LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, Chapter 30
OF THE BEAUTIFUL SERMON WHICH ST FRANCIS AND BROTHER RUFFINO PREACHED AT ASSISI
According to the title, this Little Flowers story is about a beautiful sermon, but more attention is given to penance and holy obedience. Given my denominational background, I don't have much to say from personal experience about these things. I read in Saint Symeon how the spiritual counselor is to be a physician of souls, and there is a parallel to this in Buddhist monasticism; there are lots of stories of uunusual things said or commanded to be done by both Christian and Buddhist monastic spiritual advisors. Koan, the riddles we read about in Zen literature, are examples of this. In both the Christian and Buddhist context, the point is to get the "patient" to see things from a different perspective. Interestingly, it is Brother Francis who seems to undergo more of a change of spirit than Brother Ruffino did. It has often been observed that we learn more by teaching than we do by studying.