Miscellaneous Franciscan Sources - 797 

50 Saint Francis was animated by a burning desire to offer God a worship that would be pleasing to Him. One night, being unable to fall asleep because of the intensity of this preoccupation and his prayer, he begged God insistently to reveal some signs through which he could tell if his life were pleasing to God. Finally, after many such devout supplications, he heard the voice of Christ the Lord saying to him: "Francis!" Recognizing this voice and knowing that it was the Lord, Francis was filled with joy. And the voice continued, "You want to know [what you should do]. Behold, you will know that you can be and are pleasing to Me by these indications. When you are thinking and saying and doing what is just, then know that you are enjoying My good favor. Are you content with these signs?"

Francis responded: "O good Lord, I want to be content with these and I accept this response with immense gratitude."

Then Saint Francis called Brother Leo, a holy man whom he had chosen to be his guardian and his confessor, and told him: "I command that any time you see me failing to do these three just things, you should correct me." But Brother Leo answered: "Father, from this moment I will do what you wish in regards to your words and your actions, but I cannot correct your thoughts!" And Francis responded: "You don't have to worry about my thoughts, my son. Leave that between God and me. I hope that I will put them in order before Him. But in regard to the other things, by no means fail to do what I ask." And what I am telling you, I heard from the companions of Saint Francis.a

70 Brother Peter recounts this incident which Brother Leo, the companion of Saint Francis, had told him. "When I was newly ordained," he said, "I was accustomed to spend a long time celebrating Mass. I used to experience divine consolations, and so I wanted to dwell on them. One day Saint Francis called me, and speaking to me affectionately, said: 'Brother Leo, my son, do what I say. Celebrate your Mass with devotion, but without pausing too much while you are celebrating; rather, conform yourself to the other priests. If the Lord should give you some grace, wait until Mass is finished and go into your cell; there you can meditate and enjoy the divine consolations, if these are given you from heaven. I think that this way of acting is better and more secure. Indeed, because of those assisting at Mass, some temptation of vainglory or something else inordinate




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 797