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 A Mirror of the Perfection (The Sabatier Edition, 1928) - 366 

extinguished the fire. Afterwards, blessed Francis returned to eat. After the meal, he said to his companion: "From now on, I don't want this hide over me since, because of my avarice, I did not want Brother Fire to consume it."

118
THE EXCEPTIONAL LOVE HE HAD FOR WATER, STONES, WOOD AND FLOWERS

Next to fire he had a singular love for water through which holy penance and tribulation is symbolized and by which the filth of the soul is washed clean and because of which the first cleansing of the soul takes place through the waters of Baptism.

Because of this, when he washed his hands, he chose a place where the water that fell to the ground would not be trampled underfoot. Whenever he had to walk over rocks, he would walk with great fear and reverence out of love for Him who is called "the rock."

Whenever he recited the verse of the psalm, "You have set me high upon the rock," he would say, out of great reverence and devotion: "You have set me high at the foot of the rock."

He also told the brother who cut and prepared the wood for the fire never to cut down the whole tree, but to cut the tree in such a way that one part always remained intact out of love for Him Who willed to accomplish our salvation on the wood of the cross.

In the same way he used to tell the brother who took care of the garden not to cultivate all the ground in the garden for vegetables, but to leave a piece of ground that would produce wild plants. Thus, in their season, they would produce "Brother Flowers" out of love of Him Who is called "the flower of the field" and "the lily of the valley."

Moreover, he used to tell the brother gardener that he should always make a beautiful flower bed in some part of the garden, planting and cultivating every variety of fragrant plants and those producing beautiful flowers. Thus, in their time they would invite all who saw those herbs and those flowers to the praise of God. For every creature says and exclaims: "God made me for you, O mortal!"

We who were with him saw him rejoice so much, inwardly and outwardly, in all creatures, that touching and looking at them, his spirit seemed no longer on earth but in heaven. And because of the many consolations he had and continued to have in creatures, shortly before his death, he composed the Praises of the Lord in His creatures to move the hearts of his listeners to the praise of God, and so that in His creatures the Lord might be praised by everyone.

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Speculum Perfectionis, Fontes Franciscani, p.


Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 366

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