, cum dicit: deinde pacifica. Augustinus dicit, quod "pax est tranquillitas ordinis", scilicet, quando quid humiliter subicit se superiori, aequanimiter se habeat ad parem et discrete praesit inferiori. Omnes, qui sunt filii sapientiae, habent hunc ordinem. Dicitur in Ecclesiastico: Filiis sapientiae, ecclesia iustorum 38. Unde bellum? Si diligeres parem, obedires superiori et praeesses ordinate inferiori, haberes pacem. Qui istam pacem perturbat destruit domum sapientiae. Scribitur in Proverbiis: Qui patiens est multa gubernatur sapientia; qui impatiens est exaltat stultitiam suam 39, et sic pervertit domum sapientiae. Beatus Iabobus: Quis sapiens et disciplinatus inter vos? Ostendat ex bona conversatione operationem suam in mansuetudine sapientiae 40.


3. Moderation in Speech



12. The third column of the house of wisdom is moderation in speech, and this is noted, when he says: modest. Above all things moderation is demanded in speech; whence in Ecclesiasticus: A wise man will keep silent until the (proper) time, however the lascivious and the imprudent will not observe the time 41. For every business there is a season and an opportunity 42. Is it not most high foolishness, that a man pierce himself through and his neighbor with the same sword? Evil talk is killing listener and speaker. You cannot detract your neighbor, without slaying yourself with the same sword. If I say a word to scandalize, I cannot wound you, unless I also wound myself. So close is keeping-silent and wisdom, that the stupid one, who keeps silent, shall be reputed wise 43; and the wiseman, who speaks much, is reputed stupid. With one word I can utter detractions, on account of this it is proper to weigh one's words 44. Whence immoderation of speech is to be most highly feared. -- For talk, as an instrument, is expressive of wisdom, and for that reason it ought to be undertaken according to the rule of wisdom. Whence it is written: The words of the mouth of the wiseman, grace 45; and the Apostle: Let not any evil talk proceed from your mouth 46. It is a thing to be wondered at, when men sit at the table, to refresh themselves spiritually, and one devil speaks of temporal things and of detractions and all, who are at table, feed from that venum. Death and life in the hand of the tongue 47. If the woman had kept silent, when the devil said to her: Why did God precept you, not to eat 48 from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? the devil would not have had occasion to tempt her further. And even the philosophers taught their disciples, to be silent; Cato: "The first virtue I think is to feast on one's own tongue". I believe, that the sins of the tongue are so great, that God has to make a world sufficient for them alone, if he rose forth to judge them. 49.
12. Tertia columna domus sapientiae est moderantia in sermone, et hoc notatur, cum dicit: modesta. Super omnia exigitur moderantia in sermone; unde in Ecclesiastico: Homo sapiens tacebit usque ad tempus, lascivus autem et imprudens non servabunt tempus 41. Omni negotio tempus est et opportunitas 42. Nonne summa est insipientia, ut homo cum eodem gladio transverberet se ipsum et proximum suum? Sermo malus est necans audientem et dicentem. Non potes detrahere proximo, quin te ipsum interficias eodem gladio. Si dico verbum scandalizationis, non possum laedere te, nisi et laedam me. Tanta est vicinitas taciturnitatis et sapientiae, quod stultus, si tacuerit, sapiens reputabitur 43; et sapiens, qui multum loquitur, reputatur stultus. Uno verbo possum dicere detractionem, propter hoc oportet verbis facere stateram 44. Unde summe cavenda est immoderantia sermonis. -- Sermo enim instrumentum est expressivum sapientiae, et ideo moveri debet secundum regulam sapientiae. Unde scribitur: Verba oris sapientis, gratia 45; et Apostolus: Omnis sermo malus de ore vestro non procedat 46. Mirabile est, cum homines sedent ad mensam, ut se spiritualiter reficiant, et unus diabolus loquitur de temporalibus et de detractionibus et omnes, qui sunt in mensa, pascit illo veneno. Mors et vita in manu linguae 47. Si mulier tacuisset, quando diabolus dixit ei: Quare praecepit vobis Deus, ut non comederetis 48 de ligno scientiae boni et mali? non habuisset diabolus occasionem ipsam amplius tentandi. Et philosophi etiam docuerunt discipulos suos, ut tacerent; Cato: "Virtutum prima puto esse compescere linguam". Credo, quod peccata linguae tanta sunt, quod mundus satis habet facere pro illis tantum, si Deus exsurgeret ad iudicandum ea 49.


4. Persuasibility in Affection



13. The fourth column of the house of wisdom is that, which is persuasibility in affection; which is noted, when he says: persuadable, consenting to good things. There is no one who is persuadable in something good, unless he be kind; and this also agrees with wisdom. The malignant one is persuadable in something evil. It is written: Kind is the spirit of wisdom, and she will not free an abusive word from her lips 50. Good persuasibility causes one to appreciate and love and to consent to (good) things; and as much as a man is wiser, so much is he more persuadable in good things. Whence in Proverbs: A golden earing and a shining pearl, she who exposes wisdom and an obedient ear 51. As an earing ornaments the ear, and a pearl upon a crown ornaments the face; so a good word ornaments wisdom. When the wiseman is exposed, he controls himself, even if he is (so) ornamented. For if I correct myself in accord with a word of good admonition, what do I do, but ornament myself with that word? If nevertheless this pearl is proposed to the stupid, he tramples upon it as a dog. Whence in Proverbs: Do not expose a mocker, lest he hate you; expose (your) wisdom, and he will love you. 52. Dearest ones! it is better to be corrected by a wiseman than to be deceived by the adulation of the stupid 53. Stupid (is he), when he is corrected, does not turn back from evil, nor is lead towards the good. He who is acquainted with his own defects, and those displease him, is wise. He who exposes a man and recalls him from evil, shows him more respect, that if he gave him the whole world.
13. Quarta columna domus sapientiae est, quod est suadibilitas in affectu; quod notatur, cum dicit: suadibilis, bonis consentiens. Non est qui sit suadibilis in bono, nisi sit benignus; et hoc etiam concordat cum sapientia. Malignus suadibilis est in malo. Scribitur: Benignus est spiritus sapientiae, et non liberabit maledicum a labiis suis 50. Suadibilitas bona facit appretiari et diligere et eis consentit; et quanto sapientior est homo, tanto suadibilior est in bonis. Unde in Proverbiis: Inauris aurea et margarita fulgens, qui arguit sapientem et aurem obedientem 51. Sicut inauris ornat aurem, et margarita in corona ornat faciem; sic verbum bonum ornat sapientem. Quando sapiens arguitur, se habet, ac si ornaretur. Si enim corrigo me ad verbum admonitionis bonae, quid aliud facio, quam quod illo verbo me orno? Si tamen haec margarita proponitur stulto, conculcat eam ut canis. Unde in Proverbiis: Noli arguere derisorem, ne oderit te; argue sapientem, et diliget te 52. Carissimi! melius est a sapiente corripi quam stultorum adulatione decipi 53. Stultus, quando corripitur, non recedit a malo nec ducitur ad bonum. Qui defectus suos cognoscit, et isti displicent ei, est sapiens. Qui hominem arguit et a malo revocat, plus facit ei obsequii, quam si daret ei totum mundum.


5. Liberality in Effect



14. The fifth column of the house of wisdom is liberality in effect. Wisdom wants to have mercy in affection, but also in effect. This is noted, when he says: Full of mercy and good fruits 54. By their fruits you shall know them 55. Whence in Proverbs it is said: She opened her hand to the helpless and extended her palms to the poor man 56. He opened his mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency (is) on his tongue 57. From the fruit of her hands 58 she gave to the helpless. Wisdom teaches, that a man is to accomplish not works of play, but fruitful ones, because the fruit of good labors is glorious 59. Among all fruitful works, the more fruitful are the works of mercy. Therefore give from the fruits of your hands.
14. Quinta columna domus sapientiae est liberalitas in effectu. Sapientia vult habere misericordiam in affectu, sed etiam in effectu. Haec notatur, cum dicit: Plena misericordia et fructibus bonis 54. A fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos 55. Unde in Proverbiis dicitur: Manum suam aperuit inopi et palmas suas extendit ad pauperem 56. Os suum aperuit sapientiae, et lex clementiae in lingua eius 57. De fructu manuum suarum 58 dedit inopi. Docet Sapientia, quod homo faciat opera non ludicra, sed fructuosa, quia bonorum laborum gloriosus est fructus 59. Inter omnia fructuosa opera magis fructuosa sunt opera misericordiae. Date igitur de fructibus manuum vestrarum.


15. Those who are appointed to the governement of others ought to have that mercy; whence in Acts: Therefore consider brothers, those men of good testimony from among you, full of the Holy Spirit and of wisdom, whom we are to constitute to dispense this work 60. One would not be a wise dispenser, who stole the goods of God. If something is given to you to be dispensed to the household, and you steal and place it in your purse; do you not believe, that the household of the lord would cry against you and call you the worst dispensor, and that the lord would say: Throw that useless servant into the outer darkness? 61 There is a greater wisdom, which can exist, that the dispensor expend fruitfully those things which he has to dispense and which have been handed over to him to be dispensed. Such was blessed Stephen and Lawrence. The supreme pontiffs in the primitive Church did not vacate those lands 62; now there is care for having temporal goods, not for dispensing them. He says: full of mercy; the Apostle: That which a man sows, this he also reaps 63. If a lord gave his servant grain to sow in his field, and he put the grain into a sack and did not sow it, the land would bear bad fruit, nay it would cry out against him. As mercy is a friend to wisdom, so avarice is its enemy. The avarous deride everyone, who do not love money. In Deuteronomy: Gifts thoroughly blind the eyes of the wise and change the words of the just 64. -- They thoroughly blind the eyes, not the corporal ones, but the spiritual; therefore they bear away the light of wisdom. It is written: It is easier, for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven 65, because he has a earthly and ponderous heart.
15. Istam misericordiam debent habere qui praeficiuntur ad gubernationem aliorum; unde in Actibus: Considerate ergo, fratres, ex vobis viros boni testimonii, plenos Spiritu sancto et sapientia, quos constituamus ad hoc opus 60 dispensandum. Non esset sapiens dispensator, qui furaretur bona Dei. Si aliquid daretur tibi ad dispensandum familiae, et tu furareris et poneris in bursa tua; nonne credis, quod clamaret contra te familia domini et te diceret pessimum dispensatorem, et diceret dominus: Servum inutilem eiicite in tenebras exteriores? 61 Maior sapientia, quae possit esse, est, quod dispensator fructuose expendat quae habet dispensare, et tradita sunt ei ad dispensandum. Talis fuit beatus Stephanus et Laurentius. Pontifices summi in primitiva Ecclesia non vacabant istis terrenis 62; modo curatur de rebus temporalibus habendis, non dispensandis. Dicit: plena misericordia; Apostolus: Quae seminaverit homo, haec et metet 63. Si dominus daret servo blandum ad seminandum agrum suum, et ille poneret blandum in sacco et non seminaret, male fructificaret terra, immo clamaret contra eum. Sicut misericordia amica est sapientiae, sic avaritia est inimica. Avari derident omnes, qui non amant pecuniam. In Deuteronomio: Munera excaecant oculos sapientum et mutant verba iustorum 64. -- Excaecant oculos, non corporales, sed spirituales; ergo auferunt lumen sapientiae. Scriptum est: Facilius est, camelum transire per foramen acus, quam divitem intrare in regnum caelorum 65, quia habet cor terrenum et ponderosum.


6. Maturity in Judgment



16. The sixth column of the house of wisdom is maturity in judgment; and this is noted, when he says: not judging. There is maturity in judgement, when a man does not judge rashly. Whence in Ecclesiasticus: A wise judge shall judge his own people 66, that is, over whom he has authority. But if he transcends his authority, he is not a wise judge, but (his) judgment is rash. If he judges without authority, what is he? Certainly nothing. It is also proper, that the judgment of the wiseman have rectitude of zeal and clarity of knowledge. Of the first (it is said): The mouth of the just will meditate wisdom, and his tongue will speak judgement 67. He is a just judge who is moved by a just zeal, approves all good things and reproves evil ones; but he who does not have upright zeal cannot judge well. Love and hatred pervert judgement. If you hate me you cannot judge me in an upright manner; and why? Because it seems to you, that all the things, which are in me, are evil. -- Likewise it is proper, that the judge have clarity of knowledge. In what manner am I to judge well of an unknown thing? Whence when the friends of Job showed him, that he was not just, saying: The just God does not punish the just; and nevertheless he punishes you; therefore you are not just; they wanted to judge of hidden matters. Job, hearing this, responded to them saying: Turn around and come, and I shall not find any wiseman among you 68. For that reason blessed James says: Not judging, not that a man ought not to judge, by time and place, of a thing, of which he has certitude and authority and upright zeal; but because men judge evil (to be) good, and conversely good (to be) evil. It is better, if I ought to judge of another, that I have a good opinion (of him) rather than an evil one. A man ought to be more prone to clemently excuse, than to judge evilly. Nowadays all are judgers of worthless thoughts 69. Therefore a man ought not transcend his authority nor judge rashly without rectitude of zeal and clarity of knowledge. Matthew: Do not judge, so as not to be judged 70. That men judge the interior defects of another and neglect them in themselves, is most high stupidity. (St.) Gregory: "A spirit, as much as it is more curious to investigate another's things, so much is it the more stupid to know of its own".
16. Sexta columna domus sapientiae est maturitas in iudicio; et hoc notatur, cum dicitur: non iudicans. Maturitas est in iudicio, quando homo non iudicat temerarie. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Iudex sapiens iudicabit populum suum 66, silicet super quem habet auctoritatem. Sed si transcendat auctoritatem, non est iudex sapiens, sed est iudicium temerarium. Si sine auctoritate iudicat, quid est? Certe nihil. Oportet etiam, iudicium sapientis habere zeli rectitudinem et notitiae claritatem. De primo: Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua eius loquetur iudicium 67. Iudex iustus est qui iusto zelo movetur, omnia bona approbat et mala reprobat; qui vero non habet rectum zelum non potest bene iudicare. Amor et odium pervertunt iudicium. Si odis me non potest me recte iudicare; et quare? Quia videtur tibi, quod omnia, quae sunt in me, mala sint. -- Item oportet, quod iudex habeat notitiae claritatem. Quomodo iudicarem bene de re ignota? Unde cum amici Iob arguerent eum, quod non esset iustus, dicentes: Deus iustus iustum non punit; et te tamen punit: ergo non es iustus; voluerunt iudicare de occultis. Iob, audiens haec, respondit eis dicens: Convertimini et venite, et non inveniam in vobis ullum sapientem 68. Ideo dicit beatus Iacobus: Non iudicans, non quod homo non debeat iudicare loco et tempore de re, de qua habet certitudinem et auctoritatem et rectum zelum; sed quia iudicant homines malum bonum, et econtra bonum malum. Melius est, si debeam iudicare de alio, quod sentiam bene quam male. Debet homo esse pronior ad clementer excusandum, quam ad male iudicandum. Omnes modo sunt iudicatores iniquarum cogitationum 69. Debet igitur homo non transcendere auctoritatem nec temerarie iudicare sine zeli rectitudine et notitiae claritate. Matthaeus: Nolite iudicare, ut non iudicemini 70. Quod homines defectus alienos intrinsecos iudicant et se negligunt, summa stultitia est. Gregorius: "Animus, quanto curiosior est ad investigandum aliena, tantum stultior est ad cognoscendum propria".


7. Simplicity in Intention



17. The seventh and last column of wisdom is simplicity in intention, which is noted, when he says: without simulation. Of that it is said, that king Solomon made a great throne from ivory, and made in it six steps. The other columns are round-about but that one is the most principle and on the summit 71. Of that one the Apostle speaks, saying: Seek those things which are above 72; and in Ecclesiastes: What does a wiseman have more than a stupid one, and what a poor man, except that he continues on to that place, where there is life? 73 Certainly, where Christ is 74, and when Christ will appear 75, life will appear. -- But where is Christ? Certainly, above in Heaven; the Apostle Seek the things which are above. Therefore in Heaven there is Christ and life. Christ is the fount of wisdom, He himself is the foundation of this gift and its complement. The Apostle as a wise architect says: No one can place another foundation except that which has been placed, which is Christ Jesus 76. As a certain Gloss says, a man holds himself in a manner contrary to a tree in root; for a tree has its roots below, a man above; and the spiritual edifice has its foundation above, but the corporal below; therefore Christ is the foundation of this gift. Likewise He is also its complement, because in Him have the treasures of wisdom and knowledge been hidden away 77. In Him the house of wisdom is consummated. Whence it is said in Ecclesiastes: The eyes of the wiseman are in his head, that is in Christ: the stupid man walks in darkness 78. In Christ is the consummation of every good thing. Whence in John: This is, moreover, eternal life, that they know Thee the Only True God and Him whom Thou has sent, Jesus Christ 79. Those things which are above, we ought to desire, see and do; and to them may He thoroughly lead us who lives and reigns without end. Amen.
17. Septima et ultima columna sapientiae est simplicitas in intentione, quae notatur, cum dicit: sine simulatione. De ista dicitur, quod rex Salomon fecit thronum de ebore grandem, et fecit in eo sex gradus. Aliae columnae sunt in gyro, sed ista est principalissima et in summitate 71. De ista loquitur Apostolus dicens: Quae sursum sunt quaerite 72; et in Ecclesiaste: Quid habet amplius sapiens a stulto, et quid pauper, nisi ut pergat illuc, ubi est vita? 73 Certe, ubi est Christus 74, et cum apparuerit Christus 75, apparebit vita. -- Sed ubi est Christus? Certe, sursum in caelo; Apostolus: Quae sursum sunt quaerite. Igitur in caelo est Christus et vita. Christus fons sapientiae, ipse est huius doni fundamentum et complementum. Apostolus ut sapiens architectus dicit: Fundamentum aliud nemo potest ponere praeter id quod positum est, quod est Christus Iesus 76. Ut dicit quaedam Glossa, homo contrario se habet arbori in radice; arbor enim habet radicem deorsum, homo sursum; et aedificium spirituale habet fundamentum sursum, sed corporale deorsum; Christus igitur est huius doni fundamentum. Idem est etiam eius complementum, quia in ipso sunt omnes thesauri sapientiae et scientiae absconditi 77. In ipso consummatur domus sapientiae. Unde dicitur in Ecclesiaste: Sapientis oculi in capite eius, id est in Christo; stultus in tenebris ambulat 78. In Christo est consummatio omnis boni. Unde in Ioanne: Haec est autem vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum Deum verum et quem missiti Iesum Christum 79. Illa quae sursum sunt, debemus desiderare, videre et facere; et ad ea nos perducat qui sine fine vivit et regnat. Amen.




1. Col 3, 1-2.
2. Eccli 1, 33.
3. Sap 7, 7.
4. Eccli 51, 23.
5. Ier 9, 23.
6. Ez 28, 12-13.
7. Iac 1, 5-6.
8. Iac 3, 14-15.
9. 1 Cor 1, 19; cf. Is 29, 14.
10. Ier 4, 22.
11. 1 Cor 1, 20.
12. 1 Cor 1, 21.
13. Prov 30, 2-3.
14. 2 Cor 1, 12.
15. 1 Cor 3, 18.
16. Phil 3, 18-19.
17. Eccle 2, 13.
18. Iac 1, 17.
19. Sap 7, 26-29.
20. Eccli 40, 20.
21. Sap 8, 2.
22. Sap 7, 8.
23. Sap 7, 10.
24. Sap 7, 11-12.
25. Eccle 7, 10.
26. Sap 10, 16.
27. Sap 10, 12.
28. Mt 7, 24.
29. Prov 9, 1.
30. Prov 8, 31.
31. Iac 3, 17.
32. Sap 1, 4.
33. Sap 8, 21.
34. Prov 11, 2.
35. Prov 20, 1.
36. Eccli 19, 2.
37. Eccli 47, 16.
38. Eccli 3, 1.
39. Prov 14, 19.
40. Iac 3, 13.
41. Eccli 20, 7.
42. Eccle 8, 6.
43. Prov 17, 20.
44. Eccli 28, 29.
45. Eccle 10, 12.
46. Eph 4, 29.
47. Prov 18, 21.
48. Gen 3, 1.
49. Cf. Iob 31, 14.
50. Sap 1, 6.
51. Prov 25, 12.
52. Prov 9, 8.
53. Eccle 7, 6.
54. Iac 3, 17.
55. Mt 7, 16.20.
56. Prov 31, 20.
57. Prov 31, 26.
58. Prov 31, 16.
59. Sap 3, 15.
60. Act 6, 3.
61. Mt 25, 30.
62. Cf. Act 6, 2-4
63. Gal 6, 8.
64. Deut 16, 19.
65. Mt 19, 24.
66. Eccli 10, 1.
67. Ps 36, 30.
68. Iob 17, 10.
69. Iac 2, 4.
70. Mt 7, 1.
71. 3 Reg 10, 18-19.
72. Col 3, 1.
73. Eccle 6, 8.
74. Col 3, 1.
75. Col 3, 4.
76. 1 Cor 3, 11,
77. Col 2, 3.
78. Eccle 2, 14.
79. Io 17, 3.