1. Never speak sharply to a man older than yourself, but appeal to him as you would to your own father; treat younger men as brothers,

2. older women as mothers and young women as sisters with all propriety.

3. Be considerate to widows -- if they really are widowed.

4. If a widow has children or grandchildren, they are to learn first of all to do their duty to their own families and repay their debt to their parents, because this is what pleases God.

5. But a woman who is really widowed and left on her own has set her hope on God and perseveres night and day in petitions and prayer.

6. The one who thinks only of pleasure is already dead while she is still alive:

7. instruct them in this, too, so that their lives may be blameless.

8. Anyone who does not look after his own relations, especially if they are living with him, has rejected the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

9. Enrolment as a widow is permissible only for a woman at least sixty years old who has had only one husband.

10. She must be a woman known for her good works -- whether she has brought up her children, been hospitable to strangers and washed the feet of God's holy people, helped people in hardship or been active in all kinds of good work.

11. Do not accept young widows because if their natural desires distract them from Christ, they want to marry again,

12. and then people condemn them for being unfaithful to their original promise.

13. Besides, they learn how to be idle and go round from house to house; and then, not merely idle, they learn to be gossips and meddlers in other people's affairs and to say what should remain unsaid.

14. I think it is best for young widows to marry again and have children and a household to look after, and not give the enemy any chance to raise a scandal about them;

15. there are already some who have turned aside to follow Satan.

16. If a woman believer has widowed relatives, she should support them and not make the Church bear the expense but enable it to support those who are really widowed.

17. Elders who do their work well while they are in charge earn double reward, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

18. As scripture says: You must not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the corn; and again: The worker deserves his wages.

19. Never accept any accusation brought against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.

20. If anyone is at fault, reprimand him publicly, as a warning to the rest.

21. Before God, and before Jesus Christ and the angels he has chosen, I charge you to keep these rules impartially and never to be influenced by favouritism.

22. Do not be too quick to lay hands on anyone, and never make yourself an accomplice in anybody else's sin; keep yourself pure.

23. You should give up drinking only water and have a little wine for the sake of your digestion and the frequent bouts of illness that you have.

24. The faults of some people are obvious long before they come to the reckoning, while others have faults that are not discovered until later.

25. Similarly, the good that people do can be obvious; but even when it is not, it cannot remain hidden.

Livros sugeridos

“A caridade é o metro com o qual o Senhor nos julgará.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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