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Mystiek > Over mystiek > Geschiedenis > Christelijk

Appendix (6)

Mystiek van de woestijnvaders

Side by side with the Neoplatonic mysticism of St. Augustine and Dionysius runs another line of spiritual culture, hardly less important for the development of the contemplative life. This takes its rise among the Fathers of the Egyptian desert, whose heroic spirituality was a contributory factor in St. Augustine's conversion. It finds beautiful expression in the writings of St. Macarius of Egypt (c. 295-386), the disciple of St. Anthony and friend of St. Basil, and reaches the West through the "Dialogues" of John Cassian (c. 350- ), one of the most important documents for the history of Christian mysticism. The fruit of a seven-year pilgrimage among the Egyptian monasteries, and many conversations on spiritual themes with the monks, we find in these dialogues for the first time a classified and realistic description of the successive degrees of contemplative prayer, and their relation to 'the development of the spiritual life. Adopted by St. Benedict as part of the regular spiritual food of his monks, they have had a decisive influence on the cloistered mysticism of the Middle Ages. Their sober and orderly doctrine, destined to be characteristic of the Roman Church, received fresh emphasis in the works of St. Gregory the Great (540-604), which also helped to form the souls of succeeding generations of contemplatives.

De wijze heeft geen lange tochten nodig; alleen de dwaas zoekt de pot met goud aan de voet van de regenboog.
- Sandy van den Heuvel -

Roemi: Juwelen
Een dagboek met 365 fragmenten van wijsheid. Nederlandse vertaling door Sipko den Boer en Aleid C. Swierenga
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