The Journey of the Soul into God
Itinerarium Mentis in Deum
Publication Year: 2002
Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications
Table of Contents
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The year 2001 marked the first centenary of the birth of Fr. Philotheus Boehner, O.F.M. Born in Lichtenau, Germany. Fr. Philotheus was a member of the Province of Saxony who came to Canada and then to the United States where he worked as one of the founding members of the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure’s College (now University) in New York. ...
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There are few writings of Saint Bonaventure so deeply impregnated with the spirit of Saint Francis as is the Itinerarium Mentis in Deum. In his great theological writings, the Seraphic Doctor is bound by the fetters of scholastic method and tradition. These allow little freedom to the seraphic spirit ...
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In the beginning1 I call upon that First Beginning from whom all illumination flows as from the God of lights,2 and from whom comes every good and perfect gift. I call upon the eternal Father through the divine Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that through the intercession of the most holy virgin Mary, ...
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Chapter 1 - The Steps of the Ascent into God and Speculation on God Through the Vestiges in the Universe
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Blessed are those1 whose help comes from you. In their hearts they are prepared to ascend by steps in the valley of tears, in the place which they have set. Since happiness is nothing other than the enjoyment of the highest good, and since the highest good is above us, we cannot find happiness without rising above ourselves, ...
Chapter 2 - The Speculation on God in the Vestiges in the Sensible World
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With respect to the mirror of sensible things, it is possible that God might be contemplated not only through them, but also in them in as far as God is present in them by essence, power, and presence. And this way of reflecting is higher than the previous one. ...
Chapter 3 - The Speculation on God Through the Image Imprinted in Our Natural Powers
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The two preceding steps, which have led us to God by means of the vestiges through which God shines forth in every creature, have brought us to a point where we can enter again1 into ourselves, that is, into the mind itself in which the divine image shines forth. Therefore, in this third stage, as we leave the outer court and enter into ourselves, ...
Chapter 4 - The Speculation on God in the Image Reformed by the Gifts of Grace
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Since the First Principle can be contemplated not only through ourselves while we are on the way, but also in ourselves; and since the latter is more excellent than the former, this kind of consideration stands at the fourth stage of contemplation. After it has been shown that God is so close to our souls, ...
Chapter 5 - Speculation on the Divine Unity Through God's Primary Name, Which is Being
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It is possible to contemplate God not only outside ourselves and inside ourselves but also above ourselves. Outside ourselves this is done through the vestiges; inside ourselves by the image; and above ourselves by the light that shines on our mind. This is the light of the eternal truth itself, since “the mind itself is formed immediately by truth itself.” ...
Chapter 6 - Speculation on the Most Blessed Trinity in its Name, Which is the Good
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After our consideration of the essential attributes of God, the eye of intelligence must be raised to the contuition of the most blessed Trinity so that the second Cherub might be placed across from the first. Just as being itself is the foundational principle and the name through which the essential attributes come to be known, ...
Chapter 7 - The Mystical Transport of the Mind in Which Rest is Given to the Intellect and through Ecstasy our Affections Passes over Totally into God
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We have covered these six considerations, comparing them to the six steps by which one ascends to the throne of the true Solomon where the mind finds peace. It is here that the true person of peace rests in the quiet of the mind as in an interior Jerusalem. They are also compared to the six wings of the Cherubim ...
Notes and Commentary
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In principio primum principium, a quo cunctae illuminationes descendunt tanquam a Patre luminum, a quo est omne datum optimum et omne donum perfectum,1 Patrem scilicet aeternum, invoco per Filium eius, Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, ut intercessione sanctissimae Virginis Mariae, ...
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Beatus vir, cuius est auxilium abs te, ascensiones in corde suo disposuit in valle lacrymarum, in loco, quem posuit.1 Cum beatitudo nihil aliud sit, quam summi boni fruitio; et summum bonum sit supra nos: nullus potest effici beatus, nisi supra semetipsum ascendat, non ascensu corporali, sed cordiali. ...
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Sed quoniam circa speculum sensibilium non solum contingit contemplari Deum per ipsa tanquam per vestigia, verum etiam in ipsis, in quantum est in eis per essentiam, potentiam et praesentiam; et hoc considerare est altius quam praecedens: ideo huiusmodi consideratio secundum tenet locum tanquam secundus contemplationis gradus, ...
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Quoniam autem duo gradus praedicti, ducendo nos in Deum per vestigia sua, per quae in cunctis creaturis relucet, manuduxerunt nos usque ad hoc, ut ad nos reintraremus, in mentem scilicet nostram, in qua divina relucet imago; hinc est quod iam in tertio loco, ad nosmetipsos intrantes et quasi atrium forinsecus relinquentes, ...
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Sed quoniam non solum per nos transeundo, verum etiam in nobis contingit contemplari primum principium; et hoc maius est quam praecedens: ideo hic modus considerandi quartum obtinet contemplationis gradum. Mirum autem videtur, cum ostensum sit, quod Deus sit ita propinquus mentibus nostris, quod tam paucorum est in se ipsis primum principium speculari. ...
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Quoniam autem contingit contemplari Deum non solum extra nos et intra nos, verum etiam supra nos: extra per vestigium, intra per imaginem, et supra per lumen, quod est signatum supra mentem nostram,1 quod est lumen Veritatis aeternae, cum “ipsa mens nostra immediate ab ipsa Veritate formetur;”2 ...
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Post considerationem essentialium elevandus est oculus intelligentiae ad contuitionem beatissimae Trinitatis, ut alter Cherub iuxta alterum statuatur.1 Sicut autem visionis essentialium ipsum esse est principium radicale et nomen, per quod cetera innotescunt; sic contemplationis emanationum ipsum bonum est principalissimum fundamentum. ...
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His igitur sex considerationibus excursis tanquam sex gradibus throni veri Salomonis, quibus pervenitur ad pacem, ubi verus pacificus in mente pacifica tanquam in interiori Hierosolyma requiescit; tanquam etiam sex alis Cherub, quibus mens veri contemplativi plena illustratione supernae sapientiae valeat sursum agi; ...
Page Count: 240
Publication Year: 2002
Volume Title: Volume II
Series Title: Works of St. Bonaventure
Series Editor Byline: Edited by Philotheus Boehner, OFM and Zachary Hayes, OFM