„A person’s destiny is something you look back at afterwards, not something to be known in advance.“


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„There is always a suspicion of something wrong, and on the least complaint such a person is sent back.“

—  Desiderius Erasmus Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, and theologian 1466 - 1536
Context: There are monasteries where there is no discipline, and which are worse than brothels — ut prae his lupanaria sint et magis sobria et magis pudica. There are others where religion is nothing but ritual; and these are worse than the first, for the Spirit of God is not in them, and they are inflated with self-righteousness. There are those, again, where the brethren are so sick of the imposture that they keep it up only to deceive the vulgar. The houses are rare indeed where the rule is seriously observed, and even in these few, if you look to the bottom, you will find small sincerity. But there is craft, and plenty of it — craft enough to impose on mature men, not to say innocent boys; and this is called profession. Suppose a house where all is as it ought to be, you have no security that it will continue so. A good superior may be followed by a fool or a tyrant, or an infected brother may introduce a moral plague. True, in extreme cases a monk may change his house, or even may change his order, but leave is rarely given. There is always a suspicion of something wrong, and on the least complaint such a person is sent back. Letter to Lambertus Grunnius (August 1516), publised in Life and Letters of Erasmus : Lectures delivered at Oxford 1893-4 (1894) http://books.google.com/books?id=ussXAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA180&lpg=PA180&dq=%22is+no+discipline+and+which+are+worse+than+brothels%22&source=bl&ots=PnJjrkSLNB&sig=JPY0PhTf2YgYwJlf3uH2eTvCJeA&hl=en&ei=BGwXTNqTA5XANu6_pJ8L&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22is%20no%20discipline%20and%20which%20are%20worse%20than%20brothels%22&f=false edited by James Anthony Froude, p. 180

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