The Tree of the Crucified Life of Jesus Book Five (Excerpts) - 202 

Chapter Seven


449a15Christ Jesus is the eternal wisdom of the Father. He wanted His Spirit of Life renewed in the Church to lead in the exalted saint, the confessor Francis, through His paths. Along those same paths, that pious Jesus deigned to walk during the course of His life.

45And because Francis was a man of ardor and filled with the Spirit of God that he could discern in his opponents the coming breakdown of the perfection revealed to him by Christ Jesus, he began to resist them courageously; he publicly said their human prudence was destructive and, with a holy and energetic indignation, set himself to demolish their works of defiance in their early stages. Hence, even in the Legend it is written how he ordered to be torn down residences that had been built, or else the brothers to be taken out of them. Many breathtaking things like this he did to confound the slyness of those who assailed his spirit. All this, Brother Bonaventure in his Legend only touches upon lightly, because he did not wish to make known to his readers how the disasters of our earlier times began. Although God in His providence permitted it so, and Bonaventure himself acted out of human prudence, still it was the cause of many getting no vision of the saint's fervent action against those baneful first steps; it was all covered up.

[Brother Elias]

449b3I shall recount one incident, which I heard once from a most reliable reporter, in which the saint reacted against excess and novelty in some people. It involves Brother Elias, who in his desires was forever like the flesh in opposition to the spirit of the Saint, albeit under the pretext of good sense. He had made himself a habit which, in length, width, size of sleeves, and capuche, and costly material, departed altogether from the shape and cheap quality which the saint had prescribed. He summoned him to where there was a good number of brothers and




Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 3, p. 202