Papal Documents - The Prophet - 745 

it from that font and channeled it through the streams of their teaching and manner of life to those desirous of a life of perfection.a

2 Nor let anyone think that this value is disproved by the fact that Christ is said at times to have had a purse.b For Christ did everything perfectly: He so practiced the path of perfection in all He did, that on occasion He stooped to the imperfections of the weak. While extolling the path of perfection, He did not on the other hand condemn the weaker course of the imperfect.c

Thus Christ assumed the role of the weak by keeping a purse, and in certain other ways He took upon himself the weaknesses of human nature, as the Gospel narrative bears witness, stooping to our frailty not only in body but in spirit as well. For He assumed human nature in such a way that, always being perfect in what He did, He lowered Himself to our human state while remaining ever on the exalted plane of His divine nature. And so He was moved in the condescension of His total love for us to perform certain actions conformable to our imperfect nature without thereby deviating from the straight course of absolute perfection.

So, Christ did indeed perform and teach the works of perfection, but He also performed acts proper to our weakness, as is clear from His taking flight at times, and having a purse. Both courses, however, He carried off perfectly, so as to commend himself as the way of salvation for perfect and imperfect alike, just as He had come to save both and as He wished eventually to die for both.

3 Nor let anybody at this point make the erroneous objection that people who renounce the ownership of all things for the love of God are in this way putting their life in jeopardy, like suicides or persons that tempt God. For in their way of life, the brothers do not commit themselves to God's providence in a manner that scorns the course of human provision; on the contrary they seek sustenance either from alms freely offered, or from what they humbly beg, or from what




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 745