The Life of Blessed Francis - 597 

he savored
in each and every creature
—as in so many rivulets—
that fontal Goodness,
and discerned
an almost celestial choir
in the chords of power and activity
given to them by God,
and, like the prophet David,
he sweetly encouraged them to praise the Lord.a

2Jesus Christ crucified
always rested like a bundle of myrrh in the bosom of his soul,b
into Whom
he longed to be totally transformed
through an enkindling of ecstatic love.
And as a sign of his special devotion to him,
he found leisurec
from the feast of the Epiphany through forty successive days
—that period when Christ was hidden in the desert—
resting in a place of solitude,
shut up in a cell,
with as little food and drink as possible,
fasting, praying, and praising God without interruption.d
He was borne aloft into Christ
with such burning intensity,
but the Beloved repaid him with such intimate love
that it seemed to that servant of God
that he was aware
of the presence of that Savior before his eyes,
like a yoke,
as he once intimately revealed to his companions.

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Legenda Maior, Fontes Franciscani, p. 853-854


Caput IX

De fervore caritatis
et desiderio martyrii.

1 1Caritatem ferventem,
qua Sponsi amicus Franciscus ardebat, quis enarrare sufficiat?
2Totus namque quasi quidem carbo
ignitus divini amoris flamma videbatur absorptus.
3Subito enim ad auditum amoris Domini
excitabatur, afficiebatur, inflammabatur,
quasi plectro vocis extrinsecae
chorda cordis interior tangeretur.
4Talem pro eleemosynis censum
offerre nobilem prodigalitatem dicebat,
et eos qui minus ipsum quam denarios reputarent,
esse stultissimos,
5pro eo quod solius divini amoris impretiabile pretium
ad regnum caelorum sufficiat comparandum,
et
eius qui nos multum amavit,
multum sit amor amandus.

6Ut autem ex omnibus excitaretur ad amorem divinum,
exsultabat in cunctis operibus manuum Domini
et per iucunditatis spectacula
in vivificam consurgebat rationem et Causam.
7Contuebatur in pulchris Pulcherrimum
et per impressa rebus vestigia
prosequebatur ubique Dilectum,
de omnibus sibi scalam faciens,
per quam conscenderet ad apprehendendum eum
qui est desiderabilis totus.
8Inauditae namque devotionis affectu

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 597

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