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Words of Wisdom

Life of Service: From Writings by Saint Francis of Assisi (vegetarian), Part 2 of 2

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Let us continue with excerpts of the “Rules for the Friars Minor” from the book, “The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi,” where the blessed Saint lays down the directives for his faithful friars to follow.

“In like manner let not all the brothers have power and authority, especially among themselves, for as the Lord says in the Gospel: ‘The princes of the Gentiles lord it over them: and they that are the greater exercise power upon them.’ It shall not be thus among the brothers, but whosoever will be the greater among them, let him be their minister and servant, and he that is the greater among them let him be as the younger, and he who is the first, let him be as the last.”

“Let the brothers in whatever places they may be among others to serve or to work, and let them not accept any employment which might cause scandal, or be injurious to their soul, but let them be inferior and subject to all who are in the same house. And let the brothers who know how to work, labor, and exercise themselves in that art they may understand, if it be not contrary to the salvation of their soul, and they can exercise it becomingly. For the prophet says: ‘For thou shall eat the labors of thy hands; blessed are thou, and it shall be well with thee;’ and the Apostle: ‘If any man will not work, neither let him eat.’”

“Let the brothers take care that wherever they may be, whether in hermitages or in other places, they never appropriate any place to themselves or maintain it against another. And whoever may come to them, either a friend or a foe, a thief, or a robber, let them receive him kindly. And wherever the brothers are and in whatsoever place they may find themselves, let them spiritually and diligently show reverence and honor toward one another without murmuring. And let them take care not to appear exteriorly sad and gloomy like hypocrites but let them show themselves to be joyful and contented in the Lord, merry and becomingly courteous.”

“The Lord commands in the Gospel: ‘Take heed, beware of all malice and avarice and guard yourselves from the solicitudes of this world, and the cares of this life.’ Therefore, let none of the brothers, wherever he may be, or whithersoever he may go, carry, or receive money or coin in any manner, or cause it to be received, either for clothing, or for books, or as the price of any labor, or indeed for any reason, except on account of the manifest necessity of the sick brothers.”
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