A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 321 

those who walked in the truth. Then the error and falsehood of their opinions according to which they walked, which they preached as truth, and by which they have thrust many people into the pit of blindness, Mt 15:14 will end in grief, confusion and shame. And they with their murky opinions will be cast into exterior darkness Mt 25:30 with the spirits of darkness."

Frequently blessed Francis, therefore, used to speak about this passage: The barren one has given birth to many children and the mother of many languishes. "The barren one is the good, simple, humble, poor and looked down upon, the miserable and contemptible religious who by holy prayers and virtues continually edifies others and brings them to birth with sorrowful groans."

He used to say this passage very often to the ministers and the other brothers, especially in a general chapter.a

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HOW HE WISHED AND TAUGHT THAT PRELATES AND PREACHERS OUGHT TO OCCUPY THEMSELVES IN PRAYER AND WORKS OF HUMILITY

The faithful servant and perfect imitator of Christ, Francis, sensing himself most powerfully transformed into Christ through the virtue of holy humility, desired that humility in his brothers before all other virtues. And that they would love, desire, acquire, and preserve it unceasingly, he would more passionately stimulate them by word and example, and would especially admonish and incite the ministers and preachers to exercise works of humility.

For he used to say that, because of the office of prelacy or of zeal for preaching, they should not abandon holy and devout prayer, going for alms, working at times with their hands, and performing other humble tasks like the other brothers, for good example and for the benefit of their souls, as well as others.

He said: "The brothers who are subjects will be very edified when their ministers and preachers devote themselves freely to prayer, and give themselves to humble and lowly tasks. Otherwise they cannot admonish the other brothers about these things without confusion, prejudice, and blame. For we must, after Christ's example, first act and then teach, Acts 1:1 or act and teach simultaneously."

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 321