Women make up half the human race, but so far we have only presented five quite briefly, compared with some thirty men described so far in this Volume III. We will now rectify that "injustice" by recalling six women mystics. They cannot be attached to any school, but their common characteristic is that they lived their mysticism in the world, in very varied conditions. Only one of them was a nun, but after being married. Wit them we will travel in France, and to Canada and Flanders.

The influential "Sister Marie" des Vallées (1590-1656).

In our view Marie des Vallées' destiny was the strangest, as she began by going through episodes of “possession”, before being considered a great saint. We know her life thanks to the account[1] by St. Jean Eudes.

 She was born of poor parents in a village of Lower Normandy. Her father died when she was 12 and she became a servant. After refusing a proposal of marriage, she believed she was possessed by the devil and was taken to the archbishop of Rouen for solemn exorcisms. This is how they were performed in those days:

She was often made to do very painful things, as when she was ordered to carry a flaming burner in which she was made to put a quantity of sulphur mixed with finely chopped rue,[2]  and was commanded to keep her mouth open over the burner to receive the smoke which rose from it, and she was then made to drink twelve glasses of holy water at once.

After which she was shaved all over. This was done in the morning, and in the afternoon six or seven gentlemen from the Parliament came with doctors and surgeons, in whose presence she was undressed for the second time; and then she was pricked all over her body with needles and awls. [3]

She was also treated to six months of prison in the most atrocious conditions before being pronounced virtuous, although she believed she was still possessed: “to cast doubt on the reality of a possession could be interpreted as a lack of faith”.[4] Fortunately, the bishop of Coutances took her under his protection as a servant in his palace.

Concurrently with this strange atmosphere her inner life evolved; being single-minded, she gave herself without reserve to God. On 8 December 1615, aged 25, she accepted an "exchange of will" with God:

If my own will is annihilated and that of God is given me in its place, I will no longer offend Him, for it is only my own will which can commit sin. This is why with all my heart I renounce my own will and give myself to the most adorable will of my God, so that it may possess me so completely that I never offend him. (Life 1.9).

 […] sister Marie, being extraordinarily inspired, spoke in this way: "It is most certain that my mind has gone away to nothingness and that it has espoused the divine Will. This is neither a dream nor an imagining."[5]

She conversed with the Lord:

He said to her: "You are like a lute which says not a word if it is not touched and says only what it is made to say; it is the divine will which inspires you, makes you speak and makes you say these things."[6]

Where is your heart? - I do not know, she said, and I do not even know if I have one. I will go and make you see it ... Here is your heart - No, she said, it is not mine, it is yours.[7]

Her choice of the divine love was absolute:

Today He said to me: If your mind returned, would you want it?

- No […] I would rather go to nothingness than give it the least spark of the love I owe to God alone. It is a godlike love which belongs to God alone. It is God alone who may give it, and by a most pure goodness: for that love cannot be merited by any good work or suffering whatever.[8]

Like Surin she offered herself "in sacrifice” to ransom her persecutors. In a period when "witches"[Sash1]  were burned by thousands, she remained obsessed by the fear, even the conviction, that she was possessed. She believed she was still damned, the object of "the Anger of God", and lived through two further episodes which she called "Hell" (1617-1619) and "the Twelve-Year Evil", when she wanted to kill herself. Even in 1641 the bishop ordered Fr. Eudes to exorcise her ("in Greek").

So some pages in the account drawn up by Jean Eudes seem strange to us. They reveal the spirit of the times: an eccentric country girl from the Cotentin region, who went through extreme intimate ordeals and believed she was possessed even though she had given herself to God. The authentic description of that night of the soul is expressed in a highly coloured way, close to that of some visionaries of the Middle Ages; for example, this dream taking place in an infernal world :

She found herself mentally enclosed for a period of time in a hall where there was no opening and therefore neither doors nor windows, and in the middle was the mouth of hell, that is to say a gulf and an abyss at the bottom of which she saw the fire of hell […] Every day the place where she was dissolved little by little beneath her feet, and the well of the abyss increased until there was only a little edge which was by the wall, and a little piece of wood pierced through and detached from the face of the wall, through which she passed her arm to stop herself from falling into the abyss. She cried to Our Lady: "Is this the masterpiece of your power? What cruelty! Ah, I can no longer remain in this state." Finally, when everything had dissolved beneath her feet, she found she was released . (Life 1.8)

Thus the first part of the biography is filled with devils. Then a break appears between books III and IV, where together with the appearance of blank pages and a change in the copyist's handwriting, there is a profound change in the atmosphere: profound and beautiful passages take the place of devilries. This suggests the idea that two different editors were involved, no doubt from different periods.

The continuation offers some magnificent dialogues which re-create the "implacable" momentum of Marie's mystical path.[9] In them she speaks to God as between equals, and reveals an absolute insistence:

Well! What do you ask? Do you wish me to give you meditation?

– No, no, she said, that is not what I want.

– Do you wish for contemplation?

– No.

– What, then?

-- I ask for knowledge of the truth![10]

Or this passage, which aroused the enthusiasm of Julien Green reading the biography by Emile Dermenghem[11] :

“When she complained to Our Lord one day about her state, He said to her: "If I was in your place, what would you do?

“– Wait, she said, I assure you I would make you do whatever God's adorable will wanted me to make you do.

“– But what if God's adorable will wanted you to crucify me?

“– Yes, I assure you, I would crucify you, and I would strike great hammer blows on the nails to crucify you.

“– And if He willed you to place me in hell with the devils, would you place me there?

“– I assure you I would.

“– And if he willed you to leave me there for several years amid severe torments, would you leave me there?

– Yes, I would leave you there.[12]

Besides these dialogues with the Lord, she experienced beautiful dreams and explained their underlying spiritual sense when the symbols were too mysterious. Images used in a medieval representation of the world support the didactic function of mystical parables. When "Sister Marie" described a "dream", she at once interpreted it as a spiritual teaching:

The second day of December [1644], Our Lord showed her a form of an abbey whose abbess was the Divine Will. […]

The souls which are in that novitiate only make their vows when they are entirely stripped of themselves. When they make their vows they are at the foot of the mountain of perfection, on which they begin little by little to be deified, and in that state they must practise the excesses of the divine love, which contains seven articles :

The first is to light fire in water.

The second is to walk on the waters with dry feet. […]

The fifth is to make war on God and conquer Him. […]

Here is the explanation Our Lord gave her of these matters. To light fire in the waters is to retain the divine love amid sufferings. The more the sufferings increase, the more the divine love increases and catches fire.

To walk on the waters with dry feet is to despise and trample underfoot lawful and unlawful pleasures, without touching them. The pleasures are signified by the waters because they flow like water and have no stopping-point. […]

To make war on God and conquer him is to oppose God firmly when He wishes to punish sinners and persuade him to have mercy[…]

All these things surpass nature, said Sister Marie. There is no one but God alone which can effect them in the soul.[13]

Thus these visions call for a mystical interpretation. One of the finest of these dreams is set in the forest of human existence.[14] The imperious injunction of grace is symbolised by the Blessed Virgin. Quite specific images describe the hard work of purification which cleanses what is human. Mystical progress leads to the transformation of Marie, who at that time of her life still retained a fear of being unsupported and taking flight blindly: 

One day the Blessed Virgin said to Sister Marie: "My great servant ["basse", literally "lowly one"], let us go and work in the wood." The Blessed Virgin had a sickle, an axe, a ladder whose steps were made of rope, and a small spade. She led her to the entrance to the wood, where there were thorns and bushes everywhere. She handed her the sickle and commanded her to clear away all those thorns. She did so, and seeing her bleeding hands, she said to the Blessed Virgin: "My mother, my hands are all bleeding." The Blessed Virgin replied: "My Son never asked me for mittens." She continued, making the same complaint several times and receiving the same reply. As she cleared away the thorns, she came to a fine leafy tree with beautiful branches standing out on all sides. The Blessed Virgin said to her: "Strike, my great basse, strike on those branches." She struck them and blood came out.

This frightened her and she wanted to withdraw. The Blessed Virgin told her angrily several times: "Strike, it is taking up space." She cut its branches all around, that is to say the lower ones. She commanded her to clear away as before, with the same complaints and the same replies. And they came to a fine tree, completely pruned, with only one branch remaining at the top to support a dove. She climbed up to the top of it by means of the stumps left after the pruning, and finding nothing to hold onto she was seized with fear, but she was changed into a dove and became blind and very frightened, being scarcely able to hold on and not knowing [273v] where else to fly, because she was blind.[15]

Concerning that flight towards the unknown, she said that the mystic is called to “live outside his being, of a life unknown to he who possesses it”(Life 9.4).

She complained of the rigour of the divine love:

But the divine love is severe, rigorous and terrible. It keeps laughing, but it strikes most harshly. I tremble when I see it. When one complains to it, it only laughs: one does not know where it goes or where it leads; it must be followed blindly. (Life 6.4)

She was given a detailed summary of the mystical life:

In that same year 1645, on 29 January, Our Lord also said to her: « […] I have given that medicine to my apostles and my best friends. It is composed of three ingredients: to give, to receive and to ask. To give one's human life to God and receive His divine life, which one receives gradually as one gives one's life to Him As a man gradually dies to himself, that is to say to his mind, his will, his passions and his feelings, he lives by My mind, My will, My passions, My feelings. And when he is completely dead to himself and human life, he no longer lives except by God, and there is no longer anything in him but what is divine, and when that is so he presents himself to God with My life and all My merits in him, and boldly asks him for his neighbour's salvation and everything needed to procure it. This is the shortest way to perfection. [16]

"Boldly asking for the neighbour's salvation" corresponded to her most profound desire, to save souls:

But when I arrived at the gate of paradise, after all souls to the very last had entered it, if the door was closed against me, what would I say? Since all souls had been saved, I would say to God without regret: "I am at rest, I am content to be sent to nothingness." [17]

Nevertheless, she had no illusions concerning the importance of her role:

"Do you wish me to show you in what way you increase My glory? Tell me something: here is a little child who takes water in the hollow of his hand or on the tip of his finger and throws it into the sea, does he greatly increase the water in the sea? […] There are others who keep all the water in their hand instead of throwing it into the sea, and they are those who do some good deeds but deprive Me of them through vanity."

On another occasion He also said to her: "Do you wish to know what you do and how you serve My work? You serve it as much as a little child aged two or three, who, seeing a barrel being loaded on a cart, pushes its end with a little stick and then says he has put the barrel on the cart, although he has been obstructive rather than useful by bothering and delaying those loading the barrel, because they were afraid of hurting him." [18]

But the Lord may well have satisfied her urgent requests, as shown by this dialogue:

One day Our Lord said to Sister Marie: "The blind have gathered to put the sun on trial. The reason they give is that he has lost his light and should be driven from the sky because he is taking up space there unnecessarily.

– I beg you, have pity on them for they do not know what they are saying, and give them a favourable judgment.

– Yes, said Our Lord. I will go to end this trial and give them judgment in the excess of my love. 

And at that time he pronounced judgment in this way: "I condemn the sun to give the blind eyes to know him and see his light."[19][…]

– What are those eyes, and what is that sunlight?

– Those eyes, replied Our Lord, are my divine grace which I will give to all, and the sunlight is faith.[20]

The depth of her mystical experience may be measured by her reactions when she read authors who had reached the summit. This is shown by an episode concerning Benet of Canfield, as she appreciated only the third part of his Rule: [21]

Before she came to Coutances she did not know how to read, but when she was there she was taught to read. In those days Our Lord arranged for her to have a book called The Rule of Perfection, which is divided into three parts. The third part concerns the highest contemplation, and the first two teach the means one may use to reach it.

When she had that book she could only read very imperfectly by spelling out and hesitating. Nevertheless, when she came to open it, she read everything in the third part easily and without hesitating, and what is more, she understood it very well. But she could not read the two other parts, the more so because they did not concern her, as God had not made her pass by that way to lead her to the perfection she had reached, which was described in that third part. [22]

Concerning other authors:

Our Lord also gave her another book written by a priest named Thomas Deschamps, [23] entitled "Les Fleurs de l’Amour divin" or "Le Jardin des Contemplatifs" ["The Flowers of Divine Love" or "The Garden of Contemplatives"] where several things of the most high perfection may be seen […] when she read what Saint Theresa wrote in her books concerning the most sublime contemplation, she was surprised that this saint made so much of it, because she believed it was shared by everyone. [24]

She also felt very close to Catherine of Genoa :

Sister Marie affirmed that much of what she had experienced was in accordance with what is written about St. Catherine of Genoa in her life, except that there was much sensitive love in that saint […] Saint Theresa goes gently and advances little by little, but I am too hasty, said Sister Marie, I walk in désespérade (her word): as shown by those great desires I had for hell […] St. Catherine of Genoa wants only what God wants […] This is why she said St. Catherine of Genoa was her good sister.[25]

Thus she admitted she had walked "in despair", but she came through these terrible combats to live a further 22 years of great influence when she could take care of others. Indeed, she became the highly respected adviser to a great number of spiritual seekers for whom she was "Sister Marie" although she was not a nun: Jean de Bernières and the Hermitage circle, Catherine de Bar, François de Montmorency-Laval, the future bishop of Quebec, and the future saint Jean Eudes (who constantly defended her memory) went regularly to visit her at Coutances. Baron de Renty[26]  declared that she had given him "the key which opens the path I have walked in this life." Mectilde de Bar, foundress of the Benedictines of the Blessed Sacrament, sought her prayers through de Bernières and continued to pray to her after her death. Beyond this circle, she was admired by people as different as the Jesuit P. Coton, J.-B. Saint-Jure, Renty's director and the future Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin, a Hospitaller nun (also tormented by satanic obsessions, she lived from 1648 to her death in the Quebec Hôtel-Dieu).

The friends of the Hermitage of Caen went every year to spend several days with "the saint of Coutances", sharing their most intimate difficulties with her. Jean Eudes carefully noted "the sayings of Sister Marie". His account has come down to us through the manuscript of the so-called "Quebec" Admirable Life, which Mgr de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, took in his luggage, showing the veneration with which the Hermitage circle surrounded Marie.

Here is an example of these visits:

In the month of June 1653, some pious persons went to see Sister Marie to consult her on several difficulties they had concerning the way on which God made them walk, which was a way of contemplation. They stayed at Coutances for fifteen days, seeing her every day and talking with her on this subject for two, three, four and sometimes five hours a day.

It should be noted that this is not her way now as she is on another, incomparably above the way she took formerly, but that was so long ago that she no longer remembers it. This is why, when they spoke to her of it, she began by saying that it was not her way and she knew nothing about it. But a little while later God gave her a great light to answer all their questions, clarify their doubts, take away their difficulties and speak perfectly about passive inner prayer, to reveal its origin, qualities and effects, show the perils met with there and give the means to avoid them, and how to distinguish true from false devotion.

"This way is very good in itself, she told them, and it is the way God has given you to go to him, but it is rare: few persons go that way, which is why it is to easy to go astray on it.

"It is not for us to choose that way and we must not enter on it by ourselves and our own inclination. It is for God to choose it for us and make us enter it. One must not speak of it to anyone to teach them it, for if one makes persons not drawn to it by God enter on it, one places them in danger and great risk of going astray and being lost. If some persons speak of it, one should listen to them. If one recognises from their words that they are walking on that path, then one may speak of it with them. That way is full of perils, on it one should fear vanity, self-love, one's own excellence, idleness and time-wasting.

"It should not be thought that this is the only way which leads to the annihilation of ourselves and to perfection. All roads lead to the city. There is an infinity of ways to go to perfection: some go there through contemplation, others through acting, others through sufferings, others by other ways. Each soul has its own individual way. It should not be thought that the way of contemplation is the most excellent  … [27].

What took place in her presence? Three levels of her action are perceptible. Sometimes she answered questions with her answers being noted, probably on the same day, by her questioners, including Jean Eudes. Sometimes she recounted her "dreams", to teach by means of symbols. But some visitors realised a much deeper experience with her, in silent communication from heart to heart:

Her usual way of knowing the truth of the matters sundry persons raise with her is not through intelligence or illumination, but by a direct experience that opens the depths of their heart, into which she enters…[28]

Here is testimony to this, probably from de Bernières :

27. I told Sister Marie I was conversing with her in God, without thinking to converse in words. She told me that there is an inner language, and that this was true. Little by little I ceased to speak with her, but remained with her in God […] I well knew that for me to speak to her was an imperfection, as this was not the way God wished for me. It seemed to me that my soul was led into a room alone with her, where others, but not herself, could not prevent the conversation: this is a pure gift which only God can give.

33. In the year 1655 we did not travel to see Sister Marie with the aim of receiving any particular reply or gift, but to obtain through her prayers the establishment of the real presence of God in the depths of our soul. Some months previously several illuminations had shown us that in the essence of the soul there is, as it were, an infinite capacity to receive that real presence, or rather to be immersed in God himself; we lost the desire to use other means, as this essential communication of God could only be made in God and by God himself, as our soul experiences through a secret instinct. 

34. She did not leave off telling us accounts, visions or illuminations she had had of the state of deification, revealing the happiness of a soul that enters that happy state. We expressed our desire for it, and that we could no longer enjoy any gift but God alone, and asked her to pray for us to obtain that great mercy; we found ourselves changed within, as if  established in a region more independent of means, and where there is more freedom, purity and simplicity, where the annihilation and the death of the self are experienced in a quite different manner from before.[29]

The Lord had told her that this work would be a spiritual motherhood:

You are suspended between heaven and earth, for you have no consolation from either heaven or earth and you are in labour […] you will give birth to joy. (Life 5.6.6).

Her memory remained alive and people prayed on her tomb in Coutances cathedral At the end of the century, Madame Guyon appreciated her:

For Sister Marie des Vallées, the miracles she has performed since her death and still performs in favour of the persons who persecuted her justify her sufficiently. She is a great saint who gave herself up in sacrifice for the salvation of many persons. She was most innocent, she was never thought to be disturbed, but obsessed and even possessed, but that makes no difference. [30]

Her influence still persisted in the eighteenth century: in 1726 near Amsterdam, the publisher  Pierre Poiret[31] incorporated the Conseils d’une grande Servante de Dieu in Madame Guyon's most beautiful collection devoted to the works of M. Bertot.[32] This shows her importance to Madame Guyon's circle.

To end, here is a splendid passage which recalls Ruusbroec and fittingly sums up the ardent life of Marie des Vallées :

In the year 1647, Sister Marie heard a voice crying within her:

"Hear me, hear me, O great sea of love. Here is a little drop of dew asking to be absorbed in your waves, so as to be lost there and never find itself again."

That voice cried thus continually for almost three days.

Sister Marie asked: "What voice is that?"

– Our Lord said: "It is the voice of a soul which has attained perfection, which is stripped of itself and everything which is not God, and is clothed and blazing in love and charity, and which cries because of its great desires to be entirely transformed and deified. But I am leaving it in that divine fire in order to purify it still more."[33]

[1]      La Vie Admirable de Marie des Vallées et son Abrégé rédigés par saint Jean Eudes suivis des Conseils dune grande servante de Dieu [The Admirable life of Marie des Vallées and its Summary, followed by the Counsels of a great servant of God], Texts edited and presented by Dominique Tronc and Joseph Racapé, cjm, Centre Saint-Jean-de-la-Croix, coll. « Sources mystiques », 2013 ; Marie des Vallées, Le Jardin de lAmour divin [The Garden of Divine Love], Texts selected and presented by Dominique and Murielle Tronc, Arfuyen, « Les carnets spirituels », 2013 ; Acts of the conference held on 1 June at Coutances, collected by Fr.. Daniel Doré, Vie Eudiste, 2014.

[2]      We have personally tested the very bitter and persistent scent of rue, a medicinal herb used against spells.

[3]      Vie admirable, Book 1 (of 10), Chapters 3 & 5 [= Vie 1.3 & 1.5].

[4]      DS 16.207 –See also Gaston de Renty, Correspondance,  Desclée de Brouwer, 1978, 926.

[5]      Book 9. Which contains most excellent things concerning grace and several of the principal Christian virtues. Chapter 3. Of the love of God. Dialogue between Our Lord and Sister Marie, which reveals the great love she has for him. Section 1. She loves God purely and wants no recompense. Her love godlike with regard to God.

[6]      - Sixth book. Containing what belongs to the divine attributes, to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to his Blessed Passion, to the Blessed Sacrament, to communion and confession. Chapter 2. Sister Marie's love for the divine will. She honours it as her mother, etc. Section 4. She is inspired by the Divine Will- Similarly, Bertot would say: "my soul is like an instrument which one plays, or, if you will, like a lute which does not and cannot say a word except by the movement of He who inspires it." (Directeur Mystique, t. 2, letter 6, p. 26)

[7]      Book 4, Chap. 10.

[8]      "The year 1653, 29 July".

[9]      Vie admirable, dialogue between Jésus-Christ and Sister Marie, f°166. This resembles the testimony of the devout followers of the Way of Blame at Nîshâpûr: "The believer no longer has a soul, for it has disappeared. And where has it gone? It went away when the pact with God was concluded" » (Sulamî, La lucidité implacable, Arlea, 1991, 75).

[10]    Book 9. Chapter 6. On contemplation. From the start Sister Marie was raised to the highest degree of contemplation. Section 2. Three sorts of contemplations. She resolves the difficulties raised with her regarding contemplation, and gives most useful advice on this subject.

[11]    Emile Dermenghem, La vie admirable et les révélations de Marie des Vallées daprès des textes inédits [The admirable life and revelations of Marie des Vallées according to unpublished texts], Paris, Plon-Nourry, 1926 (he subsequently turned towards mystics who had lived in Islamic lands). - Julien Green, Oeuvres complètes, IV, Pléiade,  20 : This is the way to speak, and how far we are from the timid styles of ordinary Christianity! I really like this saint. She speaks to God almost as between equals, and she appears to be losing her head at the moment when her good peasant sense is the strongest.

[12]    Life, Sixth Book. Containing what belongs to the divine attributes, to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to his blessed Passion, to the Blessed Sacrament, to communion and confession Chapter 2. Sister Marie's love for the divine will. She honours it as her mother, etc. Section 1. In all things she regards and follows the divine will. Creatures teach us that lesson; it must be followed at the expense of reason.

[13]    Book 4. Containing several things which reveal the excellence of that work.. Chapter 10. Several other things which reveal her state. The Son of God asks her to marry Him. Section 11. Abbey of perfection and rules of the excesses of Divine Love which he has given into Sister Marie's keeping.

[14]    Midway this way of life we're bound upon, I woke to find myself in a dark wood, where the right road was wholly lost and gone (Dante, Inferno 1. 1, translation Dorothy Sayers, published by Penguin).

[15]    Book 7. Containing what concerns the mother of God, the angels and the saints, the Church Militant and Suffering. Section 3. She is the Blessed Virgin's great basse [servant].

[16]    Book 9 Chapter 1.

[17]    Book 9. Chapter 11. Her charity towards souls and zeal for their salvation. Sister Marie sees the beauty of souls and is embraced by zeal for their salvation.

[18]    Book 10, Chapter 4.

[19]    Book 5. Containing several other things which show the sublimity, the truth, the end and the fruits of the admirable work which God performed in Sister Marie. Chapter 2. The truth of the things which took place in Sister Marie. Section 4. The blind put the sun on trial. The trial between Sister Marie's understanding and some individuals.

[20]    Chapter 6. What happens in her will be manifested in due time. Our Lord promises her to make the truth known to her and to all. Confirmation of the truth.

[21]    See Volume II, “. Franciscans, Benet of Canfield…”

[22]    Book 5, Chapter 9.

[23]    Author of the Jardin des Contemplatifs, a treatise dealing in full with the spiritual life, who died in 1629.

[24]    Book 5, Chapter 9.

[25]    Book 5, Chapter 7.

[26]    Renty, Correspondance, op.cit.,  letter 286, 670. - Dispatch of the same paper to Saint-Jure, letter 305, 706 - Renty went to see her in 1642. He wrote a memoir on her "admirable conduct", ms. 3177 de la Mazarine.

[27]    Life, Book 9, Chap. 6, section 2 She resolves the difficulties raised with her on contemplation and gives most useful advice on that subject.

[28]    Book 9. Chapter 6. On contemplation. From the start Sister Marie was raised to the highest degree of  contemplation. Section 1. The way in which Our Lord speaks to her and how she knows the truth of matters raised with her.

[29]     Extract from the "Conseils d’une grande Servante de Dieu appelée Sœr Marie des Vallées” in our edition of La Vie admirable de Marie des Vallées, op.cit., 2013. The paragraph numbers are those in the original edition of  Le Directeur mystique, where the Conseils were published for the first time by Mme Guyon's friends: see note 402.  

[30]    Letter to the Duke de Chevreuse dated 16 March 1693 in Madame Guyon, Correspondance II  Années de Combat, op.cit., item 35, 103.

[31]    References to the pastor's various editions by M. Chevallier, Pierre Poiret, Bibliotheca Dissidentium, 1985, and in our editions of the works of Madame Guyon, Paris, Champion, 2001-2009.

[32]    Le directeur Mistique [Directeur Mystique] ou les œvres spirituelles de Monsr. Bertot, ami intime de feu Mr de Bernières & directeur de Made Guion 4 vol., At Cologne [Amsterdam], 1726: the "Conseils dune grande servante de Dieu" appear as an appendix at the end of vol. II, 407-430. We have republished one seventh of this remarkable mystical guide: Jacques Bertot Directeur mystique, coll. « Sources mystiques », Editions du Carmel, Toulouse, 2005, 573 pages. M. Bertot is described in Volume IV.

[33]           Book 10. Chapter 10. Communion, union, transformation and deification. Section 1. The drop of dew asking to lose itself in the sea of the Divinity.


Guillemets rajoutés.


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