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The Little Flowers Of St Francis Of Assisi by Brother Ugolino

CHAPTER VII HIS REMEDY FOR TEMPTATIONS OF THE FLESH One day as Brother Giles...

CHAPTER VII HIS REMEDY FOR TEMPTATIONS OF THE FLESH One day as Brother Giles, Brother Simon of Assisi, Brother Ruffino, and Brother Juniper were discoursing together concerning God and the salvation of the soul, Brother Giles said to the other brethren: |How do you deal with temptations to impurity?| Brother Simon said: |I consider the vileness and turpitude of the sin till I conceive and exceeding horror of it, and so escape from the temptation.| And Brother Ruffino said: |I cast myself on the ground, and with fervent prayer implore the mercy of God and of the Mother of Jesus Christ till I am freed from the temptation.| And Brother Juniper answered: |When I feel the approach of a diabolical suggestion, I run at once and shut the door of my heart, and, to secure its safety, I occupy myself in holy desires and devout meditations; so that when the suggestion comes and knocks at the door of my heart, I may answer from within: Begone; for the room is already taken, and there is no space for another guest'; and so I never suffer the thought to enter my heart; and the devil, seeing himself baffled, retires discomfited, not from me alone, but from the whole neightbourhood.| Then Brother Giles made answer and said: |Brother Juniper, I hold with thee; for there is no surer way of overcoming this enemy than flight; inasmuch as he attacks us within by means of the traitor appetite, and without through our bodily senses; and so by flight alone can this masterful foe be overcome. And he who resists it in any other way, after all the toil of the conflict, rarely comes off victorious. Fly, then, from this vice, and thou shalt gain the victory.|

CHAPTER VIII HOW BROTHER JUNIPER MADE HIMSELF CONTEMPTIBLE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

Brother Juniper, desiring to make himself despicable in the sight of men, stripped himself one day of all but his inner garment; and, making a bundle of his habit and other clothes, he entered the city of Viterbo, and went half-naked into the market place, in order to make himself a laughing stock. When he got there, the boys and young men of the place, thinking him to be out of his senses, ill-treated him in many ways, throwing stones and mud at him, and pushing him hither and thither, with many words of derision; and thus insulted and evil entreated, he abode there the greater part of the day, and then went his way to the convent.

Now when the friars saw him they were full of indignation, and chiefly because he had gone thus through the city with his bundle on his head; wherefore they reproved and threatened him sharply. One said: |Let us put him in prison.| Another: |He deserves to be hanged.| And others: |He cannot be too severely punished for the scandal he has given to-day in his own person, to the injury of the whole Order.| And Brother Juniper, being full of joy, answered with all humility, |You say well indeed; for I deserve all these punishments, and far worse than these.|

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