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Holy Fear

Holy Fear We find in the writings of the great mystics, especially of those who have been recognized as “Doctor of the Church,” a certain unanimous consent concerning the importance of holy fear if we are to grow in our life of prayer. They have a sense that it is a fearful thing to stand vulnerable in the presence of God. They understand that we ought not to presume anything. Fear of... Read More

Marriage, Prayer and the Cross (Part I of III)

Venerable Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan exhorted the faithful while he was in prison, “If you desire peace, you will have to fight continuously.” This constant struggle is true not only for the heart but also for the sacredness of marriage.  Our culture has come to despise the faithful love of husband and wife. Anyone who advocates for this ancient institution is an object of... Read More

St Hildegard of Bingen on Receiving Holy Communion

At the center of the spiritual life is the real presence of Christ Jesus given to us in the Eucharistic worship He instituted for our sake.  Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Doctor of the Church, reminds us of the proper disposition we must maintain throughout our worship.  It is a disposition of quaerere Deum, a reverent and intense seeking of God in love that takes us beyond the limit of what we can... Read More

Pope Benedict on Mystical Experiences

by Jimmy Akin Thursday, December 02, 2010 Right now in his weekly catecheses, Pope Benedict is giving a series of meditations on female saints from the Middle Ages. Many of them are mystics, and in the first meditation–on St. Hildegard of Bingen–he offers his thoughts on some of the marks of a genuine mystic. He states: During the years when she was superior of the Monastery of St Disibodenberg,... Read More