The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 351 

ways worked, and worked with his hands, 1 Cor 4:12 not allowing the great gift of time to go to waste. And so he would often say: "I want all my brothers to work and keep busy, and those who have no skills to learn some." And he gave this reason: "That we may be less of a burden to people, and that in idleness the heart and tongue may not stray into what is forbidden." But he would not have profit or payment for work left to the whim of the worker, but entrusted it to the guardian or the family.a

Chapter CXXI

162 Allow me today, holy father, to raise a complaint up to heaven about those who claim to be yours! The exercises of virtues have become hateful to many who want to rest before they work, proving they are sons of Lucifer, not of Francis.

We have a more abundant supply of invalids than soldiers, even though they were born to work and should consider life warfare. They do not like to contribute through action, and are incapable of doing so through contemplation. They upset everyone by their singularity, and work more with their jaws than with their hands. They hate him who corrects them at the gate, and will not allow themselves to be touched even with a fingertip.

I am even more amazed at their lack of shame, to use the words of blessed Francis: if they had stayed home they would have lived only by their own sweat, Gn 3:19 but now, without working, they feed themselves on the sweat of the poor. How clever! They do nothing, but you'd think they're always busy. They know the time for meals, and if they ever feel hungry, they complain that the sun fell asleep. Can I believe, good father, that these monsters of men are worthy of your glory? They're not worth your tunic!

You always taught that in this slippery, fleeting time we should seek the riches of merit so that in the future age we should not have to beg. But these men are not now enjoying the heavenly fatherland, and in the future life will have to go into exile. This sickness spreads in the subjects because the prelates ignore it, as if it were possible for them to put up with their vice and not earn their painful punishment.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 351