The Minor Legend - 704 

Chapter V
THE OBEDIENCE OF CREATURES
AND THE DIVINE CONDESCENSION

First Lesson

Surely, the Spirit of the Lord who had anointed Lk 4:18 him and also Christ, the power and the wisdom of God, were with the servant, Francis. It was this grace and power that brought it about that not only did uncertain and hidden things become evident to him, but even the elements of this world obeyed him. At one time doctors advised him, and the brothers strongly urged him, to allow his eye affliction to undergo the process of cauterization. The man of God humbly agreed because this would be not only a remedy for a bodily weakness, but also a means for practicing virtue. Given the sensitivity of the flesh, he was struck with panic at the sight of the still-glowing iron. The man of God addressed the fire as a brother, admonishing it in the name and in the power of its Creator to temper its heat that he might be strong enough to bear its gentle burning. When the hissing iron was sunk into his tender flesh and the burn was extended from the ear to the eyebrow, the man filled with God, exulted in spirit and said to the brothers: "Praise the Most High, because I confess what is true; neither the heat of the fire troubled me, nor did pain in the flesh afflict me."

Second Lesson

While the servant of God was suffering from a very serious illness at the hermitage of Saint Urban he felt a natural weakness. He requested a drink of wine but was told that there was no wine to give him. He then ordered some water brought to him, and, with the sign of the Cross, he blessed it. What had been pure water, immediately became excellent wine, and what the poverty of this deserted place could not provide, the purity of the holy man obtained. At the taste of it, he recovered so easily that it became evidently clear that the desired "drink" was given to him by a bountiful Giver not as much to please his sense of taste as to be efficacious for his health.

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Legenda Minor, Fontes Franciscani, p. 993-995


V
De obedientia creaturarum
et condescensione divina.

Lectio prima.

1 1Aderat quidem servo suo Francisco is qui eum unxerat Spiritus Domini et ipse Dei virtus et sapientia Christus, cuius virtute fiebat et gratia, ut sibi non solum incerta et occulta c patescerent, verum etiam mundi huius elementa parerent. 2Quodam namque tempore, cum consilium daretur a medicis et instanter suaderetur a fratribus, ut contra infirmitatem oculorum pateretur sibi per cocturae subveniri remedium, humiliter vir Dei assensit, pro eo quod id non solum medela contra aegritudinem corporis, verum etiam materia foret exercendae virtutis. 3Sensu vero carnis ipsius ad conspectum instrumenti ferrei iam igne candentis naturali quodam horrore concusso, vir sanctus ignem alloqui coepit ut fratrem, in Creatoris nomine ac virtute praecipiens, ut suum ei contemperaret ardorem, quo suaviter urentem sustinere valeret. 4Profundato autem crepitante ferro in tenera carne, et ab aure usque ad supercilium coctura protracta, vir Deo plenus exsultans in spiritu: « Laudate » inquit ad fratres, « Altissimum, quia, ut verum fatear, nec ignis ardor molestiam intulit nec carnis me dolor afflixit!

Lectio secunda.

2 1Apud eremum Sancti Urbani servo Dei aegritudine gravissima laborante, cum ipse naturae defectum sentiens, vini poculum peteret, nihilque de vino, quod sibi dari posset, responderetur adesse, iussit aquam afferri et allatam signo crucis edito benedixit. 2Mox vinum efficitur optimum quod fuerat aqua pura, et quod deserti loci paupertas non potuit, sancti viri puritas impetravit. 3Ad eius gustum protinus tanta facilitate convaluit, ut evidenter claresceret, quod optatum poculum illud a largo sibi fuit Datore concessum, non iam ut afficiens ad saporem quam ut efficax ad salutem.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 704

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