Adso of Melk: narrator, Benedictine novice, scribe, and disciple to William
“In the pages to follow I shall not indulge in descriptions of persons - except when a facial expression, or a gesture, appears as a sign of a mute but eloquent language - because, as Boethius says, nothing is more fleeting than external form, which withers and alters like the flowers of the field at the appearance of autumn; and what would be the point of saying today that the abbot Abo had a stern eye and pale cheeks, when by now he and those around him are dust and their bodies have the mortal grayness of dust (only their souls, God grant, shining with a light that will never be extinguished)?”
“They claimed that Christ and the apostles had owned no property, individually or in common; and the Pope condemned this idea as heretical. An amazing position, because there is no evident reason why a pope should consider perverse the notion that Christ was poor: but only a year before, a general chapter of the Franciscans in Perugia had sustained this opinion, and in condemning the one, the Pope was condemning also the other.”
“It seemed to me that the difference did not lie in the actions of the one or the other, but in the church's attitude when she judged this act or that.”
“As an ancient proverb says, three fingers hold the pen, but the whole body works. And aches.”
“I learned later that, reading books off medicine, you are always convinced you feel the pains of which they speak.”
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