Saint Bonaventure

On the Perfection of Life to Sisters

bonaventura2

Translated by Br. Paul Hanbridge OFM Cap

Since the first version in 1536, until before 1968, chapter three on Prayer in the Capuchin Constitutions included the substance of this passage:

As prayer is the spiritual teacher of the friars, and so that the spirit of devotion not grow cold in the friars but burn continuously and ever more intensely on the altar of their heart, and indeed just as the Seraphic Father desired that the true spiritual friar to pray always – we no less direct that two special times be assigned to prayer for the sake of the tepid.

Regarding the sentence: “that the spirit of devotion not grow cold in the friars but burn continuously and ever more intensely on the altar of their heart” a recent commentary on the 1536 Constitutions identified here a reference to Leviticus 6,12-16. In Bonaventure'sauthenticated minor spiritual works De perfectio vitae ad sorores and De sex aliis seraphim we see an example of his influence on the composition of the first Capuchin Constitutions.

Download the translation here (383 Kb)