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Uploaded on Mar 18, 2010
Christ's words to the bride about how God speaks to his friends through his preachers and through sufferings, and about Christ as symbolized by an owner of bees and the church by a beehive and Christians by bees, and about why bad Christians are allowed to live among good ones. Book 2 - Chapter 19 SAINT BRIDGET PATRON SAINT OF EUROPE PART V Adversity reveals how patient a person is, while prosperity makes plain how persevering and temperate he is. Since vices insinuate themselves into good characters from time to time and virtues can often make people proud, the wicked are allowed to live alongside the good in order that good people may not become enervated from too much happiness or fall asleep out of sloth, and also in order that they may frequently fix their gaze on God. Where there is little struggle, there is also little reward. In the third place, they are tolerated for their assistance so that neither the gentiles nor other hostile infidels might harm those seeming to be good Christians , but that they might rather fear them because there are more of them. The good offer resistance to the wicked out of justice and love of God, while the wicked do so only for the sake of self-defense and to avoid God's wrath. In this way, then, the good and wicked help each other, with the result that the wicked are tolerated for the sake of the good and the good receive a higher crown on account of the wickedness of the wicked.
The beekeepers are the prelates of the church and the princes of the land, whether good or bad. I speak to the good keepers and I, their God and keeper, admonish them to keep my bees safe. Have them consider the comings and goings of the bees! Let them take note of whether they are sick or healthy! If they happen not to know how to discern this, here are three signs I give them to recognize it. Those bees are useless that are sluggish in flight, erratic in their hours, and contribute nothing to bringing in honey. The ones that are sluggish in flight are those who show greater concern for temporal goods than for eternal ones, who fear the death of the body more than that of the soul, who say this to themselves: 'Why should I be full of disquiet, when I can have quiet and peace? Why should I die to myself when I can live?'
These wretches do not reflect on how I, the powerful King of glory, chose to be powerless. I know the greatest quiet and peace and, indeed, I am peace itself, and yet I chose to give up peace and quiet for their sake and freed them through my own death. They are erratic in their hours in that their affections tend toward worldliness, their conversation toward indecency, their labor toward selfishness, and they arrange their time according to the cravings of their bodies. The ones who have no love for the beehive and do not gather nectar are those who do some good works for my sake but only out of fear of punishment. Even though they do perform some works of piety, still they do not give up their selfishness and sin. They want to have God but without giving up the world or enduring any wants or hardship.