• “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (Psalm 42)

    All that lives flows from God and bears witness to its divine origin. The Christian mystics found nourishment for soul and spirit in the Old and New Testaments.

    For Christians, Christ's incarnation has made the hope contained in the Bible of becoming one with God a fact and therefore something they can experience. For the mystics, this is intrinsically linked with the birth of God in the human soul, the “Christ in us”. In the Gospels, and especially in the words of Christ, they found an expression of their yearning for God and at the same time of their being one with him.

    The Song of Songs from the Old Testament was an inexhaustible source of inspiration for mystics such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Mechthild of Magdeburg and John of the Cross. They interpreted the love between man and woman described in the Song of Songs as an expression of the relationship between God and the human soul. This loving passion also included intimate compassion for the crucified Christ in which being one with God was experienced.

    Prayer, meditation, and contemplation, but also ascesis to the point of physical self-mortification, served as aids in the mystical ascension. The notion of the Christian path to God being an ascension comes from antiquity. The Christian mystics referred to Plato and Plotinus when they said: the human soul is able to ascend to God via a stairway and therefore to return to its divine origin.

  • Christentum Startbild

    Late Antiquity
    Plotinus (c. 204-270) More »

    Dionysius the Areopagite (c. 500) More »
    Anthony the Great (c. 251-356) More »
    John Climacus (c. 575 - after 650) More »
    Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) More »
    Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) More »
    Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226) More »
    Mechthild of Magdeburg (c. 1207-1282) More »
    Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1328) More »
    Heinrich Seuse (c. 1295-1366) More »
    Anne of Ramschwag (died c. 1343) More »
    Adelheid Pfefferhartin (c. 1350) More »
    Niklaus of Flüe - Bruder Klaus (1417-1487) More »
    Juan de la Cruz - John of the Cross (1542-1591) More »
    Jacob Böhme (1575-1624) More »