Wisdom of the Ages
by Bro. Boniface
Emperor Marc Aurel
Before I get ready to celebrate my Golden Jubilee of Profession, on July 3rd, and then go on vacation right afterwards I want to write one more post for the summer until I come back and resume my activities.
It really baffles me when I read ancient writers like Epiktet, or just recently Marc Aurel, a Roman Emperor who was born in April of the year 120 after Christ and died in March of the year 180. He lived a full life and besides taking care of the business of the State he also wrote some interesting books and I take some excerpts from his book Ways to Oneself.
There may be some of my readers who like to read the quotes in German, so I will have German first and then afterwards translate into English.
Richte dich nicht so ein, als solltest du noch zehntausend Jahre leben. Dein Ende ist schon nahe! Vielmehr, solange du lebst, so langes es in deiner Macht steht, sei gut!
Behalte die Kunst, welche du gelernt hast, lieb und suche in ihr deine Ruhe! Durchwandere den Rest deines Lebens als ein Mensch, der alle seine Angelegenheiten von ganzer Seele den Göttern überlassen hat und gegen keinen anderen Menschen sich als Tyrann oder Sklave gebärdet.
Wie viele derer, mit denen ich die Welt betreten habe, sind bereits wieder daraus geschieden!
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Do not make yourself feel at home as if you were to live another ten thousand years. Your end is getting near! Moreover as long as you live and it is in your power, be good!
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Retain the art, which you have learned, dear and seek solace in it. Walk the rest of your life as a human being, who leaves from the bottom of his soul everything to the gods and is not acting towards other people like a tyrant or a slave.
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How many of those with whom I have entered this world, have already left it by now!
These are simple thoughts and I am not sure if they are helpful to you, the reader. It is the real truths that Marc Aurel finds in daily life and in lifes circumstances.
As we grow older we get more patient, I believe, more understanding with the foolishness of the younger generation and the foibles of others. Yet it is only ourself that we can change and for this too we need the grace of God.