Marting Luther King and Grace
Throughout history and especially since the sixteenth century many Roman Catholic's like Martin Luther, have distinguished ordinary or "acquired" prayer, even if occurring at a super conceptual level of love, adoration, and desire for God, from the extraordinary or "absorbed" contemplation which is entirely the work of God's special grace. Only the latter is mystical in a strict sense, according to this view. Other writers, such as Bonaventure, can apply the terms of mysticism to all communions with God.
Martin Luther, a fifteen-century monk, questions all that is caritas though three campaigns. The first campaign Luther uses attacks the heavenly ladder. The heavenly ladder becomes questionable to Luther. Martin Luther believes if there was such a ladder then it would be God in all his perfection coming to us, and not the other way around. We cannot simply climb up to God in heaven by human actions alone. The second campaign Luther uses attacks the "formula fides caritate formata" (also known as faith formed by caritas). Martin Luther refuses the idea of indulgences, which spare you from purgatory. In other words Luther can not accept paying for absolution. As if God can be bribed to climb the fictional ladder used in the first campaign. The third and final campaign (I will mention) Luther uses attacks the self-love of caritas. Martin Luther argues that self-love is inherently bad. This self love is the ultimate expression of sin, in the Luther's opinion one should "love thy neighbor" instead of yourself. This self-love
carries the idea of selfishness. God should be the only one to through you, love you and others.
Luther discusses laws for the Reformation of caritas. One must first "Hammer," which means to breakdown our self-love. The second laws that Martin Luther discusses
Is "Mirror," which reveals our self to our sin. Luther suggests that though grace one can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. While Luther had a well-known antipathy to mystics, it is also true that there is the foundation of mystical life in his theology of the heart, particularly in his early thought. Perhaps through mysticism on can gain grace to stand with God.
Bonaventure emphasized the total dependence of all things upon God, and he wrote guides to mystic contemplation. There are certain common fallacies current about mysticism: that mystics are not "practical" and that they are revolutionary. On the contrary, many of the greatest mystics have been both intensely active as well as submissive to authority of whatever sort. Mysticism does not promote solitary thinking. Nor is the "solitary thinker" necessarily, or even usually, a mystic. Mysticism mainly states that God is all around us in nature in and in us. There is no need for a church and system to be close with God or to be one with him.
There are two general tendencies in the speculation of mystics—to regard God as outside the soul, which rises to...