The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 253 

Chapter IX

14 Once he began serving
the common Lord of all,
he loved doing what was common,
and avoided singularity in everything,
which reeks of every vice.a

He continued the sweaty work of repairing that church as Christ had commanded him, and from being over-delicate he changed into a rough and work-worn man. The priest who had that church saw him worn out with constant labor and, moved to piety, began to serve him each day some of his own food, although nothing very tasty, since he was poor. Francis appreciated the priest’s concern and welcomed his kindness, but said to himself: “You won’t find a priest like this everywhere, always bringing you food! This is not the life for someone professing poverty;b you’d better not get used to this, or you’ll slowly return to what you’ve rejected, and you’ll drift back to your easy ways! Get up, stop being lazy, and beg scraps from door to door!”

He went through Assisi begging leftovers from door to door. When he saw his bowl filled with all kinds of scraps, he was at first struck with revulsion; but he remembered God and, overcoming himself, ate it with spiritual relish.

Love softens all,c
and changes the bitter to sweet.

Chapter X

15 Bernard from the town of Assisi, who later became a son of perfection, planned to reject the world perfectly, thanks to the example




Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 455-456

Caput IX
De, cibariis ostiatim quaesitis.

14 1Ex quo communi omnium Domino
coepit servire,
communia facere semper amavit,
singularitatem in omnibus fugiens,
quae omnium vitiorum labe sordescit.

2Nam cum in opere illius desudaret ecclesiae, de qua mandatum a Christo susceperat, de delicato nimium rusticanus et patiens laboris effectus, sacerdos ad quem ecclesia pertinebat, cernens illum assidua fatigatione attritum, pietate permotus, aliquid singularis victus, licet non sapidi quia pauper, coepit ei quotidie ministrare. 3Qui sacerdotis discretionem commendans et pietatem amplectens: « Non invenies sacerdotem istum ubique », ad semetipsum ait, « qui semper tibi talia subministret. 4Non est haec vita hominis paupertatem profitentis; non expedit tibi assuescere talibus; paulatim ad contempta redibis, iterum ad delicata perefflues. 5Surge iam, impiger, et ostiatim pulmenta commixta mendica! ».

6Petit propterea per Assisium ostiatim cocta cibaria, et diversis ferculis cernens paropsidem plenam, horrore primo concutitur, sed Dei memor et sui victor illud cum spiritus delectatione manducat.

7Omnia lenit amor
et omne dulce facit amarum.

Caput X
De expropriatione fratris Bernardi.

15 1Bernardus quidam de civitate Assisii, qui postea filius fuit perfectionis, cum viri Dei a exemplo disponeret saeculum perfecte contemnere, consilium eius supplex exposcit.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 253