St. Bonaventure

Saturday, July 15th marks the feast day of one of the great figures in Franciscan history – St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio – as well as the twelfth anniversary of our Franciscan presence in this historic downtown parish. St. Bonaventure is a good model of what it means to be a Franciscan, while at the same time being a priest in leadership positions in a parish. Bonaventure reminded the friars of his day that our first vocation is as “brother.”  At the core of our charism, we are a fraternity in mission to the People of God striving to continue our Order’s 800-year-old mission: bringing the Gospel into the everyday experience of men and women through our life in fraternity and compassionate service to all.  Continue reading

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Heart of the Matter

Sacred Heart of Jesus – not heart of the Father or heart of the Holy Spirit – the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

There is nothing more human than the heart.  In western thought, we speak the heart as the seat and core of our humanity. We can talk about “right-brained” and “left-brained” people – with “left-brained” people being logical, analytical and objective. A person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective. But, we are people of folk wisdom. We hold up the heart as the symbol of love, desire – “my heart longs for you” – and more. We see the heart as the seat of intuition, creativity, wisdom, gratitude, faith and the like. If you think about it, the finest values and qualities of human experience are more generally associated with the heart rather than the mind. Continue reading

St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio

St. Bonaventure holding the tree of the redemp...

Today, July 15th is the Feast Day of St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio. He was a Franciscan theologian and philosopher, held a Master’s Chair at the University of Paris, was elected Minister General of the Franciscan Order in one of its most contentious times, wrote many spiritual texts, compiled a biography (legenda) of St. Francis at the request of the friars, and many more things. His work Itinerarium mentis in Deum (Journey of the Soul to God) is considered a masterpiece of medieval spiritual practice. You can read more about the saint here.  Happy Feast Day to all Franciscans.

The Stigmata of St. Francis

St. Francis receives the Stigmata (fresco attr...

Authorized by Pope Paul V, September 17th is the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis of Assisi, a feast day celebrated within the Franciscan communities.

Stigmata, from the Greek word, generically points to a “brand” or a “mark.” It is the common word to describing branding of cattle. In the Christian context it refers to the bodily marks resembling the wounds of the crucified Christ. St. Francis was the first person, historically recorded, who bore the marks of the crucified Christ in his hands, his feet, and in his side. Continue reading

Feast of St. Bonaventure

StBonaventureToday marks the Feast Day of one of the great figures in Franciscan history – St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio – as well as the ninth anniversary of our Franciscan presence in this historic downtown parish.  St. Bonaventure is a good model of what it means to be a Franciscan while at the same time being a priest in leadership positions in a parish.  Bonaventure reminded the friars of his day that our first vocation is as “brother.”  At the core of our charism, we are a fraternity in mission to the People of God striving to continue our Order’s 800-year-old mission:  bringing the Gospel into the everyday experience of men and women through our life in fraternity and compassionate service to all. Continue reading

Up to now…

StBonaventureThis Wednesday marks the Feast Day of one of the great figures in Franciscan history – St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio – as well as the 10th anniversary of our Franciscan presence in this historic downtown parish. St. Bonaventure is a good model of what it means to be a Franciscan, while at the same time being a priest and in leadership positions in a parish. Bonaventure reminded the friars of his day that our first vocation is as “brother.” At the core of our charism, we are a fraternity in mission to the People of God striving to continue our Order’s 800-year-old mission: bringing the Gospel into the everyday experience of men and women through our life in fraternity and compassionate service to all. Continue reading

Admonition Eighteen

Who among us wants to be considered condescending? Merriam-Webster defines “condescending” as showing or characterized by a patronizing or superior attitude toward others. I suspect no one is soon volunteering.  In the Franciscan tradition it is a good thing to be condescending or at least condescendere.  St. Bonaventure wrote about the condescendere of God in the Incarnation of Jesus who “stepped down” from his divinity, took on our humanity, took off his cloak and put on a servant’s apron and washed our feet.  It is from that “condescending” position we are called to reach up to our neighbors and serve them.  Such is the posture of compassion.

Admonition Eighteen: Compassion for a Neighbor

1 Blessed in the person who supports his neighbor in his weakness as he would want to be supported were he in a similar situation.

2 Blessed is the servant who returns every good to the Lord God because whoever holds onto something for himself hides the money of his Lord God within himself, and what things he has will be taken away from him.

What a person is before God

holy-saturdayIf this week’s readings contain any one warning about the human condition it is that too often we are concerned about honor.  In the gospel account it is connected with desiring seats of honor. There is nothing wrong with honor or being honored; what is disordered is when a person seeks the bestowal of honor as a right, something earned, or demanded. Then honor is just the surface symptom of Pride – a sin as deadly as they come and as old as time. As Proverb 16 tells us, “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Pr 16:18). Continue reading

St. Bonaventure

Saint Bonaventure

Saint Bonaventure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Monday marks the Feast Day of one of the great figures in Franciscan history – St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio – as well as the eighth anniversary of our Franciscan presence in this historic downtown parish.  St. Bonaventure is a good model of what it means to be a Franciscan, while at the same time being a priest in leadership positions in a parish.  Bonaventure reminded the friars of his day that our first vocation is as “brother.”  At the core of our charism, we are a fraternity in mission to the People of God striving to continue our Order’s 800-year-old mission:  bringing the Gospel into the everyday experience of men and women through our life in fraternity and compassionate service to all. Continue reading

Holy Trinity Sunday – why we celebrate

HolyTrinityWindowWe have all kinds of solemnities, feast days, and other special days in the church year. We commemorate happenings in the life of Christ: Mary’s visit from Gabriel announcing the miraculous child she was to bear into the world. We celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings, the Baptism of our Lord, the Transfiguration when the glory of Christ is revealed, and on Palm Sunday, we celebrate Jesus riding triumphant into Jerusalem amidst palms and cheers. We celebrate the empty tomb and Resurrection of Easter, the glorious Ascension, the explosive coming of God’s spirit to the church at Pentecost … and then we have Holy Trinity Sunday.  And suddenly it is like we have moved from these great events in the life of Christ, and now…. tadah!!  We are celebrating a …..a….. a church doctrine. Continue reading