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Rain and Earth Make Mud

Hugh O’Reilly

Since Vatican II and its aggiornamento - the opening of the Church to the world - we see clergy abandoning the old good customs of custody of the eyes and body. Monks certainly did not embrace women, as they do today.

Dominican Monks, chapter meeting

A Dominican chapter
We can see the extreme vigilance to keep chastity that the medieval Orders maintained from this brief story in the early annals of the Dominican Order.

During a chapter presided over by Blessed Jordan of Saxony, who was the second General of the Dominican Order, one of the brothers accused himself for having shaken hands with a woman. This brother excused himself, however, by saying that she was a person of good reputation and that no harm had been done.

Thereupon Blessed Jordan made this curt reply: “Rain is good and earth is good, yet mingled they form mud. In similar fashion, though the hands of men and women are both good, yet evil may arise in thought and affection if they are brought together.”

From the Lives of the Brethren of the Orders of Preachers 1206-1259,
London: Blackfriars Publications 1955, Part IV, Chap. 31
Posted November 3, 2011

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