Currite ut comprehendatis
Run that you may obtain
9:24 Nescitis quod ii qui in stadio currunt, omnes quidem currunt, sed unus accipit bravium? Sic currite ut comprehendatis. [n. 498]
9:24 Know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receives the prize. So run that you may obtain. [n. 498]
9:25 Omnis autem qui in agone contendit, ab omnibus se abstinet, et illi quidem ut corruptibilem coronam accipiant: nos autem incorruptam. [n. 501]
9:25 And every one that strives for the mastery refrains himself from all things. And these indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown: but we an incorruptible one. [n. 501]
9:26 Ego igitur sic curro, non quasi in incertum: sic pugno, non quasi aërem verberans: [n. 502]
9:26 I therefore so run, not as at an uncertainty: I so fight, not as one beating the air. [n. 502]
9:27 sed castigo corpus meum, et in servitutem redigo: ne forte cum aliis praedicaverim, ipse reprobus efficiar. [n. 505]
9:27 But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway. [n. 505]
498. Superius ostendit quod proposuit a sumptibus abstinere, primo propter intentionem praemii, secundo propter amorem Evangelii, hic, tertio, propter expeditionem cursus et agonis sui.
498. Above he showed that he planned to abstain from living expenses, first because of his intention of the prize, second because of his love of the Gospel, and here, third, because of the facilitating of his race and his struggle.
Primo quidem ostendit quod oportet in stadio expedite currere;
First then he shows that one must run in the race unencumbered;
secundo quod similiter oportet in agone expedite certare, ibi omnis enim qui in agone, etc.;
second, that in a similar way one must compete unencumbered in the contest, at and every one that strives for the mastery;
tertio quod ipse facit utrumque, ibi ego igitur sic curro, et cetera.
third, that he himself is doing both, at I therefore so run.
499. In prima, primo ponit exemplum expedite currentium; secundo monet eos ad similiter currendum, ibi sic currite, et cetera. In prima, primo tangit currendi exercitium; secundo convenientiam currentium, ibi omnes quidem currunt, etc.; tertio differentiam pervenientium, ibi sed unus accipit bravium, et cetera.
499. In the first point, he first sets forth the example of runners unencumbered; second, he advises them to run like that, at so run. In the first part, he refers first to the training for running; second, to what the runners all share, at all run indeed; third, to what distinguishes those who win, at but one receives the prize.
In primo notatur conditio viatorum; in secundo multitudo vocatorum; in tertio paucitas electorum. Matth. XX, 16: multi sunt vocati, pauci vero electi.
In the first example, the condition of wayfarers is described; in the second, the great number of those who are called; in the third example, the small number of those chosen. Many are called but few are chosen (Matt 20:16).
Conditionem vero viatorum describit a tribus. A certitudine, cum quaerit nescitis; a brevitate, cum addit in stadio; a labore, cum subdit currunt.
Now he describes the condition of wayfarers by three things. By certitude, where he asks, know you not; by briefness, when he adds, in the race; and by labor, where he includes, they run.
500. Dicit ergo nescitis. Quod tripliciter continuatur. Primo modo sic quasi dicat: recte abstineo a sumptibus sumendis, ut particeps efficiar. Nam si non abstinerem a contrariis Evangelio, non essem eius particeps. Nescitis enim quod hi, et cetera.
500. Therefore, he says know you not, which is continued in three ways. First, as if he said it this way: correctly do I abstain from consuming my means of living, so that I might be made a partaker. For if I did not abstain from things contrary to the Gospel, I would not be a partaker. For know you not, that they that run in the race, all run indeed, but one receives the prize.
Vel sic: nescitis quod hoc facio, ut particeps Evangelii efficiar? Et utique possum esse particeps. Nam non sic est de Evangelii praemio, vel de cursus bravio; quia hic unus accipit bravium, ibi vero omnes accipere possunt.
Or as follows: know you not that I do this, so that I might be made a partaker of the Gospel? And yes, I can be a partaker. For the prize of the Gospel is not like the award for the race, because in the latter only one receives the award, but in the former all can receive it.
Tertio modo sic: nescitis, quasi diceret: ideo autem sic curro, quia licet multi currentes sint, pauci tamen sunt pervenientes. Nescitis enim quod hi qui in stadio currunt, omnes quidem currunt, in labore pares sunt, sed unus tantum accipit bravium, id est, praemium cursus? Stadium enim est spatium in quo pedites currunt, quod Hercules dicitur statuisse. Perficiunt autem stadium 125 passus. Et dicitur stadium a stando, quia Hercules tot passus currebat et postea stabat et respirabat; in fine huius spatii ponebatur aliquid quod erat praemium cursus, ut equus et pannus purpureus, et hoc dicitur bravium. Et licet in hoc stadio omnes currerent, unus tamen solus accipiebat bravium, scilicet qui citius perveniebat. Sic in cursu spirituali unus tantum, scilicet perseverans, accipit bravium. Quia qui perseveraverit usque in finem, hic salvus erit.
In a third way, as follows: know you not, as though he were saying: but for this reason I run like this, because although there may be many runners, still few are winners. For know you not that they that run in the race, all run indeed, they are the same in labor, but one receives the prize, that is, for the race? For the stadium is large where the runners run, because Hercules is said to have stood there. But they complete the race in 125 paces. And it is called a stadium from standing, for Hercules ran so many steps and afterward he was standing and resting; at the boundary of this area something was placed that was the prize for the race, like a horse or a purple cloth, and this is called the award. And although in this race many ran, only one received the award, namely, the one who accomplished it the fastest. In the same way, in the spiritual race, only one, namely, the one who perseveres, receives the award. For whoever perseveres until the end, he is the one who will be saved.
Deinde, cum dicit sic currite, etc., monet eos ad currendum. Ubi implicat tria: actum strenuum currite, modum debitum sic, finem optimum ut comprehendatis.
Next, when he says, so run, he advises them about the running. There three things are involved: a strenuous act: run; the due manner: so; and the best end: that you may obtain.
Dicit ergo sic, etc., quasi diceret: quia unus accipit bravium, sic currite, per viam veritatis perseverantes, ut comprehendatis bravium vitae aeternae. Hebr. XII, 1: per patientiam curramus ad propositum nobis certamen.
Therefore he says, so, as though he were saying: because one receives the prize, so run, remaining in the way of truth, that you may obtain the prize of eternal life. Let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us (Heb 12:1).
501. Deinde, cum dicit omnis autem qui in agone, etc., ostendit quod in agone oportet expedite certare.
501. Next, when he says but everyone who strives for the mastery, he shows that in the contest one has to contend unencumbered.
Ubi primo tangit agonizantium pugnam; secundo pugnandi formam firmam, ibi ab omnibus se abstinet, etc.; tertio sic pugnantium mercedem debitam, ibi et illi quidem ut corruptibilem, et cetera.
There he first deals with the fight of those competing; second, the firm form of the fighting, at refrains himself from all things; third, the due reward for those fighting, at and these indeed that they may receive.
Primum est necessitatis, scilicet pugnare; secundum virtutis, scilicet abstinere; tertium felicitatis, scilicet coronam accipere.
The first thing is of necessity, namely, to fight; the second thing of virtue, namely, to abstain; the third thing is of happiness, namely, to receive the crown.
Dicit ergo omnis qui in agone, etc., quasi diceret: vere sic agendum est, quod patet exemplo: quia omnis qui in agone contendit, ab omnibus impedientibus se abstinet. Unde et nudi agonizabant in palaestra.
Therefore he says everyone who strives, as if he were saying: truly, it must be done this way, which is clear from this example: for everyone who strives for the mastery refrains himself from all things that hamper him. For this reason they also competed naked in the gymnasiums.
Attende, ut Augustinus ait, quod de rebus non laudandis multae trahuntur similitudines.
Be careful, as Augustine says, because many comparisons are drawn from things that are not praiseworthy.
Deinde, cum dicit et illi quidem ut corruptibilem, etc., tangit pugnantium mercedem, et primo pugnantium materialiter; secundo pugnantium spiritualiter, ibi nos autem incorruptam, et cetera.
Next, when he says and these indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown, he refers to the reward for those fighting; and first those fighting materially; second, those fighting spiritually, at but we an incorruptible one.
Dicit ergo et illi quidem abstinent, ut corruptibilem coronam accipiant, quod modicum est. Nos autem abstinere debemus, ut accipiamus incorruptam, scilicet coronam vitae, de qua Iac. I, 12: beatus vir qui suffert tentationem, quoniam cum probatus fuerit, et cetera.
Therefore he says and these indeed refrain that they may receive a corruptible crown, which is a little thing. But we should refrain so that we receive an incorruptible one, namely, the crown of life, of which St. James speaks: blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been proved (Jas 1:12).
502. Deinde, cum dicit ego igitur sic curro, etc., ponit exemplum utriusque, scilicet currendi et pugnandi. Ubi
502. Next, when he says I therefore so run, he sets the example of both, namely of running and fighting.
primo tangit cursum suum in profectu boni;
He first deals with his race in the accomplishment of good;
secundo pugnam suam in victoria mali, ibi sic pugno, etc.;
second his fight in the victory over evil, at I so fight;
tertio rationem utriusque facti, ibi sed castigo, et cetera.
third, the reason of both deeds at but I chastise.
503. Dicit ergo ego igitur etc., quasi dicat: quia talis corona servatur, igitur ego sic curro, bonum operando, non quasi in incertum, id est, ut sim incertus de praemio. In incertum enim currit qui talia facit, ut de quibusdam sperare, ex aliis vero possit desperare.
503. Therefore he says I therefore, as though saying: because such a crown is saved, I therefore so run, by doing good, not as at an uncertainty, that is, so that I am unsure of the prize. For someone runs at an uncertainty who does things such that he can hope about certain things, but despair of others.
Omnia instruunt ad bonum: et persona apostolica, quae notatur ibi ego, et forma implicita, quae notatur ibi sic, et actio strenua, quae notatur ibi curro, et merces sperata, quae notatur ibi non quasi in incertum. Phil. II, 16: non in vacuum cucurri, nec in vacuum laboravi.
All things instruct to the good: both apostolic persons, who he refers to with that I; and implied forms, which he notes with that so; and strenuous action, which he refers to at run; and hoped-for rewards, which he refers to with not as though at an incertainty. I did not run in vain, nor in vain did I labor (Phil 2:16).
504. Sic pugno contra hostes, decertando contra malum, non quasi aerem verberans, id est, non verbis tantum, sed factis. Non enim in sermone est regnum Dei, sed in virtute, supra IV, 20. Vel non quasi aerem verberans, id est, non inaniter me fatigando, adversarium non laedendo.
504. I so fight against enemies, struggling to the finish against evil, not as one beating the air, that is, not only by words, but by deeds: for the kingdom of God is not in speech but in power (1 Cor 4:20). Or not as one beating the air, that is, not by foolishly wearing myself out, while not injuring the adversary.
Sic erit perfectus homo, si sic se habeat, ut sit intentus in confessione, Is. XXXVIII, 15: recogitabo tibi omnes annos meos in amaritudine animae meae, devotus in oratione, Matth. VI, 9: sic ergo orabitis: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, etc., efficax in praedicatione, Iac. II, 12: sic loquimini, et sic facite.
The perfect man will be like this, if he behaves so that he is directed in his confession: I will recount to you all my years in the bitterness of my soul (Isa 38:15), devout in praying: pray then, like this: our Father, who art in heaven (Matt 6:9), and effective in preaching: so speak, and so do (Jas 2:12).
Haec tria pertinent ad actum oris recti, ita tamen quod confessio dirigitur Deo et proximo, oratio soli Deo, praedicatio soli proximo.
These three things pertain to the act of an upright mouth, so that the confession is directed to God and one’s neighbor, prayer to God alone, preaching to one’s neighbor alone.
Fortis in pugnando. Unde sic pugno, et cetera. Apoc. III, 5: qui vicerit, sic vestietur veste alba. Patiens in sustinendo. Iudith VIII, 23: sic Isaac, sic Iacob, sic Moyses, et omnes qui placuerunt Deo, per multas tribulationes transierunt fideles. Cautus in servando. Ios. c. II, 16: ad montana conscendite, ne forte occurrant vobis revertentes, et cetera. Et sic ibitis viam vestram.
Strong in fighting. Hence, I so fight: whoever has overcome, shall be dressed so in white garments (Rev 3:5). Patient in enduring: thus Isaac, thus Jacob, thus Moses, and all who pleased God, passed through many tribulations, faithful (Jdt 8:23). Careful in guarding: go up to the mountains, lest by chance they happen upon you when they return . . . and so you will go on your way (Josh 2:16).
Primum propter malum culpae, scilicet pugna; secundum contra malum poenae, scilicet patientia; tertium contra malum tentationis, scilicet cautela.
The first one is because of the evil of guilt, namely, the fight; the second, against the evil of punishment, namely, patience; the third, against the evil of temptation, namely, watchfulness.