The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 360 

for all things and let them desire, however, to be as God wills them to be. For God teaches with the rod of punishment and sicknesses those whom he has destined to eternal life Acts 13:48 as he himself has said: 'Those I love, I correct and chastise.' " Rv 3:19

176 He once realized that a sick brother had a craving to eat grapes, so he took him into the vineyard and, sitting under a vine, in order to encourage him to eat, began to eat first himself.

Chapter CXXXIV
THE COMPASSION HE SHOWED TO THOSE WHO WERE SICK IN SPIRIT,
AND THOSE WHO DO THINGS CONTRARY TO THIS

177 With even greater mercy and patience he would bear with and comfort those sick brothers whom he knew were like wavering children, agitated with temptations and faint in spirit. Avoiding harsh corrections when he saw no danger he spared the rodso as to spare the soul. He would say that it was proper for a prelate, who is a father, not a tyrant, to prevent occasion for failure and not allow one to fall who, once fallen can be lifted up Ps 145:14 [Vulgate, Ps 144:14] only with difficulty.

Woe to the pitiful madness of our age!
Not only do we not lift up or even hold the tottering,
but often enough we push them to fall!
We consider it nothing
to take away from that greatest shepherd,
one little lamb
for whose sake
he offered loud cries and tears on the cross.

On the contrary you, holy father, preferred to correct the strays rather than lose them. We know that in some the disease of self-will is so deeply rooted that they need cauterizing, not salve. It is clear that for many it is healthier to be broken with a rod of iron than to be rubbed down with hands. Still, to every thing there is a season; oil and wine; rod and staff; zeal and pity, burning and salving, prison and womb. All of these are demanded by the God of vengeance, and Father of mercies, who desires mercy more than sacrifice.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 360