Admonition. Of bodily Mortification
There are many who if they commit sin or suffer wrong often blame their enemy or their neighbor. But this is not right, for each one has his enemy in his power,—to wit, the body by which he sins. Wherefore blessed is that servant who always holds captive the enemy ( Current Edition; Page: 13) thus given into his power and wisely guards himself from it, for so long as he acts thus no other enemy visible or invisible can do him harm.1
- Succinctly – Self-control
- Accepting complete responsibility for our actions
- Knowing our weaknesses
- Guarding against them
No other enemy, visible or in visible can do him harm
Does this Admonition remind anyone of something Paul has said? It does me; I find, the more I read St Francis that though his first love was the Gospels he was very Pauline in his understanding.
Here in Ephesians 6:10-17 St Paul speaks of putting on the whole Armour of God: He refers here to those externals, the Devil, the Principalities and Powers that surround us to tempt us. From Francis we know we have our Flesh, or rather our bodies under control yet here from Paul is a description or figure of the manner of achieving this.
- Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.
- With all of these,* take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
- As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. ( Francis didn’t always wear sandals but would have considered bare feet would suffice)
- Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.2
- 1.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). 16/9/2015. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#StFrancis_0535_58
- 2.New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. 2015. New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.devotions.net/bible/00bible.htm. [Accessed 16 September 2015].