Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 533 

who find it. Mt 7:14 Be strengthened in the Lord and in the power of his virtue Eph 6:10 for everything difficult will be easy for you. Cast off the burdens of your own will, get rid of the weight of your sins, and gird yourselves as powerful men. 1 Mc 3:58 Forgetting whatever is in the past, stretch yourselves as Phil 3:13 much as you can for what lies ahead. I tell you that wherever you place your foot will be yours. Dt 11:24 For the Spirit is before your face, Christ the Lord, Lam 4:20 Who draws you to the heights of the mountain in bonds of love. Hos 11:4a The espousal of Poverty, brothers, is wonderful, yet we will be able to enjoy her embraces easily because the lady of the nations has been made as it were a widow, Lam 1:1b the queen of the virtues worthless and contemptible to all. There is no one of our region who would dare to cry out, no one who would oppose us, no one who would be able to prohibit by law this salvific exchange.c All her friends have spurned her and have been made her enemies." Lam 1:2

After he said these things, they all began to follow the holy Francis.

Poverty Marvels at the Ease of Their Ascent

14While they were hastening to the summit at a very easy pace, Lady Poverty, standing at the top of the mountain, looked down its slopes. She was greatly astonished at seeing these men climbing so ably, almost flying. "Who are these men," she asked, "who fly like clouds and like doves to their windows? Is 60:8 It has been a long time since I have seen such people or gazed upon those so unencumbered, all their burdens set aside. Therefore I will speak to them about what engages my heart so that, when staring down at the abyss that lies about them, they do not, like others, have second thoughts about such a climb. I know they cannot




Sacrum commercium sancti Francisci cum domina Paupertate, Fontes Franciscani, p.

et pauci sunt qui inveniunt eam. 6Confortamini in Domino et in potentia virtutis eius, quoniam facile erit vobis omne difficile. 7Deponite sarcinas proprie voluntatis et onera peccatorum abicite et accingimini tamquam viri potentes. 8Posteriora obliti ad anteriora vos pro posse extendite. Dico vobis quod quemcumque locum calcaverit pes vester, vester erit. 9Etenim est spiritus ante faciem vestram, Christus Dominus, qui trahet vos ad montis cacumina in vinculis caritatis. 10Mirabilis est, fratres, desponsatio Paupertatis, sed facile poterimus ipsius frui amplexibus, quia facta est quasi vidua domina gentium, vilis et contemptibilis omnibus regina virtutum. 11Nullus est qui e regione clamare audeat, nullus qui se nobis opponat, nullus est qui iure hoc salutare commercium prohibere valeat. 12Omnes amici eius spreverunt illam et facti sunt ei inimici."

13Et iis dictis, ceperunt omnes post sanctum Franciscum ambulare.

Capitulum 4 Paupertas miratur de facilitate ascendentium.

1Cumque facillimo gressu properarent ad summa, ecce domina Paupertas, in ipsius montis vertice stans, respexit per montis devexa. 2Et videns hos viros tam potenter ascendentes, immo volantes, mirata est vehementer et dixit: "3Qui sunt isti qui ut nubes volant et quasi columbe ad fenestras suas? 4Diu enim est quod tales non vidi nec sic expeditos omnibus abiectis oneribus intuita sum. 5Loquar ergo ad eos que in corde meo versantur, ne sicut ceteri tante ascensionis peniteant, circumadiacentem non intuentes abyssum. 6Scio illos apprehendere me non posse absque meo consensu,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 533