Monastic Ireland.

5. Letter from Stephen of Lexington to the Abbot of Maigue (Letters 90 and 91)

Extract from Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229 (translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer), Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982

Letter 90

To the Abbot of Maigue, greetings.
As it would be prolix to include in this letter counsel in a matter which is so important and so needful of careful attention, we have transmitted the purport of our counsel through the bearer of our letter, Monk J., and we order you manfully to prosecute the aforesaid matter with the greatest prudence of discretion up to a satisfactory conclusion, not sparing the payment of money or of anything else to the Lord Justiciar and others who can help in this matter, being generous, if need be, to the point that the land remains wholly bare; for it is better that the possessions of the house be copiously expended for the cause of God and the Order than they be consumed by schismatics and excommunicates for the cause of the devil to the perpetual shame of the Order; nor should you or any of yours show any faint-heartedness because we firmly believe that everything shall redound to God and the Order for glory and honor. Therefore, arm yourselves courageously, cheerfully, and steadfastly with the arms of patience and the strength of God, keeping in mind that beyond any doubt, to the predestined, everything, prosperity as well as adversity, works together for the good.

Letter 91

With the authority of God and the Order and the General Chapter and under penalty of interdict and excommunication, we prohibit any of those excommunicated monks and lay-brothers who departed in the presence of the bishop from ever being admitted to the house of Maigue or to the granges without the permission of the General Chapter, and know for certain that we will show our aforesaid prohibition to the Chapter itself. Farewell.
Again to the same, greetings.

Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229, translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer (Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan) pp. 192 - 193
These extracts are reproduced with the kind permission of Liturgical Press:

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