Vices and virtues by Denis the Carthusian
Idé M. Ní Riain
This is a serious study of the flawed human condition. It is original sin 'writ large'. Nothing escapes the all-pervading eye of Denis the Carthusian. It is amazing how a hermit could be so conversant with the wiles of humanity. His examples of the various vices of mankind throughout the centuries make for interesting reading.
The virtues, in contrast, are elevated - probably beyond the capacity of most of us - but nevertheless have an inherent beauty in the particular language of Denis, which is an acquired taste worth cultivating.
Much sought after and appreciated in his own lifetime, his writings became still better known after his death in 1471. Printing was still in its very early stages when his entire works were first published and translated into French. Thus they were accessible to those who took up the cause of the Counter-Reformation.
Sr Idé M. Ní Riain, RSCJ, was a teacher for 40 years. She is a distinguished classics scholar and translator.