Walter Hilton of Thurgarton, Mystic

24 March -- Commemoration
If observed as a Lesser Festival, Common of Religious, page 494

Born in 1343, Walter Hilton studied Canon Law at Cambridge but after a period as a hermit, he joined the community of Augustinian Canons at Thurgarton in Nottinghamshire in about 1386. Highly regarded in his lifetime as a spiritual guide, he wrote in both Latin and English and translated several Latin devotional works. Controversy with 'enthusiasts' and with the Lollard movement gave a sharper definition to his exposition of the aims, methods and disciplines of traditional spirituality. Amongst his major works, Ladder of Perfection (Book Two) declares that contemplation, understood in a profoundly Trinitarian context as awareness of grace and sensitivity to the Spirit, may and should be sought by all serious Christians. He died on this day in the year 1396.