May 8, 2021

I first “met” Julian of Norwich through reading Evelyn Underhill’s magisterial book Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. Underhill’s book changed my life, for a number of reasons: it gave me a language and a context for making sense of my spiritual experience, it helped me to see that there is a place for an intellectually honest, interfaith-friendly expression of Christian spirituality, and — perhaps most important of all — Underhill introduced me to the grand tradition of Christian… Read more

May 4, 2021

Lately I’ve been posting a social media a “book of the day.” It’s a combination of new books that I find interesting (which I may or may not have read), along with an assortment of books in my library ranging from antiquarian treasures to more recently published titles. Here’s a recent example: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Carl McColman (@carlmccolman) The feedback on these “bookstagrams” has mostly been positive, although a few people have teased me… Read more

April 21, 2021

Today’s guest post is by Lisa Deam, the author of 3000 Miles to Jesus: Pilgrimage as a Way of Life for Spiritual Seekers and A World Transformed: Exploring the Spirituality of Medieval Maps. Lisa is the host of The Contemplative Writer website (www.thecontemplativewriter.com). I’d like to begin with a confession: I natter on about pilgrimage whenever I can, recently wrote a book about pilgrimage, and was invited by my friend Carl McColman to write for his blog on the subject… Read more

March 27, 2021

What do Christian mystics believe? Hidden in this question is really two questions: Do Christians mystics believe what other Christians believe? Do Christian mystics believe something different from what other Christians believe? Let’s look at each of these in turn The Belief of Christian Mystics — as Christians Anyone interested in the beliefs of Christian mystics will naturally be curious to know, “do Christian mystics believe the same things as other Christians?” It’s an almost impossible question to answer, simply… Read more

March 23, 2021

Richard Beck, professor of psychology at Abilene Christian University in Texas, has just released a book that will certainly be a finalist for “most whimsical title.” Hunting Magic Eels: Recovering an Enchanted Faith in a Skeptical Age covers a lot of ground that I love: looking at sacramentalism, Celtic spirituality, mysticism, contemplation, and even a sprinkling of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, to make the case that what Christianity needs today is not a more robust theology, more clever apologetics, more worthy… Read more

March 9, 2021

A note from Carl: Friends, I am currently writing a manuscript that I am calling Meditations on the Christian Mysteries. I’ve identified fifty-two key themes, wisdom teachings, and mystical principles of the Christian tradition — and each month, I take one of those themes and I wrote a meditation based on it. I’m over halfway done — in fact, the meditation I’m sharing with you here is #28. I hope you enjoy this meditation — and to learn more about… Read more

February 17, 2021

A reader, who chooses to remain anonymous, posed the following question: “a world shaped by peace and harmony among the people of all positive paths.” Are they all the way or is there only one way? The reader is quoting me from an article posted on my website, The Hidden Tradition of Christian Mysticism. In short: are all religions one? Are all spiritual paths simply different expressions of the “one path” — or is there, in fact, only “one” way?… Read more

February 10, 2021

Theosis comes from the Greek θέωσις and literally means “divine state” — Theo (God, divinity) + osis (state or condition). Think of words like theology (God-talk) and kenosis (a state of emptiness) to understand how the word is constructed. Put simply and succinctly, theosis is the mystical state of being one with God, or embodying union with God. Different theological perspectives will suggest that this is something only available to us at the end of a long process of purification and enlightenment, or… Read more

February 6, 2021

Centering Prayer is a contemporary method of Christian spiritual practice that is based on teachings from ancient Christian mystics. It is based on a recognition of silence and stillness as doorways into prayer and intimacy with God. The Method of Centering Prayer Centering Prayer is, properly speaking, not a form of contemplative prayer, but rather a method of prayer that helps the praying person to prepare and consent to the gift of contemplation. It is a method of prayer that… Read more

February 2, 2021

“Everyone can pray” is the hopeful and helpful opening message of Learning to Pray, the new book from bestselling Jesuit author James Martin. But he knows that many people don’t pray — even people who never miss church on Sundays. Prayer is something that, at least for those of us who grew up in religious homes, we learn as small children — but then it seems for so many of us, we never manage to graduate from the sing-song rhythms… Read more




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