The Book of Chronicles (Prologue and the First Tribulation) - 399 

[The First Tribulation or Persecution of the Order of Blessed Francis]

1 Meanwhile, with the shepherd away, the ravenous wolf tries to seize and scatter the flock, and the gate is opened to him by the very brothers who, more than others, were expected to oppose his attack and take precautions against his ambush. Those especially who were in authority and seemed wiser and more intelligent than the rest turned to pleasing their own way of thinking.a They covered tepidity and infidelity under the appearance of discretion; and preached through cunning words and deeds a manner of life different from that given to them, the one their shepherd had received from heaven, supporting their views with passages from the Scriptures and the example of other religious. They did not understand that by human prudence, which is called death by the Apostle, they were digging the pit of the abyss for themselves, forging the calf of idolatry, and retreating from the height of perfection they had promised.

2 They judged it foolish, dangerous, and impossible to imitate and follow Christ simply and obediently, although He was the one who had spoken to them and had revealed the pattern of their life in Francis and through Francis. The sons of Israel, after coming out from Egypt and crossing the Red Sea, became unbelieving, and sure of their own self-sufficiency. They gave no thought to the wonders they had experienced, seen, and heard while God was acting and speaking to them through Moses. In much the same way, these leaders, having left the world, given up their own will, taking on the evangelical life of the Cross, persuaded themselves and others that it was not useful

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 399

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