Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Here is one for R.C. to comment on.

Chesterton on Br. Elias:
There was Bernard, his first friend, and Angelo, who had served as his secretary, and Elias, his successor, whom tradition tried to turn into a sort of Judas, but who seems to have been little worse than an official in the wrong place. His tragedy was that he had a Franciscan habit without a Franciscan heart, or at any rate with a very un-Franciscan head. But though he made a bad Franciscan, he might have made a decent Dominican. Anyhow, there is no reason to doubt that he loved Francis, for ruffians and savages did that. Anyhow he stood among the rest as the hours passed and the shadows lengthened in the house of the Portiuncula; and nobody need think so ill of him as to suppose that his thoughts were then in the tumultuous future, in the ambitions and controversies of his later years.


Conventual Truth Squad said...

Oh, Dr. Gotcher... falling prey to your Observant handlers!

How is this, from the nearly contemporaneous (and first) biography of our seraphic father:

"Brother Elias, the one he chose for the role of mother to himself adn had made a father of the other brothers..."

and, from St. Francis' deathbed, where Elias had kept vigil, our serpahic father gave his last blessing of another friar:

"I bless you, my son, in all and through all, and just as the most High has increased my brothers and sons in our hands, so too, upon you an in you, I bless them all. May the king of all bless you in heaven and on earth. I bless you as I can, and more than I can, and whit I cannot do may the One who can do all things do in you. May God remember your work and labors, and may a place be reserved for you among the rewards of the just. May you received every blessing you desire and may your every worthy request be fulfilled."

While I love Chesterton, I'll defer to St. Francis' opinion on Brother Elias!

Robert Gotcher said...

Yeah, but doesn't a historical-critical reading of this text reveal that it was doctored by conventuals?

Just trying to pull your chain.

As you know, my sympathies are with the Conventuals. Dont' tell anyone in the OFM, though. I might have my tau confiscated.