What To Do When Your Prayer Doesn’t Get ‘In The Zone’

Front Gate, Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers GA

A reader named Kevin wrote the following comment to me on Facebook, in response to my recent post Why Is "Mysticism" a Dirty Word. Thanks Carl, interesting points. I was wondering if I could pick your brain on something...when I meditate/contemplate on my breath (I have a semi regular habit) I only seem to get "in the zone" of a peaceful meditative state about 1 session in 10. The rest of the time not much happens. Is this normal? Am I expecting too much? I'm getting a bit … [Read more...]

Mirabai Starr: Giving Julian of Norwich a Lucid Voice

The Showings of Julian of Norwich

Julian of Norwich's Showings shines with luminous mystical wisdom. If there is one mystic I wish everyone would read, it is Julian. But of course, the question is, "which edition should I read?" Thankfully, Mirabai Starr's lovely and engaging new translation of this medieval masterpiece makes it more accessible than ever.Now, let me put in a bit of a disclaimer here. I'm not a purist, but I understand where purists come from and I can anticipate an objection that some would have to this … [Read more...]

Three Wonderful New Julian of Norwich Books

Julians_Gospel_Sm-190x300

I'm not sure why the fall of 2013 belongs to Julian of Norwich (except to the extent that any time is a good time for reading and reflecting on Julian's wisdom). What I do know is that three wonderful books about Julian have been, or soon will be, published this season. If you're already a Julian nut (yes, that's a pun) like me, rejoice, for these are all worthy books to add to your library. If you have not yet discovered Julian — the medieval anchoress (solitary) who experienced a series of v … [Read more...]

Concerning Sheep, Goats, and the Unconditional Love of God

I received this email today. Thought it might be worth exploring here on the blog.Hi Carl.Just listened to your two interviews and was blessed ... You said in your interview that you didn't like the, what I would call, the "us and them" attitude in evangelical circles like "I'm saved and you're not." And though I agree that we should not look down on others and be proud for we can't claim any credit for being a follower of Christ, yet does not the Bible make a distinction between the "sheep … [Read more...]

Julian of Norwich In Her Own Voice

So today is May 13 — the other possible anniversary date for Julian of Norwich's showings (the first being May 8). So to commemorate this day, I thought I would highlight editions of Julian's writings that feature her text based on the old handwritten manuscripts we have of her writing — in other words, Julian in Middle English.There are several editions of Julian in Middle English available. The first one I ever owned was the Colledge & Walsh edition, published by the Pontifical Ins … [Read more...]

Julian and Patheos

Continuing my celebration of Julian of Norwich this week, here is my latest column for Patheos: Julian of Norwich's Timeless Message. Please follow the link and check it out. … [Read more...]

Generosity to God

Today is one of two possible days for the anniversary of Julian of Norwich's visions, which took place either on May 8 or May 13, 1373. So of course, today I want to share with you one of the many gems to be found in her writing.God is the ground of our praying. Arising from this, we are shown true prayer and steady trust and God wants us to be generous in both alike.— Mother Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love,Backhouse/Pipe edition.This little snippet from the first c … [Read more...]


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