The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus Book Five (Excerpts) - 197 

words of the Gospel; the host is the Rule and the leprosy is wickedness." O how sadly we see this vision proven true! But about this leprosy enough has been said above and will be said further on, if ever we can say enough about it.

56This vision occurred on a mountain near Rieti called Fonte Colombo.a Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and with two holy and virtuous men, Brother Rufino and Brother Leo, he went up there; and the name of the place does agree with the emanation of the Holy Spirit. That is because the Rule, which launches the third status of the world, attributed to the Holy Spirit, came from "the fountain of the Holy Spirit." Fasting on bread and water, he had the Rule written according to what the Holy Spirit revealed to him. This Rule his vicar then lost, after the saint went up on the mountain and had given it to him to keep.

444b9But the holy man went back to the place of solitude, and fasting and praying and weeping, he restored it, the very likeness of the former one. Both the first and the second he wrote down taking the words as if from the mouth of God with the breath of the Holy Spirit.

13This is the one, confirmed by the Supreme Pontiff, which today is wholly coming apart. In its opening lines it has as its unshakable foundation: The rule and life of the Lesser Brothers is this: to observe the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. At the end, as it was confirmed for Saint Francis, it concludes: ". . . so that we may observe poverty, humility, and the holy gospel of God, as we have firmly promised." So it is clear that the blessed Francis intended to oblige himself and his whole Order to those same things to which he could understand that Christ obliged His apostles.

22And, to cover the fourth and fifth points rapidly, this observance Francis and his first companions, perfect men, always did in fact observe. Whenever the occasion to speak about these things arose, he said vigorously that he understood and had understood the life in this way. This is contained expressly in the words of the holy Brother Leo written above. Anyone who doubts this is struggling to find a difficulty in something plain, a curve in something straight, ambiguity in something clear.

29Be rid of the idea there is any danger in such a promise, for Jesus, who blows away all our dangers, counseled and commanded nothing dangerous. Profession of the Holy Gospel and its observance is not understood in a way different from what we find given to and imposed on the apostles by Christ, that is, counsels to be observed as counsels, precepts as precepts. The transgression of whatever was

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Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 197

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