September 20, 2019

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” You can go into a Christian gift shop and find paperweights, wall plaques, t-shirts, and various other types of merchandise that prominently feature this verse. But what does it mean?  Obviously, the verse speaks to us in God’s voice: “know that I am God.” It is a proclamation that God exists, and that God can be known. Especially in our… Read more

September 10, 2019

Stuart Higginbotham tells how being the target of protests by Westboro Baptist Church during last February’s Super Bowl helped his parish to grow in their commitment to contemplative spirituality. Read more

September 4, 2019

So often, it seems to me, that people who are drawn to the Christian tradition of mysticism and contemplation are eager to learn practices like Centering Prayer or the Jesus Prayer — but they are far less enthusiastic about some of the less “glamorous” Christian practices, like participating in the Mass or the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office or the Daily Office). I confess that this has been true for me. If you invite me… Read more

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




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