The Roman Synod and the Priest
Beloved Sons! On the feast of St. Peter We met with you in the Vatican Basilica for the promulgation of the Synod. Earlier still, in the latter part of January, we shared days of spiritual intimacy and pastoral solicitude while celebrating that event, which quickly took its place in the annals of the diocese of Rome. Ever since, the heart of your bishop has maintained quiet but close, special contact with the mind and heart of every member of the secular and religious clergy of the City.
And from time to time, as We gave thanks to God, We have enjoyed recalling with a smile some of the good-humored remarks that had reached Our ears, declaring in prophetic tones that the escapade We were planning—an undertaking like that of a synod in Rome—was imprudent from the very first announcement. And later on, there were indications that some would still not be completely convinced until it was actually promulgated. Heavenly grace was not invoked in vain. From the very first meeting on January 24th in Our sacred Lateran Basilica to the more solemn one on June 29th close by the Tomb of St. Peter, We were able, with the help of the Lord, to celebrate what was certainly an opus bonum, 1 even if not, in some respects, an opus perfectum. 2
An Apostolic Meeting
We were all at the apostolic meeting. If a respectful comparison may be permitted Us, all of the twelve were there in full agreement. Even Thomas was there—that is, even those who had been timid and uncertain in the beginning. All were equally impressed by the Lord's goodness toward those who invoke Him and serve Him trustingly. Umbram fugat veritas, noctem lux eliminat. 3
Since the actual promulgation, or more precisely, since November 1st, the Roman Synod has had the force of diocesan law. Through the words of the apostolic constitution "Sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum," today every priest of the Roman clergy knows better than ever how he is supposed to act in all matters proper to him and his office. As the pages of the Synod become familiar to his mind, they repeat each day "Hoc fac et vives." 4
Words Of Encouragement
Well, then, beloved sons of Ours, in this matter of your wonderful dispositions and your determination to translate these synodal regulations into practice, We thought that it would not displease you if We added a few more words to what We had the consolation of saying to you in Our talks during those blessed days last January: and We do so as new encouragement to all of you to act with honor before God, before Holy Church, and before men.
The sacred volume of the Roman Synod is circulating—do not be surprised at that—in the world, and it has been well received and appreciated by venerable pastors; in the last few days, they have told Us so personally and have written to let Us know how pleased they are. Right now We are preparing a translation of it into Italian and other languages for laymen, so that it may serve to put them too on the road toward knowledge of the clear and shining principles that support the wisest and most divine of establishments—the Church of Jesus, still militant here on earth, yet always assured of triumph in the never-ending life to come.
Frequent And Steady Reading Of The Synod
Here is the first thing that We have to say to you. Before all else, beloved sons, please accept Our invitation to get used to reading the Synod, for day by day it will reveal to you hidden beauties of thought and of wisdom. Make it a regular habit to go back over those pages and get their full flavor; this is of greater value—do not be displeased at hearing Us say this with complete frankness right here at the beginning, since the occasion for doing so presents itself—of greater value than taking special care to cultivate particular practices or devotions, which may be excessive in their veneration of Our Lady, the dear mother of Jesus and our mother—who will not be offended by these words of Ours—and of certain saints, for sometimes, as a result of these, the whole picture of the religious devotion of our good people is tarnished and impoverished.
We hope you understand what We mean. The priest has the duty of being on guard himself and of putting the people on their guard. Some pious practices merely satisfy the emotions; by themselves, they do not amount to fulfillment of religious obligations and so they are not even in full agreement with the first three commandments of the Decalogue, which are serious and obligatory.
Guidance From The Bible
With regard to reading the new code of diocesan life the Old and the New Testaments supply us with some valuable directions drawn from the prophets and from the evangelists. Ezechiel, for example, in the second chapter of his prophetic poem, reveals to us his vision of the scroll that a mysterious hand extended to him, with writing on the outside and the inside containing lamentations, songs, and woes. He too was invited to read and to devour the precious book and in his turn, he never stops inviting others to do so, as he feels in his loins its fullness and richness of life and in his mouth a sweetness like that of honey. 5
St. John, too, along with the other Evangelists—just on the basis of some indications in the biblical concordances that We have at hand—pays continuous homage to and constantly invites us to the same kind of reading, especially of the books that contain the words God addresses to our hearts, and that serve as a lamp lit to guide our steps along our path. Vox Domini: divina lex: liber vitae. 6
Help From A Psalm
Beloved sons, have you ever reflected on that sacred didactic poem, Psalm 118, that begins with Beati immaculati in via, or, as the latest translation goes: Beati quorum immaculata est via, 7 and that takes a turn toward the end with Principes persequuntur me sine causa, 8 and then finishes off with those very touching words: vivat anima mea et laudet te: et decreta tua adjuvent me: Oberro ut ovis quae periit: quaere servum tuum, quia mandata tua non sum oblitus? 9
Please accept one more repetition—this is a habit of Ours—of an appeal to search into the depths of that collection of invitations and recommendations that stretches through the whole psalm as it is recited in the Sunday office, for you will find directions and comparisons that are more than just lofty poetry; you will find the spirit and substance of the synodal regulations.
We would enjoy offering you a number of examples. But you yourselves can easily discover some that are to your own taste. When We were young and assigned to humbler but still precious and meritorious tasks in the priestly ministry and in teaching, what a delightful lift it gave Our spirit to become the companion of St. Ambrose in his wonderful Expositio in Psalmum centesimum decimum octavum 10—this very Beati immaculati in via that was just cited; in tome XV of Migne, it goes on for 342 pages, divided up into 22 sermons that offer rich food for a pious soul.
As for this invitation of Ours for you to put some very useful variety into the ascetical practices of your daily life, which is so taken up with directly ministering to souls or with the service of the Holy Apostolic See, this passing mention is enough.
With regard to the synod that has just been promulgated, We would rather speak to you of something that is very close to the heart of the lowly but official Shepherd of the whole flock of Christ (and in a special way of this holy and blessed portion—Rome, the first diocese of the world). Please lend an ear to three thoughts that We would like to pass on to you and to recommend to your pious attention.
Splendor Of The Priest’s Mission
1. The first is drawn from Psalm 14 of David: Domine quis commorabitur in tabernaculo tuo, quis habitabit in monte sancto tuo. 11 It has to do with the perfection that is a mark of our mission as priests, and it is the first light streaming from the Synod.
An Immaculate Life
Before all else: ambulare sine macula. 12 This means animmaculate life, personal conduct worthy of the gaze and admiration of the angels of the Lord, good enough to edify the faithful and to attract the attention and thoughtful consideration of the non-believers who happen to meet us. Any other praise, whether of personal characteristics or talent, of know-how or external success, is foolish and misleading. The priest reveals himself first of all at the altar in his observance and respect for liturgical laws. He reveals himself in his attention to promptness and simplicity, without any foolish sophistication that would weaken both himself and those who approach him; in a constant communication with blessed Jesus in words and thoughts and feelings; in the shining conformity of his external life with his conscience; and in his close familiarity with a personal confessor in order to insure good ascetical direction and effective self-discipline.
The altar, the altar, beloved sons, is the focal point for eyes and heart. It evokes the picture that characterizes our life, and it is the starting point for the full unfolding of the chief labors of a priest: confessions, spiritual direction, teaching catechism, caring for the sick, prompt and prudent and patient contact with the faithful of all ages and every social status in their doubts, their sorrows, their public calamities, their poverty.
A Kindly Attitude
Then: facere justitiam et cogitare recta in corde suo. 13 The habit of thinking ill of everything and everybody is an obstacle for you and for everyone around you. A moderate outlook towards all, but with eyes open and alive to the realities that are facing us and those who live with us; an habitual disposition to nosce teipsum, 14 in order to sympathize with others and to soften everything a little and turn it all to good, while finding motives for zeal in the example of others.
Above all, attention to governing your own tongue: non calumniare; non facere malum proximo suo; non opprobrium inferre vicino suo. 15 What a horrible thing these would be in the life of a priest!
Attitude Toward The World
The fact that we must learn to control and discipline ourselves in this regard as we strive for perfection does not excuse us from passing stern judgment and condemning the things that are wrong in the world. It does not excuse us from trying to protect ourselves against such things or from refusing to let ourselves be deceived, or above all from avoiding compromises with the world for the sake of some monetary advantage or material interest of ours that might be served, especially—and this is the worst and most damnable thing of all—if it is served at the expense of innocent persons.
Here, we are still on the level of the natural law. Woe to the priest who goes to the very limits of reprobation by daring to take false refuge behind the cloak of the mere appearances of canon law and of customs that are distorted or non-existent.
A great blessing and motive for interior delight is to be found in this commoratio 16 of the priest in the tabernacle of the Lord: this dwelling in monte sancto suo, 17 despite his contact with the baseness of the world.
In order to add strength to our efforts to remain aloof and stay well above the seductions and enchantments of the present life, the 14th psalm is followed by psalms 15 and 16 which are also of David: Conserva me, Deus, quoniam confugio in Te, 18 and the prayer: Audi, Domine, justam causam, attende clamorem meum. 19
Oh! what serene peace there is in this priestly life of ours that is sustained by the song. How it permits us to look at this magnificent volume of ours, Prima Romana Synodus, 20 and repeat the words of Psalm 16—with an attitude of respect for it and a clear conscience that we have respected it at all cost: Si scrutaris cor meum, si visitas nocte, si igne me probas, non invenies in me iniquitatem. Non est transgressum os meum hominum more: secundum verba labiorum tuorum ego custodivi vias legis. 21
Notice that the old reading was actually vias duras. 22 Modern biblical scholars have made it clearer by having it read: vias legis, 23 thus showing a greater sense of trust in the Lord, who in imposing His will offers the gentle comfort of His aid and the encouraging promise of sure reward on earth and in heaven.
True Detachment From The World
2. And now, beloved sons, here is a second thought for you, that We have plucked, not from the psalmist and prophet David, but from two great Doctors of the Church, Jerome and Augustine.
The Breviary, with which we are all familiar, reveals it in two simple but moving pages.
Our volume of the Synod, which is the code for priestly life, marks out the full extent of our detachment from the world, and indicates what kind of spirit should inspire our priestly labor for the souls that we priests are called upon—vocati estis 24—to save and to sanctify.
A Commentary Of St. Jerome
What tones and accents you can find in the language of St. Jerome in his commentary on St. Matthew! Grandis fiducia. Petrus piscator erat. 25 (We know this St. Peter of ours very well a juventute nostra et sua. 26) Dives non fuerat: cibos manu et arte quaerebat: et tamen loquitur confidenter: reliquimus omnia: et quid non sufficit tantum relinquere jungit quod perfectum est: Et secuti sumus te: fecimus quod jussisti: quid igitur nobis dabis praemii? 27
The Spirit Of The World
Let us concentrate our attention on this: relinquere omnia, Christum sequi. 28 The two expressions suppose that a line of contact remains between, on the one hand, the boat and its oars, and on the other, Christ Jesus, whom we must serve and bring to others. You don't go on living and you don't exercise the priestly ministry and you don't serve the Church in the various offices of its central and world-wide administration without coming into contact with what the world and the spirit of the world represent. This spirit in itself is neither enough nor necessary for doing honor to the other element, that is, to service of the Lord in the priestly work par excellence—proclaiming the Gospel, administering sacramental grace, exercising charity in its various forms. Instead, it can be, and actually becomes, a daily temptation and enticement to be cold or superficial in carrying out the tasks that have to do with the priest's office and the responsibility he has assumed. A fancy for riches, distinction, honors and personal interests—and the pursuit of all these things—fits in very poorly with the Christum sequi 29 and is in flagrant contradiction to the reliquimus omnia, 30 which is the point of departure for any journey toward what has constituted the greatness and the true glory of Christianity, of the Church, and of the Catholic priesthood in all ages.
In this regard, please permit your Bishop and Father to express a regret that he feels very keenly in his heart and often sighs over in his prayers.
Sources Of Danger
The modern manifestations of technology and the extra comforts supplied by modern life represent a double source of danger: first, the fact of crafty reproduction and malicious diffusion of subtle intellectual and moral aberrations, repugnant to good sense, human and Christian; second and more concrete, the fact of error and of evil—this part has been going on ab initio saeculorum 31—along with their imitation and visual reproduction in the press and films, which succeed in multiplying the copies, and thus the temptations, indefinitely.
A Sad Comparison
We want to seize this opportunity to pay tribute and offer encouragement to continued production and development of literary, scientific, moral, and religious works of a high calibre, at every level and in every form of the apostolate. We know this is being done in noteworthy fashion especially in certain regions both far from here and close by, and all of them are very worthy and very dear to Us. But oh! How little this contribution still is, compared to the immense and slimy flood of material in print and on film around the world that does not elevate individual souls and peoples to the knowledge, love, and worship of God, of truth, of goodness, of pure beauty, of justice, of brotherhood, and of peace, but rather ends up corrupting and poisoning their healthy outlook and sowing the vicious seeds of dissolution and ruin.
Beloved sons: you understand just what pangs of anguish your Father and Pastor is suffering as he approaches the conscience of each of you to tell you these things.
Care In Reading
Ecce nos reliquimus omnia et secuti sumus Te. 32 This omnia 33 that we have left behind for the sake of Christ Jesus takes in, among other things, our reading or looking at newspapers, magazines, books, or entertainments that are in any way opposed to truth and the spirit of Christ, or to the teachings of the Holy Church, or to the prescriptions and counsels of the volume of our blessed Synod.
We beg all Our dear priests to put their hands over their hearts and examine their consciences well on this point, for We consider it most serious and important.
This teaching is suggested to us by St. Jerome in the "de Communi Abbatum" 34 of the Breviary; and along with it, We have the work of another Doctor, whose heavenly knowledge and enlightenment far surpasses that of many other Fathers of the Church.
This time, St. Augustine is the one speaking, in his tenth sermon De verbis Domini, 35 and his words are also recorded in the Breviary in the Common of Abbots. They are not the words: Reliquimus omnia et secuti sumus Te 36 that the Apostles addressed to Jesus, but rather the loving and gentle words of Jesus Himself to His closest disciples, and to all who joined with them: Venite ad me, omnes qui laboratis et onerati estis, et ego reficiam vos. Tollite jugum meum super vos, et discite a me quia mitis sum et humilis corde, et invenietis requiem animabus vestris. Jugum enim meum suave est, et onus meum leve. 37
The Yoke Of The Lord
What great praise and exaltation there are in these very words of the Lord Himself for all the tiring—even physically tiring— work, the great efforts, the pain and the suffering that go with the life of a priest! How well they apply to the good priests of every age! The special vocation they have received has made them the specially privileged ones of the Lord: but in their bodies, they remain mortal men, frail and weak and often vessels of clay. Yet a great reward has been set aside for them. Jesus, the first priest, is the one who guarantees it: Ego reficiam vos. 38
It is interesting to note that while giving this assurance, Jesus extends an invitation to those closest to Him to fear nothing and take His yoke upon their shoulders: "Jugum meum super vos"; and he encourages them to learn from Him to imitate His meekness and His humble heart, as a guarantee of peace for their souls.
Oh! What horizons are unveiled to the zeal of every fervent priest in these few short gentle words.
As you read through the individual articles of the Roman Synod, the fact that there are so many of them may create the impression that it is favoring a full display of the kind of activism into which noble and fervent souls throw themselves with keen enthusiasm in their less mature years.
But St. Augustine, taking his inspiration from the words of Jesus, warns us to proceed calmly in governing our energies. Si angustiantur vasa carnis, dilatentur spatia caritatis. 39 Here he strikes a remarkable note, in perfect harmony with the sublime hymn to charity in one of the wonderful pages composed by St. Paul (1 Cor. 13, 1-13), in which he succeeded in striking a balance between the feverish drive quae urget 40 and the careful measurement of how he spent himself, for the glory of Christ and of His Gospel and for the salvation of souls.
And so it is the same St. Augustine who steps in to correct and temper the excesses of activism, by explaining to us that the jugum Domini super nos 41 does not mean remaking the world, creating things visible and invisible, performing miracles even to the raising of the dead, but rather means remaining faithful to meekness and humility of heart, for this is the great secret of success at all times and in all circumstances.
The Letters Of The First Pope
3. There is a third thought that comes to encourage all of us to pay honor to our Synod, beloved sons, and it comes from the familiar words of St. Peter, the first Bishop of Rome, humble, blessed, most holy, established by Jesus as the foundation stone of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, which, in the plans of Providence, exercises from Rome, its center, its primacy of honor and of jurisdiction over all the Churches throughout the world.
His voice comes down to us from far-off centuries, just as it sounded on the two occasions when he spoke from Rome to the Christians who made up the first communities in the East. It still expresses the same heavenly doctrine, the same spiritual direction, the same sound discipline that our Synod is proposing; the external circumstances have changed, but the provisions of the latter are just as wise and are well adapted to the circumstances of present-day life.
Nourishment From St. Peter
These apostolic letters of St. Peter—like those of St. Paul, for that matter, and like all Sacred Scripture—ought to furnish spiritual nourishment for all the Catholics in the world. We welcome this opportunity to invite the faithful to answer the challenge and live up to the Roman Synod's directions to everyone to read the Sacred Book; for nowadays ignorance of it on the part of any Catholic with self-respect is truly unforgivable.
Peter says that "our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him," 42 in dealing with the patient suffering of Our Lord and its reference to universal salvation, touches upon some difficult points that the weak and the ignorant distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
But this warning was not directed at us priests. Indeed, the reading of Holy Scripture can bring to us so many advantages of every spiritual and pastoral kind, for our sanctification.
And so the priests of Rome and even the faithful should go back over the two letters of St. Peter with calm and with their usual careful preparation, for they really deserve to be studied and to become something that is very familiar and practically, you might say, known by heart.
It would go beyond the bounds of this meeting to go into citations and specific passages but We hope that Our invitation to you to meditate on these two encyclicals of the first Pope may do some good. Most substantial food in the form of doctrine that is both sublime and practical; true spiritual rapture that comes as a surprise for most and is very sweet for all those who become familiar with it. In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul set down astounding truths bearing on quite lofty matters that were of universal interest. St. Peter, on the other hand, wrote from Rome to encourage all of the priests and faithful, and he dealt for the most part with practical problems that have to do with the life of the Church and life in the Church in all times and ages. Let us priests of the diocese of Rome make it our treasure. Just a small taste of it will be enough to exhilarate us.
Consider the first chapter in the first letter, for example: the dignity of the Christian and the holiness of his life; then the duties, that shine brilliantly with grace in every way in the chosen race, the royal priesthood, the holy nation, the purchased people; the duty of obedience, the joys of the family, and of charity; the counsels given, in expectation of the end; the special recommendations for the old and the young.
A Treasure For Priests
Last of all, for priests, what a treasure of heavenly doctrine and advice! St. Peter himself, the consenior et testis Christi passionum, qui et ejus, quae in futuro revelanda est, gloriae communicator, 43 as he goes on speaking to priests: Pascite qui in vobis est gregem Dei, providentes non coacte, sed spontanee secundum Deum, neque turpis lucri gratia, sed voluntarie; neque ut dominantes in cleris, sed forma facti gregis ex animo. 44
Shining Lights Of The Diocese Of Rome
The second letter is less vivid and colorful than the first, dealing as it does with matters in dispute, with errors that are to be corrected, and with false teachers who are to be avoided.
But there is a touch of human emotion where Peter says quod velox est depositio tabernaculi mei 45 and promises to remember his faithful afterwards, too. Dabo operam et frequenter habere vos post obitum meum, ut horum memoriam faciatis. 46
Venerable brethren and beloved sons!
St. Peter has this to say, among other things, in chapter three, verse eight of this second letter of his: there is one thing that you must not forget, my dear ones—a single day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a single day.
This idea comes suddenly to mind here at the end of this talk; it has given Us so much pleasure to be able to deliver it, just as was true of all the cares—none of them, to be frank, very upsetting ones—that the preparing and celebrating of the Roman Synod imposed upon Us.
A Blessed Project
The conscience of St. Peter's lowly successor as Bishop of Rome is always kept open and attentive to the Lord in its intention of serving Him well, especially in his own diocese—servus servorum Dei 47—while taking full advantage of the help offered by many, many souls who are also acting under the inspiration of heavenly doctrine and grace; and he can safely say in the light of what has been accomplished that the whole project of the Roman Synod was truly blessed. This is the idea suggested to Us by today's gathering, and it makes Our spirit expand with gratitude: Divi et liberavi animam meam. 48
The synod that has just been celebrated implies and calls for a good deal of further effort to complete and carry out its work, and We will follow up on this little by little, without impatience, and with care to seize every opportunity that Providence may choose to offer Us for corresponding with the good will shown by everyone, with the desires of more tender souls, and with the present needs of our diocese. At the same time, We will try to avoid any of the resentment that may be occasioned by hasty words, which can at times cause confusion and uncertainty in the hearts of those who are weak and timid.
Carrying Out The Decrees
Beloved sons, the Synod is over, celebrated and promulgated. Our feeling now—as is only natural—is that carrying it into practice does not depend so much on superintending committees—although these do have their proper place and deserve respect—as on the conscience of each and every priest.
As for Us—and We enjoy repeating it—We have now turned Our attention to the great undertaking of the Council, with serene confidence of complete success, and We pray God to grant you the same kind of trust. And you will have it, beloved sons, to the extent that you learn to prize the tremendously powerful aid that practice of the synodal decrees can bring to individual members of the clergy, to religious communities, to institutions of higher learning and of ecclesiastical training, and to parishes.
The dioceses of the world are looking to Rome, to the Pope, to his fellow workers from the highest to the lowest, to his diocese. Let us not disappoint the hopes of the pilgrim who directs his steps toward this blessed city. Let us not refuse the role that is being offered us of being, in a sense, the heralds of the Second Vatican Council: heralds of the spirit of faith, of sincere piety, of order, and of peace.
Related Evidence From Pius IX
Beloved sons! Yes, for some months now, the Pope has been giving some of his subsecivae 49 hours to the history of the last few councils, with special attention to the First Vatican. Today, as We hear so many kind words echoing around Our humble person, wishing a continuation of the long life that the Lord has granted Us, Our thoughts go back to Our venerable predecessor Pius IX of most glorious and holy memory. Precisely at our age, at the completion of his 79th year and the beginning of his 80th—as is true of Us at this hour—he was getting ready for the imminent opening of the Vatican Council, which was to bring, and actually did bring so many benefits in the spiritual and the pastoral order to the Catholic Church throughout the world.
The Shallow Of Pius IX
Beloved sons! For some time We have enjoyed applying to Ourself what Cardinal Federigo Borromeo said of himself: "God knows my deficiencies, and the ones that I know too are enough to embarrass me." 50 And that is why on this occasion of Our 80th birthday We beg you to leave Us, in a sense, in the shadow of Our great predecessor Pius IX; We would like to read you a comment about him that We have in Our personal notes.
"His health is perfect," wrote Louis Veuillot. "His conversation is as keen and pointed as it is kind and good. His eye can always pick out his friends in a crowd, and he likes to say that he has seen them here and there. His hand, which is holding up so great a portion of the weight of the world, doesn't tremble at all. His ear hears even those who speak to him softly and fully grasps how filled their hearts are with love and respect. He keeps everything in mind, and remembers everything, except injuries." 51
With these memories and with this encouragement to perfection in the priestly life that comes to Us and to all of you from so far off and yet remains so up-to-date. We put an end to Our talk; please accept for yourselves and for the souls entrusted to your care Our full Apostolic Blessing and Our fatherly best wishes that you may always respond fittingly to the grace of the Lord.
—November 24, 1960
1 A good work.
2 A completed work.
3 Truth puts shadow to flight; light does away with the night. (From the Liturgy: Sequence Lauda Sion)
4 "Do this and thou shalt live." (Luke 10, 28)
5 Cf. Ezech. 2, 8 to 3, 3.
6 Voice of the Lord: divine law: book of life.
7 Blessed are they whose way of life is spotless. (Ps. 118, 1)
8 Princes persecute me without cause. (Ps. 118, 161)
9 Let my soul live and praise thee, and let thy decrees help me. I go astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant, for I have not forgotten thy commandments. (Ps. 118, 175-6)
10 Explanation of Psalm 118.
11 O Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, who shall live on thy holy mountain? (Ps. 14, 1)
12 To walk without stain.
13 To do justice and think right things in his heart.
14 Know thyself.
15 Not to slander; not to do evil to his neighbor; not to bring disgrace upon those close to him.
17 In his holy mountain.
18 Preserve me, O God, for I flee unto thee. (Ps. 15, 1)
19 Hear, O Lord, a just cause, attend to my cry. (Ps. 16, 1)
20 The First Roman Synod. (A copy of the Latin text of this work can be obtained by writing to Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City. —Ed.)
21 If thou searchest my heart, if thou visitest me in the night, if thou triest me by fire, thou wilt not find iniquity in me. My mouth has not transgressed in the manner of men; I have kept the ways of the law according to the words of thy lips. (Ps. 16, 3-4)
22 Hard ways.
23 Ways of the law.
24 You have been called.
25 Great trust. Peter was a fisherman.
26 From his youth and our own.
27 He was not a rich man. He had to earn his food with his sweat and his skill. And still he speaks confidently: we have given up everything. And since giving up everything is not enough, he adds the thing that makes it perfect: and we have followed you; we have done what you commanded us to do. Therefore what reward are you going to give us? (Book III on Matt. 19)
28 Give up everything; follow Christ.
29 Follow Christ.
30 We have given up all things.
31 From the beginning of time.
32 Behold, we have left all and followed thee.
34 On the Common of Abbots.
35 On the words of the Lord.
36 We have left all and followed thee.
37 Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For, my yoke is easy and my burden light. (Matt. 11, 28-30)
38 I will give you rest.
39 If the vessels of flesh are constrained, the room for charity grows.
40 That urges on.
41 Yoke of the Lord upon us.
42 2 Peter 3, 15-16.
43 Fellow-presbyter and witness of the sufferings of Christ, the partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed in time to come. (1 Peter 5, 1)
44 Tend the flock of God which is among you, governing not under constraint, but willingly, according to God; nor yet for the sake of base gain, but eagerly; nor yet as lording it over your charges, but becoming from the heart a pattern to the flock. (1 Peter 5, 2-3)
45That the putting off of my tabernacle is at hand. (2 Peter 1, 14)
46 Moreover I will endeavor that even after my death you may often have occasion to call these things to mind. (2 Peter 1, 15)
47 Servant of the servants of God.
48 I have spoken and set my soul free.
49 Spare, leisure.
50 Manzoni, I promessi sposi, chap. 26.
51 Louis Veuillot, Rome pendant le Concile, (ed. Lethielleux, Paris, 1927) II, 366.
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