15th July. St. Bonaventure

Bonaventure is one of those saints who were so important in the Church yet have fallen out of sight today. Yet he knew what it was to be totally given to and inspired, fired up, by the Holy Spirit. He was head of the Franciscan Order at a time when it was one of the most important religious bodies in the Church. But it was in his writings that he had an effect. He was a philosopher who, as Wikipedia will tell you, managed to bring together rational understanding and what it was to achieve a mystical union with God. For him philosophy served theology. In his writings his passion for Christ pours out in a way it would not for most philosophers, even perhaps compared to his contemporary Thomas Aquinas. In the writing that we are offered today in the daily readings from ‘The Journey to the Mind of God’ he says: ‘Christ is the way, Christ is the door…set aside all discursive operations of the intellect…turn your soul to God and we can be entirely transformed in him…No one desires it but he/she who is deeply penetrated by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the fire Christ sent on earth…to understand how this happens ask not of learning but of grace, not of understanding but desire, not of attentive reading but of earnest prayer…This fire is God himself, and Christ kindles it with all the burning fervour of his passion.’

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