The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 359 

the trappings of power suffice for salvation?a Still, what they thunder about should be done: as water flows to the gardens in empty canals. Meanwhile, let the rose be gathered from thorns, that the greater may serve the lesser.

Chapter CXXXII

174 But who now takes on himself Francis's concern for subjects? He always raised his hands to heaven for the true Israelites, attending first to his brothers' health and often forgetting his own. Casting himself at the feet of Majesty he offered sacrifice of spirit Ps 51:19 [Vulgate, Ps 50:19] for his sons, urging God to give generous gifts.

For the little flock Lk 12:32 which he drew behind him he felt compassion and love filled with fear, that after losing the world, they would also come to lose heaven. He thought he would be without future glory unless he could make those entrusted to him glorious along with him. His spirit had given birth to them with greater labor pains than a mother feels within herself.


175 Great was his compassion towards the sick and great his concern for their needs. If lay people's piety sent him tonics he would give it to the others who were sick even though he had greater need of them. He had sympathy for all who were ill and when he could not alleviate their pain he offered words of compassion. He would eat on fast days so the weak would not be ashamed of eating, and he was not embarrassed to go through the city's public places to find some meat for a sick brother.

However, he also advised the sick to be patient when things were lacking and not stir up a scandal if everything was not done to their satisfaction. Because of this he had these words written in one of the rules: "I beg all my sick brothers that in their illness they do not become angry or upset at God or the brothers. They should not anxiously seek medicine, or desire too eagerly to free the flesh, that is soon to die and is an enemy of the soul. Let them give thanks 1 Thes 5:18




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 359