Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 549 

would never have become so rich. They pretended to love you that they would depart enriched. They have, therefore, turned away with stubborn contempt and, as they cling to a lie refused to return. Jer 8:5 You should not believe them when they tell you good things, because they have despised you and sought your life. Jer 4:30 You should not take up praise and prayer for them, because I will not hear you, Jer 7:16 for I have rejected them because they have spurned me.' 1 Sm 15:23

Lady Poverty Admonishes Blessed Francis About Progress and Regression in Religious Life

53"Behold, brothers, I have told you a long parable that your eyes might precede your steps Prv 4:25 and that you might see what you should do. It is very dangerous to look back and to mock God. Recall Lot's wife and do not believe every spirit. Lk 17:32 Gn 19:26 Nevertheless I trust you, dearly beloved, 1 Jn 4:1 Heb 6:9 because in you, more than in others, I see things better and closer to salvation. For this reason you seem to have completely rejected and unburdened yourselves of everything. In all these things, the most convincing proof for me is your ascent of this mountain that few have ever been able to approach. But I tell you, my friends: Lk 12:4 the malice of many has made me suspicious of the virtue of the good. I have frequently experienced ravenous wolves in sheep's clothing. Mt 7:15

54"I surely want each one of you to become an imitator of the holy ones who have inherited me in faith and in patience. Yet, because I fear that what happened to others might also happen to you, I am giving you salutary advice, that is, that, in the beginning, you should not want to reach what is more lofty and more hidden. Instead, with Christ as your guide, as you slowly make progress, may you finally reach the summit. Watch that, after the dung of trivia has been placed at your roots, you may be found barren, for then there is nothing else than for an ax to be used upon you. Do not believe all of the impressions you now have, because human senses are more prone to doing evil Gn 8:21 than good and the spirit easily returns to what it is accustomed, even though it may have been considerably distanced from it. For I know that in an excess of fervor everything seems very easy to you. But remember what is said: 'Behold those who serve God are not steadfast and he has found defects in his angels.' Jb 4:18




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

numquam sic ditati fuissent. 4Simulabant diligere te, ut sic beneficiati recederent. Propterea contemptione adversa aversi sunt et apprehendentes mendacium noluerunt reverti. 5Ne iterum credas eis cum locuti fuerint tibi bona, quia contempserunt te et querent animam tuam. 6Ne assumas laudem, et orationem pro eis, quia non exaudiam te, etenim abieci eos, quia ipsi spreverunt me.""

Capitulum 27 Domina Paupertas monet beatum Franciscum de profectu et defectu conversationis.

1"Ecce, fratres, retexui vobis longi sermonis parabolam ut precedant palpebre gressus vestros et videatis quid agere debeatis. 2Periculosum est valde retro aspicere et illudere Deo. Memores estote uxoris Loth et nolite omni spiritui credere. 3Confido tamen de vobis, carissimi, quia magis in vobis quam in ceteris video meliora et viciniora saluti, quoniam videmini omnia penitus abiecisse, de omnibus penitus vos exonerasse. 4Et de iis omnibus efficacissimum argumentum est mihi montis huius ascensio, ad quem pauci umquam attingere potuerunt. 5Sed dico vobis, amici mei, quod multorum malitia bonorum virtutem mihi facit esse suspectam et sub vestimentis ovium lupos rapaces frequenter experta sum.

6Cupio certe unumquemque vestrum sanctorum imitatorem effici, qui fide et patientia hereditaverunt me. 7Sed, quia timeo ne vobis sicut et ceteris contingat, salutare do vobis consilium, ne videlicet velitis sic in principio altiora et secretiora contingere, sed paulatim proficientes, Christo duce, tandem perveniatis ad summa. 8Videte ne, postquam stercora vilitatis ad radices vestras fuerint missa, inveniamini steriles, quia nihil aliud vobis preterquam securis apponitur. 9Nolite ex toto affectui vestro credere quem nunc habetis, quia procliviores sensus hominis sunt ad malum quam ad bonum agendum, et facile ad consueta revertitur animus, licet ab illis quandoque multum sit elongatus. 10Scio enim quod ex fervore nimio levissima omnia vobis videntur; sed mementote quod dicitur, quia ecce qui serviunt Deo non sunt stabiles, et in angelis suis reperit pravitate.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 549