Several aspects defined variable Catholic experiences under the Roman Papal throne. In 1215 C.E., all Catholics followed Seven Sacraments from birth to death to come to salvation with the blessing of the Church. Scholasticism aimed to combine reason and faith focusing on the classical works of Aristotle and Plato. Mysticism proclaimed that the union with God was possible only through personal development and transition from self-love to self-knowledge.
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Hildegard of Bingen was one of the most famous representatives of mysticism. She wrote morality plays about the spiritual journeys of human souls from the sins of life to the Devil and then to Heaven. These stories aimed to teach common people that only their deeds and service in the Church matter in their afterlife. Monasticism underlined the need for seclusion. The spiritual journey reappears in the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
His vision of the human afterlife defined the Catholic view of the spiritual world until the Reformation. As in numerous morality plays, various companions lead the main protagonist in his journey, but Dante’s characters are historical figures unlike Virtues in the works of Hildegard. Dante defines the value of love and faith in God to be greater than service in the Church.