Temptations and Tribulations

Francis presents his rule to the pope

Francis presents his rule to the pope

Our blessed father would say: “Too much confidence makes one guard too little against the enemy. If the devil can get but one hair from a man, he will soon make it grow into a beam. Even if after many years he still has not made him fall whom he has tempted, he is not put out over the delay, as long as he catches him in the end. For this is his (the devil) business, and he is busy about nothing else by day or by night.”
From Book One, Chapter LXXIX, of the book: St. Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano

On a certain occasion when one brother who was undergoing temptations was sitting alone with the saint, he said to Francis: “Pray for me, kind Father, for I am sure that I will be immediately freed from my temptations if you will be kind enough to pray for me. For I am afflicted above my strength and I know that this is no secret to you.”
St. Francis said to him: “Believe me, son, for I think you are for that reason more truly a servant of God; and know that the more you are tempted, the more will you be loved by me.” And he added: “I tell you in all truth, no one must consider himself a servant of God until he has undergone temptations and tribulations. Temptation overcome,” he said, “is in a way a ring with which the Lord espouses the soul of his servant to himself. There are many who flatter themselves over their long-standing merits and are happy because they have had to undergo no temptations. But because fright itself would crush them even before the struggle, they should know that their weakness has been taken into consideration by the Lord. For difficult struggles are hardly ever put in the way of anyone, except where virtue has been perfected.”
From Book One, Chapter LXXXIII of the book: St. Francis of Assisi by Thomas of Celano

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