Novena To St. Bonaventure # 2

Day 1

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

The life of God
precisely because God is triune
does not belong to God alone.
God who dwells in inaccessible light and eternal glory
comes to us in the face of Christ
and the activity of the Holy Spirit.
Because of God’s outreach to the creature,
God is said to be essentially relational,
ecstatic, fecund, alive as passionate love.
Divine life is therefore also our life.
The heart of the Christian life
is to be united with the God of Jesus Christ
by means of communion with one another.
The doctrine of the Trinity is, ultimately,
therefore a teaching not about the abstract nature of God,
nor about God in isolation from everything other than God,
but a teaching about God’s life with us
and our life with each other.

DAILY PRAYERS

Dear St. Bonaventure
Cardinal, Bishop and Doctor of the Church,
you chose a life that embraced mortification
and great humiliation.
Choosing to serve those individuals who were rejected
and sick you risked illness for yourself.
You made your life a continuous prayer
and spent hours meditating on the wounds of Christ.
Please pray for us
that we may have a sincere and humble heart.
Pray that we may not lose sight of Jesus’ wounds
and thus walk on the straight path to eternal salvation.

All-powerful Father,
may we who celebrate the feast of St. Bonaventure,
always benefit from his wisdom
and follow the example of his love.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Day 2

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

Three things are necessary to everyone
regardless of status, sex, or age, i.e.,
truth of faith which brings understanding;
love of Christ which brings compassion;
endurance of hope which brings perseverance.
No adult is in state of salvation unless
he has faithful understanding in his mind,
loving compassion in his heart,
and enduring perseverance in his actions.

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 3

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

In beautiful things St. Francis saw Beauty itself,
and through His vestiges imprinted on creation
he followed his Beloved everywhere,
making from all things a ladder
by which he could climb up and embrace Him
who is utterly desirable.
If you desire to know…
ask grace, not instruction;
desire, not understanding;
the groaning of prayer,
not diligent reading;
the Spouse, not the teacher; God, not man;
darkness not clarity;
not light, but fire that totally inflames
and carries us into God by ecstatic unctions
and burning affections.

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 4

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

I confess before God
that what made me love Saint Francis’ way of life so much
was that it is exactly like the origin
and the perfection of the Church itself,
which began first with simple fishermen
and afterward developed to include
the most illustrious and learned doctors.
You find the same thing in the Order of Saint Francis;
in this way God reveals
that it did not come about through human calculations
but through Christ.

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 5

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

“Christ is both the way and the door.
Christ is the staircase and the vehicle,
like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant,
and the mystery hidden from the ages.
A man should turn his full attention to this throne of mercy,
and should gaze at him hanging on the cross,
full of faith, hope and charity, devoted,
full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude,
and open to praise and jubilation.
Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch,
that is, a passing-over.
Through the branches of the cross
he will pass over the Red Sea,
leaving Egypt and entering the desert.
There he will taste the hidden manna,
and rest with Christ in the sepulcher,
as if he were dead to things outside.
He will experience,
as much as is possible for one who is still living,
what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ:
Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 6

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

The Blessed Virgin brought forth that price
by the holiness of Her prompt obedience.
As everlasting foundations upon a solid rock,
so the commandments of God in the heart of a woman.
To found the Church,
it was necessary to lay a foundation,
namely, the commandments of God,
and to place them in the heart of some person.
This could be none but the Virgin…
the One who was obedient.
Thus, the commandments were rooted in Her heart.
Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.
Not only is the Virgin blessed,
but all who follow Her as well.
And who are these?
All who hear the word of God and fulfill it.

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 7

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

“Oh, if you could feel in some way
the quality and intensity of the 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 mountain 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.”

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 8

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

Love is sometimes formed by sight,
sometimes by hearing,
sometimes by touch,
sometimes by fellowship.
We love the person in whom we see the good,
or from whom we hear the good,
or in whom we have experienced the good,
or with whom we have had good fellowship.
In all these ways the Saviour reforms the charity
of his disciples on the day of resurrection
which had been damaged in the time of the Passion.
He gave himself to the disciples
so that they could know him by sight
(which is why it is said that ”he stood in their midst”
and shortly afterwards,
“he showed them his hands and side” by hearing,
when he greeted them (thus it says “Peace be with you”);
by touch, when he invited them to touch him
(“Touch and see,
because a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have”);
by fellowship, when he asked for something to eat
(“Do you have something here to eat?”, Lk 24.41)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 9

St. Bonaventure, you have said:

Grant that my soul may hunger after Thee,
the Bread of Angels,
the refreshment of holy souls,
our daily and super-substantial bread,
having all sweetness and savor
and every delightful taste.

May my heart ever hunger after and feed upon Thee,
Whom the angels desire to look upon,
and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of Thy savor;
may it ever thirst for Thee,
the fountain of life,
the fountain of wisdom and knowledge,
the fountain of eternal light,
the torrent of pleasure,
the fullness of the house of God;
may it ever compass Thee, seek Thee,
find Thee, run to Thee, come up to Thee,
meditate on Thee, speak of Thee,
and do all for the praise and glory of Thy name,
with humility and discretion,
with love and delight,
with ease and affection,
with perseverance to the end;

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

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