Advice To A Young Man
Be happy with those who are happy, weep with those who weep. Have the same concern for everyone. Do not be proud but accept humble duties. Romans 12: 15, 16
Be helpful when you are at the bottom of the ladder and be the lowest when you are in authority. Be simple in faith but well trained in manners; demanding in your own affairs but unconcerned in those of others. Be guileless in friendship, astute in the face of deceit, tough in time of ease, tender in hard times. Keep your options open when there’s no problem, but dig in when you must choose. Be pleasant when things are unpleasant, and sorrowful when they are pleasant. Disagree where 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 friendly with people of honour, stiff with rascals, gentle to the weak, firm to the stubborn, steadfast to the proud, humble to the lowly. Always be sober, chaste, modest. Be discreet in duty, persistent in study, unshaken in turmoil, valiant in the cause of truth, cautious in time of strife. Be submissive to good, unbending to evil, gentle in curiosity, untiring in love, just in all things. Be respectful to the worthy, merciful to the poor. Be mindful of favours, unmindful of wrongs. Love ordinary people, and don’t crave for riches, but cool down excitement and speak your mind.
Obey your seniors, keep up with your juniors, equal your equals, emulate the perfect. Don’t envy your betters, or grieve at those who surpass you, or censure those who fall behind, but agree with those who urge you on. Though weary, don’t give up. Weep and rejoice at the same time out of zeal and hope. Advance with determination, but always fear for the end.
Columbanus Letter to a young disciple
For my shield this day I call
Heaven’s might, Son’s brightness
From Patrick’s Breastplate