The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 343 

so they will not presume to become 'greater.' Mt 20:26 They have been called this to teach them to stay down to earth, and to follow the footprints of Christ's 1 Pt 2:21 humility, which in the end will exalt them above others in the sight of the saints. Wis 3:13 If you want them to bear fruit in the Church of God, keep them in the status in which they were called and hold them to it. Bring them back down to ground level even against their will. And so I beg you, Father, never allow them to rise to become prelates, otherwise they will just be prouder because they're poorer, and treat the others arrogantly." These were the replies of those blessed men.

149 What do you say, sons of the saints? Your jealousy and envy show you are degenerates, and your ambition for honors proves you are illegitimate. You bite and devour each other, and these conflicts and disputes arise only because of your cravings. Your struggles must be against Eph 6:12 the forces of darkness, a hard struggle against armies of demons—and instead you turn your weapons against each other!

Your fathers, full of knowledge, look at each other as friends, their faces turned to the Mercy Seat, a but their sons are full of envy, and find it hard even to see each other! What will the body do, if its heart is divided? Surely the teaching of piety would flourish more throughout the whole world if the ministers of God's word were more closely joined by the bond of charity! What we say or teach becomes suspect especially becauseevident signs show the leaven of hatred in us. I know this is not about the good men on both sides, but about the bad ones who, I believe, should be rooted out so they will not infect the holy ones.

Finally, what should I say about those concerned with higher matters? It was by way of humility, not by haughtiness, that the fathers reached the Kingdom; but their sons walk in circles of ambition and do not ask the way to an inhabited town. What should we expect? If we do not follow their way, we will not reach their glory! Far be it from us, Lord! Make the disciples humble under the wings of their humble masters. Make those who are brothers in spirit kind to each other, and may you see your children's children. Peace upon Israel!b




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 343