Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Posted, November 4, 2018

“Mystical theology is experiential knowledge of God gained through the embrace of unitive love.”
--Jean Gerson

“Inspired part by the seminal work of Joseph Marechal, but especially by my reading of the texts that have been accepted as mystical classics in the history of Christianity, both East and West, I have come to find the term ‘presence’ a more central and more useful category for grasping the unifying note in the varieties of Christian mysticism.  Thus, we can say that the mystical element in Christianity is that part of its beliefs and practices that concerns the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the reaction to what can be described as the immediate or direct presence of God.”

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“I would prefer to live in hope than to live in knowledge.  O father [her confessor] how valuable it is not to want, not to know, not to have, not to desire, so that a person could give himself to God and his judgments. …  As long as we have something to long for we have not reached the real poverty.  God likes a capable and empty instrument, and he knows very well how to purify it, if only we let him do it, without meddling.”

--Maria van Hout, 16th century beguine, of the Low Countries, as quoted in Bernard McGinn, The Presence of God….The Varieties of Vernacular Mysticism,  Vol. 5, p. 158.


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