A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 315 

He did not say these things out of dislike for the reading of Holy Scripture, but to draw all of them back from excessive concern for learning. Rather he wanted them to be good through charity rather than be dilettantes through curious learning.

Besides, he could smell in the air that a time was coming, and not too far away, when he knew learning 1 Cor 8:1 which inflates would be an occasion of ruin. For this reason, he appeared after his death in a vision to one of the companions who was once avidly tending toward preaching, and he rebuked and forbade him to do so. He commanded him to pursue the way of humility and simplicity.

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HOW THOSE WHO WILL ENTER THE ORDER IN A TIME OF FUTURE TROUBLE WILL BE BLESSED, AND THOSE WHO WILL BE TESTED WILL BE BETTER THAN THOSE WHO PRECEDED THEM

Blessed Francis also said: "A time will come when the religion loved by God will have such a bad reputation because of bad examples of evil brothers, that it will be embarrassing to go out in public. Whoever comes to receive the habit of the Order, at that time will be led only by the working of the Holy Spirit; flesh and blood will put no blot on them; they will be truly blessed by the Lord. Ps 115:15 [Vulgate, Ps 114:15] Although they will not do works of merit, for the love that makes saints work fervently will have grown cold, still they will undergo temptations; and whoever passes the tests of that time will be better than those who came before.

"But woe to those who congratulate themselves over the appearance and the show of a religious way of living, to those found idle trusting in their knowledge and wisdom, that is, not engaged in virtuous deeds, in the way of the cross and of penance,a in the pure observance of the Gospel which they are bound to observe purely and simply by their profession!b For these men do not firmly resist the temptations that the Lord permits to test the chosen! But those

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 315