Hieronymus Stridonensis
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Letter - Epistle 12
(alias 45; scripta eodem tempore quo superior)

The subject of this letter is similar to that of the preceding. Of Antony nothing is known except that some manuscripts describe him as "of Æmona." The date of the letter is A.D. 374.

(Note: This English synopsis is not a translation of the Latin version.)

Antonium Monachum Aemonae reprehendit, quod toties rogatus nunquam rescripserit: rursumque hortatur, ut diligentem se diligat, et scribenti rescribat.
To Antony, Monk
Ad Antonium Monachum

While the disciples were disputing concerning precedence our Lord, the teacher of humility, took a little child and said: "Except ye be converted and become as little children ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." And lest He should seem to preach more than he practised, He fulfilled His own precept in His life. For He washed His disciples' feet, he received the traitor with a kiss, He conversed with the woman of Samaria, He spoke of the kingdom of heaven with Mary at His feet, and when He rose again from the dead He showed Himself first to some poor women. Pride is opposed to humility, and through it Satan lost his eminence as an archangel. The Jewish people perished in their pride, for while they claimed the chief seats and salutations in the market place, they were superseded by the Gentiles, who had before been counted as "a drop of a bucket." Two poor fishermen, Peter and James, were sent to confute the sophists and the wise men of the world. As the Scripture says: "God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble." Think, brother, what a sin it must be which has God for its opponent. In the Gospel the Pharisee is rejected because of his pride, and the publican is accepted because of his humility.

Dominus noster humilitatis magister, disceptantibus de dignitate discipulis, unum apprehendit e parvulis, dicens: Quicumque vestrum non fuerit conversus sicut infans, non potest introire in regnum coelorum (Matth. 18). Quod ne tantum docere, nec facere videretur, implevit exemplo: dum discipulorum pedes lavat (Joan. 13): dum traditorem osculo excipit (Luc. 22): dum loquitur cum Samaritana (Joan. 4): dum ad pedes sibi sedente Maria, de coelorum disputat regno (Luc. 7): dum ab inferis resurgens, primum mulierculis apparescit (Marc. 16). Satanas autem ex Archangelico fastigio non aliam ob causam, nisi ob contrariam humilitati superbiam ruit. Et Judaicus populus primas sibi cathedras, et salutationes in foro vindicans, deputato antea in stillam situlae (Isai. 40), Gentili populo succedente, deletus est. Contra sophistas quoque saeculi, et sapientes mundi, Petrus et Jacobus piscatores mittuntur. Cujus rei causa Scriptura ait: Superbis Deus resistit, humilibus autem dat gratiam (1. Petr. 5. 5). Vide, frater, quale malum sit, quod adversarium habet Deum. Ob quod in Evangelio et Pharisaeus arrogans spernitur, et humilis Publicanus auditur.
Now, unless I am mistaken, I have already sent you ten letters, affectionate and earnest, whilst you have not deigned to give me even a single line. The Lord speaks to His servants, but you, my brother servant, refuse to speak to me. Believe me, if reserve did not check my pen, I could show my annoyance in such invective that you would have to reply--even though it might be in anger. But since anger is human, and a Christian must not act injuriously, I fall back once more on entreaty, and beg you to love one who loves you, and to write to him as a servant should to his fellow-servant. Farewell in the Lord. Decem jam, nisi fallor, Epistolas plenas tam officii quam precum misi, cum tu ne mu quidem facere dignaris: et Domino loquente cum servis, frater cum fratre non loqueris. Nimis, inquies, contumeliose. Crede mihi, nisi styli verecundia prohiberet tanta laesus ingererem, ut inciperes mihi rescribere, vel iratus. Sed quoniam et irasci hominis est, et injuriam non facere, Christiani, ad antiquum morem revertens, rursus precor; ut et diligentem te diligas, et conservo sermonem conservus impertias. Vale in Domino.
  • New Advent (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913), Fathers of the Church, Letters of St. Jerome - href="http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001.htm
  • Paracalypsis, Patrologiae, Hiedronimus - http://patrologia.narod.ru/patrolog/hieronym/

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