Tuesday, January 15, 2008
After the general Chapter of Assisi, at which more than five thousand brethren were assembled from every province, the holy father sent them two and two to preach the Word of God in all countries. Many of them returned to him complaining sorrowfully that some bishops were opposed to them and would not allow them to preach in their dioceses. "Father," said they, "we went to the places thou didst assign to us; we obeyed thy commands, but we could not fulfill our desires, nor those of the people; for many bishops expelled us from their dioceses, and, as often happens to the poor, being unknown and suspected, we had to endure many insults. We beg you, therefore, father, to obtain for us from the sovereign pontiff, permission and privilege to preach all over the world, without the consent of the bishops." At which the blessed father, filled with holy indignation, exclaimed, "O my brethren, you know not the will of God, and you seek by your foolishness to rob me of the conquest of the world. For our Lord Jesus Christ wishes that I should overcome the world by the most profound subjection and humility, and that I should perform the great work of drawing souls to him by the example of lowliness..."