Thursday, July 15, 2021

Saint Lucky the Seraphic

  Today is the Feast of St. Bonaventura, Doctor of the Church. As I never tire of noting, 'Bonaventura' is a nickname, literally meaning 'Good Fortune'; we don't know why he became known as Lucky. We do know that he was a sick baby and his parents took him to see St. Francis of Assisi, after which he recovered, which set him on the road toward becoming a Franciscan. A later story connects the name to the origin; according to that legend, when St. Francis saw the little baby John, took him into his arms, and exclaimed delightedly, "O buona ventura!" and he was called that ever after.

From his Breviloquium, Part II, Chapter 12:

All creatures are related to their Creator and depend upon Him. They may be referred to Him in three different ways: as He is the Principle who creates, the End who motivates, or the Gift who dwells within. All His creatures are referred to Him in the first way, all rational beings in the second, and, in the third, all righteous souls accepted by Him. All creatures, however little they may partake of being, have God for their Principle; all rational beings, however little they may partake of light, are intended to grasp God through knowledge and love; and all righteous and holy souls possess the Holy Spirit as an infused gift.

Now, a creature cannot have God for its Principle unless it is conformed to Him in oneness, truth, and goodness. Nor can it have God for its End unless it grasps Him through memory, intelligence, and will. Finally, it cannot have God as an infused Gift unless it conforms to Him through the threefold dowry of faith, hope, and love. The first conformity is distant, the second close, and the third most intimate. That is why the first is called a "trace" of the Trinity, the second an "image," and the third a "likeness."