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Some Letters Of Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

LETTER V (circa A.D. 1127) To Peter, Cardinal Deacon

To Peter, Cardinal Deacon

He excuses himelf that he has not come when summoned, and replies respecting some of his writings which are asked for.

To the venerable lord Peter, Cardinal Deacon of the Roman Church, Brother Bernard wishes health and entire devotedness.

That I have not come to you as you commanded has been caused not by my sloth, but by a graver reason. It is that, if you will permit me to say so with all the respect which is due to you, and all good men, I have taken a resolution not again to go out of my monastery, unless for precise causes; and I see at present nothing of that kind which would permit me to carry out your wish, and gratify my own by coming to you. But you, what are you doing with respect to that promise of coming here which your former letter contained? We are awaiting it still. What the writings were, which you had before ordered to be prepared for you [otherwise, for us] and now ask for, I am absolutely ignorant, and, therefore, I have done nothing. For I do not remember to have written any book on morals which I should think worthy of the attention of your Excellency.

Some of the brethren have drawn up in their own way certain fragments of my instructions as they have heard them. Of whom one is conveniently near to you, viz., Gebuin, Precentor and Archdeacon of Troyes. You can easily, if you wish, obtain of him the notes drawn up by him. Yet if your occupation would leave you the time, and you should think fit to pay to your humble sons the visit which you promised, and which they have been expecting, I would do all in my power to give you satisfaction, if I have in my writings anything which could please you, or if I were able to compose any work which should seem worthy of you; for I greatly esteem your high reputation. I respect that care and zeal about holy things which I have heard of in you, and I should regard myself as very happy if these unpolished writings, which are a part of my duty, should be in any respect agreeable to you.

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