The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 503 

"My dearest son, this temptation was given to you for your great benefit, but if you don't want that benefit anymore, you won't." Remarkable to say, all that diabolical temptation left him at once as if he had never experienced it in his whole life, and he remained greatly consoled in God.

To the praise of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen.

XXXII
BROTHER BERNARD'S GIFT OF CONTEMPLATIONa

1 How much grace the Most High Father showed toward the evangelical poor who voluntarily left all things for Christ, is apparent in that same Brother Bernard whose mind, after he took on the habit of the holy Father, was very frequently rapt into God.b

2 It happened one time that he was present to hear Mass in a church, and his whole mind was suspended in things divine. He was so absorbed in God that, when the Body of Christ was being elevated he noticed nothing, nor did he kneel when the others knelt, nor did he pull back his capuche. His eyes remained unblinking and he stayed in this condition completely senseless from morning until after nones. Returning to himself after nones, he came out calling in a surprised voice: "Oh brothers! Oh brothers! Oh brothers! No one in this country is so great and so noble that if he were promised a palace full of gold, it wouldn't be easy for him to carry a sack filled with the most vile manure in order to merit so noble a treasure."

5 Brother Bernard was lifted up in mind to this heavenly treasure reserved for the lovers of God. For fifteen years he often went about with his mind and his face turned toward heaven. Because of the elevation of his intellect to the supercelestial lights and the great absorption of his affections to divine charisms, never during these fifteen years did he satisfy his bodily hunger at table. He ate a little of everything that was placed before him, and he said that we cannot say we are abstaining from food that we do not even taste, because true abstinence consists in struggling against the things that taste good. He had also reached such clarity of understanding that even great clerics came to him, and he untangled obscure questions in any

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 503

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