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The Years that Lie Ahead

A Brief Review of

The Sun at Midnight: Monastic Experience of the Christian Mystery

Bernardo Olivera

Paperback: Cistercian Publications, 2012
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Reviewed by Danny Wright

 

In The Sun at Midnight, Bernardo Olivera, a Cistercian monk, examines the history of mysticism as it has been experienced through the Cistercian tradition and posits that mysticism is what we need in order to move forward in our relationships with God and our fellow man.  He believes that the West is not only experiencing a change of era, but an era of change, and that every era of change has its moment of religious awakening.  Religion is paramount, because it pushes us to discover our ultimate meaning and answers the basic existential questions of life.  He encourages the reader to understand that mystery is the most intricate and integral level of reality and that it gives meaning to everything that exists, and that mysticism itself gives birth to religion.  The author purports that every baptized believer is a mystic and that we should follow the example of the greatest mystic of all, Jesus of Nazareth.  As we experience God and his mystery, we will continually see the need to grow and develop because we will forever be dumbstruck in the presence of an Almighty God that reminds us that everything we know is a mere approximation and that our best descriptions of the mess in this sin-ravaged world are simply gibberish.

 

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