March 16, 2011

Brother Bonaventure to the Nurse's Office Please

Cleanliness is a common point of tension and contention in religious life. The brothers tend to have divergent ideas about what constitutes its ordinary standards, on both the personal and domestic levels.

But let us give thanks that, apparently, Franciscan life is a little cleaner than it used to be. Consider, for example, this lovely counter-example used by St. Bonaventure in his discussion of the relations of the Trinity:

Homo enim dicitur generare pediculos, non tamen dicitur pater eorum.

"A man is said to generate lice, though he is not said to be their father."

(From his commentary on The Sentences, 1, 27, 1, 1)


Teresa said...

The lice part would give me the fortitude to clean in order to avoid getting lice. That is a weird quote.

Paul A. Zalonski said...

I hope the friars are scrubbing all over the place with soap and hot water these days.

Brother Charles said...

Every Saturday, whether I need it or not.