Papal Documents - The Prophet - 747 

donor's permission and the conditions contained in the present detailed analysis.

2 Nor is there any difficulty found here in a provision fittingly established by civil authority in human affairs, to the effect that the use or usufruct [of a thing] cannot be severed permanently from dominion.a That provision has been established merely to safeguard temporal advantage and keep proprietary right from becoming useless to the proprietor through permanent forfeiture of its use. But retaining the ownership of such things while turning over their use to the poor is not unprofitable to the owner, since it is meritorious for eternity in giving seasonable help to the poor in their profession; indeed it is rated so much the more profitable to the owner as it exchanges temporal for eternal goods.

3 It was certainly not the purpose of the Confessor of Christ in writing the Rule [to renounce the use of anything that is necessary]. On the contrary, he set down the opposite in the Rule and observed it in the way he lived, for he availed himself of temporal things as needed, and he makes clear in several passages of the Rule that such use is lawful to the brothers.

4 For he says in the Rule that "the cleric [brothers] shall recite the Divine Office . . . for which reason they may have breviaries," thus plainly indicating that his brothers were to have the use of breviaries and books helpful in [celebrating] the Divine Office. In a further chapter it is said that "the ministers and custodians alone shall take special care through their spiritual friends to provide for the needs of the sick and the clothing of the others according to places, seasons, and cold climates, as they judge necessary." Elsewhere too, exhorting the brothers to avoid idleness by being occupied with suitable work, he says that "in payment for their work they may receive whatever is necessary for the bodily support of themselves and their brothers." In still another chapter the words are found that "let them go out seeking alms with confidence." Again we have the passage of the Rule that "when they preach let their language be well considered and chaste, for the benefit and edification of the people, announcing to them vices and virtues, punishment and glory." But it stands to reason that such things presuppose knowledge, and knowledge requires study; the pursuit of study, however, cannot readily be pursued without using books.

5 All of these examples show clearly, from the Rule itself, that the use of things necessary for food, clothing, divine worship, and the




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 747