Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 544 

Poverty Speaks about Good Religious

42"My rival was unable at that moment to drive me from their midst, for there were many among them still at the beginning of their conversion imbued with great zeal and charity. They were pounding upon heaven with their cries and were penetrating it with the persistence of their prayers, stretching themselves in contemplation and condemning all earthly things. Then the Creator of all things, the one who created me, commanded me: 'Let your dwelling be in Jacob, your inheritance be in Israel and take root among my elect.' In fact, I was doing all these things with great diligence. Whenever I was with them in this way and we proceeded together along the royal road, they possessed an aura among the crowds because of me and they were admirable in the sight of the powerful. People honored them and called them holy. They began to put up with the name of holiness with difficulty. Remembering what the Son of God taught—'I do not receive glory from the people' Jn 5:41—they completely refused the glory offered to them.

Greed Assumes the Name Discretion

43"But while they were walking in such zeal out of love for Christ, Greed, assuming the name Discretion, began telling them: 'Do not show yourselves to people as rigid or as scorning their honor. Show yourselves, instead, as affable to them. Do not reject outwardly the glory offered you; at the most, do so inwardly. It is good to have the friendship of royalty, the acquaintances of princes, and a familiarity with the great. For, when they so honor and respect you, when they get up and come to meet you, it will be an example for many. Those who see this will be more easily converted to God.'

44"But seeing profit, these men accepted the advice offered to them. They did not protect themselves from the trap placed along the way but, with all their heart, they embraced glory and honor. They considered themselves to be inwardly what they proclaimed outwardly, placing their glory in the mouth of those praising them as the foolish virgins in the merchants and the useless servant in the ground.

"But people who thought them to be inwardly what they saw outwardly freely offered their goods in remission of their sins. At first these men looked upon these goods as dung and said: 'We are poor and we always want to be such. We want you, not your goods. Phil 3:8 2 Cor 12:14 Having food




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

Capitulum 19 Paupertas loquitur de bonis religiosis.

1"Non potuit emula mea expellere me de finibus eorum tempore illo, quia multi adhuc inter eos magni fervoris magneque caritatis viri erant in principio conversionis eorum, celum pulsantes clamoribus et penetrantes orationum instantia, se ipsos excedentes in contemplatione, contemnentes omnia que terrena erant. 2Tunc precepit mihi Creator omnium et qui creavit me, dicens: "In Iacob inhabita et in Israel hereditare et in electis meis mitte radices." 3Ego vero hec omnia diligentissime faciebam. Cumque sic essem cum eis et viam regiam incederemus pariter, habebant propter me claritatem ad turbas et in conspectu potentium admirabiles erant; honorabantur ab hominibus et sancti vocabantur ab eis. 4Ceperunt ipsi moleste ferre sanctitatis nomen et recordantes quod dixit Filius Dei: "Gloriam ab hominibus non recipio, oblatam gloriam penitus recusabant"".

Capitulum 20 Avaritia nomen Discretionis assumit.

1"Ambulantibus vero ipsis in tanto fervore dilectionis Christi, Avaritia, nomen Discretionis assumens, cepit dicere ad illos: 2"Nolite sic vos rigidos ostendere hominibus nec honorem eorum sic contemnatis, sed ostendite vos affabiles eis et oblatam gloriam nolite exterius respuere, sed interius id summopere facite. 3Bonum est habere amicitias regum, notitias principum, familiaritates magnorum, quia, dum ipsi sic vos honorant et venerantur, dum sic vobis assurgunt et occurrunt, multis est ad exemplum; qui, hoc videntes, ad Deum facilius convertuntur."

4Ipsi vero videntes profectum, datum acceptaverunt consilium, sed non custodientes se a laqueo posito iuxta viam, gloriam et honorem demum amplexati sunt toto corde. 5Tales se fore intus existimabant quales predicabantur foris, ponentes gloriam suam in ore laudantium, sicut fatue in vendentibus et servus inutilis in terra.

6Homines vero, qui tales eos esse putabant interius quales exterius videbantur, bona sua libenter offerebant eis in remissionem peccatorum suorum. 7Que in principio ipsi velut stercora omnia reputabant, dicentes: " Nos pauperes sumus et semper esse desideramus, non vestra desideramus, sed vos. 8Habentes alimenta et quibus tegamur, iis contenti sumus, quia vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas."

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 544