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Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francis (The Classics of Western Spirituality) Paperback – January 1, 1978


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Bonaventure: The Soul's Journey into God, the Tree of Life, the Life of St. Francis (The Classics of Western Spirituality) + Pseudo Dionysius: The Complete Works (Classics of Western Spirituality) + Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr; 1St Edition edition (January 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809121212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809121212
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,012 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

36 of 36 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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18 of 19 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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9 of 10 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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4 of 4 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274) was an Italian medieval scholastic theologian and philosopher. The three works (The Soul's Journey into God; The Tree of Life; The Life of St. Francis) collected in this 1978 volume are his best-known books. The Preface notes that 'Soul's Journey' is "a deeply theological and mystical study of man's soaring quest for the Triune God and the steps he must take to arrive at the Good and the Beautiful"; 'Tree' is a quest for "the wisdom to be found in the tree"; and the 'Life' "portrays in vivid colors the inner life of the Seraph of Assisi."

He suggested that "we cannot judge with certainty except in view of the Eternal Art which is the form that not only produced all things but also conserves and distinguishes all things, as the being which sustains the form in all things and the rule which directs all things. Through it our mind judges all things that enter it through the senses." (Pg. 74) He states poetically, "In this passing over, if it is to be perfect, all intellectual activities must be left behind and the height of our affection must be totally transferred and transformed into God." (Pg. 113)

He suggests that Francis called his brother "Brother A__" because "he felt it should be subjected to heavy labor, beaten frequently with whips and fed with the poorest food." (Pg. 222) Concerning the famous Sermon to the Birds, he said, "They all became alert and turned toward him, and those perched in the trees bent their heads as he approached them... saying, 'Oh birds, my brothers, you have a great obligation to praise your Creator, who clothed you in feathers and gave you wings to fly with, provided you with the pure air and cares for you...'" (Pg. 294-295)

This is an attractive edition of these famous works.
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