Writings on the Spiritual Life
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Franciscan Institute Publications
Title Page, Copyright
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This volume contains selected spiritual and theological texts by St. Bonaventure. The texts included are: The Threefold Way, On the Perfection of Life, On Governing the Soul, The Soliloquium: A Dialogue on the Four Spiritual Exercises. An appendix includes four additional texts that provide some important and helpful clarifications on...
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I would like to thank Dr. Girard (Jerry) Etzkorn for his “labor of love” in completing these translations. After many years of dedicated work as a member of the Franciscan Institute’s research team that completed the critical edition of Ockham’s theological and philosophical works as well as began work on the critical edition of...
Introduction: The Journey of the Heart into Wisdom
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In her memoir Ordinary Time, Nancy Mairs describes herself as a “wanton Gospeller.”1 She asserts that her essays are a “search into the ways one woman deals with God’s presence day after day.” Throughout her slim book, Mairs focuses her attention on a few practical questions: “What does it mean to live in the presence...
I: Bonaventure:Disciple, Teacher, Mystical Theologian
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Bonaventure played a significant role in the early development of the Franciscan theological tradition. Given the more extensive treatments of his life, work, and significance within the Order and the Church that are available elsewhere, a few summary observations...
II: The Human Person Made in the image of God ...Called to become a greater likeness to Christ
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In his fifth admonition, Francis of Assisi challenges everyone to “Consider ... in what excellence the Lord God has placed you for [God] created you and formed you to the image of [God’s] beloved Son according to the body, and to [God’s] likeness according to the Spirit.” He concludes the...
III: The Threefold Spiritual Journey into Wisdom
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“In the glory [of heaven],” there is a threefold endowment wherein the gift of wisdom consists “in the possession of eternal peace, in the clear vision of the highest truth, and in the full enjoyment of ultimate goodness or charity.”153 All the saints, holy ones, and...
IV: The Texts in Translation
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This section is divided into three parts. The first section treats in an abbreviated way the challenges of interpreting medieval texts. The second section provides technical information on the methodology used in the preparation of this volume. The third section names some of the...
V: Some Conclusions
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The self-described “wanton Gospeller” Nancy Mairs dared to ask and explore several important questions: “What does it mean to live in the presence of God? Present to God? What responsibilities do I bear for the creation of my life? What choices must I make to sustain it?”260 Posed in her twentieth-century memoirs, these questions are...
The Texts in Translation
The Threefold Way / De triplici via
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The Threefold Way: On Enkindling Love contains Bonaventure’s “most extensive reflections on the human response”1 to grace. In this text, he briefly and concisely unfolds the inner dynamic processes through which a human person is empowered by grace to make...
On the Perfection of Life / De perfectione vitae ad sorores
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Bonaventure wrote On the Perfection of Life Addressed to the Sisters in response to the request of the abbess of the Poor Clares at Longchamps, France, as an instruction “for the sake of devotion” in 1259.1 Apologizing for his “brevity because of the preoccupations” of his other...
On Governing the Soul / De regimine animae
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On Governing the Soul is a brief and tightly argued treatise. It addresses three questions of central importance to individuals who are seeking to live holy lives: namely, Who is God? What does God ask of humankind? How might a person live an authentically...
Soliloquium: A Dialogue on the Four Spiritual Exercises / Soliloquium: De quatuor mentalibus exercitiis
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Bonaventure wrote the Soliloquium: A Dialogue on the Four Spiritual Exercises (1259-1260) while serving as the Minister General of the Order. It contains a series of spiritual exercises which were intended to lead the “devout soul” (anima devota/mens devota) to a...
Prologue: Commentary on Book II of The Sentences / Commentarius in II Librum Sententiarum
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Only this have I found out: God made humankind2 straight, and human beings have entangled themselves in endless questioning.3...
“On The Way of Life” / De Modo Vivendi
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Whoever you are that wish to attain salvation through faith, hope, and love, you must submit yourself to three occupations: namely, to devout prayer, to an honest way of life, and to satisfactory confession, according to what [is written] in Micah: I will show you, O human, what...
“On Holy Saturday” / Sabbato Sancto
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1. At the beginning I say that through these words we are invited to the banquet, to the cross, and to the rest. We are invited to the banquet on Holy Thursday, to the cross on Good Friday. Now we are invited to the rest on this Sabbath of Sabbaths. For whatever was said at the...
“The Monday After Palm Sunday” / Feria Secunda Post Dominicam in Palmis
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1. In this passage the way of our salvation is morally designed for us by three points, that is, with regard to the righteousness of the journey where the text reads: Six days before. With regard to the benefit of the goal where the text says: Passover. With regard to the wisdom of the...
Page Count: 450
Publication Year: 2006
Volume Title: Volume 10
Series Title: Works of St. Bonaventure
Series Editor Byline: Robert J. Karris, O.F.M.