St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today's readings


St. Bonaventure is known for his theological writings with regard to holiness.  He was chosen to be minister general of the Franciscan Order in 1257, and devoted himself to bringing the Order to a closer living of the principles of St. Francis.  This was especially important to him, since he was cured of a serious illness as a child through the prayers of St. Francis himself.  He is known for his writings, which are very close to a kind of mysticism, even though St. Bonaventure was a very active preacher and teacher, and not a strict contemplative as you’d expect a mystic to be.

The thought that mysticism and active work in the world can co-exist is especially important.  Just because we are busy doesn’t mean we don’t make time to pray.  That was what tripped up the Israelites who thought they were too busy defending themselves that they couldn’t rely on the Lord.  Isaiah prophesied differently.  And that was the thought that tripped up the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida.  They had seen the mighty works of Jesus, but they just couldn’t get past the surface and see how Jesus’ Gospel could relate to their life.

When we get there, that’s a red flag that something has gone wrong.  When we find that we have gotten so caught up in the busy-ness of our lives that we’ve lost sight of Jesus, then we know that we have some repairs to make on our life of faith.  Because the true witness of a person of faith is that he or she does work in the world that testifies to the richness of their prayer.  “Unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm,” Isaiah tells us today.  So if we find ourselves a little infirm in our living today, we know that we need to turn to our prayer to make things right.