Quotes from the Seven Last Words of Christ (Bonaventure/Arnold)

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To meditate on the Seven Last Words of Christ is to meditate for a lifetime on uniting ourselves with Christ’s passion.

In fact, meditating on his passion would keep us out of a bunch of unfortunate situations. It becomes harder to concern oneself with the world, when one meditates on our Lord’s suffering.

Saint Bonaventure said, regarding meditating on Christ’s passion:

“He who desires to go on advancing from virtue to virtue, from grace to grace, should meditate continually on the Passion of Jesus … there is no practice more profitable for the entire sanctification of the soul than the frequent meditation of the sufferings of Jesus Christ.”

So, this Lent, I searched for a unique book on Christ’s passion and stumbled upon the English translation of The Seven Last Words of Christ, by Saint Bonaventure & Arnold of Bonneval, published by Tan Books.

Many know about Saint Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church (1221-1274) , but few know about Arnold of Bonneval, a Benedictine abbot in the diocese of Chartres (1144-56) , whose writings were highly esteemed by St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

The Seven Last Words of Christ, assigns a chapter to each word, and the chapter is broken up into two sections section each (5-20 pages), one section assigned to St. Bonaventure and one to Arnold. It also includes hymns from St. Bonaventure.

The For those who would like a sneak peak at the book, I thought I’d post 5 quotes from St. Bonaventure and 5 From Arnold of Bonneval.

Enjoy, and may they be a blessing to you as they have been to me.

The Seven Last Words of Christ

1) St. Bonaventure on the First Word of Christ

Pater ignosce illis, quia nesciunt quid faciunt. (Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.)   

“Whenever, you are afflicted by any enemy, you will be able to summon to your mind, the memory of the abundant sweetness of the supremely merciful Jesus.

You will be able to use this saying as a powerful shield against any insults which may be directed against you, and any aspersions cast upon you.”

St. Bonaventure

2) Arnold of Bonneval on the Second Word of Christ

Amen dico tibi, hodie mecum eris in Paradiso. (Amen I say to you: this day, you shall be with me in Paradise.)

“For divine mercy has either limit nor bounds. If anyone invokes this divine mercy, it shall unfailingly hear their cry. if anyone sincerely repents, it will always bestow heaven’s pardon.”

~Arnold of Bonneval

The Seven Last Words of Christ

seven last words

3) St. Bonaventure on the Third Word of Christ

Mulierecce filius tuusEcce Mater tua .(Woman, behold thy son… Behold thy mother.)

“Oh, how compassionate and generous You are, O good Jesus. For you have given all that you possessed to others… now to your mother, You have assigned an adopted son: and so to Your beloved disciple, You have bestowed a loving and pious Mother.”

~St. Bonaventure

4) Arnold of Bonneval on the Fourth Word of Christ

EliElilama sabacthani; Deus, Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti (Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me)?

“These words, though prayed by Christ, are actually not spoken on his own behalf; but in the persons of the sinners, whom he intends to redeem … He had united himself with the condition of sinful humanity in his sufferings. For indeed, He had made Himself, like us in all things except for sin.”

~St. Arnold of Bonneval

5) St. Bonaventure on the Fifth Word of Christ

Sitio. (I thirst.)

“As our muscles trembled and Your strength waned, then a burning thirst overwhelmed You. This was a thirst born of pure love – a fervent desire for our salvation. With infinite kindness, then did you say: “I thirst!”

~St. Bonaventure
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