Video – Retreat – 5 of 5 – The Summit with Francis “Journey of the Mind to God”

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Ave Maria!

At the Summit of Mt. Alverna with St. Francis and Christ. Fr. James Dominic Rooney, O.P. gives the last 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 we reach the summit of our journey up the mountain where we too encounter Christ. He compares this to our encounter with the Eucharist during holy mass which, here at the retreat center, is also held on top of a small mountain (hill). He gives three points we should think about in front of the Eucharist:

  1. On return from the mountain, bring it with us

  2. Spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go

  3. Live in eternity

- CONF 393

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:

Talk 5 - At the Summit with Francis Summary of whole book Reads from Journey of the Mind to God: To God not through the traces of him in the created world but through a progressive transcending beyond the world and even ourselves to God Himself as Francis did on Mt. Alverna. We need to desire this closeness to God. Need grace not intellect, need to rest in God

7:05 At the summit we find Christ alone. Our aim has been all along Love, beyond our reasoning and consolation, we find God in himself. We don't leave behind created things, but see them in a different light, but how? Even great Saints need to work hard on avoiding small sins. On top of the hill (here at Bloomington the chapel is on a hill) we will find Christ crucified in the Eucharist. There are three points we should think about when we were there in front of the Eucharist:

  1. On our return bring the mountain with us

  2. Spread the fragrance of Christ

  3. Live in eternity

10:50 #1. When we come back down the mountain we need to bring the mountain with us St. Francis was changed imprinted with the stigmata during his encounter with Christ on Mt. Alverna. We too must be changed and bring that with us by making some good resolutions. Should often recall what we have experience here on Retreat. Have an icon corner in our house where we pray together as a family.

13:20 One resolution we should have is to pray every day and recall the fruits of this retreat and to do things that we have not done enough of so far in life of faith.

15:05 End of retreat is also a good time to leave behind unhealthy spiritual practices that just add clutter like extraneous devotions and private revelations. Keep it simple and doable.

19:23 #2 Think about how we will spread the fragrance of Christ wherever we go.

Friars live like monks but live in the city and preach in the city and teach.

St. Thomas: It is better to illuminate others than to simply shine. Share with others. Via an apostolate or something

St. Francis: preach always and sometimes use words. He often preached by example. But if your job is preaching, you should preach and use words well or at least refer people to someone who can.

23:40 Must always include good deeds, practicing the faith regarding other people, rather than merely doing the interior life.

Bonaventure: to go inwards is to go upward Pray for others

#3 to live in eternity

25:15 To live in eternity which means to live in the now with Christ. Become changed by God like St. Francis after Mt. Alverna as best we can. Use a short prayer to recollect our souls and bring us into the presence of God. Just having a Rosary in our pocket is a great way of reminding us of God's presence. Recalling a phrase that brings to mind key points needed to be reminded of in our spiritual life.

29:45 Summary points:

  1. On our return bring the mountain with us

  2. Spread the fragrance of Christ

  3. Live in eternity

Exercise: On the way up to Mass here at the retreat center walk up the hill and meditate. At each Station of the Cross on the pathway stop and recall the three points and think of some place in your life where you or someone you know needs some light, then entrust your problems to him.

32:20 Question from attendee: How does Buddhism differ from Christianity? A: Buddhists are very different, based on idea of saying that existence does not really exist. Catholic Mystics tend to rest with God, which is different from conversation, but it is also different from Buddhist meditation.


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