Thursday, September 15, 2011

Historical Church Writings #6: Bonaventure

Today is Historical Church Writing Thursday. Each Thursday will feature the writings of the church fathers, reformation fathers or other church writings. Today's Historical Church Writing is from Bonaventure:

     "Be cognizant, for the kingdom of God is near" (Luke 21:32).
     These words can refer either to the kingdom of God that we call the "advent of the Son," for whose nativity we should be preparing just now, or to the kingdom of God we say is "paradise." Either interpretation is truly and strictly acceptable, for the kingdom of glory is near to the servants of God, and the kingdom of grace, the advent of Christ, is already among them (Luke 17:21) and day by day grows and multiplies in His own servants.
St. Bonaventure     Thus, whichever way we interpret "kingdom of God," we can say that this kingdom is a place or a reality of supreme majesty and therefore seeks out those of noble and reverential desires, for we read: "Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land" (Psalms 85:9). This kingdom has supreme clarity and therefore is among men of outstanding contemplation and meditation, inasmuch as "You are near, O Lord, and all Your ways are truth" (Psalm 119:151) This kingdom is incomparably charming and gentle, so that those who are near it, who have been created anew and anointed from heave, exclaim: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let you gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near" (Philippians 4:4-5). The kingdom is, lastly, supremely holy and therefore encourages believers to be in regular conversation with God, for "the Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth" (Psalm 145:18).
     -- Bonaventure

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