The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 350 

AGAINST IDLENESS AND THE IDLE

Chapter CXVIII
A REVELATION HE RECEIVED ABOUT WHEN HE WAS A SERVANT OF GOD
AND WHEN HE WAS NOT

159 From the time in which this man gave up transitory things and began to cling to the Lord, he allowed hardly a second of time to be wasted. Although he had brought into the treasury of the Lord a great abundance of merits he remained always new, always ready for spiritual exercise. He thought it a grave offense not to be doing something good, and he considered not going forward going backward.

Once, when he was staying in a cell near Siena, he called his companions one night while they were sleeping and said to them: "Brothers, I prayed to the Lord that he might deign to show me when I am his servant and when I am not, for I want to be nothing except his servant. And now the gracious Lord himself in his mercy is giving me this answer: 'Know that you are in truth my servant when you think, speak, or do things that are holy.' And so I have called you brothers, because I want to be shamed in front of you if ever I am not doing any of those three."

Chapter CXIX
THE PENANCE AGAINST IDLE WORDS AT THE PORTIUNCULA

160 Another time, at Saint Mary's of the Portiuncula, the man of God began to consider how the benefit of prayer is lost through idle words. And so he established the following remedy: "Whenever a brother utters a useless or idle word, he must admit his fault at once, and for each idle word he must say one Our Father. Further, if he accuses himself of what he did, let him say the Our Father for his own soul, but if someone else corrected him first, let him say it for the soul of the one who corrected him."

Chapter CXX
HOW, WORKING HIMSELF, HE DESPISED THE IDLE

161 He used to say that the lukewarm, who do not apply themselves constantly to some work, would be quickly vomited out of the Lord's mouth. No idler could appear in his presence without feeling the sharp bite of his criticism. This exemplar of every perfection al-

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 350