A Letter to the Entire Order - 118 

21Listen, my brothers: If the Blessed Virgin is so honored, as is becoming, because she carried Him in her most holy womb; if the Baptist trembled and did not dare to touch the holy head of God;a if the tomb in which He lay for some time is held in veneration, 22how holy, just and fitting must be he who touches with his hands, receives in his heart and mouth, and offers to others to be received the One Who is not about to die but Who is to conquer and be glorified, upon Whom the angels longed to gaze. 1 Pt 1:12 b

23See your dignity, [my] priest brothers, 1 Cor 1:26 and be holy because He is holy. Lv 19:2 24As the Lord God has honored you above all others because of this ministry, for your part love, revere and honor Him above all others. 25It is a great misery and a miserable weakness that when you have Him present in this way, you are concerned with anything else in the whole world!

26Let everyone be struck with fear,
let the whole world tremble,
and let the heavens exult
when Christ, the Son of the living God,
is present on the altar in the hands of a priest!
27O wonderful loftiness and stupendous dignity!
O sublime humility!
O humble sublimity!
The Lord of the universe,
God and the Son of God,
so humbles Himself
that for our salvation
He hides Himself
under an ordinary piece of bread!
28Brothers, look at the humility of God,
and pour out your hearts before Him! Ps 62:9 [Vulgate, Ps 61:9]
Humble yourselves
that you may be exalted by Him! 1 Pt 5:6 Jas 4:10
29Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves,
that He Who gives Himself totally to you
may receive you totally!

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Epistola toti ordina missa una cum oratione..., Fontes Franciscani, p. 101


21Audite, fratres mei: Si beata Virgo sic honoratur, ut dignum est, quia ipsum portavit in sanctissimo utero; si Baptista beatus contremuit et non audet tangere sanctum Dei verticem; si sepulcrum, in quo per aliquod tempus iacuit veneratur, 22quantum debet esse sanctus, iustus et dignus, qui non iam moriturum, sed in aeternum victurum et glorificatum, in quo desiderant angeli prospicere, contractat manibus, corde et ore sumit et aliis ad sumendum praebet!

23Videte dignitatem vestram, fratres sacerdotes , et estote sancti, quia ipse sanctus est. 24Et sicut super omnes propter hoc ministerium honoravit vos Dominus Deus, ita et vos super omnes ipsum diligite, reveremini et honorate. 25Magna miseria et miseranda infirmitas, quando ipsum sic praesentem habetis et vos aliquid aliud in toto mundo curatis.

26Totus homo paveat, totus mundus contremiscat, et caelum exsultet, quando super altare in manu sacerdotis est Christus, Filius Dei vivi! 27O admiranda altitudo et stupenda dignatio! O humilitas sublimis! O sublimitas humilis, quod Dominus universitatis, Deus et Dei Filius, sie se humiliat, ut pro nostra salute sub modica panis formula se abscondat! 28Videte, fratres, humilitatem Dei et effundite coram illo corda vestra; humiliamini et vos, ut exaltemini ab eo. 29Nihil ergo de vobis retineatis vobis, ut totos vos recipiat, qui se vobis exhibet totum.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 118