Admonition 7 That Good Works should accompany Knowledge
The Apostle says, “the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth.”Corinthians 3:6 They are killed by the letter who seek only to know the words that they may be esteemed more learned among others and that they may acquire great riches to leave to their relations and friends. And those religious are killed by the letter who will not follow the spirit of the Holy Scriptures, but who seek rather to know the words only and to interpret them to others. And they are quickened by the spirit of the Holy Scriptures who do not interpret ( This Edition: current; Page: ) materially every text they know or wish to know, but who by word and example give them back to God from whom is all good.
Here is how Paul begins this chapter:
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? 2You yourselves are our letter, written on our* hearts, to be known and read by all; 3and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (NRSV)
We do not need to blow our own trumpets since the results of our Missionary works recommends us . Not letters written in ink on parchment but written on our hearts with the Spirit of the Living God.
Francis quotes but a fragment of this passage as chastisement of his brothers and sons who educated themselves in Biblical Exegeses and earned money teaching it to others.
As in the last Admonition it is in active obedience to the Word that we find our Spiritual reward rather than actively speaking of it.
It is not what we know that commends us to God but what we do.
Saint Francis of Assisi, The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi, newly translated into English with an Introduction and Notes by Father Paschal Robinson (Philadelphia: The Dolphin Press, 1906). 13/9/2015. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#lf0535_label_123