Lord Jesus, you were a master teacher through your words and deeds. Give us the humility to draw closer to you, especially through the study of your self-revelation in the Bible. Help us quiet our self-assurance long enough to allow your liberating word to take deeper root in our hearts. We ask this also in the name of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Anthony’s knowledge of the Scriptures and his ability to apply them to daily life led to an assignment from Saint Francis himself: Anthony should go to Bologna and teach Scripture to the young friars.
Francis cautioned that this study should not extinguish the friars’ spirit of prayer and holy devotion. He need not have worried that Anthony might lead the young friars in that direction. Spreading the Good News required zeal, knowledge, and humility. Anthony had all three and would encourage his students to develop the same virtues, yet according to their individual gifts.
Begun in the 11th century, the university in Bologna is Europe’s oldest. The friars’ theology school there was not formally connected with this university in Anthony’s day, but both the Friars Minor and Friars Preacher developed major study centers there. In the 13th century, studying theology meant primarily studying Scripture. Anthony was well qualified to teach young friars how to break open the word of God for the benefit of God’s people.
Is my spiritual life sufficiently rooted in the Scriptures?
In Anthony’s Own Words
“Today Christ stands at the door and knocks in the person of his poor. It is to him that we open when we give aid, when we give ourselves to those in need. For he tells us plainly, ‘Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me’ (Mt 25:40).”