The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus Book Five (Excerpts) - 194 

rocks, as a new pillar in the temple of God—even bodily and quite literally, here on this sacred mountain. And in that sublime apparition of Christ he was wonderfully enlightened with a knowledge of God and was confirmed for ever in the state of unifying grace and poverty. For this reason, we read, he felt happy at the gracious way Christ, in the form of the Seraph, looked upon him. He himself added that the One who appeared to him told him things which he would never reveal to anyone as long as he lived. To be sure, these concerned great things of a prophetic nature which are not for full hearing by human ears.

The third of the endowments is referred to in and the name of the city, etc. It was then he was promised that his Order would endure to the end of the world, and then also was revealed to him the death and resurrection of his Rule. And one astonishing thing came to my own ears, which with no brashness I aver, but in all seriousness shall recount for those sincerely interested. What I heard from the holy man Brother Conrad, and from several others who are trustworthy, was that the blessed Francis, after his glorification in heaven, revealed to the holy brother Leo—and to some others as well, they say—that in the apparition Christ foretold to him the tribulations his foundation and the Church would face, the rejection and corruption of his Rule, and how greatly upset the minds of spiritual men, and of those who came after them, would be at this universal assault on the Rule. And that therefore, for their comforting and enlightenment He, Jesus, out of his extreme goodness, would raise him up again, in a glorified body, and cause him to appear visibly to those aforesaid children of his.

443a11The outcome of this is something that may be awaited with devotion, so long as it is not avowed with indiscretion. However, this is where devotion is strongly supported by reasoned argument. For Francis was so remarkably like Christ Jesus in respect of His passion, that he might also, more than others, resemble Him in an anticipated resurrection. Above all, His being raised would strengthen the fidelity and sincerity required for the gospel life, which He wished to renew in Francis. That gospel life suffered under an unregenerate Church, as shall be shown further on, in the same ways that the Person of Christ suffered under the Synagogue; and therefore it would revive if Francis were raised again.a

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 194

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