Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity provide many possibilities of continuing formation on the topics of Franciscan and Community history and heritage for our members. This summer one opportunity was an Introduction to St. Bonaventure. Sister Louise Hembrecht facilitated two sessions. She not only provided facts on Bonaventure to show he was a Theologian, Philosopher and Saint, but encouraged listeners that this thirteenth century Franciscan could be user-friendly in the twenty-first century. The Mystical writings of Bonaventure were presented as a map for growth in holiness.
In particular, St. Bonaventure’s poem on ‘the cross’ was used to begin the sessions in prayer. Only a small portion of this inspiring piece of literature is shared here.
Follower of life’s perfection,
May your heart be ever joyful
As you see the Cross divine;
Let the Holy Cross be present
In your soul and meditation
to its rule your life resign.
Keep it close, with Christ for Leader,
Till you live in light so brilliant
That all doubt is cast away;
Weary not and slacken never,
That your heart be set afire
With a flame as bright as day.
Love the Cross, creation’s beacon;
Then will Christ become your Leader
Reign as your eternal King:
Wrap the Cross around your body:
With it, bind all; with it sign all:
Place its mark on everything.
Heart and Cross in one another!
This will keep the heart unblemished
By pervading it with peace.
Let your speech be Cross-inspired,
Praise the Cross and tell its glory,
And your song shall never cease.
Love with warm and close affection,
Sing with special praise and honor,
This salvation-bringing Tree;
With the fervor of your being,
With the sum of all your powers,
Cherish it most joyfully.
Live within the Cross so noble
And with utter exultation
Lock yourself in its embrace.
On the Cross with Christ be fastened;
Share it with Him, that in heaven
You may see Him face to face.
If you feel at home with the words above and are pondering life as a Franciscan Sister, we invite you to consider our discernment options or we’ll help you design one specifically for your needs. Click here or call or text Sister Julie Ann at 920-323-9632. We’d be happy to meet you at a coffee house near you or take time for your questions.