July 15, 2011

St. Bonaventure and Ideas of Trees

It's kind of a corny story, but I remember one day when I was taking a walk in the Arnold Arboretum and all of a sudden some of St. Bonaventure became clear to me. For his feast day today, I was just thinking through that moment again, and thanking God for the Seraphic Doctor.

I was looking at a tree and I became aware that the tree had the power, through the use of my senses, to introduce an idea of itself into my mind. That the tree should have this power is a vestige of the generation of the Son from the Father.

God the Father, Who is the Fontal Fullness of being, eternally emanates a perfect Idea of Himself; this is the generation of the Son from the Father, the Eternal Word from the Source. According to different degrees of similarity, this primal dynamic of emanation comes to be embedded in everything else that has being. As rational creatures created in the image and likeness of God, we become aware of this in the capacity of existing things to 'process' an idea of themselves into our minds.

Among many other things, that's an insight for which I'm thanking St. Bonaventure today; that we can know and love other creatures precisely because we were created as a footprint of this Primal and Delighted Overflowing called the Blessed Trinity.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Narnia moment of Lucy and trees ...

sam said...

Nice. We celebrated him yesterday -- I wasn't entirely sure why, since the Breviary legend explicitly said his death was on the 15th, but it appears that when he was formally canonized the 15th was taken by one St Henry...

This is probably old news to you, but I was delighted to read the story of how he was found washing dishes when someone brought him the cardinal's hat.

Brother Charles said...

I thought of that story this morning. I came downstairs and was tempted to not empty the dishwasher in favor of having more quiet time before Mass. Then I thought of Bonaventure and the dishes and decided I had better do it.

Greg said...

Ah, the first two stages of the six stages of The Soul's Journey into God. What a rich work that walks us up to union with Christ. Bonaventure served the Franciscan tradition so well in making the mystical path of Francis known.

My talk tomorrow celebrates his work and poses the question of how the New Evangelization can be based upon this mystical path of Francis.

Have a great feast day!

Mark in Spokane said...

Thanks for sharing that reflection. What a beautiful idea.