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Answering the Contemplative Call
First Steps on the Mystical Path
By Carl McColman
"What Frommers, Rick Steves, and Lonely Planet are to travel guides for physical locales, Carl McColman is fast becoming for the spiritual journey. There is so much that recommends this delightful guide—Carl's own depth of experience, his wonderful ability to bring in apt quotations from the great contemplative saints of history, his ability to be both simple and deep without ever becoming simplistic or murky. As I read, I kept thinking of friends with whom I want to share this treasure—a travel guide to an adventurous journey that will last forever."
—Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and A Generous Orthodoxy
"In Answering the Contemplative Call, Carl McColman creates a safe and beautiful space where each of us can come—human as we are—and learn how possible it is to befriend silence and to live in the certain joy of daily intimacy with God. Carl is a wise and gentle guide, and brilliantly well-read, just the sort of kind friend one welcomes to take us further into the mysteries of love, together. This book is for anyone who wishes to pray "validly and deeply," as Merton said, and Carl reminds us; for anyone who yearns to 'walk a simple path, routinely meeting the miraculous in the ordinary,' as C. S. Lewis knew; for anyone living with the deep-seated, undeniable longing that is 'the most direct route to heaven,' as The Cloud's Anonymous wrote; and for twenty-first-century Truth seekers and would-be peacemakers who want to experience how a 'heart-centered approach' to reading the Bible can take us into dumiyyah, the 'quiet waiting' that Psalm 65:2 describes. It's a practical book written by someone who walks the very humble, joyful path himself and can teach us to open our hearts to Christ, to awaken in us a sense of wonder, to lead us to a true healing of our own soul wounds, and to grow in each of us a genuine love for those walkers with feet as dusty as our own. Answering the Contemplative Call fulfills its opening invitation with abundant joy: 'Hey, come along; this promises to be a fun adventure!'"
—Carmen Acevedo Butcher, PhD, translator of The Cloud of Unknowing and author of Man of Blessing: A Life of St Benedict
"A contemplative seeker will find a mature, sane, reliable guide to that path in these pages. I found it full of the experiential spiritual wisdom found on that path, leading us into ever deeper intimacy with God. He well says that it is a path that belongs to everyone. Any beginner on that path will find much selected wisdom from the great mystics of Christian tradition, along with McColman's own gifted way of presenting that wisdom in an understandable and inspiring/insightful way for us. More experienced contemplatives will recognize and benefit from re-looking at many dimensions and hopes of their own spiritual journeys in these pages as well. Christian mystical tradition comes alive in both realistic and alluring ways in McColman's lucid writing. It is an important contribution to the re-awakening and democratization of contemplative tradition in our time; that tradition carries so much of the depth of spiritual practice and awareness so needed in the church and world today."
—The Rev. Tilden Edwards, PhD, founder and Senior Fellow, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation; author of Embracing the Call to Spiritual Depth