A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 341 

Chapter Seven
HIS ZEAL FOR PRAYER AND THE DIVINE OFFICE AND FOR PRESERVING SPIRITUAL JOY IN HIMSELF AND IN OTHERS

94
FIRST, PRAYER AND THE DIVINE OFFICE

Although he had been afflicted with illness for many years, he was, nevertheless, especially devout and reverent toward prayer and the divine office. Thus, when he was praying or reciting the canonical hours, he never leaned against a wall or partition, but always stood erect, with his head uncovered, and sometimes on his knees, especially when he spent the greater part of the day and night in prayer.

When he went through the world on foot, he always would stop walking when he wanted to say his hours. If he was riding on horseback, because of his infirmity, he would always get down to say the office.

One time, it was raining very heavily, and he was riding horseback because of his illness and pressing need. Since he was already completely soaked, when he wanted to say the hours he got off his horse; and he said the office, standing in this way on the roadside with the rain continually pouring down on him, with such fervor of devotion and reverence, and as if he had been in a church or in a cell. And he said to his companion: "If, in peace and quiet, the body wants to eat its food which, with the body, will eventually become food for worms, in what peace and quiet, and with what reverence and devotion, should the soul receive its food, which is God Himself!"

95
HOW HE ALWAYS LOVED INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL SPIRITUAL JOY IN HIMSELF AND IN OTHERS

Blessed Francis always had this as his highest and main goal: constantly to have in himself spiritual joy, internally and externally, outside the times of prayer and the divine office. This is also what

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 341

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