Many / One

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A Retreat With St. Bonaventure
Leonard J. Bowman
A step by step consideration of St. Bonaventure's two major contemplative works, 'The Soul's Journey Into God', and 'The Tree of Life'.

1 "Yet among all the differences and out of all the gaps of undersanding and through all the failures in communication there emerges, right in our bodily awareness, a universal truth beyond words. That truth makes possible all our efforts and promises to redeem all our failures."

2 "We are called to be the voice by which the earth praises God."

3 "Look within, and you will see that your soul loves itself dearly because it knows itself."

4 "Everything is bound together by strands of destiny which draw toward unity with God."

5 "Everything within us and around us is from God, reflects God, and is called to God."

6 "Like a spiritual seed, the yearning for God impregnates every level of being in the universe. As if in labor, elements combine ever more richly. Life emerges to reach by unfolding branch or unfurling wing, ever higher toward awareness. Humankind arrive to gather the longing of creation into yearning, then recognition, then praise."

7 "I have heard, and I believe, that this wide universe of many layers is the design of God, and that this history of many ages forgotten and to come catches us up all together into the plan of God. This little place of ours is here within the design of God, caught up with all humankind in the plan of God."

8 "We are to work steadily and softly to plant in our lives the values of the Kingdom: the integrity of the earth; the dignity of human persons in body, in mind, in spirit and in community; justice; wisdom; peace."

9 "St. Bonaventure taught that all the fields of knowledge were interrelated as aspects of humanity's earthly journey back to God."

10 "Can you sense the gift in what you gaze upon? Do you notice that our minds silently reach from this gift toward one who gives?"

11 "Steadfast love is at the core of God's self-giving."

12 "We have no claim to pass judgment on others….we know well that anger at wrongs must be transformed into shared pain at common suffering, and into resolve toward change…Conflict must be transformed into creative, cooperative peace."

13 "Revelation occurs when persons recognize God in and through his expressions and respond in wonder and love."

14 "The dark mystery of God beyond every thing, the mystery that transcends our words, our images, and time itself – that mystery is happening here and now, constantly, in every detail of our ordinariness. The radiant mystery of God sending himself forth and embracing us, catching us up in the way of realization, and returning us to himself – this mystery is AT PLAY among us, in our sharings and our follies at every moment."

15 "God strengthens, but draws forth our own last bit of strength. God guides, but we think we're wandering blindly."

16 "Everything begins with God as fountain-fullness, out of goodness overflowing first to perfect expression, the Word, and then through the Word exploding outward into a numberless variety of creatures."

17 "If we do not forget to be astonished and grateful and alert, perhaps we can come to recognize the power of God presenting the world to us, the wisdom of God sustaining it, the goodness of God in the overflow of beauty within ordinary, practical things."

18 "It is God who acts always, acts close, acts within us and through us in spite of ourselves."

19 "God is one; all God's creation is one; and we are to be at one in our journey of love into God."

20 "After all, that yearning call of God is there within every person. The destiny and adventure of the journey is there as well."

21 "That fundamental reach to God is the constant in the variety of our perceptions."

22 "The whole point of human existence is to recognize the power, wisdom and goodness of God in all creation, and to be led back through all creatures to contemplative union with God."

23 "After all, it is God who acts. It is the whirlwind of his saving power that we find ourselves caught up in, embraced by."

This body of quotes compiled by JoAnn Kite