The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 294 

We are children who are strangers
and, it is not you whom we deceive,
but our own iniquity deceives itself!
This is obvious, clear as day,
and increases day by day.

Chapter XL

70 The holy man would often repeat this: "As far as the brothers will withdraw from poverty, that far the world will withdraw from them; they will seek, " he said, "but will not find. But if they would only embrace my Lady Poverty, the world would nourish them, for they are given to the world for its salvation. " He would also say: "There is an exchangea between the brothers and the world: they owe the world good example, and the world owes them the supply of necessities of life. When they break faith and withdraw their good example, the world withdraws its helping hand, a just judgment."

Concerned about poverty, the man of God feared large numbers: they give the appearance, if not the reality, of wealth. Because of this he used to say: "Oh, if it were possible, I wish the world would only rarely get to see Lesser Brothers, and should be surprised at their small number!" Joined by an unbreakable bond to Lady Poverty, he expected her dowry in the future, not in the present. He also sang with warmer feeling and livelier joy the psalms that praise poverty, such as, "The patience of the poor will not perish in the end" and, "Let the poor see this and rejoice."




Vita Secunda Sancti Francisci, Fontes Franciscani, p. 508-509

14Non tibi,
ex hoc mentimur filii alieni,
sibi potius nostra mentitur iniquitas.
15Ecce enim luce clarius innotescit
et crescit in dies.

Caput XL
Recedentes a paupertate, a necessitate corrigendos pronuntiat.

70 1Nonnumquam etiam haec ingeminabat sanctus: « Quantum fratres declinabunt a paupertate, tantum mundus declinabit ab eis, et quaerent », inquit, « et non invenient. 2Sed si dominam meam paupertatem complexi fuerint, mundus eos nutriet, quia mundo dati sunt ad salutem ». 3Et iterum: « Commercium est inter mundum et fratres; debent ipsi mundo bonum exemplum, debet mundus eis provisionem necessitatum. 4Quando ipsi retraxerint bonum exemplum fide mentita, retrahit mundus manum iusta censura ».

5Paupertati cavens homo Dei multitudinem metuebat, quam etsi non res tamen species divitem monstrat. 6Unde dicebat: « O si fieri posset, poterit, inquam, ut mundus perraro fratres Minores aspiciens, paucitate miretur! ». 7Indissolubili itaque vinculo dominae paupertati connexus, non praesentem sed futuram eius dotem exspectat. 8Psalmos qui paupertatem sonant, ut illud: Patientia pauperum non peribit in finem, et: Videant pauperes et laetentur, ferventiore affectu et laetiore iubilo decantabat.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 294