The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 530 

sometimes to the fire of the seraphim, and sometimes to the joy of the angels.a And what is more, it sometimes raised him as an intimate friend to divine kisses and repeated embraces of Christ's love, which he not only tasted inwardly but also showed outwardly.

12 Therefore, it happened one time when he was inflamed for a space of three years with the fire of Christ's love, he received wonderful consolations and in such ardor he was frequently rapt in God. But because God takes special care of His sons, now consoling them with prosperity, now trying them with adversity, that fiery ray and state was taken from Brother John while he was staying in a certain place, and he remained without love and light and in the greatest sadness.

14 When his soul was not feeling the presence of his beloved, he became anxious and went through the woods grieving and anxious, searching for his friend who had hidden himself on purpose for a short while. But in no way and in no place was he able to find as he used to those most sweet embraces and the sweet and blessed kisses of the blessed Jesus Christ. He endured this tribulation for many days, lamenting, sighing and weeping. One day when he was walking through the woods in which he himself had made a path for walking, he sat down afflicted and desolate, leaning against a beech tree and raised his tearful face to heaven.

16 Suddenly He who heals the contrite of heart and binds up their wounds, the blessed Lord Jesus, appeared on the path, saying nothing. When Brother John recognized him, he immediately threw himself at the Lord's feet, and with indescribable groans entreated and begged the Lord to help him:

Because without you, most sweet Savior, I remain in darkness and grief; without you, most meek Lamb, I remain in distress and terror; without you, Son of the Most High God, I remain confused and ashamed! For without you, I am deprived of all good. For without you I am blinded by darkness. Because you, "O Jesus, are the true light of our minds."b Without you I am lost and damned, because you are the life of souls and the life of the vines. Without you I am sterile and dry, because you are the fountain of graces. Without you I am totally desolate because you are "Jesus,




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 530