It follows, therefore, that if anyone brings something for their sons or other relatives living in the monastery, whether a garment or anything else they think is needed, this must not be accepted secretly (Rule of St. Augustine, 32).
It was towards the end of his life. He had lived for years with the deacon in the community. Together at prayer, table and work, these two had become good friends, dear brothers. They had studied together, discussed contemporary problems, advised each other spiritually. The deacon died before him. But the sadness at his death suddenly became a deep disappointment for Augustine. This dear companion, after years of sharing life, make a secret will that deprived the community of his goods. How was that possible? Augustine was crushed. Was the deacon living a lie the whole time in community? To promise with one’s mouth and, at the same time, hide with one’s hand is treason, robbery. Dishonest sharing is not sharing at all.
People can be old from the point of view of their white hairs or of their wisdom. (Shi)