The Interior Castle for free…

The wonderful Christian Audio company sells downloadable MP3s and CDs of inspirational audiobooks; their catalog includes a number of mystical classics, including The Rule of St. Benedict, The Imitation of Christ, and The Practice of the Presence of God. Plus they have lots of wonderful works by more contemporary authors, ranging from Henri Nouwen to Richard Foster to N. T. Wright.Each month, Christian Audio offers one of their titles as a free download. Yes, that's right: free, no charge, … [Read more...]

Seven Signs of Celtic Wisdom

I've been reading Edward Sellner's lovely book Wisdom of the Celtic Saints. In it he describes seven characteristics of Celtic Christian Spirituality. Of course, while this list may be an insight to what is distinctive about Celtic wisdom, I think it's really universal in its application: here are seven characteristics of the spiritual life that all of us might profitably emulate, regardless of whether we have any sort of affinity to the saints of the Celtic lands.Love of, and respect for, … [Read more...]

School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism

School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism Edited by The Rutba House Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2005 Review by Carl McColmanThe Rutba House is an intentional Christian community located in Durham, NC; on the back of this book of essays, it is described as a "community of hospitality, peacemaking and discipleship." It's also a leading voice in an exciting development within the Christian community: "neo-monasticism." According to the online essay A Brief History of New Monasticism, … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Mother Teresa is often cited as an example from the 20th century of one who lived a Christ-like life. You don't even have to be a Christian to see that she lived according to the Sermon on the Mount and the teachings of Jesus. Thousands of preachers hold her life up as an example for their congregations. Rarely, however, do I hear anyone explain the years of contemplation that Mother Teresa practiced in order to become the kind of person who could serve as Christ served. For most of us in our … [Read more...]

Evelyn Underhill

I got into a conversation with a student this weekend about the joys of reading Evelyn Underhill. It was such a fun little chat that I decided to write up a page about Underhill for the Mystics section of this website. To read it, just follow the link: Evelyn Underhill … [Read more...]

How do we reach the contemplatives?

Today I spoke with several people who mentioned how much they hunger for a deeper experience of Christian spirituality. This is something I run into on a regular basis: practicing Christians who want to take their faith to a new level; non-Christians (or Christians alienated from the contemporary church) who are genuinely interested in Christ and the mystics but don't know how to cope with the crazy/limiting/judgmental qualities they see so abundantly in ordinary Christian communities.I am … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

This [vision of God's joyful presence in the human soul] was a delectable sight and a restful showing that is this way without end. The contemplation of this while we are here is most pleasant to God and a very great profit to us. The soul that contemplates it this way makes itself like him who is contemplated, and joins itself to him in rest and peace by his grace." — Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, translated by M. L. del Mastro … [Read more...]