A Chat with a Methodist Minister

The other day at the Abbey Store I struck up a conversation with a Methodist minister who was making a short retreat at the Monastery. We chatted up books and authors and it became apparent that we had a similar interest in contemplative spirituality."So tell me," I asked him, "What is it like to advocate for contemplative spirituality in your congregation?"He smiled ruefully. "It's not easy," he said."Are people afraid of it?" I wondered, mindful of the small but vocal presence of … [Read more...]

Unknowing in 2011

There are changes afoot here at the Website of Unknowing, and I thought my dear readers would like to know a bit about what I have planned.First of all, I'm working toward giving the site a new look. Not much to say on this front, except that I'll be working with one of the leading designers of websites for authors, and am very excited at the prospect of giving the site a facelift — which, hopefully, will make it more consistent with the overall message I  hope to convey.Secondly, I'm lo … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

For prayer is a supernatural activity or nothing at all; and it must primarily be directed to supernatural ends. It too acknowledges the soul's basic law: it comes from God, belongs to God, is destined for God. It must begin, end, and be enclosed in the atmosphere of adoration; aiming at God for and in Himself. Our ultimate effect as transmitters of the supernal light and love directly depends on this adoring attentiveness. — Evelyn Underhill, Concerning the Inner Life … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

If the only prayer you say in your life is 'Thank you,' that would be enough." — Meister Eckhart … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Only in love can I find You, my God. In love the gates of my soul spring open, allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom and forget my own petty self. In love my whole being streams forth out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion, which makes me a prisoner of my own poverty and emptiness. In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward You, wanting never more to return, but to lose themselves completely in You, since by Your love You are the inmost center of my … [Read more...]

What Mystics Do (and You Can, Too)

What do mystics do? The following list can be a way to begin answering this question. I'm not suggesting that every mystic does everything on this list (for starters, this list is particularly aimed at Christian mystics), or that a person has to do all of these things to be considered a mystic. I'm trying to make the list general, so that it's not just about persons who live in a cloister (monks and nuns) or who have ordained ministries of some sort. Think of this list as a glimpse into the … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Stand guard over your spirit, keeping it free of concepts at the time of prayer so that it may remain in its own deep calm. Thus he who has compassion on the ignorant will come to visit even such an insignificant person as yourself. That is when you will receive the most glorious gift of prayer. — Evagrius Ponticus, Chapters on Prayer, 69 … [Read more...]


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