Saturday, September 5, 2009

From a Letter to the monk Adam

by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

To make this principle clear, we must note that some actions are wholly good; others wholly evil: and in these no obedience is to be rendered to men. For the former are not to be omitted by us, even if they are prohibited [by men]: nor the latter done, even though they are commanded. But, besides these, there are actions between the two, and which may be good or evil according to circumstances of place, time, manner, or person, and in these obedience has its place, as it was in the matter of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was in the midst of Paradise. When. these are in question, it is not right to prefer our own judgment to that of our superiors, so as to take no heed of what they order or forbid.

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