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Life of Our Most Holy Father St. Benedict
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CHAPTER XX.

How the man of God understood the proud thought of one of his Monks.

One day as the venerable Father late in the evening was at his repast, it happened that one of his Monks, the son of a lawyer, held the candle to him; and whilst the man of God was eating, he standing in that manner, began by the suggestion of pride to say within himself, “Who is he whom I should wait upon at table, or hold the candle unto with such attendance? Who am I who should serve him?” To whom the man of God presently turning, checked him sharply saying: “Sign thy breast, Brother, what is this you say? Sign thy breast.” Then he forthwith called upon the Brethren and willed them to take the candle out of his hand, and bade him for that time to leave his attendance and sit down quietly by him. The Monk being asked afterward of the Brethren concerning his thoughts at that time, told them how he was puffed up with a spirit of pride, and what he spake against the man of God secretly in his own heart. By this it was easily to be perceived that nothing could be kept from the knowledge of venerable Benedict, in whose ears the words of unspoken thoughts resounded.

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