Spiritual Direction with Fr. Tom

Tonight I met with Father Tom Francis, OCSO, for spiritual direction. Here's a partial (!) list of the topics we covered:How the French school of devotional spirituality that began in the 16th century represents a betrayal of the mysticism of the Spanish Carmelites; How Meister Eckhart's theology of the Godhead relates to Gregory Palamas' teaching regarding the energies and essence of God; How the Rule of St. Benedict could be seen as actually undermining the wisdom of the desert … [Read more...]

Prayer for the Day

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right … [Read more...]

Shane Claiborne

Last night Fran and Rhiannon and I drove up to Berry College outside of Rome, GA to hear Shane Claiborne speak. Shane is the author of a wonderful book called The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (I've been meaning to write a review of it and just haven't gotten to it yet; for now let's just say it's a book that belongs on your "must read" list). A leading figure in the neo-monastic movement, Shane is a co-founder of a small intentional community in Philadelphia, where he … [Read more...]

What a difference nineteen years makes

It's fascinating to read the "Preface to the Twelfth Edition" of Evelyn Underhill's Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. The first edition of Mysticism came out in 1911; the twelfth edition appeared nineteen years later. In the new preface, Underhill discusses how scholarly attitudes toward the subject of mysticism evolved in the nearly two decades since her first book came out. Now, as we approach the centenary of the book's first publication, it's interesting to … [Read more...]

If you are interested in Christian mysticism, please read this post

If you are interested in Christian mysticism, please go to my blog and read this post - and please answer one or more of the questions I list at the end of the post:http://anamchara.com/2007/11/15/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-christian-mysticism-but-were-afraid-to-ask/Thank you! … [Read more...]

Everything you always wanted to know about Christian mysticism (but were afraid to ask)

Hey you! Yes, that's right... you, the person reading these words right now. I need your help. Don't go away — please read this post and take a moment to respond...Six months ago I heard a snippet of a talk Anne Lamott gave in which she encouraged writers to write the book they wish they could read. So I wrestled with this topic for a couple of days in my blog, culminating by saying this: The book I wish I could read: a simple, practical, and sequential step-by-step manual on how to embark on t … [Read more...]

Take This Bread

Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion The Spiritual Memoir of a Twenty-First-Century Christian By Sara Miles New York: Ballantine Books, 2007 Review by Carl McColmanIf, like me, you love stories like Chocolat or Babette's Feast because of their eucharistic overtones, then you will simply adore Take This Bread, which is quite likely the most explicitly joyous eucharistic conversion story I've ever read. I'm struggling to avoid all the obvious gustatory puns: it's a feast, you'll eat it up, and … [Read more...]