The Mind's Road to God by St Bonaventure

By St Bonaventure

Prologue 1. to start with, the 1st precept from Whom all illumination descends as from the daddy of sunshine, by means of Whom are given the entire most sensible and ideal presents (James, 1:17), the everlasting Father do I name upon via His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that by way of the intercession of the main holy Virgin Mary, mom of God Himself and of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and of the blessed Francis, our father and chief, He could enlighten the eyes of our brain to lead our ft into the way in which of that peace “which surpasses all realizing” (Eph., 1:17; Luke, 1:79; Phil., 4:7), which peace our Lord Jesus Christ has introduced and given to us; which lesson our father Francis continuously taught, in all of whose preaching used to be the annunciation of peace either initially and finally, wishing for peace in each greeting, longing for ecstatic peace in each second of contemplation, as a citizen of that Jerusalem of which that guy of peace acknowledged, with those who hated peace he was once peaceful (Ps., 119:7), “Pray ye for the issues which are for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps., 121:6). For he knew that the throne of Solomon used to be nowise shop in peace, because it is written, “His position is in peace and His homestead in Sion” (Ps., 75:3). 2. for the reason that, then, following the instance of the main blessed father Francis, I breathlessly sought this peace, I, a sinner, who've succeeded to where of that almost all blessed father after his loss of life, the 7th Minister common of the brothers, notwithstanding in all methods unworthy--it occurred that by way of the divine will within the thirty-third 12 months after the dying of that blessed guy I ascended to Mount Alverna as to a quiet position, with the will of looking religious peace; and staying there, whereas I pondered at the ascent of the brain to God, among different issues there happened that miracle which occurred within the comparable position to the blessed Francis himself, the imaginative and prescient specifically of the winged Seraph within the likeness of the Crucified. whereas taking a look upon this imaginative and prescient, I instantly observed that it signified the suspension of our father himself in contemplation and how during which he got here to it. three. For through these six wings are rightly to be understood the six levels of illumination during which the soul, as though by means of steps or innovative activities, used to be disposed to move into peace by means of ecstatic elevations of Christian knowledge. the way in which, despite the fact that, is simply throughout the such a lot burning love of the Crucified, Who so reworked Paul, “caught up into the 3rd heaven” (II Cor., 12:2), into Christ, that he acknowledged, “With Christ i'm nailed to the move, but I reside, not I, yet Christ liveth in me” (Gal., 2:19); who accordingly so absorbed the brain of Francis that his soul was once appear in his flesh and he bore the main holy stigmata of the fervour in his physique for 2 years prior to his loss of life. for that reason the emblem of the six-winged Seraph indicates the six levels of illumination, which commence with God’s creatures and lead as much as God, to Whom not anyone can input adequately retailer throughout the Crucified. For he who doesn't input by way of the door yet in a different way, he's a thief and a robber (John, 10:1). but when an individual does input by way of this door, he shall pass in and exit and shall locate pastures (John 9). due to this John says in his Apocalypse (22:14), “Blessed are they that wash their gowns within the blood of the Lamb, that they could have a correct to the Tree of lifestyles and will input in by means of the gates into the City”; as though he have been to assert that one can't input into the heavenly Jerusalem via contemplation except one input during the blood of the Lamb as via a gate.

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Thus, lying totally in this sensible world, it cannot return to itself as to the image of God. 2. And since, when anyone lies fallen, he must remain there prostrate unless someone give a helping hand and he falls in order to rise again [Isaiah, 24, 20], our soul has not been able to be raised perfectly from the things of sense to an intuition of itself and of the eternal Truth in itself unless the Truth, having assumed human form in Christ, should make itself into a ladder, repairing the first ladder which was broken in Adam.

3] From all of which God is seen to be all in all through the contemplation of Him in the minds in which He dwells through the gifts of His overflowing Charity. 5. For this grade of contemplation there is especially and outstandingly added as a support the consideration of Holy Scripture divinely issued, as philosophy was added to the preceding. For Holy Scripture is principally concerned with the works of reparation. Wherefore it especially deals with faith, hope, and charity, by which the soul is reformed, and most of all with charity.

Marvelous then is the blindness of the intellect which does not consider that which is its primary object and without which it can know nothing. But just as the eye intent upon the various differences of the colors does not see the light by which it sees the other things 35 and, if it sees it, does not notice it, so the mind's eye, intent upon particular and universal beings, does not notice Being itself, which is beyond all genera, though that comes first before the mind and through it all other things.

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