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Women

November 16, 2013
Apparition of Christ-Piligrim to Saint Catheri...

Apparition of Christ-Piligrim to Saint Catherine of Siena // Gesu Pellegrino appare a S. Catarina de Siena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There haven’t been many women theologians, but many women were mystics, a whole lot of them and if we study the reasons for it, it is very interesting. The church excluded them but not Jesus, who seemed to favor them in spiritual insights and revelations, more than the guys who though they were so smart to figure things out on their own, ha! So typical!

Here are some women mystics: Beatrice of Nazareth, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, Heilwige Bloemart, Hadewijch, Margery Kempe, Anna Kingsford, Christina of Markyate, Flower A. Newhouse, Julian of Norwich, Marguerite Porete, Madame Guyon, Mother Shipton, Catherine of Siena, Mother Teresa, Lilian Staveley, Simone Weil…

The problem with some of them was extreme asceticism, which I think is a byproduct of overly emotional spiritualism, and working to keep the emotional level high. Theology can get stuck on believing it can elevate itself by the power of the mind, while mysticism by the power of ecstatic emotions.

When studying the lives of some of the mystics, it was extremely enlightening. Some of them had incredible experiences and lived for long stretches on a great spiritual high, then they went for years without any token of God’s presence. In those dark periods they tried everything to regain that spiritual hight, like Katherine of Siena who would drink the push of infected hospital patients to humble herself and attain to it again. From their biographies, I have seen that eventually the spiritual high came again, the revelations with it, but not as a reward for their asceticism, but as a gift from God when they finally gave up on it. At least that’s what I remember about some of them.

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