Life of the Five Brothers

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Seminar on Life of the Five Brothers



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okay today we're going to get right into the life of five brothers and start reading some of the text just one more word about the literary genre again which was what we were talking about the last time or remember that
the or he geography lives of saints is something that's been absent for a number of centuries from western culture even from catholic culture and the people write about saints and even modern contemporary writers like robert bolt right about saints but this is not a geography so edgy agra
fee is not historical writing as we understand the term st peter damian says in the prologue to live and st ronnie old that is not writing us history so he's not a biographer should they were not concerned to do a precise research so as to be able to
recount the details and the
relations of cause and effect in the life of their subject of their st
however it is not fiction
it's not pure invention
there is a very definite attention to the tradition that literary tradition of lives of the saints beginning shall we say with the life of st anthony's and seeing athanasius he said this last time and continuing on through st jerome st gregory the great and so forth
so they follow these patterns and very often to passages directly from these earlier lives of saints and then adapted them to the st they were writing pop but what is most important is that all lives of the scenes practically were intended to be read and church in the context of the liturgical celebrations so they are liturgy this is per
perhaps the best way to think about what a life was seen as it is liturgy it's a celebration of the wonderful works of bob
and it's context what the germans calls it seem lay them or the vital situation in which the text and it has its moments it's natural place is precisely the celebration of visuals the samadhi also singing chant the other
readings the scripture readings and so you find the life of the seat as a commentary on scripture as a celebration of the continuing work of the holy spirit in the church and st gregory the great said the scriptures have not
ceased to be written they are now no longer written on paper or parchment they are written in the lives of believers of the faithful of the saints
so the continuation of scripture and the celebration of the work saving works of god which scripture tells
the whole of his story of salvation history is as i said last i'm democratize and the lives of the saints so that would have an exemplar of a reality which each christians called upon to limp so we're not saints were on the way there we have the saints who are me
east at the end of their lives realized bullet that powerful work of salvation we've gotten
the accomplished and in christ
also this term salvation is very important will see this from the life of the five brothers people come to monasteries for salvation not for perfection as we would think of purely moral perfection or or some other kind of perfection and not to polish their soul as it were but simply to be saved
to find christ will see that the text so let us let us now dive into it
the life of the five brothers by bruno queer for it begins with a prologue and it begins with a cry for help it's very interesting the first word of bruno's book is help odd you've made a was helped me oh god no he says cry for help
whereas the first
word of of st peter damian is against advantage against you o unplayed world i must protest that's how it begins you see so you can tell they're very different personalities and so brutal curve for because of this cry of cry for help and we assume that he is giving vent to his tormented conscience why
because he betrayed his best friend will see that in the story he promised that he would follow benedict is best friend up to poland and never did so i didn't get there in time and then and it was killed before he managed to get there but no this is not the case because every life was seen
begins with some act of humility and modesty and the part of the car and they all say it peter damian says that rather more cursorily i mean he has to say because this is what was done
whereas bruno queer for it says it more emphatically and apologizes for his lack of literary talent there is some truth in this his latin is is very difficult is very contorted and sometimes incorrect he obviously treasures his knowledge of and it's something that he and
joy's writing but it is a difficult latin sounds as if he's talking with a german accent or something like that with anyway you can hear that this is not his language that he's not a latin whereas a peter damon's latin is something that that flows and sings you know it's it's it's really an italian with the the latter case and verb endings
so he begins here helped me oh god i am a man of little talent but i want to tell a great story give me eloquence understanding and feeling let me tell a tale of saints men a pure hearts and good works who have received from your hand the royal robe of martyrdom
some of these phrases we find in a previous writing of buddha care for the life of st adalbert we mentioned something about seattle births bohemian say to was murdered in poland and who created a great
impression on all of europe and also in the young emperor out it's a third this was the ah
the beginnings of the of the christianization of the slavic peoples in the eastern europe magyars wrongdoings etc
so he says let me tell it to your sainz meant of pure hearts and good works who received the
golden end of the purple passion this is the that the literal translation the of the wooden means is that these scenes received as a pure gift from god this royal row of martin them their lives their hearts were pure and their works were good but it was not the
good works that earned martin
and if you i'm sure you all remember the sermon of thomas the archbishop and murdered in the cathedral and this is a very fine theological statement that has made their i'm thinking about martyrs and not made by men think when it's not a question of have a working towards
and that's the fourth attempt to the fourth tempter was tempting him to be a saint you see for the to do the right deed for the wrong reason that's the greatest to greatest reason according to the a them according to the theology of holiness so pure hearts good works but then as a pure purely gratuitous go
oh god gave them the rubber market
bruno continues good jesus i know what i am my sins of slain me and left me to rot like a dead dog on a dunkeld i wallow in evil like a sow in the mud
do not condemn me dear jesus if i dare to write about somebody else's virtues and you my reader my judge forgive me for telling this story with no style without practicing what i preach i simply must do it for i am driven by love so the this this paragraph or very emphatic and in their phrases from school
capture it's all woven into ah it's it's it it's a tissue of of scriptural illusions
he says i admit that i am a monstrous example of contradictory behavior but even if i can not seeing a good song at least let me borrow like a dog
i will end up in hell if like a guilty bystander i fail to tell what i have seen
the sin of the guilty bystander is the sin of omission so he's alluding to the epistle of james here etc
one thing is certain as long as i keep dipping my pen into the ink pot of my mind i will have no time to think about sin or committed so what does his busy writing you won't be doing anything wrong to talk about good deeds is sometimes helpful but writing about them always is bar lambs talking as told of god's mercy and my
it as scripture says this morning's reading said by a little child should we not show the way to those want to live rightly and be saved so here he is for know again taking a references to scripture one after the other is the book of numbers that far along the pagan prophet who saw the future
glory and perhaps the through messiah of israel
and his donkey prophesied to him another as the dark he told him that there was an angel barking when since episode about the talking donkey and then the being led by a little child of causes the refers to isaiah eleven six which we read and he says should we not show the way to
those who want to live rightly and be saved
now when he says live rightly and be saved these two or equivalent this is very important that terms here are important he says literally to show the way of salvation show salvation to those who are concerned to live rightly the directed the right to live rightly means to live according to right reason and this is salvation
so the human being has saved that is it restored to integrity to spiritual sanity by returning to human nature as rational as rational or logical using the greek key
later we'll see that bruno calls ronald the father of rational reasonable hermits part of that soon emilio me time
who live according to right reason they're they're the reasonable terms because they live according to the rule credit to a law which is the rule of st benedict for for bruno square foot and iran cause
but there is a law within that law and the law the great law of monks is the law of discretion discretion all of this is implied in this in this simple phrase showed the way to those want to live rightly and be saved all of this is implied because later on we'll find the same expressions coming up again made more explicit
so the great law for monks as the law of discretion and this is a an important theme in this this book
so he says with his hope i have begun now let me tell my story but first i need god's help the touch of his hand is were that results from heaven he is my help when the earth and sky who fashioned both saint and sinner by his power and then he goes into a very beautiful prayer where his
constantly quoting the liturgy god come to my assistance more than a case to help me etc etc
great savoury concludes as i set sail on a stormy sea have pity on me for your own namesake put an end to my anguish and say to my soul i am your salvation song thirty four so now he gets into chapter one chapter one of the chapters and
in my translation are divided according to the see i made the translation from the critical texts which was published in poland the momentum polonia is gone cancer
collections of texts that relate to the district poland to live until the latin text that's a very carefully edited and annotated but there a the italian translation by bernardo yes the one where months from them around in italy soon enough to know to to know personally he died to make it seven
eighty or seventy one seventy one yeah
was fine transmitter and he divided the the text into rather short chapters so easily divided to easily and conveniently but the chapter titles are mine so this is now in the latin text but we will give the chapter titles as we go chapter one benedict's vocation then addict
of benevento is the start as the main character of the life of five brothers benevento is in southern italy it is not far from this is it with them and so with inland from naples so we can think of him as a neapolitan and we'll see he
is a highly emotional person very emotional ah
a very
given to ups and downs and woods a very intense
the i'm incredibly intense and always been throwing himself into things anyone has ever known as southern italian or especially in the neapolitan one knows the personality type that that is
you wouldn't speak of of either type be your type a personalities from neapolitans you need something more than typing so they're they're very excitable very of your and can be extremely joyful extremely sad and singing and surfer but so this was the personality of identity of benevento and it's it's marvelous you know when
we read about the friendship between him and this highly cultured and rather staid german bruno were so you see these two personalities and i somewhat imagine that but but this does appear from from his writing that you have bruno with what they are
a very nordic shall we say dramatic personality and you have this neapolitan ah who is always very emotional and excitable and yet they become very good friends the seat of whom i write came from benevento and his name was benedict the very sound of his name echoes
the benediction of is coming and going the goodness of his living at die so i'm approximately translating a series of puns on his name then it means well not been at the tous well said or well spoken of it's mean that lived from outspoken have been a van duin than a well when to him having come so i haven't come hell
and therefore he says he he came and went well and lived died well then something's are all based on his name
while he had a child benedict began to practice the true philosophy the following of price another very important monastic term monastic vocabulary this is this expression could he stop the law safari to philosophize for christ this expression the key concept a medieval monastic or
capillary once again links monastic practice to the evangelical and paul i notion of salvation
a person enters the monastery in order to live according to the gospel and so to be saved
and this is what true philosophy is that the term the philosophy of christ you find in the
in the a
apologists hip and forgot to turn the apologists various early christian writers the most notable how who was justin the martyr
these justin and so of course was a philosopher
as a pagan of them became a christian and upheld christianity of the highest philosophy so that's what this is what they mean philosophy in our mind is always something that has to do with with theories about the worm but chris mark said the task of philosophy is
no longer to explain the world but change the world and this is a wise say other things are less wise marks as we will know but he makes a good point now in earlier philosophy let us say before aristotle came to dominate western thought with scholasticism nothing
against quite as but hairstyle is a bit problematic
it would have been said the purpose of philosophy is not to explain the world but to explain the human person and how the human person must achieve the end of the human nature human essence philosophy mint first of all a a way of thought that
gives light to our plan that helps us to live it helps us to achieve the ultimate and wisdom is that which are
can govern our life and bring it to its ultimate end now this is philosophy for most of the ancients and with the possible exception of aristotle
now this is doomed debatable perhaps but to being very schematic one can say that you have this general opinion of philosophy as a way of life more than a theory about the whole reality or whatever
so then in the monastic tradition monastic literature to philosophize for christ mean simply to live the monastic life as the way of salvation
let's has back to bruno he says a bright lad he learned benedict learned his lessons well the about and chased he avoided the pitfalls abuse and all of these are standard affirmations what says this about saints you find this and most lives of sense now use a particular point about benedict's own life which is
also a fact that a very important social fact in the church about which bruno rare for st rom you'll st peter damian st john waldron many other seeds of the time are concerned than that is similarly he says benedict's parents were eager to see him a priest earning and their love for him
him they paid the local bishop to ordain him although their son had not yet reached the canonical age this is semen hey we get our named to have your sunday when benedict learned about the money involved in other words this was after the ordination he thought this was he was being ordained because it was a smart lad we don't know how will he was maybe eighteen
economical age then where would it would have been it would have been twenty three wouldn't it to father do more latter yeah this in the middle ages i don't know when that the the eight of twenty four was actually the age of can get a lot ah data the camelot i was really a major so of course it didn't make any difference me but
ah so anyway he was a family in his late teens when benedict learned about the money involved he did penance for his parents sin
he did penance for his parents sin a particular thing which has also set of rom romulus about st romeo is absolutely certain that this was the mechanism the dynamic of your location on the other course a gate
five years ago we talked about that and how he came to the monastery first as to do penance for his father father's committing a murder
so been addicted planets for his parents sin by joining a community of canons regular the canons regular where the the exception you see they were the unmarried priests most of the priests at the time of benedict in a person for mill etc were married many not my job
know how many but some bishops were also married
this was a practice which was considered uneconomical ah it was looked upon very unfavorably but the marriages were not invalid see this was something that came later it came as in a problem some prefer became lose the one who ah
declared invalid all the marriages on the part of those in holy orders but
these two things were connected together the similarly to paying buying and selling of of benefits as that isn't a fantastical offices and which she when the priest was married you can have on the who yeah the parents or whatever to his son say so this was also a problem nepotism and so both of these ah
abuses in the church were opposed very strongly by this reforming monks
so peter being gross shows rom you'll taking out them the terms of canon law don't know how good story of this was we have done so in order to show the some similar vehicle priests really one should pay to get them sexual pain it's never against the laws well anyway he does us by joining a community of canons regular they follow the rule of st augustine
but they were still there were living us as secular clergy we would say even though benedict's life among them was exemplary the spirits soon moved him to give up everything for god and he became a monk so to become a cannon wrote canon regular was not giving up everything forgotten and simply living a much stricter live and and committing oneself
to celibacy
and to the common life but not necessarily to a particular a spiritual by but very soon he did become a monk in reality says bruno he was a monk already he had taken chastity as his bride and kept his virginity with great zeal great zeal expression really is excessive
zero meaning of them
he could be a brutal perfect could very well i think really he is suggesting in a very subtle way that this adolescent fervor
oh benedict was a little too much it was exaggerated and that benedict had a later to learn the great rule the great wisdom of discretion you learned this from seen rom
so he continues when god called him he entered the monastery and the holy savior which overlooks the sea we don't know where this was the holy saviour of monastery dedicated the holy saviors dedicated to the transfiguration so oliver hermitage is accept this from are dedicated to the transfiguration
okay mildly especially because he romulus was very devoted to this mystery their benedict there at this monastery benedict found his mother the monastic rule smother so rooms invented it is his mother
the their holy rule itself does not speak of itself as a mother but there is an expression which benedict alludes to and the fallen since benedict submitted to her commands even when they seemed harsh and painful and soon he discovered what great sweetness flows from her breasts which feed god serve
ants so it's a lovely image
there is of course in the prologue numbers forty nine of the role of st benedict this expression that and the beginning there may be a certain strictness a sense of of the of a hardness in the rule but as one practices that one begins to the hardest opened in one begins to run away of god's command
that's with unspeakable sweden's of law so this expression of st benedict has picked up by bruno and then modified a bit in the direction was beautiful feminine imagery
benedict was an exemplary monk and then a few years he was ready to live as a hermit and other theme here the novice was very fervent right after his novitiate or after very few years of monastic grip of profession is ready to live as apparent this is presented as an exception because it is an exception
even for the disciples of st wrong most of the disciples have seen robin where cinema larger movies them to he found there were few there were few who were ready immediately after at least one year of the benedict inhibition in the tsunami
come home and have a new lives this was part of the of the essential information of his disciples but some of them were capable already have a greater degree of solitude right at the beginning of their monastic life
the abbott would have let benedict have a private cell in the abbey but benedict could not endure the mediocrity and lukewarm observance of his brothers and one i've seen wrong the holy spirit's fire raged in his heart and drove him out into the wilderness
so he fled far from his place of birth and came to mount syrupy on which the pope pagan poet saying this says horace do you see how deep the snow lies and sir act is white peak the quotation has nothing to do the story is just brutal for for showing off the fact that is red or us that has read the class
epson so he's just turn
just a premium his feathers little bit here
so benedict spent about three years on the mountain the hard life you lead their made him vulnerable to every sort of temptation as he himself admitted later and here again very suddenly very sadly rumor perfect is suggesting that it was this this young monk a young hermit very indiscreet very unpractical
and the more he more pendency did the more sub the more over sensitized to became those this example of this problem in the life of st benedict chapter one of the book to the dialogue was engraved wooden railroads be respects of the
her medical experience of ah
that st benedict that these aqua speak or pumps will be accompanied by cave
and there one day a bird fluttered around his head and this completely innocuous or stimulus provoked a very strong erotic explosion of emotions and he began to remember that all of his girlfriends and and at a certain point and decided well i guess my cat
i'm not cut out for the monastic life i don't know it but at that moment of course says st gregory he took off his robes and threw himself into into a bush of stinging nettles rolled around him you know them so that the so that the the sting of the the metals and the thorns would would drive the passion out of his
aren't some thereafter he was never troubled by these temptations well that's fine but actually that is an exaggeration and
so that benedict doesn't have to really say that i did the readers would realize that that the point of monastic life is not to throw herself and performs and nettles you know this is not the way of doing it and when you do exaggerate and we all need to
test our limits at times but it is extremely important to humbly recognize our limit recognize our limitations recognize that we're capable of so much and no more this discretion expressionism is a is as a
fundamental attitude of humility towards oneself and towards one's vocation that means that god is calling me to greater things but he is not yet given me the grace to do all of those greater things that i imagine i should be doing like to do or the saints did mrs very grateful
so i'm going to care for this is a good you know it's a golden thread kind of woven through the story as it is through a lot of monastic literature as it must have been in the teaching of st paul when we find of course this is presented also by peter david there's a chapter nine of the leipzig ronald which is out of its chrono lodge
michael order but presents this very the teachings of see me about vigilant about vigils keeping watch at night about prayer and about a fast and and their three very fine simple rules and a moderation of humans indiscretion better one song with the with devotion
sound and
that would never permit any of his diet disciples to fast all day
the past without getting in things better to eat some everyday feel hungry everyday so ah that is the the the the fasting them is is something that
it also in another place and also peter david says that bromfield council's his disciples to be and watch against hypocrisy ah and if they want to do in they're eating of the common table they want to do a little edge to fasting all we need to do is kind of piddle and battle for their food is not just the me a little later starting you see and then
in other than internet rather than you finish with the with the others who say he didn't give the impression that you're eating what they ate meat little less you avoid calling attention to yourself when you read these are various rules that come from monastic literature and find them in cash and you'll find them in saint benedict you find ronald and if
so this young benedict on the mountain for three years and just had a lot of trouble with temptations because he was exaggerating a bit
continues my brother continues meanwhile the abba although he praised bennett exhausted the of with a monster the avid although he praised benedict's austerity kept trying to woo him back to the monastir when been a dick did return the avid build him a cell near the abbey where he might enjoy that certain sweetness which god
does not begrudge his lovers and where the hermit life would be easier for him at edifying for others it was nothing wrong with hermit life is a little easier it's also more glorious says sir
says bruno what it means is that to that to his example can shine before other people it's not totally iceland
it's not totally cut off looking
has greater degree of solitude join the community for one supposes for saturdays and sundays was real the custom
and he does not exaggerate or with the pencil
chapter two master romulus and here is the part where bruno quivered talks about old and about how
how he himself and how benedict benevento met ronald
now at monte cassino there was a nobleman of mature years john good an ego by name a companion of peter or sale the doge of venice when the doge decided to become a monk john to drawn to better things renounced worldly power and riches so or
remember when i mentioned the first time that very important date nine seventy september first nine seventy eight that was the date when romney went from venice to coup shot to this monster in the pyrenees together with peter for sale on the doge that is the ruler of venice is an elect them prints are like the
hoover elected by the aristocratic the great council the council of the noble family family leaders of the city
and a peter are sale it was a very poorly nanny he was service on in years is fifty for those days are fairly advanced age
he had been very devout man and actually have been living as a secret month you've been living cell of life for many years
before he became a monk actually his election as doge of venice was a under rather murky circumstances there had been a a kind of a revolution in the town the his predecessor was killed and so some of the stigma of this fell on peter or sale on fact peter damian
assumes that you're a sailor was in on the plot whereas writers closer to the time of this for sale
do not speak of him as involved but simply as you know be stepping into the office because was vacant but then realizing that are the only way to save himself was to join the monastery so it or sale leaves from shock and brings with him too obvious
closest friends and counselors john put out an ego and john morrow zeny more genie the name of vincent mean chance of any later went back to venice and founded a monastery there in john got an ego was a and romeo was of course with them and john got an ego joined ronald and
the hermitage not john got the negro made as inhibition in the monastery and then after his benedict and profession when enjoy or ronald in the cell which was a
just about fifteen twenty minute hike up a hill
he wouldn't have the publisher
ah genre the new york since here showed such spiritual maturity as a novice that immediately after monastic professional he was allowed to leave us a hermit subject to the authority of his spiritual father i put in parentheses avid gadi of to show the album contract because from the context it's not run or even a manual became
the leader of the little hermit calling their boucher but it is the father of the abbey so very important that the hermit be subject to obedience part of the community be subject to the obedience to the not on his own risk and to become a certified and segmented constant sudo
or whatever and i would say
the doge ended his days and god's service clothed as a monk and course he was canada is now we would see was a very when i was venerated there at kershaw's a saint and then i was canonized locally was comprehensive canonization was recognized eventually by the only see
and john after the father rabbits death continue to pursue the solitary live near the abbey of monte cassino where he learned a great thing for his virtues
monte cassino just recently been refounded seed money casino what had been destroyed at least i believe twice since the time st benedict first degenerate just a generation after st benedict and then once again refounded destroyed again and amongst finally came back and so much sooner
this time was one of the centers of a reformed monasticism spirit of clooney you might say but also with certain amount of greek man that monastic influence from southern italy
st neots i spoke spoken the first thought was also there from reputed monte casino
how are young and so there was a hermit colony near monte cassino this is there was no chances this was a part of the whole vision of the reform of the mast of life
generally called clooney can the next spirit there is the cognac or order or the congregation of puny or the monasteries directly subject to the islands have a me but then there are other monasteries and had the same spirit and so romulus within this particular video probably would want monasticism
emphasizing the current apply but the hermit life was something he didn't bet with their his partners this reformed monasticism
our young benedict often came to visit father john and even thought of sharing john sell wise thought for then he would not be wandering about following his own whims this custom of sharing and elders cell is very common and very common among st romulus his disciples i'm very common in
the life of seem wrong with a number of times we read about his cell site the companion in his cell and this was industries very generally practice was accustomed want a villain funding of atlanta
the the cells were contiguous so i've often said that for de valera was built a rather like the retreat house very similar in some ways that but even the dimensions of the cells as about the same they didn't have an indoor toilet that's the only difference but the the cells are about the same and there were two months
we stay there the elder and then one of the novices
there wasn't one novice and that master but an office would commonly be assigned to one of the elder of the best monks to trip to betrayed
father john instructed benedict in the way of salvation here again instructed him in that hermit life but not the way of salvation because the whole point is to begin be saved
we say so father john is instructive benedict and the way of salvation but with humility ascribing all his teachings to the wisdom and virtue of master ronald calls him magista roma loose master ronald he wasn't what you will call them same problem because he wasn't he was delivered was
analyze business he was saying that he wasn't canonize
romuald john said is the greatest hermit of our day yet he lives this beautiful life humbly and without presumption
he does not take for granted speaking of romulus he does not take for granted his own understanding of the life but follows the conferences of the desert elders there's was the doctrine he taught us so presumption is a typical monastic vice perhaps you could say it's the
sort of those are not yet really living the fall i mean haven't really achieved there there are the
what the hermit life really is still supposed to be presumption it means i take for granted my own understanding of what monasticism is about
mumps or either damned by presumption are saved by discretion they are damned if they take for granted their ability to achieve salvation by willpower and self control they are saved if they recognized that all his grace and work out there salvation in fear and trembling avoiding that bitter zeal which leads to
to hell and practice with the good zeal which monks or to have see it also benedict chapter seventy two these are my words i'm summarizing just of the unanimous teaching that monastic literature so very important to sleep along the line of group
not as living
there is yeah it is analogous it is analogous keeping in mind however the fact of the hierarchical structure of the christian church as a western society in general keeping a night also the scriptural doctrine of the teaching the holy spirit
the new covenant as an inner teaching of the spirit keeping in mind also the fact that the scriptures were the school and the function of the master of the teacher was to lead the disciple to the scriptures and helping read them say so the function is analogous on a phenomenological level relationship is ah
a very similar but there is a very different theology there we must keep that in mind
but it isn't just point and and so this is such but just to get back to to the point about the presumption versus discretion
sync with john got an ego is very humble in presenting the teaching about the monastic your medical life he says this is not my doctor and this is what i learned from seed around it i learned everything i know from say wrong but you wouldn't say say brockville from massdrop and learnt everything
i know from this master romulus was the greatest term of the murder
but then master on willed himself said i'm not teaching anything that i invented or that i cooked up her that i discovered i am simply teaching you what you can read the in the books but you can read in the writings of action those seem bad basil federalism just heard the particular groups provides writings which are quoted in the last chapter on the rules and
that's a very important thing
we sometimes in every rumbled was obviously not much of a highly literary personality but he did love books and we see him presented as with a book in his hands several times by simply reading it wasn't add a intellectual it wasn't an intellectual but he was an anti intellectual it is not rami while being to be anti hidden
romulus from it's always have books and always read them and got a great deal of their nourishment and of their training and of their learning about being permits from books there's nothing wrong with book learning provided that the the book learning is only one part and that the the
what is drawn from books is translated into life and is also
received in a living way from others who are examples of they lived scriptures of the lived teachings from their fathers and set of urban the elders had so so
ah we had this massive literature romuald pointed his disciples back to it he said rule quotes these these these go back with old testament the songs especially especially book of monks ah the conferences lives in the of the early early monks
wootton bassett
so every time john spoke about master romuald who was then the prime of his life and famous throughout the land for his virtues benedict's heart burned within him he wondered how it could be that a man like father john was qualified to be a teacher in his own right all
was presented himself as somebody else's design
so anyway we need to stop here and it's eight o'clock so
this gives us a beginning of this life of my brothers are we will continue on skipping a few section sections a touching the most important parts of it so next time will be thursday okay instead evening at the same time thank you very much

we were into
everyone noticed the different translation of
this great zeal which we had in the reading table today discernment i think between discretion and discernment in english it's very hard to say exactly what the nuances there's a little difference
in which is more apparent in the difference between the negatives between indiscreet and on discerning
the undeserving person may simply be ignorant where there's the indiscreet person as someone who's who's going wrong so in some way i think
certainly discretion and the positive sense ah
his fruit of a high degree of consciousness of awareness of one's life and of in general the realities of life
it's a very realistic view oneself in a monastic life and and so forth i think that's one element important in monastic discretion and great virtue and other virtues how which has extolled caching by all the great monastic literature
now we move into the more secular dimension of the story and we'll be talking about the emperor out of the third
who was just
no more than twenty
the auto the third assumed the the the the office of emperor when he was sixteen and in in nine ninety six and
immediately was you know threw himself into a great deal of activity
people lived a short lives and therefore they lived by think more intensely and people would try to accomplish more in shorter length of time sense of urgency because of the brevity of life so people would just throw them myself into whatever activity or or a purpose that they
had distance
shortly after he became emperor out of the third the last of that name but second to none for his piety dragged ronald out of the hermitage and made him take over as abbot of classic
but because certain lay persons had too much influence on the abbey romela was unable to do any good there he began to realize that he was losing his peace of mind and purity of heart so lest he damn himself without saving anyone else he took the a basal staff and threw it down at the emperor's feet
from then on he tried to stay as far away as possible from those who knew him to well so that was solitude as his friend he might at least save himself so
we should add a couple of details at that time for at the time that romney was nominated
in nine ninety eight as a habit of classy a job there of already yok was nominated archbishop your was perhaps the greatest mind that the tenth century man of who would have found it
himself quite at home in the new renaissance and he was actually a suspected by some are being a kind of the sharma or something like that been there were suspicions about him because of his vast learning and his interest also in ah what people have those days could know about nationals
sciences but also about other things including astrology and so forth which was at that time not totally unexpected in the file system but gerbil was a brilliant person and
a monk of course so he was named bishop of ravenna by the young emperor otto the third and it's not unlikely that gerbil himself suggested the nomination of wrong job or was a friend of abbott gary of volumes of who shot
savvy in the period is in fact had been there before ronald was there so i certainly he had heard about ronald and then shortly after that the pope died who was the cousin of the emperor of third and he died he was poised
the emperor nominated or had the share bear elected in and he became hopes of them to the second so ah
why isn't why sylvester rather twisted name sylvester because central districts of us to the first was pope at the time that the emperor constantine
put a an end to the persecution of christians in the roman empire so when christianity was recognized as a legal religion on sylvester the first was for show was the beginning of you i'd say a certain triumphant certain type of christianity
christian linked with the political establishment and this is always a problem and that was a problem crisper simple annual cycles of mules ah
but it simply a fact
so romuald was didn't accept the nomination because he was always he was attached to his community he had gone back to the synovium for a while you see about five years before them and nine ninety three he had a vision see the pollen narrows and see the polaris instructed brought me to reach
return to his monastery so he did so we don't know how long he spent there in the community but he was back there so the that generation of monks came to know him well and they did esteem him and saint peter damian does say that they didn't want him even though they work and unruly bunch and and
disorderly and and so forth and and especially because they had a kind of a class consciousness in the abbey and this is something wrong or was absolutely against says peter dame and for him not says he kept them all to the strict observance of the rules and then goes onto explain what he means by strict observance that no one would have any special brutal that privilege on the
basis of his birth or on the basis of his learning or something like that so everyone had to be equal everyone had to be subject to the same rule of life
so these various reasons but above all the politics involved here because now you see they needed a new bishop for ravenna gerbil was fitted pope and so logically people said well why don't we have wrangled step up and become archbishop and run obviously it was it was it was hard enough for him to accept the idea of being an hour
but but much much less a they end up today in archbishop so ronald had to kind of reverse ambition is an absolute allergy of the
role of the superior a spiritual paternity yes it was something that he felt was was god's call him and certainly god's gift god's grace to have this ability to
nourish pupils in her life guide them to be a master magister teacher on the highest of word but not as is not secure
so after he retired after he retired after he resigned as abbott very abruptly ah he wasted no time leaving class say like a fugitive he went to monte cassino the fountain fountainhead of monks who follow the holy rule
ronald had a personal reason for going there many years had passed since he last saw john gruden ego memories spoke about him last time drawn was companion from venice to go on the pyramids
mom you'll miss john and was eager to see him again romuald the father of hermits who live according to right reason and follow the monastic rule admired john's many virtues especially his refusal to speak ill of people behind their back or to listen to those who do so so this ah
we talked about this in two recent chapter was last sunday couple centuries ago about the sins of the tongue and and detraction and so forth and so this was a particular characteristic of john god inigo it is also mentioned later at the end of the the story as a characteristic of bennett benedict benedict an inventor who was
as john's disciples who learned his lesson well and he also refused to listen to any gossiper listen to people maligning others in their absence
and then it's it says of course that ronald speaks of ronald as
the father of hermits who live according to right reason and follow them monastic rule a more literal translation but not a more correct translation but a more literal transmission would be the father of rational reasonable hermits who live with a law well
given the context this rationality as reasonableness of the hermits is that of following the concrete monastic rule which is a rule discretion and which balances the you might see the individualistic elements
and the risk of individualism of the hermit with dependents from a spiritual from a superior
that also rami did believe in that there should be a superior for the hermits and of course he wanted the hermit the superior also to be a hermit to do to be perhaps the most fervent of them and he did not always obtain this are effective very rarely obtain the said if ever
so when news arrived at ronald was coming benedict like someone who was just inherited a good fortune jumped on his horse and galloped off to meet him from the moment they met there were inseparable
what benedict love most and master romuald was his refusal to compromise his ideal the more harshly ronald treated him the more benedict complemented himself on having found such a severe master
benedict deemed nothing good or wholly separate wrong will taught him to do he zealously followed is it is teachers orders denying herself will and everything romulus had nothing but praise for benedict he is like a stone when he fasts or keeps visual says one romulus held him up to me
me and to all his disciples as an example of monastic life lived with purity and joy in god's presence and of course is very strong this partly rhetorical certainly one can imagine that this firing the apart and would also entering onto monastic life spiritual life would would
throw himself into it with the same intensity in the same
vigor that is characteristic of
him as a human being so
ah this might be to certain extent a portraits not really caricature but not really quite realistic that the the
the these huge a graphical texts are full of the expressions which show us the seat already a saint already perfect at the beginning of his spiritual life and this of course is very rarely the case
so we're in the autumn of the year one thousand autumn is a season when people generally fall sick and in the autumn of that year one thousand mule took to his bed and lay close to die
then it extrude to outdo everyone in nursing wrong will then serving as every need as soon as he had regained his health wrong you're left for rome which itself was ailing with him was benedict his faithful servant man of desires and the golden flower of obedience and humility how could he let rom you'll leave without him
he had joined his company in the quest for perfection and this desire prompted him to endure every hardship and made him burn with the love of god to the very marrow of his bones and is very fervent young monk
chapter three autos vow
yeah rome i was a i just to an expression of of bruno he is a bit hard on on italy and not an italian so much better on italy and on rome as as a very chaotic place you know actually it was quite right across the social conditions were quite miserable and and
there was no government none whatsoever pursued it was very little government today in italy but they infect there
they spent half as the time that half of the parliament with and without a government so but it works anyway said movements of them most amazing thing you can imagine but anyway bruno perfect says that that
italy you know is always full of they're always fighting the wars in there there's all sorts of tragic things taking place in the so and so he says rome is sick and aromas sick because of the of the
politics of the papacy on the papacy reduced to a purely political plot and so forth so
we'll see also that there is another specific reference because of how the romans treated auto and is enthusiastic desire to establish his court there in rome to be not only a theoretical holy roman emperor but to be the emperor of the romans to be have his his imperial court is mp
ariel seat in rome and naturally with the pope has his own chapter course this was also his idea vice cure him the a royal church and also
you know when there was this lay investiture a problem was beginning to emerge in the church and then of course a generation later they would be before
i'll kill the brand and became pregnant second other seven
anyway although that about our emperor otto the otto was also on his way to wrong he was on his on his way to rome from poland you've just made a pilgrimage to the tomb of st adalbert let me give you some things about st albert from a note here st albert's death and nine ninety seven at the hand of prussia trial
abs near gdansk created a deep impression in all christendom his martyrdom as well as his presence while living where of an importance for the history of central europe which has until recently been greatly underestimated
attleboro born and nine fifty six so it's just slightly younger than same problem with the name void wojciech was a bohemian nobleman and disciple of another st adalbert st albert of magdeburg whose name he took at confirmation so this is own name
as personal name is wojciech he was baptized but they didn't give him a christian saints name and but he took the name albert at his confirmation at the age of twenty six he has elected bishop of prague and shortly after his consecration meets st my own or miles
abbot of clooney who inspires him with the cognac ideals of humility the worship of god and fidelity to the romans see
shit so our st adalbert was not yet monk
but having known seen my you he becomes very monastic its lifestyle and real students so albert's monastir city life and his fierce independence of the local aristocracy when him more enemies than friends in prague and in nine ninety he pleased to rome with is
half brother radim while in rome while in italy he comes under the influence of the it'll of byzantine abbott's st neots mentioned him before he was ah
this time the end in his night is very very rare for someone to lives along he was very room
signals so this that he was of the the parts of the part of italy of columbia where the population spoke greek and where there liturgical practice was greek they would they follow the byzantine rite and he established a monastery near rome so sit idle
it comes under his influence
and it is think neil's who encourages attleboro to enter the monastery of st boniface and lexus on the oven time since office and alexis now called center last year as right near san anselmo and this was a monastery of both greek
eek and latin rite months so and there were a lot monks clooney act under the rule of st benedict and then there were these greek banks under the rules are some basil
so ah
he is again after three years there he has recalled to prague once more than drive him out and he returns the monastery on the aventine in rome where the community elects in prior three years later his sixteen the sixteen year old emperor otto on the death of john fifteenth has his cousin elected pope with the name gregory the fifth
that's a predecessor of your bear or so less to the second while in rome the young emperor meet saddle birds at all those personal chaplain bruno of corporate joins him that his adult bird at santa alessio on the haven't time to this these circumstances in the nine ninety seven nine ninety six
rather bruno of corporate becomes a monk in that same monastery where st albert was
the following year nine ninety seven after a last futile attempt to establish himself in prague albert meets death the hand of the pig and prussians in northern poland his body is brought back to nears know where poland's ruler well as what corroborate is him with honours befitting a holy martyr
ms canonized locally and then of course his his sanctity as martyrs accepted also in wrong autos pilgrimage to adult birds tomb and the year one thousand is decisive for future polish history the emperor recognizes well as well as was sovereignty and poland's independence both political
and ecclesiastical from germany see the idea of otto was to federate the nation's in an empire under an emperor but not under with the domination of any one of the national groups so it wouldn't be the germans over the polls of the polls over where breaths but it would be a and
kind of confederated empire and then order would live in wrong
anyway getting back to bring a different story
when i have to mention these things maybe a little dry this these
purely historical information but in order to understand the turns of events that we read in the life of the five brothers so when auto rinse the city the people welcomed him with great festivities but their joy was feigned like a dire presage of misfortune to come his arrival was accompanied by a mighty rainstorm with violent thunder and lightning
abbott romulus always a wander now here now they're gathering disciples and the power of the holy spirit took with him bonobos and thomas otherwise known as terminal
two of closest friends and went off to serve god and solitude so romulus services of hermitage near rome and some of the thoughtless suggested that perhaps it was actually near subiaco st benedict's first monastir the up and that's not unlikely
so this is a rom your head
a this was conceived as a temporary hermitage remember that i did mention that there were often
in the rhyme working with with sometimes establish a temporary
so in fact this was temporary the emperor and kept coming out see old and he tried to keep it a secret but this was not possible people kept coming and so the place was overrun with autos court and wrangle decides to move on and so he takes his disciples to
a place north of ravenna called ale pedego that time it was in a swampy area almost a lagoon and so it was a kind of an island an area that was slightly higher ground was cultivated now because it's just flat land are still little little bits of the the wetlands said romulus
i have seen in that area
round north of ravenna but anyway hideo
it was where romulus founded a hermitage and here also auto would come to visit them
auto became very very fond romulus and a sought spiritual counsel from him
so on one of his visits to this hermitage and or auto made a solemn promise to renounce for the sake of christ's kingdom and its riches the wealth and power which he possessed but neither loves nor enjoyed pressed on every side by misfortune
one and it is often misfortune that turns people toward the way of salvation he finally decided to give voice to the thoughts that had been on his mind for so long a time
the presence of god and his angels and before witnesses so that every case we stand on the world or two or three witnesses this is from matthew auto vowed from this very hour i promise god and his saints that went three years have passed and i have restored order in the
empire i shall renounce my throne and distribute the riches i inherited from my mother then naked i shall give my all to christ
so it's a very typical expression monastic cabinet or a notice and taught the anima new to say quarter chris to so this virtue of nudity or signifies the total stripping of earthly possessions and of the desire for them
similar expressions are found throughout early monastic literature and they signify the initial break with the world which is a prerequisite for becoming a monk and there's an initiatory symbolism here
the symbolism of initiation of person reversal and only great religions and spiritual traditions of humanity
then of course this same symbolism of the initiation is taken up into baptism so you have the stripping of the candidate for baptism according to the traditional
rituals and the early church and also to a lesser extent practiced in the middle ages and then also monastic profession which involved the taking off of one secular clothes which were worn up till the day of the profession and then putting on their clothes of the monastery which has
had a distinctive them
cut to them were in a certain sense monastic close as a habit so far as a habit
this this stripping of oneself this this removal of not the outward vesture but a of ones encumbrances is essential to the monastic choice also an interesting point which is something that that perhaps we may not be aware of it is that hotter was
making a vow to make a vow in other words his promises that he will and her the monastic life so it's a vow that does not bind him to monastic vows some other which is it doesn't have to observe poverty chastity obedience stability conversion of life etc but
he does have to arrange his life so that eventually he will enter the monster so this will kind of bother people didn't take some have said that a vow like this was the beginning of the protestant reformation because according to the story
luther was altima in a in a thunderstorm martin luther result in a thunderstorm and the lightning struck a tree near and he took it was very frightened and he said he said santana if the move dirt and i will become a monk and so so he is he understood this i mean here it was very scrupulous me
man united and very you know
a commitment like this could not be ignored and so he felt immediately obliged since he didn't die in the written a thunderstorm he felt immediately obliged to join a religious orders he became an augustinian
so this was a very common practice the promised to make a promise added romuald was presence on this occasion together with the two disciples bonavista or bruno and thomas because of his age and as many years as a monk he answered in their name hold fast to this desire oh
king and if the uncertain course of human existence does not grant you the time to fulfilling know that in god's eyes you have already done so for he knows what will be and he judges men's outward deeds according to what is in their hearts so ah
as it were army old seems to have a premonition that this will never take place that auto the third world war will never become a monk but he had this intention or desire to become a monk now jump before the emperor's project as a means of realizing his desire to become a monk and paraphrasing the latin which is
very succinct but does mean
as that
the emperor
initiate a project which would eventually enable him also to join the monster what is this project
otto conceive the following project he would choose some of the more fervent brothers and send them to poland there they would build a monastery and christian territory but near an area where pagans dwell secluded and surrounded by woods this would offer a threefold advantage
the community life which is what novices want golden solitude for those who are mature and who thirst with the living god and the preaching of the gospel to the pagans for those who long to be freed from this life in order to be with christ so this is very important this paragraph is very very important
for understanding the st raw mules
to view monastic life and also the development of kemal dele as a month as a monastic community and as the motherhouse of a congregation which of course remember always up founded by st run over founded by ronaldo itself of course after
many years after romulus death and after the founding of
so here we have this three fold with what it's called a threefold in baggage for the three blacks com will do
the community life which is what novices once and so it is natural to
suppose that
someone coming to monastic like wants to live this life in relationship with others and a obviously a young candidates will not be sufficiently spiritually prepared for the solitary life so it is necessary to live for a period in the monastery be for go
going to the hermitage this is one aspect of it but also think rom you'll realized that many monks the majority of monks would spend their whole life in the monastery
zenobia and in community and therefore the community is essential for the sanctification of the monks
but here of course has presented as a phase as a moment of initiation after which one would be prepared for the hermitage for the solitary lot
this is very schematic can save ranga was never so schematic this is the emperor's project this is the emperor's idea probably bruno fair for thought in this way it is just a bit too rigid for once he rumbled himself would have experienced but neither is it against what's iranian had in mind
since he he always going on
he he had lived in monasteries he encouraged the celebrating monasteries he did not previous to this time it did not seem that he had any interest in missionary activity but it does take to this
anyway let's continue with this story
meanwhile so that we might enjoy the first two advantages the synovium in hermitage while the third was not available here that is preaching to the pavements are who decided to build a synovium so and build us an opium as soon as we have established a hermitage we meaning
ronald and the group of disciples which had gathered round him this time
otto acted with the best intentions for the salvation of the greater number but on account of our sins his efforts produce the opposite effect in the end he lost the hermitage without succeeding in founding the monastery
when they saw the emperor doing all this for romulus many persons were scandalized especially in the city revenge so they accused her father rami old of greed ignoring the pastoral motives that guided him his intention was was that the
emperor might be saved through this good deed and he rumbled also saw that the monastery would be useful for winning souls so one will cease to reasons to go along with the emperor's project work for one thing the emperor is doing a good work and and runner wants to encourage this because doing good work will make him you know
a more spiritual christian may be a better emperor cetera so be supportive of this this spiritual or religious interests and ambitions of the emperor
but also because the synovium would be useful for winning souls because rotten will realize that the majority of punks have to live in this and albion this is this is necessary for their a spiritual maturing and so forth
and also this the monastery could serve to prepare individuals for either solitary life and or the life of permissions romulus personality has a contemplative and a true servant of god had one outstanding characteristic
whatever people would have liked to see him do he tried at all costs to do exactly the opposite
only when he could get them to insult taunt and slander him provided he did nothing against his own conscience did he consider himself worthy of esteem and capable of preserving his virtue especially preserving the virtue of humility and it's close
relation the virtue of discretion
but there is this characteristic iran will did he likes his nonconformist and he likes to provoke people
provoke people who are ill disposed anyway other words it does not trying to to scandalize people are the does certainly not the little ones certainly not weak people is not trying to to get them to
and up to see him by
rash judge something like that but when people are ill disposed to him he has no qualms about ah
exasperating so instead of winning them over this this could be said as perhaps something that
is there is a somewhat louis unilateral virtue and seen from our although on the other hand
he well the you can put together various anecdotes sit here and in the life of say bravo by st peter damian and their of christians including to to said that ronald ah
inculcated fear in the hearts of the wiccan and their hearts of the wig and the powerful wicker say it's put the people in power that he that he has no desire to win over
and i suppose you just simply feel that there is no hope and so ah
doesn't worry about ruffling their fence but when you know the this simple people or people who might have misjudged him but innocently and out of out of for not knowing the the facts behind it the with these people i'm sure he would be very gentle
and indeed tried to reasonably when them over but not not an order to maintain his own image she
rom did not care about his image only about his conscience
the things is very important it's interesting
i might note
the modern hermit
thomas merton who especially in connection with his experience of a somewhat more solitary life
new at the nearby the abbey get seventy kentucky
i did mention this this one particular
fact that a monk certainly should never be concerned about his image his public image a community perhaps there is prudent slip to the must prevail and discretion et cetera so i suppose a community should
care about its image but the individual now
he said
he other couple of episodes like that
oh yeah well the other was the one the what were the one numb
rami was preaching to the monks and chapter and he had this premonition that someone was breaking into one of the monks cells and so he said run and check and see if somebody thieves there in fact he founded the first of they bring him to run held them to ask what what should we do with him and rahman said well let's see now we can
cut off his hand but then he wouldn't name the work and he might starve to death well know then how about cutting off his feet well then you wouldn't be able to walk we'd have to keep him here and so forth well
while i decide he says give them something to eat and then then we'll we'll see what to do with them so instead of ninety long run you'll sit down with them and and with a very joyful and smiling continent says peter damian he said a few gentle words of admonition and set the
thief happening on his reign so this is this is go with the little ones with the
but those who have no power and those were exploited by those in palm but the powerful
ronald simply
didn't care about hello
robert was always totally consistent with himself here is an example romulus loved young benedick for his total dedication to monastic living and when it came time to appoint an added for us in the hermitage and for the emperor's new monastery benedict was ronald choice
this choice was not tantamount to an election from your one of the monks to elect their own abbott but he would publicly make known his preference
in his humility romuald song himself as abbott only of his disciples souls not have their bodies so the the the abbot's function run will seize his administrative and he is concerned with material needs and organizational thing organiser
social matters so this is a it would be a distraction from authentic spiritual ivan and also the authentic kind of spiritual paternity which romney believes it
so anyway romulus choice would be would have been benedict
whenever than the number of the brothers made it necessary to an elect and abbott whom they would have preferred to be wrangled himself he had to choose one of them since he would not accept it so raw meal would express his choice and than the much when boat and of course most likely they would vote for the candidate for millennium
when the opposite of abbott at patio romuald guided in his discernment a person's by the holy spirit found no one better better suited to the task than benedict to whom he applied the saying in his breast to thought of haven't made it stable abode and in his way of life the virtues took possession of god's kingdom
we don't know where this quotations from there are several in rural corporate where he is quoting some proper recording some maximum boarding something else and we just don't know why whereas quoting from perhaps some things you just made up or perhaps he was quoting from memory memory which is most likely is commonly done
so the in this case the brothers gladly agreed to run choice but benedict doubted his own ability to serve as abbott's so to be on the safe side of humility he declared it is hard to accept the task of judging others when one does not even know state at once
own soul
the only people who should undertake the care of souls and the correction of others lives are those whose seriousness maturity holiness and moderation make them fit to do so
so very high ideals of what a monastic superior should be and a very realistic assessment of his own
capabilities are empty rooms
now my friend benedict had been appointed to guide me in the spiritual life
now we were living in the same cell and here another example of the to to the cell arrangement one who is the now the novice master the other is the novels
so benedick turned to me unworthy though i was and had me asked the emperor to veto his election
thus benedict's willfulness thwarted romulus plans with the result that another monk was consecrated abbott one who resembled benedict as much as mud resembles gold romuald was very angry and when he finally found out whose fault it was he called a chapter meeting had been addicted me
he stripped to the waist and take the discipline even though benedict had sinned only through an excess of humility whereas i was the one who got the emperor to and all the election so this discipline
some of us have actually use the discipline used to be
the rule here at this hermitage that every friday after conflict before bedtime we would recite amusement area and some fifty in the lantern using this discipline and it's a little whip of cords and it irritates your skin but it wouldn't it would be very very hard to break
take the skin so it's this is not whipping as we would think but is a inactive public humiliation
with a certain bit of corporal punishment because people made me people were a little bit more integrated most those days so that they they dropped his corporal punishment as a in a different way than we did than we do a certain myself let us know project or on
concepts of what much and should not be done on them at that time
today percents of things totally out of phone alienated maturity to healthy and asked
and it is disagreement with that
anyway well what we we get them to the point that stop here we get we have them to the point where they are
where the emperor is trying to get things organized so that this hermitage synovium would become a training center for missionaries to go to poland or to go to hungary or to go to the ukraine or wherever and preach the gospel so
the spiritual principles are very
very profound and i think the the idea is is very interesting but obviously didn't work i think this sort of things you know that are conceived very idealistic lee can be very beautiful very exciting but
the you need a certain practical nurse and you need to lower your sights sometimes into a certain extent in order to accomplish anything mastic live especially in order to accomplish they think community was the individual perhaps can remain idealistic about ah his or her own
goals spiritual goal etc but a community has to have a much more modest
a modest goal you might say or or or at least eight a sense of the stages of long period of time wouldn't necessarily be required in order to realize certain things
so we will continue next week we'll see a we should do to more and or to get you into this than you will be able to read it your own the most interesting things are here in the earlier chapters and interested in the sense that those which refer most directly to ronald or in these view the earlier chapters
the of the five brothers themselves and also very interesting stories can be able to read from unknown to her pay