The Testament - 64 

accepted than strict necessity demands. 55This land should not be cultivated or planted but remain always fallow and uncultivated.

56I admonish and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ all my sisters, both those present and those to come, to strive always to imitate the way of holy simplicity, humility and poverty and also the in- tegrity of our holy way of living, 57as we were taught from the be- ginning of our conversion by Christ and by our blessed father Francis. 58From them, not by any merits of ours but solely out of the largesse of His mercy and grace, the Father of mercies has spread the fragrance of a good reputation, both among those who are far away as well as those who are near. 59And loving one another with the love of Christ, may you demonstrate without in your deeds the love you have within 60so that, compelled by such an example, the sisters may always grow in the love of God and in mutual charity.

61I also beg that [sister] who will be in an office of the sisters to strive to exceed the others more by her virtues and holy life than by her office, 62so that, stimulated by her example, they obey her not so much because of her office as because of love. 63Let her also be farsighted and discerning toward her sisters, as a good mother is toward her daughters, 64and let her especially take care to pro- vide for them according to the needs of each one out of the alms that the Lord shall give. 65Let her also be so kind and affable that they may securely reveal their needs 66and confidently have recourse to her at any hour, as they see fit both for themselves as well as for their sisters.

67Let the sisters who are subject, however, keep in mind that, for the sake of God, they have given up their own wills. 68There- fore I want them to obey their mother of their own free will as they have promised the Lord, 69so that, seeing the charity, humil- ity, and unity they have toward one another, she might bear all the burdens of her office more lightly, 70and what is painful and bitter might be changed into sweetness through their way of life.

71And because straight is the way and the path, and narrow is the gate through which one passes and enters to life, there are both few who walk it and enter through it. 72And if there are some who walk that way for a while, there are very few who persevere on it. 73But how blessed are those to whom it has been given to walk that way and to persevere till the end.

74Therefore, let us be very careful that, if we have set out on the path of the Lord, we do not at any time turn away from it through




Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga III, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2317-2319

54Si autem ab aliqua parte pro honestate et remotione monasterii extra saepta horti oportet plus haberi de terra, non permittant plus acquiri vel etiam recipiant, nisi quantum extrema necessitas poscit; 55et illa terra penitus non laboretur nec seminetur, sed semper solida et inculta permaneat.

56Moneo et exhortor in Domino lesu Christo omnes sorores meas, quae sunt et quae venturae sunt, ut semper studeant imitari viam sanctae simplicitatis, humilitatis, paupertatis ac etiam honestatem sanctae conversationis, 57sicut ab initio nostrae conversionis a Christo edoctae sumus et a beatissimo patre nostro Francisco. 58Ex quibus non nostris meritis, sed sola misericordia et gratia largitoris, ipse Pater misericordiarum tam his qui longe sunt quam his qui prope sunt, bonae famae sparsit odorem. 59Et ex caritate Christi invicem diligentes amorem quem intus habetis foris per opera demonstretis, 60ut ex hoc exemplo provocatae sorores semper crescant in amorem Dei et in mutuam caritatem.

61Rogo etiam illam quae erit in officio sororum, ut magis studeat praeesse aliis virtutibus et sanctis moribus quam officio; 62quatenus eius exemplo provocatae sorores suae, non tantum ex officio obediant, sed potius ex amore. 63Sit etiam provida et discreta circa sorores suas sicut bona mater erga filias suas, 64et praecipue ut de eleemosynis quas Dominus dabit eis secundum necessitatem uniuscuiusque studeat providere. 65Sit etiam tam benigna et communis, ut secure possint manifestare necessitates suas 66et recurrere ad eam omni hora confidenter, sicut eis videbitur expedire, tam pro se quam pro sororibus suis.

67Sorores vero quae sunt subditae recordentur quod propter Deum abnegaverunt proprias voluntates. 68Unde volo quod obediant suae matri sicut promiserunt Domino sua spontanea voluntate, 69ut mater earum videns carititem, humilitatem et unitatem, quam invicem habent, omne onus quod de officio tollerat levius portet; 70et quod molestum est et amarum propter earum sanctam conversationem ei in dulcedinem convertatur.

71Et quoniam arcta est via et semita et angusta est porta per quam itur et intratur ad vitam et pauci sunt qui ambulant et intrant per eam; 72et si aliqui sunt qui ad tempus ambulant per eam, paucissimi sunt qui perseverant in ea. 73Beati vero quibus datum est ambulare per eam et perseverare usque in finem!

74Caveamus ergo, quia si per viam Domini intravimus, quod culpa nostra et ignorantia aliquo tempore ab ipsa nullatenus declinemus,

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 64