“By the grace of the Divine illumination, Evast bethought him of the time when he desired to enter an order2 of religion, and he sought to prove this son Blanquerna, and to discover if he could rule himself and the house in such a way as to serve and please God, that himself and Aloma his wife might severally enter religious orders, and leave the world and forsake their temporal possessions. While Evast considered thus, Blanquerna his son returned from the school.
Now Blanquerna was a gentle youth, comely and pleasant to look upon, and he had reached the age of eighteen years, being ever obedient to his parents, of right good habits and gentle upbringing.
“Fair son!” said Evast. “I would have thee answer me this question: Near to this city there stands a castle, at the entrance to a great wood. It chanced that a huntsman went into the wood to hunt deer and wild goats and such like beasts, as was his wont. And with an arrow he wounded a stag, but all that day he could neither lay hands upon it nor find a trace of it. Now as the hunter returned to the city he met a traveler who bore in his hand an arrow. And the hunter enquired of the traveler whence he had that arrow. The traveler answered that he had found it in a dead stag which he had sold to a butcher. And there arose a dispute betwixt the two as to which of them should have the price of the stag; for the hunter said that it was he that had killed it, and that if he had not wounded it the other would not have found it dead. The traveler said that fortune had given it to him, and that the hunter had already despaired of finding the stag, for he was returning to the city. Each of them (said Evast) brought forth many and great arguments the one against the other. Now I would fain know, son Blanquerna, what thy judgment would be, as to which of these two had the right to receive the price of the stag, or if it should be divided between them.”
|Blessed Raymond's illustrated |
"Tree of Virtue and Vice"
Then Evast asked his son if it were just that the stag should be returned to the huntsman, or the price which he had received for it.
Blanquerna answered and said that the butcher by right and justice should have the stag, for he had bought it according to the usages of his trade, believing it to belong to the seller. And since the traveler had sold it in the belief that the price should be his, an injustice would therefore be done to the butcher if the gain which he would receive from the stag should be taken from him. And ill-seeming would it be if the traveler should receive injury in place of thanks, the which thing would follow if he gave satisfaction to the butcher together with the price of the stag and returned the stag to the hunter; for the which cause it was right and just that to the hunter should belong the price of the stag alone.
|Blessed Raymond's figure of the |
"Attributes of God"
“My lord and father!” said Blanquerna, “Two kinds of law in general are there in the world, from the which proceed all the categories of law in the particular; the one kind is according to God, and the other according to the world. The manner of law that is ordained and disposed according to the law of God is more subtle and the occasion of more scruples than that which is of the world. Wherefore by this distinction between the two rules aforesaid, I may know that, according to the nobler right, the hunter is constrained to give to the traveler somewhat in consideration of his labour and in respect of charity, fraternity and conscience, and furthermore, of good breeding and courtesy, and against avarice, injury and envy. But that the huntsman freely, and of his own will, may have the virtues aforesaid, giving to the traveler some part of the price of the stag, it is ordained by divine ordinance and temporal justice that the huntsman by temporal law be not constrained to give any part of the price to the traveler; for, were he so constrained, there would follow none of the freedom which pertains to merit, whereby man may have the virtues aforesaid, nor would temporal law be set below divine; in the which case God would have abased the nobler law to magnify the less noble, which is a thing ill-beseeming and to be rejected by all reason.”
Evast said to Blanquerna: “Tell me further, my son, if the hunter, by giving naught to the traveler, commits sin for which he merits the pains of hell.”
Blanquerna answered: “There is a difference, my lord and father, between sin mortal and venial; and if the traveler had any right to a part of the price of the stag, the ordaining of the two kinds of law aforementioned would be contrary to justice and to God, and this is a thing impossible; by the which impossibility I may understand and know that the hunter commits no mortal sin if he give naught to the traveler. But since he will use therein no courtesy nor charity, as is fitting, to mortify the conscience, therefore he commits venial sin, whereby he merits not everlasting damnation, yet merits less of eternal glory.”
All these questions, and many more which it would take over long time to relate, did Evast put to Blanquerna his son, and Blanquerna replied right perfectly to them all, answering them with effective argument. “
O God, who didst adorn Blessed Raymond, Thy martyr, with zeal for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Gospel, grant us, Thy servants, that through his intercession and mediation we may faithfully preserve unto death which we have received in Thy grace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Year 2: Day 182 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Knowledge of our faith; Desire for truth.
Requested Intentions: For a family experiencing a difficult child custody case (M); Reunification of a family struggling with separation (M): For a son struggling with mental illness (M); Successful examination results (B); To be freed from the chains of sin (J); Admission to a good university (M); For successful surgery (T); For a mother’s mental health and for kindness and forgiveness, for housing problems, for dental health (T); For the soul of a departed friend (X); Restoration of health (D); Successful employment for couple (N); For employment for children (K); For health of friend, for successful relationships for children, for safe pregnancy for daughter (C); For the health of a mother (J); Virtue for daughter (V); Successful acceptance to college for nephew (M); For the health of a cousin (T); Freedom from legal difficulties for husband (S); Husband’s freedom from illness (L).