S. Bonaventure| S. Henry| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Bonaventure, Franciscan, theologian, doctor of the Church, was both learned and holy. Because of the spirit that filled him and his writings, he was at first called the Devout Doctor; but in more recent centuries he has been known as the Seraphic Doctor after the “Seraphic Father” Francis because of the truly Franciscan spirit he possessed.
Born in Bagnoregio, a town in central Italy, he was cured of a serious illness as a boy through the prayers of Francis of Assisi. Later, he studied the liberal arts in Paris. Inspired by Francis and the example of the friars, especially of his master in theology, Alexander of Hales, he entered the Franciscan Order, and became in turn a teacher of theology in the university. Chosen as minister general of the Order in 1257, he was God’s instrument in bringing it back to a deeper love of the way of St. Francis, both through the life of Francis which he wrote at the behest of the brothers and through other works which defended the Order or explained its ideals and way of life.
The morning of the fifteenth of July, 1274, in the midst of the Second Council of Lyons, Pope Gregory X and the Fathers of the Council were shocked to learn that toward dawn Brother Bonaventure, bishop of Albano, had sickened and died. An unknown chronicler provides his impression of the Franciscan cardinal: “A man of eminent learning and eloquence, and of outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness, gentleness and compassion. Full of virtue, he was beloved of God and man. At his funeral Mass that same day, many were in tears, for the Lord had granted him this grace, that whoever came to know him was forthwith drawn to a deep love of him.”
Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism while yet remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him. To know him was to love him; to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.
As German king and Holy Roman Emperor, Henry was a practical man of affairs. He was energetic in consolidating his rule. He crushed rebellions and feuds. On all sides he had to deal with drawn-out disputes so as to protect his frontiers. This involved him in a number of battles, especially in the south in Italy; he also helped Pope Benedict VIII quell disturbances in Rome. Always his ultimate purpose was to establish a stable peace in Europe.
According to eleventh-century custom, Henry took advantage of his position and appointed as bishops men loyal to him. In his case, however, he avoided the pitfalls of this practice and actually fostered the reform of ecclesiastical and monastic life. He was canonized in 1146.
All in all, this saint was a man of his times. From our standpoint, he may have been too quick to do battle and too ready to use power to accomplish reforms. But, granted such limitations, he shows that holiness is possible in a busy secular life. It is in doing our job that we become saints.
“We deem it opportune to remind our children of their duty to take an active part in public life and to contribute toward the attainment of the common good of the entire human family as well as to that of their own political community. They should endeavor, therefore, in the light of their Christian faith and led by love, to insure that the various institutions—whether economic, social, cultural or political in purpose—should be such as not to create obstacles, but rather to facilitate or render less arduous man’s perfecting of himself in both the natural order and the supernatural.... Every believer in this world of ours must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying leaven amidst his fellow men. And he will be this all the more perfectly, the more closely he lives in communion with God in the intimacy of his own soul” (Blessed Pope John XXIII, Peace on Earth, 146, 164).
We will be more effective in sharing our faith with the unchurched and those of other religions if we respect and know their customs, their language, their needs, their values, and their social attitudes and if we come to listen as well as to talk.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Nonexistence is the lack of being, it has no power to resist God's will, while the sinner, as a being and a free being, is capable of resisting all God's wishes...
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 196: Loving Jesus in Others
We are quite familiar with the Gospel passage, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me” (Matthew 25:40). But do you believe this? If you do, then you will discover that loving Jesus is easy and that you have an opportunity to do so all day long, every time you encounter another. It may be through a kind smile or word. It may be through an act of generosity, forgiveness or service. But whatever you do to another in love, you do to Jesus. This is true. And it’s also true that when we treat another with harshness or a lack of Mercy we wound the Heart of our Lord. This basic truth is easily understood as a concept in our minds, but not so easily understood through our actions. It can be hard to actually see Jesus in another and to believe that we are loving our Lord by our service of them. But just because it’s hard to believe doesn’t mean we should not believe it and live it (See Diary #1029).
Think of the people that you encounter daily. When you look at them, do you see their presence as an invitation to love our Lord? Is it hard to do this? We must believe that Jesus is there, hidden within them, waiting to be loved. Reflect upon your hidden Lord waiting for you in the persons you encounter this day. Do not hesitate to love our Lord through them. For in them, the font of Divine Mercy waits to be opened.
Lord, You desire that I show an abundance of Mercy to those I encounter every day. Give me the grace to see You in them and to love You in each and every person I encounter. May I have the eyes to see You, dear Lord, and as I discover You in others, help me to open my heart to them, loving them with the Mercy You give to me. Jesus, I trust in You.