SPIRITUALITY TODAYSusan Hutchens:
Fall 1983, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 207-219.
Humility and Pride United in Love: Three Flemish Mystics
Three medieval mystics see in humanity created in the image of God a basis for a holy pride, a nobility of spirit, which is compatible with a poverty of spirit.
Sister Hutchens, O.S.B., holds an M.A. in theology from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota, and is currently teaching religion and mathematics at St. Mary's Academy, Nauvoo, Illinois.
PRIDE stands as an evil over against humility. "The greatest among you," Jesus affirmed, "will be the one who serves the rest. Whoever exalts self shall be humbled, but whoever humbles self shall be exalted" (Matt. 23:11-12). Christian discipleship means rooting out pride and cultivating poverty of spirit. But in an age when it is recognized as essential to personal development to have high self-esteem and to be self-affirming, Jesus' words and the program of Christian discipleship seem unhealthy, even antihuman. If we are not proud of our humanity, of ourselves, our talents, our accomplishments, we will not defend and foster them, but will allow ourselves and our achievements to be trampled on by others. Injustice in the world often results, in part, from people's not asserting their own dignity, values, and rights before those who would manipulate or exploit them.
There is, however, an understanding of pride in the tradition of Christian mysticism which corresponds to the kernel of truth in this modern perspective and yet fits into the gospel emphasis on the need for poverty of spirit. It is an idea of pride as nobility of spirit found in three Flemish mystics of the Middle Ages -- Hadewijch of Antwerp, Beatrice of Nazareth, and John of Ruysbroeck.
The mysticism of this period spoke vigorously of leaving one's self behind in order to ascend the heights of knowledge, of emptying or losing oneself in order that God might enter one's being, filling one entirely with God so that the two would then become one in love. This renunciation of self to return to one's naked ground of being was pronounced especially in the works of Ruysbroeck. He was greatly influenced by William of St. Thierry in his writings on the Trinity and on the likeness of the soul to God. Summarizing William's doctrine, Odo Brooke writes: "We become like . . . [God] when the image of the Trinity in the soul has been perfected and brought back to a perfect likeness, the similitudo, the most perfect union between the soul and God compatible with the distinction between creature and Creator. It is achieved when the soul is raised to a created participation in the life of the Holy Spirit."(1) Hadewijch also echoed these ideas when writing of the noble nature created in God's image.
The writings of Hadewijch are most expressive of the social tenor of the thirteenth century. Chivalry defined all action. To be chivalrous was to be noble, compassionate, and just-qualities not only sought and found in the acknowledged nobility, or in fighting warriors, but in all humankind. But the basis of these qualities was love. As J. Huizinga has written, "the complex of aspirations and imaginings, forming the idea of chivalry, in spite of its strong ethical foundation and the combative instinct of man, would never have made so solid a frame for the life beautiful if love had not been the source of its constantly revived ardour."(2)
Love for all creation viewed as God's handiwork led to the noble attribute of pride. This pride was not inordinate, seeing one's own self as superior; or sinful, as if it were in opposition to humility. Rather, it was a pride which reflected the understanding of one's true value as a soul created in the noble image of one's Creator. This was the pride of which Hadewijch and Beatrice were to write, and which gave the reason for the desire to return, by means of love, to one's original resting place in God. Because o! that likeness to God's image, one was truly blessed with nobility and, recognizing that fact, desired ever more to return to a more perfect life in union with God.(3)
Chivalry, however, entailed a particular poverty of spirit, a relinquishing of worldly ties. "We glorify the soldier as the man absolutely unencumbered," wrote William James. "Owning nothing but his bare life, and willing to toss that up at any moment when the cause commands him, he is the representative of unhampered freedom in ideal directions."(4) Like the soldier, the Christian had to be willing to leave self behind, to free self from all worldly attachments, even one's knowledge, one's aims, desires, and powers, in order to make room for God. This was poverty of spirit -- not solely a material deprivation, and by no means a self-degradation or denial; rather, a dispossession of self that left one free for God. This mysticism was characteristically Christocentric. These three Flemish mystics seemed to have understood well the causal relationship of the paschal mystery: that because he was God, Christ could give his life for those he loved and, by denying his will, be glorified. For Jesus, the hour of his passion was also the time of his exaltation. Poverty of spirit which allowed God to possess one's soul fully was in accord with the poverty and obedience of Christ, whereby the divine enters into the human subject which then "becomes God with God."(5) This is the attitude of Christ expressed so beautifully in the Philippian hymn. Precisely because "he emptied himself, . . . God highly exalted him" (Phil. 2:7,9). This mutual relationship between poverty of spirit and pride, or nobility in the exaltation of human nature, is the gift to us of Hadewijch, Beatrice, and John of Ruysbroeck.
NOBILITY OF HUMANITY: HADEWIJCH
Biographical data for Hadewijch of Antwerp is minimal. It is generally accepted, however, that she wrote during the first half of the thirteenth century, was a member of the lay religious groups known as Beguines, and was probably from a noble family. Love is central in her doctrine, and her spiritual life is entirely an ascent toward Love. She effects a beautiful, lofty, noble intellectualism of powerful and fruitful gifts.(6)
She understands her own noble gifts to be innate by virtue of the fact that she comes from the triune God, created according to the divine image.(7) She is endowed with nobility from all time, for she has lived in love with God from all eternity. Thus she can say:This flowing forth and this refluxThis flowing forth and reflux, this coming from God in whom we have existed from all time and this return to him, to his image in us, is typical of Hadewijch, Beatrice, and Ruysbroeck and is a primary component of most of this Flemish speculative mysticism. Jean-Baptiste Porion summarizes it: "We have been, we are from all eternity in the divine Word: the spiritual life is a return to and a recovery of our good, of our truthful [real] substance. The soul is an image of the Trinity: its depth and that of God call upon one another mysteriously; she is made to be seen by him and to see him."(9)
Of one into the other, and this growth in God
Surpass the mind and understanding,
The intelligence and capacity
Of human creatures,
But still we have it in our nature.(8)
Above all things the soul seeks love and noble virtues, for it is by virtues that one will do the work of love. These ideas are well expressed in Hadewijch's letters in which she continually refers to the recipients as chivalrous souls, who must always act "according to your free nobility."(10) "He who loves God," she writes, "loves virtues .... Love is not in each person according to what he feels, but according as he is grounded in virtue and rooted in charity. . . The virtues still follow their nature and continually work the work of love."(11) Is this not how we are to serve others? It is in giving of ourselves and our time, and in sharing our talents, that we really share the life and love of God within us.
The work of love serves God with all the noble gifts with which the soul has been blessed. It is a service which seeks no reward but love itself: "In this manner earnestly maintain the noble perfection of your invaluable and perfect soul . . . . Remain undivided and withhold yourself from all meddling with good or bad, high or low; let everything be . . . . This is your real debt . . . thus to love God in simplicity and seek after nothing but this single Love, who has chosen us for herself alone."(12) In still another letter Hadewijch writes: "When anyone seeks Love and undertakes her service, he must do all things for her glory, for during all this time he is human and needy; and then he must work chivalrously in all things, be generous, serve and show mercy."(13)
Though Hadewijch speaks of being with God from all eternity, she is nevertheless conscious of her humanity which is consequently blessed and noble because it shares in the very humanity of Christ. "I desired," she wrote, "that his Humanity should to the fullest extent be one in fruition with my humanity, and that mine then should hold its stand and be strong enough to enter into perfection until I content him, who is perfection itself."(14)
Perhaps today this lofty humanism might be thought conceited. Yet hers was truly a Christian humanism because her nobility was that of service to all one's neighbors, for she saw all of creation as being endowed with this noble nature. Her pride by no means resisted or transcended her humanity. In fact, it was the pride in her humanity and nobleness, accompanied by humility, which she advocated as being the framework around which to build one's spiritual life. Her "profound feeling of humility should correct certain of her expressions which may have been troublesome," writes Joseph van Mierlo. "In the midst of the highest divine favors, Hadewijch kept a humble heart. Her pride is that of a saintliness, which, conscious of her nothingness and her unworthiness, dares all by the grace of God."(15)
To serve one's neighbor with no desire of reward often requires struggle, pain, and renunciation of self. Hadewijch was not adverse to any of this. Love is demanding and asks that one abdicate one's own interests and will to those of love itself. This service is to be like Christ's, for it is service performed in obedience and with detachment. "To this lofty surrender," one of Hadewijch's letters puts it, "holy Love at all times exhorts the noble, proud souls who are willing to understand it and cast away all things for the sake of Love, as he himself cast away all when he was sent by his Father, and when he finished the work Love had commanded him to do."(16) If suffering is necessary to attain likeness to the Son of God, then one must accept it willingly as he did. As Hadewijch wrote, "we must continually be aware that noble service and suffering in exile are proper to man's condition; such was the share of Jesus Christ when he lived on earth as man."(17)
Detachment from all things, including one's desires, naturally proceeds from this mentality. One is to work without counting the cost, not caring whether one is well or ill esteemed. To adorn oneself with any material pleasure in hope of achieving contentment in it is only to deceive oneself. That is a false pride, which discounts humility and seeks reward in oneself rather than in God. That is not the pride of which Hadewijch speaks, by which one longingly serves and loves God.
Though Hadewijch stated the necessity of obedience in the spiritual life, which undoubtedly entails a certain detachment from self, she did not actually speak of poverty, except in relation to one's simplicity. When one renounces all except love, and when this love drives "the soul beyond every creature, every image, and every thought"(18) into contact with God, one is, in all simplicity, living God's life and allowing him to live his life in one's soul. Hadewijch wrote:If, in fine, you wish to have what is yours (1 Cor. 3:22), give yourself completely in abandonment to God, to become what he is. For the honor of Love, renounce yourself as far as you can, to be purely obedient in all that belongs to your greatest perfection, both in doing and in omitting. To this end you must remain humble, and unexalted by all the works you can accomplish, but wise with generous and perfect charity to sustain all things in heaven and on earth.(19)Always conscious of her blessedness, her noble nature due to God's life within her, and her life in his image from all eternity, Hadewijch could say with the greatest truth and holy pride: "For that is the most perfect satisfaction: to grow up in order to be God with God."(20)
NOBILITY LEADS TO SURRENDER: BEATRICE
To Beatrice of Nazareth, a contemporary of Hadewijch, we can attribute only one extant writing: "On the Seven Manners of Loving." Yet the paucity of her works in no way lessens her importance among the great Flemish mystics. Like Hadewijch, and Ruysbroeck after her, she wrote in the common language, with a rich and elegant style, perhaps more accessible to most than that of Hadewijch.
The "Seven Manners of Loving" describes the ways in which love descends from God to the person, and in which the soul returns to God in love by noble exaltation. Hers is also a love which must serve with generous abandon, doing all without recompense, desiring only that final rest in the divine dwelling place of the Trinity. Like Hadewijch, it is a lofty love of which Beatrice speaks, never content until it has attained union.
Of these three mystics, Beatrice perhaps gives witness best of all to the mutuality of the qualities of nobleness and poverty of spirit in the spiritual life. For her, to regain the innate nobility of one's soul, one's love must necessarily be detached or disinterested. The dependence of these two qualities is expressed at the very beginning of her work where she writes of the first two manners of loving. "The pious soul . . . as it longs does everything in its power to attain and to keep the purity and the nobility and the freedom in which it was made by its Creator, in His image and likeness . . . . with its whole attention and with great longing and with all its powers it strives to preserve itself and to shun everything which could burden or hinder it as it works to this end."(21) The soul must sacrifice all that belongs to it personally, in order that it be brought to absolute purity. Only then, in the second manner, that of disinterested love, does the soul wish "to serve Love as a noble lady serves her Lord, without doing it for the purpose of receiving recompense."(22)
Beatrice's understanding of her natural gifts is of utmost importance in her writings, for it colors all the manners of loving which she unfolds. In a treatise which has been lost in its entirety but summarized in her biography, she states: "We do not do enough to bring into our spiritual life our natural gifts, in particular our noble self-respect, subtle and ingenious acumen, simplicity, innate austerity, great tranquillity, graciousness, openness, cleverness, affability."(23)
The twentieth century, an age of psychological distress, attributable in part to our work ethic and resultant lack of self-esteem and self-respect, could learn much from the powerful writings of this simple and nearly unknown mystic. Beatrice recognized her own supreme worth as an excellent creation of God, made in his image. The soul, she says, "feels a great closeness to God and a spiritual brightness and a wonderful richness and a noble freedom."(24) The giftedness and awesome beauty of all creation are summarized in those few words regarding natural gifts, for they describe not only human greatness but the glories of mountain streams, ocean sunsets, and gentle breezes. As Beatrice knew, we are stewards of all creation, for it is all being transformed into a "new creation" by Christ.
Her reasoning, however, led her to understand that, because of the tremendous giftedness of nature, the love which the soul desires to become might be averted from its one true goal: Love itself. For this reason she speaks of the soul being disinterested in order that it might love God simply for himself. This disinterestedness takes the form of surrender. Of the third manner of loving she writes: "This is when the soul longs to be sufficient for love, to perfect itself for the honour of love and to serve it in every way, in utter obedience and submission .... It surrenders its whole self for love."(25) In the fourth manner of loving, this surrender is confirmed, but almost in a way that is beyond one's control: "And then the soul feels that all its senses and its will have become love . . . . the spirit sinks away down into love, the body seems to pass away, the heart to melt, every faculty to fail."(26) But this surrender is with a purpose. Only in surrendering her soul that it may be "taken up, absorbed, consumed, engulfed, ravished by love" -- in the words of Stephenus Axters(27) -- can she return to that totally free life which she possesses in the divinity.
Poverty of spirit has been called a dying to self, and it is in this vein that Beatrice speaks. Of the third manner of loving, she writes: "It is above all else the greatest torment to the soul that despite its great longings it cannot do enough for love . . . . and so the soul must stay in sorrow and longing, and it will seem that living, it dies, and dying, it feels the pains of hell."(28)
The sixth manner of loving most completely reveals Beatrice's true mystic self, and unites, without reserve, the noble qualities of love with its accompanying detachment of all that would hinder its ascent to God. Here Beatrice indicates "that which the special influence of God and the full flowering of these gifts of the Holy Spirit produce in the mystic soul," according to J. Kerssemakers.(29) Beatrice writes: "The soul feels that love has conquered its every shortcoming, and has mastered the senses and adorned its humanity, and increased and exalted its being .... When the soul is in this state, there is nothing which it must perform or abandon, suffer and endure, which does not seem to it petty and easy, for this is one of love's noble qualities."(30)
Through the surrender in love the soul has truly become mistress of love itself, yet not by her own achievement, but because God who is all love has ordained to grace and blessed the soul with his own life. This is the content of the seventh manner, which any will find difficult to understand, let alone grasp, who have not themselves experienced love and been seized by it: "So the soul has climbed in spirit above time into eternity, it is exalted above all that love can give into the eternity which is love itself .... the soul has transcended its own nature in its longing for the life which is there . . . in that noble exaltation and that transfiguring beauty, in the sweet company of those highest spirits who all flow out in the superabundance of love.(31) The noble gifts of the soul have matured and blossomed to their greatest, deepest, and fullest sanctity in and through love.
In many ways Beatrice and Hadewijch were decidedly alike with respect to their experiences of mystic union. One note of distinction, however, appears to be the ordering of nobility of nature and poverty of spirit. For Hadewijch, who recognized the inherent nobility of humankind, poverty of spirit was essential, in order for one to be able to serve love totally and freely, unencumbered by anything that would prevent one from loving, even as Love loves. While recognizing this particular ordering of qualities in loving, Beatrice spoke also of the surrender which must follow love as it ascended to God. For her, this surrender was almost compelled by the very power of love itself. When Love ravished the soul as it was wont to do, one could only succumb to its power and return the love it gave.
BLESSED THE POOR IN SPIRIT: RUYSBROECK
Of these three Flemish mystics, a more complete theological exposition of exemplarist mysticism is presented by Blessed John of Ruysbroeck. Chronologically, Ruysbroeck followed Hadewijch and Beatrice, writing in the fourteenth century. Much more is known of Ruysbroeck's life than of either of the women; and, fortunately for the world, many of his works have survived.
Before elaborating on his treatment of the nobility of humankind or poverty of spirit, it is necessary to begin with a basic outline of his theology of exemplarism, for this theology permeates his writings and must be considered as the foundation of his total mystical theology.
God is the superessence, the exemplary image, in whose image all persons were created. Having been born in God, they participate in some way in God's life, loving as God loves and working as God works, serving one another in virtue and acts of charity, while always returning to rest in his loving embrace. In the words of Ruysbroeck: "In us live knowledge, love, contemplation, approach to God; and above all these, fruition. Our active life consists of loving God; our passive life of receiving the embrace of his love . . . . And the Spirit of God Himself drives us out, by His breath, to works, love, and virtue, and draws us back into Himself for quiet and fruition; and this is eternal life."(32)
In conjunction with these ideas, Ruysbroeck is also known as a promoter of the "common life." This term, however, must be properly understood; unfortunately, his meaning has no relation to its current secular definition. The "common life" was one of perfect balance between action and contemplation, between work in virtue and rest in God. This idea was thoroughly grounded in Scripture, particularly in the Gospel of John, where God is both working and resting in divine unity. The work of God in the world was incarnated and continued in the life of Jesus Christ: "My Father is at work until now and I am at work as well" (John 5:17); and Ruysbroeck states this at the forefront of his writings. If one is to live as one was made, in God's own image and likeness, then necessarily one must live in the manner of that perfect image of God given to the world in his Son. The image of God, our likeness to Christ, and the glory which Christ shares with all humankind are the foundation upon which Ruysbroeck builds the nobility of nature.
One could argue whether or not Ruysbroeck was actually influenced by Hadewijch, but one thing is certain: their mystical theology was similar in content; and it appears that Ruysbroeck deepened and enlarged the elements of her thought, analyzing and coordinating them into a more stylized system than Hadewijch ever proposed.(33) From "A Mirror of Eternal Blessedness," we read: "And so this image, which is the Son of God, is eternal, before all creation; and we are all made in this eternal image, for in the noblest part of our souls, that is, in the properties of our highest powers, we are made as a living eternal mirror of God, in which God has impressed His eternal image."(34) No one fashioned in this eternal image could be anything less than noble, truly free, and certainly blessed.
At this point the Christocentrism of Ruysbroeck becomes most prominent. One only reaches full stature as the image of God when one is truly likened to Christ. And to be likened to Christ means, above all, living as Christ lived, in love, with compassion and virtue. "Ruysbroeck's theory of transcendence involves, not the passage from one life to another, but the adding of one life to another: the perpetual deepening, widening, heightening and enriching of human experience."(35) To add Christ's life to one's own implies making oneself humble, as the Son of God was humble, becoming a servant, for Jesus came to serve, and abandoning one's self-will to that of the Father: "Because it is not to do my own will that I have come down from heaven, but to do the will of him who sent me" (John 6:38). Ruysbroeck's poverty of spirit consists of this self-surrender in humility, in order that one might live the life to which one is called, as a child of God. Precisely in this abandonment it becomes possible for one to join God in the eternal repose which makes real one's noble virtues. "When a humble man is inwardly touched by the Spirit of God," Ruysbroeck writes, "and snatched up or transported into Him, he forthwith renounces his own will, and gives himself freely into the hands of God."(36)
Abandoning one's self-will increases one's desire for God. Like Hadewijch and Beatrice, Ruysbroeck knows that this increased desire to serve and love God may cause pain to one's heart, because one cannot love as fully and deeply as one might wish. This is the point when one gives oneself freely and totally into the hands of God, and in this surrender becomes most noble. Ruysbroeck states:This is itself the very ground of humility, for when, by the working of the grace of God, we renounce ourselves and desert our own will for the beloved will of God, then God's will becomes our will, and being free, nay, freedom itself, takes from us the spirit of fear and makes us free, untramelled and empty of ourselves .... There we see ourselves lifted up in the highest, yet lowly in ourselves, and filled with grace and gifts in the union with God . . . . And the worship that springs therefrom participates of a lowliness and loftiness . . . . The humble man is a vessel of election of God, full and overflowing with all gifts and all good.(37)So lowliness becomes loftiness, the poor in spirit becomes blessed, and the concepts of poverty of spirit and nobility are united.
Ruysbroeck did not write for those who wished to find an easy path to a state of mystical union. In fact, Ruysbroeck distinguished in his writings between our union with God and our unity with God. The synchronism of the life of the soul and the life of God is absolute, because our true life is in God and all that concerns our life projects to us the life of God. Union marks an action, whereas unity signifies a state.(38) Again, here appears the "common-life" balance of action and contemplation. Neither alone, but both together, bring one to the divine dwelling place. True to his profound doctrine of the Trinity, it is through Christ and in the Spirit that this is made actual. "And then shall Christ carry us with Him into that exalted life wherein we are united to God, and our pure souls cleave by love to the Holy Spirit and dwell in Him."(39)
Ruysbroeck's theology is one of wholeness, in which action supports contemplation, nobility requires abandonment of self, and both result in the poor or humble person's being made rich and exalted.
Three Flemish mystics of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have shown us a way in which Christians can bring Christ, humbled and exalted, to the world of the twentieth century. They have demonstrated that it is possible to be poor in spirit yet proud in one's nature. To serve love, which John of Ruysbroeck stressed, to feel love, which Beatrice of Nazareth eloquently described, and to be love, which Hadewijch of Antwerp boldly encouraged, human beings were created noble -- we are noble.
- Odo Brooke, "William of St. Thierry " Month 28 (1962): 349.
- J. Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1954), p. 78.
- The influence of the Wesenmystik is found throughout these writings. This idea is well defined in Jean Leclercq, Francois Vandenbroucke, and Louis Boyer, A History of Christian Spirituality II: The Spirituality of the Middle Ages (New York: Desclee, 1968), pp. 362-64. Briefly: "It becomes above all a matter of restoring God's image in man -- an image that has been defiled by sin. According to this speculative conception of the soul's ascent to God, which has been called 'mysticism of the essence' (Wesenmystik), the whole of the spiritual life consists in this return" (p. 362).
- William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (New York: Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1961), pp. 254-55.
- A Friend of God, The Book of the Poor in Spirit, ed. and trans. C. F. Kelley (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1954), p. 34.
- Joseph van Mierlo, "Hadewijch, une mystique flamande du treizième siècle," Revue d'ascétique et de mystique 5 (1924): 277.
- Hadewijch: The Complete Works, trans. Mother Columba Hart, The Classics of Western Spirituality (New York: Paulist Press, 1980), Letter 30: P. 57-145, pp. 117-18.
- Ibid. Poems in Couplets 16:129-34, p. 356.
- Dictionnaire de spiritualitè, s.v. "Hadewijch," col. 18. See also Mother Columba Hart, "Hadewijch of Brabant," American Benedictine Review 13 (March 1962): 4.
- Hadewijch, Letter 18: P. 1 p. 85.
- Ibid., Letter 10: P. 1 and P. 26, p. 66-67.
- Ibid., Letter 18: P. 51, p. 86.
- Ibid., Letter 17: P. 78, p. 84.
- Ibid., Vision 7, p. 280.
- Joseph van Mierlo, "Hadewijch, une mystique flamande," p. 403.
- Hadewiich, Letter 16: P. 28, pp. 80-81.
- Ibid., Letter 6: P. 86, p. 58.
- Dictionnaire, s.v. "Hadewijch," col. 18.
- Hadewijch, Letter 2: P. 163, pp. 51-52.
- Ibid., Vision 7, p. 280.
- Beatrice of Nazareth, "There are Seven Manners of Loving," in Medieval Netherlands Religious Literature, trans. Eric Colledge (New York: Maxwell, 1965), p. 19.
- Dictionnaire de spiritualité, s.v. "Béatrice de Nazareth," col. 1311.
- Ibid., col. 1312.
- Beatrice, "Seven Manners," p. 22.
- Ibid., pp. 20-21.
- Ibid. p.22.
- Stephanus Axters, The Spirituality of the Old Low Countries, trans. Donald Attwater (London: Blackfriars, 1954), p. 21.
- Beatrice, "Seven Manners," p. 21.
- J. Kerssemakers, "Une mystique des Pays-Bas au Xllle siècle: Béatrix de Nazareth," La vie spirituelle: Supplement 19 (March 1929): 314.
- Beatrice, "Seven Manners," pp. 24-25.
- Ibid., p. 27.
- Jan van Ruysbroeck, The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love, trans. F. Sherwood Taylor (Westminster: Dacre Press, 1943), p. 60.
- Hart, "Hadewijch of Brabant," p. 6.
- Cited in Eric Colledge, "John Ruysbroeck," Month 22 (1959): 26.
- Evelyn Underhill, Ruysbroeck (London: G. Bell and Sons, 1914), p. 117.
- Ruysbroeck, Seven Steps, p. 27.
- Ibid., pp. 27-28.
- Paul Henry, "La mystique trinitaire du Bienheureux Jean Ruusbroec," Recherches de science religieuse 41 (1953): 56-67.
- Ruysbroeck, Seven Steps, p. 22.
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