Said Peter: `How long must I wait for my brother to repent?'
Jesus answered: `So long as thou wouldst be waited for.'
Peter answered: `Not every one will understand this, wherefore speak to us more plainly.'
Jesus answered: `Wait for thy brother as long as God waiteth for him.'
`Neither will they understand this,' said Peter.
Jesus answered: `Wait for him so long as he hath time to repent.'
Then was Peter sad, and the others also, because they understood not the meaning. Whereupon Jesus answered: `if ye had sound understanding, and knew that ye yourselves were sinners, ye would not think ever to cut off your heart from mercy to the sinner. And so I tell you plainly, that the sinner ought to be waited for that he may repent, so long as he hath a soul beneath his teeth to breathe. For so doth our God wait for him, the mighty and merciful. God said not: "In that hour that the sinner shall fast, do alms, make prayer, and go on pilgrimage, I will forgive him." Wherefore this have many accomplished, and are damned eternally. But he said: "In that hour that the sinner shall bewail his sins, I for my part will not remember any more his iniquities." Do ye understand?' said Jesus.
The disciples answered: `Part we understand, and part not.'
Said Jesus: `Which is the part that ye understand not?'
They answered: `That many who have made prayer with fastings are damned.'
Then said Jesus: `Verily I say unto you, that the hypocrites and the Gentiles make more prayers, more alms, and more fasts than do the friends of God. But because they have not faith, they are not able to repent for love of God, and so they are damned.'
Then said John: `Teach us, for love of God, of the faith.'
Jesus answered: `It is time that we say the prayer of the dawn.' Whereupon they arose, and having washed themselves made prayer to our God, who is blessed for evermore.