12 St. Bonaventure: A spiritual Guide - Fr Michael Baptist Fernandes

posted Jul 11, 2018, 10:48 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 11, 2018, 10:48 AM ]
The Franciscan Family began the celebration of the eighth centenary of the birth of St Bonaventure all over the world. The four general ministers through their circulars invited the Friars to reflect on the great role that St Bonaventure played in reforming the Order. After St Francis of Assisi, he is the central and most important figure in the Franciscan world. There are many schools and universities dedicated to him for serious research in Philosophy and Theology. He was born in 1217, and joined the Franciscan family in 1245, having already graduated with an Arts degree. In doing so, he was influenced by Alexander of Hales who, because of his attraction to Franciscan spirituality, had previously made the transition from the world of academics to that of the cloister. Bonaventure was a Master of Theology in Paris in 1255; in 1257, he was elected Minister General; and the year 1272 saw him as Cardinal Bishop of Albano, with responsibility for the preparation of the Council of Lyon, during which he died on July 15, 1274.

St Bonaventure is known for his writing as well as teaching, and he mostly concentrated on the human person with strong and deep desires, which are both intelligence and affection, seeking out and enjoying the beauty of all things. At the same time, Bonaventure sees this desiring person as someone who accepts the demands of the journey, because of an intuition that what lies ahead has meaning. The human person knows that underlying the many and various ways by which the world is manifested, there is a unique and constant presence from which everything comes, and to which everything returns. For Bonaventure, Jesus Christ represents the centre point of the potential union of all things (Christocentrism), because in Him, everything has its origins and its fulfilment. In Christ, human desire also finds the path to the answers it seeks and longs for.