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Center for Action and Contemplation

Expanding the Circle of Support 

May 13th, 2024
Expanding the Circle of Support 

Ben Keesey is the Development & Partnerships Director for the Center for Action and Contemplation and has been working with Fr. Richard and the CAC team since 2016. Prior to joining CAC, Ben was the Executive Director of the international justice organization Invisible Children working in three countries in east and central Africa.

By Ben Keesey

Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (1217–1274), a Doctor of the Church, philosopher, and mystic, helped bring Francis of Assisi’s intuitive spirituality to philosophical and theological heights. For Bonaventure, the perfection of God and God’s creation moves full circle, which is the meaning of resurrection. He discerned that Alpha and Omega had to be the same, and the lynchpin holding it all together was the “Christ Mystery” visible everywhere—the essential unity of matter and spirit, humanity and divinity. 

For both Francis and Bonaventure, God is not an offended monarch on a throne throwing down thunderbolts, but a “fountain fullness” that flows, overflows, and fills all things. Reality is thus participatory; it is love itself. God as Trinitarian Flow is the blueprint and pattern for all relationships and all of creation. 

“Before the world was made, God chose us, chose us in Christ” (Ephesians 1:4). The problem was solved from the beginning. Any gospel of hope must start with the “original blessing” announced in Genesis 1 instead of the problem described in Genesis 3. It invites us beyond the negative notion of history as being a “fall from grace” to the long and positive view of history as a slow emergence/evolution into ever-greater consciousness. —Richard Rohr1 

In the spirit of the cosmically hopeful worldview of Francis and Bonaventure, CAC is inviting you to join the Bonaventure Circle of Support, a community of people who are working together to help awaken a more loving and just world. The Bonaventure Circle is the CAC’s community of monthly givers who are committed to the healing of our world through expanding the impact of the Christian contemplative traditions.  

To join, you start by making a small but meaningful monthly donation, which can be as low as only a few dollars per month. Combined with the gifts of other people around the world, your donations provide the dependable resources CAC needs to expand our efforts to share the message of cosmic hope without finances being the barrier to access for any sincere seeker. To learn more about the Bonaventure Circle and how you can support the growth and expansion of CAC’s work, visit  

We are so grateful for all of you—including Cindy, Douglas, Cheri, and Braxton—who give freely and cheerfully to advance this work. The articles in this issue are a small sample of the stories shared by wonderful, humble, and committed people like you who are walking together on this full-circle path we call life.  

—Ben Keesey, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships 

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Cincinnati: Franciscan Media, 2014), 163, 164-165

This reflection appears in the Spring 2024 issue of the Mendicant, our quarterly donor newsletter.

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