The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 393 

innumerable signs and miracles through Francis. Caught up in the spirit of God, they condemned the world with its passions; and, according to the counsel of Christ, selling all they had and giving it to the poor, they were joined in heart and habit to the poor of Christ.

293 The number of brothers quickly multiplied, and were organized under ministers and custodians in the various provinces of the Christian people. But it is certainly no small undertaking to take on the discipleship of the life of Christ and to pursue the things demanded by so great a profession, because to begin something good is for many, but perseverance until the end is for the few and the perfect. To mortify the senses; to silence the tongue and heart according to the counsel of the Gospel; in a Christ-like way to offer continually both body and soul to God; to intend and accomplish both internal and external works according to the pleasure of God's will; and to endure in these things until the end is a gift from God, but it is not pursued and preserved without great anguish and—I might say—sweating blood, sharing in pains like those of the cross.

299 Our weakness is great and we all fall easily into things of sensuality; and the prudence of the flesh, under the cloak of discernment, like the force of a violent wind, drives us strongly toward those things—iron chains and a cell of bronze—consenting to the first and following the second. For there will be no one in the lot of the saints who follows those things.

302 Through this the first man conceived the beginning of ruin and became involved in both the worst evils of self-love and self-satisfaction. Under the appearance of discernment the brothers began to open their eyes and to take their example from other religious ways of life. Some of the more learned ones among them suggested to the simpler ones that this would be safe and useful. Without considering their fault of presumption, infidelity, and disobedience, and dragging others after themselves by word and deed, they had a taste for things contrary to Christ, to the founder, and to the Rule they professed. These things reached the ears of their father and he, punishing those who did such things with harsh rebukes, turned to Christ, praying that they be set right.

307 While he was praying an angel of the Lord appeared to him in an amazing form and appearance:a the head was gold, arms and chest silver, stomach bronze, legs of iron, feet of earth and clay; the shoulders covered with vile and rough sackcloth. The angel showed Saint Francis that he was rather ashamed of that sackcloth covering.




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 393