Suso, Heinrich a Mystic, was born March 21, 1300, at Constance. His real name was Von Berg; but, having been greatly influenced by the tender piety of his mother, he assumed her name when her death, in his eighteenth year, caused him to seek satisfaction for his soul in inward peace. He had been a student at Constance and Cologne, and now was strongly influenced by Master Eckart; but imagination and feeling were more powerful with him than the speculative faculty. His mysticism required a concrete form in which to clothe the idea, and such he found in the "wisdom" of the writings of Solomon. Identifying this "eternal wisdom" now with Christ and again with the Blessed Virgin, he expended upon it his love and the devotion of his life. He graved upon his breast, with an iron pencil, the name of Jesus. Having returned to the Convent of Constance, he gave himself to solitary mortifications, and had many visions. While there he also wrote his (German) book On the Eternal Wisdom, in 1338, which was designed to teach pious souls how to imitate Christ in his sufferings. Having reached the age of forty years, he concluded his penances and became a preacher, or, as he phrased it, "a knight of God," and his labors were largely beneficial to the community. He entered into relations with other mystical teachers, especially Tauler and Heinrich von Nordlingen. He induced many noble ladies to devote themselves to a quiet and charitable life, aided in the formation of organizations of the Friends of God (q.v.), and founded a Brotherhood of the Eternal Wisdom, for which: he composed a rule and a number of prayers. These labors exposed him to criticism and even dangers.. He was even accused of disseminating the heretical teachings of the Brothers of the Free Spirit (q.v.). In his latter days he was chosen prior of his convent.
Soon afterwards he related the history of his inner and outer life to his friend the nun Elizabeth Staglin, and she wrote the narrative without his knowledge; but it was subsequently revised and completed by his hand and received into the collection of his works as part first. Part second was the book of Eternal Wisdom; part third, his bookof Truth, like the other in dialogue form, and intended to satisfy the inquiries of a disciple of the truth. The conclusion consists of several miscellaneous letters. Suso died Jan. 25 1365, in the Dominican convent at Ulm. His writings evince no connected system. His matter is generally borrowed, and only the imaginative, romantic style is peculiar to him. His fundamental idea is that of Eckart, that being forms the highest; conception, and that being is God. All created being is a mirror of God, and to recognize God in this mirror is to speculate. No name can exhaust the idea of God. He is equally "an eternal nothing" and the "most essential something;" he is a 'rings whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is no where." To gaze upon God is the highest joy. Creatures are eternal in (God as their "Exemplar," and they have no distinguishing qualities until alter their "out: flow" from God, When they have entered into the creature state. They all have the yearning to return info their original and restore the interrupted unity. Similar is Suso's representation of the Trinity. The Son is the Eternal Word which proceeds from the Father; the love which reunites them is the Holy Spirit. The sustained human soul can find no other way to God than Christ, and more particularly than the imitation of his sufferings. The distinction between Creator and creature never ceases, however; so that, despite his mystical spirit, Suso does not cross the line where the pantheistic blending of the created and the Eternal Spirit begins.
Suso was, in brief, the representative of poetic mysticism a real poet, who is unable to apprehend an idea without clothing it in symbolic form; and he was in no true sense either a philosopher or a practical man of affairs. Suso's writings appeared at Augsburg, 1482 and 1512, fol., Dieppenbrock published them in 1829 at Ratisboil (2nd ed. 1838); in Latin, by Surius (q.v.), 1555 aid often. From the Latin they were rendered into French and Italian, and even into German again. A book, Von den neun Felsen (Of the Nine Rocks), which was long attributed to Suso, was written in 1392 by the Strasburger Rulman Merswin. —Herzog, Real-Encyklop.
Suspension, an ecclesiastical act of two kinds:
1. One of the several sorts of punishment inflicted upon offending members of the clergy. This relates either to the revenues of the clergyman or to his office, and hence is called suspensio a beneficio and suspensio ab officio. Suspension from benefice deprives the offender of the whole or a part of his revenue. Suspension from office is various: ab ordine, where a clerk cannot exercise his ministry at all; ab oficio, where he is forbidden to exercise it in his charge or cure. In all these cases the incumbent retains his order, rank, and benefice in distinction to the penalties of solemn deposal and degradation, by which he forfeits all rights of his order and benefice. All persons who can excommunicate can suspend. Suspension must be preceded, by a monition, and its cause must be stated in the formal act: "Forasmuch as you have been proved to have committed such and such things, therefore we suspend you from the office and execution of your orders." Every act of jurisdiction, such as absolution, is null and void during suspension, if it has been publicly announced; but the ministration of baptism or communion is valid. Suspension is removed by absolution, by revocation of the sentence, by expiration of its time, and by dispensation.
2. The other sort of suspension, which extends also to the laity, is suspension from entering a consecrated building, church, or chapel, or from hearing divine service, "commonly called mass," and from receiving the holy sacrament; which, therefore, may be called a temporary excommunication. See Andre, Du Droit Canonique, 1, 943; 2, 1110; Maillane, Du Droit Canonique, 5, 352; Blunt, Dict. of Doctrinal Theology, s.v.; Riddle, Christ. Antiq. p. 342.