How the Understanding of Christian Contemplation has Changed: Carole Crumley interviews Tilden Edwards and Richard Rohr

Here is a must-watch video — Carole Crumley of the Shalem Institute interviews two of the "elder statesmen" of the contemporary contemplative movement: Tilden Edwards (the founder of Shalem) and Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation. The video was produced as part of the Shalem's observance of its 40th anniversary, and the topic these three consider is how the understanding of Christian contemplation has changed over the past four decades. Enjoy... … [Read more...]

The Evelyn Underhill Rosary

I've just finished reading The Letters of Evelyn Underhill (which were published in 1943 and edited by Charles Williams). It's such a wonderful book; I think anyone who is a spiritual director (or who sees a spiritual director), spiritual companion, or soul friend, would find much to treasure in this collection. Although the collection includes its share of love letters to her husband, "wish you were here" descriptions of her many holidays in Europe, and fan mail to authors she admired (such as … [Read more...]

Three Video Clips: Speaking of Mysticism in Portland, OR

Here are three brief excerpts from a talk I gave in Portland, OR, in October 2010 on the topic of Christian mysticism. They were filmed and produced by Cathy Zheutlin of Holy Rascals — a media company that produces videos and webinars for the spiritually adventurous. In the first one, I tell an amusing story of one of my monastic mentors, Father Anthony, who gave me some grief about the difficulty of defining the word "mysticism"...So in this next video, I offer less of a "definition" of … [Read more...]

Benedictine Spirituality and the Community of Hope

On April 20 I had the privilege of speaking to the Southeast Regional Conference of the Community of Hope International, an ecumenical organization of Christians whose mission is "to create and sustain Christian communities of volunteer lay pastoral caregivers around the world." Their mission statement goes on to say, "We are united in prayer, shaped by Benedictine spirituality and equipped for and serving in pastoral care ministries." I was invited to speak on the Benedictine tradition and how … [Read more...]

Concerning Stillness, Songs, and Soul Friends

A reader writes:Carl, when you are sufficiently silent with the “waters stilled” how do you experience revelation. I suppose a better question would be what is your experience “there” like? Does God float into view … or does God whisper … ?? Or do you find a path to look inwardly in order to find answers, results, etc. I guess that one overarching question here would be “Do you have a purpose or question in mind before you start out?”I believe radically that "silence is praise" (Psalm 65:1, t … [Read more...]

Simplicity and Silence

This message came to me the other day.Hi Carl. Love reading your blogs. From one who is a struggling contemplative can you tell me what form of contemplative prayer you do and why? Also can one do more than one form of contemplative prayer? ie, will one complement the other?Two questions here. First, what does my own daily practice look like? And secondly, what do I think about using more than one method of contemplative practice?First, about what I do. I'm assuming you simply want to … [Read more...]

Plunging Thought Into Light

The Philokalia is an extensive anthology of writings on prayer by Eastern Orthodox contemplatives. The anthology was first compiled in the 18th century, and a number of editions have been published over the years, in Greek, Russian, and other languages; currently a four volume set is available in English (which does not include the entire anthology; I hope the editors plan on translating the rest!).If you want a more succinct introduction to The Philokalia, one option — which, unfortunately, … [Read more...]


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