“We are all called to mysticism”

Yesterday Zenit published an interesting interview with Carmelite father Luigi Borriello, a theology professor and Vatican official. Fr. Borriello is the co-director of the Vatican Publishing House’s Dictionary of Mysticism. In this interview, he says “we are all called to sanctity and to mysticism. And the mystical experience is a call to witness.”

Read the full interview here: All Are Called to Mysticism

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  • brazenbird

    Very interesting. At first my thought was, “No! Mysticism has nothing to do with witnessing.” But if I’m understanding the Father correctly, which I may not be, perhaps it’s that the experience of mysticism clarifies the Love of God in such a way that a person who has had an experience or experiences it daily, can’t help but be a witness through his or her changed life.

    And if by ‘mysticism’ he means: having and experiential relationship with God (and for Christians I would add, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ who showed us the Way), then of course everyone is called to it. Mysticism in its very nature is humbling and exposing sanctifying.

    Wow, so much to chew on with that quote Carl. Thanks for sharing it.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlmccolman/ Carl McColman

    You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about “witnessing” — living in the Bible belt like I do, it’s an issue that’s never far away. It occurs to me that the way I “witness” is by being the most loving, peaceful, compassionate, caring person I can possibly be. As Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” I do the words bit with my writing — for the rest of the time, I simply need to be Christ to a world desperately hungry for love.

  • brazenbird

    Carl – I couldn’t agree with you more.

  • http://(blog=arobeandabowl.blogspot.com) Shodhin Geiman

    A colleague and friend of mine sometimes ribs me about koan work in Zen. I told him I had a Christian koan for him: “You, Alone.”

    I was intrigued by this article, since the discussion of Christian mysticism seemed to come close to that: God as only, yet encountered, not fused with. Very intriguing.

  • mike


    In Zen Buddhism, there is no kensho but that which walks out into the world. Such an experience is transformative or it is not kensho, a True experience.

    Witnessing can come from mystical experience; if such experience generates the kind of inner knowing or certainty of feeling necessary for a sincere expression of compassion for others, call the source what you wish. A rose by any other name …. ;)

    I do not believe this is kind of certainty is unwavering or always pleasant in its necessities. I do believe it to be unbreakable.

  • http://thewoodbetween.wordpress.com/ Shelley

    Dear Brazenbird,
    Are you the same person who posted your story on beliefnet in July about being an ex-evangelical? (Carl, I’m sorry to be using your blog as a way to contact Brazenbird…) I connected with your story in a such deep way, and I’m currently lost in the wilderness between ‘that doesn’t make sense to me anymore’ and ‘what if the devil leading me astray??’. I would like to hear more of your story and ask you some questions about your journey. I hope to hear from you.