The Martyrdom of Saints Savin and Cyprian, c. 1110
Letter to Donatus lectio
Treatise on Lord's Prayer
Five Times / Day
4. Pagan Libellus; 5. Letter 10 on Episcopal Libelli; 6. Letter 14 on Martyr's Libelli 7. Unity CathCh. Petrine Primacy
you think that even those are secure,—that those at least are safe with
some stable permanence among the chaplets of honour and vast wealth, whom,
in the glitter of royal palaces, the safeguard of watchful arms surrounds?
They have greater fear than others. A man is constrained to dread no less
than he is dreaded. Exaltation exacts its penalties equally from the more
powerful, although he may be hedged in with bands of satellites, and may
guard his person with the enclosure and protection of a numerous retinue.
Even as he does not allow his inferiors to feel security, it is inevitable
that he himself should want the sense of security. The power of those whom
power makes terrible to others, is, first of all, terrible to themselves.
It smiles to rage, it cajoles to deceive, it entices to slay, it lifts up
to cast down. With a certain usury of mischief, the greater the height of
dignity and honours attained, the greater is the interest of penalty
XIII. An tu vel illos putas tutos,
illos saltem inter honorum infulas et opes largas stabili firmitate
securos, quos regalis aulae splendore fulgentes armorum excubantium tutela
circumstat? Major illis quam caeteris [0219B]
metus est. Tam ille timere cogitur quam timetur. Exigit poenas
pariter de potentiore sublimitas, sit licet satellitum manu septus , et
ac protectum latus numeroso stipatore tueatur. Quam securos non
sinit esse subjectos, tam necesse est non sit et ipse securus. Ante ipsos
terret potestas sua quos facit esse terribiles. Arridet ut saeviat,
blanditur ut fallat, illicit ut occidat, extollit ut deprimat. Foenore
quodam nocendi, quam fuerit amplior summa dignitatis et honorum, tam major
exigitur usura poenarum.
1.14. Hence, then, the one peaceful and trustworthy
tranquillity, the one solid and firm and constant security, is this, for a
man to withdraw from these eddies of a distracting world, and, anchored on
the ground of the harbour of salvation,
lift his eyes from earth to heaven;
and having been admitted to the gift of God, and being already very near
to his God in mind, he may boast, that whatever in human affairs
others esteem lofty and grand, lies altogether beneath his consciousness.
XIV. Una igitur placida et fida
tranquillitas, una solida et firma et perpetua securitas, si quis, ab his
inquietantis saeculi turbinibus extractus, salutaris portus statione
fundatus, ad coelum oculos tollat a terris, et ad Domini munus admissus,
ac Deo suo mente jam proximus, quicquid apud caeteros in rebus humanis
sublime ac magnum videtur, infra [0220B]
suam jacere conscientiam glorietur.
He who is actually greater than the world can crave nothing, can
desire nothing, from the world. How stable, how free from all shocks is
that safeguard; how heavenly the protection in its perennial
blessings,—to be loosed from the snares of this entangling world, and to
be purged from earthly dregs, and fitted for the light of eternal
immortality! He will see what crafty mischief of the foe that previously
attacked us has been in progress against us.
Nihil appetere jam, nihil desiderare
de saeculo potest qui saeculo major est. Quam stabilis, quam inconcussa
tutela [0221A] est,
quam perennibus bonis caeleste praesidium, implicantis mundi laqueis solvi,
in lucem immortalitatis aeternae de terrena faece purgari! Viderit quae in
nos prius infestantis inimici pernicies insidiosa grassata sit.
LECTIO DIVINA is contemplative
We are constrained to have
more love for what we shall be,
amare conpellimur, quod futuri sumus,
by being allowed to know and to
condemn what we were.
et scire conceditur et damnare, quod eramus.
Neither for this purpose is it
necessary to pay a price either in the way of bribery or of labor; so that
human elevation or dignity should be engendered with elaborate effort; but
it is a gratuitous gift from God, and it is accessible [ to all].
ad hoc pretiis aut ambitu aut manus opus est, ut hominis summa uel
dignitas uel potestas elaborata mole pariatur: et gratuitum de Deo munus
et facile est.
AS the sun
as the day gives light,
as the fountain flows,
as the shower yields moisture,
so does the heavenly Spirit infuse
itself into us
sponte sol radiat,
ita se spiritus caelestis infundit.
When the soul, in its gaze into heaven, has recognized its Author, it rises higher than the sun, and far transcends all this earthly power, and begins to be that which it believes itself to be.
auctorem suum caelum intuens anima cognouit,
sole altior et hac omni terrena
potestate sublimior id esse
incipit, quod esse se credit.
1.15. Do you, however, whom the celestial warfare has enlisted
in the spiritual camp, only observe a discipline uncorrupted and chastened
in the virtues of religion.
(15) Tu tantum, quem iam spiritalibus castris caelestis militia signauit,
tene incorruptam, tene sobriam religiosis uirtutibus disciplinam.
BE constant as well
Sit tibi uel
speak with God,
[speak] with you,
let Him instruct you in His precepts,
Him direct you.
cum Deo loquere,
te praeceptis suis instruat,
WHOM He has made rich,
none shall make poor;
for, in fact, there can be no poverty
whose breast has once been supplied
with heavenly food.
ille diuitem fecerit,
nemo pauperam faciet
esse nulla iam poterit,
cum semel pectus caelestis sagina
TO you, then, ceilings enriched with gold, and houses adorned with
mosaics of costly marble, will seem cheap, now that you know that it is
you yourself who are rather to be perfected, you who are rather to be
adorned; and that that dwelling in which God has dwelt as in a temple, in
which the Holy Spirit has begun to make His abode, is of more importance
than all others.
tibi auro distincta laquearia et pretiosi marmoris crustis uestita
domicilia sordebunt, cum scieris te excolendum magis, te potius ornandum,
domum tibi hanc esse, quam Dominus insedit templi uice in qua Spiritus
sanctus coepit habitare.
Let us embellish this house with the colors of innocence, let us
enlighten it with the light of justice: this will never fall into decay
with the wear of age, nor shall it be defiled by the tarnishing of the
colors of its walls, nor of its gold. Whatever is artificially beautified
is perishing; and such things as contain not the reality of possession
afford no abiding assurance to their possessors. But this remains in a
beauty perpetually vivid, in perfect honour, in permanent splendour. It
can neither decay nor be destroyed; it can only be fashioned into greater
perfection when the body returns to it.
hanc domum pigmentis innocentiae, luminemus luce justitiae: haec umquam
procumbet in lapsum senio vetustatis, nec, pigmento parietis aut auro
exolescente foedabitur. Caduca sunt quaecumque fucata sunt, nec fiduciam
praebent possidentibus stabilem quae possessionis non habent veritatem.
Haec manet cultu jugiter vivido, honore integro, splendore diuturno.
Aboleri non potest nec extingui, potest tantum in melius corpore redeunte
On Psalmody with Prayer
1.16. These things, dearest Donatus, briefly for the present. For although what you profitably hear delights your patience, indulgent in its goodness, your well-balanced mind, and your assured faith—and nothing is so pleasant to your ears as what is pleasant to you in God,—yet, as we are associated as neighbours, and are likely to talk together frequently, we ought to have some moderation in our conversation; and since this is a holiday rest, and a time of leisure, whatever remains of the day, now that the sun is sloping towards the evening,14 let us spend it in gladness, nor let even the hour of repast be without heavenly grace.
XVI. Haec interim brevibus, Donate charissime: [0222B] nam, etsi facilem de bonitate patientiam , mentem solidam , fidem tutam salutaris auditus oblectat, nihilque tam tuis auribus gratum est quam quod in Deo gratum est, moderari tamen dicenda debemus simul juncti et saepius collocuturi . Et, quoniam feriata nunc quies ac tempus est otiosum, quicquid inclinato jam sole in vesperam diei superest, ducamus hanc diem laeti, nec sit vel hora convivii gratiae coelestis immunis.
|Let the temperate meal resound with psalms;15 and as your memory is tenacious and your voice musical, undertake this office, as is your wont. You will provide a better entertainment for your dearest friends, if, while we have something spiritual to listen to, the sweetness of religious music charm our ears.||Sonet psalmos [0223A] convivium sobrium; et ut tibi tenax memoria est, vox canora, aggredere hoc munus ex more . Magis charissimos pasces, si sit nobis spiritalis auditio, prolectet aures religiosa mulcedo.|
[2.]4. But let our speech and petition when we pray be under discipline, observing quietness and modesty. Let us consider that we are standing in God’s sight. We must please the divine eyes both with the habit of body and with the measure of voice. For as it is characteristic of a shameless man to be noisy with his cries, so, on the other hand, it is fitting to the modest man to pray with moderated petitions. Moreover, in His teaching the Lord has bidden us to pray in secret—in hidden and remote places, in our very bed-chambers—which is best suited to faith, that we may know that God is everywhere present, and hears and sees all, and in the plenitude of His majesty penetrates even into hidden and secret places, as it is written, “I am a God at hand, and not a God afar off. If a man shall hide himself in secret places, shall I not then see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth? ”(Jer. 23.23,24) And again: “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”(Prov.15.3) And when we meet together with the brethren in one place, and celebrate divine sacrifices with God’s priest, we ought to be mindful of modesty and discipline—not to throw abroad our prayers indiscriminately, with unsubdued voices, nor to cast to God with tumultuous wordiness a petition that ought to be commended to God by modesty; for God is the hearer, not of the voice, but of the heart. Nor need He be clamorously reminded, since He sees men’s thoughts, as the Lord proves to us when He says, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? ”(Mat.9.4) And in another place: “And all the churches shall know that I am He that searches the hearts and reins.”(Rev.2.23)
IV. Sit autem orantibus sermo et precatio cum disciplina, quietem continens et pudorem. Cogitemus nos sub conspectu Dei stare. Placendum est divinis oculis et habitu corporis et modo vocis. Nam, ut impudentis est clamoribus strepere, ita contra congruit [0521C] verecundo modestis precibus orare. Denique magisterio suo Dominus secreto orare nos praecepit, in abditis et semotis locis, in cubiculis ipsis, quod magis convenit fidei; ut sciamus Deum ubique esse praesentem, audire omnes et videre, et majestatis suae plenitudine in 205 abdita quoque et occulta penetrare, sicut scriptum est: Ego Deus approximans, [0522A] et non Deus de longinquo. Si absconditus fuerit homo in absconditis, ego ergo non videbo eum? Nonne coelum et terram ego impleo (Hierem. XXIII, 23, 24)? Et iterum: In omni loco oculi Dei speculantur bonos et malos (Prov. XV, 3). Et quando in unum cum fratribus convenimus, et sacrificia divina cum Dei sacerdote celebramus, verecundiae et disciplinae memores esse debemus, non passim ventilare preces nostras inconditis vocibus, nec petitionem commendandam modeste Deo tumultuosa loquacitate jactare, quia Deus non vocis sed cordis auditor est. Nec admonendus est clamoribus qui cogitationes hominum videt, probante Domino et dicente: Quid cogitatis nequam in cordibus vestris (Luc. V, 22)? Et alio loco: Et scient omnes ecclesiae quia ego sum scrutator renis [0522B] et cordis (Apoc. II, 23).
[2.]5. And this Hannah in the first book of Kings, who was a type of the Church, maintains and observes, in that she prayed to God not with clamorous petition, but silently and modestly, within the very recesses of her heart. She spoke with hidden prayer, but with manifest faith. She spoke not with her voice, but with her heart, because she knew that thus God hears; and she effectually obtained what she sought, because she asked it with belief. Divine Scripture asserts this, when it says, “She spake in her heart, and her lips moved, and her voice was not heard; and God did hear her.”(1Sam.1.13) We read also in the Psalms, “Speak in your hearts, and in your beds, and be pierced.”(Ps.4.4) The Holy Spirit, moreover, suggests these same things by Jeremiah, and teaches, saying, “But in the heart ought God to be adored by thee.”( Baruch 6.6.)
V. Quod Anna, in primo Regnorum libro, Ecclesiae typum portans, custodit et servat; quae Dominum non clamosa petitione , sed tacite et modeste intra ipsas pectoris latebras precabatur. Loquebatur prece occulta, sed manifesta fide; loquebatur, non voce, sed corde, quia sic Deum sciebat audire: et impetravit efficaciter quod petiit, quia fideliter postulavit. Declarat Scriptura divina quae dicit: Loquebatur in corde suo, et labia ejus movebantur, et vox ejus non audiebatur; et exaudivit eam Deus (I Reg. I, 13). Item legimus in Psalmis: Dicite in cordibus et in stratis vestris, et transpungimini (Psal. IV, 5). Per Hieremiam quoque haec eadem Spiritus sanctus suggerit et docet dicens: In sensu autem tibi debet adorari Deus (Baruch, [0522C] VI, 5).
Office of Readings,
Wednesday, 11th Week in Ordinary Time
|[2.]15. NOW that is the will of God which Christ both did and taught.||XV. Voluntas autem Dei est quam Christus et fecit et docuit.|
Humility in [our] way of life (conversatio);
|Humilitas in conversatione,|
stability in faith;
|stabilita sin fide,|
modesty in words;
|verecundia in verbis,|
justice in deeds;
|in factis justitia,|
mercifulness in works;
|in operibus misericordia,|
discipline in morals;
|in moribus disciplina,|
to be unable to do a wrong,
|injuriam facere non nosse,|
and to be able to bear a wrong when done;
|et factam posse tolerare,|
to keep peace with the brethren;
cum fratribus pacem tenere;
|to love God with all one’s heart;||Deum toto corde diligere,|
to love Him in that He is
|amare in illo quod pater est, timere quod Deus est;|
because He did not prefer anything to us;
Christo nihil omnino praeponere,
quia nec nobis quicquam ille praeposuit;
to adhere inseparably to His love to stand by His cross bravely and faithfully; when there is any contest on behalf of His name and honour, to exhibit in discourse that constancy wherewith we make confession; in torture, that confidence wherewith we do battle; in death, that patience whereby we are crowned;—this is to desire to be fellow-heirs with Christ; this is to do the commandment of God; this is to fulfil the will of the Father.
charitati ejus inseparabiliter adhaerere, cruci ejus fortiter ac fidenter assistere ; quando de ejus nomine et honore certamen est, exhibere in sermone constantiam, qua confitemur, in quaestione fiduciam, qua congredimur, in morte patientiam, [0529C] qua coronamur. Hoc est cohaeredem Christi esse velle, hoc est praeceptum Dei facere, hoc est voluntatem 209 Patris adimplere.
[2.]16. Moreover, we ask that the will of God may be done both
in heaven and in earth, each of which things pertains to the fulfilment of
our safety and salvation. For since we possess the body from the earth and
the spirit from heaven, we ourselves are earth and heaven; and in
both—that is, both in body and spirit—we pray that God’s will may be
done. For between the flesh and spirit there is a struggle; and there is a
daily strife as they disagree one with the other, so that we cannot do
those very things that we would, in that the spirit seeks heavenly and
divine things, while the flesh lusts after earthly and temporal things;
and therefore we ask41
that, by the help and assistance of God, agreement may be made between
these two natures, so that while the will of God is done both in the
spirit and in the flesh, the soul which is new-born by Him may be
preserved. This is what the Apostle Paul openly and manifestly declares by
his words: “The flesh,” says he, “lusteth against the spirit, and
the spirit against the flesh: for these are contrary the one to the other;
so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Now the works of the flesh
are manifest, which are these; adulteries, fornications, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, murders, hatred, variance,
emulations, wraths, strife, seditions, dissensions, heresies, envyings,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as
I have also told you in times past, that they which do such things shall
not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy,
peace, magnanimity, goodness, faith, gentleness, continence, chastity.”42 And therefore we make it
our prayer in daily, yea, in continual supplications, that the will of God
concerning us should be done both in heaven and in earth; because this is
the will of God, that earthly things should give place to heavenly, and
that spiritual and divine things should prevail.
XVI. Fieri autem petimus voluntatem Dei in coelo et
in terra; quod utrumque ad consummationem nostrae incolumitatis pertinet
et salutis. Nam, cum corpus e terra et spiritum possideamus e coelo, ipsi
terra et coelum sumus; et in utroque, id est et corpore et spiritu, ut Dei
voluntas fiat oramus. Est enim inter carnem et spiritum colluctatio, et
discordantibus advers us se invicem quotidiana congressio, ut non quae [0530A]
volumus ipsa faciamus, dum spiritus coelestia et divina quaerit,
caro terrena et saecularia concupiscit. Et ideo petimus impense inter duo
ista ope et auxilio Dei concordiam fieri, ut dum et in spiritu et in carne
voluntas Dei geritur, quae per eum renata est anima servetur. Quod aperte
atque manifeste apostolus Paulus sua voce declarat: Caro, inquit,
concupiscit adversus spiritum, et spiritus adversus carnem. Haec enim
invicem adversantur sibi, ut non quae vultis ipsa faciatis. Manifesta
autem sunt opera carnis, quae sunt adulteria, fornicationes,
immunditiae, spurcitiae, idololatria, veneficia, homicidia, inimicitiae,
contentiones, aemulationes, animositates, provocationes, simultates,
dissensiones, haereses, invidiae, ebrietates, comessationes, et his
similia, quae praedico vobis sicut praedixi, quoniam [0530B]
qui talia agunt regnum Dei non possidebunt. Fructus autem
spiritus est charitas , gaudium, pax, magnanimitas, bonitas,
fides, mansuetudo, continentia, castitas (Gal.
V, 17-22). Et idcirco quotidianis, immo continuis
orationibus hoc precamur, et in coelo et in terra voluntatem circa nos Dei
fieri, quia haec est voluntas Dei, ut terrena coelestibus cedant,
spiritalia et divina praevaleant.
As the prayer goes forward, we ask and say, “Give us this day our daily
bread.” And this may be understood both spiritually and literally,
because either way of understanding it is rich in divine usefulness to our
salvation. For Christ is the bread of life; and this bread does not belong
to all men, but it is ours. And according as we say, “Our Father,”
because He is the Father of those who understand and believe; so also we
call it “our bread,” because Christ is the bread of those who are in
union with His body.45
And we ask that this bread should be given to us daily, that we who are in
Christ, and daily46
receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not, by the
interposition of some heinous sin, by being prevented, as withheld and not
communicating, from partaking of the heavenly bread, be separated from
Christ’s body, as He Himself predicts, and warns, “I am the bread of
life which came down from heaven. If any man eat of my bread, he shall
live for ever: and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life
of the world.”47
When, therefore, He says, that whoever shall eat of His bread shall live
for ever; as it is manifest that those who partake of His body and receive
the Eucharist by the right of communion are living, so, on the other hand,
we must fear and pray lest any one who, being withheld from communion, is
separate from Christ’s body should remain at a distance from salvation;
as He Himself threatens, and says, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son
of man, and drink His blood, you shall have no life in you.”48
And therefore we ask that our bread—that is, Christ—may be given to us
daily, that we who abide and live in Christ may not depart from His
sanctification and body.49
XVIII. Procedente oratione postulamus et dicimus:
PANEM NOSTRUM QUOTIDIANUM DA NOBIS HODIE. Quod potest et spiraliter et
simpliciter intelligi, quia et uterque intellectus utilitate divina
proficit ad salutem. Nam panis vitae Christus est; et panis hic omnium non
est, sed noster est. Et quomodo dicimus Pater noster, quia
intelligentium et credentium pater est, sic et panem nostrum
vocamus, quia Christus eorum qui corpus ejus contingunt panis est. Hunc
autem panem dari nobis quotidie postulamus, ne qui in Christo sumus et
Eucharistiam quotidie ad cibum salutis accipimus, intercedente aliquo
graviore delicto, dum abstenti et non communicantes a coelesti pane
prohibemur, a Christi corpore separemur, ipso [0531B]
praedicante et monente : Ego sum panis vitae qui de coelo
descendi. Si quis ederit de meo pane, vivet in aeternum. Panis autem
quem ergo dedero caro mea est pro saeculi vita (Joan.
VI, 51). Quando ergo dicit in [0532A]
aeternum vivere si quis ederit de ejus pane, ut manifestum est
eos vivere qui corpus 210 ejus attingunt et Eucharistiam jure
communicationis accipiunt, ita contra timendum est et orandum ne, dum quis
abstentus separatur a Christi corpore, procul remaneat a salute,
comminante ipso et dicente: Nisi ederitis carnem Filii hominis et
biberitis sanguinem ejus, non habebitis vitam in vobis (Joan.
VI, 53). Et ideo panem nostrum, id est Christum, dari
nobis quotidie petimus, ut, qui in Christo manemus et vivimus, a
sanctificatione ejus et corpore non recedamus.
Nor was it only in words, but in deeds also, that the Lord taught us to
pray, Himself praying frequently and beseeching, and thus showing us, by
the testimony of His example, what it behoved us to do, as it is written,
“But Himself departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.”80
And again: “He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night
in prayer to God.”81
But if He prayed who was without sin, how much more ought sinners to pray;
and if He prayed continually, watching through the whole night in
how much more ought we to watch82
nightly in constantly repeated prayer!
XXIX. Nec verbis tantum, sed et factis Dominus
orare nos docuit, ipse orans frequenter et deprecans, et quid
facere nos oporteret exempli sui contestatione demonstrans, sicut scriptum
est: Ipse autem fuit secedens in solitudinem et adorans (Luc.
V, 16). Et iterum: Exivit in monte orare, et fuit
pernoctans in oratione Dei (Luc.
VI, 12). Quod si ille orabat qui sine peccato erat, quanto
magis peccatores oportet orare? Et si ille per totam noctem jugiter
vigilans continuis precibus orabat, quanto nos magis in frequentanda
oratione debemus nocte vigilare?
Moreover, when we stand praying, beloved brethren, we ought to be watchful
and earnest with our whole heart, intent on our prayers. Let all carnal
and worldly thoughts pass away, nor let the soul at that time think on
anything but the object only of its prayer. For this reason also the
priest, by way of preface before his prayer, prepares the minds of the
brethren by saying, “Lift up your hearts,” that so upon the people’s
response, “We lift them up unto the Lord,” he may be reminded that he
himself ought to think of nothing but the Lord.86
Let the breast be closed against the adversary, and be open to God alone;
nor let it suffer God’s enemy to approach to it at the time of prayer.
For frequently he steals upon us, and penetrates within, and by crafty
deceit calls away our prayers from God, that we may have one thing in our
heart and another in our voice, when not the sound of the voice, but the
soul and mind, ought to be praying to the Lord with a simple intention.
But what carelessness it is, to be distracted and carried away by foolish
and profane thoughts when you are praying to the Lord, as if there were
anything which you should rather be thinking of than that you are speaking
with God! How can you ask to be heard of God, when you yourself do not
hear yourself? Do you wish that God should remember you when you ask, if
you yourself do not remember yourself? This is absolutely to take no
precaution against the enemy; this is, when you pray to God, to offend the
majesty of God by the carelessness of your prayer; this is to be watchful
with your eyes, and to be asleep with your heart, while the Christian,
even though he is asleep with his eyes, ought to be awake with his heart,
as it is written in the person of the Church speaking in the Song of
Songs,” I sleep, yet my heart wakes.”87
Wherefore the apostle anxiously and carefully warns us, saying,
“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same; ”88
teaching, that is, and showing that those are able to obtain from God what
they ask, whom God sees to be watchful in their prayer.
XXXI. Quando autem stamus ad orationem, fratres
dilectissimi, vigilare et incumbere ad preces toto corde debemus.
Cogitatio omnis carnalis et saecularis abscedat, nec quicquam tunc animus
quam id solum cogitet quod precatur. Ideo et sacerdos, ante orationem
praefatione praemissa, parat fratrum mentes dicendo: Sursum corda;
ut, dum respondet plebs, Habemus ad Dominum, admoneatur nihil
aliud se quam Dominum cogitare debere. Claudatur contra adversarium pectus,
et soli Deo pateat, nec ad se hostem Dei tempore orationis adire patiatur.
Obrepit enim frequenter et penetrat, et subtiliter fallens preces nostras
a Deo avocat, ut aliud habeamus in corde, aliud in voce, quando intentione
sincera Dominum [0539C]
debeat, non vocis sonus, sed animus et sensus, orare. Quae autem
segnitia est alienari et rapi ineptis cogitationibus et profanis cum
Dominum deprecaris, 214 quasi sit aliud quod magis debeas
cogitare quam quod cum Deo loqueris? Quomodo te audiri a Deo postulas, cum
te ipse non audias? Vis esse Deum memorem tui cum rogas, quando tu ipse
memor tui non sis? Hoc est ab hoste in totum non cavere: hoc est, quando
oras Deum, majestatem Dei negligentia orationis offendere: hoc est
vigilare oculis et corde dormire, cum debeat Christianus et cum dormit
oculis corde vigilare, sicut [0540A]
scriptum est ex persona Ecclesiae loquentis in Cantico Canticorum:
Ego dormio , et cor meum vigilat (Cant.
V, 2). Quapropter sollicite et caute Apostolus admonet
dicens: Instate orationi, vigilantes in ea (Coloss.
IV, 2), docens scilicet et ostendens eos impetrare quod
postulant de Deo posse, quos Deus videat in oratione vigilare.
Prayer Five Times Each
The Little Hours
|[2.]34. And in discharging the duties of prayer, we find that the three children with Daniel, being strong in faith and victorious in captivity, observed the third, sixth, and ninth hour, as it were, for a sacrament of the Trinity, which in the last times had to be manifested. For both the first hour in its progress to the third shows forth the consummated number of the Trinity, and also the fourth proceeding to the sixth declares another Trinity; and when from the seventh the ninth is completed, the perfect Trinity is numbered every three hours, which spaces of hours the worshippers of God in time past having spiritually decided on, made use of for determined and lawful times for prayer. And subsequently the thing was manifested, that these things were of old Sacraments, in that anciently righteous men prayed in this manner.||XXXIV. In orationibus vero celebrandis invenimus observasse cum Daniele tres pueros in fide fortes et in captivitate victores, horam tertiam, sextam, 215 nonam, sacramento scilicet Trinitatis, quae in novissimis temporibus manifestari habebat. Nam et prima hora in tertiam veniens consummatum numerum trinitatis ostendit: itemque ad sextam quarta procedens declarat alteram trinitatem; et quando a septima nona completur, per ternas horas trinitas perfecta numeratur. Quae horarum spatia jampridem spiritaliter determinantes adoratores Dei statutis et [0541C] legitimis ad precem temporibus servabant . Et manifestata postmodum res est sacramenta olim fuisse quod ante sic justi precabantur.|
For upon the disciples at the
hour the Holy Spirit
descended, who fulfilled the grace of the Lord’s
promise. Moreover, at the
hour, Peter, going up unto
the house-top, was
instructed as well by the sign as by the word of God admonishing him to
receive all to the grace of salvation, whereas he was previously
doubtful of the receiving of the Gentiles to baptism.
And from the
sixth hour to the ninth,
the Lord, being crucified,
washed away our sins by His blood; and that He might redeem and quicken
us, He then accomplished His victory by His
Nam super discipulos hora tertia descendit Spiritus sanctus, qui gratiam
Dominicae repromissionis implevit. Item Petrus, hora sexta in tectum
superius ascendens, signo pariter et voce Dei monentis instructus est ut
omnes ad gratiam salutis admitteret, cum de emundandis gentilibus ante
dubitaret. Et Dominus hora sexta crucifixus, ad nonam peccata nostra
sanguine suo abluit, et ut redimere et vivificare nos posset, tunc
victoriam suam passione perfecit.
Morning and Evening
|[2.]35. But for us, beloved brethren, besides the hours of prayer observed of old, both the times and the sacraments have now increased in number. For we must also pray in the morning, that the Lord’s resurrection may be celebrated by morning prayer. And this formerly the Holy Spirit pointed out in the Psalms, saying, “My King, and my God, because unto Thee will I cry; O Lord, in the morning shalt Thou hear my voice; in the morning will I stand before Thee, and will look up to Thee.”96 And again, the Lord speaks by the mouth of the prophet: “Early in the morning shall they watch for me, saying, Let us go, and return unto the Lord our God.”97||XXXV. Sed nobis, fratres dilectissimi, praeter horas antiquitus observatas, orandi nunc et spatia et [0541D] sacramenta creverunt. Nam et mane orandum est, [0542A] ut resurrectio Domini matutina oratione celebretur. Quod olim Spiritus sanctus designabat in Psalmis dicens: Rex meus et Deus meus, quoniam ad te orabo , Domine, mane exaudies vocem meam, mane assistam tibi, et contemplabor te (Psal. V, 2). Et iterum per Prophetam loquitur Dominus: Diluculo vigilabunt ad me dicentes: Eamus et revertamur ad Dominum Deum nostrum (Ose. VI, 1).|
Also at the
sunsetting and at the decline of day, of necessity we must
pray again. For since Christ is the true sun and the true day, as the
worldly sun and worldly day depart, when we pray and ask that light may
return to us again, we pray for the advent of Christ, which shall give us
the grace of everlasting light. Moreover, the Holy Spirit in the Psalms
manifests that Christ is called the day. “The stone,” says He,
“which the builders rejected, is become the head of the corner. This is
the Lord’s doing; and it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day
which the Lord hath made; let us walk and rejoice in it.”98
Also the prophet Malachi testifies that He is called the Sun, when he
says, “But to you that fear the name of the Lord shall the Sun of
righteousness arise, and there is healing in His wings.”99
But if in the Holy Scriptures the true sun and the true day is Christ,
there is no hour excepted for Christians wherein God ought not frequently
and always to be worshipped; so that we who are in Christ—that is, in
the true Sun and the true Day—should be instant throughout the entire
day in petitions, and should pray; and when, by the law of the world, the
revolving night, recurring in its alternate changes, succeeds, there can
be no harm arising from the darkness of night to those who pray, because
the children of light have the day even in the night. For when is he
without light who has light in his heart? or when has not he the sun and
the day, whose Sun and Day is Christ?
Recedente item sole ac die cessante
necessario rursus orandum est: nam, quia Christus sol verus et dies est
verus, sole ac die saeculi recedente, quando oramus et petimus ut super
nos Iux denuo veniat, Christi precamur adventum lucis aeternae gratiam
praebiturum. Christum autem diem dictum declarat in Psalmis Spiritus
sanctus: Lapis, inquit, quem reprobaverunt aedificantes, hic
est in caput anguli. A Domino factus est iste et est
admirabilis in oculis nostris. Iste est dies quem fecit Dominus,
ambulemus et jucundemur in eo (Psal.
CXVII, 22, 23). Item, quod sol appellatus sit Malachias
propheta testatur dicens: Vobis autem qui timetis nomen Domini,
orietur sol justitiae, et in alis ejus curatio est (Malach.
IV, 2). Quod si in Scripturis sanctis sol verus et dies
verus est Christus, hora nulla a Christianis excipitur quominus frequenter
ac semper Deus debeat adorari; ut qui in Christo, hoc est in sole et in
die vero, sumus, insistamus per totum diem precibus et oremus, et quando
mundi lege decurrens vicibus alternis nox revoluta succedit, nullum de
nocturnis tenebris esse orantibus damnum potest, quia filiis lucis et in
noctibus dies est. Quando enim sine lumine [0542C]
est cui lumen in corde est? aut quando sol ei et dies non est cui
sol et dies Christus est?
[2.]36. Let not us, then, who are in Christ—that is, always in the lights cease from praying even during night. Thus the widow Anna, without intermission praying and watching, persevered in deserving well of God, as it is written in the I Gospel: “She departed not,” it says, “from the temple, serving with fastings and prayers night and day.”100 Let the Gentiles look to this, who! are not yet enlightened, or the Jews who have remained in darkness by having forsaken the light. Let us, beloved brethren, who are always in the light of the Lord, who remember and hold fast what by grace received we have begun to be, reckon night for day; let us believe that we always walk in the light, and let us not be hindered by the darkness which we have escaped. Let there be no failure of prayers in the hours of night—no idle and reckless waste of the occasions of prayer. New-created and newborn of the Spirit by the mercy of God, let us imitate what we shall one day be. Since in the kingdom we shall possess day alone, without intervention of night, let us so watch in the night as if in the daylight. Since we are to pray and give thanks to God for ever, let us not cease in this life also to pray and give thanks.101
XXXVI. Qui autem in Christo, hoc est in lumine, semper sumus, nec noctibus ab oratione cessemus. Sic Anna vidua sine intermissione rogans semper et vigilans perseverabat in promerendo Deo, sicut in Evangelio scriptum est: Non recedebat, inquit, de templo, jejuniis et orationibus serviens nocte ac die (Luc. II, 37). Viderint vel gentiles, qui necdum illuminati sunt, vel Judaei, qui, deserto lumine, in tenebris remanserunt. Nos, fratres dilectissimi, qui in Domini luce semper sumus, qui meminimus et tenemus quid esse accepta gratia coeperimus, computemus noctem pro die. Ambulare nos credamus semper [0542D] in lumine, non impediamur a tenebris quas evasimus. [0543A] Nulla sint horis nocturnis precum damna, nulla orationum pigra et ignava dispendia. Per Dei indulgentiam recreati 216 spiritaliter et renati, imitemur quod futuri sumus. Habituri in regno sine interventu noctis [0544A] solum diem, sic nocte quasi in lumine vigilemus. Oraturi semper et acturi gratias Deo, hic quoque orare et gratias agere non desinamus.
 PAGAN LIBELLI
certificate in Greek issued during the Decian persecution to a woman and
her daughter from the village of Theadelphia in Egypt. It testifies that
they had obeyed the imperial edict to participate in pagan sacrifices as
proof of their loyalty to the government.
P. Mich. Inv. 263, Libellus, A.D. 250 [»cont]
To the Martyrs and Confessors Who Sought that Peace Should Be Granted to the Lapsed.
MARTYRES ET CONFESSORES QUI LAPSIS PETIERUNT PACEM DARI.
[0253C] ARGUMENTUM---hujus Epistolae habes infra in haec verba, Epistola XVI: »Cum comperissem eos qui sacrilegis contactibus manus suas atque ora maculassent, vel nefandis libellis nihilominus conscientiam polluissent, exambire ad martyres passim, confessores quoque importuna et gratiosa deprecatione corrumpere, ut sine discrimine et examine singulorum darentur libellorum millia, contra Evangelii legem, litteras feci quibus martyres et confessores consilio meo quantum possem ad Dominica praecepta revocarem.«
Cyprian to the martyrs and confessors, his beloved brethren, greeting. The
anxiety of my situation and the fear of the Lord constrain me, my brave
and beloved brethren, to admonish you in my letters, that those who so
devotedly and bravely maintain the faith of the Lord should also maintain
the law and discipline of the Lord. For while it behoves all Christ’s
soldiers to keep the precepts of their commander; to you it is more
especially fitting that you should obey His precepts, inasmuch as you have
been made an example to others, both of valour and of the fear of God. And
I had indeed believed that the presbyters and deacons who are there
present with you would admonish and instruct you more fully concerning the
law of the Gospel, as was the case always in time past under my
predecessors; so that the deacons passing in and out of the prison
controlled the wishes of the martyrs by their counsels, and by the
Scripture precepts. But now, with great sorrow of mind, I gather that not
only the divine precepts are not suggested to you by them, but that they
are even rather restrained, so that those things which are done by you
yourselves, both in respect of God with caution, and in respect of God’s
with honour, are relaxed by certain presbyters, who consider neither the
fear of God nor the honour of the bishop. Although
you sent letters to me
in which you ask that your wishes should be examined, and that peace
should be granted to certain of the lapsed as soon as with the end of the
persecution we should have begun to meet with our clergy, and to be
gathered together once more; those presbyters, contrary to the Gospel law,
contrary also to your respectful petition, before penitence was fulfilled,
before confession even of the gravest and most heinous sin was made,
before hands were placed upon the repentant by the bishops and clergy,
dare to offer on their behalf, and to give them the eucharist, that is, to
profane the sacred body of the Lord, although it is written, “Whosoever
shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be
guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”4
I. Cyprianus martyribus et confessoribus charissimis fratribus
salutem. Sollicitudo loci nostri et timor Domini [0254A]
compellit, fortissimi ac beatissimi fratres, admonere vos
litteris nostris ut a quibus tam devote et fortiter servatur fides Domini
, ab iisdem lex quoque et disciplina Domini reservetur. Nam, cum omnes
milites Christi custodire oporteat praecepta imperatoris 20 sui,
tum vos magis praeceptis ejus obtemperare plus convenit, qui exemplum
caeteris facti estis et virtutis et timoris Dei. Et credideram quidem
presbyteros et diaconos qui illic praesentes sunt monere vos et instruere
plenissime circa Evangelii legem, sicut in praeteritum semper sub
antecessoribus nostris factum est, ut diaconi, ad carcerem commeantes,
martyrum desideria consiliis suis et Scripturarum praeceptis gubernarent.
Sed nunc cum maximo animi dolore cognosco non tantum illic vobis non
suggeri divina praecepta, [0254B]
sed adhuc potius impediri , ut ea quae a vobis ipsis et circa
Deum caute et circa sacerdotem Dei honorifice fiunt, a quibusdam
presbyteris resolvantur, qui nec timorem Dei nec episcopi honorem
cogitantes (cum vos ad me litteras direxeritis, quibus examinari desideria
vestra et quibusdam lapsis pacem dari postulatis cum, persecutione finita,
convenire in unum cum clero et recolligi coeperimus), illi, contra
Evangelii legem, contra vestram quoque honorificam petitionem, ante actam
poenitentiam, ante exomologesim, gravissimi atque extremi delicti factam,
ante manum ab episcopo et clero in poenitentiam impositam, offerre pro
illis et Eucharistiam dari, id est, sanctum Domini corpus profanare
audeant, cum scriptum sit: Qui ederit panem aut biberit calicem Domini
indigne, reus erit corporis [0254C]
et sanguinis Domini (I
Cor. XI, 27).
4.2. And to the lasped indeed pardon may be granted in respect
of this thing. For what dead person would not hasten to be made alive? Who
would not be eager to attain to his own salvation?
But it is the duty of
those placed over them
to keep the ordinance, and to instruct those that
are either hurrying or ignorant, that those who ought to be shepherds of
the sheep may not become their butchers. For to concede those things which
tend to destruction is to deceive. Nor is the lapsed raised in this
manner, but, by offending God, he is more urged on to ruin. Let them
learn, therefore, even from you, what they ought to have taught; let them
reserve your petitions and wishes for the bishops,5
and let them wait for ripe and peaceable times to give peace at your
requests. The first thing is, that the Mother should first receive peace
from the Lord, and then, in accordance with your wishes, that the peace of
her children should be considered.
Et lapsis quidem potest in hoc venia concedi. Quis enim non mortuus
vivificari properet ? quis non ad salutem suam venire festinet? Sed
praepositorum est praeceptum tenere, et vel properantes vel ignorantes
instruere, ne qui ovium pastores esse debent lanii fiant. Ea enim
concedere quae in perniciem vertant, decipere est; nec erigitur sic lapsus,
sed per Dei offensam magis impellitur ad ruinam. Vel ex vobis itaque
discant quod docere debuerant. Petitiones et desideria vestra episcopo
servent, et ad pacem vobis petentibus dandam maturum et pacatum tempus
. Ante est ut a Domino pacem mater prior sumat, tunc secundum
vestra desideria de filiorum pace tractetur .
4.3. And since I hear, most brave and beloved brethren, that
you are pressed by the shamelessness of some, and that your modesty
suffers violence; I beg you with what entreaties I may, that, as mindful
of the Gospel, and considering what and what sort of things in past time
your predecessors the martyrs conceded, how careful they were in all
respects, you also should anxiously and cautiously weigh the wishes of
those who petition you, since, as friends of the Lord, and hereafter to
exercise judgment with Him,
you must inspect both the conduct and the
doings and the deserts of each one. You must consider also the kinds and
qualities of their sins, lest, in the event of anything being abruptly and
unworthily either promised by you or done by me, our Church6
should begin to blush, even before the very Gentiles. For we are visited
and chastened frequently, and we are admonished, that the commandments of
the Lord may be kept without corruption or violation, which I find does
not cease to be the case there among you so as to prevent the divine
judgment from instructing very many of you also in the discipline of the
Church. Now this can all be done, if you will regulate those things that
are asked of you with a careful consideration of religion, perceiving and
restraining those who, by accepting persons, either make favours in
distributing your benefits, or seek to make a profit of an unlawful trade.
Et quoniam audio, fortissimi et charissimi fratres, impudentia vos
quorumdam premi et verecundiam vestram vim pati, oro vos quibus possum
precibus ut, Evangelii memores et considerantes quae et qualia in
praeteritum antecessores vestri martyres concesserint , quam solliciti in
omnibus fuerint, vos quoque sollicite et caute petentium desideria
ponderetis, utpote amici Domini et cum illo postmodum judicaturi,
inspiciatis et actum et opera et merita singulorum, ipsorum quoque
delictorum genera et qualitates cogitetis, ne, si quid abrupte et indigne
vel a nobis promissum vel a nobis factum fuerit, apud gentiles [0255B]
quoque ipsos ecclesia nostra erubescere incipiat. Visitamur enim
et castigamur frequenter, et ut Domini mandata incorrupta et inviolata
permaneant admonemur. Quod quidem nec illic apud vos cessare cognosco
quominus plurimos quoque ex vobis instruat ad Ecclesiae diciplinam divina
censura. Hoc autem totum potest fieri, si ea quae a vobis petuntur
religiosa contemplatione moderemini, intelligentes et comprimentes eos
qui, personas accipientes, in beneficiis vestris aut gratificantur , aut
illicitae negotiationis nundinas aucupantur.
4.4. Concerning this I have written both to the clergy and to
the people, both of which letters I have directed to be read to you. But
you ought also to bring back and amend that matter according to your
diligence, in such a way as to designate those by name to whom you desire
that peace should be granted. For
I hear that certificates are so given to
some as that it is said, “Let such a one be received to communion along
with his friends,” which was never in any case done by the martyrs so
that a vague and blind petition should by and by heap reproach upon us.
For it opens a wide door to say, “Such a one with his friends; ”and
twenty or thirty or more, may be presented to us, who may be asserted to
be neighbours and connections, and freedmen and servants, of the man who
receives the certificate. And for this reason I beg you that you will
designate by name in the certificate those whom you yourselves see, whom
you have known, whose penitence you see to be very near to full
satisfaction, and so direct to us letters in conformity with faith and
discipline. I bid you, very brave and beloved brethren, ever heartily in
the Lord farewell; and have me in remembrance. Fare ye well.
De hoc et ad clerum et ad plebem litteras feci, quas utrasque vobis legi
mandavi. Sed et illud ad diligentiam vestram redigere et emendare debetis,
ut nominatim designetis eos quibus pacem dari desideratis. [0255C]
Audio enim quibusdam sic libellos fieri ut 21 dicatur:
»Communicet ille . . . cum suis,« quod numquam omnino a martyribus
factum est, ut incerta et caeca [0256A]
petitio invidiam nobis postmodum cumulet. Late enim patet quando
dicitur, »ille cum suis,« et possunt nobis viceni et triceni et amplius
offerri qui propinqui et affines et liberti ac domestici esse asseverentur
ejus qui accipit libellum. Et ideo peto ut eos quos ipsi videtis, quos
nostis, quorum poenitentiam satisfactioni proximam conspicitis, designetis
nominatim libello, et sic ad nos fidei ac disciplinae congruentes litteras
dirigatis. Opto vos, fortissimi ac dilectissimi fratres, in Domino semper
bene valere et nostri meminisse. Valete.
[0261C] EPISTOLA XIV. (Erasm., III, 5. Pamel., XV; Rigalt., Baluz., Pariss., XIV; Oxon., Lips., XX.)
To the Presbyters and Deacons Assembled at Rome.
presbyteros et diaconos romae consistentes.
sui et eorum quae in illo gessit, rationem reddit, missis Romam in sui
purgationem, quas ad suos scripserat, epistolarum exemplis, imo iisdem
quibus illic verbis utitur. Cf. Ep. XXII, ad Cler. Rom.
5.1. Cyprian to his brethren the presbyters and deacons
assembled at Rome, greeting. Having ascertained, beloved brethren, that
what I have done and am doing has been told to you in a somewhat garbled
and untruthful manner, I have thought it necessary to write this letter to
you, wherein I might give an account to you of my doings, my discipline,
and my diligence; for, as the Lord’s commands teach, immediately the
first burst of the disturbance arose, and the people with violent clamor
repeatedly demanded me, I, taking into consideration not so much my own
safety as the public peace of the brethren, withdrew for a while, lest, by
my over-bold presence, the tumult which had begun might be still further
provoked. Nevertheless, although absent in body, I was not wanting either
in spirit, or in act, or in my advice, so as to fail in any benefit that I
could afford my brethren by my counsel, according to the Lord’s
precepts, in anything that my poor abilities enabled me.
Cyprianus presbyteris et diaconibus Romae consistentibus fratribus salutem.
Quoniam comperi, fratres charissimi, minus simpliciter et minus fideliter
vobis renuntiari quae hic a nobis et gesta sunt et geruntur, necessarium
duxi has ad vos litteras facere, quibus vobis actus nostri et disciplinae
et diligentiae ratio redderetur. Nam, sicut Domini mandata instruunt, orto
statim turbationis impetu primo, cum me clamore violento frequenter
populus flagitasset, non tam meam salutem quam quietem fratrum publicam
cogitans, interim secessi, ne per inverecundam praesentiam
nostram, seditio quae coeperat, plus provocaretur. Absens tamen corpore,
nec spiritu nec actu nec monitis meis defui quominus secundum Domini
praecepta, fratribus nostris in quibus possem mea mediocritate consulerem.
5.2. And what I did, these thirteen letters sent forth at
various times declare to you, which I have transmitted to you; in which
neither counsel to the clergy, nor exhortation to the confessors, nor
rebuke, when it was necessary, to the exiles, nor my appeals and
persuasions to the whole brotherhood, that they should entreat the mercy
of God, were wanting to the full extent that, according to the law of
faith and the fear of God, with the Lord’s help, nay poor abilities
Et quid egerim loquuntur vobis epistolae pro temporibus emissae numero
tredecim, 24 quas ad vos transmisi; in quibus nec clero
consilium, nec confessoribus exhortatio, nec extorribus, quando oportuit,
objurgatio, nec universae fraternitati ad deprecandam Dei misericordiam
allocutio et persuasio nostra defuit, quantum, secundum legem fidei et
timorem Dei, Domino suggerente, nostra mediocritas potuit eniti.
But afterwards, when tortures came, my words reached both to our tortured brethren and to those who as yet were only imprisoned with a view to torture, to strengthen and console them. Moreover, when I found that those who had polluted their hands and mouths with sacrilegious contact, or had no less infected their consciences with wicked certificates, were everywhere soliciting the martyrs, and were also corrupting the confessors with importunate and excessive entreaties, so that, without any discrimination or examination of the individuals themselves, thousands of certificates were daily given, contrary to the law of the Gospel, I wrote letters in which I recalled by my advice, as much as possible, the martyrs and confessors to the Lord’s commands.
Posteaquam vero et tormenta venerunt, sive jam tortis [0263A]
fratribus nostris, sive adhuc ut torquerentur inclusis, ad
corroborandos et confortandos eos noster sermo penetravit. Item, cum
comperissem eos qui sacrilegis contactibus manus suas atque ora
maculassent, vel nefandis libellis nihilominus conscientiam polluissent,
exambire ad martyres passim, confessores quoque importuna et gratiosa
deprecatione corrumpere, ut sine ullo discrimine atque examine singulorum
darentur quotidie libellorum millia contra Evangelii legem, litteras feci
quibus martyres et confessores consilio meo quantum possem ad Dominica
To the presbyters and deacons also
was not wanting the vigour of the priesthood; so that some, too little
mindful of discipline, and hasty, with a rash precipitation, who had
already begun to communicate with the lapsed, were restrained by my
interposition. Among the people, moreover, I have done what I could to
quiet their minds, and have instructed them to maintain ecclesiastical
presbyteris et diaconibus non defuit sacerdotii vigor, ut quidam, minus
disciplinae memores et temeraria festinatione praecipites, qui cum lapsis
communicare jam coeperant, comprimerentur, [0263B]
intercedentibus nobis. Plebi quoque ipsi quantum potuimus animum
composuimus, et ut ecclesiastica disciplina servaretur instruximus.
But afterwards, when some of the lapsed, whether of their own accord, or
by the suggestion of any other, broke forth with a daring demand, as
though they would endeavour by a violent effort to extort the peace that
had been promised to them by the martyrs and confessors; concerning this
also I wrote twice to the clergy, and commanded it to be read to them;
that for the mitigation of their violence in any manner for the meantime,
if any who had received a certificate from the martyrs were departing from
this life, having made confession, and received the imposition of hands on
them for repentance, they should be remitted to the Lord with the peace
promised them by the martyrs.
Postmodum vero, cum quidam de lapsis, sive sua sponte, sive aliquo
incitatore, audaci flagitatione proruerent ut pacem sibi a martyribus et
confessoribus promissam extorquere violento impetu niterentur, de hoc
etiam bis ad clerum litteras feci et legi eis mandavi, ut ad illorum
violentiam interim quoquo genere mitigandam, si qui libello a martyribus
accepto de saeculo excederent, exomologesi facta et manu eis in
poenitentiam imposita, cum pace sibi a martyribus promissa ad Dominum
Nor in this did I give them a law, or
rashly constitute myself the author of the direction; but as it seemed fit
both that honour should be paid to the martyrs, and that the vehemence of
those who were anxious to disturb everything should be restrained; and
when, besides, I had read your letter which you lately wrote hither to my
clergy by Crementius the sub-deacon, to the effect that assistance should
be given to those who might, after their lapse, be seized with sickness,
and might penitently desire communion; I judged it well to stand by your
judgment, lest our proceedings, which ought to be united and to agree in
all things, should in any respect be different.4
in hoc legem dedi, aut me auctorem temere constitui. Sed, cum videretur et
honor martyribus habendus [0263C]
et eorum qui omnia turbare cupiebant impetus comprimendus, et
praeterea vestra scripta legissem quae huc ad clerum nostrum per
Crementium hypodiaconum nuper feceratis, ut iis qui post lapsum
infirmitate apprehensi essent, et poenitentes communicationem desiderarent,
subveniretur, standum putavi [0264A]
et cum vestra sententia, ne actus noster, qui adunatus esse et
consentire circa omnia debet, in aliquo discreparet.
The cases of the rest, even although they might have received certificates from the martyrs, I ordered altogether to be put off, and to be reserved till I should be present, that so, when the Lord has given to us peace, and several bishops shall have begun to assemble into one place, we may be able to arrange and reform everything, having the advantage also of your counsel. I bid you, beloved brethren, ever heartily farewell.
Plane caeterorum causas, quamvis libello a martyribus accepto, differri mandavi et in nostram praesentiam reservari, ut, cum, pace a Domino nobis data, plures praepositi convenire in unum coeperimus, communicato etiam vobiscum consilio, disponere singula et reformare possimus. Opto vos, fratres charissimi, semper bene valere.
De ecclesiae catholicae unitate CCSL, 3 (M. Bévenot, 1972), p. 249-268
4. IF any one consider and examine these things, there is no need for lengthened discussion and arguments. There is easy proof for faith in a short summary of the truth. The Lord speaks to Peter, saying, I say unto you, that you are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Mt. 16:19)
Quae si quis consideret et examinet, tractatu longo adque argumentis opus non est.Probatio est ad fidem facilis conpendio ueritatis; loquitur dominus ad petrum: 'ego tibi dico inquit quia tu es petrus et super istam petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam, et portae inferorum non uincent eam. Tibi dabo claues regni caelorum, et quae ligaueris super terram erunt ligata et in caelis, et quaecumque solueris super terram erunt soluta et in caelis'.
The First Recension on Petrine Primacy
De ecclesiae catholicae unitate: capitula 5 - 6 secundum priorem recensionem - CC SL, 3 (M. Bévenot, 1972), p. 251-252
AND again after the resurrection He says to him, “Feed my sheep” On him [Peter] he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep (Jn.21:17),
Et idem post resurrectionem suam dicit illi: 'pasce oues meas'.Super illum aedificat ecclesiam et illi pascendas oues mandat
and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair [cathedra], and he established by his own authority a source and a rationale for that unity.
et, quamuis apostolis omnibus parem tribuat potestatem, unam tamen cathedram constituit et unitatis originem adque rationem sua auctoritate disposuit.
Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was [i.e., apostles], but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.
Hoc erant utique et ceteri quod fuit petrus, sed primatus petro datur et una ecclesia et cathedra una monstratur;
So too, all [the apostles] are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he were to desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?
et pastores sunt omnes, sed grex unus ostenditur qui ab apostolis omnibus unianimi consensione pascatur. Hanc petri unitatem qui non tenet, tenere se fidem credit?qui cathedram petri, super quem fundata ecclesia est, deserit, in ecclesia se esse confidit?
The Later Recension
And again to the same He says, after His resurrection, Feed my sheep. And although to all the apostles, after His resurrection, He gives an equal power, and says, As the Father has sent me, even so send I you: Receive the Holy Ghost: Whosoever sins you remit, they shall be remitted him; and whosoever sins you retain, they shall be retained; (Jn 20:21)
Super unum aedificat ecclesiam et, quamuis apostolis omnibus post resurrectionem suam parem potestatem tribuat et dicat: 'Sicut misit me Pater et ego mitto uos. Accipite Spiritum sanctum: si cuius remiseritis peccata remittentur illi; si cuius tenueritis tenebuntur',
yet, that He might set forth unity, He arranged by His authority the origin of that unity, as beginning from one. Assuredly the rest of the apostles were also the same as was Peter, endowed with a like partnership both of honor and power; but the beginning proceeds from unity.
tamen, ut unitatem manifestaret, unitatis eiusdem originem ab uno incipientem sua auctoritate disposuit. Hoc erant utique et ceteri apostoli quod fuit Petrus, pari consortio praediti et honoris et potestatis, sed exordium ab unitate proficiscitur ut ecclesia Christi una monstretur.
WHICH one Church, also, the Holy Spirit in the Song of Songs designated in the person of our Lord, and says, My dove, my spotless one, is but one. She is the only one of her mother, chosen of her that bore her. (Song of Songs 6:9)
Quam unam ecclesiam etiam in Cantico Canticorum Spiritus sanctus ex persona Domini designat, et dicit: 'Vna est columba mea perfecta mea, una est matri suae, electa genetrici suae'.
Does he who does not hold this unity of the Church think that he holds the faith? Does he who strives against and resists the Church trust that he is in the Church, when moreover the blessed Apostle Paul teaches the same thing, and sets forth the sacrament of unity, saying, There is one body and one spirit, one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God? (Eph. 4:4)
Hanc ecclesiae unitatem qui non tenet, tenere se fidem credit? Qui ecclesiae renititur et resistit, in ecclesia se esse confidit, quando et beatus apostolus Paulus hoc idem doceat et sacramentum unitatis ostendat dicens: Vnum corpus et unus Spiritus, una spes uocationis uestrae, unus Dominus, una fides, unum baptisma, unus Deus?
5. And this unity we ought firmly to hold and assert, especially those of us that are bishops who preside in the Church, that we may also prove the episcopate itself to be one and undivided.
Quam unitatem tenere firmiter et uindicare debemus maxime episcopi, qui in ecclesia praesidemus, ut episcopatum quoque ipsum unum adque indiuisum probemus.
|Let no one deceive the brotherhood by a falsehood: let no one corrupt the truth of the faith by perfidious prevarication. The episcopate is one, each part of which is held by each one for the whole. The Church also is one, which is spread abroad far and wide into a multitude by an increase of fruitfulness.||Nemo fraternitatem mendacio fallat, nemo fidei ueritatem perfida praeuaricatione corrumpat. Episcopatus unus est cuius a singulis in solidum pars tenetur. Ecclesia una est quae in multitudinem latius incremento fecunditatis extenditur:|
|As there are many rays of the sun, but one light; and many branches of a tree, but one strength based in its tenacious root; and since from one spring flow many streams, although the multiplicity seems diffused in the liberality of an overflowing abundance, yet the unity is still preserved in the source.||quomodo solis multi radii sed lumen unum, et rami arboris multi sed robur unum tenaci radice fundatum, et cum de fonte uno riui plurimi defluunt, numerositas licet diffusa uideatur exundantis copiae largitate, unitas tamen seruatur in origine.|
|Separate a ray of the sun from its body of light, its unity does not allow a division of light; break a branch from a tree — when broken, it will not be able to bud; cut off the stream from its fountain, and that which is cut off dries up.||Auelle radium solis a corpore, diuisionem lucis unitas non capit; ab arbore frange ramum, fractus germinare non poterit; a fonte praecide riuum, praecisus arescit.|
|Thus the Church, stoo, hone over with the light of the Lord, sheds forth her rays over the whole world, yet it is one light which is everywhere diffused, nor is the unity of the body separated. Her fruitful abundance spreads her branches over the whole world. She broadly expands her rivers, liberally flowing, yet her head is one, her source one; and she is one mother, plentiful in the results of fruitfulness: from her womb we are born, by her milk we are nourished, by her spirit we are animated.||Sic et ecclesia, domini luce perfusa, per orbem totum radios suos porrigit, unum tamen lumen est quod ubique diffunditur nec unitas corporis separatur; ramos suos in uniuersam terram copia ubertatis extendit; profluentes largiter riuos latius spandit, unum tamen caput est et origo una, et una mater fecunditatis successibus copiosa: illius fetu nascimur, illius lacte nutrimur, spiritu eius animamur.|
Gal. v. 17–22.
47 John vi. 58.
John vi. 53.
Luke v. 16.
uke vi. 12.
Cant. v. 2.
Col. i. 2.
Ps. v, 2.
Hos. vi. 1.
Ps. cxviii. 22.
Mal. iv. 2.
Luke ii. 37.
1 Cor. xi. 27.
5 [He refers to his comprovincials, not arrogating all au
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