Quote for the Day

The mystics themselves do not seem to have believed their physical and mental sufferings to be a sign of grace, but it is unfortunate that it is precisely physical manifestations which appeal most to the religiosity of the mob. A woman might spend twenty years nursing lepers without having any notice taken of her, but let her once exhibit the stigmata or live for long periods on nothing but the Host and water, and in no time the crowd will be clamoring for her beatification.

— W. H. Auden, “Introduction to The Protestant Mystics
anthologized in Forewords and Afterwords

Meet the Newest Doctor of the Church: Saint Gregory of Narek
Happy St. Hildegard's Day!
Why Is "Mysticism" A Dirty Word?
Seven Books I Hope to Read in 2014
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • Al Jordan

    Reminds me of a sermon I heard once and probably the best sermon I’ve ever heard. Actually, it was only one sentence of the sermon that I remember and that sentence still shapes a lot of my contemplative and mystical practice and my spirituality in general. I remember the priest said, “What good does it do for the bread to become Christ if we [in the taking of it] do not.

    Being a professional social worker all my life has reinforced my belief that there is something transformational and redemptive about the praxis of faith. And this is not to suggest, in the least, that interiority and devotional practice are less so. Both are necessary.

    Thank you for your blog posts. They provide me with an opportunity to reflect and apply.