The Minor Legend - 699 

Chapter IV
THE ZEAL FOR PRAYER AND THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY

First Lesson

Since he was made totally insensible to earthly desires through his love of Christ, 2 Cor 5:14 aware that while in the body he was exiled from the Lord, the servant of Christ strove to keep his spirit present to God, by praying without ceasing, and thus he would not be without the consolation of his Beloved. For whether walking or sitting, inside or outside, working or resting, he was so focused on prayer that he seemed to have dedicated to it not only whatever was in his heart and body but also his effort and time. Many times he was suspended in such an excess of contemplation that he was carried away above himself and, experiencing what is beyond human understanding, he was unaware of what went on about him.

Second Lesson

That he might receive the infusion of spiritual consolations more quietly, he went at night to pray in solitary places or abandoned churches. Although even there he experienced horrible struggles with demons who, fighting as it were hand to hand with him, tried to distract him from his commitments to prayer.a After these demons retreated from the unrelenting power of his prayers, the man of God, remaining alone and at peace, and, as if finding a more secret hiding place, would fill the forest with groans, water the places with tears, strike his breast with his hand. Now he entreated the Father; now he played with the Spouse; now he conversed with the Friend. There he was seen praying at night, with his hands and arms outstretched in the form of a cross, his whole body lifted up from the ground and surrounded by a sort of shining cloud, so that the extraordinary illumination around his body together with its elevation, was a witness to the wonderful light and elevation within his soul.

 Previous

Next 

 

Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 986-987


IV
De studio orationis et spiritu prophetiae.

Lectio prima.

1 1Sentiens Christi servus corpore se peregrinum a Domino, cum ad terrena foris desideria per Christi amorem totus insensibilis esset effectus, ne foret absque consolatione Dilecti, sine intermissione orando spiritum Deo contendebat exhibere praesentem. 2Nam ambulans et sedens, intus et foris, laborans et vacans adeo erat orationi vi mentis intentus, ut illi videretur quidquid erat in eo non solum cordis et corporis, verum etiam operis et temporis dedicasse. 3Suspendebatur multoties tanto devotionis excessu, ut supra semetipsum raptus et ultra humanum sensum aliquid sentiens, quid circa se ageretur exterius, omnino nesciret.

Lectio secunda.

2 1Ut autem quietius spiritualium consolationum immissiones susciperet, ad solitudines et ecclesias derelictas oraturus nocte pergebat; 2quamvis et ibi pugnas daemonum horribiles senserit, qui secum confligentes quasi manu ad manum, nitebantur ipsum ab orationis studio perturbare. 3Verum illis ferventium precum infatigabili virtute fugatis, vir Dei solitarius remanens et pacatus, nemora replebat gemitibus, loca spargebat lacrimis, pectora manu tundebat 4et quasi occultius secretarium nactus nunc respondebat iudici, nunc supplicabat patri, nunc colludebat sponso, nunc colloquebatur amico. 5Ibi visus est nocte orans, manibus et brachiis ad modum crucis protensis, toto corpore sublevatus a terra et nubecula quadam fulgente circumdatus, ut illustrationis et elevationis mirabilis intra mentem mira circa corpus cum elevatione facta perlustratio testis esset.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 699

Hardcopies Available for Purchase