The Deeds of Blessed Francis & His Companions (1328-1337) - 543 

immensity of the grace, he could not contain himself and let out a loud cry.

10 As he approached the altar to celebrate the Mass which he had to sing, the grace expanded and that love increased; and he was given an ineffable feeling of God, which he could not in any way express in words. And fearing that this feeling and wonderful fervor would grow which would force him to stop the Mass, he did not know what to do, whether he should proceed or wait.

12 Yet because he had once experienced a similar thing, and the Lord had so tempered it that he did not have to stop the Mass because of it, he was confident that he could proceed. Nevertheless, what he feared would happen did happen, because such divine fusions are not under human control.

14 Therefore, when he came to the Preface of the Blessed Virgin, that illumination and gracious sweetness increased so much that, as he came to "on the day before," he was hardly able to endure such sweetness and delight. Then, as he came to This is my Body, Mt 26:26 he kept groaning: "This is," "this is," over and over and could proceed no further. He was feeling the presence of God and a multitude of angels and saints, and he almost fainted because of the immensity of the things he felt in his soul. So the guardian of the place hurried to the aid of the anxious brother and stood next to him, a brother with a lighted candle behind him. The rest of the brothers watched fearfully, together with many other men and women, with whom were some of the greater ones of the province.

18 But Brother John, as outside himself from blessed and sweet joy, was standing there and not proceeding to finish the most holy consecration, because he was feeling the Lord Jesus Christ, who would not enter the host, or rather, the host would not be transubstantiated into Him, until he would add my Body to This is. Mt 26:26 And as the paradise of the mystical Body of Christ was shown to him, he was not able to bear such great majesty of the blessed Head, that is, Christ, and he cried: my Body! Mt 26:26 Immediately the appearance of bread vanished and the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him, the blessed Son of God, incarnate and glorified, showing him that humility which made Him become incarnate, and makes him come daily into the hands of the priest. Such humility held Brother John in sweetness and wonder and indescribable delight that he was not able to complete the words of consecration. For the humility and regard of God our Savior for us is so amazing, as Brother John himself said, the heart cannot bear it nor was he able to control his words to describe it, and for this reason he was not able to continue.

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 543

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