Quote for the Day

...the words of the Lord are like acts wrought in us, and so they must have produced some effect in those who were already prepared to put away from them everything corporeal and to leave the soul in a state of pure spirituality, so that it might be joined with Uncreated Spirit in this celestial union. For it is quite certain that, when we empty ourselves of all that is creature and rid ourselves of it for the love of God, that same Lord will fill our souls with Himself. — Teresa of Avila, The I … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

Each of us possesses a soul, but we do not prize our souls as creatures made in God's image deserve and so we do not understand the great secrets that they contain. — Saint Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle … [Read more...]

Carmelite Review

In the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of Carmelite Review, Father Gregory Houck, O.Carm. had this to say about The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: When I was an undergraduate taking philosophy, my professor said to the class that most philosophers are not actually philosophers; rather, they are merely historians of philosophy. What he was saying is that there is a clear distinction between knowing content and practicing that content. Since then I have found that this same distinction can be applied to … [Read more...]

Mysticism & Narcissism…

Here's a very interesting, and somewhat challenging, quote from a Jewish Blogger: It seems to me that [spiritualism] encourages self-involved people to become more self-involved. Spiritual types often talk about the “universe” in the same way that a certain kind of Christian or Jew sees the hand of God in every banal event, or a certain kind of New Yorker broadcasts every little conversation he’s had with his shrink. And while these examples may show that narcissists are drawn to whatever fee … [Read more...]

Quote for the Day

As I understand it, the soul whom the Lord has been pleased to lead into this Mansion will do best to act as I have said. Let it try, without forcing itself or causing any turmoil, to put a stop to all discursive reasoning, yet not to suspend the understanding, nor to cease from all thought, though it is well for it to remember that it is in God's presence and Who this God is. If feeling this should lead it into a state of absorption, well and good; but it should not try to understand what this … [Read more...]

Fast Food Mysticism?

Consider these two interesting quotes. This one comes from Simon, who commented on my essay The Hidden Tradition of Christian Mysticism: One of the dangers of Centering Prayer, as I see it, is that contemplation is being served up as some sort of fast food. MacContemplation, so to speak! And this, from Ali at Meadowsweet & Myrrh, reflecting on the Northern Ireland retreat: What is the connection between silent contemplation and peace? Is there one? ... so far the lesson of this week … [Read more...]

Teresa of Avila

Today is the feast day of Teresa of Avila.To honor her, I thought I'd mention a few books that newcomers to her work might find helpful.Teresa's writings fill three large volumes, not to mention her letters which fill up another two books. But for students of the contemplative life, three works are truly essential: her autobiography, and two manuals of instruction in prayer and mystical theology: The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle. Here are my recommendations for exploring each of … [Read more...]


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