April 8, 2020

In my book Unteachable Lessons I talk about Kenneth Leech, the Anglican priest who wrote a variety of books on topics related to both contemplative spirituality and the struggle for social justice (if you’re not familiar with Ken Leech, check out Prayer and Prophecy, an anthology of his most essential writings). I only met Ken on a handful of occasions. When I ran the bookstore in Sewanee (the site of an Episcopal seminary), he came in to the store while he was… Read more

March 5, 2020

It’s March, and that means St. Patrick’s Day is just a few days away! This year, instead of (or, in addition to) enjoying a pint of green beer, why don’t you observe St. Patrick’s Day by enrolling in a Celtic spirituality e-course through Spirituality and Practice? These courses are available “on demand” — which means you can sign up, and receive the course materials via e-mail at your convenience. Each course includes a dozen “lessons” that cover informative material about Celtic… Read more

February 21, 2020

A reader writes: Carl, do you think the Catholic Church has more scope to welcome contemplative Christians?  I attend an Anglican church and I’m very high Anglican in my thinking. A friend calls me a secret Catholic.  I’m growing weary of the evangelical fundamentalist direction of the church… I’m a bit lost to be honest. I’m sorry you feel lost, and I think it’s not unusual, especially when someone discovers contemplative spirituality, to feel a bit out of place if… Read more

February 17, 2020

One of this blog’s readers wrote to me this past Saturday (February 15, 2020) to ask a question about Richard Rohr’s daily meditation for that day. Here’s the quote (emphasis added): Contemplative prayer always requires hospitality to your deep self, to the deep parts of your self. It demands the openness to receive whatever might arise in you and then gently release it into God’s hands. But in prayer you are not alone as you open yourself to whatever might… Read more

February 3, 2020

Over the years I have discovered that there are three types of people interested in Christian mysticism and contemplative spirituality: Some are practicing Christians, active in their local parish or church but frustrated by what they see as the lack of spiritual nurture that takes place in such settings; Others are people who may have been raised in the church, but really have no connection to institutional Christianity; they are interested in spirituality but not religion, and while they might… Read more

January 16, 2020

Dear friends, I’m excited that a new video in which I lead the practice of the Daily Examen is premiering this Saturday, January 18, at 1 PM Eastern Standard Time. If you’re not familiar with the Daily Examen, it’s a traditional practice of reflecting on your day, usually done at the end of the day although you could pray the Examen at any time, just reflecting on the previous 24 hours whenever that might be. Traditionally it was a type… Read more

January 14, 2020

A couple of days ago in a dream I was instructed to write about “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” At first I put it off, because it’s such a huge topic and I’m not sure how qualified I am to write about it. But then today, while working on the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, I had the task of meditating on the Beatitudes. So it seems that I need to go ahead and listen to my dream and reflect on Matthew… Read more

December 27, 2019

Today’s Guest Post is by Sr. Julia Walsh, FSPA. It’s a gray day, one of those types where the clouds hang heavy and seem to block out all sunlight. Inside a cozy lamp-lit room, I am sitting in a circle of ministers training to be spiritual directors and practicing the art of listening. Around the circle, person after person tells a story from their life that is personal. With each telling, I notice layers of transformation and transition; I hear… Read more

December 16, 2019

Recently I posted this quote from Fr. Thomas Keating on Facebook: If you’re curious about the source of this quote, it is found on page 71 of Open Mind, Open Heart. In response, one reader posted this question as a comment: Carl, what, in practice, does divine union actually mean? Surely we’ll be totally at one with God only in the next life? It’s a fair question, especially for anyone who has been taught that there is a terrible chasm… Read more

December 8, 2019

Please visit www.patreon.com/carlmccolman to discover how you can have early access to my newest writing — available exclusively to patrons. Thank you for your support! Read more

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