A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 319 

72
HOW SOULS ARE CONVERTED BY THE PRAYERS AND TEARS OF HUMBLE AND SIMPLE BROTHERS, WHICH SEEM TO BE CONVERTED BY LEARNING AND PREACHING OF OTHERS

The most holy father did not want his brothers to be desirous of learning and books, but wanted and preached to them to be eager to lay the foundation on holy humility and to imitate the pure simplicity, holy prayer, and Lady Poverty on which the holy and first brothers had built. And he used to say that this was the only secure path for their well-being, because Christ, Whom we are to follow, has shown us that this is the only way and taught us so both by word and example.a

Foreseeing the future, the blessed father knew through the Holy Spirit and even repeated it many times to the brothers, that many brothers, under the pretext of edifying others, would abandon their vocation, that is, holy humility, pure simplicity, prayer, devotion, and our Lady Poverty. And it will come to the point that, because they will think themselves to be more imbued and filled with devotion and enflamed by love and enlightened by knowledge of God because of their understanding of the Scriptures. As a result, they will occasionally remain inwardly cold and empty. And so, they will be unable to return to their first vocation, since they have wasted the time for living according to their calling in vain and false study. And I fear that even what they seemed to possess will be taken away Mt 25:29 from them, because they completely neglected what had been given them, namely to maintain and imitate their vocation.b

He used to say: "There are many brothers who, day and night, place all their energy and all their care in acquiring knowledge, losing their holy vocation and straying from the path of humility and holy prayer. And when they have preached to the people,c and see or learn that some have been edified or converted to penance, they become puffed up or congratulate themselves for someone else's gain, as though it were their own. But they will have preached

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 319