Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 545 

and clothing, with these we are content. 1 Tm 6:8 For vanity of vanities, all things are vanity.' Therefore, each day people's devotion to them increased greatly, so that many of them loved less the goods which they saw scorned by the holy men.

Greed Calls Herself Foresight

45"Meanwhile that savage enemy of mine, seeing this, began to become violently angry and to grind her teeth. Ps 35:16 [Vulgate, Ps 34:16] Distressed at such grief of heart, she said: 'What shall I do? Behold, the whole world has gone after her. Gn 6:16 Lk 16:3 Jn 12:19 I will assume the name 'Foresight,' " she said, 'and I will speak to their heart, if only they will listen and acquiesce.' Ez 2:5

"She did this, addressing them in humble words: 'Why do you stand all day idle, Mt 20:6 without providing for your future? What does it profit you to have the necessities of life while you abstain from luxuries? For you could work out your salvation and that of others with great peace and leisure if everything you needed were readily available. While you have time, Gal 6:10 provide for yourselves and your offspring, for people will withdraw their hand from their initial generosity and from their customary gifts. It would be good to remain always as you are, but you cannot always achieve that since daily the Lord adds to your number. Acts 2:47 Since [the Lord] says "It is more blessed to give than to receive," wouldn't it be acceptable to God if you had something to give to the needy and were mindful of the poor?'a

"After that fierce enemy said these and similar things to them, some of those whose conscience was corrupt immediately gave their assent. Others, however, turned a deaf ear and refuted the arguments she brought forth in their midst Lk 4:30 with shrewd answers, and rested them no less than the others on the testimonies of the Scriptures.




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

8Habentes alimenta et quibus tegamur, iis contenti sumus, quia vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas." 9Propterea devotio hominum in eis cotidie crescebat magis, ita ut multi eorum minus sua diligerent, que a sanctis sic videbant contemni."

Capitulum 21 Avaritia se vocat Providentiam.

1"Interea fila barbara inimica mea hoc videns cepit vehementer irasci et frendere dentibus suis, et, tacta dolore cordis intrinsecus, dixit: 2"Quid faciam? Ecce totus mundus post eam abiit. Assumam, inquit, mihi nomen Providentie, et loquar ad cor eorum, si forte audiant et quiescant."

3Et fecit sic, verbis humilibus dicens ad eos: "Quid hic statis tota die otiosi, nihil in posterum providentes? 4Quid obesset vobis habere necessaria vite, dum a superfluis parceretis? 5Cum maiori enim pace et quiete possetis vestram et aliorum operari salutem, si ad votum cuncta suppeterent, que vobis omnino expediunt. 6Dum tempus habetis, vobis et posteris providete, quia homines retrahent manus a primis datis et a solitis donis. 7Bonum esset semper sic esse, sed id penitus non valetis, cum cotidie augeat vos Dominus in idipsum. 8Numquid non acceptaret Deus, si haberetis quid conferre possetis egenis et essetis memores pauperum, cum ipse dicat: 9Beatius est magis dare quam accipere? Cur non recipitis bona que offeruntur vobis, ut non fraudetis dantes eterna mercede? 10Non est iam quod vos timere oporteat a contubernio divitiarum, cum eas pro nihilo reputetis. 11Non est in rebus vitium, sed in animo, quia vidit Deus cuncta que fecerat et erant valde bona. 12Bonis ergo omnia bona sunt, omnia serviunt, pro ipsis omnia facta sunt. 13O quanti bona habentes male ipsa expendunt, que, si vos haberetis, converteretis in bonum usum, quia sanctum est propositum vestrum, sanctum desiderium vestrum! 14Non est vestra voluntas proprios ditare parentes, quia ipsi satis divites sunt, sed dum haberetis necessaria honestius atque ordinabilius conversari possetis."

15Hec et iis similia seva illa dicente, aliqui eorum, quorum conscientia corrupta erat, statim prebuerunt assensum. 16Alii vero hec surda aure transibant et rationes prolatas in medium acutis responsionibus refellebant, non minus isti quam illa suffulti testimoniis Scripturarum."

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 545