Saint Bonaventure Saint Francis (1182-1226) Francis was able to initiate a movement of appreciation for the humanity of Christ and a love for nature that would come to full flower during the Renaissance. Bonaventure (1217-1274) “He was a professor at the University of Paris, minister general of the Franciscans, and a cardinal who played a major role in the spiritual ferment of the high Middle Ages.” Assisi, Italy “Bonaventure achieved for spirituality what Thomas Aquinas did for theology and Dante for medieval culture as a whole.” Assisi, Italy “Bonaventure creates a type of summa, for he draws together into a comprehensive synthesis major strands of Christian spirituality.” Assisi, Italy In order that passion does not turn into mere sentimentality it needs to be balanced by a rigorous intellectual life. Learning must go hand in hand with love. Francis with Animals “Francis called all creatures by the name of brother or sister, because he knew they all had the same source as himself.” Meditation of Nature Just as words can point to concepts and maps can give a picture of a territory, so visible nature makes manifest the invisible creator. Francis and Clare “See, therefore, how close the soul is to God, and how, in their operations, the memory leads to eternity, the understanding to truth, and the power of choice to the highest good.” Francis Receives Stigmata Mystical ecstasy is like a fire that consumes what it comes into contact with until whatever it is burning becomes itself fire. Skepticism and Relativism Is this the end of the road or is there a new unified field theory waiting to be discovered, some container in which we can see once again the patterns that connect?
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