August 20, 2019

What are the characteristics of a mystic? I know two elderly monks at the local monastery near where I live, both of whom have reputations as “real mystics.” Indeed, I would agree with this assessment — they both strike me as genuine contemplatives, true living mystics. But they are very different from one another in some key ways. One is something of a theologian, who spent most of his life reading dense, academic works on topics like the Holy Trinity… Read more

August 14, 2019

One of the scariest moments for me, as an author, is when my editor and I have finished working on a book, and we then send the manuscript out to a number of people for reviews and/or endorsements. It’s always a bit nerve-wracking. What if no one likes it? Eek! Fortunately, my forthcoming book Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught (and Why That’s Okay) has received some very warm words of praise from a number of early readers. Forgive me… Read more

August 2, 2019

On his live album Precious Friend, Arlo Guthrie cracked a joke: “You can’t have a light without a dark to stick it in.” Seekers of holy nonduality recognize this: in the economy of grace, the words of the author of Ecclesiastes ring true as ever: “There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven: … a time for loving, a time for hating; a time for war, a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8) When I… Read more

July 26, 2019

This month marks nine years since The Big Book of Christian Mysticism was published. Hard to believe it’s been that long! To mark this anniversary, I’m reposting here an “author’s statement” about the book that I originally wrote for Amazon. Hope you enjoy it (and if you haven’t read The Big Book of Christian Mysticism… well, what are you waiting for?!?!) When I was eighteen years old, a friend of mine loaned me a copy of Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism: A Study in the Nature and Development of… Read more

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 at 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 or follow her on Twitter (like I do) at 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

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