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386Canon XLIII.

It is lawful for every Christian to choose the life of religious discipline, and setting aside the troublous surgings of the affairs of this life to enter a monastery, and to be shaven in the fashion of a monk, without regard to what faults he may have previously committed.  For God our Saviour says:  “Whose cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.”

As therefore the monastic method of life engraves upon us as on a tablet the life of penitence, we receive371371    Latin adds “and favour.” whoever approaches it372372    Latin reads, “germanely and sincerely.” sincerely; nor is any custom to be allowed to hinder him from fulfilling his intention.


Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIII.

Whoever flees from the surging billows of life and desires to enter a monastery, shall be allowed to do so.


The greatness or the number of a man’s sins ought not to make him lose hope of propitiating the divinity by his penitence, if he turns his eyes to the divine mercy.  This is what the canon asserts, and affirms that everyone, no matter how wicked and nefarious his life may have been, may embrace monastic discipline, which inscribes, as on a tablet,373373    Beveridge translates στύλη by columna but I think incorrectly.  Cf. Liddell and Scott. to us a life of penitence.  For as a tablet describes to us what is inscribed upon it, so the monastic profession writes and inscribes upon us penitence, so that it remains for ever.

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