Salvation and Wellness, Holiness and Therapy

Last week when I wrote about the distinction between mindfulness meditation and contemplative prayer, one reader left this comment:I would also like to hear your comments on salvation vs therapy.I feel a bit of trepidation taking this on, for the simple reason that I am not a professional counselor, therapist, psychologist, social worker — I have none of those little sets of letters like "LPC" or "MSW" that tag along after a person's name to indicate that he or she is qualified to therapize. … [Read more...]

A Contemplative Curriculum?

I've written in this blog several times recently about what a contemplative practice group might look like, and hopefully I'll be involved in setting up at least one such group in the near future. But in a conversation with a clergy friend last night, he asked me what it would look like to have a fully-formed curriculum of classes, workshops, retreats, etc., all designed to support individuals and communities in the quest to grow toward deeper intimacy and union with Christ?Wow. What a sweet … [Read more...]

Breaking the Mystical Thermometer

A reader named Judy comments on my Teresa of Ávila page thusly: ... as to the stages of mysticism, the less I know the better. I do not want that craving of evaluating or one could say taking their spiritual temperature ever again. That sneaky ego always popping up saying "well done". I am terrified of taking pride in what is "all God" and his work in me. I know myself and how quickly I can slide right down the chute, having done it several times. As for being "terrified" of pride, I'd like to … [Read more...]

If…

If right here and right now, you were a fully blossomed mystic — I mean of the same caliber as Julian of Norwich or John of the Cross — how would your life be different?What would your day look like?How would you be spending (or investing) your money?How much time would you spend each day in prayer? In lectio divina? In works of mercy? In our postmodern/western equivalent to "chop wood, carry water" — i.e., cleaning the laundry and doing the dishes?Would you be a member of the same churc … [Read more...]

Still Small Voice

Last night I had dinner with my friend Cliff who is coordinating an adult education program at his church. Currently they're studying theophanies (encounters with God) in the Bible. Cliff wants to follow this up with a series on the mystics; hence his picking my brain over chips and salsa at a noisy Mexican restaurant.We talked about the mystics who have had their own particular theophanies: Augustine in the garden; Julian of Norwich during her life-threatening illness; Thomas Merton on the … [Read more...]


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