THE BEAUTIFUL SAYINGS OF SAINT BONAVENTURE [1221-1274]
BISHOP, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, AND FRANCISCAN
I confess before God that what made me love Saint Francis’ way of life so much was that it is exactly like the origin and the perfection of the Church itself, which began first with simple fishermen and afterward developed to include the most illustrious and learned doctors. You find the same thing in the Order of Saint Francis; in this way God reveals that it did not come about through human calculations but through Christ.
When we pray, the voice of the heart must be heard more than the proceedings from the mouth.
Since happiness is nothing other than the enjoyment of the highest good and since the highest good is above, no one can be happy unless he rises above himself, not by an ascent of the body, but of the heart.
In God alone is there primordial and true delight, and in all our delights it is this delight that we are seeking.
In beautiful things St. Francis saw Beauty itself, and through His vestiges imprinted on creation he followed his Beloved everywhere, making from all things a ladder by which he could climb up and embrace Him who is utterly desirable. If you desire to know … ask grace, not instruction; desire, not understanding; the groaning of prayer, not diligent reading; the Spouse, not the teacher; God, not man; darkness not clarity; not light, but fire that totally inflames and carries us into God by ecstatic unctions and burning affections.
Three things are necessary to everyone regardless of status, sex, or age, i.e., truth of faith which brings understanding; love of Christ which brings compassion; endurance of hope which brings perseverance. No adult is in state of salvation unless he has faithful understanding in his mind, loving compassion in his heart, and enduring perseverance in his actions.
The life of God – precisely because God is triune – does not belong to God alone. God who dwells in inaccessible light and eternal glory comes to us in the face of Christ and the activity of the Holy Spirit. Because of God’s outreach to the creature, God is said to be essentially relational, ecstatic, fecund, alive as passionate love. Divine life is therefore also our life. The heart of the Christian life is to be united with the God of Jesus Christ by means of communion with one another. The doctrine of the Trinity is, ultimately, therefore a teaching not about the abstract nature of God, nor about God in isolation from everything other than God, but a teaching about God’s life with us and our life with each other.
Taken from various sources by:
A Christian Pilgrim (Compiler)