Cover image for Love is stronger than death : the mystical union of two souls
Love is stronger than death : the mystical union of two souls
Bourgeault, Cynthia.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bell Towers, 1999.
Physical Description:
222 pages ; 22 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library BT902 .B67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This is a love story like no other. It describes the incandescent relationship between two hermits--a seventy-year-old monk and a fifty-year-old woman Episcopal priest and medieval scholar--who met at a Trappist monastery in Snowmass, Colorado. Both had studied Western esoteric traditions and believed it was possible for two souls to work and grow together "from here to eternity."          Brother Raphael Robin and Cynthia Bourgeault had three tempestuous and intense years together learning what it means to truly love someone, and then Rafe had a heart attack and died. Cynthia was urged to let him rest in peace (as we all are on the death of a loved one) but she trusted the invincible certainty of her heart. Several years later, Cynthia remains fully in touch with Rafe, believing that whatever he may be doing in the beyond affects her, and that what she does here affects him.          Cynthia Bourgeault's writing is robust and clear-eyed, and it shines. Her book is the story of what happened both before and after Rafe's death, as well as a guidebook for others called to the path of conscious love.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Don't be deceived by a title worthy of Danielle Steele. This is no romance novel, or sentimental memoir. Bourgeault, an Episcopal priest, is not writing about the run-of-the-mill relationship, instead she writes a deeply personal analysis of a spiritual (as in religious spiritual) union between two very different people. Bourgeault, in a Colorado retreat house seeking renewal and solutions for her somewhat troubled life, meets Rafe, a 70-year-old hermit and monk. Their three-year relationship, a sparring match of spirituality and intellectual love, does not end upon Rafe's death but continues in a form that transcends the normal sphere of experience. She feels his presence and guidance and persuades the reader of the reality of what she feels. With philosophical discussions of the actual nature of death and love, Bourgeault maintains a scholarly tone, and the bibliography of her research materials allows for further study. This book is not for every reader, but for those interested in the issues presented here it is an important find. --Danise Hoover

Library Journal Review

Bourgeault, an Episcopal priest and professor of theology, met Brother Raphael Robin in 1990 while attending a Colorado training workshop in centering prayer. The elderly monk lived in seclusion in a mountain cabin. The romantic yet platonic relationship that ensued between the 50-year-old Bourgeault and the 70-year-old hermit lasted five years, until his death. Both believed that a relationship can continue beyond this life, and here Bourgeault describes her search for that connection after Robin's death. The unusual love story is told from a girl-meets-boy perspective. Though some readers will be turned off by the emphasis on the after-death relationship, others will enjoy this well-written telling of an unconventional intimacy. Libraries offering titles on mysticism, inner transformation, or dealing with grief will find this a unique and welcome addition.ÄLeroy Hommerding, Citrus Cty. Lib. Inverness, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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