S. Bonaventurae Bagnoregis

H. R. E. Cardinalis &
Doctor Ecclesiae Universalis

COLLATIONES
DE SEPTEM DONIS SPIRITUS SANCTI

COLLATIO VII

DE DONO CONSILII

St.. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio

Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church & Doctor of the Universal Church

CONFERENCES ON THE SEVEN GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

CONFERENCE VII

ON THE GIFT OF COUNSEL

1. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? 1 etc. -- Sapientia ubi invenitur? Et quis est locus intelligentiae? Nescit homo pretium eius, nec invenitur in terra suaviter viventium 2. Iob facit quaestionem ubi inveniatur sapientia; et respondet negative quod non invenitur ab homine humano modo vivente, dicens: Nescit homo pretium eius, nec invenitur in terra suaviter viventium. Illud ultimum reddit causam: haec est causa, quare carnalis homo nescit pretium sapientiae, quia carnalis homo non percipit saporem sapientiae; nec potest homo scire sapientiam, nisi inveniat saporem; et non invenit in ea saporem, si deliciose vivat, quia deliciae carnales non possunt esse cum sapientia. Nescit homo pretium eius. Quis potest dicere: ego sum plus quam homo? Verum est quod sapientia trahitur de occultis 3 mysteriorum. -- Accidit, quod predicator transfundit aliis sapientiam et gustat et facit eam alios gustare, et ipse nescit, quid sit; parum valet ei et eis qui audiunt eum, nisi bonae dispositionis sint. -- Ista gloriosissima invenit Sapientiam et in se ipsa et protulit eam mundo. Invocabimus eam, ut spiritu consilii velit nobis impetrare sapientiam, ut possim aliquid dicere etc.

1. A strong woman who will find one? 1 etc.. -- Wisdom, where will it be found? and who is the place of intelligence? Man does not know her price, nor is she found in a savory manner [suaviter] in the land of the living 2. Job questions [facit quaestionem] where wisdom is found; and he responds negatively that she is not found by men living in the human manner, saying: Man does not know her price, nor is she found in a savory manner in the land of the living. That last (phrase) explains the reason [reddit causam]; this is the cause, why carnal man does not know the price of wisdom, because carnal man does not perceive the taste of wisdom; nor can man know wisdom, unless he find her taste; and he does not find taste in her, if he lives in delights [deliciose], because carnal delights [deliciae] cannot exist [esse] with wisdom. Man does not know her price. Who can say: I am more than man? It is true that wisdom is drawn from the secrets [occultis] 3 of mysteries. -- It (often) happens, that a preacher pours wisdom upon others and (himself) tastes and makes others taste her, and (yet) he knows not, what she is; too little is she worth for him and for those who hear him, unless they be of a good disposition. -- That most glorious One found Wisdom and in Herself She also brought Him forth for the world. We will invoke Her, that in the spirit of counsel She may will to impetrate for us wisdom, that I may be able to say something (worthy of Him who lives and reigns ...).

2. Mulierem fortem quis inveniet? etc. Dixi heri et hodie, quod beatissima Virgo gloriosa commendatur in verbis istis primo a spiritualis fortitudinis robore; secundo, a supernaturalis conceptus fecunditate; et tertio a salutaris consilii discretione. Primum notatur ibi: Mulierum fortem quis inveniet?, secundum ibi: Procul et de ultimis finibus pretium eius; tertium ibi: Quaesivit lanam et linum et operata est consilio manuum suarum 4. De duobus diximus: heri diximus de robore et dono fortitudinis, hodie in mane diximus, qualiter pretium redemptionis hominis vel generis humani mundo protulit, persolvit et possidet. Verum est, quod exemplum proposueram vobis dicere; sed quia dicere debeo de dono consilii et beata Virgo hic partem habet et nos voluit habere partem; ideo reservavi usque nunc.

2. A strong woman who will find one? etc.. I said yesterday and today, that the Most Blessed glorious Virgin is commended in those words first for strength of spiritual fortitude; second, for fecundity of supernatural conceiving; and third, for discretion of salutary counsel. The first is noted there: A strong woman who will find one?, the second there: Far off and from the last ends her price; the third there: She sought wool and flax and worked by the counsel of her hands 4. Of two things we spoke: yesterday we spoke of (Her) strength and gift of fortitude, today in the morning we said, in what manner She brought forth, payed off and possesses the price of the redemption of man and/or of the human race. It is true, that I had proposed to give [dicere] you an example; but because I ought to speak of the gift of counsel, the Blessed Virgin also has a part here and She wanted us to have a part; for that reason I have reserved it until now.

3. Pretium cuiuslibet est Virgo gloriosa, et quare? Quia pretium nostrum ipsa protulit mundo, persolvit et possidet. Quidam conversus fuit in religione monachorum alborum; bonae voluntatis fuit ad Virginem gloriosam, omni die persolvit ei psalterium de centum et quinquaginta Ave Maria; at fuit durae cervicis. Quadam die infirmatus est et portatus est ad abbatiam de grangia. Una quadam nocte, cum omnes essent ad matutinas, solus remansit in infirmaria; et visus est ei, quod quidam portarent eum in aulam maximam, in qua videbat Christum et apostolos et coetum angelorum; et daemones praesentabant eum Christo. Et ille qui portabat eum, dixit: "Iustus es iudex; iste noster est". Dixit beata Virgo: "Meus est, quia mihi servivit". Facta est contentio gravis. Hostis dixit: "Iustus es iudex, non acceptor personae; volo, quod secundum veritatem iudices". Et dixit Christus: "Videamus cuius sit". Et omnes defectus sui scripti in charta positi sunt ex parte staterae, et ex alia parte staterae posita sunt bona, quae fecerat. Et pars, in qua fuerunt defectus eius, incurvata est ad terram. Et tunc dixit hostis: "Vides, Domine, quod iste noster est; peto iustitiam". Et tunc beata Virgo dixit ad Christum: "Tu es filius meus; sanguinem, quem habuisti, a me habuisti; peto quod des mihi unam guttam". Et dixit Christus: "Hoc non possum vobis negare". Et tunc posuit beata Virgo guttam sanguinis cum meritis illius; et statim illa pars staterae incurvata est ad terram. Et dixit hostis: "Non est bonum pugnare tecum". Tamen, quia Dominus malum, quod ille fercerat, noluit dimittere impunitum; dedit daemonibus potestatem super corpus suum; et tunc atrocissime ipsum percusserunt, ita quod vix remansit in eo aliquod membrum, quod non esset totaliter allisum. Et dixit iudex: "Satis est". Cum redirent fratres de matutinis, invenerunt ipsum quasi mortuum. Quaesivit abbas et fecit inquiri, quis hoc fecisset. Nullus inventus est, qui de hoc aliquid sciret. Postea locutus est et petiit abbatem suum et confessus est ei; et assumpta nobili compunctione, migravit ad Dominum, et fuit ei poena illa pro purgatorio.

3. The price of anyone is the glorious Virgin, and why? Because She brought forth, payed off and posseses our price for the world. A certain converso [conversus] was in the religion of the Cistercians [monachorum alborum]; he had a good will towards the glorious Virgin, every day he recited [persolvit] for Her a psalter of one hundred and fifty Ave Maria's; but he was stiff necked [durae cervicis]. On a certain day he became infirm and was carried to the abbey of the grange. On a certain night, when all were at Matins, he alone remained in the infirmary; and it seemed to him, that certain ones were carrying him into the greatest fore-court [aulam], in which he saw Christ and the Apostles and the assemblage [coetum] of the angels; and demons presented him to Christ. And he who was carrying him, said: "Thou art a just judge; that one is ours". The Blessed Virgin said: "He is Mine, because he served Me". A grave dispute broke out [facta est]. The enemy said: "Thou art a just judge, a non-acceptor of persons; I want, that you judge according to the truth". And Christ said: "Let us see whose he is". And all his defects written on the paper were place on one side of the balance, and on the other side of the balance were placed the good things, which he had done. And the side, in which his defects were, was bent down to the earth. And then the enemy said: "See, Lord, that that one is ours: I ask for justice". And then the Blessed Virgin said to Christ: "Thou art My Son; the blood, which Thou doest have, Thou hast from Me; I ask that Thou give Me one drop". And Christ said: "I cannot deny this to You". And then the Blessed Virgin placed the drop of Blood together with his merits; and immediately that side of the balance bend down to the earth. And the enemy said: "It is not good to fight with Thee". Nevertheless, because the Lord did not want to let the evil, which he had done, go unpunished; He gave the demons power over his body; and then they beat him most atrociously, so that there scarcely remained in him any member, which was not entirely beaten. And the Judge said: "It is sufficient". When the brothers returned from Matins, they found him as if dead. The abbot questioned and caused it to be inquired, who did this. No one was found, who knew anything concerning this. Afterwards he spoke and asked his abbot and confessed to him; and assumed by noble compunction, he migrated to the Lord, and that was his punishment in place of [pro] purgatory.

4. Dicamus de consilio. -- Quaesivit lanam et linum et operata est consilio manuum suarum 5. Videte, quod Spiritus sanctus describit hic donum consilii quantum ad actum praeambulum, et hoc quantum ad actum intrinsecum et extrinsecum, et quantum ad actum proprium. Primum et secundum notatur cum dicit: Quasivit lanam et linum; et tertium ibi: Operata est consilio manuum suarum.

4. Let us speak of counsel. -- She sought wool and flax and worked by the counsel of her hands 5. See, that the Holy Spirit described this gift of counsel as much as regards its preambulary act [actum praeambulum], and this as much as regards the intrinsic and extrinsic act, and as much as regards the proper act. The first and second are noted when He says: She sought wool and flax; and the third there: she worked by the counsel of her hands.

5. Dicamus primo de actu proprio. Intelligere debetis, quod est consilium, quo erudimur ad discernendum, quid licet, quid decet, quid expedit ad salutem secundum indicium rationis rectae; aliud est consilium, quo erudimur ad eligendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum imperium voluntatis bonae. -- Tertium est consilium, quo erudimur ad prosequendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum exercitium operationis virtuosae. -- Et de isto consilio dicitur: Operata est consilio manuum suarum.

5. Let us first speak of the proper act. You ought to understand, that it is the counsel, by which we are instructed to discern, what it licit, what is fitting, what is helpful [expedit] for salvation according to the indication [indicium] of upright reason; the other is the counsel, by which we are instructed to choose what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the rule [imperium] of a good will. -- The third is the counsel, by which we are instructed to seek after [ad prosequendum] what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the exercise of virtuous acting. -- And of that counsel it is said: she worked by the counsel of her hands.

6. Primum, dico, consilium est, quo erudimur ad discernendum, quid licet, quid decet, et quid expedit secundum iudicium rationis rectae. Unde in Proverbiis: Ego sapientia habito in consilio et eruditis intersum cogitationibus 6. -- Habito in consilio, scilicet quo homo eruditur ad discernendum quid licet, quid decet, et quid expedit secundum iudicium rationis rectae. -- Primo debet homo considerare, an liceat, an deceat; multa licent, quae non decent. Postea debet considerare, si et expediat, quia dicit Apostolus: Omnia mihi licent; sed non omnia expediunt 7. Habita ista triplici consideratione, erudiuntur cogitationes, et habitat sapientia in consilio hominis.

6. First, I say, counsel is that, by which we are instructed to discern, what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the judgement of upright reason. Whence in Proverbs: I, Wisdom, dwell in counsel and I am among learned thoughts 6. -- I dwell in counsel, that is, that by which a man is instructed to discern what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the judgement of upright reason. -- First a man ought to consider, whether it be licit, or whether it be fitting; many things are licit, which are not fitting. Afterwards he ought to consider, if it is even helpful, because the Apostle says: All things are licit to me; but not all things are helpful 7. Having made that threefold consideration, thoughts are instructed, and wisdom dwells in a man's counsel.

7. Aliud est consilium, quo elevamur ad eligendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum propositum voluntatis bonae. Unde in Ecclesiastico: Aurum et argentum est constitutio pedum, et super utrumque consilium beneplacitum 8. Per aurum significatur sacra Scriptura, per argentum scientia philosophiae. Utraque est speculativa, vel practica. Sacra Scriptura est de fide et moribus, partim speculativa et partim practica. Per istas scientias stabiliuntur pedes, quia cor stabilitur per documenta theologica et philosophica; tamen consilium magis stabilit.

7. Another is the counsel, by which we are raised to choose what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the proposal [propositum] of a good will. Whence in Ecclesiaticus: Gold and silver is the resting place [constitutio] of the feet, and upon both a well-pleasing counsel 8. By gold there is signified Sacred Scripture, by silver the science of philosophy. Both are speculative, and/or practical. Sacred Scripture concerns faith and morals, partly speculative and partly practical. Through those sciences ones feet are stabilized, because the heart is stabilized through theological and philosophical proofs [documenta]; nevertheless counsel stabilizes it more.

8. Tertium est consilium, quo expedimur ad prosequendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum exercitium operationis virtuosae. De isto consilio dicitur in Iudith, quod dixerunt sacerdotes ad Iudith: Deus Patrum nostrorum det tibi gratiam et omne consilium cordis tui sua virtute corroboret 9. -- Consilium cordis tui etc., id est, quod bene concepisti in mente, consumes in opere. Psalmus: Tribuat tibi secundum cor tuum et omne consilium tuum confirmet 10. Consilium illud superaddit expeditionem. -- Triplex est operatio, scilicet discernere bene, eligere bene et prosequi expedite. Ideo dicit: Operata est consilio manuum suarum. Non solum decrevit et elegit, sed prosecuta fuit. Non sufficit bonam voluntatem habere, nisi homo velit eam expedire in opere, a virtute intellectiva in affectivam et ab affectiva in operationem. Philosophus dicit, tria ad virtutem esse necessaria, scilicet "scire, velle et impermutabiliter operari".

8. Third is the counsel, by which we are helped to seek after what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the exercise of virtuous acting. Of that counsel it is said in Judith, that the priests said to Judith: May the God of our Fathers give you grace and may every counsel of your heart be thoroughly strengthened with virtue 9. -- Counsel of your heart etc., that is, what you have conceived in mind, may you consumate in work. The Psalm: May He grant to you according to your heart and may He confirm your every counsel 10. That counsel adds in addition helpfulness [superaddit expeditionem]. -- Threefold is its act, that is, to discern well, to choose well, and to seek after in a helpful manner [expedite]. For that reason He says: She worked by the counsel of her hands. Not only did she decide and choose, but she also sought after. It is not sufficient to have a good will, unless a man want to help it along [expedire] in work, from intellective virtue into affective (virtue) and from affective into action [operationem]. The Philosopher says, that there are three necessaries for virtue, that is, "to know, to will and to work in an unalterable manner [impermutabiliter]".

9. Et non solum explicat donum consilii quantum ad actum propium, immo etiam quantum ad actum praeambulum, cum dicit: Quaesivit lanam et linum. Lana est, de qua fit vestimentum grossum; linum est, de quo fit vestimentum subtile. De lana fit vestimentum calidum, de lino vestimentum delicatum. Item, de lana fit vestimentum extrinsecum, de lino fit vestimentum intrinsecum. Secundum istam triplicicem proprietatem tres sunt intelligentiae, scilicet allegorica, anagogica et tropologica.

9. And He not only explains the gift of counsel as much as regards its proper act, nay also as much as regards it preambulary act, when He says: She sought wool and flax. Wool is that, from which one makes a thick [grossum] vestment; flax is that, from which one makes a sublte vestment. From wool one makes a warm vestment, from flax one makes a delicate vestment. Likewise, from wool an outer [extrisecum] vestment is made, from flax an inner [intrinsecum] vestment is made. According to that threefold property there are three understandings, that is, the allegorical, the anagogical and the tropological.

10. Secundum allegoriam per lanam et linum significatur novum et vetus Testamentum. -- Secundum anagogiam vero per lanam, de qua fit vestimentum calidum, significatur orationis revelatio, quia oratio est sicut calor; per linum vero, de quo fit vestimentum delicatum, significantur deliciae. -- Secundum tropologiam per lanam forinseca dantur intelligi, per linum virorum iustorum experientiae. -- Igitur cum dicitur: Quaesivit lanam et linum etc., intelligitur novum et vetus Testamentum, orationum revelatio et deliciae, similiter intelliguntur forinseca et virorum iustorum experientiae. -- Ex istis elicio, quod est consilium, quo erudimur ad discernendum, quid licet, quid decet, et quid expedit secundum iudicium rationis rectae; id est consilium, quo elevamur ad eligendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum propositum voluntatis bonae; tertium est consilium, quo expedimur ad consequendum quod licet, quod decet, et quod expedit secundum exercitium operationis virtuosae.

10. According to allegory by wool and flax there is signified the New and Old Testament. -- According to anagogy by wool, from which one makes a warm vestment, there is signified the revelation of prayer [orationis], because prayer is as warmth; but by flax, from which one makes a delicate vestment, there is signified delights. -- According to tropology by wool forensic things are given to be understood, by flax the experiences of just men. -- Therefore when it says: She sought wool and flax etc., there is understood the New and Old Testament, the revelation of prayers and delights, similarly there are understood forensic things and the experiences of just men. -- Out of those I choose, that which is the counsel, by which we are instructed to discern, what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the judgement of upright reason; that (which) is the counsel, by which we are raised to choose what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the proposal of a good will; the third (which) is the counsel, by which we are helped along to successively pursue what is licit, what is fitting, and what is helpful according to the exercise of a virtuous act [operationis].

11. Primum consilium regulatur secundum dictamen institutarum divinitus legum; secundum consilium regulatur secundum dictamen inspiratarum divinitus rationum; tertium consilium regulatur secundum dictamen illustratorum divinitus hominum. -- Primum, dico, consilium regulatur secundum dictamen divinitus institutarum legum. Unde in Proverbiis: Custodi legem atque consilium, et habebis gratiam faucibus tuis et vitam animae 11. Quae est ista lex? Certe lex foris scripta et lex divinitus inspirata. De ista lege dicit: Custodi legem etc. Psalmus: Nam et testimonia tua meditatio mea est et consilium meum iustificationes tuae 12; quod consilium fit in testamentis et testimoniis. In designationem huius dicitur in Exodo, quod quando Moyses debebat intrare oraculum, intrabat per medium duorum cherubim 13. Ibat per medium, quia Christus debet habere respectum ad duo testamenta.

11. The first counsel is regulated according to the dictate of divinely instituted laws; the second counsel is regulated according to the dictate of divinely inspired reasons; the third counsel is regulated according to the dictate of divinely illumened men [illustratorum hominem]. -- The first counsel, I say, is regulated according to the dictate of divinely inspired laws. Whence in Proverbs: Guard law and counsel, and you shall have grace for your throat and life for your soul 11. What is that law? Certainly a law written for public places [foris] and a law divinely inspired. Of that law he says: Guard law etc.. The Psalm: For Thy testimony is also my meditation and Thy justifications my counsel 12; because counsel is made in testaments and in testimonies. In designating this, there is said in Exodus, that when Moses ought to have entered the oracle, he used to enter through he midst of the two cherubim 13. He used to go through the middle, because Christ ought to be respected in accord with [habere respectum ad] two Testaments.

12. Secundo regulatur consilium secundum dictamen divinitus inspiratarum rationum. De hoc dicitur in Tobia: Omni tempore benedic Dominum et pete ab eo, ut vias tuas dirigat, et omnia consilia tua in ipso permaneant 14. Psalmus: Revela Domino viam tuam, et ipse dabit tibi petitiones cordis tui. Subditus esto Domino 15 etc. Quantumcumque homo habeat scientiam novi et veteris Testamenti, oportet tamen, quod consulat Dominum; non dico, quod habeat specialem allocutionem cum eo, sed oportet, quod Dominus educat sibi tanquam lucem veritatem. -- In hoc reprehenduntur aliqui, qui propria scientia regi volunt; de quibus Isaias: Vae filii desertores! ut faceretis consilium et non ex me, et ordiremini telam et non per spiritum meum 16. Faciunt telas aranearum qui sacram Scripturam allegant ad mala. Dicit Bernardus: "Nunquam Paulum intelligis nisi spiritum Pauli invenias".

12. Second, counsel is regulated according the dictate of divinely inspired reasons. Of this it is said in Tobias: In every season bless the Lord and ask Him, to direct your ways, and that all your counsels remain continually in Him 14. The Psalm: Reveal to the Lord your way, and He shall grant you the petitions of your heart. Be subject to the Lord 15 etc.. However much a man have knowledge of the New and Old Testament, it is nevertheless proper, that he consult the Lord; I do not say, that he is to have a special allocution with Him, but that it is proper, that the Lord thoroughly teach the truth to him as a light. -- In this some are reprehended, because they want to rule by their own knowledge [propria scientia]; concerning which ones Isaiah (says): Woe deserting sons! to have made counsel and not from Me, and to have begun a web [ordiremini telam] and not through My spirit 16. They make spiders' webs who employ [allegant] Sacred Scripture for evil things. (St.) Bernard says: "You will never understand Paul unless you discover [invenias] the spirit of Paul".

13. Est consilium, quo erudimur secundum dictamen divinitus institutarum et inspiratarum legum; sed quia difficile est, hominem erudiri per se; ideo requiritur tertio consilium, quo reguletur secundum dictamen divinitus inspiratorum hominum. De quo scribitur: Cor boni consilii statue tecum 17. Econtra de malis consiliariis scribitur: A consiliario serva animam tuam 18. Non attendas his in omni consilio. Sed cum viro sancto assiduus esto, quemcumque cognoveris observantem timorem Dei; cuius anima est secundum animam tuam 19. Reddit causam: Quia anima viri sancti enuntiat aliquando vera, quam septem circumspectores sedentes in excelso ad speculandum 20, et videt plus quam tu. -- Colligimus ex hoc, quod unum consilium in hoc consistit, quod homo consilium in se ipso non ponat; sed debet postulare consilium ab alio. Nec tantum consistit in hoc, immo etiam, quod sciat discernere consiliarium et eligere bonum et fugere malum.

13. It is counsel, by which we are instructed according to the dictate of divinely instituted and inspired laws; but because it is difficult for a man to be instructed by himself [per se]; for that reason there is required the third counsel, by which one is regulated according to the dictate of divinely inspired men. Of which (gift) it is written: Let a heart of good counsel stand with you 17. Conversely of evil counselors [consiliariis] it is written: From a counselor guard your soul 18. Do not attend to these (men) in every counsel. But with a holy man be persistent [assiduus], whoever you know is observing the fear of God; whose soul is according to your soul 19. He gives the reason: Because the soul of a holy man sometimes states true things (more) clearly [enuntiat vera], than do seven watchmen [circumspectores], sitting on the height to see 20, and he sees more than you do. -- Let us gather from this, that one counsel consists in this, that a man not put counsel in his own self; but he ought to ask counsel from another. Nor does it only consist in this, nay also, that he knows to discern a counselor and to choose a good one and to flee a bad one.

14. Sed quis est bonus consiliarius? Ille certe, de quo dicit Ecclesiasticus: Multi pacifici sint tibi, unus consiliarius de mille 21. -- Unus consiliarius, id est, Christus, de quo dicit Isaias: Vocabitur nomen eius admirabilis, consiliarius, Deus, fortis, pater futuri saeculi, princeps pacis 22. Ipse est Magni consilii Angelus 23; iste est, ad quem debemus puro corde attendere. Dicit Ecclesiasticus: Ante omnia opera verbum verax praecedat te, et ante omnem actum consilium stabile 24. -- Verbum verax, quod nec falli nec fallere potest, est unigenitus Dei Filius et sua doctrina et sua vita. Istud verbum praecedat te et consilium stabile. Stabile consilium non est nisi Dei mei: Consilium Domini in aeternum manet 25.

14. But who is a good counselor? Certainly he, of whom Ecclesiasticus says: There are many peacemakers for you, one in a thousand a counselor 21. -- One counselor, that is, Christ, of whom Isaiah says: His Name will be called the Admirable, the Counselor, God, the Strong, Father of the age to come, the Prince of peace 22. He is the Angel of great counsel 23; that is the One, to whom we ought to attend with a pure heart. Ecclesiasticus says: Before all works let a true word precede you, and before every act a stable counsel 24. -- A true Word, that can neither deceive nor be decieved, is the Only-begotten Son of God, both in His doctrine and in His life. Let that Word and His stable counsel go before you. There is not a stable counsel except from my God: The counsel of the Lord remains for ever 25.

15. Iste consiliarius, scilicet Christus, habet multos conciliarios, quibus consilium suum participat. Dixit Paulus: Beatior erit, si sic permanserit secundum meum consilium; puto autem, quod et ego spiritum Dei habeo 26. Unde ad Corinthios: Scitis gratiam Domini nostri Iesu Christi, quoniam cum dives esset, pro vobis egenus factus est 27. Et ipse Apostolus dicit: In hoc consilium do, praeceptum autem non habeo 28. Augustinus dicit in originali, quod "in tantum factus est Christus egenus, quod non habet quod vulpes habent, quia vulpes foveas habent; Filius autem hominis non habet ubi reclinet caput suum 29; subaudi: factus est Christus egenus ut eius paupertatem imitemur". Magister dicit, ut ipsum imitemur in dando eleemosynas, in humilitate, in paupertate et in obedientia 30.

15. That Counselor, that is, Christ, has many counselors, with whom He shares His counsel. Paul said: One will be more blessed, if he remains such continually according to my counsel; moreover I think, that (in this) I also have the spirit of God 26. Whence to the Corinthians: You know the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, since when He was rich, He became needy on our behalf 27. And the Apostle himself says: In this I give counsel, however I do not have a precept 28. (St.) Augustine says in the orginal, that "in as much as Christ was made (so) needy, that he did not have what wolves had, because wolves have dens; however the Son of man does not have where to recline His head 29; hear what is said below [subaudi]: Christ became needy so that we may imitate His poverty". The Master says, that we are to imitate Him in giving alms, in humility, in poverty and in obedience 30.

16. Consilium istud confirmatum est per duodecim Apostolos et per consilia Sanctorum. Unde dicitur in Ecclesiaste: Verba sapientium sicut stimuli et quasi clavi in altum defixi; quae per magistrorum consilium data sunt a pastore uno 31. Si vis testimonium Sanctorum de istis consiliis, quaere Antonium, Paphnutium et Macarium, qui omnes statuerunt servare ista consilia. Quaere pontifices Basilium, Augustinum, Martinum et Gregorium; omnes monachi fuerunt et statuerunt servare consilia et ea servaverunt. Quaere etiam Benedictum, qui fuit abbas; quaere Dominicum, quaere Franciscum, qui omnia ista consilia statuerunt servanda. Ab Agno procedunt lampades 32 et sunt illuminationes ad consilia manifestanda. Scribitur: Deus qui glorificatus est in consilio sanctorum 33; Psalmus: Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo, in consilio iustorum et congregatione 34. Debemus igitur eligere bonum consiliarium.

16. That counsel was confirmed by the Twelve Apostles and by the counsels of the Saints. Whence it is said in Ecclesiastes: The words of wisemen as goads and as nails on high, I have fixed upon; which through the counsel of masters have been given by one shepherd 31. If you want the testimony of the Saints concerning those counsels, ask (Sts.) Anthony, Paphnutius and Macarius, who all established the observing of those counsels. Ask the pontiffs Basil, Augustine, Martin and Gregory; all were monks and established the observing of those counsels and observed them. Ask also (St.) Benedict, who was an abbot; ask (St.) Dominic, ask (St.) Francis, who established all those counsels to be observed. From the Lamb there proceeded lamps 32 and they are illuminations to manifest counsels. It is written: God who has been glorified in the counsel of the saints 33; The Psalm: I will confess to Thee, Lord, in my whole heart, in the counsel of the just and (their) congregation 34. We ought, therefore, to choose a good counselor.

17. Non sufficit tibi eligere consiliarium bonum, nisi caveas tibi a consiliario malo. Unde scribitur: A consiliario malo serva animam tuam 35; et in Ecclesiastico: Spiritus consilii mali disperdit intelligentiam 36. Quis est iste spiritus? Qui convertit magna in nihilum, et bona in malum, et certa in dubia. Et quare disperdit? Dico, quod intelligentia est ad hoc, quod processus de dubio veniat in certitudinem; igitur, quando aliquis ducit in dubium, tunc facit cadere intelligentiam. -- Primo, dico, consiliarius malus est, qui magna convertit in nihilum, sicut qui dicunt, consilia Dei esse mala et nulla. Tales consiliarii fuerunt Pharisaei et Legisperiti, de quibus dicitur: Pharisaei et Legisperiti spreverunt Dei consilium 37. Utinam nulli sint modo tales! -- Dicet aliquis: "Laudas mihi, quod sequar consilia et intrem religionem Fratrum Minorum vel Praedicatorum"? Dicit: "Ordo fictitius est, de novo institutus, habet signa exteriora". Ulterius dicit: "Parum est spernere temporalia; non possumus ea dimittere. Quare debemus dimittere ista pauca bona? Quid valet nuditas pedum? Corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est, pietas autem ad omnia" 38. -- Carissimi! quantumcumque sit ordo fictitius et novus, est tamen bonus. Et quod dicit, quod corporalis exercitatio ad modicum utilis est, et parum dimittere temporalia; dico, quod ista sunt sacrificia maxima. Venit Christus non pro parvo. Maximum est in castitate et paupertate vivere. Ista sunt sacrificia maxima, altissima et nobilissima, et tu pro nihilo reputas consilium Dei, contemnis consilium Dei in te et in aliis. Si non vis intrare religionem noli prohibere alium. Gregorius dicit, quod, "tot a sequentibus dimissa sunt, quod a non sequentibus concupisci poterunt". Ideo dicit beatus Petrus: Ecce, nos reliquimus omnia 39. Maximum est quod homo corpus suum in perpetuam servitutem redigat 40. Holocaustum medullatum 41 est propriam voluntatem in potestatem alterius ponere. Quando illud facio propter Deum, valet plus quam totus mundus. Contra illos qui loquuntur contra consilia Dei, dicitur in Proverbiis: Vocavi et renuistis; despexistis omne consilium meum et increpationes meas neglexistis; propter hoc in interitu vestro ridebo 42. -- Canis, quando iacet in paleis et non vult manducare, non permittit, quod alius manducet. Ita isti nolunt intrare religionem nec permittunt alios intrare. -- Igitur primus consiliarius est, qui magna convertit in nihilum.

17. It is not sufficient for you to choose a good counselor, unless yourself beware of a evil counselor. Whence it is written: From a evil counselor keep your soul 35; and in Ecclesiasticus: A spirit of evil counsel squanders intelligence 36. Who is that spirit? He who converts great things into nothing, and good things into evil, and certain things into doubts. And why does he squander them? I say, because intelligence is for this, that from doubt one makes progress [processus veniat] into certitude; therefore, when anyone leads into doubt, then he causes intelligence to fall. -- First, I say, an evil counselor is he, who converts great things into nothing, as (are) they who say, that the counsels of God are evil and nothings. Such counselors were the Pharisees and experts in the Law, of whom it is said: The Pharisees and experts in the Law have spurned the counsel of God 37. Would that now there be none such (as this)! -- Someone will say: "Do you praise me, because I follow the counsels and enter the religion of the Friars Minor and/or the (Friar) Preachers"? He says: "It is a contrived order, recently instituted, it has (only) exterior signs". He says further: "It is too little to spurn temporal things; we cannot let go of them. Why ought we to let go of those few goods? What value is barefootedness? Corporal exercising is useful a little bit, piety, however, for all things" 38. -- Most dear ones! however much the Order be contrived and new, nevertheless it is good. And what he says, that corporal exercising is useful a little bit, and too little to let go of temporal goods; I say, that those are the greatest sacrifices. Christ came not on behalf of the small (of heart). It is the greatest thing to live in chastity and poverty. Those are the greatest, highest and noblest sacrifices, and you repute the counsel of God as nothing [pro nihilo], you contemn the counsel of God in yourself and in others. If you do not want to enter religion, do not prohibit another. (St.) Gregory says, that, "So much is let go by those who follow, that it can be desired by those not following". For that reason blessed Peter says: Behold, we have relinquished all things 39. It is the greatest thing that a man reduce [redigat] his body to perpetual servitude 40. A holocaust to the marrow 41 is to place one's own will into the will of another. When I do that for the sake of God, it is worth more than the whole world. Against those who speak against the counsels of God, there is said in Proverbs: I called and you refused; you have despised My every counsel and neglected My rebukings; on this account I will laugh at your destruction 42. -- A dog, when it lies on straw and does not want to eat, does not permit, that another eat. Thus those do not want to enter religion nor do they permit others to enter. -- Therefore the first counselor is he, who converts great things into nothing.

18. Alius consiliarius malus est, qui bona convertit in malum. Psalmus: Quoniam declinaverunt in te mala, cogitaverunt consilia quae non potuerunt stabilire; quoniam pones eos dorsum 43 etc. Malum est, quando aliquis dicit aliquid, unde consilium Christi possit reputari malum; sicut quando aliquis reprobat consilium introŽundi sanctam religionem. Stultum, periculosum, pernitiosum et temerarium est, illud quod Christus dixit bonum in malum convertere. De ingressione religionis dicunt aliqui, quod unum calceamentum non competit omnibus pedibus; sed religio imponit unam regulam omnibus. Si dicis hoc, dicis Christum esse stultum et apostolos. Dicit etiam: Nemo, mittens manum ad aratrum Dei et respiciens retro, aptus est regno Dei 44; et beatus Petrus dicit: Melius est viam iustitiae non cognoscere quam post agnitionem retrorsum converti 45. -- Carissimi! dico: si posset fieri calceamentum, ad quod posset quilibet pes informari, illud calceamentum posset fieri omnibus. Quilibet potest se informare ad regulam religionis, quia aliter fit iuveni, aliter seni, aliter forti, aliter debili. Unde dicit Augustinus: "Distribuatur unicuique vestrum a praeposito vestro victus et tegumentum, non aequaliter omnibus, quia non aequaliter valetis omnes, sed potius unicuique, sicut opus fuerit". Unde in Ecclesiastico: Iniice pedum tuum in vincula illius et in torques illius collum tuum. Et erunt tibi compedes eius in protectionem fortitudinis et bases virtutis, et torques illius in stolam gloriae. Decor enim vitae est in illa, et in vincula illius alligatura salutaris 46. -- Dices: "Dare medicinam purgatoriam, non praeparatoriam, hoc est fatuum". Dico, quod religio habet medicinam purgatoriam et praeparatoriam, quia contemperat se secundum posse recipientium. -- Dicis, quod "est periculum in falsis fratribus" 47. Hoc non dictum est de religiosis, sed de falsis fratribus christianis nondum religiosis. -- Dices: "Multi cadunt"; et beatus Petrus dicit: Melius erat illis non cognoscere viam iustitiae, quam post agnitionem retrorsum converti 48. Non debes cadere cum cadentibus, sed stare cum stantibus.

18. The other evil counselor is he, who converts good things into evil. The Psalm: Since they have deflected evils upon you, they have thought counsels which could not stabilize; since you put them behind 43 etc.. It is an evil thing, when someone says something, from which the counsel of Christ can be reputed evil; as when someone reproves the counsel of entering holy religion. Stupid, dangerous, pernicious and temarious is, that which Christ called converting good into evil. Of entering religion some say, that one shoe does not fit all feet; but religion imposes one rule upon all. If you say this, you are saying that Christ and the Apostles are stupid. He also says: No one, putting his hand to the plow of God and looking backwards, is fit for the Kingdom of God 44; and blessed Peter says: It is better to become acquainted with the way of justice than after acknowledging it to have turned backwards 45. -- Dearest ones! I say: if one shoe can be made, according to which any foot can be fitted [informari], that shoe can be made for all. Anyone can fit himself to the rule of religion, because one way it is made for the youth, in another for the elderly, in another for the stong, in another for the weak. Whence (St.) Augustine says: "Let there be distribued to each one of you by your superior [praepositio] food and clothing, not equally to all, because not all equally fare well, but rather to each one, as there is need". Whence in Ecclesiasticus: Put your feet into her chains and your neck into her torque [torques]. And for you her foot gear [compedes] will be as the protection of fortitude and the bases of virtue, and her torque as a stole of glory. For the ornament of life is in her, and in her chains the saving bindings 46. -- You will say: "To give purgative medicine, not preparatory, this is foolish". I say, that religion has purgative and preparative medicine, because one has despised himself before being able to be among those being received. -- You say, that "there is danger in false brothers" 47. This is not said of religious, but of false brother Christians, not yet religious. -- You will say: "Many fall"; and blessed Peter says: It was better that they did not become acquainted with the way of justice, than after acknowledging it, to have turned backwards 48. You ought not to fall with those falling, but stand with those standing.

19. Tertius consiliarius malus est, qui certa deducit in dubium. Unde dicitur in Esdra, quod venerunt quidam, qui fuerunt trans fluvium, ad iudaeos et dixerunt: Quis dedit vobis consilium, ut domum hanc aedificaretis et muros eius instauraretis? 49 Iudaei habuerunt consilia Dei et prophetarum; tamen isti trans fluvium venerunt dare consilium, nescierunt tamen, quid ageretur in Ierusalem. -- Nesciunt aliqui, quid agatur in religione, et tamen volunt dare consilium et dicunt volenti intrare: "Quid vis facere? Attende divinum beneplacitum: Melius est esse in voluntate Dei quam in manu consilii 50. -- Per istam viam si vis exspectare, donec Dominus revelet tibi, et non vis facere quod sancta Scriptura et sancti viri dicunt tibi, et quod Christus inspirat tibi, semper poteris esse in bivio." De tali dicitur: Vir duplex animo inconstans est in omnibus viis suis 51. Debet homo sequi consilia sanctorum Benedicti et aliorum. Non debet adducere consiliarios novos, sed sequi consilium Christi, cuius vita est certa forma vivendi. Si dicat religiosus: "Non est salus nisi apud nos"; male dicit. Non debet se sanctum laudare, quod alios reprobet. Potest stare pro religione sua, ita quod non excedat in modo dicendi et suadendi. Qui sic sequitur consilium habebit gaudium. Unde in Proverbiis: Qui pacis ineunt consilia, sequitur eos gaudium 52 in aeternum, ad quod nos perducat qui cum Patre etc.

19. The third evil counselor is he, who reduces [deducit] certain things into doubt. Whence it is said in Ezra, that certain ones came, who were across the stream, and they said to the Jews: Who gave you counsel, to build this house and establish its walls? 49 The Jews had the counsels of God and of the Prophets; nevertheless those across the stream came to give counsel, nor [tamen] did they know, what to do in Jerusalem. -- Some do not know, what to do in religion, and nevertheless they want to give counsel and say to one willing to enter: "What do you want to do? Attend to what pleases God [divinum beneplacitum]: It is better to be in the will of God than in the hand of counsel 50. -- By this way if you want to wait, for the Lord to reveal (it) to you, and you do not want to do what Holy Scripture and holy men tell you, and what Christ inspires you, you will always be able to be at the crossroad." Of such it is said: A duplicitous man [vir duplex animo] is inconstant in all his ways 51. A man ought to follow the counsels of the saints, of (St.) Benedict and the others. He ought not to bring forth new counselors, but follow the counsel of Christ, whose life is the certain form of living. If a religious says: "There is no salvation except among us"; he speaks evilly. One ought not to praise as holy, what others reprove. One can stand on behalf of his religion, so that he does not exceed (decency) in the manner of speaking and urging. He who thus follows counsel shall have joy. Whence in Proverbs: Those who go into the counsels of peace, joy follows forever, to which may He thoroughly lead us, who with the Father (and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns ... ).


1. Prov 31, 10.

2. Iob 28, 12-13.

3. Iob 28, 18.

4. Prov 31, 13.

5. Prov 31, 13.

6. Prov 8, 12.

7. 1 Cor 6, 12; 10, 23.

8. Eccli 10, 25.

9. Iud 10, 8.

10. Ps 19, 5.

11. Prov 3, 21-22.

12. Ps 118, 24.

13. Cf. Ex 25, 18-22.

14. Tob 4, 20.

15. Ps 36, 4-7.

16. Is 30, 1.

17. Eccli 37, 17.

18. Eccli 37, 9.

19. Eccli 37, 14-16.

20. Eccli 37, 18.

21. Eccli 6, 6.

22. Is 9, 6.

23. Secundum Septuagintum, Is 9, 5.

24. Eccli 37, 20.

25. Ps 32, 11.

26. 1 Cor 7, 40.

27. 2 Cor 8, 9.

28. 1 Cor 7, 25; 2 Cor 8, 10.

29. Mt 8, 10.

30. Cf. Mt 11, 29; 19, 21; Lc 12, 33.

31. Eccle 12, 11.

32. Cf. Ap 4, 5; 5, 6.

33. Ps 88, 8.

34. Ps 110, 1.

35. Eccli 37, 9.

36. Eccli 32, 22: "Vir consilii non disperdet intelligentiam" (per opositionem ad haec formavit S. Bonaventura textum).

37. Lc 7, 30.

38. 1 Tim 4, 8.

39. Mt 19, 27.

40. Cf. 1 Cor 9, 27.

41. Ps 65, 15.

42. Prov 1, 24-26.

43. Ps 20, 12-13.

44. Lc 9, 62.

45. 2 Petr 2, 21.

46. Eccli 6, 25.30-31.

47. 2 Cor 11, 26.

48. 2 Petr 2, 21.

49. 1 Esd 5, 3.

50. Eccli 15, 14.

51. Iac 1, 8.

52. Prov 12, 20.


1. Prov 31:10.

2. Job 28:12-13.

3. Job 28:18.

4. Prov 31:13.

5. Prov 31:13.

6. Prov 8:12.

7. 1 Cor 6:12; 10:23.

8. Eccli 10:25.

9. Judith 10:8.

10. Ps 19:5.

11. Prov 3:21-22.

12. Ps 118:24.

13. Cf. Ex 25:18-22.

14. Tob 4:20.

15. Ps 36:4-7.

16. Is 30:1.

17. Eccli 37:17.

18. Eccli 37:9.

19. Eccli 37:14-16.

20. Eccli 37:18.

21. Eccli 6:6.

22. Is 9:6.

23. According to the Septuagint: Is 9:5.

24. Eccli 37:20.

25. Ps 32:11.

26. 1 Cor 7:40.

27. 2 Cor 8:9.

28. 1 Cor 7:25; 2 Cor 8:10.

29. Mt 8:10.

30. Cf. Mt 11:29; 19:21; Lc 12:33.

31. Eccle 12:11.

32. Cf. Ap 4:5; 5:6.

33. Ps 88:8.

34. Ps 110:1.

35. Eccli 37:9.

36. Eccli 32:22: "A man of counsel does not squander intelligence" (St. Bonaventure' quote is logically equivalent)

37. Lk 7:30.

38. 1 Tm 4:8.

39. Mt 19:27.

40. Cf. 1 Cor 9:27.

41. Ps 65:15.

42. Prov 1:24-26.

43. Ps 20:12-13.

44. Lk 9:62.

45. 2 Petr 2:21.

46. Eccli 6:25.30-31.

47. 2 Cor 11:26.

48. 2 Pt 2:21.

49. 1 Ez 5:3.

50. Eccli 15:14.

51. Jac 1:8.

52. Prov 12:20.


N.B.: Items in square [ ] brackets indicate the Latin term(s) corresponding to the immediately previous English term(s). Items in round ( ) brackets indicate English words added by the English translator for the sake of clarity, usually implicit in the Latin syntax. Principal terms which have consistent signification are indicated with their corresponding Latin term in each first instance; thereafter only when some English or Latin term is diversely or similarly translated, respectively speaking. This English translation has been released to the public domain by its author.