Quote for the Day

To many early Church Fathers, "mystical" signified the allegorical interpretation of scripture, especially the disclosing of Christ as the key to unlocking the secrets of the Old Testament. Scripture, Christologically interpreted, was the ground of all Christian thought, including mysticism, especially in the first centuries. Jesus was sometimes called the "mystical angel" whose entire life, death, resurrection, and glorification were understood as the truly mystical. Eventually, Christians used … [Read more...]

Theosis and Kenosis

What is the relationship between "participation in the Divine Nature" (II Peter 1:4) and the self-humbling of Christ (Philippians 2:7)? Part of the splendor of Christ, as described by Paul in his letter to the Philippians, is that Christ, "being found in appearance as a man, humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death." Humility and obedience: self-emptying. Christ divested himself of the privilege of his Divinity, taking human form, entering so fully into the human experience to … [Read more...]

Finding the True Path

A reader of my blog has emailed me the following questions. They seem to involve the question of how to embrace the Christian mystery when one cannot be sure if it is the "true" path or not. As a former neo-pagan, didn't you find getting to grips with Christianity's necessity to hold a set number of essential beliefs? Don't you have any doubts and don't you find them restricting? I was wondering if you knew much about Islamic mysticism - sufism - and if you had ever written something about it … [Read more...]

Christmas Every Day, Easter Every Day

When I was a teenager I used to attend the Fisherman's House charismatic prayer and praise meeting in Hampton, VA. This was a non-denominational, neo-pentecostal Christian youth group, evangelical in its theology. On the meeting just before Christmas, the leader of the group commented that "we don't particularly observe Christmas, because any day can be the day when Christ is born in someone's heart."That observation has always stuck with me. And even though I love the liturgical year and am … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

In this, more than any other, we need the divine boldness to affirm that Christianity is not a matter of being good but of becoming God. It is only by the whole-hearted acceptance of the truth that God's son fully shared our humanity that we can be emboldened to find in him our way towards an intense and transforming relationship with the God who exists beyond human experience. — Michael Casey, OCSO, Fully Human Fully Divine … [Read more...]

Remain in Love

Yesterday a reader of this blog named Simon made this response to my post in which I announced that I'm writing a book on Christian mysticism: Just something that immediately springs to mind. Do we really need another book on Christian mysicism? I mean, when is it going to end? There are whole libraries full of them. How about everybody, start at the Gospel, take what Jesus said seriously and take it from there? So much of this search for mysticism is just plain navel gazing and distraction. Do … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Paul never conceives Christ Jesus in us in a material manner, a concrete, physical way of existing within us. He, in so many ways, leads us into the indwelling presence of Christ Jesus by maintaining always the "mystery" of God's perfect love for us and our return of that love to God in and through Christ and the Holy Spirit. If we wish to enter into Paul's mystical vision of our unity in love with the risen Lord, we must strenuously avoid any "objectification" of Christ's union within us. — G … [Read more...]


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