Pentecost in the Franciscan Tradition

Pentecost in the Franciscan Tradition

A blessed Feast of Pentecost to all!

Meditate with Saint Bonaventure

On this Feast of Pentecost, let us meditate on these words from Saint Bonaventure’s “Tree of Life,” 40:

“When seven weeks had passed since the resurrection, on the fiftieth day, ‘when the disciples were gathered in one place with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a violent wind blowing’ (Acts 1:14, 2:1). The Spirit descended. . . ‘and appeared in the form of tongues of fire. . . . They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages’ (Acts 2:4), as the prompting of the Holy Spirit dictated, who taught them all truth and inflamed them with all love. . . ."

"Purified, illumined, and perfected by the power of the same Holy Spirit, the Church becomes lovable to her Spouse. . . In this holy Church, which through the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit is diversified in a variety of forms throughout the world and yet is united in a single whole, there presides one High Priest, Christ, as supreme Hierarch. With a wonderful order, he dispenses offices in the Church and distributes charismatic gifts. For ‘he himself gave some as apostles, some as prophets, others again as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers in order to perfect the saints and to build up the body of Christ’ (Eph 4:11-12)."

"So the patriarchs, so the prophets, so the apostles, so the martyrs, confessors, and virgins and as many as have been pleasing to God have passed through many tribulations and remained faithful and so will all the chosen members of Christ until the day of judgment.”

Francis’s Letter to the Faithful

And let us hear the words of Francis to us in his “Longer Admonition and Exhortation” (Letter to the Faithful), 48-55:

“The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon all those men and women who have done and persevered in these things and It will make a home and dwelling place in them. And they will be the children of the heavenly Father, Whose works they do. And they are spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

"We are spouses when the faithful soul is united by the Holy Spirit to our Lord Jesus Christ. We are brothers [and sisters], moreover, when we do the will of His Father Who is in heaven; mothers when we carry Him in our heart and body through love and a pure and sincere conscience and give Him birth through a holy activity, which must shine before others by example. . . O, how holy, consoling, beautiful and wonderful to have such a Spouse."

Image: Descent of the Holy Spirit, Sandro Botticellli, 1495-1505. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, public domain.