The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 390 

stench of his own malice back at the brothers, and will start to excuse and minimize his crimes by comparing his deed to those of the brothers, saying: 'The brothers do things that are even worse.' Only a few, with many tribulations and much opposition, will turn themselves wholeheartedly to Christ and the observance of their vocation. The novices who shall then enter the religion, lacking the example and direction of their superiors, will be stunned by the things they will see and their life-giving desires and works of grace will dry up, and they shall look back. But some of them shall cry out to Christ in prayer and, lacking the guidance of masters, they shall be filled with outstanding gifts of grace and blessings from the Lord and shall be led to the summit of highest perfection. In the end what will become of them is what usually happens with fishermen: they cast their net into the sea, and catch a great multitude of bad fish and a few good ones. Hauling it to shore they pick out the few good ones and place them in their containers, but they toss out the bad ones and leave them on the shore to be devoured by birds."

236 This is already happening to this religion in these last days.

[Confirmation of the Rule]

237 After a few days, when their number had now come to twelve, Christ appeared to him again and said: "Write down the life which I have revealed to you and present it to My Vicar. Request in My name that it be confirmed for you, your companions, and all who wish to accept it. Those who shall receive it humbly and reverently, and observe it simply and faithfully, will share in the spirit of life and be clothed in the light of My splendor. Those who despise it shall be wrapped up in darkness and shadows, and they shall be worse off than other men for they will have fallen from a higher state and calling."

243 What he requested seemed very difficult, almost impossible, for the weakness and tepidity of the men of his day, so the Supreme Pontiff urged him to accept some order or rule that was already approved. But he insisted that he had been sent by Christ to request this life, not another, and remained firm in his petition. Then Lord John of Saint Paul, Bishop of Sabina, and Lord Hugo, Bishop of Ostia, moved by the spirit of God, stood by Saint Francis, and in the presence of the Supreme Pontiff and the cardinals offered many reasonable and very effective arguments for the things he was asking.

247 Meanwhile, that night, the Supreme Pontiff saw in a dream a man identical in every way to Saint Francis, supporting on his shoulders the Lateran church, which was leaning so far that it would fall,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 390