How to get Started Studying Catholic Mysticism?

I’m becoming increasingly interested in Catholic Mysticism, though by no means consider myself a Mystic. I want to start reading some books on it, maybe by some famous Mystics, on either experiences from it or on preforming/studying it. What are some good ones? Who are some of the best Mystics to read on?


Definitely St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross :slight_smile: they’re very good also because they relate mysticism to holiness and don’t focus on the experiences, feelings, etc, but rather on how prayer brings us closer to God.


Father Thomas Dubays’ “Fire Within” on teachings from the writings of St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross is one of the more respected books on the subject.

Exactly what I think also. maybe one can start with the book, ‘The Fulfillment of All Desire’ by Ralph Martin. He quotes 5 saints in this book: Theresa of Avila, John o fthe Cross, St Therese and my memory is fuzzy here…I think St Bernard and some other mystic. Wonderful way to start your journey in mysticism. Simple to read but profound in its reading. I have read it twice! Being French, I do things backwards though. About 25 years ago, I read ALL of St Jogn of the Cross’s written works. Studied them and prayed about them…then went to St Edith Stein…now Brother Lawrence. All Carmelites. My favourites are John of the Cross and St Ignatius of Loyola…:heart:

For those interested, I have some Catholic spiritual books up for auction on ebay right now.

10.00$ for ‘Fire Within’ is a steal! I read that book twice and is a treasure to behold!

I have a book of short quotes by St. Teresa of Avila. It can be helpful at first, because her writings can be very difficult to take in all at once. I recommend reading them eventually, but this is a good introduction.

St Gregory of Nyssa and Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite are also worth a read and can help understand St John of the Cross.
St Bonaventure was also a great mystic.

I to am drawn toward the mystical aspects of The church.
So my recommendation is - - The Book in my signature.

It’s a great summary of the teachings and commonalities of the great mystic Doctors of the Church and will not only give you a good “feel” for the mystical approach in general, but will whet your appetite for more reading by the many quotes used throughout the text.
I cannot recommend any book more highly for someone starting down this path.


The Three Ages of the Interior Life-- by Lagrange (2 vol)

(you can get his book…too)

and many many more :slight_smile:

All good ideas. Also, the diary of St. Faustina.

I read all the posts before mine and they are all excellent books. I would say a classic not mentioned is “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis. For something easy yet profound would be anything by Fr John Tauler.

A book on mysticism that I really enjoyed was Into the Region of Awe regarding mysticism in the CS Lewis books. Fantastic, and very readable.%between%

That is three of us, now!

A study of the mystics and genuine mysticism is most healthily coupled to a solid appreciation of the principles of Catholic asceticism.

If you’re not well grounded in the principles of asceticism, the mystics can be quite confusing, or you may not have the proper mental and spiritual context in which to understand what they’ve written.

Two recommendations as far as classic source material for meat-and-potatoes, tried-and-true Catholic asceticism:

The Imitation of Christ
by Thomas à Kempis

Practice and Perfection of Christian Virtues
In Two Volumes: Volume 1, Volume 2
by Fr. Alphonsus Rodriguez, S.J.

that’s an excellent idea / suggestion :slight_smile:

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