Concerning Spiritual Noise, (Lack of) Inner Silence, and Singlemindedness

AM writes: I find most of your posts on the contemplative life too congested with many labels and categories - mystics and non-mystics, oppositional thinking and non-oppositional thinking, Christian mysticism and ordinary Christian spirituality, Protestant mystics and Catholic mystics, mysticism and contemplation, etc. This appears to me not only an intellectual congestion but also a spiritual noise, a portrayal of a lack of inner silence. Somehow, I visit your blog ... to be nourished … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Once we empty ourselves of our certainties, we open ourselves to the mystery. We expose ourselves to the God in whom “we live and move and have our being.” We bare ourselves to the possibility that God is seeking us in places and people and things we thought were outside the pale of the God of our spiritual childhood. Then life changes color, changes tone, changes purpose. We begin to live more fully, not just in touch with earth, but with the eternal sound of the universe as well. — Joan Chitt … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Meister Eckhart once wrote that it is delusion to think that we can obtain more of God by contemplation or pious devotions than by being at the kitchen hearth or working in the merchants' stalls. This is hard to believe because it is literally beyond human comprehension. God is in the saucepan as well as the chalice, the lawn mower as well as the monstrance. The manner is ordinary, but God's glory is in every event, every moment, every particle of creation. — Mother Gail Fitzpatrick, OCSO, S … [Read more...]

Embracing Contemplative Depth (on God’s Terms)

A reader writes (and I quote him with his permission): You seem very knowledgeable and deep and compassionate all at the same time.  I sense a depth to you that is rather rare. How do I go about getting to that point (if it is God's will)?I am already doing the Daily Office but I want to be more contemplative.  Perhaps I already am but I don't think I have the proper tools (I think about things a lot but I feel that contemplation is much more than just thinking about things).  I looked at the C … [Read more...]

From the Wilderness to Mount Tabor

I'm still pondering the categories of "wild" and "tame" in relation to God, to the mystical life, and to my own work as a writer. If you're just joining the conversation, read yesterday's post and comments to get a sense of where I am.My fellow blogger Benjamin David Steele (whose original thoughts sparked my reflection) posted on both his and my blog that he meant no insult by describing my blog as "tame." I want to go on the record as saying I never saw that as an insult. I saw it as … [Read more...]


Recently I received this sobering comment from a woman named Karen, posted to the Mystics page of this website: God abandoned me, killed my brother, father and mother and left me with no family God hurts people and could choose to help but doesn’t It is hard to understand why he makes some people suffer so and gives so much to others, not very charitable Karen, while there are many details of your situation that I do not know, it seems clear to me that you are dealing with profound suffering. F … [Read more...]

Location, Location, Location

It is said that there are three important concerns in real estate: "Location, location, location." It's funny because it's true.If you love to golf, your dream house is adjacent to a golf course — maybe not so close that you get golf balls flying through your windows, but close enough to walk to the clubhouse. Likewise, if you love the ocean, there's nothing like beachfront property; if the lake is your thing, then you want waterfront property. And so it goes.My wife and I keep going back a … [Read more...]