Want to learn more about Christian mysticism? You've come to the right place.
We live in an age when many people say, "I'd rather be spiritual than religious." But what if there were a path where you could integrate the best of both worlds - the best wisdom and practices of a truly life-transforming spirituality, combined with the rituals, practices, and ethical aspirations of religion at its best?
Welcome to the path of Christian mysticism.
Christian mysticism is a dimension of spirituality which stresses a teaching that goes all the way back to Christ himself: "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21) - and, connected to that, even further back to the beautiful wisdom of the Psalms: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).
Every century since the time of Christ has been blessed with people who truly embody that "reign of God" in their hearts, and who have left behind poetry, wisdom, and teachings to help ordinary Christians to find their own path to the presence of God within - the "via mystica."
The content on this website is designed to help you learn more about the mystics - and to apply their wisdom to your life.
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 contrast, represents ignorance, or evil, or sin. Consider, for example, this passage from the first letter of John: This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to…Read More
Currently I’m reading two classic self-help books, both for my personal edification and as research for a project I’m working on. The books are Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and John Bradshaw’s Healing the Shame that Binds You. If you’re not familiar with these books, they have long been perennial bestsellers in the self-help market: Cameron’s book is…Read More
A reader writes, I just finished reading the article about having everything you need for Divine union. I want to share it with my Carmelite spirituality group. However, I don’t understand one sentence. It’s this one: “ I would invite you to pray every day, with at least some of that prayer including contemplative silence.”…Read More
Four years ago I wrote a blog post titled Is Contemplation Dangerous? It was a review of a book called The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You? Written by two British psychologists, the book looks at a variety of meditation practices, such as Transcendental Meditation and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, the book offers a balanced assessment…Read More
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…Read More
The Chrysalis and the Butterfly: A New Way to Think About the Relationship Between Spirituality and Religion
“I’m spiritual but not religious.” It’s an increasingly common way for people to identify their relationship to spirituality (as a system for personal growth) and religion (as an institution that requires membership, conformity, and submission). The younger you are, the more likely you will agree that this statement describes you. It’s ubiquitous enough that it’s…Read More
Here’s another one of the videos I filmed in the summer of 2015. Previously on this blog I posted a video on mysticism. More will be coming, on topics like silence and contemplation. This particular video begins with a prayer by Julian of Norwich, and then I talk about who Julian was and why she…Read More
A couple of weeks ago I posted to this blog an article called Just What is Mysticism Anyway? And Why Should Anyone Care? But a few years ago, I made a short video that addresses pretty much the same topic, although geared specifically to Christians. In the summer of 2015 I filmed a series of…Read More
A reader writes, Carl, have you written any articles on the “dark night” or about the struggles we face on our paths? I’d be grateful if you could either link me to any articles you have written or to any books you think might be useful. I have Dark Night of the Soul by St John…Read More
A reader of my blog writes: As someone new and aspiring to find a more contemplative lifestyle, I’m curious of one thing. Is there a critical difference between sitting time and ‘observing silence, acknowledging God is present’ versus ‘meditating on God, whether through a holy text, your experiences with God, or other characteristics of God’?…Read More
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