Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Be Enlightened By The Darkness

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, July 15, 2017

Saint Bonaventure had the “good fortune,” as his name means, of knowing other saints in his lifetime. His parents Giovanni di Fidanza and Maria Ritella named him Giovanni di Fidanza, bit legend has it that he was given his name Bonaventure by Saint Francis of Assisi, whose Franciscan order Bonaventure joined.

After making his vows, he was sent to complete his studies in Paris. While there, he became good friends with Saint Thomas Aquinas, with whom he received the degree of Doctor, and developed a friendship with Saint Louis, King of France.

Saint Bonaventure is known for his leadership of the Franciscans and his significant intellectual contributions to theology and philosophy. St. Bonaventure also wrote numerous mystical and ascetical treatises, perhaps most famously, “The Soul’s Journey into God.”

In 1273, he was appointed by Pope Gregory X as Cardinal and Bishop of Albano. Along with Thomas Aquinas, the Pope also asked him to help prepare the Second Ecumenical Council of Lyons, an ecclesial event aimed at re-establishing communion between the Latin and Greek Churches, but died before its completion.

After making his vows, he was sent to complete his studies in Paris, and was taught first by Alexander of Hales, an English doctor and Franciscan, and later by John of Rochelle.

Bonaventure also studied the sacrament of marriage and wrote about sex in regard to marriage and procreation. Most all of Bonaventure’s writing is very much influenced by Saint Augustine who was influenced by ancient Greek philosophy, which saw the spirit as pure and the body corrupt. Bonaventure wrote that the Sacrament of Marriage provides a remedy against concupiscence, to both temper and excuse it, restores health by preserving temperance ‘which is threatened mainly by the weakness of the flesh but is saved through honest marriage.’ Bonaventure also worked closely with Thomas Aquinas to teach that sex between spouses could be for “conjugal fidelity” as well as for procreation. That elaborated on St. Augustine’s teaching that sex outside the purpose of procreation was a sin. However, Bonaventure realized and contributed to Church teaching that sex can be used as a way to bring spouses closer together and express friendship as well as to welcome children.

But you don’t need to keep the kind of company Bonaventure did to be saintly — and for that, he has some simple advice: “Let meditation of Christ’s life be your one and only aim, your rest, your food, your desire, your study.”

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