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             In medieval mysticism the body was on of the most important components. Many mystics would starve themselves, inflict pain on their bodies and do other horrible things to bring about their visions and experiences. One of the mystics that practiced such things was St. Francis. To teach himself and ingrain into his head not to do certain things he would do unpleasurable things to his body to suppress evils. Over time St. Francis was able to deny evil thoughts and actions more and more. A specific example of this was in The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi. Friar Bernard was praying to God in the forest when St Francis called to him. He didn't respond and this angered Francis. He soon realized from God that Bernard would not answer him because he was praying with God. For punishment St. Francis ordered him to step on his mouth and neck three times. This is typical for mystics during that era. Another group that focused on the body was the catars. They believed that every earthly thing was satanic and evil. But this idea brings about a difficult view of Christ. How can the son of God consist of any evil? If the body is evil and God took the form of a man then Jesus" body must have been evil. This is an idea I have a hard time understanding, let alone believing. It seems throughout the history of religions, heresies and mystics there has been a demonstration of infinite gullibility throughout mankind. Anyone with an idea and a little charisma can get hundreds of followers.
             For every mystic there is a basic progression in which the soul will develop which is called the "mystic way". The section in the CR titled "Mystics of the Church" describe this process in three stages. It begins with purgation, which is the stage that deals mostly with pleasure and pain. In order to fulfill this aspect of the mystic way one must detach themselves from their material possessions and physical interests.

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