Spiritual Lessons from a Pilgrimage to Ireland

I wrote the following article in 2002, when I was exploring Celtic paganism. I found it recently while looking for something in my archives and ...
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A Lesson on Creativity and Risk-Taking from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Publisher

Today I had a conversation with a friend who is working on a manuscript for a book to be published in the next year or ...
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The Sheer Sound of a Still Small Voice

"God speaks to us in a whisper," or so said an Episcopal priest I once knew. It was one of his trademark sayings, and the ...
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Your Home is Your Abbey; Your Heart is Your Cloister

I met a woman once, many years ago, who taught writing in a prison. She had the inmates read The Rule of Saint Benedict. She encouraged ...
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Advice for Surviving a Pandemic from Julian of Norwich

Anyone who spends time on this blog knows that I love Julian of Norwich; just as John Ruysbroeck was Evelyn Underhill's favorite mystic, Julian is ...
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Called to the Prayer of Listening to Christ

God saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed ...
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Contemplation and Vocal Prayer: For a Balanced Spiritual “Diet,” Cultivate Both

A reader of the blog wrote to me with this question: We had an opportunity last night to attend a presentation on prayer & spiritual ...
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Celtic Spirituality, Celtic Prayer, and the Promises of the Heart: Three Contemplative Online Courses

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 ...
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With Great Reverence and Above Reason: Two Keys to the Mystical Adoration of God

If you talk to an old-school Trappist monk, he'll tell you that "adoration" is something properly given to God alone. I learned this the hard ...
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“The Settling of the Mind Into Silence” — How a Definition of Yoga also Defines All Forms of Contemplation

The first four lines of the ancient text, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, offer a basic definition of yoga — that might surprise many westerners who ...
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Have We Given Up on “Happily Ever After”?

First, an admission: I have a guilty pleasure in costume dramas, especially the kind that show up on PBS. From Downton Abbey to Lark Rise to Candleford ...
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What’s the Best Church for Contemplative Christians?

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 ...
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Contemplation and Emotional Intensity

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 ...
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Mysticism is a Love Story: A Baker’s Dozen of Contemplative Books for Valentine’s Day (or Any Day)

Simply put, mysticism — at least, Christian mysticism — is all about love. To explore Christian mysticism basically means to explore love. It's an invitation ...
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“For Darkness is as Light to You” — Why Mysticism Isn’t Afraid of the Dark

One of the most powerful images in the Bible is the distinction between light and dark. Light represents God, or Christ, or goodness; darkness, by ...
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