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MONASTIC AGREEMENT (Consensoria Monachorum)1 (1) By common agreement we have decreed among ourselves what shall never be infringed by anyone hereafter. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we who reside in the monastery have all agreed, in accordance with apostolic tradition, to have one opinion and to hold possessions in common, as it is written: "By thinking alike in the Lord."2 No one shall claim anything as his own, but as it is written in the Acts of the Apostles: "Holding all things in common, and no one said that anything he possessed was his own,"3 which was also written for us. Accordingly, let us hold ourselves in the Lord under the terms of monastic agreement and civil law, and let us abide in these rules until the end, for it is written: "He who has persevered to the end will be saved."4 (2) If anyone desires to join a congregation of brothers who are in agreement, let him not ignore the saying of the Gospel: "Let him sell all that he has and bestow it on the needy and poor."5 And again: "Let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Christ."6 Let him not be anxious in his heart for food and clothing and other things which are necessary for the body, for the Lord Himself in the Gospels forewarns in these words: "Do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall you eat?' or, 'What shall you put on?' (for after I COllsensoria is found nowhere else, but Prof. Bishko plausibly interprets it as a noun with essentially the same meaning as pactum, placitum, or definitio. 2 Cf. Phil. 2.2. 3 Acts 4.32. 4 Matt. 10.22. 5 Cf. Matt. 19.21. 6 Cf. Luke 9.23. 217 218 FRUCTUOSUS OF BRAGA these things the Gentiles seek); for your Father knows that you need all these things. Seek the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be given you besides."7 (3) But before he decides to remain in the monastery, he must approve the purpose and example of the brothers, and he must himself be approved in all his conduct by the one who is the prior and by the agreement of the rest, for the sake of the teaching and advice of the prophet: "Do not be quick to commend a friend, or if you have commended him quickly, do not be quick to reprove."8 (4) If anyone shall be removed from the monastery for any necessary reason, he shall not even think of taking away with him any of the things that are in the monastery, or of those things which he formerly brought with him, or of those things which he acquired while with the brothers,9 for it is agreed that the brothers may not hold, possess, give, or receive anything without the permission of the superior. If a neighbor or friend or any of the brothers wishes to offer anything, it is first necessary to inform the prior; then it may be accepted, if he approves, but nothing may be done except what is pleasing to the prior or allowed by him, since it is much to be feared that he may experience exactly what is written: "He who has no guard on his speech shall bring downfalI."lo Again, he shall by no means incite any of the brothers to go with him, lest he be judged more a destroyer .than a builder of the monastery, because of which there is written: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters."ll Anyone who is incited by another to leave the monastery must either rebuke the inciter or inform the abbot, who may not fail to observe any of those things which we have decided together, for it is 7 Matt. 6.31-33. 8 Only the first phrase is in PL; the rest is from a manuscript reading in Bishko, op. cit. The quotation is probably apocryphal. 9 Long omission due to homoeoteleuton supplied from PL 32.1459. 10 Cf. Provo 13.3. II Matt. 12.30. MONASTIC AGREEMENT 219 written: "Be at peace with many, but let one in a thousand be your confidant."!!! (5) What is written here shall be observed constantly and with all diligence from the abbot to all the brothers. If anyone hears from another, one in whom he believes...


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