Early Church Fathers
50 All through this chapter Cassian is alluding to Gen. iii. 15: "I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed; it shalt bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel:" the last clause of which is rendered by the LXX. au0to/j sou thrh/sei kefalh/n kai\ su thrh/seij au0tou= pte/rnan, where the Vulgate has "Ipsa conteret caput tuum et tu insidiaberis calcaneo ejus."
51 Ecclus. ii. 1.
52 Acts xiv. 22; S. Matt. vii. 14.
53 S. Matt. xx. 16; S. Luke xii. 32.
55 Cf. 1 John iv. 18.
56 With this chapter there should be compared the Rule of S. Benedict c. vii., where a very similar description is given of twelve grades "on the mystic ladder [of humility] which Jacob saw," evidently suggested by the chapter before us.
57 Quarum debilitatum similitudinem suscipere debeat qui in coenobio commoratur.- Petschenig. The text of Gazaeus gives as the title of this chapter: "In congregatione coenobitica constituti quid tolerare ac sustinere debeant."
58 Ps. xxxvii. (xxxviii.) 14, 15.
59 Nec (Petschenig). Gazaeus reads ne.
60 Ps. xxxviii. (xxxix.) 2, 3.
61 Cf. 1 Cor. iii. 18.
62 Ps. cxi. 10.
1 Acedia. It is much to be regretted that the old English word "Accidie" has entirely dropped out of use. It is used by (Chaucer and other early writers for the sin of spiritual sloth or sluggishness. See "The Persone's Tale," where it is thus described: "After the sinne of wrath, now wol I speke of the sinne of accidie or slouth: for envie blindeth the herte of a man, and ire troubleth a man, and accidie maketh him hevy, thoughtful. and wrawe. Envie and ire maken bitternesse in herte, which bitternesse is mother of accidie, and benimeth him the love of alle goodnesse; than is accidie the anguish of a troubled herte." The English word lingered on till the seventeenth century, as it is used by Bishop Hall (Serm.V. 140), in the form "Acedy," which is etymologically more correct as being nearer the Latin Acedia and the Greek 0Ahdi/a, a word which occurs in the LXX. version of the Old Testament in Isaiah lxi. 3; Ps. cxviii. (cxix.) 28; Baruch iii. 1; Ecclus. xxix. 6 (cf. the use of the verb a0khdiazw in Ps. lx. (lxi.) 2; ci. (cii.) 1; cxlii. (cxliii.) 4; Ecclus. xxii. 14). In ecclesiastical writers the term Acedia is a favourite one to denote primarily the mental prostiation induced by fasting and other physical causes, and afterwards spiritual sloth and sluggishness in general. It forms the subject of the tenth book of the Institutes, and is treated of again by Cassian in the Conferences V. iii. sq., cf. also the "Summa" of S. Thomas, II. ii. q. xxxv. where there is a full discussion of its nature and character.- cf. Dr. Paget's essay "Concerning Accidie" in "The Spirit of Discipline."234
2 Isa. xlv. 2, 3.
3 1 Cor. iv. 5.
4 Ps. lxv. (lxvi.) 12.
5 S. Antony, the "founder of asceticism" and one of the most famous of the early monks, was born about 250 a.d.. at Coma, on the borders of Egypt, and died about 355, at the great age of 105. He is frequently mentioned by Cassian in the Conferences.
6 1 Cor. xv. 28.
7 1 Cor. i. 30.
8 Eph. iv. 13.
9 See Especially Conferences XVIII. and XIX.
10 Ezek. xvi. 49.
11 Petschenig's text in this passage is as follows: "Facilius vidimus viros qui ab escis corpulentioribus omnimodis temperarent, quam moderate usos pro necessitate concessis, et qui totum sibi pro amore continentiae denegarent, quam qui eas sub infirmitatis occasione sumentes mensuram sufficientiae custodirent.". Gazaeus gives something quite different: "Facilius vidimus victos qui ab escis corpulentioribus omnimodis temperarent, quas moderate usus pro necessitate concedit, et qui totum sibi pro continentiae amore denegarent; quam qui eas sub infirmitatis occasione sumentes mensuram sufficientiae custodirent."
12 Quidquid enim fortitudinis.-Petschenig. Gazaeus has "Quid quid enim fortitudinis causa."
13 Quod pro perfecta continentiae fine esca sumenda sit.-Petschenig. Quomodo cibum appetere, ac sumere liceat is the title as given by Gazaeus.
14 Rom. xiii. 14.
15 Operis contritione (Petschenig): cordis contritione (Gazaeus).