Video – Retreat – 3 of 5 – 3rd & 4th Wings “Journey of the Mind to God”
Fr. James Dominic Rooney, O.P. gives the third of five talks for the retreat on St. Bonaventure's "The Journey of the Mind to God" which relates St. Francis' ascent up Mt. Alverna where he encountered the Crucified Christ to our own journey to God. In this talk Fr. Rooney covers the second pair of wings, the third and fourth wings or steps in the journey to God. Just as this second pair of wings in the six-winged image of Christ that St. Francis saw were outstretched in flight so too these steps are for flight to God after purging from ourselves the vices. This is the illuminative stage. He discusses the roles of memory, intellect, will according to the spiritual doctrine of St. Bonaventure.
- CONF 391
More notes below.
For the other talks in the conference:
E-text of "Journey of the Mind to God" (different translation than Fr. Rooney uses):
Mother of Redeemer Retreat Center:
Rough notes taken during the talk:
Text used in talks: The Works of Bonaventure volume 1 Franciscan Press, Quincy, IL, 1997
3:12 The image of Christ that appeared to St Francis on Mt. Alverna had six wings. First set of wings cover the feet of the Seraph and then the second pair of wings is for flight Second pair of wings is for looking inward to know the Exemplar behind what we see externally going deeper
5:00 Love of ourselves requires knowledge and memory of ourselves Three powers of Soul: Memory, Knowledge, Will - basis of the image of triune God in us.
7:45 Memory is image of Eternity, the Father Personal experience of prayer, moment gets stretched but external time flies nonetheless Knowledge - image of the Son of God. Let's us see the connections between things and to deeper realities.
9:50 The Will - Perceives the good and goes after it. God is the supreme good Money is good though it is rather an intermediate good to get something else should not be an end to itself. Every thought, act of the will is an image of God. These three things (memory, intellect, will) are an image of the trinity
13:05 Chocolate smells good, have experience with it in the past, memory, but then understanding comes from the memory similar to Son proceeding from the Father and then the will desires the goodness presented by intellect. Second Wing goes deeper than image of God in things (first set of wings) Now we see the reality behind image.
15:35 In neuroscience they have no success producing or explaining a conscious "I" that has the ability to look outward. Indicates the mysteriousness of our minds and God. Second wing goes further is not only God's image in us but we being present to God
18:35 Obstacles that stop intellect, memory and will on way to God Attacked by bad desires, concupiscence numbs desire for Spiritual things. Points to the need for silence, retreat Bad desires are those that lead us to eating too much chocolate, for instance.
21:20 Starts with small things and leads to big things, which desensitize us progressively. Comparison to a rocket a small aberration at takeoff leads to a big course deviation and the rocket is destroyed Looking inside is very important. Those on Retreat are usually not caught up in the world, but it is in analogous problem and of course the goal is beyond us. We need Grace
25:50 Grace comes and it changes us. This is sanctifying Grace, God dwelling in our souls. There are three good theological powers or virtues: Faith, hope and charity These restore the three powers of the Soul Faith is like sight, affects intellect Hope is like smell, effects the memory Nearest, love is like taste and touch, effects the will Brings us to Union with God, makes us like Christ.
28:50 God will lift us up only if we are listening and waiting for him Don't worry about which stage we are at. Whatever stage we're at we need to work on all the stages. Need to avoid being tempted to spiritual Pride don't worry about ranking ourselves Extraordinary experiences are not important, but rather the presence of God in our souls
33:50 Forget or extraordinary things but focus on what is the small things as we're in a progress this is where God wants us to think of faith, hope and love, opportunity for progress The sacrament of the present moment Second two wings are for flight to Christ so start looking and fly to low heights then fly to great heights go to the small everyday things and then progress to high great things
37:20 Love of God and neighbor In Christ all three stages of love: purgative, illuminative, unitive The other Wings to prepare for third set of wings that are crossed over the head of Our Lord, the top of Mt. Alverna Exercise: Take some time apart go to a dark place turn off the lights pull the blinds spend 10 minutes in the dark turn it over to God and focus on the crucifix.