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Christian Mysticism is the experience of Truth in Love. The Truth we speak of is that objective reality which is God who is Love—specifically, the fullness of God's self-communication in the person of Jesus Christ. Cistercians traditionally speak of mysticism as the experience of God acquired by learning the truth about ourselves. This mysticism is an interior process we embrace day after day, purposefully and with a quiet joy, as one might pursue gardening, book illumination, or baking bread.
Life is in God's will, and what is God's will?
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Christ is merciful and so, entering your mind, He raises it up; by His Wisdom He teaches it. Drawing it inward, He makes your mind His own representative that you may judge truthfully concerning everything you have ever done. From this union of Wisdom with your human mind is born the virtue called "humility."
"Humility", Bernard taught, "is knowing the truth about yourself." You were created out of nothing and are every moment sustained in existence by God's free gift of love. Having grown in the virtue of humility, the monk will arrive at that love of God which casts out all fear and he will keep, without effort, as if naturally, all the rules he had previously observed because of fear!
Having taught the mind wisdom, and led the monk to judge himself truly, the Word of God is followed by the Holy Spirit of God who visits the heart, purifies it and fills it with new ardor, making it merciful toward itself and others. Like skin that is rubbed with soothing ointment and becomes supple, the heart softens and expands with new affection — even for enemies. From this union of the Spirit of God with your heart is born love.
Your mind having been restored by God's Word and the affection of your heart enlarged by God's Spirit, humility has cleansed your soul of its sins, and God clasps your soul to Himself. So intimate is this embrace, that your soul loses all remembrance of itself and, in relating to others, the soul is initiated into the secret treasury of Love, hidden in the heart of your neighbor whom you love with God's own love.
When Heaven itself is made silent, your soul rests calmly in that gentle embrace as though asleep and yet wholly awake. In this repose, your soul beholds things invisible and hears things unutterable of which it is not permitted for any human being to speak. These are things that make all human knowledge as the darkness of night.