When Contemplation Feels Like Dying

The Sunset. A Metaphor for Dying, and So Beautiful. (Florida Gulf Coast, April 2015)

"For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).How exactly does this "spiritual dying" fit in with the practice of contemplative spirituality? One reader of this blog is curious about this. In response to my post from a few weeks back (Why is "Mysticism" a Dirty Word), I received the following message on Facebook: Thank you for your thoughts on mysticism's more dubious meanings, my learned friend. I'm afraid I've been shallow in my understanding, based as … [Read more...]

Mysticism and Esotericism, continued

Some wonderful commentary to my post yesterday on Mysticism and Esotericism. Consider these words from Fr. Aidan, who is speculating on why esoteric movements (like the Rosicrucians) have flourished over the years: As you suggested ... there is a “hermeneutic of suspicion” that has had both official distrust and fear from the Church against various mystics and mysticism in general ... and the fear and distrust of the common masses or even one’s fellow parishioners against people, like mysel … [Read more...]

With apologies to Nirvana…

"Here we are now, entertain us!"It may work as the refrain of a rock anthem, capturing the postmodern spirit of a generation weaned on cable TV and video games. But if this sentiment describes the future of Christian mysticism, then I need a new topic to blog about.Paul commended his readers to "Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5, New Jerusalem Bible) and for contemplatives, this means to enter into the same Godly consciousness that characterized Christ himself (never … [Read more...]


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