Clement of Alexandria

Yesterday (December 5) was, in the Episcopal Church Calendar, the feast of Clement of Alexandria. Clement was removed from the Roman Catholic Calendar in the late sixteenth century, but the Anglicans have given him no such demotion. Regardless of whether Clement deserves to be seen as a saint or not, he has been acknowledged as one of the earliest of Christian mystics.Born in the middle of the second century, Clement lived some 170 years after Philo; that not-quite-two-centuries was a … [Read more...]

Final Thoughts About Philo

I finished reading Philo today. The last third of the book didn't particularly grab me—with eighty pages of Philo's ethical thought, followed by what he had to say about the role Moses and Israel play on the stage of world history. What emerges is that, no matter how splendid his mystical vision may have been, Philo remained very much a man of his time—which is to say, his thought suffers from a harsh dualism, chauvinism, and an almost adolescent assurance of his own rightness. Again … [Read more...]

Sparkle the Dark Up

Every year on December 1, I play what is far and away my favorite secular song for "the holidays": December will be Magic Again by Kate Bush. Rhiannon and I listened to it this morning while I was helping her brush her teeth and get ready for her school bus to pick her up. It's a hard track to find—the easiest way to get it on CD is to purchase the Kate Bush box set This Woman's Work which I bought at the Piccadilly Circus Tower Records in 1990 for £99! If you are more sensible with your money th … [Read more...]

A few quotes from Earthy Mysticism by William McNamara

"The mystic is not a special kind of person; every person is a special kind of mystic.""It is by coping creatively with the exigencies of life that we engage in the perpetual and progressive enfleshment of God. The Creator has entrusted himself to creation, to our freedom. He is always there, pure Spirit, longing to be enfleshed.""An old catechism holds that our reason for existence is to enjoy God forever. The Gospel message is that God had the same idea. He came to enjoy us … [Read more...]

Meditating with a Cat

Furbie, meditation master extraordinaire

This morning my wife had a migraine. Poor lass, she gets one about every three months or so (the stress of living with me). Anyway, she squirreled down into the bed and I got R. off to school, then went into my office to meditate. Now, normally when I meditate, I close the office door. But I wanted to be accessible in case my wife needed anything, so today I left the door open. And I was wonderfully reminded of why I normally keep it shut. For you see, one of my cats decided to "help" me … [Read more...]


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