The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 341 

by forgetting the vocation to which they were called. He criticized the wretched few who were upset when removed from office; they were looking for honors, not burdens.

He once said to his companion: "I would not consider myself a Lesser Brother unless I had the attitude which I will describe to you." And he said: "Here I am, a prelate of the brothers, and I go to the chapter. I preach to the brothers and admonish them, and, in the end, they speak against me: 'An uneducated and despicable man is not right for us; we do not want you to rule over us. You cannot speak; you are simple and ignorant.' Acts 4:13 So in the end I'm thrown out in disgrace, looked down upon by everyone. I tell you, unless I hear these words with the same expression on my face, with the same joy in my heart, and with the same resolution for holiness, then I am in no sense a Lesser Brother." And he would add: "In a prelacy there is a fall; in praise, a precipice; in the humility of a subject, profit for the soul. Why, then, do we pay attention to danger more than profits, while we have time for making profit?"

Chapter CVII

146 Although he wanted his sons to keep peace with all, and to behave as little ones toward everyone, he taught them to be particularly humble toward clerics by his word and showed them by his example. He used to say: "We have been sent to help clerics for the salvation of souls a so that we may make up whatever may be lacking in them. Each shall receive a reward, not on account of authority, but because of the work done. Know then, brothers, that the good of souls Wis 3:13 is what pleases God most, and this is more easily obtained through peace with the clergy than fighting with them. If they should stand in the way of the people's salvation, revenge is for God, and he will repay them in due time. So, be subject to prelates so that as much as possible on your part no jealousy arises. If you are children of peace, you will win over both clergy and people for the Lord, and the Lord will judge that more acceptable 1 Pt 2:5 than only winning over the people while scandalizing the clergy. Cover up their failings, make up for their many defects, and when you have done Lk 17:10 this, be even more humble."




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 341