The Church celebrates the Feast of St. Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor on July 15 with a beautiful selection in the Office of Readings from his book The Journey of the Mind to God; a treatise about the ascent of the soul to the Lord. St. Bonaventure describes this ascent, this longing for the Lord as something that is possible only with the assistance of the Lord himself. The key to unlocking this flood of grace – of divine assistance, is prayer.  St. Bonaventure tells us, “This divine aid is available for all who seek it with a truly humble and devout heart, that is by sighing for it in this vale of tears by fervent prayer. Prayer is the mother and origin of every upward striving of the soul.” The enemy #1 of this ascent to God is sin. “Sin”, according to St. Bonaventure, “deforms nature.” Once again, the antidote to sin that he prescribes is prayer and the living of a holy life. He encourages detachment in order to pursue this journey towards God saying: “Let us silence all our cares, all our desires and all our imaginings.”  YIKES! is what I have to say to St. Bonaventure. Not only is he a little on the challenging side to read – his words throw down quite a formidable challenge to live out. I have to be honest with you – I LONG for God – I want to be pleasing to Him, I want to know his will, I want to follow that will as best as I can. I can feel the desire for Him inside my chest and yet most days that desire is frustrated by the cares and concerns of the world.  Have I missed my vocation as a contemplative nun?  Or is this journey towards God

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