Friday, July 15, 2011

Saints Bonaventure and Aquinas

The following is a delightful offering for today, the feast of St Bonaventure.

The Crucifix is a Book

I remember having read, under this title, a beautiful story in “Christian Perfection;” it relates to St Bonaventure. At the time when he was in great repute, teaching theology in Paris, and attraction general esteem and admiration by his works, St Thomas Aquinas went one day to see him, and requested him to show him what books he used for his studies. Then St Bonaventure, conducting him to his little chamber, showed him some very common books that were on his table. But St Thomas gave him to understand that he desired to see the other books from which he derived so many marvelous things. The Saint then showed him a small oratory, with nothing in it but a crucifix: “There, Father,” said he, “is all my other books; this is the principal one from which I draw all I teach, and all I write. Yes, it is by throwing myself at the foot of that crucifix, and begging of Him whose image it bears, the enlightenment of my doubts, and assisting at Mass, that I have made more progress in the sciences, and have gained more true fights than I should have done by the reading of any books whatsoever.” You did not expect this, that whilst men study much and know but little, the Saints content themselves with this crucifix, and attain to this most sublime genius.

Catholic Gems and Pearls, Rev J. Phelan, 1900

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