Category

Contemplation

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Encountering Silence: A Conversation with Dr. Joy Schroeder, co-author of “Voices Long Silenced”

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It’s time for another episode from the Encountering Silence podcast! In this episode, Dr. Joy A. Schroeder, a Lutheran pastor, joins Cassidy, Kevin and me to explore the shadow side of silence — in this case, the silencing of many significants voices in the Christian tradition, of women Bible interpreters. Dr. Schroeder is a specialist in the history of biblical interpretation. She is...

The Mystical Imagination: Quotations for Reflection and Meditation

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One of my favorite topics to explore when leading a retreat is “The Mystical Imagination.” I often pair it with Centering Prayer, exploring how the silence of Centering Prayer naturally complements the inner imagery of prayer anchored in the imagination. When I lead such retreats, I often will share a variety of quotations with the retreatants to make the case for why the imagination...

Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination: Complementary Approaches to Intimacy with God

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On Saturday, October 29, 2022, I will be leading an online day of reflection on Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination. If you’d like to explore how to integrate silent prayer with imaginative prayer, this program may be for you. To learn more and to register, please click here: Centering Prayer and the Mystical Imagination. A few years ago, a popular contemporary Christian rock band...

How to Deal with Catholics Who Disapprove of Centering Prayer

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A reader of this blog named Pawel writes: Hi Carl, What would be your advice for someone returning to Catholic faith through a practice like Centering Prayer (having been immersed in Eastern traditions for many years), but coming up against objections when trying to start with the “basics”? For example, I was looking for a good Bible study and came across The New Adventure Bible and...

Encountering Silence interviews Carmen Acevedo Butcher

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Hi friends! Just a quick note to let you know that the latest episode of Encountering Silence is out. We’re interviewing our friend Carmen Acevedo Butcher, noted for her translation of The Cloud of Unknowing. She’s now releasing another translation of a mystical classic: Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence. Listen to the episode here, and/or download it from your...

Memento Mori: The Contemplation of Death and the Wonder of Life

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Twice this week I have learned of the death of an acquaintance. I hesitate to say “friend” because neither of these people were friends in a close sense: one of them I hadn’t seen or been in contact with in almost four years, the other not since the mid-1990s. But they were both men I liked, and both I knew through church. One was a Jesuit priest at my parish from 2017-2018, the...

Some Christians Attack Centering Prayer and Contemplation. They are Motivated by Bad Theology.

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A reader of this blog sent me the following question today. Hi Carl, I see from conservative Christian circles that WCCM and Centering prayer is labelled new age and dangerous. Are these practices Christian really?  Or are we trying to incorporate eastern meditation into Christianity ? First, the short answer. Contemplative practices like Centering Prayer and Christian meditation are rooted in...

Seven Ways to Read a Mystical Book

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Reading the writings of the great mystics — of figures like St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Ávila, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, or even modern writers like Pierre Teilhard de Chardin or Bernadette Roberts — is not always easy. Many mystics use dense or figurative or poetic language in their attempts to express the inexpressible. Others rely on highly technical philosophical or...

How to be a Contemplative in Today’s Political Climate

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I was speaking recently with one of my Patreon supporters (Patreon is a crowdfunding program to support writers, bloggers, musicians, etc. This blog is made possible by the generous people who support it through Patreon). She asked me a blunt question. How do you do it? How do you, as someone who writes about contemplation, respond to the political moment that we find ourselves in? Such an...

Online Event: Contemplative Day of Reflection: Kenneth Leech and Pauli Murray, Contemplative Activists for Our Time (June 25, 2022)

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Join me (Carl McColman) for a special online quiet day of reflection on June 25, 2022. We’ll spend time together in silence, and I’ll share with you some of the wisdom of two of my favorite 20th century theologians: Kenneth Leech and Pauli Murray. Ken Leech (1939-2015) was a priest of the Church of England, a tireless advocate for social justice, and renowned for his work combating homelessness...

Encountering Silence: A Conversation with Sister Joyce Rupp

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The Encountering Silence co-hosts (Cassidy Hall, Kevin Johnson and Carl McColman) recently spoke with Servite Sister Joyce Rupp, on the occasion of the publication of her most recent book, Return to the Root: Reflections on the Inner Life. Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer, international retreat leader, and conference speaker. She is the author of numerous bestselling books...

The Wrath of God and Wishful Thinking (or, Julian of Norwich and Biblical Images of God)

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Recently a reader of this blog wrote the following to me: I am just starting out on this journey and feel drawn to the mystical/contemplative side of Christianity.   To this end, I am using your book “Answering the Contemplative Call” and also “Growing into God” by John Mabry as my guides.   I do not have a spiritual director as yet but am trying to find one near where I live in the UK.    In the...

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