Announcing my Day1 “Key Voices” Blog

I'm happy to announce that I am now blogging for the "Key Voices" blog of the Day1 website. Day1 is the website for a syndicated radio show, hosted by my Facebook friend Peter Wallace, that is sponsored by a consortium of mainline Protestant churches. The website describes its mission this way: "Through sermons, blogs, and video & audio resources, Day1 proclaims a passionate faith for thinking people." The Key Voices section of the website feature a variety of bloggers, most of whom are … [Read more...]

Mark Your Calendars…

For my Atlanta area friends: I'll be out and about quite a bit over the next few months, promoting my book (but, more importantly, talking about Christian mysticism). Several churches and bookstores have invited me to come speak and sign books. A few additional events are still in the works. While some events (such as the Evening at Emory Class or the Spirituality Conference at First Christian Church) have a fee attached to them, others are free. Here are four such events you might want to put … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

The idea of memory was very important in Celtic spirituality. There are lovely prayers for different occasions. There are prayers for the hearth, for kindling the fire, and for smooring the  hearth. At night, the ashes were smoored over the burning coals, sealing off the air. The next morning the coals would still be alive and burning. There is also a lovely prayer for the hearth keepers that evokes St. Bridget, who was both a pagan Celtic goddess and a Christian saint. In herself, Bridget … [Read more...]

Christian Mysticism on the Kindle

Good news for ebook readers: The Big Book of Christian Mysticism is now available for Kindle (and Kindle apps)!This represents the most economical way yet to buy the book (assuming you have a computer or device that runs a Kindle app). You can download a free Kindle reader application for PC, Macintosh, Blackberry, iPad, or iPhone. The app itself is free, so you'll just pay the $9.99 for the book — less than half of the book's cover price, and nearly five dollars cheaper than Amazon's already d … [Read more...]

Introduction to Christian Mysticism: Evening at Emory

Registration for the "Introduction to Christian Mysticism" class offered through Evening at Emory is now online. To register, click here.The class will meet for five Thursday evenings starting on September 23 and continuing through October 21. The class will meet on the Emory University Campus. The textbook (of course) is The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. Continuing education credit is available.Here is the course description from the Evening at Emory website:Introduction to … [Read more...]

Contemplation and Mysticism

The same monk who asked me to define "ordinary mysticism" (see yesterday's post) also asked me to define the distinction between mysticism and contemplation. To do so, I thought I would turn to an authority that I suspect he would respect: the Catechism of the Catholic Church. First, let's see how the Catechism defines contemplation: Contemplation is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. "I look at him and he looks at me": this is what a certain peasant of Ars in the time of his holy curé used to … [Read more...]

“Ordinary Mysticism”

A quote from The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: Mysticism can best be understood in an egalitarian and inclusive way... you don’t have to have supernatural experiences in order to be a mystic; therefore, everyone is called, if not to a life of extraordinary phenomena, then at least to the “ordinary mysticism” of the contemplative life. At the monastery this weekend, one of the monks asked me if I could explain this term "ordinary mysticism." Since it is in quotation marks in the book, I should … [Read more...]