EVAGRIUS PONTICUS
AD VIRGINES
CPG 2436. Text:Gressmann
 

 


Translation by Luke Dysinger, O.S.B.  (translation in public domain)


 

 

 

 

AD VIRGINES
(CPG 2436)

 ΠΡΟΣ ΤΗΝ ΠΑΡΘΕΝΟΝ

CPG 2436 Gressman

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

1. Love the Lord
and he will love you;

   and serve him,
     and he will enlighten your heart.

1. Ἀγάπα τὸν κύριον
καὶ ἀγαπήσει σε,

καὶ δούλευε αὐτῷ
καὶ φωτιεῖ τὴν καρδίαν σου.

 

 

2. Honor your mother as the mother of Christ,

  and do not irritate the grey head of her who bore you.

2. Τίμα τὴν μητέρα σου ὡς μητέρα Χριστοῦ.

καὶ μὴ παροξύνῃς πολιὰν τεκούσης σε.

 

 

3. Love your sisters as the daughters of your mother,
   and do not abandon the way of peace.

3. Ἀγάπα τἀς ἀδελφάς σου ὡς θυγατέρας μητρός σου,

καὶ μὴ ἐγκαταλίπῃς ὁδὸν εἰρήνης.

 

 

4. May the rising sun see the Book in your hands,
   and after the second hour your work.

4. Ἀνατέλλων ὁ ἥλιος βλεπέτω τὸ βιβλίον ἐν ταῖς χερσί σου,

καὶ μετὰ δευτέραν ὥραν τὸ ἔργον σου.

 

 

5. Pray ceaselessly (cf. 1Th 5.17),
   and remember Christ who begot you.

5. Προσεύχου ἀδιαλείπτως,

καὶ μέμνησο Χριστοῦ τοῦ γεννήσαντός σε.

 

 

6. Avoid incidents involving men, so that images do not arise in your soul;

   for they will be a stumbling block for you at the time of prayer.4

6. Συντυχίας ἀνδρῶν παραιτοῦ,
ἵνα μὴ γένηται εἴδωλα ἐν σῇ ψυχῇ

καὶ ἔσται σοι πρόσκομμα ἐν καιρῷ προσευχῆς.

 

 

7. Christ you have as [your] beloved:
cast
away from you all men;
and you will not live a shameful life.

7. Χριστὸν ἔχεις ἀγαπητόν·

ἀπόρριψον ἀπό σου ἄνδρας ἅπαντας

καὶ οὐ μὴ βιώσῃς ἐπονείδιστον βίον.

 

 

8. Put indignation and anger far away from you,

      and do not let brooding over injury lodge within you.

8. Θυμὸν καὶ ὀργὴν μακρὰν ποίησον ἀπό σου,

καὶ μνησικακία μὴ αὐλιζέσθω ἔν σοι.

 

 

9. Do not say, ďToday I will eat but I will not eat tomorrow,Ē
     for you do not do this with prudence.

   Indeed, this will cause harm to your body and pain in your stomach.

9. Μὴ εἴπῃς· σήμερον βρώσομαι καὶ αὔριο οὐͅͅ βρώσομαι,

ὅτι οὐκ ἐν φρονήσει ποιεῖς τοῦτο.

ἔσται γὰρ βλάβη τῷ σώματί σου καὶ ὀδύνη τῷ στομάχῳ σου.

 

 

10. Eating meat is not decent,
     nor is drinking wine good;

    these should rather be offered to the sick.

10.Ἐσθίειν κρέα οὐ καλὸν καὶ πίνειν οἶνον οὐκ ἀγαθόν,

προσφέρειν δὲ χρὴ ταῦτα ταῖς ἀσθενούσαις.

 

 

11. The rash virgin will not be saved;

    the wanton will not see her bridegroom.

11. Παρθένος θρασεῖα οὐ σωθήσεται

καὶ σπαταλῶσα οὐκ ὄψεται τὸν νυμφίον αὐτῆς.

 

 

12. Do not say, ĎThe maidservant has annoyed me and I am going to punish her,í because there is no servitude among the daughters of God.

12. Μὴ εἴπῃς ὅτι λελύπηκέ με ἡ θεραπαινὶς καὶ τίσομαι αὐτήν,
          διότι οὐκ ἔστιν δουλεία ἐν θυγατράσι θεοῦ.

 

 

13. Do not give your ear to empty words; flee the tales of old women (cf. 1 Tim. 4: 7) who wander about.

13. Μὴ δῷς ἀκοήν σου λόγοις ματαίοις,
          καὶ διηγήματα γραῶν φεῦγε κυκλευουσων.

 

 

14. Do not behold the festivities of drunkards, and do not attend the marriages of strangers, for any virgin who does these things is impure before the Lord.

14.Ἑορτὰς μεθύσων μὴ ἴδῃς.
          καὶ εἰς γάμους ἀλλοτρίων μὴ εἰσέλθης.
          ̓ακάθαρτος γὰρ παρὰκυρίῳ πᾶσα παρθένος ποιοῦσα ταῦτα.

15.

 

15. Open your mouth with the word of God (Prov. 31:8), and restrain your tongue from prolixity.

15.Ἄνοιγε σὸν στόμα λόγῳ θεοῦ,  καὶ κώλυε ἀπὸ πολυλογίας τὴν γλῶσσαν σου.

πολυλογία - cf. Mt.6.7 on prayer: Evag. Sch. 35 on Eccl. 5:1-2 (l. 26) on theologia; Sch 317 on Prov. 25.26

 

 

 

16. Humble yourself before the Lord, and his right hand will exalt you.

16.Ἔναντι κυρίου ψαπείνου σεαυτήν,
          καὶ ὑψώσει σε ἡ δεξιὰ αὐτοῦ.

 

 

17. Do not turn away a poor person in a time of affliction, and the oil will not fail in your lamp (cf. Matt. 25: 1Ė1 3).

17. Μὴ ἀποστρέφου πένητα ἐν καιρῷ θλιψεως,
          καὶ οὐ λείψει ἔλαιον ἀν τῇ λαμπάδι σου.

 

 

18. Do all things for the Lord, and do not seek the glory of men, because the glory of men is like the flower of the grass, but the glory of the Lord abides forever (cf. Isa. 40: 6Ė7).

18. Πάντα ποίει διὰ τὸν κύριον,
          καὶ μὴ ζήτει παρὰ ἀνθρώπων δόξαν, ὅτι δόξα ἀνθρώπων ὡς ἄνθος χόρτου, δόξα δὲ κυρίου μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

 

 

19. The Lord loves the gentle virgin, but the virgin inclined to anger will be hateful (to him).

19. Παρθένον πραεῖαν ἀγαπᾶ ὁ κύριος,
          παρθένος δὲ ὀργίλος μισηθήσεται.

 

 

20. The obedient virgin will receive mercy, but the contrary virgin is exceedingly foolish.

20.Ὑπακούουσα παρθένος ἐλεηθήσεται,
          ἡ δὲ ἀντιλέγουσα ἰσχυρῶς ἀφρων.

 

 

(p.133) 20a. She who diligently attends to the work enjoined upon her will find a great reward; but she who neglects it will be neglected.5

[Sink.: ďThis verse only in ĎLíĒ]

 

 

21. The grumbling virgin the Lord will destroy, but the grateful one he will save from death.

21. Γόγγυσον παρθένον ἀπολεῖ κύριος,
          τὴν δὲ εὐχάριστον ῥύσεται ἐκ θανάτου.

 

 

22. Laughter is shameful and shamelessness is disgraceful; every foolish person becomes involved in such things.

22. Αἰσχρὸν γέλως καὶ ἐπονείδιστον ἀναισχυντία,
          πᾶσα δὲ ἄφρων τοῖς τοιούτοις συμπλέκεται.

 

 

23. She who adorns her clothing will also be wanting in chastity.

23.Ἡ καλλωπίζουσα ἱμάτια αὐτης
          καὶ σωφροσύνης ἐκτὸς ἔσται.

24. Have no dealings with secular women, lest they turn aside your heart and render just counsels ineffective.

24. Μὴ συνουλίζου κοσμικαῖς,
          ἵνα μὴ διαστρέψωσι σὴν καρδίαν
          καὶ ἀκύρους ποιήσωσι βουλὰς δικαίας.

25. Implore the Lord with tears at night; no one will be aware of you praying and you will find grace.

25. Δάκρυσιν ἐν νυκτὶ παρακάλει τὸν κύριον,
          καὶ μηδεὶς ἄσθηται προσευχομένης σου καὶ εὑρήσεις κάριν.

26. The desire to walk about and the longing for houses of strangers upsets the state of the soul and destroys its zeal.

26.Ἐπιθυμία περιπάτων καὶ πόθος οἰκῶν ἀλλοτρίων
          ἀνατρεπει κατάστασιν ψυχῆς καὶ διαφθείρει προθυμίαν.

27. The faithful virgin will not be afraid, but the unfaithful one will flee even her own shadow.

27. Πιστὴ παρθένος οὐ δειλιάσει,
          ἡ δὲ ἄπιστος φεύξεται καὶ τὴν σκιὰν αὐτῆς.

28. Envy causes the soul to languish, and jealously consumes it.

28. Φθόνος τηκει ψυχήν
          καί ζη. λος κατεσθίει αὐτήν.

29. One who scorns her sick sister shall be distant also from Christ.

29. Καταφρονοῦσα τῆς ἀδελφῆς τῆς ἀσθενούσης
          καὶ τοῦ Χριστοῦ μακρὰν ἄσται.

30. Do not say, ĎThis is mine and this is yoursí, for in Christ Jesus all things are held in common.

30. Μὴ εἴπῃς· ἐμὸν τοῦτο καὶ σὸν τοῦτο.
          ἐν γὰρ ΧριστῷἸησοῦ τὰ πάντα κοινά.

31. Do not be overly curious about anotherís life, and do not rejoice over a fall of your sister.

31. Οὐ περιεργάσῃ ζωὴν ἀλλοτρίαν,
          καὶ πτώματι ἀδελφῆς σου οὐκ ἐπιχαρήσῃ.

32. Assist virgins who are needy, and do not be haughty over your noble birth.

32.Ἐπάρχει δεο μέναις παρθένοις,
          καὶ ἐπὶ εὐγενείᾳ σου  μὴ ἐπαίρου.

33. Do not bring forth a word from your mouth in the church of the Lord, and do not lift up your eyes, for the Lord knows your heart and watches over all your thoughts.6

33. Μὴ προέγκῃς λόγον ἐκ στόματός σου ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ κυρίου,
          καὶ μὴ μετεωρίσῃς τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς σου.
ὁ γὰρ κύριος γινώσκει σὴν καρδίαν,
          καὶ πάντας τοὺς διαλογισμου}ς σου σκοπεύει.

 

 

34. Drive from yourself every evil desire, and your enemies will do you no grief.

34. Πασαν κακὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἄπωσαι ἀπό σου,
καὶ οὐ μὴ λυπήσωσίν σε οἱ ἐχθροί σου.

 

 

35. Sing Psalms from your heart, and do not move only your tongue in your mouth.

35. Ψάλλε ἀπὸ καρδίας σου,
          καὶ μὴ κίνει μόνον τὴν γλῶσσαν σου ἐν τῷ στόματί σου.

 

 

36. The foolish virgin will love money; the wise one gives away even her own bread (cf. Matt. 25: 1Ė1 3).

36.Ἄφρων παρθένος ἀγαπήσει ἀργύριον,
          ἡ δὲ φρονίμη προσθήσει καὶ τὸν ψωμὸν αὐτῆς.

 

 

(p.134) 37. Just as the onrush of fire is difficult to holdback, so the soul of a virgin is difficult to heal when it has been wounded.7

37.Ὡσπερ ὁρμὴ πυρὸς δυσκάθεκτος,
          οὕτως ψυχὴ παρθένου τρωθεῖσα δυσίτος.

 

 

38. Do not give your soul to evil thoughts, lest they defile your heart and place pure prayer far way from you.

38. Μὴ δώῃς τὴν ψυχήν σου διαλογισμοῖς πονηροῖς,
          ἵνα μὴ μιάνωσι σὴν καρδίαν
          καὶ καθαρὰν προσευχὴν μακρὰν ποιήσωσι ἀπο} σου.

 

 

39. Sadness is burdensome and acedia is irresistible, but tears shed before God are stronger than both.

39. Βαρεῖα λύπη καὶ ἀνυπόστατος ἀκηδία,
          δάκρυα δὲ πρὸς θεὸν ἰσχυρότερα ἀμφοτέρων.

 

 

40. Hunger and thirst extinguish evil desires; a goodly vigil purifies the intellect.

40. Λιμὸς καὶ δίψα μαραίνει ἐπιθυμίας κακάς,
          ἀγρυπνία δὲ ἀγαθὴ καθαίρει διάνοιαν.

 

 

41. Love turns away anger and irascibility; gifts overcome resentment.8

41.Ὀργὴν καὶ θυμὸν ἀποστρέφει ἀγάπη,
          μνησικακίαν δὲ ἀνατρέπει δῶρα.

 

 

42. She who secretly gossips against her sister will be driven from the bridal chamber; she will cry out at its doors but no one will hear her.

42.Ἡ καταλαλοῦσα λάθρα τῆς ἀδελφῆς αὐτῆς
          ἐξωσθήσεται τοῦ νυμφῶνος,
καὶ βοήσεται πρὸς ταῖς θύραις αὐτου
          καὶ οὐκ ἒσται ὁ ὑπακούων.

 

 

43. The lamp of a virgin without mercy will be extinguished, and she will not see her bridegroom when he comes.

43. Παρθένου ἀνελεήμονος σβεσθήσεται λαμπάς,
          καὶ οὐ μη` ἲδῃ προελθόντα τὸν νυμφίον αὐτῆς.

 

 

44. If glass falls against a stone it will break; a virgin who touches a man will not be deemed without guilt.

44.Ὓαλος προσπίπτων λίθῳ συντριβήσεται,
          καὶ παρθένος ἁπτομένε ἀνδρὸς οὐκ ἀθωωθήσεται.

 

 

45. Better a gentle wife than an angry and irascible virgin.

45. Κρείσσων γυνὴ πραεῖα
          παρθένου ὀργίλου καὶ θυμώδους.

 

 

46. She who draws forth a manís words in laughter is like one who puts a noose around her own neck.

46.Ἡ ἐξέκουσα ἐν γέλωτι λόγους ἀνδρός,
          ὁμοία ἐστὶν τῇ περιβαλλούσῃ βρόχον τῷ ἑαυτῆς τραχήλῳ.

 

 

47. Like a pearl in a gold ring is a virgin hidden by modesty.

47.Ὥσπερ μαργρίτης ἐν σφενδόνῃ χρυσῇ,
          οὕτως παρθένος καλυπτομένη ὑπὸ αἰδοῦς.

 

 

48. The songs and pipings of demons9 undo the soul and destroy its vigour; be always on guard for this lest you be disgraced.

48.Ὠιδαὶ δαιμόνων καὶ αὐλοὶ ἐκλύουσιν ψυχὴν
          καὶ ἀπολλύουσιν εὐτονίαν αὐτῆς,
ἣν φύλαξον διὰ παντὸς,
          ἵνα μὴ ἐπονείδιστος γένη.

 

 

49. Take no delight in jests, nor find enjoyment with women who make them, for the Lord has abandoned them.

49. Μὴ τέρπου ἐπὶ γελοίοις,
          καὶ ἐπισκωπτούσαις μὴ εὐφραίνου,
          ὅτι κύριος ἐγκατέλιπεν αὐτάς.

 

 

50. Do not despise your sister when she eats, and do not grow haughty over your abstinence, for you do not know what the Lord has planned, or who shall stand before him.

50. Οὐκ ἐξουδενώσεις τὴν ἀδελφήν σου ἐσθίουσαν
          καὶ ἐπὶ ἐγκκρατείᾳ σου μὴ ἐπαρθῇς.
οὐ γὰρ οἶδας, τί βεβούλευται ὁ κύριος
          ἢ τίς στήσεται ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ.

 

 

51. She who pities her (own) blackened eyes and languished flesh will not rejoice in impassibility of soul.

51Ἡ οἰκτείρουσα πελιδνουμένους τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς
          καὶ τηκομένας τὰς σάρκας αὐτῆς,
          οὐκ εὐφρανθήσεται ἐπὶ ἀπαθείᾳ ψυχῆς.

 

 

52. Abstinence is burdensome and chastity difficult to attain, but there is nothing sweeter than the heavenly bridegroom.

52. Βαρεῖα ἐγκράτεια καὶ δυσκατόρθωτος ἁγνεία,
          ἀλλ' οὐδεν γλυκύτερον τοῦ ἐπουρανίου νυμφίου.

 

 

53. The souls of virgins will be illumined, but the souls of the impure will behold darkness.

53. Ψυχαὶ παρτένων φωτισθήσονται,
          ψυχαὶ δὲ ἀκαθάρτων ὄψονται σκότος.

 

 

(p.135) 54. I have seen men corrupting virgins with their doctrines, and rendering vain their virginity. But listen, my child, to the doctrines of the church of the Lord, and allow no stranger to win you over. [God established heaven and earth and exercises providence over all things and delights in them. There is no angel incapable of evil and there is no demon evil by nature, for God made both according to his will. As a human being is comprised of a corruptible body and a rational soul, so too our Lord was born, apart from sin, truly eating when he ate and truly he was crucified when crucified; and he was not a false apparition in peopleís eyes. There will be a true resurrection of the dead and this world will pass away and we will receive spiritual bodies.] For the just shall inherit the light, and the impious will inhabit the darkness.10

54. Εἶδον ἄνδρας φθείροντας παρθενείαν δόγμασι
          καὶ ματαίαν ποιοῦντας τὴν παρθενείαν αὐτῶν.
σὺ δὲ ἄκουε, τέκνον, δογμάτων ἐκκλησίας κυρίου,
          καὶ μηδεὶς ἀλλότριος μεταπείσῃ σε.

 

[Sink.: ďBracketed text only in ĎLíĒ]

δίκαιοι γὰρ κληρονομήσουσι φῶς,
          ἀσεβεῖς δὲ οἰκήσουσι σκότος.

 

 

55. Virgin eyes shall behold the Lord,
and the ears of virgins shall hear his words.

The mouth of virgins shall kiss the bridegroom,
and the nose of virgins shall be drawn towards the odour of his perfumes.

Virgin hands shall touch the Lord,
and their chastity of the flesh shall prove acceptable.

The virgin soul shall be crowned,
and she will live with her bridegroom always.

A spiritual garment shall be given to her,
and she will keep festival with the angels in heaven.

She shall light an inextinguishable lamp,
and the oil will not fail in her vessels.

She will receive eternal wealth
and will inherit the kingdom of God.

55. Παρθένοι ὀφθαλμοὶ ὄψονται κύ́ριοον.
          ἀκοαὶ δὲ παρθένων ἀκούσονται λόγων αὐτοῦ.

παρθένεν στόμα φιλήσει νυμφίον αὐτοῦ.
ὄσφρησις δὲ παρθένων ἐπ' ὀσμὴν μύρων αὐτοῦ δραμεῖται.

χειρες παρθένοι ψηλαφήσουσι κύριον,
          καὶ ἁγνεία σαρκὸς εὐπρόσδεκτος ἔσται.
παρθένος ψυχὴ στεφανωθήσεται,
          καἰ μετὰ του νυμφίου αὐτῆς βιώσεται διὰ παντός.
ἔνδυμα πνευματικὸν δοθήσεται αὐτῇ.
          καὶ μετὰ ἀγγέλων ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἑορτάσει.
ἄσβεστον ἀνάψει λαμπάδε,
          καὶ ἔλαιον οὐ λείψει ἐν τοῖς ἀγγείοις αὐτῆς.
λήψεται πλοῦτον αἰώνιον,
          καὶ κληρονομήσει βασιλείαν τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ.

 

 

56. My child, these are the words I have spoken to you; may your heart preserve what I have said. Remember Christ who keeps guard over you, and do not forget the worshipful and consubstantial Trinity.11

56. Οἱ ἐμοι λόγοι, τέκνον, εἴρηνται πρός σε,
          τὰ δὲ ἐμὰ ῥήματα τηρείτω σὴ καρδία.
μέμνησο Χριστοῦ τοῦ φυλάσσοντός σε,
          καὶ μὴ ἐπιλάθῃ τῆς προσκυνητῆς τριάδος.

   

 

 

   
   

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

ELM

1. Love the Lord and he will love you

                and submit to him and he will enlighten your heart.

2. Honor your mother as the mother of Christ,

                and donít provoke to anger the gray-head of her who bore you.

3. Love your sisters as daughters of your mother,

                and donít leave behind the road of peace.

4. May the rising sun see the book [Bible] in your hands,

                and your work after the second hour.

5. Pray unceasingly,

                and remember Christ who engendered you.

6. Entreat the good fortunes of men,

                so that images do not arise in your soul

                and will be an offense to you at the time of prayer.

7. You have Christ who is to be loved;

                throw away from you all men

                and donít live a reproachful life.

8. Put from you anger and long wrath,

                and may malice not lodge in you.

9. Donít say: ďToday I will eat and tomorrow I will not eat,Ē

                because not in thought will you do this. 

    For it will be harm to your body

                and pain in your stomach.

10. It is not good to eat meat and it is not good to drink wine,

                but it is necessary to bring these things to those women who are weak.

11. A bold maiden will not be saved

                and one being wanton will not see her husband.

12. Donít say that the handmaid has pained me and I will pay her back,

                because there is no slave-woman among the daughters of God.

13. Donít give your hearing to vain words,

                and flee the narratives of old women going round and round.

14. Donít look upon the feasts of drunks,

                and donít go to the marriage of strangers.

                For every maiden doing these things is unclean before the Lord.

15. Open your mouth with the word of God,

                and guard your tongue against prolixity.

16. In the presence of the Lord humble yourself,

                and his right hand will exalt you. 

17. Donít turn away a poor person in a pinch at the time,

                and oil will not be lacking in your lamp.

18. Do all things through the Lord,

                and donít seek glory from humans,

      because [the] glory of humans is as the flower of grass,

                and [the] glory of God stays forever.

19. The Lord loves a gentle maiden,

                and an irascible maiden will be hated.

20. A maiden who listens will be shown mercy,

                and one who talks back [will be] powerfully senseless.

21. The Lord will destroy a muttering maiden,

                but he will rescue an agreeable one from death.

22. Ugly laughter and shamelessness are to be reproached,

                and each senseless one will be caught up in such things.

23. The woman who adorns her clothes

                will also be outside of soundmindedness.

24. Donít congregate with worldly women,

                so that they donít destroy your heart

                and make just counsels powerless.

25. In tears in the night call to the Lord,

                and may no one hear you praying and you will find grace.

26. A desire for walking about and a yearning for othersí homes

                upsets the settled condition of the soul and destroys its zeal.

27. A faithful maiden will not be afraid,

                and the unfaithful one will flee even her shadow.

28. Envy melts the soul,

                and jealousy eats it away.

29. A woman disdainful of her sister who is weak

                will also be far from Christ.

30. Donít say, ďThis is mine and this is yours.Ē

                For in Christ Jesus all things are in common.

31. Donít meddle in anotherís life,

                and donít rejoice in the downfall of your sister.

32. Assist maidens in need,

                and donít be exalted on your noble birth.

33. Donít bring forth a word from your mouth in the church of the Lord,

                and donít raise your eyes.

      For the Lord knows your heart,

                and he sees all your accounts.

34. Push away from you all evil desire,

                and may your enemies not cause you pain.

35. Sing from your heart,

                and donít move only your tongue in your mouth.

36. A senseless maiden will love silver,

                but a sensible one will give also her morsel.

37. Just as the hard-to-hold-in movement of fire,

                thus the maidenís soul wounded is hard to heal.

38. Donít give your soul to wicked reckonings,

                lest they defile your heart

                and render a pure prayer far from you.

39. Pain is heavy and sorrow is not to be withstood,

                but tears toward God are stronger than both.

40. Hunger and thirst quench evil desires,

                and good sleeplessness purifies thought.

41. Love turns away anger and passion,

                and gifts turn away malice.

42. The woman who blabs without the knowledge of her sister

                will be expelled from the bridechamber,

      and will shout by his doors,

                and he will not be listening.

43. The lamp of a merciless maiden will be extinguished,

                and she wonít see her bridegroom coming forth.

44. Glass falling on a stone will be crushed,

                and a maiden clinging to a man will not go unpunished.

45. A gentle woman is stronger

                than an irascible and impassioned maiden.

46. She who drags out the words of a man in laughter

                is similar to one putting a noose around her own neck.

47. Just like a pearl on a golden hoop,

                thus is a maiden concealed by modesty.

48. Songs of demons and flutes loosen the soul

                and destroy its vigor,

      which you must guard through everything,

                lest you become worthy of reproach.

49. Donít delight in the laughable,

                and donít take joy in women making fun,

                because the Lord has abandoned them.

50. You will not set at naught your sister who is eating

                and donít exalt yourself on  your self-control

      For you donít know what the Lord wishes

                or who will stand before him.

51. She who has pity for eyes that have become livid

                or her skin that has wasted away

                will not rejoice in the insensitivity (passionlessness, "B"2g\") of the soul.

52. Self-control is heavy and chastity hard to succeed in,

                but nothing is sweeter than a heavenly bridegroom.

53. Souls of maidens will be enlightened,

                but souls of the impure will see darkness.

54. I saw men corrupting maidens in teachings

                and making their maidenhood in vain.

      But you, listen, child, to the teaching of the church of the Lord,

                and may no one else persuade you otherwise.

      for the just will inherit the light,

                and the impious will dwell in darkness.

55. Maiden eyes will see the Lord.

                And the hearings of maidens will hear his words.

      The mouth of maidens will love its bridegroom.

                the maidensí sense of smell  will run to the scent of his perfume

      Maiden hands will feel the Lord,

                and chastity of the flesh will be acceptable.

      A maiden soul will be crowned,

                and will live through everything with its [the soulís] bridegroom

      A spiritual garment will be given to it [the soul],

                and it will feast with angels in heaven

      It will light an unquenchable lamp,

                and olive oil will not be lacking in its jars.

      It will take eternal wealth,

                and it will inherit the kingdom of God.

56. My words, child, have been spoken to you,

                and may your heart watch over my sayings.

      Remember Christ who holds guard over you,

                and donít forget the worship of the Trinity.

 

Exhortation to a Virgin

1. Love the Lord and he will love you; serve him and he will illumine your heart.

2. Honour your mother as you would the mother of Christ, and do not vex the grey hairs of the one who bore you.1

3. Love your sisters as the daughters of your mother, and do not abandon the way of peace.2

4. Let the rising sun see the book in your hands, and after the second hour your work.

5. Pray without ceasing (cf. 1 Thess. 5: 17), and remember Christ who begot you.3

(p.132) 6. Avoid encounters with men, lest images arise in your soul; they will be an obstacle for you in the time of prayer.4

7. You have Christ as your beloved; cast all men away from you, and you will not live a disgraceful life.

8. Put irascibility and anger far from you, and let not resentment find shelter within you.

9. Do not say, ĎToday I shall eat and tomorrow I shall not eat,í because you are not doing this with prudence; this will result in harm to your body and pain in your stomach.

10. It is not good to eat meat, nor is it good to drink wine, but one should offer these to those who are sick.

11. The insolent virgin will not be saved; the indulgent one will not see her bridegroom.

12. Do not say, ĎThe maidservant has annoyed me and I am going to punish her,í because there is no servitude among the daughters of God.

13. Do not give your ear to empty words; flee the tales of old women (cf. 1 Tim. 4: 7) who wander about.

14. Do not behold the festivities of drunkards, and do not attend the marriages of strangers, for any virgin who does these things is impure before the Lord.

15. Open your mouth to the word of God, and prevent your tongue from talking too much.

16. Humble yourself before the Lord, and his right hand will exalt you.

17. Do not turn away a poor person in a time of affliction, and the oil will not fail in your lamp (cf. Matt. 25: 1Ė1 3).

18. Do all things for the Lord, and do not seek the glory of men, because the glory of men is like the flower of the grass, but the glory of the Lord abides forever (cf. Isa. 40: 6Ė7).

19. The Lord loves the gentle virgin, but the virgin inclined to anger will be hateful (to him).

20. The obedient virgin will receive mercy, but the contrary virgin is exceedingly foolish.

(p.133) 20a. She who diligently attends to the work enjoined upon her will find a great reward; but she who neglects it will be neglected.5

21. The grumbling virgin the Lord will destroy, but the grateful one he will save from death.

22. Laughter is shameful and shamelessness is disgraceful; every foolish person becomes involved in such things.

23. She who adorns her clothing will also be wanting in chastity.

24. Have no dealings with secular women, lest they turn aside your heart and render just counsels ineffective.

25. Implore the Lord with tears at night; no one will be aware of you praying and you will find grace.

26. The desire to walk about and the longing for houses of strangers upsets the state of the soul and destroys its zeal.

27. The faithful virgin will not be afraid, but the unfaithful one will flee even her own shadow.

28. Envy causes the soul to languish, and jealously consumes it.

29. One who scorns her sick sister shall be distant also from Christ.

30. Do not say, ĎThis is mine and this is yoursí, for in Christ Jesus all things are held in common.

31. Do not be overly curious about anotherís life, and do not rejoice over a fall of your sister.

32. Assist virgins who are needy, and do not be haughty over your noble birth.

33. Do not bring forth a word from your mouth in the church of the Lord, and do not lift up your eyes, for the Lord knows your heart and watches over all your thoughts.6

34. Drive from yourself every evil desire, and your enemies will do you no grief.

35. Sing Psalms from your heart, and do not move only your tongue in your mouth.

36. The foolish virgin will love money; the wise one gives away even her own bread (cf. Matt. 25: 1Ė1 3).

(p.134) 37. Just as the onrush of fire is difficult to holdback, so the soul of a virgin is difficult to heal when it has been wounded.7

38. Do not give your soul to evil thoughts, lest they defile your heart and place pure prayer far way from you.

39. Sadness is burdensome and acedia is irresistible, but tears shed before God are stronger than both.

40. Hunger and thirst extinguish evil desires; a goodly vigil purifies the intellect.

41. Love turns away anger and irascibility; gifts overcome resentment.8

42. She who secretly gossips against her sister will be driven from the bridal chamber; she will cry out at its doors but no one will hear her.

43. The lamp of a virgin without mercy will be extinguished, and she will not see her bridegroom when he comes.

44. If glass falls against a stone it will break; a virgin who touches a man will not be deemed without guilt.

45. Better a gentle wife than an angry and irascible virgin.

46. She who draws forth a manís words in laughter is like one who puts a noose around her own neck.

47. Like a pearl in a gold ring is a virgin hidden by modesty.

48. The songs and pipings of demons9 undo the soul and destroy its vigour; be always on guard for this lest you be disgraced.

49. Take no delight in jests, nor find enjoyment with women who make them, for the Lord has abandoned them.

50. Do not despise your sister when she eats, and do not grow haughty over your abstinence, for you do not know what the Lord has planned, or who shall stand before him.

51. She who pities her (own) blackened eyes and languished flesh will not rejoice in impassibility of soul.

52. Abstinence is burdensome and chastity difficult to attain, but there is nothing sweeter than the heavenly bridegroom.

53. The souls of virgins will be illumined, but the souls of the impure will behold darkness.

(p.135) 54. I have seen men corrupting virgins with their doctrines, and rendering vain their virginity. But listen, my child, to the doctrines of the church of the Lord, and allow no stranger to win you over. [God established heaven and earth and exercises providence over all things and delights in them. There is no angel incapable of evil and there is no demon evil by nature, for God made both according to his will. As a human being is comprised of a corruptible body and a rational soul, so too our Lord was born, apart from sin, truly eating when he ate and truly he was crucified when crucified; and he was not a false apparition in peopleís eyes. There will be a true resurrection of the dead and this world will pass away and we will receive spiritual bodies.] For the just shall inherit the light, and the impious will inhabit the darkness.10

55. Virgin eyes shall behold the Lord, and the ears of virgins shall hear his words. The mouth of virgins shall kiss the bridegroom, and the nose of virgins shall be drawn towards the odour of his perfumes. Virgin hands shall touch the Lord, and their chastity of the flesh shall prove acceptable. The virgin soul shall be crowned, and she will live with her bridegroom always. A spiritual garment shall be given to her, and she will keep festival with the angels in heaven. She shall light an inextinguishable lamp, and the oil will not fail in her vessels. She will receive eternal wealth and will inherit the kingdom of God.

56. My child, these are the words I have spoken to you; may your heart preserve what I have said. Remember Christ who keeps guard over you, and do not forget the worshipful and consubstantial Trinity.11

 

 


This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990....x....  .