The Sun at Midnight: Monastic Experience of the Christian Mystery

The Sun at Midnight: Monastic Experience of the Christian Mystery

by Bernardo Olivera OCSO

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The Sun at Midnight offers a splendid, easily accessible summary of mystical theology in the Cistercian school. Bernardo Olivera, a master of both the theology and the practice of the spiritual life, analyzes this tradition first in its rich human, biblical, and doctrinal connotations, and then according to its most typical expressions as they are lived among Cistercian mystics, with reference also to other Christian men and women. Olivera explores the rich testimony of the monks of the twelfth century as well as the lesser-known nuns and holy women of the thirteenth century.

Throughout the book, we discover Olivera's fundamental thesis: Personal mystical experience is not only the key to an adequate renewal of monastic life today but also-and above all-the foundation, the originating point, of any and all religion or religious tradition. Mystical experience is, in particular, the origin of Christianity and its rich spiritual tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780879074777
Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Series: Monastic Wisdom Series , #29
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 152
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Bernardo Olivera, OCSO, is abbot of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles in Azul, Argentina. He served as Abbot General of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance from 1990 to 2008. Dom Bernardo is author of How Far to Follow? The Martyrs of Atlas (Cistercian Publications), as well as many books published in South America.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Chapter 1 Cultural Context 1

Cultures 1

Modernity 3

Postmodernity 5

Change of Era 7

Thirsting for Mystery 8

Chapter 2 Our Life's Purpose 14

Present Relevance 15

Cistercian Teachers of Mysticism 16

Medieval Mystagogues 18

Chapter 3 Initial Clarifications 22

Mystery 22

Mysticism 27

Mystics 34

Mystical Experience 35

Chapter 4 Christ, the Supreme Mystic 40

Baptism 41

Transfiguration and Joy 44

Gethsemane 47

Calvary 49

Resurrection 52

The Bridegroom 53

Chapter 5 Our Mystical Experience 57

Sweetness and Kindness 59

Compunction 64

The Desert 67

Desire 72

Spousal Relationship 84

Unity of Spirit 103

Alternation 114

Chapter 6 Conclusions 120

Basic Assertions 120

Monastic Reevangelization 123

Serving the Church 125

Selected Bibliography 130

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