The Path of Perfection
The Seraphic Father, Saint Francis of Assisi
May everyone have a blessed Easter in this year of our Lord, 2018.
The Seraphic Father Saint Francis walks far ahead of me. The closer I get to him, the more the path fills with thorns.
“Father Saint Francis, you walk ahead too fast. I am very afraid to stop in the middle of all of these brambles.
--Lift the eyes of your soul to Heaven.
--Father Saint Francis, come to my help.
I move closer to him. But here the spines climb above my head and I am obliged to bend.
Little sister, take up your Cross upon your shoulders and say: I walk on the path of Calvary.
--The path of Calvary it is good, it is so painful. You say it well, Father Saint Francis! You pass, you, without being stung by brambles.
--You have to go through so that everything in you is purified.
--But, Father Saint Francis, I am unable to make my way through these thorns so acute that all of them seem to turn against me. Oh, Father Saint Francis! Father Saint Francis!... Courage though, my soul, it is necessary.
I pass. I feel, from everywhere, stung so vividly that the pain comes to my heart. I continue. The path is even deeper, and the spines are lower on my head.
Father Saint Francis, a little child would not pass.
--Little sister, it is necessary that the little thorns tear you apart and that you decay them yourself.
--Then I should become insensible to the pain! Oh well! I promise you I will not complain.
They are so low and there is not one light! … nothing but thorns!
It is a place of sufferings, says Saint Francis, but it is a place of gaining merit.
In the spines, I perceive some dried flowers that are thrown there.
What are these flowers, Father Saint Francis?
--Little sister, these are the souls that the love of the Cross has begun to purify. They have said to Jesus: we are tired of suffering; we are in need of rest. They have been in grace, but they have lost it.
Little sister, we do not obtain anything easily. All good works are gotten by sufferings upon sufferings. When I had to establish the Franciscan family, what have I not had to endure? When crucified Love wants to establish a solid work, He always founds it upon great persecutions. It is the divine seal, all of the elect have carried it.
Little sister, it is not necessary to make neither pain nor sorrow. It is necessary to accept everything; it is God who wants it. Do not say anything: men make us suffer. Men contribute to suffering, but it is God who imposes it.” (September 10, 1877)
[Source: pages 196-197, Le Ciel en Colloque, by Fr. Pierre Roberdel, in translation].