Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, MORNING Prayers, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD, VATICAN Resources

Thought for the Day – 3 September – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father & Doctor of the Church “Father of the Fathers” “Servant of the Servants”

Thought for the Day – 3 September – The Memorial of St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“Father of the Fathers”
“Servant of the Servants”

Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily – General Audience – 4 June 2009
St Pope Gregory the Great “Servant of the Servants” “Servus Servorum Dei”

“Probably the most systematic text of Gregory the Great is the Pastoral Rule, written in the first years of his Pontificate.   In it, Gregory proposed to treat the figure of the ideal Bishop, the teacher and guide of his flock.   To this end he illustrated the seriousness of the office of Pastor of the Church and its inherent duties.   Therefore, those who were not called to this office may not seek it with superficiality, instead those who assumed it without due reflection necessarily feel trepidation rise within their soul.   Taking up again a favourite theme, he affirmed that the Bishop is above all the “preacher” par excellence;  for this reason he must be above all an example for others, so that his behaviour may be a point of reference for all.   Efficacious pastoral action requires that he know his audience and adapt his words to the situation of each person – here Gregory paused to illustrate the various categories of the faithful with acute and precise annotations, which can justify the evaluation of those who have also seen in this work a treatise on psychology.   From this one understands that he really knew his flock and spoke of all things with the people of his time and his city.

Nevertheless, the great Pontiff insisted on the Pastor’s duty to recognise daily his own unworthiness in the eyes of the Supreme Judge, so that pride did not negate the good accomplished.   For this the final chapter of the Rule is dedicated to humility : “When one is pleased to have achieved many virtues, it is well to reflect on one’s own inadequacies and to humble oneself, instead of considering the good accomplished, it is necessary to consider what was neglected”.   All these precious indications demonstrate the lofty concept that St Gregory had for the care of souls, which he defined as the “ars artium”, the art of arts.   The Rule had such great and the rather rare, good fortune to have been quickly translated into Greek and Anglo-Saxon.

He wanted to be – and this is his expression – “Servus Servorum Dei”.   Coined by him, this phrase was not just a pious formula on his lips but a true manifestation of his way of living and acting.   He was intimately struck by the humility of God, who in Christ made Himself our servant.   He washed and washes our dirty feet.   Therefore, he was convinced that a Bishop, above all, should imitate this humility of God and follow Christ in this way.

His desire was to live truly as a monk, in permanent contact with the Word of God but for love of God he knew how to make himself the servant of all in a time full of tribulation and suffering.   He knew how to make himself the “servant of the servants”. Precisely because he was this, he is great and also shows us the measure of true greatness.”

St Pope Gregory the Great, “Servant of the Servants”, Pray for Us!st pope gregory the great servant of the servants - pray for us - 3 sept 2018

Advertisements
Posted in 7 GIFTS of the HOLY SPIRIT, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 15 July

Thought for the Day – 15 July – Fifteenth Sunday of the Year – the Memorial of St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

Perhaps not a household name for most people, Saint Bonaventure, nevertheless, played an important role in both the medieval Church and the history of the Franciscan Order. A senior faculty member at the University of Paris, Saint Bonaventure certainly captured the hearts of his students through his academic skills and insights.   But more importantly, he captured their hearts through his Franciscan love for Jesus and the Church.   Like his model, Saint Francis, Jesus was the centre of everything—his teaching, his administration, his writing, and his life  . So much so, that he was given the title “Seraphic Doctor.”

Bonaventure so united holiness and theological knowledge that he rose to the heights of mysticism while remaining a very active preacher and teacher, one beloved by all who met him.   To know him was to love him;  to read him is still for us today to meet a true Franciscan and a gentleman.

In his bull of Canonisation, Pope Sixtus IV wrote:

Bonaventure was great in learning but no less great in humility and holiness.   His innocence and dove-like simplicity were such that Alexander of Hales, the renowned doctor whose disciple Saint Bonaventure became, used to say of him that it seemed as though Adam had never sinned in him.

A man of eminent learning and eloquence and of outstanding holiness, he was known for his kindness, approachableness, gentleness and compassion.Pope Gregory X on hearing of the death of Bonaventure.

Let us learn from the great Saint himself, to grow in the fruits he possessed in such abundance – humility, kindness, gentleness, charity, chastity, generosity, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, modesty and self-control. (Matthew 7: 15-20)

“We must beg the Holy Spirit,
with ardent longing, to give us these fruits.
The Holy Spirit alone,
knows how to bring to light,
the sweetness hidden away
under the rugged exterior of the words of the Law.
We must go to the Holy Spirit for interior guidance.”

St Bonaventure from Holiness of Lifewe must beg the holy spirit - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018

St Bonaventure, Pray for us!st-bonaventure-pray-for-us-15 jukly 2017 - 2.jpg

Prayer To Obtain the
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
By St Bonaventure (1221-1274) – Seraphic Doctor

We, therefore, pray
to the most kind Father
through You, His only-begotten Son,
who for us became man,
was crucified and glorified,
that He send us
out of His treasures
the Spirit of sevenfold grace
who rested upon You in all fullness:
the Spirit, I say, of WISDOM,
that we may taste the life-giving flavours
of the fruit of the tree of life,
which You truly are;
the gift also of UNDERSTANDING,
by which the intentions
of our mind are illumined;
the gift of COUNSEL,
by which we may follow in Your footsteps
on the right paths;
the gift of FORTITUDE,
by which we may be able to
weaken the violence
of our enemies’ attacks;
the gift of KNOWLEDGE,
by which we may be filled
with the brilliant light
of Your sacred teaching
to distinguish good and evil;
the gift of PIETY,
by which we may acquire
a merciful heart;
the gift of FEAR,
by which we may draw away
from all evil
and be set at peace
by submitting in awe to
Your eternal majesty.
for You have wished
that we ask for these things
in that sacred prayer which
You have taught us;
and now we ask to obtain them,
through Your cross,
for the praise of Your most Holy Name.
to You,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
be honour and glory,
thanksgiving, beauty and power,
forever and ever.
Amen

-From Prayer “To Obtain the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit” included at the closing The Tree of Life”
― Bonaventure, Bonaventure: The Soul’s Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francisprayer to obtain the seven gifts of the holy spirit - st bonaventure - 15 july 2018