Sacred Exchange between St. Francis & Lady Poverty - 547 

their soul's salvation; conversations about heavenly matters were rare, and the desire for eternal things was lukewarm.

48"Obdurate as they were, they began to envy one another, to provoke one another, and to dominate one another. One brother would accuse another of the worst crime Gn 37:2 with a gesture. They avoided what was sad while hungering to rejoice in what was vain for they were truly incapable of rejoicing. As they maintained the appearance of holiness in whatever way they could, lest they become entirely worthless, and while they spoke of holy matters, they, nevertheless, concealed their miserable way of life among the simple. But the corruption of their inner being was such that, while they were unable to restrain themselves, they became evident through clear, blatant signs.

49"They finally began to fawn upon those of the world and to enter into marriage with them that they might drain their purses, enlarge their buildings, and multiply what they had thoroughly renounced.

"They sold their words to the rich, their greetings to matrons, and frequented the courts of kings and princes with all-out zeal that they might join house to house and unite field to field. Is 5:8 Now they are magnificent and rich, the powerful of the earth, because they have gone from evil to evil, and have not known the Lord. Jer 9:3 They fell when they had been lifted up, Ps 73:18 [Vulgate, Ps 72:18] had fallen upon the earth before their birth, yet they still say to me: 'We are your friends!'

The Poor Who Had Become Rich Persecute Poverty

50"In grief, I was sorry more for those who, when they were sufficiently miserable and contemptible in the world, became rich Rv 18:19 1 Cor 1:5 after they had come to me. Lazy and fat they were more recalcitrant Dt 32:15 than the rest as they derided me. They were surely considered unworthy of life itself, sterile from want and hunger, eating herbs and the bark of trees, disfigured by calamity and misery. Now they are not content with common life, but segregate themselves shepherding themselves without fear. Their way of life is sufficiently annoying to others as they seek superfluous things and strive to achieve honor among Christ's disciples when, in the world, they were held in contempt even by those of note. Those who frequently lacked barley bread and water, who considered it a delight to be under briars; children of the foolish and the ignoble and, not appearing at all upon the earth, have rolled themselves down




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

nullum studium de salute anime, rara collatio de celestibus et eternis tepens desiderium.

8Ceperunt sic obdurati alter alteri invidere, alter alterum provocare et unus alteri dominari; gestiens frater fratrem crimine pessimo accusabat. 9Devitabant tristia, appetentes in quo vane gauderent, quia vere non poterant. 10Retenta tamen specie sanctitatis utcumque, ne omnino vilescerent, et loquentes sancta, miseram conversationem suam apud simplices occultabant. 11Sed tanta erat eorum interioris hominis dissolutio quod, se cohibere non valentes, apertis indiciis erumpebant foris."

12"Ceperunt denique viris secularibus adulari et cum eis iungere matrimonium ut exhaurirent bursas eorum, ut amplificarent edificia et multiplicarent ea que penitus recusaverant. 13Vendebant verba divitibus et matronis salutationes et curias regum ac principum omni studio frequentabant, ut iungerent domum ad domum et agrum agro copularent. 14Et nunc magnificati sunt et ditati, confortati sunt in terra, quia de malo ad malum egressi sunt et Dominum non cognoverunt. 15Ceciderunt dum allevarentur prolapsi sunt in terra ante nativitatem, et tamen dicunt mihi: 'Sumus amici tui.'"

Capitulum 24 Pauperes divites effecti persequuntur Paupertatem.

1"Dolens dolebam ego de quibusdam magis, qui cum in seculo satis fuissent miseri et contemptibiles, postquam ad me venerunt, divites facti sunt. 2Impinguati et incrassati fortius ceteris recalcitrant deridentes me. 3Ipsi certe vita ipsa putabantur indigni, egestate et fame steriles, qui mandebant herbas et arborum cortices, squalentes calamitate et miseria. 4Nune non sunt contenti communi vita, sed segregant semetipsos, sine timore se ipsos pascentes, quorum conversatio, superflua queritando, satis ceteris est molesta, affectantes honorem inter Christi discipulos, qui in seculo etiam inter notos valde contemptibiles erant. 5Qui, cum hordeaceo pane et aqua sepe carerent et esse sub sentibus delicias computabant, filii stultorum et ignobilium, et in terra penitus non parentes, ad meas miserias devoluti sunt,

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 1, p. 547