The Following of Christ, Book I, Chapter XVII

cover of the ebook 'The Following of Christ'Of a monastic life

1. Thou must learn to renounce thy own will in many things, if thou wilt keep peace and concord with others.

It is no small matter to live in a monastery, or in a congregation, and to converse therein without reproof, and to persevere faithful till death.

Blessed is he who has there lived well, and made a happy end.

If thou wilt stand as thou oughtest, and make a due progress, look upon thyself as a banished man, and a stranger upon earth.

Thou must be content to be made a fool for Christ, if thou wilt lead a religious life.

2. The habit and the tonsure contribute little; but a change of manners, and an entire mortification of the passions, make a true religious man.

He that seeks here any other thing than purely God and the salvation of his soul, will find nothing but trouble and sorrow.

Neither can he long remain in peace, who does not strive to be the least, and subject to all.

3. Thou camest hither to serve, not to govern: know that thou art called to suffer and to labour, not to be idle and talkative.

Here then men are tried as gold in the furnace.

Here no man can stand, unless he be willing with all his heart to humble himself for the love of God.