Changed in mind but not in body, he now refused to go to Apulia and was anxious to direct his will to God's. Thus he returned for a short time from the tumult and business of the world and was anxious to keep Jesus Christ in his inmost self. Like an experienced merchant, he concealed the pearl he had found the eyes of mockers and selling all he had, he tried to buy it secretly.
Now there was in the city of Assisi, a man he loved more than all the rest. They were of the same age and the constant intimacy of their mutual love made him bold to share his secrets with him. He often brought him to remote places suitable for talking, asserting that he had found a great and valuable treasure. This man was overjoyed, and since he was so excited about what he heard, he gladly went with him whenever he was summoned. There was a cave near the city where they often went and talked together about the treasure. The man of God, who was already holy because of his holy intention, was accustomed to enter the cave, while his companion waited outside, and inspired by a new and extraordinary spirit he would pray to his Father in secret.
He acted in such a way that no one would know what was happening within. Wisely taking the occasion of the good to wisely conceal the better, he consulted God alone about his holy purpose. He prayed with all his heart that the eternal and true God guide his way and teach him to do His will. He endured great suffering in his soul, and he was not able to rest until he accomplished in action what he had conceived in his heart. Different thoughts followed one after another, and their relentlessness severely disturbed him. He was burning inwardly with a divine fire, and he was unable to conceal outwardly the flame kindled in his soul. He repented that he had sinned so grievously and that he had offended the eyes of majesty. While his past and present transgressions no longer delighted him, he was not yet fully confident of refraining from future ones. Therefore, when he came back out to his companion, he was so exhausted from his struggle that one person seemed to have entered and another to have come out.
Name a time in your life when you experienced God inviting you to change how you view the meaning of your life or how you are living your life? What was that like? How did you recover from that experience? Who or what was involved in this experience? Did God or faith play a role in this recovery?
Do you have a sacred place that you go for time of prayer and/or reflection? Where is this place for you? What is this place like for you? Describe it.