Admonition: That one should not be seduced by Bad Example 1.
To the servant of God nothing should be displeasing save sin. And no matter in what way any one may sin, if the servant of God is troubled or angered—except this be through charity—he treasures up guilt to himself. (See Rom. 2. 5) The servant of God who does not trouble himself or get angry about anything lives uprightly and without sin. And blessed is he who keeps nothing for himself, rendering “to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matt. 22: 21.)2.
This can be an uneasy one to attempt because it is nigh impossible for the human being to withhold from expressing a thought concerning the nature of another’s error/sin. At least – I am being honest in owning to this vice.
Nothing should displease us except sin and then only in such a way as we look upon the sinner in charity. Well we have all heard the phrase ” Love the sinner but not the sin” and also the many phobias and hatreds we mask in paying lip service to this platitude.
Francis tells his brothers that no matter the degree or type of sin anything but charity toward the sinner treasures up or stores up guilt within themselves. The bitterness and guilt of the self-righteousness.
Being the perfect example to our brethren in the Orders is being of that Nature that has no opinion of their own concerning the acts of others and lives their life calmly and prayerfully without anger nor judgement – live their lives without sin Francis says. Unfortunately not me. I cannot conceive of such quietness of mind that would render me capable of complete disinterest in the doing of others save in the safety of their immortal souls for which I pray.
Most blessed of all are those who live in this world as upright citizens, as we of the EFO attempt to do rendering to our government its dues and to God what is God’s.
Remember these Admonitions were written by St Francis in the 14th Century for the benefit of himself and his brothers and they can be quite difficult to equate with our lives today.
- 1. This Admonition is wanting in codex An., but is found in the Speculum Perfectionis, ed Lemmens. See Documenta Antiqua Franciscana, P. II, p. 84
- 2. 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). 17/9/2015. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1172#StFrancis_0535_59