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Bonaventure (Classics of Western Spirituality) Paperback – January 1, 1978


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Product Details

  • Series: Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809121212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809121212
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Paulist Press 60-volume series on the Western mystics is to my mind the most hopeful sign in American publishing. -- Kenneth L. Woodward
Religion Editor of Newsweek Magazine
in Publishers Weekly

Language Notes

Text: English, Latin (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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St Francis encounters us and bids us leave all to follow and love Christ.
Christian review
The Life of St Francis is a work of hagiography on that great saint who was the founder of Bonaventure's order.
Greg
This book touched me deeply and led me to a greater understanding of God's grace through Jesus Christ.
Christiana Washington

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Christian review on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a spiritual gold mine for all people seeking to see God in Jesus Christ as well as those from any and every background who seek the Truth.

St Bonaventure (1217 - 1274) is a doctor of the Catholic Church, lover of Christ, mystic and near contemporary of his spiritual father, St Francis of Assisi.

The book's first work, "The Soul's Journey into God", is an account of how to encounter God through creation, the soul, and reflecting on God's attributes of Perfect Being and Perfect Goodness. These encounters are treated in 6 steps leading us to the 7th and final step of the soul's spiritual rapture into the Holy Trinity.

Bonaventure cries out to us to leave behind all thoughts and desires and abandon our lives to Christ. Progressing through love, prayer and gazing on God we will see and know The Persons of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in this life and in the life to come.

The second work, "The Tree of Life", is a spiritual account of the central events of Jesus' Life: His Hidden Life, Ministry, Passion, Death, Resurrection, Ascencion and Glorification. It is a profoundly beautiful and poetic work. Bonaventure calls us to be crucified in Christ and to live anew in Him through sharing in His Virtues.

The final work, "The Life of St Francis", is a spiritual biography of the little poor man of Christ. St Francis encounters us and bids us leave all to follow and love Christ. Bonaventure shows us that we must, like St Francis, die in Christ and reproduce His Virtues in our own lives. It is a dynamic and powerful work.

This book will appeal to all people especially those pursuing the vision of God in Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual treasure for all.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book comprises much of the great Saints works, and gives readers a glimpse at the different topics the Saint dealt with. I found the Tree Of Life section very deep and mystical, and explains how to have an intimate prayer relationship to God. Excellent overall book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Christiana Washington on November 5, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book touched me deeply and led me to a greater understanding of God's grace through Jesus Christ. I found myself unable to put it down even when I was very tired! A true classic!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Greg on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
St Bonaventure was one of the greatest mystics of the medieval period. This edition includes his classic work 'The Journey of the Soul into God', the 'Tree of Life', and 'the Life of St Francis.'

Bonaventure was a Franciscan mystic and theologian. He had a very positive view of the material cosmos and the figure of the cosmic christ occurs strongly through his mysticism. For Bonaventure, there are two ways we know God; the book of nature, and the book of scriptures. Through these two paths and then by looking inwards into ourselves at our image created by God, we encounter God's prescence at the heart of our very being, a journey which is deeply Augustinian in its origins.

The Tree of Life is an examination of the logos of Christ, in both his passion and his cosmic role. The Life of St Francis is a work of hagiography on that great saint who was the founder of Bonaventure's order.

Bonaventure is very much an aesthetic theologian. He is deeply appreciative of the beauty of the world, of Christ, and of God. He sees the world and ourselves as 'God's work of art', to be cherished and loved for what they are, God's good creations. Such a positive view should be welcomed by any Christian spirituality today, when our world is faced with environmental problems of considerable magnitude.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen VINE VOICE on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
"Bonaventure" provides a brief biography of its subject, the Franciscan scholar and Minister General, followed by three of his most important works. The works included are "The Soul's Journey Into God", "The Tree of Life" and "The Life of St. Francis." The first two invite the reader to meditate on the mysteries of God and to be drawn more deeply into them. The Life is a cross between a biography and a Gospel. It contains many factual details but also conveys the deep spirituality of St. Francis.

The parts of this book which I enjoyed the most were the biographical information of St. Bonaventure and "The Life of St. Francis". I think that the editors did an excellent job of relating the spirituality of Francis to the work of Bonaventure. Based on my reading of this book I believe that Bonaventure saw himself largely as an interpreter of St. Francis' spirituality to the world. For that alone it is worth reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Frysword on October 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
Bonaventure was the spiritual heir of St. Francis of Assisi. Bonaventure was known as the Devout Teacher, or by his later name, the Seraphic Doctor. The Classics of Western Spirituality series tries to give a glimpse of the thought of its individuals by choosing select and often abridged writings. The editor wanted to give a selection of Bonaventure's writings that showed his Franciscan spirituality (xx). The three writings chosen were The Soul's Journey into God, The Tree of Life and The Life of St. Francis.

The Soul's Journey into God is a classical medieval, mystical treatise on how the soul attains its vision of God through the mystical path via purgation, illumination and union. It primarily sees Christ in his glorified state. This was written, according to Bonaventure due to his receiving a similar vision that Francis received of a six-winged Seraph on Mount La Verna in Tuscany. It was the place where Francis was reported to have received his stigmata after his vision. This isn't just a mystical treatise. It shows Bonaventure's medieval theology and philosophy. He draws from the Pseudo-Dionysius, and there are traces of Anselmian and (imo - though not mentioned by the editors) Abelardian thought.

The Tree of Life is a meditation on Christ's human life as portrayed in the Gospels. But it's purpose is devotional as well. It seeks to show how the person can carry about the cross of Christ in a manner so dedicated that it will become part of him. Bonaventure seeks the mortar for this spiritual brick-laying within the Gospels. Here, he asks us to "Picture in your mind a tree whose roots are watered by an ever-flowing fountain that becomes a great and living river with four channels to water the garden of the entire Church.
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