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Permeated with the Goodness of God   Leave a comment

Bonaventure highlights the idea that the one who dwells in Christ dwells in the other, because the fullness of who we are in Christ can only be found in the other. The difference of the other, therefore, was not an obstacle for Francis in his search for God but rather a celebration of God. For he found his own identity in God and he found God in the fragile, wounded flesh of his brothers and sisters. It is prayer, according to Bonaventure, that impelled Francis to see the world with new vision, a contemplative vision that penetrated the depths of reality. The world became Francis’ cloister because he found it to be permeated with the goodness of God.

~ Ilia Delio, Franciscan Prayer


Posted December 31, 2014 by ouidaofs in Bonaventure, God, Saint Francis

St. Bonaventure on the Mystery of Christmas   Leave a comment

Nativity scene

(quoted from Bonaventure by Ewert Cousins)

At the beginning of the creation of nature, our first parents were placed in paradise; but they were driven out by the severity of God’s decree because they ate of the forbidden tree.  From that time his heavenly mercy has not ceased calling straying man back to the way of penance by giving hope of forgiveness and by promising that a Savior would come.  Lest such condescension on God’s part should fail to effect our salvation because of ignorance and ingratitude, he never ceased announcing, promising and prefiguring the coming of his Son in the five ages of history, through the patriarchs, judges, priests, kings and prophets, from Abel the Just to John the Baptist.  Through many thousands of years, by many marvelous prophecies, he stirred men’s minds to faith and inflamed their hearts with living desires.

* * *

Finally, the fullness of time (Galatians 4:4) had come.  Just as man was formed from the earth on the sixth day by the power and wisdom of the divine hand, so at the beginning of the sixth age, the Archangel Gabriel was sent to the virgin.  When she gave her consent to him, the Holy Spirit came upon her like a divine fire inflaming her soul and sanctifying her flesh in perfect purity.  But the power of the most High overshadowed her (Luke 1:35) so that she could endure such fire.  By the action of that power, instantly his body was formed, his soul created, and at once both were united to the divinity in the Person of the Son, so that the same Person was God and man, with the properties of each nature maintained.

Oh, if you could feel in some way

the quality and intensity of that fire sent from heaven,

the refreshing coolness that accompanied it,

the consolation it imparted;

if you could realize the great exaltation of the Virgin Mother,

the ennobling of the human race,

the condescension of the divine majesty;

if you could hear the virgin singing with joy;

if you could go with your Lady

into the mountainous region;

if you could see the sweet embrace

of the Virgin and the woman who had been sterile

and hear the greeting

in which the tiny servant recognized his Lord,

the herald his Judge and the voice his Word,

then I am sure you would sing in sweet tones

with the Blessed Virgin

that sacred hymn:

my soul magnifies the Lord,

and with the tiny prophet

you would exalt, rejoice and adore

the marvelous virginal conception!

 * * *

Under the guidance of divine providence, it happened that Joseph, the Virgin’s husband, took to the town of Bethlehem the young girl of royal descent who was pregnant.  When nine months had passed since his conception, the King of Peace like a bridegroom from his bridal chamber (Psalm 19:5), came forth from the virginal womb.  He was brought forth into the light without any corruption just as he was conceived without any stain or lust.  Although he was great and rich, he became small and poor for us.  He chose to be born away from a home in a stable, to be wrapped in swaddling clothes, to be nourished by virginal milk and to lie in a manger between an ox and an ass. Then “there shone upon us a day of new redemption, restoration of the past and eternal happiness.  Then throughout the whole world the heavens became honey-sweet.”

* * *

 Now, then, my soul,

embrace that divine manger;

press your lips upon and kiss the boy’s feet.

Then in your mind

keep the shepherd’s watch,

marvel at the assembling host of angels,

join in the heavenly melody,

singing with your voice and heart:

Glory to God in the highest

and on earth peace to men of good will.

Posted December 21, 2013 by ouidaofs in Bonaventure, The Tree of Life

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