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the command of the master and the perfect work of the disciple with the fear of God, go both jointly together, and are speedily effected by those who thirst after life everlasting. These take the narrow way, of which the Lord saith : "Narrow is the way which leadeth to life." 1 They live not according to their own will, nor follow their own desires and pleasures, but, abiding in monasteries, they will to have an Abbot over them, and walk according to his command and direction. Without doubt these fulfil that saying of our Lord: "I came not to do my own will, but the will of Him Who sent me. "2
This obedience will then be acceptable to God and pleasing to men, if what is commanded be not done fearfully, slowly, coldly, or with murmuring, or an answer showing unwillingness; because the obedience which is given to superiors is given to God, Who hath said: “He that heareth you, heareth Me." 3 Hence it ought to be done by the disciples with a good will, because God "loveth a cheerful giver." 4 If the disciple obey with ill-will, and murmur, not only in words, but also in heart, although
ore, sed etiam corde si murmuraverit : etsi impleat jussionem, tamen acceptus jam non erit Deo, qui cor respicit murmurantis; et pro tali facto nullam consequitur gratiam; imo murmurantium pœnam incurrit, si non cum satisfactione emendaverit.
he fulfil what is commanded him, it will not be acceptable to God, Who considereth the heart of the murmurer. For such a work he shall not have any reward, but rather incurreth the penalty of murmurers, unless he amend and make satisfaction.
24 Jan, FACIAMUS quod ait Propheta: "Dixi, 24 Sept. Custodiam vias meas, ut non delinquam in lingua mea: posui ori meo custodiam : obmutui, et humiliatus sum, et silui a bonis." 1 Hic ostendit Propheta, si bonis eloquiis interdum propter taciturnitatem debet taceri, quanto magis a malis verbis propter pœnam peccati debet cessari? Ergo, quamvis de bonis et sanctis ad ædificationem eloquiis, perfectis discipulis, propter taciturnitatis gravitatem, rara loquendi concedatur licentia, quia scriptum est: "In multiloquio non effugies peccatum." Et alibi: "Mors et vita in manibus linguæ." 3
'Ps. xxxviii. 2. 3.- 2 Prov. x. 19.-3 Prov. xviii. 21.
LET us act in accordance with that saying of the Prophet; "I have said: I will keep my ways, that I offend not with my tongue. I have been watchful over my mouth: I held my peace and humbled myself, and was silent from speaking even good things." If, therefore, according to this saying of the Prophet we are at times to abstain, for silence sake, even from good talk, how much more ought we to refrain from evil words, on account of the guilt and penalty of sin! Therefore, because of the importance of silence, let leave to speak be seldom given, even to perfect disciples, although their words be of good and holy matters, tending unto edification; because it is written: "In much speaking, thou shalt not escape sin." And in another place: "Death and life are in the hands of the tongue.'