Iniquitas

piggybank-spaarvarken-op-een-berg-geld_1

“Simul imprudens et insipiens peribunt.” quis est “imprudens”? qui non sibi prospicit in futurum. quis est “insipiens”? qui non intellegit in quo malo sit. tu vero intellege in quo malo sis modo, et prospice ut in bonis sis in posterum. intellegendo in quo malo sis, non eris insipiens: prospiciendo tibi in futurum, non eris imprudens. quis est qui sibi prospicit? servus ille cui dedit Dominus suus quod erogaret, et postea dixit ei: “non potes mihi agere, redde rationem actus tui.” et ille: “quid facio? fodere non possum, mendicare confundor.” sed et de re domini sui fecit sibi amicos, qui illum reciperent, cum de actu proiceretur. et ille fraudem fecit domino suo, ut compararet sibi amicos qui illum susciperent: tu noli timere ne fraudem facias; ipse Dominus hortatur ut facias, ipse tibi dicit: “fac tibi amicos de mammona iniquitatis”. fortassis ea quae acquisisti, de iniquitate acquisisti; aut fortasse ea ipsa est iniquitas, quia tu habes et alter non habet, tu abundas et alter eget. de ista mammona iniquitatis, de divitiis istis quas iniqui vocant divitias, fac tibi amicos et prudens eris: comparas tibi, non fraudaris. modo enim videris perdere. numquid perdes in thesaurario ponens? nam pueri, fratres, unde sibi emant nescio quid simul inveniunt nummos, et ponunt in thesaurario, et non aperiunt nisi postea: numquid quia non vident quod colligunt, ideo perdiderunt? noli timere: ponunt pueri in thesaurario, et securi sunt; ponis tu in manu Christi, et times! esto prudens, et prospice tibi in posterum in coelo. esto ergo prudens, imitare formicam, sicut dicit Scriptura; “reconde aestate, ne esurias in hieme”: hiems est dies novissimus, dies tribulationis; hiems est dies scandalorum et amaritudinis: collige quod ibi tibi sit in posterum; si autem non facis, simul imprudens et insipiens peribis.
(Augustine, Enarr. in Ps. 48 1.12)

“The imprudent and unwise shall perish together.” Who is “the imprudent”? He that looketh not out for himself for the future. Who is “the unwise”? He that perceiveth not in what evil case he is. But do thou perceive in what evil case thou art now, and look out that thou be in a good case for the future. By perceiving in what evil case thou art, thou wilt not be unwise: by looking out for thyself for the future, thou wilt not be imprudent. Who is he that looketh out for himself? That servant to whom his master gave what he should expend, and afterwards said to him, “Thou canst not be my steward, give an account of thy stewardship;” and who answered, “What shall I do? I cannot dig, to beg I am ashamed;” [Luke 16.1, 2] had, nevertheless, by even his master’s goods made to himself friends, who might receive him when he was put out of his stewardship. Now he cheated his master in order that he might get to himself friends to receive him: fear not thou lest thou be cheating, the Lord Himself exhorteth thee to do so: He saith Himself to thee, “Make to thyself friends of the mammon of unrighteousness” [Luke 16.9]. Perhaps what thou hast got, thou hast gotten of unrighteousness: or perhaps this very thing is unrighteousness, that thou hast and another hath not, thou aboundest and another needeth. Of this mammon of unrighteousness, of these riches which the unrighteous call riches, make to thyself friends, and thou shalt be prudent: thou art gaining for thyself, and art not cheating. For now thou seemest to lose it. Wilt thou lose it if thou place it in a treasury? For boys, my brethren, no sooner find some money, wherewith to buy something, than they put it in a money-box, which they open not until afterwards: do they, because they see not what they have got, on that account lose it? Fear not: boys put in a money-box, and are secure: dost thou place it in the hand of Christ, and fear? Be prudent, and provide for thyself against the future in Heaven. Be therefore prudent, copy the ant, as saith the Scripture [cf. Prov. 6.6; 30.25]: “Store in summer, lest thou hunger in winter;” the winter is the last day, the day of tribulation; the winter is the day of offences and of bitterness: gather what may be there for thee for the future: but if thou doest not so, thou wilt perish both imprudent and unwise. (tr. Arthur Cleveland Coxe)

Adhinnire

hqdefault

Novem annos totos magna cura et diligentia vos audivi; nullus mihi electorum innotescere potuit, qui secundum haec praecepta non aut deprehensus in peccato aut certe suspicioni subditus fuerit. multi in vino et carnibus, multi lavantes in balneis inventi sunt. sed haec audiebamus. nonnulli alienas feminas seduxisse approbati sunt, ita ut hinc plane dubitare non possim. sed sit et haec magis fama quam verum. vidi ipse non solus sed cum his qui partim iam illa superstitione liberati sunt, partim adhuc opto ut liberentur, vidimus ergo in quadrivio Carthaginis, in platea celeberrima, non unum sed plures quam tres electos simul post transeuntes nescio quas feminas tam petulanti gestu adhinnire, ut omnium trivialium impudicitiam impudentiamque superarent. quod de magna venire consuetudine atque illos inter se ita vivere satis eminebat, quandoquidem nullus socii praesentiam veritus omnes aut certe paene omnes eadem teneri peste indicabat. non enim erant hi ex una domo, sed diverse prorsus habitantes, ex eo loco ubi conventus omnium factus erat, pariter forte descenderant. nos autem graviter commoti, graviter etiam questi sumus. quis tandem hoc vindicandum, non dicam separatione ab ecclesia, sed pro magnitudine flagitii vehementi saltem obiurgatione arbitratus est?
(Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae et de Moribus Manichaeorum 2.68)

During nine full years that I attended you with great earnestness and assiduity, I could not hear of one of your elect who was not found transgressing these precepts, or at least was not suspected of doing so. Many were caught at wine and animal food, many at the baths; but this we only heard by report. Some were proved to have seduced other men’s wives, so that in this case I could not doubt the truth of the charge. But suppose this, too, a report rather than a fact. I myself saw, and not I only, but others who have either escaped from that superstition, or will, I hope, yet escape,—we saw, I say, in a square in Carthage, on a road much frequented, not one, but more than three of the elect walking behind us, and accosting some women with such indecent sounds and gestures as to outdo the boldness and insolence of all ordinary rascals. And it was clear that this was quite habitual, and that they behaved in this way to one another, for no one was deterred by the presence of a companion, showing that most of them, if not all, were affected with this evil tendency. For they did not all come from one house, but lived in quite different places, and quite accidentally left together the place where they had met. It was a great shock to us, and we lodged a complaint about it. But who thought of inflicting punishment,—I say not by separation from the church, but even by severe rebuke in proportion to the heinousness of the offence? (tr. Richard Stothert)

Pactus

marriage

Quis est autem habens uxorem, qui eo modo utatur uxore, ut non excedat legem liberos procreandi? ad hoc enim data est: convincunt te tabulae quae scribuntur in matrimonio. pactus es quemadmodum duceres: sonat tibi scriptura pactionis: liberorum procreandorum causa. non ergo accedas, si potes, nisi liberorum procreandorum causa. si modum excesseris, contra illas tabulas facies et contra pactum. nonne manifestum est? eris mendax, et pacti violator: et quaerit in te Deus integritatem templi sui et non invenit; non quia tua usus es, sed quia immoderate usus es. nam et vinum de apotheca tua bibis, et tamen si sic bibis, ut inebrieris, non quia re tua usus es, ideo non peccasti: donum enim Dei convertisti ad corruptionem tuam.
(Augustine, Serm. 278.9)

Who is there that has a wife, and that uses his wife in such a way that he does not go beyond the law of procreation? Because that’s why she is given: the contracts which were drawn up in marriage convict you. You have agreed on the manner of your marriage, and the writing of this contract rings clear: ‘for the sake of having children.’ So you shouldn’t touch her, if you can manage it, except for the sake of having children. If you pass this limit, you’ll be acting against this agreement and against that contract. Isn’t it obvious? You’ll be a liar and a contract-breaker: God looks for the integrity of His temple in you and He cannot find it – not because you have enjoyed her, but because you have enjoyed her without moderation. You see, you also drink the wine from your store-room, and yet, if you drink so much as to become inebriated, the fact that the wine you enjoyed was yours doesn’t mean you haven’t sinned, because you have abused God’s gift for your own corruption. (tr. David Bauwens)