|St. Francis of Assisi by Nancy Earle, SMIC.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Feast of the Guardian Angels
St. Bonaventure and John Duns Scotus observed what St. Francis was seeing and doing, and took it to the universities of Paris, Cologne, and Oxford where they translated it into a systematic philosophy and theology. God, for them as intellectuals, was not just “out there” but just as much “in here”—the transcendent was also within. Grace is inherent to creation from the first Chapter of Genesis (1:1-2). Grace is not something you invite into the world but something you discover already in the world.
This is why Franciscanism normally had no trouble with evolutionary thinking. Bonaventure wrote The Tree of Life and The Soul's Journey into God—images of growth and development from within while basking in the sunshine from without. Duns Scotus taught “the univocity of all being,” in other words, that we could use the word “being” with one consistent voice—for the natural world, animals, humans, angels, and God. Then he further taught that each act of creation is absolutely chosen, free, and unique in the universe (his doctrine of haecceity). Both St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus created an entire philosophical system out of Francis’ uneducated, but intuitive, genius.
From an unpublished talk in Assisi, Italy, May 2012
For more on Franciscan Mysticism, consider
Great Chain of Being: Simplifying Our Lives (CD/DVD/MP3)
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.