Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
Monks' Rules (Author: Columbanus Hibernus)
Of the Monk's Perfection
Let the monk live in a community under the discipline of one father and in company with many, so that from one he may learn lowliness, from another patience. For one may teach him silence and another meekness. Let him not do as he wishes, let him eat what he is bidden, keep as much as he has received, complete the tale of his work, be subject to whom he does not like. Let him come weary to his bed and sleep walking, and let him be forced to rise while his sleep is not yet finished. Let him keep silence when he has suffered wrong, let him fear the superior of his community as a lord, love him as a father, believe that whatever he commands is healthful for himself, and let him not pass
judgement on the opinion of an elder, to whose duty it belongs to obey and fulfil what he is bidden
[for the entire chapter] cf. Hieron. Epist. cxxv. 15 as Moses says, Hear, O Israel,
Deut. 6. 4 and the rest.
END OF THE RULE.
A diversity of faults should be cured by the application of a diversity of penance. Therefore, my dearest brethren:
- Of confession before meat or entering our beds, and of keeping grace at table, likewise also of silence.
- That the lamp should be blessed, and of him who has called anything his own, and of the management of the knife at table, and of him who has lost anything in serving, and of prostration in the synaxis, and of him who has lost the crumbs.
- Of him who has lost anything carelessly, and who has spilt anything on the table, and who on leaving the house has not bowed himself for prayer, and who forgets the prayer before work, and who eats without grace, and who on returning home has not bowed himself, and of him who has confessed all this.
- He who at the beginning of a psalm has not chanted well, and who has bitten the Lord's chalice with his teeth, and who has not kept his place, and who has laughed in the synaxis, and who receives blessed bread, and who forgets to make the offering. Of idle tales and of self-excuse, and of setting counsel against counsel, and of striking the altar.
- Of him who utters a loud speech, and who excuses himself, and who contradicts a brother in pointing something out, and that those who excuse themselves are not the sons of God.
- Of him who has said a proud word, and who utters a loud speech, and who conceals someone's fault until he may utter it for a bad end, and who censures another's works, and who utters reproof against reproof.
- Of him who slanders another, and of the argumentative, and him who censures his superior, and of him who has been melancholy, and who entices his brother to evil, and who condemns another's obedience.
- Of him who instructs his brother against his own senior, and who gainsays his case to his prior, and who does not ask pardon when reproved, and who wishes to be the visitor of others, and those who visit the kitchen without orders, and who go outside the bounds, and who speak together when forbidden, and who say that they are not permitted to do what they are asked, and of those who say We are doing what you tell us, and who knowingly transgress, and of him whose chrismal has fallen off.
- Of him who utters an idle word, and of brethren doing penance, and of minor penances.
- Of a brother who has been disobedient, and who says and does not, and who murmurs, and who fails to seek pardon or excuses himself, and who provokes two brethren to anger, and of lying, and of him who contradicts a brother, and who breaks a commandment, and who does the work enjoined him with negligence, and who slanders his abbot, and who forgets or loses something out of doors.
- Of him who speaks with a lay person, and who completes his work and then does something without orders, and of him who is double-tongued, and who eats in a strange house, and who tells a past sin, and who on returning from the world tells also of worldly things, and of him who is the accomplice of one who does something contrary to the injunction of the rule.
- Of him who excites wrath in his brother, and of him who does not come to grace at table, and who sleeps at prayer, and who does not respond Amen, and who neglects an hour-office, and who does not hear the call to prayer, and who communicates in his night-garment.
- Of him who on the fourth and sixth day eats before nones, and who tells a lie, and who sleeps in the same house as a woman, and who does not close the church behind him, and who spits in church, and who is forgetful of psalmody.
- Of him who comes too slowly to some signal, and who makes a sound after the peace, and who enters with his head covered, and who does not ask a prayer, and who eats without praying, and who makes a noise during prayers, and who retains anger or melancholy.
- Of neglect in the offerings.