ECSTASY IN CHRIST                

1. To be open to the possibility of Christ’s bestowal upon you of the prayer of mystical union wherein you will experience ecstasy in Him!

​2.To see the Word of God reflected in the writings of the world’s great mystics as they attempt to better know Him and by knowing Him, loving Him.

3. To practice the virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude in the give and take of the discussion of differing views where these virtues are necessity for learning and civil, mannerly dialogue.

4. To become aware of the great contributions that theology has provided to the development of human civilization and, so, how the Holy Spirit permeates all that man has accomplished.

5. To recognize and appreciate the absolute importance of formulating and understanding true doctrinal propositions for the benefit of our growth in faith and increase in charity.

Course Goals:
1. That the participants learn to be adept in the skill of reading a text closely and with careful consideration of its intended meaning.

2. That the participants learn the intellectual skill of logical analysis of a text

3. That the participants become practiced in the skill of intellectual discussion based on reason, textual evidence, and respect for truth as opposed to the simple bandying about of opinions, their typical modus operandi.

4. That the participants are enabled to articulate their ideas in a coherent and civil manner.

5. That the participants learn to listen attentively to the ideas of others for purposes of respect, civil discourse, and understanding.

6. That the participants learn the great spiritual ideas contained in the texts studied and understand their importance in history and their relevance today.

7. That the participants develop and deepen their spiritual and prayer lives

Chronological Sequence of Readings, Assignments, and Tests

Week 1
Orientation and Syllabus
Introduction to course

Principle of Catholic Spirituality:
Grace Builds on, and, Perfects Nature

We Are Going to Read
What the Mystics Actually Wrote!

I've Only Written the Names of the Mystics Below
However, In Your Book You Can Preview
a Brief Bio and Excerpts of Their Writings

Mystics in the ​Modern Age:​

What is a Mystic?
Can I Become a Mystic?
Let's investigate!

Elizabeth of the Trinity
Charles de Foucauld
St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Gemma Galgani

Week 2
Uh Oh! This Week Are the Heavyweights!
These are the Mystics with Big Brains!
Let's See What We Can Learn From Them
without having to be like Them, Okay?

​ St. Alphonsus Liguori
St. Francis de Sales
St. Ignatius Loyola
St. Teresa of Avila
St. John of the Cross

Week 3
​ Dionysian Spirituality and Devotio Moderna:
(Big Vocab, Easy Meanings)

You Mean Not All Mystics are Saints?
How Can That Be? What Does It Mean?
Yes, There is Hope For Us All!

Meister Eckhart 
John Tauler 
Henry Suso
Jan van Ruysbroeck
Mechtild of Magdeburg
John Gerson

Week 4
​ Spirituality of the Middle Ages:

As We Travel Backward in Time,
We Will Be Able to See More Clearly
how Christ set the Stage for We Aspiring
Modern Mystics

The Question here is:
Is God found in Emptiness
Is God found through Created Things?

St. Norbert of Premontre
Thomas a’ Kempis
Catherine of Genoa – Waiting upon God;
Catherine of Siena – Overflowing with Love

Week 5
​ The Medieval Period - Continued

Now That We've Met Both
Intellectual Mystics and Mystics of the Heart,
We will encounter Both Types This Week
These are Among the Most Famous in History

Hildegard of Bingen
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Dominic
St. Thomas Aquinas
Denis the Carthusian
Guigo II

Week 6
​ Monasticism in the East:

Okay, You Are Now Prepared
for The Deep Thinkers,
So, Get Ready to Put Your Thinking Caps On
These Writings Will Give Us An Excellent Idea
of What Mysticism is!

Evagrius Ponticus 
John Climacus

Week 7
​ Monasticism in the West:

Not Quite the Intellectual Mysticism of the East,
Nevertheless, These Men Laid the Foundation
for the Mystical Tradition that We are Familiar with

St. Benedict
St. Gregory the Great
St. Peter Damian;
St. Bernard;
William of St. Thierry
St. Aelred of Rievaulx

Week 8
​ Spirituality of the Early Church: Apostolic Fathers:

Mystical Ecstasy in Christ was Begun with
The Gospel of John,
However, that's another Course!
We Will Read the Heirs of John the Evangelist
Those Who Gave Us the Fundamental Understanding
of that Mystical Union to which Christ calls Us All
by way of
Their Own Mystical Experiences
Their Deep Reflection Upon Their Experiences of Christ!


Christian Gnosticism
(careful here, all you Dan Brown Fans!)

Gregory of Nyssa
John Chrysostom
John Cassian;
St. Augustine