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WILLIAM FLETE

REMEDIES AGAINST TEMPTATIONS


William Flete's text, Remedies against Temptations, was known to and used by Julian of Norwich in her Showing of Love.
See http://www.hull.ac.uk/middle_english_sermons/cul-hh-1-11.php for the miscellany at Cambrige University Library, containing this text, twice over, likely compiled by the Benedictine nuns at Carrow Priory, Norwich, the dialect likewise identified by LALME as of Norfolk. Flete left Cambridge, where he had been a scholar, for Italy, July 1359, where he became spiritual director and executor to Catherine of Siena as an Augustinian Hermit at Lecceto, near Siena.

Lecceto

Eric (later Edmund) Colledge and Noel Chadwick published the text from Cambridge University Hh.I.ii, folios 100-116, in the difficult-to-obtain
Archivio Italiano per la Storia della Piet 5 (Rome, 1968). Only one Latin manuscript ascribes the text to William Flete, other versions generally being attributed wrongly to Richard Rolle or Walter Hilton. The text influences Walter Hilton, Ladder of Perfection, Julian of Norwich, Showing of Love, and the anonymous Chastising of God's Children. The work needs greater exposure as an essential part of Julian of Norwich's contemplative library, and as a book which was also to be recalled by Thomas More when imprisoned and awaiting death in the Tower of London, and to be copied out by his great granddaughter Dame Bridget More, O.S.B., Cambrai and Paris. Compare it with John Whiterig's Contemplating the Crucifixion. Like Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, it is one of the 'golden books' of western civilization. These texts are medieval psychiatry. They are the cells of the understanding of one's self and God, phrases common to both Catherine of Siena and Julian of Norwich manuscripts. See Chaucer, 'Miller's Tale', The Canterbury Tales, I (A) 3421-3525, for John's consolation meted out to Nicholas who seems to have fallen into mental illness. See also the lecture given in Attica State Prison on Boethius and Dante (http://www.umilta.net/attica.html). In these texts, written for women, and here copied out by women, care is taken to use gender inclusive language, speaking, in the fourteenth and fifteenth century of 'men and women'. The letter (thorn) is the Middle English character for 'th', the letter 3 (yoch), the Middle English character for 'y, gh'. My thanks to Juliana Dresvina for making the text available to me for this transcription.

Catherine of Siena, 86K

Catherine of Siena, The Orcherd of Syon (Dialogo), London: Wynken de Worde, 1519



Here seweth a souereyn and a notable sentence to comforte a persone that is in temptacion.

Capitulum primum

ure merciful lord god chastyseth hese childirn and suffereth hem to ben tempted for many profytable skeles to here soule profi3te: and
erfore ther schulde non man ne woman ben hevy ne sory for no temptacion. For Seint Jame the apostele thecheth vs at we schulden haue wery gret joy quan we ben tempted with diuers temptacions. For as the goold is purged and pured be fier, and a knight in hard batail is proued good but if he suffre hym self to ben ouere come, right so is a man be temptacion preued for good but if he suffre hym self to ben ouere come, at is to seye but if he consente ther to be deliberacion.

Soothly, quan a man is scharply tempted, he may thanne hopen of gret vertu, for Seynt Austynn seyth
at e perfeccion of euery vertu is for a man to be meche troubled with temptaciones, for euery vertu is proued be his contrary. Our enmy the fend is besy day and nyght to tarye and trauaylen goode men and women with diuers temptaciones, in doutes of the feythe, and dredes of sauacion, and other many mo in divers maneris, and specially now in these dayes he is ful besy to dysese and to disseyve mannes soule; and erfore wysely reule 3ou to with stondyn the fend in eche fonndynge or vyolent temptyng of temptacion, and 3eve 3e no fors of alle his asawtes, of doughtes ne of dredis, ne of erroures ne of dyspit, ne of false lesynges ne of fantasies, ne of no maner trauaylynge of e fend. Whether ou se hem, here hem or thynk hem, take non heed of hem, for they ben materis of grete mede, and no synne in no wyse, whether they ben trauelous or angwyschiouse at comen of malice of e feend. or of yuel disposicion of mannes complexion. And erfore alle suche trauels men ou3ten nouth to charge, but suffren mekely and abyden pacyently, til god do remedye erto; and for as moche as they ben materis of gret mede, no man aughte not to stryuen er a3ens, ne merueyle of hem, ne seeke e cause, ne enk be quat skyle he is so traueiled. For e more at a man duelleth in sechynge and enkinge of errouris and in angwyschis, e more deepely he fallyth bothe in to errouris and in angwyschis.

And
erfore, for as moche as a mannes ought is often veyn and diuers, and non ende hathe, it oweth not to ben charged ne to be taken heed off, ne a man schulde not angre hym self with all, ne blame ne arette it to his owne defaute at he is so traueiled, for swiche trauailes ben peyneful and not synful, for as moche as ei been gretly ageyn his wil. Seynt Austyn seyth at euery synne lyeth in wilful wil, and quat at is a3ens a mannes wil it is not synne, and the holy doctour Ysodre, De Summo Bono, seyth at e fend tempteth a man no more an god 3eueth hym leue. erfore lete vs alwey haue a good wil to wilne weel and to do wel, and god wil kepe vs and 3eue vs the victorye, and e fend schal ben confounded. Feith and hope ben ground of al perfeccion and roote of al vertues: erfore oure old enemy e fend is ful besy with all his slyghtes to drawe e soule doun er fro. And it falleth somtyme at e fend tempteth and trauaileth a rightful soule so scharply at it is ouere leid with care and dreuen to dispeir; al at tyme, ou3 the soule perseyue it nought, it dwelleth stille in e dreed and in the loue of god, and all at trauaile is to his soule gret meede afore the sighte of god. For oure lord of his endles mercy aretti not to the soule that synne at him self suffereth the fend to wirche in the soule; but quan we be oure oure owne wikkid wil fully don a3ens e wil of god with deliberacion, anne synne we, but quan we ben drawen with wykkyd vilenous oughtes, and turmented with dispeir and thoughtes a3ens oure owne wil urgh fondynge or violent temptynge of e fend, we sufferen eyne but we don no synne. And 3et e sely soules knowliche is hid be at turment.



francescacell

Santa Francesca Romana's cell in the corridor painted with the visions she had of evil spirits, from which her guardian angel, given her by her dead son, Evangelista, saved her



Capitulum secundum

ut often the temptynge of
e fend, at maketh e soule to erre in feyth and to fantasye in dispeir, semeth gret synne to a manis soule, and is not so. For all holy doctoures seyn at feith and hope ben vertues of a mannes wil, wherfore who so wolde rightfully beleue, he is in right beleue aforn god, and who so wold trustely hope, he is in trusty hope aforn god, ough he be neuere so moch trauailed with weerful thoughtes or doughteful. e apostle Seynt Poule seyth at in a mannes wil is e beleue of rightwysnes, of which wordes seyth e glose at al only in mannes wil, which may not be constreyened, lieth bothe meede and gylt. at is to seyn, a man aforn god hath neuere meede ne gylt for no dede, but only of tho dedes at ben don wilfully.

But sumtyme mannes
oughtes and womennes ben so trauailed and ouerleid that they knowen nought here owne wil; and ough it so be, thei auten not to care, for good dedes schewen alwey a good wil, and euele dedes yuel wil. Werefore a man at doth in dede the seruice of god, at man hath a good wil to god, ou3 his trauailouse herte deme the contrarye. Also er schulde no creature demen his euencristen for no wers fantasyes or douteful, but if thei haue a very opyn knowynge of at inge for whiche thei schulen deme hem. Fore er schulde non demen yuel of man ne woman for a thynge at is oncerteyn or in weere or doute; and right so it is yuel and not skylfully don ony resonable creature to deme his owne soule in swich plyght, at it were parted fro god for only wersum fantasies or douteful.

Capitulum tercium

nd if it so be
at 3e have consentid and fallen in ony temptacion, beth sory, and crieth god mercy erof, and beth not discomforted erfore. enke wel on the grete mercy of god, how he forgaf Dauid his grete synnes, and Petir and Maudeleyn, and not only hem but also alle tho at haue be or mow be and schulen ben contrite for here synnes and cryen god mercy.

erfore, sustir, fle to hym at al mercy is jnne, and aske mercy, and 3e shuln haue mercy and forgeuenesse of alle 3oure synnes; and make you louly to e sacramentis of holy cherche, and anne 3e owen to beleuen trustily at ei ben forgouen, and 3e receyued into grace of god. For god seyth hym self be his profete Ezechiel at quan a synful man sorowth for his synnes he wele neuere more haue mynde er of. And if a man may parceyue in his herte no verry sorwe, and ou3 he enke quan he biddeth his bedes or cryeth to god for mercy at he doth al a3ens herte, here fore schulde he not deme hym self graceles; for who so wold haue very sorwe for his synnes, in e doom of god he hath very sorwe for his synnes, and who so wolde in herte crye god mercy veryly, he crye god mercy veryly. For as I haue sayd afore, god taketh heed to mannes wil, and not aftir his trauelous fantasyes.

It is good
at a man take non heed of all swiche trauelous fantasyes and steringes at comen on this wyse, for god heydeth fro hem the knowleche for grete skeles, to here profy3te of soule. Suyche passyons is no synne, but mater of grace and of grete merite, and so enke alwey. And if it be so that the temptacyons cesen not, but waxen alwey more and more, be not aferd, but sey somtyme among, in e worchepe of god and in dispite of e fend, 3oure crede, and knowlyche 3oure beleue and 3oure hope be mouthe, and enk on e wordes of Seynt Poule, at seyth: Knowleche of mouth is don to helthe of soule. And thei mow not ben disseyued be the fendes wyles at with a good avysement bothe and wil withstondeth e feend; for was er neuere man disseyued of e feend withouten assent of his owne wil, and with suche a wil that is ful avysed and quemeful, with very assent of herte, for a wersum or douteful trauelous wil putteth not awey a man fro god.

Capitulum quartum

nd
erfore er schulde no man kare ne ben hevy at he is so traueiled more an another. Sister, alwey quan I speke of man in is wrytinge, take it bothe for man and woman, for so it is ment in alle such writinges, for al is mankende. And forthermore as touchynge 3oure troubles, enke 3e in alle 3oure diseses qwat troubles and diseses goddis seruantis have suffred, what peynes and quat tormentis ei haue had here in erthe in many sondre maneris, and 3e schal fynden cause to suffre. Leo e pope seith at it falleth somtime at goode and righteful soules ben sterd be e fend, and somtyme be sterynge of complexion to angres, troubles, taryenges and diseses of dredes, at it semeth to hem her lif a torment, and here deth an ease, in so moche at somtyme for disese ei begynnen to dispeire both of here lyf of body and of here soule. And thei wenen at ei ben forsaken of god, whiche asayeth and proveth his chosen frendes be temptacyons and angres. But these fondynges or vyolent temptynge and angwischis ben but purgynges and preuynges of the soule, for as I sette and seyde at e begynnynge of is wrytynge, right as e feir purgeth gold, and a knight also is preuyd good and hardy be bataile, right so temptacions and trubles preueth and pureth e rightful man. This is preued wel be Thobie, for the angel Raphael seide to Thobie thus: For as moche as ou were righteful to god it was nedeful at temptacion schulde preuen thi wil.

It is weel knowen
at seknesse falleth to a man aftir the disposicion of his complexion, and Leo the pope seith at the feend aspyeth in euery man in what wyse he is disposed in complexion, and aftir that dispocicion he tempeteth a man in his complexion; for ther as he fyndeth a man ful of humors of malencolie, he tempteth hym most with gostly temptacions. But ese, if thei wiln be meded of god, schape hem to pacyens, and seye thei with Job: Sethen we haue receyued of god benefetis, why schulde we not receyue and suffre disese. And ink on the disese at oure lord Jesu Crist suffred hym self here on erthe, and suffred his blissed modir to haue also, and enk weel also that 3e may not in is frel world ben so free as aungel at is conformed in grace; but while 3oure body and soule beth togydre in this lyf, 3e most receyuve troubles as well as esys. And enke not at god hath forsake 3ou, bur mekely abydeth the comfort of god, and dredles quan it veryly nedeth, 3e schul not failen er of. For trusteth weel erto, at quan 3e felen 3ou in suche plyghte, at grace is veryly with you.

But some men quan thei haue dredes of sauacion, or ben tempted to dispeir, or if thei haue ony vycious gostly sterynge or grete felynges of here owne frelte, thei wenen anon
at thei haue synned in the holy gost; and anne fend putteth in hem at it may neuere ben forgouen, and erfore thei may not be saued. us speketh e fend with jnne hem. and afrayeth som sely creaturis at ei wenen that thei schuln gon out of here mynde; but 3e at ben us tempted, answere e fend a3en at he is fals and a lyer: it his nature to ben soo. For the synne of e holy gost as clerkes seyn is infenyte with owten repentaunce and at is quan a man wilfully be deliberacion wole not ben repentaunt ne aske of god mercy ne for3eueness of his synnes, ne wole not be turned, but wilfully departeth hym from the godnesse of god, and in this wretchednesse abydeth wilfully with ful consentynge of wil, and leueth and deyeth er inne. He at dooth us synneth in e holy gost, which may not ben for3euen here ne elles where, for he wolde not truste in e goodnesse of e holy gost and aske for3eueness of his synnes; and a man at wil no mercy aske may no mercy haue. This is infenyte, with outen repentaunce.

But ough a man or woman haue or feele alle
e vycious sterynges and as many mo as ony herte kan
enke, a3ens here owne free wil, and alwey quan reson cometh to hem, thei ben myspayed with al, and fleen alwey to goddys mercy, it is to hem but preuynge and clensynge of synnes, ou3 thei been often in the nyght and in the day now vp, now doun, as wrasteleris ben. And ou3 3e haue ony tyme vtturly fallen in ony synne gostly or fleshly, and lyen er inne wilfuly be deliberacion and ful consent of herte, anne beeth soory and aske god for3euenesse, and euere more enke fully at e goodnesse of e holy gost surmounteth al synnes at euere were donn and euere schul be don. For ou3 oo man hade do alle the synnes at euere were don and euer schullen be do, ou3t and seyd in to e day of jugement, and he were wery contrite and asked god for3euenesse, and mekely lowned hym to e sacramentis of holy cherche he schuld haue mercy and for3euenesse of all his synnes.

e mercy of god is so gret at it passeth alle his werkes, and ou3 sometyme 3e heren speke or reede in bokes sharpe wordes and harde sentencys, comforteth 3oure self, and enke weel at alle swiche harde wordis ben seyd and wretyn to chasteise synneres, and to with drawe hem from wikkednesse, and also to purge and pure goddis specials, as is the metal in furneys, and of hem god wil make his hous. And wete it weel, many wordis at semen ful harde ben ment ful tendirly in good vndirstondyng; and ou some wordes ben ment harde as e pleyn text spekyth, 3e shul not taken hem to 3ou ward, but enketh in comforte of 3oure self at alle harde sentens moun ben fulfillyd in the Jewis and Sarasyns. For the cristen at wiln ben contrite, and truste to goddis mercy, or haue a wil at it were soo, thei schuln ascape alle perels, so at ei schul not perishe bt be saued; and e Jewes and Sarasyns in o perils schuln perische to perdicion, for ei haue not the strenghte of baptym e precyous oyntement of Crystes passyon, at schulde to here soules 3eue lyf and heele.

Off
is we haue gret exaumple and figure in holy writ, where at Moyses ledde e children of Israel, goddis people, ouere e Rede See. Moyses went aforn hem and smot the watir with his 3erd, and erwith the watir departyd, and the childern of Israel wentyn ouere saf and sound, and thei of Egypt perisheden and drounchen in the watir. Be Moyses I vndirstonde oure lord Jesu Crist, and be the 3erde that departed the water at e children of Israel wern not perisched. I vnderstonde his passyon, and be the children of Israel cristen peple.

A man
at stondeth in disese, he is holden to seken alle e weyes he may to comforte hym self. Oure lord Jesu Crist cam from his fadris bosom in to is see of tribulacions and temptacions to be oure ledere: he goth beforn vs, and with his precyous passyon he smyteth awey the pereles of our tribulacions and temptacions, so at we schal not perische, but it schal brynge vs to safte, at is euere lastynge blisse; and erfore synge we to hym angkynges and herynges or preysynges as the childern of Israel deden.

And
ough a cristen man were neuere so wikkyd ne so synful, and stood in the same sentens of hardest wordes at ben wretyn, 3et he schulde trusten to goddis mercy, for if he wolde forsaken his synnes and 3iue hym to good liff, he schulde haue grace and for3euenesse, and the scharpe wordes of dampnacion schulde turne hym to mercy and sauacion. For us seyth oure lord god in holy wryt be his profete Jeremye: ough I make gret thretes, I schal repente me of my wordes, if my people wil repenten hem of here synnes.

O behold the gret goodness off oure lord, and how pyte constreyneth hym, wurscheped and
anked be he euere. He is so good and so benynge and so ful of mercy to the repentauntis at he chaungeth his sentensis fro scharpe vengeance in to for3euenesse, and of e peynes 3eueth aleageances. He seyth also be his profete Ezechiel: I schal for3eten e synnes of ony man at with wery contricion wil drawen hym to goode: and is great mercy schewed our lord openly be the cyte of Niniue, and also be king Ezechie. erfore dispeir no man for synne, but alwey trust fully to goddis mercy at so weel kan redresse alle our myscheues, and turne alle oure woo to wele and our sorwe in to joye.

O
ou glorious myghteful god, at us merueilously werkest in thy creaturis, quat i mercy is brod and large at maketh e to chaunge thi sentence, which is thi wil and thi word. Blessed be ou good lord, in all thyn holy vertues, for thou kanst, mayst and wilt turne and chaunge alle oure infirmitee to our beste if we wele vs self flee to i goodnesse and asken mercy.

But god forbede
at ony man schulde ben the more bolde or necgligent to synne wilfully or wytyngly be deliberacion for oure lord is so mercyful; for I dar sauely seyn at euery creaunt soule and curteys wil be the more loth to offenden hym. But 3e that ben tempted a3ens 3oure wil, and wolde not be 3oure good will for alle e world displesen god wilfully, but ben yled and taryed with peynful oughtes, beeth not afered of e fend ne of his affrayers. He is foule discomfited quan he seeth a man or a woman whiche he temptetch is not aferd of hym. Somtyme e fend cometh and temptetch a soule fiersly like a dragon. Somtyme he assaileth a soule rampandly lyke a lyon. But and a man strenghte hym self sadly in e goodnesse of god, and arme hym in his precyous passyon, an hundyryd feendis, how euere thei come, schul haue nomore poure ouere hym than haue as many flyes or knattis. And therfore strenght 3ou alle in god, and eschewe 3e not and beeth not abaysched to strengthe and arme 3ou in hym ou3 3e bee synful; for he seyth hym self in the gospel that he cam for e synful. Also in a nother place of e gospel he seyth that he cam for mercy and not for vengeance. He cam, e good lord, to be oure scheld and oure strengthe, and so lete vs homly with a meke herte take hym.

And if 3e fele 3et ony dredis be ymagynacion or temptacion, or for wordes
at 3e haue herde or haue rede in bokes, be e whiche 3e dowte of sauacion, anne enketh on tho wordes at crist hym self taughte to a man at doutyd and asked of oure lord who schulde be saued, for hym oughte hym selfe it was ful hard to eschewe all e poyntes at leden to perdicion; and oure lord seyd to hym: Crede in deum patrem omnipotentem. Beleve, seyd oure lord Jesus, at god e fader is al myghtyful, as who seyth, there is no ing impossible to god, but alle is possible to hym at alle synnes may for 3eue and alle wronges redresse, and bryng soules to his blisse. And erfore enk wel at his myght may do alle inge, and his wisdom kan, and his goodnesse wole, and trusteth fully erto he wole saue 3ou and brynge 3ou to his euere lastynge joye, quan he seeth beste tyme for 3ou. For he hath bought 3ou erto ful dere with his precious blod and peyneful deth; and I dare safly seye at er is non so synful a caytef at is cristen or wolde be cristen is day on erthe, and ough he were for synne in the seyght of god dampnable, and in the sighte of alle creaturis also, 3ha and were juged to be dampned be alle scripture, and he wolde for sake his synne and be contrite and asken god for3eueness, he schuld haue mercy and for3euenesse of hym, and if he stode soo or hadde a good wil to stonde soo in e tyme of deth, he schulde be saued.

The myghte and
e mercy of god is so moche and so gret at it surmounteth alle his lawes and judgementis and alle scripture; and so oure lord Jesu scheweth vs be an exaumple in the gospell of e woman at was founden in avouterye. By Moyses law, at was ordeyned of god, shuld haue be stoned, but e myght and e wisdam of god schewed to e Faryseyes here owne synnes at accused here, so at ei myght not for schame demen here, but stolen awey oute of e temple, and oure lord Jesu demed here not, but he of his gracious mercy for 3af  here alle here synnes. And erfore be a man or a woman neuere so synful, and ou3 thei fele neuere so many bodyly and gostly synnes al day rysynge and styringe with inne hem, thei schulden neuere the rathere dispeire of e mercy of god ne be discumforted, for er as meche synne is, ere is meche mercy and grace, and the goodnesse of god knowe, at is to seye in the for3euenesse of synne, quan a man turneth hym from synne and is very contrite.

But god schilde, as I seyde afore,
at ony creature be the more recheles or bold to synne wilfully; but for e mercy of god is so large, we owen to ben the more besy and diligent to loue and plese god, for at he is so good and so ful of mercy. God werketh lyke a good lyche, for a lyche suffereth somtyme the dede flesh to growe on hym at he hath in cure, but aftirward he taketh awey the dede flesh and maketh the qwyk flesh to growe, and so he heleth e man. Right so doth oure lord, at is euere ful of benyngnyte, and is makere of heuene and erthe, blissed and anked mote he be. He suffreth somtyme a man or a woman to falle in dedly synne, but aftirward of his gret pyte and mercy he putteth to his hond of grace, and hem at weren dedly wounded oru3 synne, he heleth hem and washcheth away here synnes in e welle of his mercy, and maketh in hem the quik vertues to growe, wher oru3 he 3eueth hem lyfe.

Oure lord god is also like a gardener, for a gardener suffereth somtyme wikked wedys to growen in his gardeynn, and whanne the erthe
oru3 reyn is moyste and tendre, he taketh awey the wedys bothe rote and rynde. And in the same wyse doth oure good lord. He suffereth somtyme in his gardeyn, whiche is manis soule, wikked wedis of synne growe, but quan the hert wexeth tendre be meknesse, and moyste oru3 contricion, oure benynge lord taketh awey anne alle e synnes bothe rote and rynde, and planteth and setteth in his gardeyn goode herbes and frutes of good vertues, and wattereth hem with e dewe of his blissed goodnesse, where oru3 thei schal come to euere lastynge blisse, joye and reste.

Now sethen
at oure lord god is so good, so piteuouse and so mercyful to synneris at wilfully haue offende hym in gret horryble synnes, ful moche more, as 3e may weel wete, he is mercyable and hath pyte and compassyion of a soule at is a3ens his wil taried with trubles and temptacion, but oonly at god suffereth hem to be so wexed for helthe of here soules.

And
erfore, suster, be not douteful ne hevy, for it schal neuere turne 3ou to perell, but it schal turne 3ou to gret profyte, for ther by 3e schal wynne the crowne of worchip and e palme of victorie, whiche schal ben to 3ou gret worchip and glorie in the blisse of heuene ou3 e ank at 3e schuln haue of oure lord god for 3oure with stondynge of such temptacions and for your pacyens if 3e taken it mekely, and to e fend it schal turne to schame and confusion. And ou3 it seme 3ou somtyme at 3e feele a discord betwyn god and 3ou, be not erfore discomfortid, for us seyth oure lord be e profyte Ysaie: A lytel while I haue for seken the, and in a moment I haue hyd my face fro the, but I schal gadere the a3en in many mercyes, and I schal haue mercy on the, and that mercy schal euere last.

Capitulum quintum

nd 
erfore grutche no man a3ens the will of god, ne merueile not of ese maner of temtacions, for the more a man or woman is tempted in this maner or in ony other maner a3ens here wil, and thei with stonden it, at is to seye not with a quemeful wil consentynge erto, but mekely suffereth it, e more thei ben sadded in good vertues and profyten in the syght of god, ou3 it be hyd fro hem.

But parauenture quan 3e stonden scharply tempted, 3e
enken at 3e ben to dulle and to necgligent in goostly exercyse, for oru3 weiknesse of 3oure spirit at is for traueiled 3e seme at 3e haue in wil consentyd to swyche temptacions as 3en ben tempted with. But it is not soo, for 3e schuln vnderstonde at euery man or woman hath too willis, a good wil and an yuel wil. e yuel wil cometh of the sensualite, the whiche is euere dounward enclynynge to synne, and e good wil cometh of graces, e whiche is alwey vpward enclynynge to alle goodnesse. And whiles at 3e haue alwey whanne resoun cometh to 3ou, a good wil to de weel, and ben myspayd with all yuele oughtes and sterynges at 3e feele and wolde neuere feele ne don other anne in the wil of god, ou3 suche wikked oughtes and sterynges come among in to 3oure herte, and be gret violens of scharpnesse of trouble and disese 3e ben enclyned to the wil of e sensualite,  3et do 3e it not ne 3e consente not erto, but it is e sensulaite at dooth it in 3ou, and 3oure good wil stondeth stille in 3ou onbroke, ou3 the cloudes of yuel oughtes stoppe awey 3oure syghte fro e felynge of youre good wil, as 3e may se be exaumple of the sonne. The sonne schyneth alwey and is in his due place, as weel quan we seen it noght as whanne we seen it; but the reyny cloudes stoppen away our syghte, at we may not seen it in suche tyme as reyny cloudes ben. And so it fareth be oure good wil, which stondeth alwey be goddis grace vnbroken in 3ou, ou3 3e fele it noght for trauaileuse oughtes that benymeth e sighte of youre knowleche.

O yet goddis childern at scharply ben vexed with tribulacions and temptacions, comforte 3e 3ou in 3oure benynge fadir,
at seyth to 3ou in holy writ be his profete: My childern, ou3 3e go in the feir, drede 3ou not, for the flaume schal not dere 3ou, as who seyth, 3e my chyldern at ben cristen peple and in good wil to do weel, ou3 3e go in the feer of tribulacion and temptacion, drede 3e not, for it schal be arettid to you for no perel of soule, but oro3 my goodnesse and the merites of my passyon, it schal turne to 3ou to gret helpe and profyte of soule.

e maner of alle these temptacions, and the remedies er a3ens, scheweth oure sauyour to his apostle Seynt Petir in e gospel wher he seyth us: Petir, Sathanas asketh at he myghte sifte the as who sifteth whete. In as muche at Sathanas asked this, it schewed weel at e fend had no myght to tempte e seruaunt of god in suche troubles but be his suffraunce; and at was openly schewed in the fondyngis or temptyngis of Job, and that he wolde haue syfted hym as who sifted whete. Taketh kepe: e more at whete is cast fro syde to syde in a seve, the more clene it is; right so, e more at a man or woman is traveiled with the fend a3ens here wil, e more clene thei ben aforn god, and here be we lerned openly at god suffereth not his seruauntes to be tempted but for here beste, be so at ei schape hem to withsonte the fend as goddis derlyngis schulden do.

But for as myche as no man may with stonde
e fend withouten the helpe of god, erfore of his helpe he maketh vs sekir and seyth thus: I haue preyed for the, at i feyth faile e nouth. And there at a man fyndeth in his herte a good paciens redily to suffren all diseses makely for goddis sake and for his loue, not takynge heed of alle the fendis temptacions and traueles at man oru3 the myght and e grace of Crist berith doun e fend, and he hym self preued ther with. And to suche men oure lord seyth is: ou at art thus turned to god in pacyence, but if ou helpe to counceil and conferme thi brethern and teche hem to suffre as the grace of god hath tau3t ee, ellis ou art onkende. Salamon seyth at oo brother is a myght a3ens the fend, and erfore thei that ben sorweful and scharply traueiled, quan thei haue herd the good counceil of her brother or suster, thei owen to taken comfort to hem and sey these wordes with Dauid: O ou my soule, why art ou so drery, and why troubelest ow me soo, truste fully to good god at is ful of mercy, and to hym I knowleche at hym I schal serue, be I neuere so myche traueiled ne trubled.

And suche men
at us ben traueiled and taried with scharpe peynful oughtes and sterynges, thei owen to taken the councel and techynge of wys men at ben goode and discrete, and be no weye at thei folwe here owne wielde fantasyes, for at wold vttirly schende hem. And in the mene tyme of suche troubles, ei musten 3eu hem to som good li3t occupacion, and somtyme to redynge and syngynge the seruyse of god, and to other good dedes, and euere among preyenge to god of helpe, and at he sende hem strenghte and pacyence. And ou3 thei fynde in hem self no maner of swetnesse ne sauour oto goddis seruise, 3et thei owten not to care ne ben heuy erfore, for it is jnow to helthe of mannes soule at he wolde haue reste and swetnesse in the seruise of god. For in the doom of god, the wil stondeth as for dede, and so seyth holy wryt, which may not ben ontrewe, at every good wil is acceptid as for dede. Seynt Bernard seyth at somtyme god with draweth deuocion fro preyer to make the preyer the more medful. God wold be serued somtyme in bitternesse and somtyme in swetnesse, and both to we musten mekely receyue. And Aristotil seyth a resoun, at with the more and hardere trauueile at vertues ben goten, e bettir it arn and e more ank wurthy. But the soule is more trauailed with heuynesse of herte and vnlykynge to serue god anne whanne a man is in good lykynge and ful swetnesse and reste of soule, wherfore dredeles it is the more medeful. It was no maystrye for Seynt Petir, quan he saw oure lord Iesu on the hyl in blisse to seye: Lord, it is good vs to dwelle here; but aftirward quan he saw hym amongis his fomen tormentid, a womans word mad hym afered and soo sore in dreed at he seyde he know hym not. But aftir at, quan he was confermed oru3 the myght of the holy gost, er was no turment in erthe, ne kynge ne prince, at myghte make hym aferd. Right soo, if a man be in swetnesse and reste of herte, it is no maystrye to seruen god, but it is no maystrye quan a man is traveiled and oute of reste to seruen hym. But qwat trauayle that a creature haue in the seruyce of god, if a mannes wil be good, and wolde at it were weel, e more mede he schal haue. And if a man wolde suffre pacyently til he aftir trauailes be strengthed of the holy gost, er schulde no fend in hell haue myght to affere hym not gretly. And ou3 it be longe or he feele comfort, lete hym not drede, for oure mercyful sauyour woteth wel what tyme comforte is most nedeful to hym, and thanne fayleth he nought. And erfore lete hym trusten weryly at it is al for his beste, ou3 at he knowe not goddis abydynge.

Somtyme the feelynge of swetnesse and of comfort is with drawen from a man, for ellis he schulde waxen proud and presumptuouse, or necgligent and recheles in vertues; and
erfore it is withdrawen for the beste to helthe of his soule. And also hardenesse and scharpnesse sent to a creature is ful profitable to the soule, for Seynt Augustyn seyth us in techynge of vs alle, at e manere of god is, at quan a man is feble and newly turned to hym, to 3eue hym pees and swetnesse, and soo to stable hym in his lawe and loue; but quan he is stabled and sadly set and grounded in loue, an suffereth he hym to be al to trauailed for twoo skylles. Oon is to preue hym, and to crowne hym e more hy3e in the blisse of heuene, and another is to purge hym of his synnes in this world that he in no wyse be longe from hym in e tother worlde.

Capitulum sextum

nd for as myche as many men kunne not in tyme of temptacion ne woln not see it, but ben sory and dredeful of complexion,
erfore to alle suche men thre thynges ben nedeful. The firste is at thei be not myche alone. The secunde is at thei enke not ne seche no ing deeply, but fully reule hem, as I seyde afore, be som good discret persone; and ou3 it come in to here herte and mynde at ei schuld be lore or in perell, ou3 ei wold beholde here counsell, thei owen to taken non heed to suyche ou3tis and sterynges, ne charge hem. Take thei non heed of suyche ymagynacions or sotyl conseytes, for it may neuere turne hem to dampnacion, the counseil of wise men at is 3ouen to hem for here sauacion. God seyth in the gospel at if e menynge be good of a manis purpose, e dede is good. The thredde remedy is this, at for as myche as the fend traueileth faste to make a man dredful and sory, anne at he to e worchip of god and in troust of his helpe, and to schame and confusion of the fend and right in dispyct of hym, at he strengthe hym self to be glad and mery, ou3 it be a3ens herte. And drede no ing the fendis malice, for e lasse gladnesse that a man fyndeth in his herte, e more mede he is worthy, so at he strengthe hym self to be glad and mery to the worchep of god and dispitte of e fend. For holy writ seyth at e aposteles 3eden awey mery and glad quan the Jewes, goddis enemyes, hadden schamfully beten hem.

Also a man oweth to be glad, quan the fend tempteth and turmenteth hym, for three skelles. The first is
at he is turmentid of goddis enemy. The secunde for in suche tormentis and temptynge the fend scheweth at he is ful his enemy and erfore oweth euery man to be glad at goddis enemy is his enemy. And the threde is for be suche tormentis a man is not only relesed of the peynes of purgatory, but also it maketh hym to wynne heuene blisse to his meede. Jesu seyth in the gospel: Blissed be thei at sufferent persecucion for rightwysnesse for here is e kyngdom of heuene.

Capitulum septimum

lso oure olde enemy the fend and serpent is often tymes aboute to begyle mannes soule in many sondre maneris. He cometh somtme vndir
e colour of goodnesse to disseyuen hem at fayn wold don wel; and specyally of the thingis I wele speke of.



How the Blessed Francesca met the Evil One disguised as her Patron, Saint Onofrio


On is this,
at ou3 a creature, man or woman, be neuere soo wel ne so ofte schreuen and in reste of soule, e fend maketh hem to beleve at ei ben not wel schreuen, and alle he doth to brynge e soule to heuynesse. And somtyme e fend be to myche trauayle and noi3aunce maketh a man fully to for3ete som thing at he wolde seye, and anne he maketh e soule oute of reste tyl he bee eftesones shreuen; and is doth he not for he wolde at a man were often shreuen, but fully to entarye hym, and to maken hym beleue at he were out of grace and blyndet for synne, and erfore he myghte not maken hym self clene.

The secunde gyle vndir colour of goodnesse
at the fend tempteth with is is. Whanne somme men or women haue be custom good sterynges and deuoute ou3tes and felyngis of meditacions and of contemplacions, of suyche parauenture as ben solatarye, he wele anne tempte hem to lothe here dyuyne seruyse that thei ben bounden in, or werysom, and make hem to ben heuy and weersum to do it, for he steryth hem to wene at it were best and more plesynge to god to folwe here owne werkynges with inne foorth of inkynges and felynges, anne for to sey at ei ben bounden to, at at some tyme thei ben so trauailed and troubled to and fro at thei weten neuere whiche syde is best to take. And is 3e may weel wete is e fend, for alwey he cometh with taryengis, or with false plesaunce, and is doth he not for thei schulde occupye hem highely in contemplacion or in goode meditacions, but for he wolde lette and disturbe hem erfro, and also he wolde maken hem vttirly to leue e seruyse of god at ei ben bounden to.

The thredde colour of gyle
at he tempteth with is is. Whanne a man or a woman 3eueth hym to honest solace, to strenghte hem self with a3ens the fendis tormentis in comfort of his owne soule, anne the fende wele stere hym to haue consciens erof, and putteth in here hertis at alle suyche disportys is but synne and vanyte. And somtyme he wole bryng to here mynde herfore don synnes, for to tary hem; this he doth for to drawe here hertis to heuynesse, for thei schulde no comforte haue, but al care and trouble, and so to tempte hem to dispeir and to bitter ou3tis. But the remedyes of these temptacions ben ese.

As vnto
e firste, at e feend tempeth a man or woman, ou3 thei ben neuere soo wel schrewen hem semeth at ei ben not wel schrewen, but alwey dou3ten at it is not aright doon, or some is for3ete which thei seen nought; but take ei right non heed of suyche outis, no more an ei wolden of a gnatte that fleeth before here face, but enken fully it is e feend to lette and distrouble pees in here soule. And if so bee at a man somtyme oru3 trauelouse ou3tes for3eteth som ing of charge at he wolde haue seyde, anne schape a tyme and be confessed er of; and if he may not ly3tly haue his confessour, enke at he wolde ben confessed erof quan he may haue his goostly fadir, and in the mene tyme crye god mercy, and aske hym for3euenesse of all his traspace, and troust fully it is for3ouen. For a man is not so redy to asken for3euenesse and mercy, at 3et oure mercyful lord of his grete goodnesse is more redy to 3eue it hym.

And as touching the secunde temptacion,
at the feend wolde lette and forbarre a man fro his dyuyne seruyse at he is bounden to, and tempteth hym vtterly to leue it, is at he be anne e more diligent to seye it weel and deuoutly, with grete reuerence and right good avysement or attendaunce, and if he seye his seruyse alone, he may quan deuoute ou3tes comen, or loue with swetnesse vysyteth hym, or some hi3 visitacioun of the holy gost toucheth hym, he may stynte of his seruyse for the tyme, and attend to at, and aftir at seye forth so at his seruyse be not lefte undoon ne vnseyde. And if he doth us, it schal ben but lytel lettynge to his due seruyse, but he schal fnde comfort and eese erinne; and ou3 it lette hym at oo tyme, it schal supporte hym another tyme.

e thredde temptacion is is. Whanne a man in comendable tyme 3eueth hym to honest companye and solace in strenghtynge of his soule, the feend putteth in his mende and maketh hym beleue at it is synne and perel to hym; and not oonly is, but also his olde synnes afoore don he putteth to his mende for to tarye hym. But alle 3e at ben taryed us of the feend with ese ou3tes and sterynges, beleue hem not ne charge hem not, for alle ing at is treuly groundyd in god, it pleseth god and not displeseth. erfore goddis seruaunties musten alwey grounden hem weel in god, and don be e counseil of holy cherche, and if thei don so, ei schuln neuere be disseyued. And in as myche as all ing hath tyme in goddis seruyse, a man au3te to tende to no ing, be it neuere so good, at schulde lette him fro goddis seruyse.

And also a man
at is traueiled and taketh hym to solace in dispyt of e fend, he ou3te not at tyme tende to at thing at wolde tarye hym, but he oweth to schape hym a tyme to crye god mercy and aske for3euenesse of al his trespas and synne. anne ou3te he to taken to mynde at e firste mynde was but a taryenge of e feend; for he at is endeles good schuldd rather stere a man to enke on his synne in helpe of his lyf anne in taryenge of his lyf and of his soule.

Capitulum octauum

lso
e feend is ful besy to men and women of tendir conscyens, to brynge in hem so myche errour at thei wene ing that is no synne or parauenture is weel done semethe to hem synne, and of a venyal synne maketh it to seme greuouse as dedly synne, and of ing of no charge maketh it to seme as thou3 it were don in dipiste of god or of his seyntis.  And somme the enemy the fend tarieth so gretly at what euere thei doo or leue to do, thei ben so byten in conscyens at ei kan no whilte to gydir haue reste in hem self; and alle this the fend doth oru3 fals dreed and blynd conscyens. But e remedy of is temptacion and of all other is at ei gouerne hem be here confessour, or be some good discret persone, and rule hem fully aftir hym, and not aftir here owne blynde mysruled consciens.  For suyche a man as is us taryed, if he folwe his owne conscyens, it were a gret pryde at he wolde holden his owne wit betyr than the trewe loore of holy cherche. erfore a man at wolde don soo muste nedes fallen in to gret errouris of e feend and in to his handys; and if suyche an errour of conscyence made be the enemy seye on to 3ou at other men feele not at at 3e feele, and erfore thei kunne not deme ne 3eue 3ou good remedye erto, and erfore 3e muste folwe 3oure owne fantasyes, or ellis 3e enken that 3e schuln be lore, take 3e non heed of this ou3t and steryng, ne of no suyche fantasyes at comen in to 3oure herte, ne charge hem not. But putteth awey all suyche errouris of consciens as faste as thei comen to mende; lete him lightly go, and if ony seye at ei may not putten hem awey, thei seye not right, for who so is in wil to do awey a fals conscience and errour, to fore god it is alwey, ou3 er leue in hym neuere so many fals domes. And therfore ou3 a man haue neuere so many teryenges a3ens his wil in his consciens, he dare not drede hym, for dredeles god schal euere comforte hym or he deye; and e lengere that he suffereth suyche taryengis, the more is he worthy in the syghte of god.

Capitulum nonum

nd
ou3 the feend putte in 3ou ony ou3t of dispeir, or maketh 3ou to enke at in the our of death 3e schuln haue suych yuele ou3tes and sterynges, and anne 3e ben but lore, beleue hem not ne charge it not, but answere hym us, at 3e haue put fully 3oure trouste in oure lord god, and erfore ou3 he tempte 3ou with ony temptacions, ou3 the myght of god and merites of his passyon it schal be no perel to 3ou of soule, but to hym it schal turne to schame and confusion. And if ony creature, man or woman, seie to 3ou ony bytynge woord or wordes of discomfort, taketh it mekely and paciently, and enketh at perauenture it is don oru3 temptacion of the fend to distroblen 3ou and lette 3ou, or it is a chastysyng of god for som word or for dede at 3e haue don or seyd. For oure lord god dooth lyke a lovynge modir: a louynge modir that is wys and weel tau3t, sche wole at here childern be vertuouse and weel norisched, and if sche may knowe only of hem with a defau3te, sche wole 3eue hem a knocke on the heed, and if thei don a gret defua3te, sche wole 3eue hem a buffet vndir the chekes and if thei don a gretere trespas, sche wole bylasche hem scharpely. us doth god, that is oure louynge fadir at al vertue and goodnesse cometh fro. He wole at his specyal and his chosen chyldern ben vertuouse and weel tau3t in soule, and if thei don a defaute, he wel knocke hem on the heed with suyche wordis of displeasaunce and of discomfort. And if thei doo a gret defaute he wole 3eue hem a buffet with gret scharpenesse in sondry maneris, aftir at the sundry defautys ben; and if thei don grettere trespaces, he chastyseth hem ful scharpely with gret duresses. And alle is oure good lord dooth for a specyall loue, for he hym self seyth at tho at he loueth he chastyseth. O treuly, and we token good keep of these wordes, we wolden be gladdere of his chastysyngis an of alle the worldes cherysynges; and if we deden soo, alle diseses and trybulacions schulden turne to comfort and joye.

But it is ful hard in tyme of scharpenesse, quan a soule stondeth naked fro alle goostly and bodyly cimfort, to take and fynde joye in disese. But
ei at stonden in suyche inward duresse, thei must seke, in all weyes of discomfort, how ei mowe comfort hem self in god, and enke alwey at it is for here beste. And trusteth fully at god sent neuere chastysyng, at he ne sent comfort, be long tyme or be schort, where oru3 he brengheth hem oute of here disese. e profete seyth: Many ben the trivulacions of rightful men, and of all o god schal deyueren hem.

And
ou3 3e fele somtyme steryingis of dispeir, or of vnkendely and onreuerent ou3tes, comforte 3ou euere more in the goodnesse of god, and in the peyneful passyon at his manhod suffered. And for as moche as e feend tempteth many to desperacions and dreedis of sauacion, and specyally goddis seruauntes, and also worldly men and women the feend tempteth hem to dispeir quan ei beholden here greuous synnes, and the goostly lyueris he tempteth to dispeir be inputtynge of false dreedys and streyt conscience, and be deep ymagynacion of predestinacion, and in moo sondry wyses than I kan telle, and ful graciously god hath comforted and sent comfort to many that with dispeir hath be trauayled,  and amongis al tho at god hath comforted and broute oute of at errour. I am steryd to telle of oone of hem, which was a squier at hi3te John Homeleis.

Narracio

his squier
at I haue named had ben a synful man, and soo at e laste oru3 the beholdynge of his synnes and be the feendes temptacions, he feel in to dispeir, soo deeply and so greuously that he had ny lost his mynde; and thus he was traueiled fourty dayes, at he myght neyther slepe ne ete, but wasted awey and was in poynt to spille hym self. But good god, at is ful of pyte and mercy, wolde not haue hym lore, and on a day, as he in ful grete sorwe walked in a wode alone, an aungel came to hym in fourme of a man, and saluted the squier ful goodly, and talked with hym. anne seyde the aungel to hym: ou semest, seyde he, a man ful of heuynesse and sorwe. Telle me, I prey the, what causeth thi disese. Nay seyde the squier, it is not the to telle. 3is, seyde the aungel, ou wost neuere how weel I may helpen the and thi disese remeue. A man schulde, sayde e aungel, alwey in discomfort and heuynesse discouere his hert to somme creature at myght ese hym, for oru3 good counsel, he myght, seyde e aungel, recouere bothe to comfort and to heele, or in sum wyse haue good remedy. e squier answarde e aungel a3en, and seyde at he wiste weel that he cowde not ne myght not helpe hym, and therfore he wolde no3te telle hym. This squier wende alwey at this aungel hadde ben an erthely man, and he dreede at if he had tolde hym, he wolde a3enward haue seyde som word at schulde vtterly haue disesed hym; and quan the aungel si3 at he wolde be no weye tellen hym, he seyde to hym in this wyse: Now, seide he, sethen ou wilt not telle me thi greuaunce. I schal tellen it the. ou art, seyde the aungel, in dispeir of thi sauacion, but truste fully ou schalt be saued, for the mercy of god is so gret at it passeth alle his werkes and surmounte all synnes. It is sooth, sayde the squier, I wot weel at god is mercyful, but he is rightful also, and his rightwysnesse must nedys punysche synne, and therfore I drede his rightwysnesse in iugementes. The aungel answered hym a3en, and tolde hym many exaumples, how god ful graciously is mercyful to synners: but this squier of whom I telle was soo deeply fallen in heuynesse and in dreed that he kowde take no comfort of thing that he seyde. anne spake the aungel to hym and seyde: O, seyde he, quat at ou art hard of beleue; but wilt ou haue an open schewynge at ou schalt be saued, seyde e aungel to the squier. I haue here thre dises at I wole throwe, and ou schalt throwe, and who so hath most on e dises, sekirly he schal be saued. A, seyde the squier, how myght I in rowynge of dyses be in certeyn of my sauacion; and helde it but a iape. The aungel rewe the dyses, and had on euery dee vpward syxe; and he had anne the squier rowe the dyse. O, seyde he, certis at dar I not, for I wot wel, ou3 I caste the dise, mo anne ou hast cast schulde I not haue and if I hadde lesse an ou hast, I schulde vtterly falle in discomfort. But soo e aungel spak, at at e last the squier threwe the disc, and in the rowynge be goddis myght euery dee claf atweyne, and on eche dee was sixe, and so he hadde the double at e aungel hadde. And as he merueiled vp on this, e aungel vanyschid oute of his syght. o wiste he wel it was aungel sent of god to brynge hym oute of his wo. And anne he cau3te so gret comfort and ioye in e mercy of god, and in e goodnesse of his grace, at alle his sorwes and dredis wenten clene awey, and he becam anne goddis seruaunt, and was a blissed leuere, and quan he schulde departen fro is world, he diuysed at whanne he was deed, ere schulde be leid up on hym a ston wreten with ese wordes aboute at folwen: Here lieth John Homeleis, at of e mercy of god may seyn a largeis. I knew a wurchipful persoone that was in the same abbey here in Ingelond there as he lyeth, at redde up on hym the wordes aforn seyde.

Now
anne sethen oure mercyful lord god, anked and worchepid mote he bee, sent us goodly comfort to is man, at was a worldly synful man, and receyued hym to his grace, and brou3te hym oute of dispeir, er schulde no man ben heuy ne discomforted, ou3 he fele temptacions of dispeir, for hardily god wole comforten hym whanne he seeth tyme. And ou3 he sende not to a man comfort anon, it is for to eerne hym the more mede. And enke alwey, quan 3e feele ony temptacions bodyly or goostly, that 3e stonden in the blissynge of holy cherche, for holy write seyth: Blyssed be thei at suffren temptacions, for whanne ei ben preuyd, thei schuln taken e crowne of lyfe, the which god hath behi3t to them that louen hym.

Capitulum decimum

 3e childern of holy cherche,
at haue for saken the world for helthe of youre soules, and principally to plesen god, comfort 3e in in hym whom 3e haue chosen to loue and serue, for he wole ben to 3ou ful free and large, as 3e may see be exaumple of Petir in the gospel, where at he asked oure lord Iesu what reward he schulde haue at had forsaken alle ing to folwe hym; and oure lord answered hym and seyde that he schulde iugen with hym e twelue tribis or kynredis of Israel at e day of jugement. And ferthermore oure lord seyde also to hym at all, not only on or too or somme, but he seyde at alle o that forsaken for his loue kyn or frendes or possessiones, at is to seyn hous or lond or ony other worldly good, e schuln hauen here in is lyfe an hundirt fold mede and blisse with outen ende.

erfore, suster, caste awey all fals dredis that wolde disturbele and lette 3ou fro loue and hope in god, for no ing pleseth so moche e feend as to see soules with drawen hem fro goddis loue, and erfore he bysyeth hym er abouten day and nyght, to lette loue and disturble pees in mannes soule. And on the other syde, no thyng counfoundyth hym soo myche as dooth e loue of god, to see a man to sette al his desyr erto. But enk not now as in discomfort, allas, I feele not that loue, I haue not at loue at is soo good, and so be youre owne ymaginacion falle in discomfort and heuynesse of herte, and enk and deeme 3oure self lore; but put awey alle heuynesse and discomfort, and enk weel it cometh of the enemye, e feend, to entarye 3ou. Haueth a good wil to loue and to plese god, and prenteth wel ese woordis in 3oure herte, at a good wil is acceptid as for deede in e sight of god, and comforte 3ow alwey in e name of Jesu. For Jesu is as moche to seie as sauyour: enketh weel er vp on, and haue it weel in mynde, and his passyon and also his holy vertues, for no ing schal put awey so soone alle ese veyne dredis and temptacions and alle maner of fantasyes as forto haue weel in mynde e name of Jesus, his passion and his glorious vertues.

ese thre been scheld and spere, armure and strenghthe to dryue adoun the feend, be he neuere soo fersly aboute man or woman; and specyally to enk on his gracyous vertues, how god e fadir in hym is al dyuyne nature, in whom is al myght, to whom no thing is impossible but alle possibilite: and god the sone is al wisdam, that all ing made and all ing gouerneth: and god the holy gost is al loue and bounte, at in a moment of tyme all synnes may for 3eve. Not thre goddis by oo god in thre persones, thre persones and oo god onl, in whom is al blisse and al glorye. He is so fair and bright schynynge that all aungell wondern of his bewte; his glorious blisful presence feedeth and ful filleth alle e court of heuene with merthe and melodye that is euere lastynge. In hym is al benignyte, kepynge vs fro vengeaunce, in hym is al grace and gentilnesse, curtesie, freedam and largynesse, pite, mercy and for3euenesse, joye, sweetnesse and endeles helte. Suster, he is in alle oure tribulacions, quan we clepen on to hym, oure comfort, oure strength, oure helpe and oure soules helthe. Suster, this is 3oure spouse, whom 3e desyre to loue and plese. The gretnesse of his vertues, ne the multitude of his joyes whyche spredeth in to al e court of heuene to hem at ben er inne, may non herte thenke, ne tunge telle the blisfulnesse of his presense may not be seyd ne wreten.

Joyeth therfore in oure lord Crist Jesu, for he hath bouth 3ou ful deere, to brynge 3ou to
at blisse, and seith som tyme to hym with a meke herte: O holy god in whom is al goodnesse, whos pite and mercy made e to descende fro thin hy3e trone, doun in to is weylynge world, the valey of woo and wepyng, and heere to taken oure kynde, and in at kynde ou peyne and passion and cruel charp deeth, to brynge oure soules on to thy kyngdom. ou mercyful lord, for 3eue me all e synnes at I haue don, thou3t and seyd. Glorious trinite, sende me clennesse of herte and purete of soule, restore me with holy vertues and strengthe me with i myght, at I mowe alwey with stonden synne and all temptacions. O good lord, comforte me with thin holy gost, and  fulfille me with perfi3t grace, at I may fro hens forth lyue vertuosly and loue e with all my myght, with alle myn herte and with alle myn soule, and neuere to offende the, but euere to folwe thi plesyngis in wil, word, thou3t and dede. Graunte me this, god infinite at eternaly schal dure. Amen.

Suster, if 3e don thus, I hope it schal doon you ese, and
ou3 3e fynde no maner of comfort ne swetnesse ne deuocion quan 3e wolde, be not erfore discomforted, but suffereth mekely. Many ben at stryuen with hem self as ou3 thei wolde haue swetnesse and deuocion be maistrie, and I sey 3ou, so wole it not come, but be mekenesse it wil sunnere be had, and at is us, at a man holde hym self vnwurthy to haue ony swetnesse or comfort, and offere hym lowly to the wil of god, and put his wil fully in goddis wil. A man schulde not desyre to haue swetnesse and deuocion for his owne comfort and plesaunce, but purely for this entent, only to plese god, and to folwe his wil; and erfore if we putte alwey oure wil in his wil, it suffiseth on to vs, whether we haue it or noon.

Somme also wenen, but if thei felen swetness and deuocion,
at thei ben out of grace; but certeynly somme at felen in hym self no swetnesse ne deuocion, ei ben in more grace than somme at felen swetnesse and deuocion, and haue many comfortys, for betir were mekenesse with oute feelyngis than felyngis with outen mekenesse. erfore, suster, suffere mekely and pacyently what euere falleth to 3ou, and alwey haue a good wil to do as most were to e plesynge of god: and quan ony discomfort cometh in 3oure herte be ymaginacions or be temptacions of the enemy, haueth tho wordes in 3oure mynde at often ben seyd in this writynge, at a good wil schal be accepted as for dede. For and 3e desire to loue and plese god and to be vertuouse, it is take and accepted as for dede of oure lord god. If 3e folwe it to 3oure myght alwey quan reson cometh to 3ou with desirful wil to don weel, and if 3e haue felt comfort and swetnesse, ou3 3e fele the same temptacions aftir as 3e deden afore, beth not erfore discomfortid, ne enketh thus, allas, it is comen a3en, it wole neuere awey fro me, and so falle in discomfort be 3oure owne ymaginacions. But comforte 3ow in god, and beth glad that e feend hath envye on to 3ou, for whiles e lyf is in the body he wil entarye alwey goddis seruauntis, for he is ful set a3ens hem, with al malice and velanye to disese hem in diuers maneris in al at he kan and may. Saynt Austyn seyth: Many maneris ben e temptacion be e whiche e wrong eddere the feend, enemye to al mankende, tormenteth mannes soule, and Seynt Gregory seith at er is no ing in which we owne to be so seker of god as for to haue taryenges and tormentis. And if a man seith that bodily tormentis ben medeful and not gostly tormentis, he seyth nou3t right, for dredeles e gostly tormentis ben werse, more peyneful and more a3ens wil an ben the bodily toormentis, and in so moche they ben e more medeful. And erfore at man dooth dishonour to god at seith with a ful vysement at e fend may in this world more tormenten an god may meden. Wherfore treuly er is no thing more medeful ne more goodly ne more charitable an for to strengthe and comfort the soule at e fend tarieth, for who so comforteth hem that ben desolate, e lord of comforte, Jesu Crist oure lord god, wole comforte hem endelesly in the blisse of heuene. The which lord, ouru3 e myght and merite of his peyneful passion and his precyous blood, felle down the poure of e fend, and graunte cristen soules victorie ouere the feend, to the worchip of al e trinite, fader and sone and holy gost, at lyueth and regneth with owten ende. Amen.

Here I haue endid of temptacions the remedie. God for his goodnesse on me sinful haue mercy. Amen. Mercy god, mercy god, mercy god on me. Amen, me sinful haue mercy. Amen.

    Mercy god, mercy god, mercy god on me. Amen
    Gloria laus honorque deo patri. Amen.
    Et sic explicit liber iste.


Giovanni di Paolo, St Catherine Receiving Stigmata, Santa Cristina, Pisa, Metropolitan Museum of Art





JULIAN OF NORWICH, HER SHOWING OF LOVE AND ITS CONTEXTS 1997-2017 JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY  || JULIAN OF NORWICH  || SHOWING OF LOVE || HER TEXTS || HER SELF || ABOUT HER TEXTS || BEFORE JULIAN || HER CONTEMPORARIES || AFTER JULIAN || JULIAN IN OUR TIME ||  ST BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN  ||  BIBLE AND WOMEN || EQUALLY IN GOD'S IMAGE  || MIRROR OF SAINTS || BENEDICTINISM|| THE CLOISTER || ITS SCRIPTORIUM  || AMHERST MANUSCRIPT || PRAYER|| CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY ||