July 19, 2019

A note from Carl: It was forty years ago this summer — the summer of 1979 — that I first discovered Evelyn Underhill, the British spiritual author whose writings introduced me to the beauty and splendor of Christian mysticism. To celebrate this personal anniversary, I’m reprinting here a blog post I wrote back in 2007 about her and her writing. I hope you enjoy it. It might be a bit controversial for me to include Evelyn Underhill in my list… Read more

July 12, 2019

Nothing says “Catholic” quite as much as a rosary. But anyone — Catholic or Orthodox, Protestant or Pentecostal, Anglican or Evangelical — can find a way to incorporate the simple beauty of the rosary into the life of prayer. Think of a rosary as a tool, which can be used to foster contemplative silence or to train the subconscious into a life of habitual prayer and recollection (gathering the mind into a state of restful focus on God). Mention the… Read more

July 5, 2019

Today’s post is by a guest contributor: Brother Mark Dohle, OCSO, who serves as the Guestmaster at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA. Br. Mark is also the author of The Two Sides of Silence which appeared on this blog in 2017. Here are the Monastery, we go through the Psalms in a two-week cycle here when we chant the Divine Office. There are many people from both the Jewish and Christian traditions that are devoted to these prayers…. Read more

July 4, 2019

Get The Big Book of Christian Mysticism ebook version for your favorite ebook reader for only 99¢! This is a limited time offer, so get it now. Sorry, this offer only available in the USA. You can get it on the following ebook platforms: Kindle (Amazon) Nook (Barnes and Noble) iBooks (Apple) Google Kobo This book in paperback retails for $24.95, and the ebook versions usually run between ten and fifteen dollars. So this is a great deal — don’t… Read more

June 29, 2019

Today’s Guest Post is by Sr. Julia Walsh, FSPA. Sr. Julia is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration; she is a youth and retreat minister, writer and activist. Read more of her writing at www.messyjsesusbusiness.com or follow her on Twitter (like I do) at www.twitter.com/juliafspa. On an ordinary morning, I kneel into The Now. I am alone in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the floor. I have set my timer, so I know when I must move. But for now, this… Read more

June 26, 2019

My children, I am again in the pain of childbirth, until Christ is formed in you… — Galatians 4: 19 For God beholds with his merciful eyes not what you are, nor what you have been — but what you would be. — The Cloud of Unknowing The Spiritual Renaissance Spirituality — the life of the Spirit — has enjoyed a renaissance in our day. My parents, of the World War II generation, never talked about it — for them,… Read more

June 20, 2019

In my forthcoming book Unteachable Lessons, I tell how I spent a period of time estranged from Christianity — the faith I was brought up in, and the faith I adhere to now. But for a number of years in my  middle adult years, I explored a variety of new religious movements that are inspired by the old pagan religions of Europe and other areas. These new movements go by a variety of names: Paganism, Neopaganism, Wicca, Goddess spirituality, Druidism, Celtic… Read more

June 13, 2019

A few months ago I wrote about smartphone apps that are designed to support a daily prayer practice. Most of the people who left comments on the post expressed how much they appreciated apps like the ones I wrote about, since they found that in today’s busy world, having words for prayer available on their phone simply made sense. But, predictably, one person came along and made a disparaging comment — quoting a conservative Catholic cardinal — that using a… Read more

June 4, 2019

I’m preparing for a retreat I’ll be leading in Scotland next month, and so I’m reading a book called Island Spirituality: Spiritual Values of Lewis and Harris by Alastair McIntosh. In the book, he tells of a conversation he had with a Free Church (Presbyterian) pastor named Rev. Calum MacDonald. We sat down over a cup of tea in their living room. Calum was in his rough and ready working clothes as the croft runs by the church. Suddenly, and for… Read more

May 23, 2019

Recently I led a Celtic spirituality retreat through the Copper Beech Institute in Connecticut. During the retreat we talked about such topics as the spirituality of holy wells, thin places, and the concept of “the edge of waiting” as a Celtic way of contemplating. One of the participants sent me an email after the retreat ended with a few questions that came to mind: How do thin places/experiences intersect with the para-normal? If a coincidence is “God being anonymous”, how… Read more

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