Meister Eckhart, the Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense

By Edmund Colledge; Bernard McGinn et al. | Go to book overview
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2. TREATISES

A. The Book of "Benedictus":
The Book of Divine Consolation

BENEDICTUS DEUS ET PATER DOMINI NOSTRI IESU
CHRISTI, ETC. (2 Co. 1:3).

The noble apostle Saint Paul says these words: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a Father of mercy and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations." There are three kinds of tribulation that touch and oppress a man in this sorrowful life. One is the harm that may come to his material possessions. The second is what may happen to his kinsfolk and his friends. The third is what may happen to him, disgraces and sufferings, the pains of his body and the sorrows of his heart.

That is why I want in this book to write some counsels with which a man can console himself in all his sufferings, afflictions and sorrow; and the book has three parts. In the first he will find various true sayings, and in them he will find the ready and complete comfort he ought to have for all his sorrows. Then next there are some thirty topics and precepts from each of which he can always gain great consolation. Then in the third part of the book he will find examples of what wise men have done and have said when they were suffering.


1

First of all we ought to know that a wise man and wisdom, a truthful man and truth, a just man and justice, a good man and goodness, have a mutual relationship, and depend on one another, in this way. Goodness is not created, not made, not born; rather it is what gives birth and bears the good man; and the good man, insofar as he is good,

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