Hildegard Of Richard's Role In Medieval Mysticism

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What does it mean to feel pleasure and pain? Pleasure is eroticism that makes the body crave moments where euphoria and excitement explode within the body. Pain is the suffering the body goes through and surrenders to it. Mysticism is described to be a belief that union with or absorption into the God is possible. A mystic, according to Churchill, “is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such a direct experience- one whose religion and life are centered, not merely on an accepted belief or practice, but on which he regards as first hand personal knowledge (Churchill ,9-10).” The body has three parts to be an obstacle vessel of sin, a foil to overcome or bypass, and it can be an ally. In medieval mysticism, mystics used the body as…show more content…
Hildegard of Bingen was one of the most important figures of the twelfth century. She was a noblewoman who composed music, wrote on medicine, and became an influential asset to the church. She is greatly remembered for her visions that were feminine in nature and recognized by the patriarchal church (Talley). Hildegard’s visions were admirable and respected because they were believed to be the communication between God and herself (Talley). She took it upon herself to favor with the view of the woman as a subordinate and sinful creature. A sinful creature who only had lustful thoughts and cravings, and acted out on those cravings through their bodies. Women “…greedily feast on their own goods and please themselves in carnal lusts (Bingen ,367).” Her visions came at a young age, but she wouldn’t tell anyone till she was in her early forties. When she started to write down her visions, pain was associated with them. She continued to have…show more content…
In the beginning of The Little Flowers of St. Francis, Francis was seen reproaching himself for his greed and after three days he was granted with a vision of God (Brown ,45). His way of experiencing God was through pain. The more pain he gave himself the more visions of God he would receive. Francis and his followers were people that were insulted and attacked in the streets of towns they visited, but they took the insults in and smiled. “In prayer, Francis desires Divine instigation of the experience and thirsts to experience this not just his soul, but with his body (A Comparison of the Mysticism of Francis of Assisi with That of St. Seraphim of Sarov).” He was surrendering his body completely to bring about physical suffering that led to celestial encounters. His pleasure came from the pain that was inflicted to reach God. “And having yet more of these pains and sufferings to sustain, he began to think, and to recognize that this was a chastisement from God for his sins… (62).” But, he was not the only one. Francis promoted suffering to his apostles. Since the very beginning of his order, Francis and his apostles would be assaulted, but they never retaliated. Francis would go about “…in peace of soul by the Holy Spirit, he bore all the insults and scorn with great

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