The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus Book Five (Excerpts) - 200 

in getting the Rule written down, after long discussions they finally agreed that he should go together with them.

53But because he was always timid about blame from the saint, by God's providence he would not go up the mountain with those brothers, but going together with them through a deep valley, high up above which the saint's cell was visible, he arrived below the cell itself, having decided in his state of fear and reverence to call the saint three times by name, and if he did not answer to go back again.

445b2But at his first shout Francis, wondering what it was, came out of his cell to the precipice of the rock, and seeing such a multitude of the brothers standing with Elias in the valley, asked in surprise what he wanted. Elias, on behalf of them all, responded at the top of his voice: "These brothers are the ministers and discreets of Italy,a and they know how rigorous of spirit you are. They hear you are writing a new Rule and are making known to you, with respect to themselves and others, that they do not want you to write anything that is binding on them, unless you show it to them." When the holy man heard this he sent a loud wail up to heaven, and said: "Lord of all power, do you hear what at this moment these are saying?!" Then Jesus who is all goodness, sympathizing with the Saint's difficulties and wishing to give full assurance to a future generation, cried from heaven, so loudly and clearly that his words were heard and understood throughout the valley and the mountain: "Francis, I am Jesus and I am speaking to you from heaven. The Rule is my doing, and you have put nothing of your own in it. I am willing to give the help which I recognize is needed, as I recognize human frailty too. And taking these into consideration, I know that the Rule can very well be kept, and therefore I want it to be observed exactly as it is written, without any gloss. Those who are not happy with it, let them be gone, for I have no wish to make any changes in it."

23On hearing the thunder of Christ's voice, the holy man exulted in spirit and said to the brothers who were standing down in the valley: "My brothers, you have just heard the blessed Jesus; do you want me to have him repeat his words to you? You can now see clearly that it is our divine Jesus Christ's Rule, not mine, and that it was He who put into it whatever it contains." A trembling came upon the brothers, who beat their breasts and with bowed heads asked for pardon;




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 200