Christian Mysticism: A study on Practical Applications

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Mysticism is the art of union with Ultimate Reality. The mystic is a person who has attained that union in greater or less degree; or who aims at and believes in such attainment.

May the words we post here and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our Lord and our Redeemer. Amen.

We are now studying Way to Christ, by Jakob Boehme.

This is a topical study and we have kept the threads of previous books that we have studied, for reference by latecomers. For convenience, the previous books we have studied are listed below.

Theologia Germanica, an anonymous work written probably just before the reformation.

Dark Night of the Soul, by Saint John of the Cross.

Fire of Love, by Richard Rolle of Hampole.

Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi, by Ugolino.

Cloud of Unknowing, by an anonymous early English author.

Scale (or Ladder) of Perfection, by Walter Hilton.

Practical Mysticism, by Evelyn Underhill.

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS, CHAPTER 7

HOW ST FRANCIS PASSED THE TIME OF LENT IN AN ISLAND, ON THE LAKE OF
PERUGIA, WHERE HE FASTED FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS, EATING NO MORE
THAN HALF OF ONE LOAF

What interests me in this chapter is the parallel with Jesus' life, and
in fact, this parallel is mentioned in this story. There are many
parallels between Old and New Testament stories, which has given rise to
the concept of "types," people or events in the Old Testament which
point to parallel examples in the New Testament. Abraham sacrificing

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The Scale of Perfection, Book 1, Part 1 – Chapter 6

Of the Lower Degree of the Second Sort of Contemplation
Of the lower degré of the secunde partie of contemplacioun - Chapter title from The Scale of Perfection – Book 1 in Middle English

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS, CHAPTER 6

HOW ST FRANCIS, WHEN ABOUT TO DIE, BLESSED THE HOLY BROTHER BERNARD,
NAMING HIM VICAR OF THE ORDER

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The Scale of Perfection, Book 1, Part 1 – Chapter 5

Of the Second Sort of Contemplation
Of the secunde partye of contemplacion - Chapter title from The Scale of Perfection – Book 1 in Middle English

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CHAPTER V

HOW THE HOLY BROTHER BERNARD OF ASSISI WAS SENT BY ST FRANCIS TO
BOLOGNA AND HOW HE FOUNDED A CONVENT THERE

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The Scale of Perfection, Book 1, Part 1 – Chapter 4

Of three Sorts that be of Contemplation and of the First of them
Of the first partye of contemplacioun - Chapter title from The Scale of Perfection – Book 1 in Middle English

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CHAPTER 4

HOW THE ANGEL OF GOD PUT A QUESTION TO BROTHER ELIAS, GUARDIAN OF VAL
DI SPOLETO, AND HOW, WHEN BROTHER ELIAS ANSWERED PROUDLY, THE ANGEL
DEPARTED FROM HIM, AND TOOK THE ROAD TO SAN GIACOMO, WHERE HE MET
BROTHER BERNARD AND TOLD HIM WHAT FOLLOWS

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The Scale of Perfection, Book 1, Part 1 – Chapter 3

Of the Contemplative Life, and the Exercises and Works thereof
Of contemplatif lif and the werkes of hit - Chapter title from The Scale of Perfection – Book 1 in Middle English

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CHAPTER 3

HOW ST FRANCIS, HAVING ALLOWED AN EVIL THOUGHT TO ARISE IN HIS MIND AGAINST BROTHER BERNARD, ORDERED HIM TO PLACE HIS FOOT THREE TIMES UPON HIS NECK AND HIS MOUTH.

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The Scale of Perfection, Book 1, Part 1 – Chapter 2

Of the Active Life, and the Exercises and the Works thereof
Of actif lif and of the werkes of it - Chapter title from The Scale of Perfection – Book 1 in Middle English

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CHAPTER 2

OF BROTHER BERNARD OF QUINTAVALLE, THE FIRST COMPANION OF ST FRANCIS

I've come already under the spell of the charming style of these stories and read several chapters
ahead. Like the gospel stories, they are full of details that we have to read slowly and carefully or
we'll miss.

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The Scale of Perfection, Book 1, Part 1 – Chapter 1

That the inward State of the Soul should be like the outward
That the innere havynge schulde be like to the uttere - Chapter title from The Scale of Perfection – Book 1 in Middle English

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CHAPTER 1

IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR CRUCIFIED SAVIOUR, AND OF MARY HIS
VIRGIN MOTHER. IN THIS BOOK ARE CONTAINED CERTAIN LITTLE FLOWERS - TO
WIT, MIRACLES AND PIOUS EXAMPLES OF THE GLORIOUS SERVANT OF CHRIST ST
FRANCIS, AND OF SOME OF HIS HOLY COMPANIONS; TO THE GLORY AND PRAISE OF
JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.

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The Scale of Perfection - Introduction - AN ESSAY on the Spiritual Life of Mediaeval England

The basis of all spiritual life in all ages must after all be the same; and this book, written so long ago in the forgotten house of Canons at Thurgarton, may help us now in fighting our battle of life in this very different time. In this respect it will be a lesson to us. Rather mystical than ascetical, it contains an antidote to the prevailing tendency to restless activity, even in devotion. Above all, it is remarkable for containing the old English tradition of a most tender, personal love for our blessed Lord.

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LITTLE FLOWERS OF SAINT FRANCIS, INTRODUCTION

We are beginning a new book, "Little Flowers of Saint Francis of Assisi." I know little of Saint
Francis, and I'm reading this book for the first time, as are some of the rest of us.
From this introduction, by Arthur Livingston, I came away with some distinct ideas. One was, the text
that formed the basis for the translation we have before us is related to that of several other
documents. We are dealing with a tradition, a collection of legends, that has appeared in other forms,
with different numbers of episodes recorded. The knowledge that what we're reading has such a history

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THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, CHAPTER 75

Of some certain tokens by the which a man may prove whether he be called of God to work in this work.

In this chapter, in what reads like a sort of addendum, our author makes some suggestions relevant to our having completed the reading of this book.

First, he emphasizes purgation, a life as holy as possible, in repentence for past sins, as a prerequisite for following this path.

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THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, CHAPTER 74

How that the matter of this book is never more read or spoken, nor heard
read or spoken, of a soul disposed thereto without feeling of a very
accordance to the effect of the same work: and of rehearsing of the same
charge that is written in the prologue.

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THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, CHAPTER 73

How that after the likeness of Moses, of Bezaleel, and of Aaron meddling
them about the Ark of the Testament, we profit on three manners in this
grace of contemplation, for this grace is figured in that Ark.

After in the previous chapter warning us not to think the experience of this exercise is the same for everyone, our author now gives us three biblical figures as allegorical examples of three different ways that we may "make progress in this grace of contemplation," as the Paulist edition renders a phrase from the second paragraph of this chapter.

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THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, CHAPTER 72

"That a worker in this work should not deem nor think of another worker as he feeleth in himself."

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THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING - CHAPTER 71

that it is all at the ordinance and the disposition of God, after their ableness in soul that this grace of contemplation and of ghostly working is given to.




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