Saint Bonaventure (b.1221, d.15 July 1274), born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian medieval Franciscan, scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he was also Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonised on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the "Seraphic Doctor". Many writings believed in the Middle Ages to be his are now collected under the name Pseudo-Bonaventure.
The Journey of the Mind to God
- Let us not believe that it is enough to read without unction, to speculate without devotion, to investigate without wonder, to observe without joy, to act without godly zeal, to know without love, to understand without humility, to strive without divine grace, or to reflect as a mirror without divinely inspired wisdom.
Life of Christ
- But the soul cannot have any virtue if God is not loved with all the heart; for from that love flows the fulness of all grace, and without it no grace can flow into the soul, nor can it abide in it.
- The virtue of gratitude is extremely commendable and pleasing in the sight of God, as its opposite is a detestable vice before him. Of which subject, thus speaks St. Bernard: Learn to be thankful for every grace received. Consider diligently the favors heaped upon you, that no gift of God be defrauded of the due return of gratitude and thanksgiving you ought to make, whether the gift be great, middling, or little.
- ...Though His Passion sufficed for all, yet all would not profit from it, for some would be reprobate, hard-hearted, and impenitent.
- Life of Christ, Chapter LXXI
Holiness of Life
- It will avail a man little to have been a religious, to have been patient and humble, devout and chaste, to have loved God and to have exercised himself in all the virtues, if he continues not to the end. He must persevere to win the crown. In the race of the spiritual life all the virtues run, but only perseverance “receives the prize” (1 Cor. 9:24.) It is not the beginner in virtue but “he that shall persevere unto the end that shall be saved” (Matt 10: 22.) “What is the use of seeds sprouting if afterwards they wither and die?” None whatever!
- Christ’s death on the Cross should live in our thoughts and imagination, for frequent thought on the Passion of Christ keeps aflame and brings to intense heat the fires of earnest piety.
The Virtues of a Religious Superior
- Though a superior is rather to be loved, yet by the insolent he ought to be feared.
The Life of Saint Francis of Assisi
- He would confidently affirm that the grace of prayerfulness should be more desired than all others by the religious man, and, believing that without it no good could be wrought in the service of God, he would stir up his Brethren unto zeal therefore by all means that he could. For, whether walking or sitting, within doors or without, in toil or at leisure, he was so absorbed in prayer as that he seemed to have devoted thereunto not only his whole heart and body, but also his whole labor and time.
- The Life of Christ translated and edited by William Henry Hutchings, 1881.
- The Journey of the Mind into God (Itinerarium mentis in Deum), Indianapolis: Hackett, 1993. ISBN 978-0-8722-0200-9
- Life of St Francis of Assisi, TAN Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-89555-151-1