The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 382 

to give more than required in all things.a
For there is no room for apathy or laziness
where the goad of love is always urging to greater things.

THE ILLNESSES OF SAINT FRANCIS

Chapter CLX
HOW HE CONVERSED WITH A BROTHER ABOUT CARE OF THE BODY

210Francis, the herald of God,
put his footprints on the ways of Christ
through innumerable labors and serious diseases,
and he did not retreat
until he had more perfectly completed
what he had perfectly begun.
When he was exhausted
and his whole body completely shattered,
he never stopped on the race of his perfection
and never allowed relaxing
the rigor of discipline.
For even when his body was already exhausted
he could not grant it even slight relief
without some grumbling of conscience.

So, when even against his will it was necessary to smear medical remedies on his body, which exceeded his strength, he spoke kindly one day with a brother whom he knew was ready to give him advice: "What do you think of this, dear son? My conscience often grumbles about the care of the body. It fears I am indulging it too much in this illness, and that I'm eager for fine lotions to help it. Actually, none of this gives it any pleasure, since it is worn out by long sickness, and the urge for any savoring is gone."

211The son replied attentively to his father, realizing that the words of his answer were given to him by the Lord. "Tell me, father, if you please, how attentively did your body obey your commands while it was able?" And he said:

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 382