Monday, July 15, 2019

O buona ventura!

Today is the feast of St. Bonaventura of Bagnoregio. His name was Giovanni di Fidanza; we don't know for sure why he was instead always called 'Lucky', but the usual story is that when his parents took him to St. Francis of Assisi when he was sick as a boy (which he himself tells us happened), St. Francis took him in his arms, and said, "O buona ventura!"

From the Breviloquium:

Not only is Wisdom capable of knowing [all things]: it is the very principle of knowing. Therefore, it is called 'light,' as being the principle of knowing all that is known; 'mirror,' as being the principle of knowing all that is seen and approved; 'exemplar,' as being the principle of knowing all that is foreseen and disposed; 'book of life,' as being the principle of knowing all that is predestined and reprobated. For divine Wisdom is the 'book of life', considering things insofar as they return to God; the 'exemplar,' considering things as they proceed from God'; 'the mirror,' considering things as they follow their course; and the 'light,' from all these perspectives simultaneously. Now under teh concept of 'exemplar,' we also sue other terms, such as 'idea,' 'word,' 'art,' and 'reason.' 'Idea' refers to the act of foreseeing; 'word,' to the act of proposing; 'art,' to the act of accomplishing; and 'reason,' to the act of perfecting, for it adds the idea of a goal. Since all of these acts are in God, one is often taken for another.
[Bonaventure, Breviloquium, Monti, ed., The Franciscan Institute (Saint Bonaventure, NY: 2005), p. 50.]

Here's a joke by St. Bonaventure:

The King of Anglia asked a certain bishop what the two horns on his mitre signified. He responded, and well, that they signified the Two Testaments, which bishops ought to know. "And what do those two hanging things (pendicula), which hang behind the back, signify?" He responded that they signified ignorance of both, 'because we know neither one nor the other, but throw both behind the back.'" And in this he spoke badly.
[Bonaventure, Collationes de Septem Donis Spiritus Sancti, Collatio IV de dono scientiae, 17.]

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