Breviary Hymns and Missal Sequences, Saint Francis of Assisi, Lauds

The flames of charity avail
Not only crimes to expiate;
E’en innocence, like lilies white,
Sharp sufferings to blood await.

Thus, Christ’s own teaching following,
In His sure footsteps to remain,
His flesh, all innocent, he wounds,
With sharpest penitential pain.

By his own will, with naked limbs
He rolls himself in depths of snow,
And drags himself through crags and thorns,
To learn keen pains to undergo.

The living rock a painful couch
For his poor suffering limbs prepares,
For meals, his rigorous fasts suffice,
In which his copious weeping shares.

And yet, when on God’s mysteries
He dwells, he hesitates in doubt,
And, as he thinks himself unfit,
Stands at the door, but stays without.

Though e’en the spring of water clear
He might excel in purity,
He thinks he should much purer be
To hold the priestly dignity.

O make us, Sovereign Trinity,
Worthy Thy Gifts Divine to take,
And holy sacrifice to Thee
Ever with holy hearts to make. Amen.

– translated by Archbishop Edward Gilpin Bagshawe, C.O., Bishop of Nottingham, England