The First Letter to Agnes of Prague - 46 

honors, poverty more than earthly riches, You have sought to store up greater treasures not on earth but in heaven, 23where Mt 6:20 rust does not consume nor moth destroy nor thieves break in and steal, Your reward is very rich in heaven! Mt 5:12 24And You are virtuallya worthy to be called a sister, spouse and mother 2 Cor 11:2 Mt 12:50 of the Son of the Most High Father and of the glorious Virgin.

25For I firmly believe that you know the kingdom of heaven Mt 5:3 is promised and given by the Lord only to the poor because she who loves what is temporal loses the fruit of love; 26that it is not possible to serve God and money,b for either the one is loved and the other hated, or the one is served and the other despised; Mt 6:24 27that one clothed cannot fight another naked, because she who has something to be caught hold of is more quickly thrown to the ground;c 28that one who lives in the glory of earth cannot rule with Christ; and that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. Mt 19:24 29Therefore, You have cast aside Your gar- ments, that is, earthly riches, so that instead of being overcome by the one fighting against You, You will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven through the straight path and the narrow gate. Mt 7:13 Mt 7:14

30What a great and praiseworthy exchange: to receive the hun- dred-fold in place of one, and to possess a blessed eternal life. 31Because of this I have led Your excellency and holiness, as best I can, to beg with humble prayers in the heart of Christ, that You be strengthened in His holy service, 32progressing from good to better, from virtue to virtue, so that He Whom You serve with the total desire of Your soul may bestow on You the reward for which You so long.33Therefore, as much as I can, I also implore You in the Lord, to include me in Your most holy prayers, Your servant, though useless, Rom 15:30 and the other sisters with me in the monastery, who are all devoted to You. Lk 17:10 34With the help [of Your prayers] we are able to merit the mercy of Jesus Christ, so that, equally together with You, we may merit to enjoy the everlasting vision.35Farewell in the Lord and pray for me.

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Epistola Ad Sanctam Agnetem De Praga I, Fontes Franciscani, p. 2265-2266


22quia, cum vobis magis placuisset contemptus saeculi quam honores, paupertas quam divitiae temporales et magis thesauros in caelo recondere quam in terra, 23ubi nec rubigo consumit, nec tinea demolitur, et fures non effodiunt, nec furantur, merces vestra copiosissima est in caelis, 24et fore digne meruistis soror, sponsa et mater altissimi Patris Filii et gloriosae Virginis nuncupari.

25Credo enim firmiter vos novisse, quod regnum caelorum nonnisi pauperibus a Domino promittitur et donatur, quia dum res diligitur temporalis fructus amittitur caritatis; 26Deo et mammonae deservire non posse, quoniam aut unus diligitur et alter odio habetur, et aut uni serviet et alterum contemnet, 27et vestitum cum nudo certare non posse, quia citius ad terram deicitur, qui habet unde teneatur, et gloriosum manere in saeculo et illic regnare cum Christo; 28et quoniam ante foramen acus poterit transire camelus, scandere quam dives caelica regna. 29Ideo abiecistis vestimenta, videlicet divitias temporales, ne luctanti succumbere penitus valeretis, ut per arctam viam et angustam portam possitis regna caelestia introire.

30Magnum quippe ac laudabile commercium: relinquere temporalia pro aeternis, promereri caelestia pro terrenis, centuplum pro uno recipere, ac beatam vitam perpetuam possidere. 31Quapropter vestram excellentiam et sanctitatem duxi, prout possum, humilibus precibus in Christi visceribus supplicandam, quatenus in eius sancto servitio confortari velitis, 32crescentes de bono in melius, de virtutibus in virtutes, ut cui toto mentis desiderio deservitis, dignetur vobis optata praemia elargiri. 33Obsecro etiam vos inDomino, sicut possum, ut me vestram famulam, licet inutilem, et sorores ceteras nobis devotas mecum in monasterio commorantes habere (velitis) in sanctissimis vestris orationibus commendatas, 34quibus subvenientibus mereri possimus misericordiam Iesu Christi, ut pariter una vobiscum (sempiterna) mereamur perfrui visione. 35Valete in Domino et oretis pro me.

Clare of Assisi: Early Documents, p. 46

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