Thomas Merton

I've just posted to the Mystics section of this website a page about Thomas Merton.Click here to visit it. … [Read more...]

A Catholic layman, an Orthodox bishop, and an Evangelical minister walked into a bar…

Early yesterday morning, a LiveJournal friend of mine named Seraphim Sigrist (an Eastern Orthodox bishop, no less) wrote a wonderful entry about an Evangelical mystic, A. W. Tozer (a Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor and the author of such books as The Knowledge of the Holy and The Pursuit of God), whom he had known many years ago. This is Seraphim's way of pointing out that the anti-contemplative strain within some quarters of the evangelical world (such as Lighthouse Trails Research) is … [Read more...]

Praying the Mystics

Maybe the point I'm about to make is an obvious one. Since I am a "bear of little brain," sometimes obvious ideas aren't so evident to me. So if this seems like a no-brainer, consider the source...The idea in question came to me last night. Wouldn't it make sense when reading the mystics — Julian of Norwich, John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Walter Hilton, Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Evelyn Underhill, Gregory Palamas, The Cloud of Unknowing, and so forth — to read them as an act of … [Read more...]

Still Small Voice

Last night I had dinner with my friend Cliff who is coordinating an adult education program at his church. Currently they're studying theophanies (encounters with God) in the Bible. Cliff wants to follow this up with a series on the mystics; hence his picking my brain over chips and salsa at a noisy Mexican restaurant.We talked about the mystics who have had their own particular theophanies: Augustine in the garden; Julian of Norwich during her life-threatening illness; Thomas Merton on the … [Read more...]

Mysticism in a book?

A blogger named SaltSister recently wrote a post called The Mystic Way in which she takes aim at the kind of person who reads a book or two on mysticism and then decides that he or she is a mystic. While in principle I totally agree with her, the tone of her post bothered me a bit, so I posted a comment asking for clarification. After all, my blog is all about the joys of reading books by and about the mystics. Her response to me included this genuine jewel: "Studying to learn how to enter into … [Read more...]

Mystics, Heretics and Saints

Consider this list of Christian mystics and theologians (if you're not familiar with any of these figures, do some research and add their writings to your reading list):Clement of Alexandria (second century CE) Origen (third century) Evagrius Ponticus (fourth century) Pelagius (late fourth/early fifth century) John Scotus Eriugena (ninth century) Marguerite Porete (late thirteenth/early fourteenth century) Meister Eckhart (late thirteenth/early fourteenth century) Jeanne Guyon (late … [Read more...]

The Interior Castle for free…

The wonderful Christian Audio company sells downloadable MP3s and CDs of inspirational audiobooks; their catalog includes a number of mystical classics, including The Rule of St. Benedict, The Imitation of Christ, and The Practice of the Presence of God. Plus they have lots of wonderful works by more contemporary authors, ranging from Henri Nouwen to Richard Foster to N. T. Wright.Each month, Christian Audio offers one of their titles as a free download. Yes, that's right: free, no charge, … [Read more...]