Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 543 


39"This is Greed whom people speak of as an immoderate desire to acquire or retain riches.a They call her a holier name that they do not seem to have completely abandoned me by whose largesse they have arisen from the dust and been lifted from the dung heap. They spoke civilly to me about these things, but they thought about wrath with guile. Ps 35:20 [Vulgate, Ps 34:20] Although the desolation of a city placed on a mountain cannot be hidden, they, Mt 5:14 nevertheless, bestowed upon her the name Dt 22:17 of Discretion or Foresight, although such discretion would better be called confusion and [such] foresight the destructive forgetfulness of all good.

"And they said to me, 'Yours is the power, yours the kingdom, 1 Chr 29:11 don't be afraid. It is good to continue in works of piety, to have time for good, fruitful deeds, to provide for the needy, and to give something to the poor.'

Poverty Warns False Religious

40"I said to them: 'I am not contradicting the good that you have said, brothers, but I beg you: look at your calling. 1 Cor 1:26 Do not look back. Do not come down from the housetop to take something from the house. Mt 5:14 Do not turn back from the field to put on clothing. Do not become involved in the business world. Dt 22:17 1 Chr 29:11 Do not become entangled in the world's initiatives and the corruption you have fled through knowledge of the Savior. For it is inevitable that those who are again entangled in these affairs will be overcome and their last state will become worse than their first, 2 Pt 2:20 Mt 12:45 for under the appearance of piety, they withdraw from that which was given them by a holy commandment.'

Their Response

41"Whenever I placed those matters before all of them, dissension arose among them. S




Sacrum commercium sancti Francisci cum domina Paupertate, Fontes Franciscani, p.

Capitulum 16 Avaritia.

1"Hec est Avaritia, que dicitur immoderata cupiditas acquirendi vel retinendi divitias. 2Vocabant eam nomine sanctiori, ne omnino viderentur me derelinquere, cuius munere de pulvere surrexerant et de stercore erant erecti. 3Loquebantur de ea mihi pacifice, sed super iram dolose cogitabant. 4Et, licet non possit civitatis supra montem posite abscondi desolatio, tamen imposuerunt ei nomen Discretionem vel Providentiam, cum talis discretio potius dicenda esset confusio et providentia bonorum omnium perniciosa oblivio.

5Et dicebant ad me: ' Tua est potentia, tuum regnum, ne timeas. 6Bonum est insistere operibus pietatis et vacare fructibus bonis, egenis tribuere, pauperibus aliquid dare. '"

Capitulum 17 Monet Paupertas falsos religiosos.

1"Et dicebam eis: "Non contradico, fratres, quod bonum hoc non sit quod dicitis vos, sed videte, obsecro, vocationem vestram. 2Nolite aspicere retro. Nolite de tecto descendere, tollere aliquid de domo. Nolite de agro reverti retro, tollere vestimentum. 3Nolite involvi negotiis secularibus. Nolite rursus implicari coinquinationibus mundi et corruptionibus, quas fugistis per cognitionem Salvatoris. 4Necesse est enim ut iis rursus implicati superentur fiantque posteriora eorum deteriora prioribus, specie pietatis retrorsum eundo ab eo quod illis traditum est sancto mandato"".

Capitulum 18 Responsio eorum.

1"Cumque omnibus ista proponerem, facta est dissensio inter eos. 2Alii dicebant: 'Quia bona est et bene dicit;' alii autem: 'Non, sed seducere nos vult, ut illam imitemur; misera est et omnes nos secum miseros esse desiderat.'"

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 543