A Mirror of the Perfection (The Lemmons Edition, 1901) - 233 

One time, when he was returning from the City, it rained the whole day as he was leaving the City. Since he was very sick, he was riding on horseback, but he got off his horse to say his Hours, standing on the roadside despite the rain which completely soaked him.

He said: "If the body wants to eat its food in peace and quiet, and both it and the body eventually will become food for worms, in what peace and quiet should the soul receive its food, which is God Himself!"

And he used to say: "The devil is delighted when he can extinguish or prevent devotion and joy in the heart of a servant of God which spring from clean prayer and other good works. For if the devil can have something of his own in a servant of God, he will in a short time make a single hair into a beam, always making it bigger, unless the servant of God is wise, removing and destroying it as quickly as possible by means of contrition, confession, and works of satisfaction"

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Blessed Francis used to say that if Brother Body could not have its needs fulfilled whether healthy or sick, because of want or poverty, and after requesting them decently and humbly for the love of God from his brother or his prelate they are not given to him, then let him patiently bear this for the love of God and it will be credited to him as martyrdom. And because he did what is his to do, making his needs known, he would be excused from sin, even if the body only on this account would become very sick, that is from vigils, prayers, and other good works.

Blessed Francis had this as his highest and main goal: he was always careful to have and preserve in himself spiritual joy internally and externally, even though from the beginning of his conversion until the day of his death he would greatly afflict his body. He used to say that if a servant of God 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."

And he also used to say: "If 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 and outer joy."

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Speculum Perfectionis (minus), Fontes Franciscani, p. 1784-1786


5Unde quodam tempore, cum reverteretur ab Urbe, illo die, quo exivit ab Urbe, per totam diem pluit, 6et quia tunc erat valde infirmitius, equitabat sed ad dicendum, horas suas descendit de equo stans iuxta viam , licet plueret et esset totus balneatus.

8Et ait: « Si cum pace et quiete vult comedere corpus cibum suum, qui cum corpore pariter fit esca vermium, cum quanta pace et quiete deberet anima comedere cibum suum, qui est ipse Deus? ».

9Et dicebat: « Tunc exultat diabolus, cum devotionem et letitiam cordis servi Dei, que provenit ex munda oratione et aliis bonis operibus, extinguere vel impedire potest. 10Nam si diabolus aliquid de suo in servo Dei habere potest, nisi servus Dei fuerit sapiens et si, quam citius poterit, illud non deleat vel destruat contritione, confessione et operis satisfactione, in brevi tempore de uno, capillo facit trabem unam semper, ibi adiciendo ».

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1Dicebat beatus Franciscus, quod, si propter inopiam [et] paupertatem frater corpus suas necessitates in infirmitate et sanitate habere non potest, dum honeste et cum humilitate fratri suo vel suo prelato petierit amore Dei et sibi non dantur, patienter substineat amore Domini; et sibi a Domino pro martirio imputatur quoniam fecit quod suum est, videlicet [quod] petiit suam necessitatem, excusaretur a peccato, etiamsi corpus magis inde infirmaretur, videlicet de vigiliis et oratione et aliis bonis operibus.

3In hoc summum studium et precipuum habuit beatus Franciscus, licet a principio sue conversionis usque ad diem sue mortis valde afflixerit corpus suum, videlicet quod semper fuit sollicitus interius et exterius habere et conservare letitiam spiritualem. 4Immo dicebat, quod, si servus Dei studuerit semper habere et conservare letitiam interius et exterius, que provenit ex munditia cordis, demones omnes sibi nichil nocere possunt dicentes: 5«Quoniam, ex quo in tribulatione et prosperitate letitiam habet servus Dei, aditum intrandi ad ipsum non valemus invenire, nee sibi nocere ».

6Et dicebat etiam: « Si essem quandoque tentatus et accidiosus, cum considero letitiam socii mei, occasione illius letitie de tentatione et accidia revertor ad letitiam interiorem et exteriorem ».

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 233

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