Enchiridion. Chapter 21. The Twelfth Rule
< 1 read
< 1 read
When thou fightest with thine enemies, think it not enough for thee to avoid his stroke, or put it back, except thou also take the weapon from him manfully, and lay therewith again at the owner, killing him with his own sword. That shall come to pass on this wise.
If when thou art provoked unto evil thou do not only abstain from sin, but thereof dost take unto thee an occasion of virtue: and as poets elegantly feign that Hercules did grow and was also hardened in courage through the dangers that Juno put unto him of displeasure: thou likewise give also attendance that by the instigations of thine enemy not only thou be not the worse but rather be made much better. Thou art stirred unto bodily lust, know thy weakness, and also lay apart somewhat the more of lawful pleasures, and add some increase unto chaste and holy occupations. Thou art pricked unto covetousness and nyggysshe keeping: increase alms deeds. Thou art moved unto vain glory: so much the more humble thyself in all things.
And thus shall it be brought about that every temptation may be a certain renewing of thy holy purpose, and an increase of piety and virtuous living. And verily other means is there none at all of so great virtue and strength to vanquish and overthrow our enemy: for he shall be afraid to provoke thee afresh, lest he which rejoiceth to be the beginner and chief captain of wickedness should minister an occasion of piety, virtue and godliness.