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A Point on the Way to Beatitude

Today is the Franciscan feast of St. Bonaventure.  I was really hit by the selection chosen by the bishops for the office of readings so I figured I’d share it with you.

“Christ is both the way and the door.  Christ is the staircase and the vehicle, like the throne of mercy over the Ark of the Covenant, and the mystery hidden from the ages.  A man should turn his full attention to this throne o mercy, and should gaze at him hanging on the cross, full of faith, hope, and charity, devoted, full of wonder and joy, marked by gratitude, and open to praise and jubilation.  Then such a man will make with Christ a pasch, that is, a passing-over.  Through the branches of the cross he will pass over the Red Sea, leaving Egypt and entering the desert.  There he will taste the hidden manna, and rest with Christ in the sepulchre, as if he were dead to thing outside.  He will experience, as much as is possible for on who is still living, what was promised to the thief who hung beside Christ: Today you will be with me in paradise.
For this passover to be perfect, we must suspend all the operation of the mind and we must transform the peak of our affection, directing them to God alone.  This is a sacred mystical experience.  It cannot be comprehended by anyone unless he surrender himself to it; nor can he surrender himself to it unless he longs for it; not can he long for it unless the Holy Spirit, who Christ sent into the world, should 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 the teacher; God and not man; darkness not daylight; and look not to the light by rather to the raging fire tat carries the soul to God with intense fervour and glowing love.  The fire is God, and the furnace is in Jerusalem, fired by Christ in the ardour 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 is certainly true that: No man can look upon me and live.
Let us die, then, and enter into the darkness, silencing our anxieties, our passion and all the fantasies of our imagination.  Let us pass over with the crucified Christ 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 forever, and let all the people say: Amen.  Amen!
from The Journey of the Mind to God by St. Bonaventure
About Fr. Kyle

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. I was born and raised right outside New Orleans. I attended Catholic school my entire educational career. By the time I graduated high school, I had two paths to choose: rockstar or priesthood. I pursued both for awhile but eventually came to the understanding God's will was priesthood and my will was rockstardom. After making that decision, to allow God's will to be mine, I needed a new way to channel my creativity. I began writing as I finished up my formation for priesthood. I still play music, but priestly ministry comes first. My bride: St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Harahan, LA.

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