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Three Friends of God: Records from the Lives of John Tauler, Nicholas of Basle, Henry Suso

by Frances Bevan

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The Friends of God are an informal group of Catholic mystics who organized themselves in Germany and Switzerland in the early 14th century. These Friends strove to deepen both their communal relationships as well as their inner spirituality. Tauler was a master of combining the mystical with the concrete, the spiritual with the practical. He taught that each human has a desire for God which is satisfied through detachment from earthly things. Suso also believed that to achieve perfect, soul-level union with God, a person had to die to himself and become detached from the world. History provides a "very imperfect sketch" of Nicholas Basle according to Bevan. For many years, Basle was thought to be the mysterious "Master" described in many of the Friends' documents, but it was later discovered that the Master was a fictional character. Bevan's book is a biographical narrative of these three Friends' lives complete with dialogue. They discuss numerous facets of Catholicism and mysticism, and readers interested in these subjects will enjoy the work.

Abby Zwart
CCEL Staff Writer
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About Frances Bevan
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Born: 1827
Died: 1909
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Popular works: Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others, Three Friends of God: Records from the Lives of John Tauler, Nicholas of Basle, Henry Suso, Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), Matelda and the Cloister of Hellfde