Advance praise for “Answering the Contemplative Call”

What do Brian D. McLaren, Carmen Acevedo Butcher, Ian Morgan Cron, Kyriacos Markides, Mirabai Starr, Phyllis Tickle, Richard Rohr, and Tilden Edwards (plus some others) have in common?They have all offered praise for my forthcoming book, Answering the Contemplative Call!I'm honored and humbled that these folks, all of whom are among my favorite writers, would be so kind as to read and respond to my book, the follow-up to my 2010 book The Big Book of Christian Mysticism.I've set up a … [Read more...]

Hildegard’s Mystical Trinity

My latest column has been published at Patheos. Follow this link to read it: A Mystical Vision of the Trinity.It's about Hildegard of Bingen and her vision of the Holy Trinity —  which was depicted in one of the many illuminations found in the original manuscript of Hildegard's book Scivias.With Hildegard slated to be declared a Doctor of the Church on October 7, I'll be teaching several classes and leading two retreats on Hildegard, both here in Georgia and in South Carolina, this fall. … [Read more...]

Renaissance for St. Francis’ Day!

I am simply thrilled to post that Fran and Rhiannon and I have recently purchased our tickets to see Renaissance (the legendary 1970s-era classical rock band, which re-formed in 2010) in its first concert in Atlanta in about 30 years! They will be at Variety Playhouse on October 4 — the Feast of Saint Francis. Not that there is anything particularly Franciscan about them (although we do know that Annie Haslam, the lead vocalist, is quite an animal lover). It's a serendipitous day, but frankly, I' … [Read more...]

A Tale of Two Bibles

This morning I woke up around two thirty after having a dream, which I wrote down:I dreamt that a young man came to see me, with two gifts. They were both Bibles. We chatted a bit about how much he enjoyed my website and my writing, and so wanted to give me a Bible as a token of appreciation.I smiled and opened the first box. In it was a gorgeous hardcover edition of the New American Standard Bible. I oohed and aahed over it and mentioned how happy I was with it, since I had the NASB … [Read more...]

Oops! My Apologies…

If you are a subscriber to this blog, you may have received twenty or so emails from the blog this afternoon -- all for blog posts that have already been posted.If so, please accept my apologies!I was tinkering with the privacy settings in the blog, not realizing that doing so would trigger a round of emails to the blog subscribers. As soon as I realized what was happening, I stopped tinkering. But by then the damage was done.As you delete all those unwanted messages in your inbox, I … [Read more...]

Individuality and Union with God

A reader writes: Carl, I am a devoted reader of your posts and always find much food for thought there. Thank you for tackling the throny questions of the contemplative life in such an accessible way. Here's my question that arose from a conversation with a skeptical friend: If the goal of the contemplative is union with God, does the individual begin to disappear and lose his or her unique self (personality, emotions) in pursuing this goal? I have my own theory but I'd be interested in hearing y … [Read more...]

Journey to the Heart

A relatively new offering from Orbis Books provides a very nice overview of the history of contemplative spirituality within Christianity. Journey to the Heart: Christian Contemplation Through the Centuries, edited by Kim Nataraja, features an anthology of writings by some of the most respected writers on Christian spirituality today: Laurence Freeman, Esther de Waal, Kallistos Ware, Shirley du Boulay, Andrew Louth, among others. Nataraja is a meditation instructor with the World Community for … [Read more...]