Christian Mysticism: A study on Practical Applications
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 Mystical Theology, by Dionysius the Areopagite.
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.
Way to Christ, by Jakob Boehme.
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.
Interior Castle, by Saint Teresa of Avila.
I grant well, that it is fitting and seemly to them that be meek within, for to shew meek and seemly words and gestures without, according to that meekness that is within in the heart.
MANY wonderful practices follow them that be deceived in this false work,
the devil hath power for to feign some false light or sounds
AND therefore lean meekly to this blind stirring of love in thine heart
Which is chaste love; and how in some creatures such sensible comforts be but seldom, and in some right oft.
AND therefore I pray thee, lean listily to this meek stirring of love in thine heart, and follow thereafter
God will be served with body and with soul both together
Sooth it is that all thing is known of God, and nothing may be hid from His witting, neither bodily thing nor ghostly.
For ever the more Mistily, the more meekly and ghostly: and ever the more rudely, the more bodily and beastly.
For I tell thee truly, that the devil hath his contemplatives as God hath His.
BUT now thou askest me, how thou mayest destroy this naked witting and feeling of thine own being.
For it is the condition of a perfect lover, not only to love that thing that he loveth more than himself; but also in a manner for to hate himself for that thing that he loveth.
Now good God help thee, for now hast thou need!
For I tell thee 204 truly, that ofttimes patience in sickness and in other diverse tribulations pleaseth God much more than any liking devotion that thou mayest have in thy health.
that an thou haddest God, then shouldest thou lack sin: and mightest thou lack sin, then shouldest thou have God.
AND therefore it is, to pray in the height and the deepness, the length and the breadth of our spirit.
How and why that short prayer pierceth heaven
their special prayers rise evermore suddenly unto God, without any means or any premeditation in special coming before, or going therewith.
whoso looked upon thee should think thee full soberly disposed in thy body, without any changing of countenance; but sitting or going or lying, or leaning or standing or kneeling, whether thou wert, in a full sober restfulness.
NEVERTHELESS, means there be in the which a contemplative prentice should be occupied, the which be these—Lesson, Meditation, and Orison: or else to thine understanding they may be called—Reading, Thinking, and Praying.