The Little Flowers of St. Francis, tr. by W. Heywood, , at sacred-texts.com
Ensample against the temptations of the flesh
ONCE, when Friar Giles and Friar Simon of Assisi and Friar Ruffino and Friar Juniper were met together to talk of God and of the soul, Friar Giles said to the other friars: "How do ye deal with temptations to carnal sin?" Said Friar Simon: "I consider the baseness and infamy of carnal sin, and therefrom follows a great abhorrence, and so I escape". Said Friar Ruffino: "I fling myself flat upon the ground and continue in prayer, beseeching the mercy of God and of the Mother of Jesus Christ until I feel myself wholly freed therefrom". Made answer Friar Juniper: "When I feel the turmoil of the diabolical carnal suggestion, I forthwith run and shut fast the door of my heart; and, for the safety of the fortress of my heart, I occupy myself in holy meditations and holy desires, so that, when the carnal suggestion
cometh or knocketh at the door of my heart, I answer it, as if from within: 'Begone; for this lodging is already taken, and here no more folk may enter'; and on this wise never do I allow the carnal thought to enter into my heart; whereupon, seeing itself conquered, it departeth from me as one discomfited, and not from me alone but from all the neighbourhood". Friar Giles made answer: "Friar Juniper, I hold with thee, because no man may contend better with the fleshly enemy than by flight; for within the traitor carnal desire and without the senses of the body make themselves felt as enemies so great and so strong, that, if we flee not, we cannot conquer them. Therefore, he who would fight in any other way, for the toil of battle rarely has the victory. Flee vice then, and thou wilt be victorious."