Love goes farther than reason in understanding God, Pope Benedict says

.- Under a clear blue sky and on a perfect spring day, Pope Benedict XVI hosted the faithful and pilgrims in the open air of St. Peter’s Square for today’s audience. The teachings of the Holy Father’s catechesis once again centered on the figure of St. Bonaventure, with the Pope highlighting the saint's belief that love surpasses reason in entering "more profoundly into the mystery of God.”

Summarizing some of the work of the two saints, the Pope said that these two 13th century theologians “define differently the ultimate destination of man (which is) his full happiness.”

The Pope said that for the “great thinker” St. Thomas, the “supreme end” was “to see God.”

“In this simple act of seeing God,” the Pope explained about the Dominican’s perspective, “solutions to all problems are found: we are happy, nothing else is necessary.”

For St. Bonaventure, on the other hand, “the ultimate destiny of man is to love God,” said the Holy Father.

“This is for him the most adequate definition of our happiness.”

In pursuing the line of these perspectives, said the Pope, “we could also say that the highest category for St. Thomas is the truth, while for St. Bonaventure it is the good.”

However, he added, “it would be wrong to see in these two responses a contradiction. For both, the truth is also the good, and the good is also the truth; seeing God is loving and loving is seeing.

“It’s about different emphases of a fundamentally common decision. Both emphases have formed distinct traditions and distinct spiritualities and so have shown the fecundity of the faith, one in the diversity of their expressions.”

Further explaining the roots of the theology and thought of St. Bonaventure, the Holy Father illustrated the mystic influence on him from the teachings of the 6th century Syrian theologian, so-called "Pseudo-Dionysius." Through his writings, taught the Pope, the saint saw that "love extends beyond reason, it sees more, enters more profoundly into the mystery of God.”

The Pope said that St. Bonaventure was "fascinated" by the idea that love still has sight in the “dark night of the Cross all the greatness of divine love appears: where reason no longer sees, love does. ... This is not anti-intellectual or anti-rational; it accepts the path of reason but transcends it in the love of the crucified Christ.”

"With this transformation of the mysticism of Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Bonaventure put himself at the beginning of a great mystic current, that elevated and purified the human mind greatly: it is a summit in the story of the human spirit," observed the Pope.

In addition to this "theology of the Cross," said the Holy Father, we should not forget that the saint shared the love for creation and joy over the beauty of the creation of God that characterized St. Francis.

In St. Bonaventure's view, said the Pope, all of creation speaks of the "good and beautiful God, of his love," and our lives on Earth are a "pilgrimage - a 'climb' towards God."

At the conclusion of the audience, Pope Benedict XVI met with representatives of the city of Romano Canavese, hometown of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, who conferred honorary citizenship upon him. The Holy Father visited their city in July of last year.

Wednesday’s general audience marked the first time this year that it has been held outdoors.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: