World-Building Wonders – Mystics as Conduits of God’s Power
When I began the first draft of my current work-in-progress, I encountered a problem. I had a strong sense that I wanted to include Christian themes in my story, but the plot I had outlined also involved the scheming of a dark sorcerer. As a Christian, I didn’t feel comfortable having any of the “good guys” in my book practicing magic, at least the way we define it in our world, but how else could the sorcerer be defeated?
I started thinking about different ways in which God might exert His influence in such a situation. Throughout history, God has worked through so many individuals and groups to accomplish feats far beyond what humans acting on their own would be capable of. How better to overcome a dark force than with God’s ultimate power, right? But I had to figure out a way to weave it into my manuscript that didn’t feel too simple or contrived.
I found the answer in my Catholic roots. Growing up, I always enjoyed studying the saints – ordinary people who reflected God’s glory in a variety of extraordinary ways. A particular group of saints provided the inspiration I needed for my story: mystics. In Christian tradition, mystics are people who separated themselves from earthly pleasures, often living in solitude, in order to achieve greater union with God. At the height of such union, God might grant the mystic a vision or revelation “to strengthen and guide them in their mission within the Church” (Mystics of the Church).
In my WIP, my main character is taken in by what she initially considers to be an unusual group of nuns who live in seclusion and spend the majority of their time in contemplative prayer. But she notes odd comments about visions and hints that these women seem to have knowledge beyond what they should be privy to in their cloistered state. In their final confrontation with the sorcerer, I made use of my creative license as a fantasy writer to take the concept of mystics one step further. Not only have the mystics foreseen aspects of the battle, but they are also able to draw on their amplified union with God to perform mighty deeds in His name. By acting as conduits for God’s power, they manage to overcome the sorcerer’s dark magic, though not without personal sacrifice.
I hope I’ve achieved a satisfactory balance of combining historical traditions of mystics with additional characteristics that make them better suited to my fantasy realm. Either way, I’ve had a lot of fun writing about this devout group of sorcerer-fighting nuns!
An avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up until nearly midnight begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as a lawyer to become a stay-at-home mom. She is an aspiring author of Christian YA romantic fantasy and co-founder of Lands Uncharted, a blog for fans of clean YA fantasy. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more about Laurie and her work in progress, With You It Would Remain, by visiting LaurieLucking.com .
With You It Would Remain: Leah, a chambermaid at the royal palace of Imperia, has maintained a secret friendship with Prince Raphael ever since they stumbled upon the same closet hideout as children. But just as a hint of romance steals into their relationship, the king and queen announce Rafe’s engagement to a foreign princess. Leah’s attempts to unravel the princess’s secrets culminate in a battle against an evil sorcerer in which she must rely on the aid of an unusual group of nuns to protect her country and dearest friend.