If relationship is the underlying key to Bonaventure’s mysticism of the Crucified, the center of unity of God, humanity and creation, then how do we find this center in a century that “boasts” of more wars and violence than any other has experienced? According to Bonaventure, we find the center first within us, within the depth of our soul where Christ Crucified is center. But the discovery of the center and the journey to union with Christ necessitates that we move outward, to our neighbor and to the world of creation. Union with the Crucified is not a private I—Thou relationship, for the union by its very nature seeks expression. Thus, as we grow in the love of God through conformity to Christ, we mature in the love of our neighbor redeemed by Christ. Love of God and love of neighbor are two axes of the same center so that as we “ascend” to God we “descend” to our neighbor in compassionate love. This twofold movement that Bonaventure describes in union with the Crucified is the path to peace. His doctrine of union with the Crucified, as the path which leads to mystical peace, speaks to a world of violence. There is no other way to peace, Bonaventure states, than through the burning love of the Crucified.
—from the book Crucified Love: Bonaventure's Mysticism of the Crucified Christ by Ilia Delio, OSF