One Great Mystic Speaks of Another

Here is a video worth watching: an interview from 2007 in which Raimon Panikkar speaks about his knowledge of, and friendship with, the great Benedictine contemplative, Abhishiktananda. Panikkar was 88 years old when this video was filmed, and it's a bit difficult to watch because his breathing was labored. But his mind was as sharp as a tack. … [Read more...]

The Feast of Saint Hildegard

Today, September 17, 2012, is the first feast day for Saint Hildegard of Bingen, as a saint recognized universally within the Catholic Church.Hildegard passed away on this day in 1179. It took 833 years for it to become an "official" saint's day in the Catholic Calendar. Pope Benedict XVI recognized Hildegard as a saint just this past May.In another 20 days — on October 7 — Hildegard will be declared a Doctor of the Church, joining with Juan of Avila and only thirty-three other saints, my … [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...]

Writing the Icon of the Heart

Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding By Maggie Ross Abingdon, UK: Bible Reading Fellowship, 2011Almost twenty years ago I read Maggie Ross's wonderful book on the theology of priesthood, Pillars of Flame: Power, Priesthood and Spiritual Maturity. Not only was it a valuable book in helping me to affirm my ministry as a lay Christian, but it also struck me as one of the most lyrical and eloquent statements of Christian spirituality in general that I had ever read. Yes, that is … [Read more...]

Awkward

A reader of my blog has written to me to ask for advice on reading the mystics. He notes, "they embrace very traditional theology that is awkward for me in the 21st century."Indeed.There is no one single "Christian mystical theology." I would be suspicious of anyone who tries to distill the teachings of all the great mystics into a single summarized statement of "this is what you do in order to become a mystic." It just doesn't work that way. For one thing, the mystics stretch across two … [Read more...]

A Brief Julian of Norwich Bibliography

A Facebook friend has asked me to draw up a list of recommended books on Julian of Norwich. While I have done this previously (see my page on Julian), it had been a while since I had updated it, and there are some worthwhile new books available. So it seemed worth revisiting. Here, then, is my updated list. Happy reading! A Brief Julian of Norwich BibliographyEditions of Julian's book, translated into modern English:Julian of Norwich, Revelation of Love, tr. John Skinner (the translation I … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

...the words of the Lord are like acts wrought in us, and so they must have produced some effect in those who were already prepared to put away from them everything corporeal and to leave the soul in a state of pure spirituality, so that it might be joined with Uncreated Spirit in this celestial union. For it is quite certain that, when we empty ourselves of all that is creature and rid ourselves of it for the love of God, that same Lord will fill our souls with Himself. — Teresa of Avila, The I … [Read more...]


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