(Friday Church News Notes, November 2, 2012, http://www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143) – On October 7, Pope Benedict XVI named two contemplative mystics–Hildegard of Bingen and John of Avila–“Doctors of the Church.” Though Hildegard lived in the 12th century and John in the 16th, they have a large influence among “evangelicals” in our day through their contemplative mysticism. The writings of both “saints” have been promoted by Richard Foster, whose books such as Celebration of Discipline and Spiritual Classics have played a large role in spreading contemplative mysticism. One of John’s disciples was Teresa of Avila, another influential contemplative mystic who claimed to have seen Mary and Joseph and the Trinity, levitated and experienced paralysis and feelings of being strangulated during her visions, and believed that Protestants had brought damnation to themselves by rejecting the Pope and the Mass. Hildegard, a Benedictine nun, practiced such extreme asceticism that it injured her health. She called her visions, which she allegedly began experiencing at age three, “the secret mysteries of God.” She claimed to have seen each member of the Godhead. She falsely prophesied that the end of history was at hand in her day. She was deeply committed to the veneration of Mary and wrote songs such as “Praise for the Mother.”

via Way of Life Literature – David Cloud.


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