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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

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Series: The Classics of Western Spirituality
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr; First 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: #74,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I paged through the reviews & didn't see any comments on the translation, so I thought I'd add some. This is an EXCELLENT translation! I have another older translation of what the translator called The Journey of the Mind to God. (Cousins calls it The Soul's Journey into God.) I could barely make sense of the older translation - very dry & academic. I thought it was pretty awful, even on the second reading. Cousins however is very readable. Further, Cousins uses what he calls sense lines, which transforms some of the prose into poetry. All of a sudden this stuff makes sense!! I can follow it & deeply feel what Bonaventure is saying. The Tree of Life becomes a wonderful meditation & Francis's life bursts into prayer & praise! I had heard good things about Bonaventure & my older translation made me think he was just a heady professor type. This edition has given me a real appreciation for Bonaventure's faith & gifts as a writer.
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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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