Minute Meditations

Divine Beyond the Mind

Woman looking beyond through telescope

Bonaventure and Francis each came to La Verna with aching hearts and heavy minds. Anxious over the future of the Franciscan Order as its rapid growth continued to create organizational headaches, Bonaventure carried the weight and fear of institutional collapse when he made a retreat to La Verna and commented that he was “panting after peace.” Francis, in his final visit to La Verna, arrived in a similar inner state. As the order organically grew beyond Francis’ control, he became anxious over its future as he neared the end of his life. It was during this time at La Verna that Francis is said to have received the stigmata, which he hid from his brothers until he died. Bonaventure, too, emerged from La Verna with a “thorn in his flesh,” accepting the future of the order as his own responsibility. 

Franciscan spirituality has a visceral and experiential dimension that the study of theology sometimes lacks. For Francis and Bonaventure, theology was not meant to remain in the head as ideas, where I often like to keep them. For them, the heart and senses became conduits for experiencing the divine beyond the mind.

—from St. Anthony Messenger‘s “Let Us Pray: Panting After Peace in Prayer
by Stephen Copeland

St. Anthony Messenger | Franciscan Media

Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter

Includes Saint of the Day, Minute Meditations, and Pause + Pray.