The Twelve Patriarchs; The Mystical Ark; Book Three of the Trinity

By Richard of St. Victor; Grover A. Zinn | Go to book overview

birth to Dina and have ordered shamefacedness if you feel less shame for the heart than for the body, if you have more fear of the face of men than of the presence of angels? So, should you feel more ashamed of what God made well, than of what you have done evilly? Certainly God made even those parts of the body that we call shameful. However, no one other than you made the shameful things of the heart. Therefore, having carefully considered and duly discerned how rare it is, and how few fully vanquish human shamefacedness and possess only that which is ordered, I think there will no longer be a reason for anyone to be amazed why Leah conceived and brought forth such an offspring so late.


CHAPTER XLVIII

What the nature of shame is

But lest we seem to have passed over in silence the reason for the name, Dina is interpreted "that judgment." And so she is that judgment by which everyone is by his own conscience addressed, convicted, condemned and punished with a punishment worthy of the disorder. For if he were not conscious of it, there would be no reason at all that he ought to feel ashamed. And certainly, if there were no punishment for disorder, there would be no reason why anyone ought to curse it or shun it so much. And so in a marvelous way, when convicted from its own conscience and deservedly cast down by disorder, the mind of everyone at one and the same time delivers a judgment against itself and exacts satisfaction from itself. This is that judgment in which the person who judges and the person who is judged are one and the same: the same, he who condemns and he who is condemned; one and the same, he who punishes and he who is punished. It was not without cause that sacred Scripture did not wish that such a thing be called judgment without a demonstration. For it always shows a demonstration, and why else this addition except to arouse the soul of the hearer to wonder? True judgment is marvelous and worthy of wonder and worthily proclaimed with a demonstration; in which judgment the more ardently each person loves himself, the more bitterly he rages

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