The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 380 

heart, Mt 6:21 and began to pray to Christ. Then he had ashes brought and made a circle with them round himself on the floor, and then put the rest on his own head. 1 Mc 3:47

As they waited, the blessed father remained in silence within the circle of ashes, and real amazement grew in their hearts. Suddenly he got up, and to their great surprise, recited the "Have mercy on me, God," Ps 51:3 [Vulgate, Ps 50:3] instead of a sermon. As he finished it, he left quickly. The hand- maids of God were so filled with contrition by the power of this mime that they were flowing with tears, and could hardly restrain their hands from punishing themselves. By his action he taught them to consider themselves ashes, and that nothing else was close to his heart except what was in keeping with that view.

This was his way of behaving with holy women;
this was his way of visiting them
rare and constrained, but very useful! This was his will for all the brothers, whom he wanted to serve
for the sake of Christ, whom they serve: that they might always, like winged creatures,
beware of the nets before them.

EXTOLLING THE RULE OF THE BROTHERS

Chapter CLVIII
EXTOLLING THE RULE OF SAINT FRANCIS,
AND A BROTHER WHO ALWAYS CARRIED IT WITH HIM

208 He burned with great zeal for the common profession and Rule, and endowed those who were zealots about it with a special blessing.

He called it their Book of Life, the hope of salvation, the marrow of the Gospel, the way of perfection, the key of Paradise, the pact of an eternal covenant. He wanted all to have it, all to know it, in all places to let it speak to the inner man as encouragement in weariness and as a reminder of a sworn oath.

He taught them to keep it always before their eyes as a reminder of the life they should lead and, what is more, that they should die with it.

 Previous

Next 

 

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 380