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The Little Flowers of St. Francis, tr. by W. Heywood, [1906], at


IF man had alway before the eyes of his mind the remembrance of his death, and of the last eternal judgment, and of the pains and torments of damned souls, it is certain that never would the wish to sin or to offend God come upon him. But if it were possible that some man had lived from the beginning of the world even until now, and, during all that time, had suffered every adversity, tribulation, pain, affliction and sorrow, and, if he should die, and his soul should go to receive the eternal happiness of Heaven, what harm would all that evil do him which he had borne in the time that was past? And so, likewise, if a man had had, through all the aforesaid time, every good thing and every delight and pleasure and consolation of the world, and thereafter he should die and his soul should receive those eternal pains of Hell, what would all the good things, which he had enjoyed, in the time that was past, profit him? A man who was a wanderer said to Friar Giles: "I tell thee that willingly would I live long in this world and have great riches and abundance of everything; and I would desire to be much honoured". Unto whom Friar Giles said: "My Brother, if thou wast lord of all the world, and couldst live in it for a thousand years, in all the delight

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of temporal joys, pleasures and consolations, lo! tell me, what reward or what merit wouldst thou expect to have in this thy miserable flesh, the which thou wouldst serve and please? But I tell thee that the man who liveth well in the sight of God, and guardeth himself against offending God, will surely receive from God the highest good and infinite eternal reward, and great riches and great honour and life everlasting, in that never-ending celestial glory, whereto may the good God, our Lord and King Jesus Christ, bring us, to the praise of the same Jesus Christ and of his mendicant Francis."






Next: Chapter I. An ensample of Friar Leo, how St. Francis bade him wash the stone