The Little Flowers of St. Francis, tr. by W. Heywood, , at sacred-texts.com
MUCH ought a man always to afflict and mortify his body, and willingly to suffer every wrong, tribulation and anguish, grief, shame, contempt, insult, adversity and persecution, for love of our good Master and Lord Messer Jesus Christ, who set us the ensample in His own self; for from the first day of His glorious nativity, even unto His most holy passion, He always suffered anguish, tribulation, sorrow, despite, trouble and persecution, only for our salvation. And therefore, if we would come to a state of grace, it behoves us to walk, as far as in us lies, in the same path and in the footsteps of our good Master, Jesus Christ. A layman asked Friar Giles, saying: "Father, in what manner may we laymen come into a state of grace?" To whom Friar Giles made answer: "My brother, man ought first to bewail his sins with great contrition of heart, and thereafter he must confess them to he priest with bitterness and sorrow of heart, accusing himself only, without concealment and without excuse; and he must perfectly fulfil the penance which is given him and laid upon him by his confessor; also he must keep himself from every vice and from every sin, and
from every occasion of sin; and likewise he must exercise himself in good and virtuous works toward God and toward his neighbour; and by so doing that man will attain unto a state of grace and of virtue. Blessed is that man who shall sorrow continually for his sins, ever bewailing them day and night, with bitterness of heart, solely for the offence that he hath committed against God! Blessed is that man who shall have alway before the eyes of his mind the afflictions, the pains and sorrows of Jesus Christ, and who, for love of Him, shall neither desire nor receive any temporal consolation in this bitter and tempestuous world, until he shall come to the celestial consolation of eternal life, where all his desires shall be fulfilled with perfect joy!"