Manuel II Palaeologus : THE VIRTUE OF A KING
from Precepts of kingly education, to his son John On virtue and the goodness of a king, to his son John
Translated by Elpenor
OF GOD himself cares and thinks about us, good as we know that He is, what is the reason of so much pain, why don’t we understand the Grace, whether things are arranged for us in that or another way? Ungratefulness and complaint belong to a soul that is cruel, even if she believes in God.
Precepts..., PG 156.361
The measure of food is what each person needs, but in education we need always the greater... it’s helpful for the soul to be initiated in something good even at the hour of her parting from the body.
Precepts..., PG 156.368
He who trusts everyone and he who trusts none, are both destroyed. Although both attitudes are deadly, if you had to choose between them, it would be better to suffer wrong from the courage of your trust, instead of always being suspicious of all men.
Precepts..., PG 156.329
All who have the same reference and relationship with the first and all-perfect good, they all love each other and are made good, because they have with each other the exact same relationship.
On virtue..., speech II, PG 156.412
It is impossible, indeed impossible, if we wish it not to achieve this aim: because we don’t want the passions of our soul to be cured, this is why they use to persist in us... No one is in despair, except for the one who thinks it befits him to be in despair... Even if someone transcends in sin all the people who have been born so far, and I will add, all who will be until the end of the world, even then, it is impossible to make God hate him.
On virtue..., speech VI, PG 156.485, 492, 505
Fight neither against the brothers in Christ, nor against whatever nation, even a barbaric nation, if it made peace with you and wishes to keep it... I think all would call a fool someone who would believe that there is in the world a complete stranger. Because we are all children of One, even if we differ in language or whatever, even in faith. Well, human beings as we are, we need to care about people, and to wish for all any good, to help anyone, as is just and possible. Because our nature is common, and one earth for all, one roof, one light and one air is extended above all of us from the Creator. And in one word, what is His, is common to all of us. But you need also to understand what is more distant and less distant (because there exist many degrees in affinity) and to be good with all, as far as that depends on you, and to those who are closer to you, to offer yourself with due affinity and warmth in your relationship.
Precepts..., PG 156.353-6