The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 394 

310 He was amazed at seeing this.

The angel said to him: "Why do you gawk and gaze? This form, in which I was sent to appear to you, signifies the beginning, development, and end which your religion will have, until the time it goes into labor, the time of the reform of the life of Christ and the state of the Church.

313 "The golden head is you, with all your companions who have carried Christ and His death written in your heart, have loved to cling to His footprints with your whole heart, and have wished for all time to have nothing under heaven on account of His love. But just as the descent of the seed of Abraham was promised not in Ishmael but in Isaac, so the descent of your name will not be in sons of flesh, but in sons of spirit, in deed and in truth.

316 "For they shall abandon the state of the golden life of humility and poverty, having nothing, wishing nothing, and seeking and loving Christ alone. Having put aside prayer and devotion, they will turn to knowledge which inflates, eagerness for lectures and the accumulation of a multitude of books under the pretext of their neighbor's edification and the salvation of souls. And because they prefer verbs to virtues, and science to sanctity,a they will remain cold within and devoid of charity, having changed gold into cold and porous silver.

319 "Since they shall speak much but do little,b they will start to trample on the solidity of the humble life and the substance of their foundation, namely the truth of poverty; taking on distracting cares and concerns they will change silver into bronze, and they will not be concerned about returning to the earlier good things, namely to the fervor of heavenly desires. They will put on a simulation of humble and religious manners of great holiness, but inwardly they will be clothed in hypocrisy, panting for praises and honors. They will wish, not to be more outstanding and holier than others, but to be considered and to appear so. Thus they will sink to worse things and, to their own great loss, like bad merchants, will exchange the silver of eloquence and the product of learning for a hypocritical simulation in bronze, producing their works in order to get human praise.

325 "But their simulation and hypocrisy cannot be concealed for long; and when it is laid bare, they will sense that they are losing their worth in the eyes of those who praised them, day to day becoming filthier, and because of this they will start to become angry and indignant and will persecute those they once tried so hard to please,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 394