A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 314 

allow himself to be guided by them." They cited the Rule of blessed Benedict, blessed Augustine, and blessed Bernard, which teach how to live in such order in such a way.a

The cardinal related everything to blessed Francis, giving him some advice as well. Then blessed Francis took him by the hand, saying nothing, and led him to the brothers assembled in chapter, and spoke to the brothers in the fervor and power of the Holy Spirit: "My brothers! My brothers! God has called me by the way of simplicity and humility, and has truly shown me this way for me for those who want to trust and imitate me. Therefore I do not want you to mention to me any Rule, whether of Saint Augustine, or of Saint Bernard, or of Saint Benedict, or any other way or form of life except the one that the Lord in His mercy has shown and given to me.b And the Lord told me what He wanted: He wanted me to be a new fool in this world. God did not wish to lead us by any way other than this knowledge, but God will confound you by your knowledge and wisdom. But I trust in the Lord's police that through them God will punish you, and you will return to your status, with your blame, like it or not."

The cardinal was greatly shocked, and said nothing, and all the brothers were greatly afraid.

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HOW HE FORESAW AND PREDICTED THAT LEARNING WOULD BE AN OCCASION OF RUIN FOR THE ORDER AND HOW HE FORBADE ONE OF HIS COMPANIONS TO PURSUE THE STUDY OF PREACHING

It grieved blessed Francis when brothers sought learning 1 Cor 8:1 which inflates while neglecting virtue, especially if they did not remain in that calling in which they were first called. 1 Cor 7:24 He said: "Those brothers of mine who are led by curiosity for knowledge will find themselves empty-handed on the day of reckoning. Hos 9:7 I would prefer that they grow strong in virtue, so that when the time of tribulation arrives they may have the Lord with them in their distress. For a tribulation is approaching, when books, useful for nothing, shall be thrown into cupboards and closets!"

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 314