The Mystical Vine
A treatise on the Passion of Our Lord

Saint Bonaventure

Translated from the Latin by a Friar of S.S.F.
Edited by Matthew Dallman




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CHAPTER ONE

THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VINE

“I am the true vine.” Let us examine some of the characteristics of the ordinary vine, so that with the help of the Lord Jesus we may discern those of the heavenly Vine.

We must consider not only the nature of the vine, but its culture. We notice first that the vine is not sown, but planted, and that what is planted is the shoot of another vine.

This is superlatively true also of the conception of Jesus. He, who is God, and begotten of God, Son begotten of the Father, co-eternal and consubstantial with him from whom he proceeds, has a great resemblance to the ordinary vine, which also springs from a single original.

Moreover, that shoot, which is the Christ, is planted in soil to make it fruitful. The soil in which he is conceived, is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thus “he becomes what he was not, whilst remaining what he was.”

Blessed indeed is that soil in that it extends its blessing to all peoples. How truly blessed is that soil which, in the loving-kindness of God, yields so fruitful an increase! Scripture has description of it in this passage, “There was not a man to till the ground; but . . . a river when up out of Paradise to water it.”

No human hand tilled this soil; it was irrigated by the water of the Holy Spirit. So we read, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.”

Again, we find an allusion to this in the following passage, “Let the earth open and let it bring forth our Salvation.”[1] Yes, the earth was indeed opened, for it was the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in faith believed, and, obeying the words of the angel, brought forth our Savior, the Vine of our Salvation, thus bestowing on us the reward of eternal life.

So, as we delineate the nature of the heavenly Vine, the Christ, we find that his “culture” takes the same course as that of the natural vine.

1. Is 45:8.

Forward to CHAPTER TWO


© Akenside Press and Matthew C. Dallman, 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher, Akenside Press.