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which is the sign of confession. If any one incurs a venial sin, he does not for that day kiss the text of the gospel, nor go to the peace, or to the offering."* From all other Benedictine monasteries one monk used to be sent to Monte-Cassino, in order to observe the discipline there, and for a similar purpose the abbots of Firmitas, Pontigny, Clairvaux, and Morimond, were obliged to visit Citeaux separately every year. I Reading occupied a large portion of time in the nionasteries of the middle
ages. In the Benedictine houses all were to study, as well as to labor with their hands. In Lent every one received a manuscript from the library, which he was to read through in order, and return it in capite quadragesimæ. From the morning until tierce the monks were then to be employed in study, and no one was to cause any distraction by conversation. On Sundays all were to study. S Pope Leo IV. decreerl, in the Roman synod, that on every day the monks should be instructed by reading or pious discussion amongst themselves. || . The novices were required to learn the New Testament by heart, and every day they were to devote half an hour to study it. After vespers the juniors and others might study history or philosophy.** In the rule of St. Isidore it is required that after vespers the monks shoulil meditate or dispute on questions out of the divine lessons till complin.
The word collation originated in the practice in monasteries of taking some slight food and drink on fasting days, in the evening, before going to hear read the collations of Cassien, previous to singing complin. In reply to the abbot William of Spires, Udalricus of Cluny thus describes the order of study in that abbey : “The Pent:iteuch is read between Septuagesima and the beginning of Lent, both in the church and in the refectory, each day the reader beginning where he hail last finished. During the nights of Lent we read the exposition of St. Augustin on the Psalms ; during which reading a brother goes about with a lantern to see that no one perchance sleeps. During the Passion we read the prophet Jeremiah, but only in the church. During the Paschal octave the Acts of the Apostles, and thence to the Ascension, the Apocalypse, and the canonical Epistles, which reading continues till Pentecost; including the books of Kings, of Solomon, Job, Toby, Judith, Esther, Esdras, and Maccabees : all which are read only in the refectory, and never in the church, excepting in portions on certain Sundays. From the calends of November Ezechiel is read only in the church, and finisherl before the feast of St. Martin, and then we read Daniel and the Twelve Prophets, with homilies of the blessed Pope Gregory upon Ezechiel.
During Advent we read the prophet Esaia, which is generally finished in six nights. Then follow the epistles of Pope Leo, De Incarnatione Domini, and other sermons of the holy fathers, especially of St. Augustin. We then read the Apostle; the Epistle to
* Ib. c. xii. 18.
+ Hist. Cassinens. Sæc. v. Angelo Manrique Cisterciensium Annal. tom. i. $ Reg. c. 55. ] Præfat. in 1 Sæc. Ben.
** Ib. Joan à Jesu Instructio Magistri Novitior. c. 19.
the Romans is read through in two nights. If the Apostle should be finished before Septuage-ima, we real the exposition of St. John Chrysostum upon the Epistle to the Hebrews. This is the circle of the year.”*
In the wise communities of the western monks, attached to the soil by labor, men beheld for the first time work buy free hands. In the rule of St. Benedict, as a French historian observes, "one is struck at the admirable equilibrium of devotion and practice. Labor is the first word of St. Benedict's rule. In vain didsome of the Irish seek a more mystic rule under that of St. Columban, admitting only prayer and contemplation according to the oriental idea. The rule of St. Benedict extinguished it in the west. This order gave to the ancient world, worn with slavery, the first example of labor performed by free men. For the first time, the citizen, humbled by the ruin of the city, turned his eyes to the lands which he had despised, and remembered the labor which was commanded at the beginning of the world in the sentence pronounced on Adam. This great innovation of free and voluntary labor, effected by the monks, is the basis of the modern society.”
“ On arriving at the monastery of St. Equitius,” says Julian, who had been sent by the Roman pontiff, “I found there some old men writing : I asked, where was the abbot ? and they replied, 'In the valley beneath the monastery he is cutting grass.'” Speaking of Herluin, founder of Bec, and of his first monks, William of Jumiège says,—“You would have seen them, after the office of the church, going into the fields to spend the day in agricultural labors; the abbot carrying the seeds on his heal, and holding tools in his hand ; some clearing the ground, others carrying manure on their shoulders, and spreading it on the ground; no one eating his bread in idleness, all returning to the church at the hour of the divine office, and then sitting down to a meal of oaten bread and herbs with salt and water. When the monks of Cluny used to go into the fields to work, they would begin by standing in order with their faces to the east, and then, after short prayers, they proceeded to labor with their hands.
From the travels of Dom Martene we can learn how strictly the monks complied with this injunction of their rule down to the latter times. “ In the abbey of Orval,” he says, “ we saw angels in mortal bodies. Zealous imitators of the first fathers, they observe unequal hours in the distribution of their exercises ; they work in the fields, and take their dinner there during the harvest ; they are always gay, and one sees the joy of their soul painted on their countenances."'S On arriving at the abbey of Gembloux, we heard that the day before the monks had been at work five hours in the fields, gathering in the harvest.!! “On weak and delicate brethren,” says the rule of St. Benedict, “such works, or arts, should be enjoined, that they may neither be idle, nor oppressed with violent labor.
* Antiq. Consuet. Clun. c. 1. ap. Dacher. Spicileg. iv.
+ Lib. vi. c. 9. | Antiq. Consuet. Cluniacens. Mon. Lib. 1. c. 30. ap. Dacher. Spicileg. iv. & Voyage Lit. de Deux Ben. 148, 9.
| Ib. 117.
If there should be artisans in the monastery, let them exercise their art with all humility, and let not avarice creep in by the sale of their works, but let them always be given cheaper than the same would be sold by seculars, that in all things God may be glorified."* Many monks, who studied mechanics in the time of Pope St. Gregory VII.are spoken of as being most skilful workmen. They were architects, curvers in wood, workers in metal; and even the common arts for the use of the monastery, such as those of shoemakers and vestment-makers, were exercised by monks.
Trithemius mentions that there were 150 monks in Hirschau ; and, besides these, there were sixty bearded brethren, who were not clerks, but called convertites, who were employed in manual labor, and imitating the contemplation of the monks. “Amongst these were men skilled in all mechanical arts : carpenters, masons, smiths, sculptors, carvers; and also tailors and shoemakers : all these met in comnion in the church at nocturnal vigils, and had permission either to follow the monks' offices or to hear shorter, and all dined together in the refectory. The master of these convertites was one of the best monks, and most learned in the Scriptures and skilled in preaching: Master Barbatorum' was his name. On Sundays and festivals after priine, and again after sext or nones, he preached on vulgar observance. There were also fifty oblatsmen who retained their secular habit, doing all kinds of menial work, helping the builders and carrying water, and ready for any duty,—who also served in the hospital, and all with the alacrity of charity; and they also had a master, who was a monk. Thus there were in all 260 men, serving God in all the fervor of charity and peace of religion, in all cleanness of heart and poverty of spirit, so that it was truly admirable to think of it. At complin every night, they all met in the church ; and, when the office was finished, all retired in silence to their cells. O how beautiful and delightful to behold such peace on earth, such a fraternity among men !!!
From the seventh century, in the abbey of St. Denis, there was a certain number of poor, called Matricularii from their names being inscribed on the boards of the abbey; and these were supported and employed in various ways”S
“Although the monks, "says Peter the Venerable, abbot of Cluny, “bave servants and rustic laborers, we employ them only for lawful uses, and never vex them by exactions, or impose any thing insupportable. If we see them in want, we support them with our own. We have servants and maidservants, not as servants and maid-servants, but as brothers and sisters ; and we never permit any one to injure them."|| In the Benedictine order, the abbots and abbesses, on certain days of the year, were to minister to their inferiors in the kitchen. The rule of St. Ferreolus, as also the ritual of Bec, prescribes that this shall be
* Reg. cap. 58.
Voigt Hildebrand und sein Zeitalter.
Lebeuf, Hist, du Diocèse de Paris, iii. 200.
done three times in the year. All this picture of monastic works I saw realized, while I resided in the abbey of Camaldoli; and I remember being much struck at the piety of the servants and herd-men, who used to be assembled every evening to say the rosary and the litany, immediately after the monks had sung vespers. In conclusion one may observe that the division of labor was as well ordered in monasteries as in the most industrious city. Some were charged with attevding to the interests of the cloister ; others were to preside over the crops and harvest. One was to receive the tributes ; another to regulate the domestic economy. One had care of the sick ; another had to receive the pilgrims and strangers ; another to wait upon the poor.*
CRUTABOR Hierusalem in lucernis ;” at hearing which words of the
Supreme Judge, St. Bernard exclaims, “Quid in Babylone tutum, si Hierusalem manet scrutinium !! Now, where abuse or degeneracy existed, there was Babylon, in the judgment of the ages of faith; and the difficulty of concealing or disguising any evil which insinuated itself into
the manners or institutions of the middle ages, is one of the most remarkable features which distinguish them from later times. Many, by the persuasion of others,” says Peter de Blois, “ believe that their perversity is hidden ; but they are perilously deceived : for let every superior be assured, that, on some side or other, he will be always infamous, unless be evin:e true sanctity in his works : 'Vox populi vox Dei.'” It was equally impossible for relaxation: in communities to be palliated or kept secret : it soon became noised abroad.. Hence inquiry and reform were words as familiar in those times as conversion ; and, accoraing to the advice of the councillors of Albert V., duke of Austria, abbots rather desired reform of exi-ting than the erection of new monasteries.
But there was another kind of examination anticipated, and very differently regarded ; which Hugo of St. Victor thus describes : “ Balam, turning his face towards the desert, and raising up his eyes, beheld Israel dwelling in tents by tribes; and the spirit of God coming upon him, he said, “How beautiful are they tabernacles, O Jacob ! and thy tents, O Israel ! The vain people turns its face
* Michaud, des Monastères au Moyen-age.
+ Serm. 55.
Epist. 15. & Senat. Dialog. Historic. Martini Abbatis Scotorum Vien. ap. Pez. Script. Rer. Aust. ii.
towards the desert, while in secret thought it examines attentively the conversation of those who live spiritually, it raises its eyes that it may see Israel."*
To the vain people, thus idly engageil, many objections are faniiliar, founded upon the imaginary or real abu-es which existed occasionally in the monasteries of the middle ages. These are vain, as will be evident, after a calm investigation : nevertheless, it will be necessary to touch upon this ground, so as to endeavor to form a correct estimate of the validity of the charges which are adduced against the peaceful conmunities to which Christianity gave rise. Now, in order to discover the abuses which arrived in monasteries, to what books should we refer? To those of the monks themselves, and of the men who loved monasteries. If we real the Apology of St. Bernard, we shall find that the modern unbelievers have nothing to urge against the abuses of the monastic state, that was not exposed with far greater force by that great father of monks and of the Church.
“ In exposing abuses,“ say's St. Bernard, " I do not fear that I shall give trouble to those who love the order; but I feel assured that they will look gratefully or: those who attack what they themselves detest.”+ “In all the religious orders," says John of Salisbury, “there are found some of the faithful and some of the reprobate. Nor is the truth of religion or of profession on that account obscured : for what profession is there, or what society has ever been read of, into which some blot did not penetrate ?” After a long coulemnation of the vices which could be discerned in monasteries, he concludes thus: “This does not refer to the men who observe their profession. There is no life more faithful, none more simple, none more happy, than theirs within the cloister, performing their duties humbly, in all obeclience and reverence, in all sanctification and honor, conversing with God; and, as if terrestrial angels, ignorant of all the perturbations of the world. If there be any thing in what is said which may seem to afflict them, it should be referred to fraternal charity.” “See your vocation, brethren,” says another guide : “to enter a monastery is the beginning of the utmost perfection ; but to live not perfectly in a monastery, is the utmost damnation."In the earljest records of monastic history some traces of evil men are found. The desert hail its Sarabaïtes, those unworthy childern. In the latter times, pretended Franciscans, and pretender Clares, caused scandal in Italy, and gave occasion to papal censures.l! In every abbey, perhaps, lay some dead member, to use the expression of the Carthusian Sutorus, who cites in confirmation of it the text, “Non est domus in qua non jaceat mortuus."9 Speaking of these monasteries, the abbots of the midille ages repeat the words of St. Augustin, and say, “I do not dare to pretend that my house is better than the ark of Noa, where, among eight men, one reprobate was found,-or better than the house of Abraham, where it was said, ' Ejice ancillam et filium ejus,'—or better than the habitation of our
* Serm. 78.
| De Nugis Curialium, c. 21. & Nuremberg Doct. Ascet. I. iv. 36. | Wadding, An. Minorum, tom. iii. Exod. xviii.