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Mystical Terminology

Definitions of some words used by the mystics

TermDefinition
Apprehensions Activity and content of perception; can be sensory or spiritual, natural or supernatural
Beginners Experience conversion and begin to respond to the divine call
Detachment Freedom from disordered appetites
Dryness Lack of satisfaction in one's prayer and spiritual practices
Contemplation Supernatural prayer that is not understood by the senses, but received by the spirit
Hope Theological virtue which unites the memory with God
Intellect Spiritual power for knowing
Memory Spiritual power to recall and relive what is past
Mystical Adjective meaning secret or hidden
Prayer The raising of the heart and mind to God
Purification Process of eliminating all that is contrary to receiving the fulness of God's life
Senses Bodily faculties that have material things as their objects
Spiritual Betrothal Term for an elevated degree of union that takes place in the illuminative way
Spiritual Director One freely chosen as a guide on the spiritual journey
Spiritual Marriage Symbolic expression designating full union with God
Stages Degrees of spiritual growth: purgative, illuminative and unitive ways OR beginner, proficient, perfect
Supernatural Above the natural
Theological Virtues Spiritual gifts of faith, hope and love that lead to union with God
Spiritual touches Communications from God
Transformation Union with God implying a change in form.
Virtue Habitual power for doing good
Will Spiritual power to desire or to love
Angels Purely spiritual, immaterial beings with intellect and will.
Transcendental Properties of Being True, Good, Beautiful, Oneness or Unity and Existence
Components of a Moral Act Intentions, Circumstances and the Act itself
Symbol A word, picture or concept to communicate a deeper reality
Mantra A word or phrase to maintain recollection
Faith Theological virtue which perfects the human intellect
Love Theological virtue which perfects the human will
Cenobitic Life Monastic life centered in community
Eremitic Life Life as a hermit with ties to a superior
Four Cardinal Virtues Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance
What must be left behind in order to progress in the spiritual life? Mortal sin, venial sin, voluntary imperfections
In St. Teresa's garden image, what does water represent? Prayer
Using the garden image, what are flowers and weeds? Virtues and vices
Ascetical Acts What humans can do "modo humano" to advance spiritually
Mystical Gifts What God gives "modo divino" to advance us spiritually
Kataphatic Prayer Prayer utilizing imagination and discursive application of the intellect
Apophatic Prayer Prayer without images or "thinking", yet the will is exercised in love
Quietist Prayer Heretical speculation of passive prayer without application of the will or intellect
Proficients Those who are in the second of the three stages and experience contemplation as a regular part of their prayer life
Perfect Those who have passed through the passive nights and have habitual union with God
Appetites Unreasonable desires
Meditation Intellectual activity utilizing the imagination and directed toward God
Prayer of Quiet Supernatural grace that results in the union of the will with God
Rapture Supernatural gift that suspends both external and interior senses
Visions Spiritual gifts that pertain to what is seen
Locutions Spiritual gifts that pertain to what is heard
Prayer of Union Supernatural gift that unites will, intellect and memory with God and therefore eliminates distractions
Consolations Natural or supernatural prayer experiences that are pleasing to the person who is praying. Opposite of dryness
Created by: k.g
 

 



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