The Remembrance of the Desire of a Soul - 383 

"I will bear witness to it, my son,
for it was obedient in all things.
It did not spare itself in anything,
but almost rushed headlong
to carry out every order.
It evaded no labor,
it turned down no discomfort,
if only it could carry out commands.
In this it and I were in complete agreement:
that we should serve the Lord Christ
without any objection."

The brother said: "Well, then, my father, where is your generosity? Where is your piety and your great discernment? Is this a repayment worthy of faithful friends: to accept favors gladly but then not give anything in return in time of need? To this day, what service could you offer to Christ your Lord without the help of your body? Haven't you admitted that it exposed itself to every danger for this reason?"

"I admit, son," said the father, "this is nothing but the truth." And the son replied: "Well, is it reasonable that you should desert a faithful friend in great need, who risked himself and all that he had for you, even to the point of death? Far be it from you, father, you who are the help and support of the afflicted; far be it from you to sin against the Lord in such a way!"

"Blessed are you also, son," he said, "you have wisely given me a drink of healing medicine for my disquiet!" And he began to say jokingly to his body: "Cheer up Brother Body, and forgive me; for I will now gladly do as you please, and gladly hurry to relieve your complaints!"

But, what could delight this little body already so ruined?
What could uphold it,
already broken in every way?
Francis was already dead to the world,
but Christ lived in him.
The delights of the world were a cross to him,
since he carried the cross of Christ Gal 6:14 rooted in his heart.
And that is why the stigmata
shone outwardly in his flesh,
because inwardly that root was growing
deep in his spirit.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 383