Don Juan Manuel, “El conde Lucanor”

Y vos, señor Conde Lucanor, no os lamentéis por esta contrariedad que ahora padecéis, pues debéis saber que todo lo que Dios hace es para bien nuestro, y si así lo creéis Él os ayudará en todo momento. Pero debéis saber, además, que las cosas que nos suceden son de dos clases: unas las podemos remediar cuando ocurren; otras no tienen solución alguna. En las primeras debemos hacer cuanto podamos para hallar una solución, sin dejarlo todo en las manos de la Providencia o de la suerte, porque esto sería tentar a Dios, ya que, al tener el hombre entendimiento y razón, ha de intentar remediar cuantas contrariedades y desdichas le puedan sobrevenir. Sin embargo, en las cosas en que no es posible poner remedio, debemos pensar que, al ocurrir por voluntad de Dios, será por nuestro bien.

Don Juan Manuel, El conde Lucanor (1355), Exemplo XVIII

translated by James York:

And you, Count Lucanor, should not complain of this hindrance to the fulfillment of your wishes. Be certain, in your heart, that whatever God wills is for the best; and, if you will but trust in Him, He will cause all things to work for your good.

But you ought to understand that these things which happen are of two kinds. The one is when a misfortune happens to a man which admits of no relief: the other is when a misfortune is remediable. Now, when an evil can be cured, it is a man’s duty to exert all his energies to obtain the necessary relief, and not remain inactive, saying, ‘it is chance,’ or ‘it is the will of God,’ for this would be to tempt Providence. But, since man is endowed with understanding and reason, it is his duty to endeavor to overcome the misfortunes which may befall him, when they will admit of alleviation. But, in those cases where there is no remedy, then man must patiently submit, since it is really the will of God, which is always for the best.

Published by Catherine Addington

I am a translator from Spanish to English and a writer on saints, myths, and icons in both religious and secular contexts.

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