Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Posted,  July 22, 2017


From  St. Bonaventure, Early Franciscan, Doctor of the Church, Cardinal-Bishop:

For this passover [pasch] to be perfect, we must suspend all the operations of the mind and we must transform them pack to our affection, directing them to God alone.  This is a sacred mystical experience.  It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrenders himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to is unless he longs for it; nor can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, whom Christ sent into the world, would 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 the will, not in the understanding; in the sighs of prayer, not in research; seek the bridegroom not in 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.  Only he understood this who said: My soul chose hanging and my bones death.  Anyone who cherishes this kind of death can see God, for it certainly true that:  No man can look upon me and live.

Let us die then, and enter into the darkness, silencing our anxieties, our passions, and all the fantasies of our imagination.  Let us pass over with the crucified Christ [the pasch] from this world to the Father, so that, when the Father has shown himself to us, we can say with Philip: It is enough.  We may hear with Paul: My grace is sufficient for you; and we can rejoice with David, saying, My flesh and my heart fail me, but God is the strength of my heart and my heritage for ever.  Blessed be the Lord for ever, and let all the people say: Amen. Amen!

--St. Bonaventure, from The Journey of the Mind to God, as quoted in the Second Reading for Office of Readings, Liturgy of the Hours, Commemoration of St. Bonaventure

Previous Post:

The mystery of the Divine Life … bears in itself the fundamental reason and value of the Divine Office [the Sacred Liturgy of the Church].

“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among. us” …but never let us forget the truth that we sing at Christmastide: What He was remains; what He was not, He assumes.”

In taking a human nature, the Divine Word is not lessened; He remains what He is –the Eternal word, and consequently He remains the infinite glorification of His Father.

However, as He has united a human nature to Himself, in the unity of His Divine Person, this Sacred Humanity enters, through the Word, into participation of the work of glorification.

Christ’s Humanity is like the temple where the Word sings the Divine canticle which glorifies the Father; or rather the Sacred Humanity is carried along in the current of divine life.  Did not the Word Incarnate, Christ Jesus say: “I live by the Father.” ….

When Christ prayed, when he recited the Psalms, when, as the Gospel says, He spent the night in prayer, these were the human accents of a God; of an absolute simplicity in eternity, the canticle of the Word was multiplied, detailed upon the lips of His Manhood. 

Thus this same canticle which, from all eternity, the Word causes to resound in the sanctuary of the Godhead, was prolonged and sung upon earth when the Word became incarnate.

--Blessed Dom Marmion, Christ the Ideal of the Monk, London, Sands and Co. 1926.  Pp. 295 – 296.



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