Thursday, August 25, 2011

Feast of St. Bonaventure

Friday, July 15, 2011
Feast of St. Bonaventure

On this feast of St. Bonaventure, great Franciscan mystic, and doctor of the Church, I would like to share an excerpt from one of his many writings, “The Journey of the Mind to God”. This piece is especially interesting, for although Bonaventure was an eminent scholar, he gives the primacy not to the intellectual knowledge of God, but to the loving relationship with God in mystical union.

Speaking of contemplation, St. Bonaventure writes: “It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrenders himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to it unless he longs for it; nor can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent into the world, should come and inflame his innermost soul. Hence the Apostle says that this mystical wisdom is revealed by the Holy Spirit. If you ask how such things can occur, seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine; in the longing of will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love. The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardor of his loving passion.

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