The Assisi Compilation - 230 

until the day of his death he greatly afflicted his body. He used to say that if a servant of God always strives to have and preserve joy internally and externally which proceeds from purity of heart, the devils can do him no harm. They would say: "Since the servant of God has joy both in tribulation and in prosperity, we do not know where to find an entrance to enter him and do him harm."

One day he reproved one of his companions who looked sad and long-faced. He told him: "Why are you sad and sorrowful over your offenses? It is a matter between you and God. Pray to Him, that by His mercy He may grant you the joy of His salvation. Try to be joyful always around me and others, because it is not fitting that a servant of God appear before his brother or others with a sad and glum face.

"I know that the devils envy me because of the gifts which the Lord has granted me in His mercy. Because they cannot harm me through myself, they try to hurt me through my companions. If they cannot do harm either through me or my companions, they withdraw in great confusion. Indeed, whenever I feel tempted and depressed and I look at the joy of my companion, because of that joy I turn away from the temptation and depression and toward inner joy."

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Compilatio Assisiensis, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1690


licet a principio sue conversionis usque ad diem mortis sue valde afflixerit corpus suum, videlicet quod semper fuit sollicitus interius et exterius habere, [et] conservare in se letitiam spiritualem. 14Immo dicebat quod, si servus Dei studuerit semper habere et conservare letitiam interius et exterius, quod provenit e munditia cordis, demones nichil sibi nocere possunt, dicentes: 15« Quoniam ex quo in tribulatione et prosperitate letitiam habet servus Dei, aditum intrandi ad ipsum non valemus invenire, nec sibi nocere ».

16Nam, quadam vice reprehendit unum de sociis suis, quia videbatur sibi quod haberet tristitiam et tristem faciem. 17Et dixit ad eum: « Cur habes tristitiam et dolorem de tuis offensis? 18Inter te et Deum habeas, et ora ipsum ut per misericordiam suam tibi reddat letitiam salutaris a sui; 19et coram me et aliis, studeas semper habere letitiam, quia non convenit ut servus Dei coram fratre suo vel alio ostendat se accidiosum et tribulatam habere faciem.

20« Et quoniam scio quod demones invident michi de beneficiis, que michi Dominus largitus est per misericordiam suam, cum michi per me nocere non possunt, insidiantur et student michi nocere per socios meos . 21Si vero per me et socios meos nocere non possunt, cum confusione magna recedunt. 22Immo quandoque si essem temptatus et accidiosus, cum considero letitiam socii mei, occasione illius letitie de temptatione et accidia revertor ad letitiam interiorem ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 230

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