Mystic and Charismatic


The word "mysticism" has its root in the Greek word "my-ein" = to close one's eyes, to immerse oneself. This already indicates what mysticism is: the basic form of religious life, in which man is taken so deeply into the unfathomable mystery of God that it comes, as it were, to a spiritual vision, to a "Unio mystica". In this spiritual union, man experiences an inkling of the incomprehensible greatness and love of God, but at the same time God's will and mission are revealed to him.
Mother Marie Therese was a mystic. God first made her see the mystery of the Eucharist and recognize the nature of the priesthood at the age of twelve in a Mass celebration during the consecration. This mystical immersion was followed by other supernatural experiences. Her spiritual dialogue with God never broke off and finally led her to the foundation of the "Communio in Christo", which she carried out on God's behalf "at the command of the Spirit".


The word "charisma" is sometimes misunderstood in everyday language. People with great gifts and talents and a rousing enthusiasm are often referred to as "charismatic people.

Charisms in the theological sense are, according to the statements of the letters of the apostle Paul to Rome (chapter 12) and Corinth (1 Cor. 12), as well as according to general theological teaching, diverse, different gifts of the Holy Spirit. They serve all people, the building up and renewal of the Church and its communities. They seek to realize the life and mission of Christ in the world. Above every charism, above every gift and gifting is the gift of love.

A special charism has to do with an extraordinarily intense action of the divine Spirit. Such a rare charism as a mystical and prophetic gift of the Holy Spirit is a building block of mysticism. What is seen in the mystical immersion is understood by the charismatics as a commission from God. In this respect, mysticism and charism belong inseparably together.
By the "extraordinary charism," the "charisma maximum," the great medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas understood a "function of God's revelation to his people." Mother Marie Therese was a personality endowed with such an - extraordinary - charism, with the gift of being totally committed to God and at the same time totally committed to the Church, and at the same time totally committed to the reality of the world. This was shown in her encounter with people and their needs, in her confrontation with the problems and questions of the time, and in the foundation of a comprehensive social work. To realize love in the world according to the life and mission of Christ was her whole striving, which she left to the Communio in Christo as a mission and heritage.

The concept of the "extraordinary charism" is mentioned only in passing in the ecclesiastical and theological literature, perhaps because it fears its proximity to other phenomena such as visions, ecstasies, stigmata, gifts of miracles, healing and languages.
For Mother Marie Therese, ecclesial office and charism belong together. "Without office, charism dies," she said, "just as office without charism is doomed to die." This statement shows how deeply rooted the Foundress was in the Church, whose reform in charity in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council was her concern.