Excerpts from a "Letter to a Young Disciple"
by St Columbanus
Be simple in faith but well trained in manners.
Be demanding in your own affairs but unconcerned in those of others.
Be guileless in friendship, astute in the face of deceit.
Be tough in times of ease, tender in hard times.
Keep your options open when there is no problem, but did in when you must choose.
Be pleasant when things are unpleasant, and sorrowful when they are pleasant.
Disagree when necessary, but be in agreement about the truth.
Be serious in pleasures, but kindly when things are bitter.
Be strong in trials, weak in dissensions.
Be slow to anger, swift to learn, slow also to speak, as St James says, equally swift to hear.
Be up and doing to make progress, slack to take revenge, careful in word, eager in work.
Be friendly with men of honour, stiff with rascals.
Be gentle to the weak, firm to the stubborn, steadfast to the proud, humble to the lowly.
Be ever sober, ever chaste, ever modest.
Be patient as far as is compatible with zeal.
Be timely in fasting, timely in the night-offices, discreet in duty.
Be persistent in study, unshaken in turmoil, joyful in suffering.
Be vigilant in the cause of truth, cautious in time of strife.
Be submissive to good, unbending to evil
Be gentle in generosity, untiring in love, just in all things.
Be respectful to the worthy, merciful to the poor.
Be mindful of favours, unmindful of wrongs.
Be a lover of the ordinary man, and do not wish for riches.
Instead, cool down excitement and speak your mind.
Obey your seniors, keep up with your juniors, equal your equals, emulate the perfect.
Do not envy your betters, or grieve at those who surpass you, or censure those who fall behind, but agree with those who urge you all.
Though weary, do not give up.
Weep and rejoice at the same time, out of zeal and hope.
Advance with determination, for always fear for the end.