Archives For Mystic

 

Establishing Chesterton’s Mysticism

A Feature Review of

The Tumbler of God: Chesterton as Mystic

Robert Wild

Paperback: Angelico Press, 2013
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Reviewed by Katelyn Oprondek

 
Dale Ahlquist, President of the American Chesterton Society, introduces G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) as a man who “was very good at expressing himself, but more importantly, he had something very good to express.” Robert Wild, the author of The Tumbler of God: Chesterton as Mystic would agree. Wild goes even further in his book to demonstrate that Chesterton is not only a worthwhile writer, but a mystic as well.

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St. John of the CrossThe mystic and poet St. John of the Cross was born on this day in 1542!

Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D. was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, a Roman Catholic saint, a Carmelite friar and a priest who was born at Fontiveros, Old Castile. John of the Cross was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He is also known for his writings. Both his poetry and his studies on the growth of the soul are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and one of the peaks of all Spanish literature. He was canonized as a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII.  (via Wikipedia)

One of his most famous poems is “Spiritual Canticle,” which can be read in three parts here:
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The Greenest Branch

A Feature Review of Two New Books on Hildegard of Bingen

Illumination:

A Novel of Hildegard of Bingen

Mary Sharratt

Hardback: HMH Books, 2012.
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Woman Mystic:

Selections from Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s Scivias

Elizabeth Ruth Obbard

Paperback: New City Press, 2012
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Reviewed by Caitlin Michelle Desjardins

 

I first encountered the name of Hildegard von Bingen during my years as a music student, in a class on Music before 1600. It was early in the first semester of my Freshman year, so I don’t remember much—saving the recollection of a pristine woman’s voice singing a few lines of Latin that had a remarkably rich melody.

 

Hildegard von Bingen has not been a stranger to me this year, however, as I’ve encountered her name, music, writings and person in a variety of ways, most particularly owing to this being the “Year of Hildegard” to correspond with her canonization in the Catholic Church. My first thought, of course, when I heard she was being canonized was to remember I’d encountered her in that “Music before 1600” class and wonder: why were they just canonizing her now? That question, I’m afraid, I have yet to find a satisfactory answer to, for the more I’ve encountered Hildegard, the more I’ve seen her as embodying the very definition of Saint in the sureness of her call and visions, the magnificence of the music she gifted to the church and the powerful theology she left in writing. But, like many visionaries (both those that, like Hildegard, literally saw heavenly visions, and those who foresaw the future or saw the now clairvoyantly), she was remarkably ahead of her time. So much so, perhaps, that we are only now catching up to her…and even then, there’s so much power here, I’m not sure we are even yet fully prepared.

 

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