Until God ordains otherwise, a man ought to bear
patiently whatever he cannot correct in himself and
in others. Consider it better thus -- perhaps to try
your patience and to test you, for without such
patience and trial your merits are of little account.
Nevertheless, under such difficulties you should pray
that God will consent to help you bear them calmly.
If, after being admonished once or twice, a person
does not amend, do not argue with him but commit the
whole matter to God that His will and honor may be
furthered in all His servants, for God knows well how
to turn evil to good. Try to bear patiently with the
defects and infirmities of others, whatever they may
be, because you also have many a fault which others
If you cannot make yourself what you would wish to
be, how can you bend others to your will? We want
them to be perfect, yet we do not correct our own
faults. We wish them to be severely corrected, yet we
will not correct ourselves. Their great liberty
displeases us, yet we would not be denied what we
ask. We would have them bound by laws, yet we will
allow ourselves to be restrained in nothing. Hence,
it is clear how seldom we think of others as we do of
If all were perfect, what should we have to suffer
from others for God's sake? But God has so ordained,
that we may learn to bear with one another's burdens,
for there is no man without fault, no man without
burden, no man sufficient to himself nor wise enough.
Hence we must support one another, console one
another, mutually help, counsel, and advise, for the
measure of every man's virtue is best revealed in
time of adversity -- adversity that does not weaken a
man but rather shows what he is.
If you wish peace and concord with others, you must learn to break
your will in many things. To live in monasteries or religious
communities, to remain there without complaint, and to persevere
faithfully till death is no small matter.
Blessed indeed is he who there lives a good life and there ends
his days in happiness.
If you would persevere in seeking perfection, you must consider
yourself a pilgrim, an exile on earth. If you would become a
religious, you must be content to seem a fool for the sake of
Christ. Habit and tonsure change a man but little; it is the
change of life, the complete mortification of passions that endow
a true religious.
He who seeks anything but God alone and the salvation of his soul
will find only trouble and grief, and he who does not try to
become the least, the servant of all, cannot remain at peace for
You have come to serve, not to rule. You must understand, too,
that you have been called to suffer and to work, not to idle and
gossip away your time. Here men are tried as gold in a furnace.
Here no man can remain unless he desires with all his heart to
humble himself before God.