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Bonaventure: The soul's journey into God

First, therefore, I invite the reader to the groans of prayer through Christ crucified, through whose blood we are cleansed from the filth of vice -- so that he not believe that reading is sufficient without unction, speculation without devotion, investigation without wonder, observation without joy, work without piety, knowledge without love, understanding without humility, endeavor without divine grace, reflection without divinely inspired wisdom. To those, therefore, predisposed by divine grace, the humble and the pious, the contrite and the devout, those anointed with the oil of gladness, the lovers of divine wisdom, and those inflamed with a desire for it, to those wishing to give themselves to glorifying, wondering at and even savoring God, I propose the following considerations, suggesting that the mirror presented by the external world is of little or no value unless the mirror of our soul has been cleaned and polished.

Therefore, man of God, first exercise yourself in remorse of conscience before you raise your eyes to the rays of Wisdom reflected in its mirrors, lest perhaps from gazing upon these rays you fall into a deeper pit of darkness.

--St. Bonaventure, The Soul's Journey into God, Prologue, sec. 4

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