The Assisi Compilation - 145 

[43]

["For his needs," he said, "a habit and a little book should be enough for him and, for the brothers' needs he should have a pen case and seal. He should not be a book collector or too intent on reading, so he does not take away from his duties what he spends on his studies. Let him be someone who comforts the afflicted, and the final refuge of the distressed, so that the sickness of despair does not overcome the sick because he did not offer healing remedies. In order to bend rebels to meekness, let him lower himself and let go of some of his rights that he may gain a soul for Christ. As for runaways from the Order, let him not close the heart of mercy to them, for they are like lost sheep; and he knows how overpowering the temptations can be which can push someone to such a fall."]

["I want all to honor him as standing in Christ's place, and to be provided for in everything with all the kindness] of Christ. [He must not enjoy honors, nor delight in approval more than insults. If he should need more substantial food, he should not eat it in secret but in a public place, so that others may be freed from embarrassment at having to provide for their weak bodies.

It especially pertains to him to discern what is hidden in consciences and to draw out the truth from its hidden veins]. Let him [never weaken the manly norm of justice, and he must feel such a great office more a burden than an honor. And yet, excessive meekness should not give birth to slackness, nor loose indulgence to a breakdown of discipline, so that, loved by all, he is feared nonetheless, by those who work evil. Prv 10:29

I would like him to have companions endowed with honesty, who], with him, [show themselves an example of all good works, Ti 2:7 strong against difficulties, and yet friendly in the right way, so that they receive all who come to them with holy cheerfulness.

There," he concluded, "the general minister of the Order should be like this"].

[44]
[HE RESPONDS TO A BROTHER ASKING
WHY HE ABANDONED GOVERNING THE ORDER]

[Once a brother asked him why he had renounced the care of all the brothers and turned them over into the hands of others, as if they did not belong to him. He replied: "Son, I love the brothers as I can, but if they would follow my footsteps 1 Pt 2:21 I would surely love them more,

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1516-1517


[43]

1 « Sufficere, inquit, deberet huic pro se habitus et libellus, pro fratribus vero pennarium et sigillum. 2Non sit aggregator librorum, nec lectioni multum intentus, ne detrahat officio quod prerogat studio. 3Homo qui consoletur afflictos, cum sit refugium ultimum tribulatis ne, si apud eum remedia defuerint sanitatum, desperationis morbus prevaleat in infirmis. 4Protervos ut ad mansuetudinem flectat se ipsum prosternat et aliquid sui iuris relaxet, ut anima[m] lucrifaciat Christo. 5Ad refugos Ordinis, velut ad oves que perierunt, viscera pietatis_non claudat, sciens tentationes esse pervalidas, que ad tantum possunt impellere casum ».

6 « Honorari eum vice Christi vellem ab omnibus et in omnibus cum omni benevolentia Christi provideri. 7Verum oportet eum non arridere honoribus, neque favoribus plus quam iniuriis delectari. 8Propensiori cibo, si quando indigeret, non in abditis sed in publicis locis assumeret, ut aliis tolleretur verecundia debilibus providendi corporibus.

9Ad eum maxime pertinet latentes distinguere conscientias, et ex occultis venis eruere veritatem. 10Virilem formam iustitie nullatenus labefactet, quive tantum officium plus sibi fore sentiat oneri quam honori. 11Non tamen ex superflua mansuetudine torpor nascatur, nec ex lassa indulgentia dissolutio discipline, ut cum amori omnibus sit terrori nec minus hiis qui operantur malum ».

12 « Vellem autem eum socios habere preditos honestate, qui se, secum, omnium preberent bonorum exemplum; 13rigidos adversus angustias, tamquam convenienter affabiles, ut omnes qui convenirent, sancta cum iucunditate reciperent.

14En, inquit, generalis minister Ordinis talis esse deberet ».

[44]

1Interrogatus a quodam fratre semel cur fratres omnes, sic a sua cura reiectos, alienis eos tradiderat manibus, quasi ad eum nullatenus pertinerent, respondit: 2« Fili, fratres diligo sicut possum; sed si mea sequerentur vestigia, illos utique plus amarem,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 145

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