The Bishop of Assisi once said to Francis, “I think your life is too hard, too rough. You don’t possess anything in this world.” And Francis replied, “If we had possessions, we would need weapons to defend them. They are frequently a source of quarrels and lawsuits. Possessions usually prove to be an obstacle in one’s search for God. That is why we do not desire temporal goods.”
For what will it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
– Matthew 16:26
“Riches prick us with a thousand troubles in getting them, as many cares in preserving them, and yet more anxiety in spending them, and with grief in losing them.” – St. Francis of Assisi
Holy Father, keep them in Your name that You have given me, so that they may be one just as we are. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.
– John 17:11,17
“Francis had great compassion for the sick, great concern for their needs…He admonished the ill to bear their troubles patiently and not to give scandal when all their wishes were not satisfied.
Wherefore in one of his rules, he had these words set down: “I beg all my sick brothers that they do not become angry in their infirmities or disturbed either against God or against their brothers. Let them not be too solicitous in asking for medicines, nor too desirous that the flesh which is soon to die and which is the enemy of the soul, be delivered. Let them give thanks in all things, so that they may desire to be as God wants them to be.”
– Thomas of Celano
I trust in the mercy of God forever.
– Psalm 52:8
Francis knew that book-learning and study could be useful, but he saw the temptations to
pride and vanity which often came about through scholarly endeavors and he feared for the spiritual welfare of the Friars Minor. Nevertheless, he had a great admiration for theologians and teachers of sacred scripture. Francis wrote a letter to Anthony of Padua, who joined his Order, saying, “I am pleased that you teach sacred theology to the Brothers, provided that, as it is contained in the Rule, you do not extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion during study of this kind.” On another occasion he said, “A great cleric must in some way give up his learning when he comes to the Order of Friars Minor, so that he may offer himself naked to the arms of the Crucified.” God illuminated Francis’ mind and heart with a kind of wisdom that could never be obtained by mere book-learning. When a Brother asked him for permission to take a leave of absence to study, Francis told him that if he would often repeat the Glory be to the Father he would become very learned in the eyes of God. He himself was a perfect example of knowledge so attained.
The Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything.
– John 14:26