Contemplation and Its Discontents

I continue to be fascinated by how some Christians are simply opposed to contemplative prayer and Christian meditation. From what little I've read — mostly tracts and rants online — it always boils down to the same two arguments: Meditation is "unscriptural" Meditation is rooted in "eastern mysticism" or other "pagan" practices As for meditation or contemplative prayer being unscriptural, well, so is driving a car or flying an airplane, but it seems … [Read more...]

Back in the Game

Within the last two weeks I've submitted three book proposals to my agent. These include proposals to revise and republish my first two books, Spirituality and The Aspiring Mystic, both of which are out of print although for now still fairly easily available to find online. Those books originally came out in 1997 and 2000, respectively, and oh what a different the better part of a decade can make! We'd love to find a new home for both books, where they could be published in revised/expanded … [Read more...]

Final Thoughts About Philo

I finished reading Philo today. The last third of the book didn't particularly grab me—with eighty pages of Philo's ethical thought, followed by what he had to say about the role Moses and Israel play on the stage of world history. What emerges is that, no matter how splendid his mystical vision may have been, Philo remained very much a man of his time—which is to say, his thought suffers from a harsh dualism, chauvinism, and an almost adolescent assurance of his own rightness. Again … [Read more...]

Sparkle the Dark Up

Every year on December 1, I play what is far and away my favorite secular song for "the holidays": December will be Magic Again by Kate Bush. Rhiannon and I listened to it this morning while I was helping her brush her teeth and get ready for her school bus to pick her up. It's a hard track to find—the easiest way to get it on CD is to purchase the Kate Bush box set This Woman's Work which I bought at the Piccadilly Circus Tower Records in 1990 for £99! If you are more sensible with your … [Read more...]

A few quotes from Earthy Mysticism by William McNamara

"The mystic is not a special kind of person; every person is a special kind of mystic." "It is by coping creatively with the exigencies of life that we engage in the perpetual and progressive enfleshment of God. The Creator has entrusted himself to creation, to our freedom. He is always there, pure Spirit, longing to be enfleshed." "An old catechism holds that our reason for existence is to enjoy God forever. The Gospel message is that God had the same idea. He came to enjoy us … [Read more...]