Reconciling Mystical Teachings with Conventional Christianity


A reader named Allen wrote to me: Dear Carl, I find myself struggling with a bit of a spiritual crisis. I feel torn between the teachings of more traditional Protestant thinkers like Dallas Willard and the mystical teachings of figures like Thomas Keating. While I’ve experienced spiritual growth through my meditation practice using the WCCM form, I’m also concerned that I’m...

Why the Desert Mothers and Fathers Still Matter


In one of his daily emails, Richard Rohr once admitted that he has some issues with the sayings of the Desert Mothers and Fathers — the early Christian hermits and monastics who lived in Egypt, Palestine and Syria in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Rohr admitted that, on some levels, because these writings are so ancient, they can be very problematic when viewed from the perspective of the 21st...

Wisdom During Difficult Times from Evelyn Underhill and Julian of Norwich


Today I led a day of reflection for the Mary Brewster Committee of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Ridgfield, CT. This committee is tasked with creating a retreat each year for the purpose of supporting women’s spirituality in their community. When they approached me about the retreat we decided on the theme “Wisdom During Difficult Times” to acknowledge what a...

Seven Secrets of the Christian Mystics — That Everyone Should Know


I had a conversation with several members of my Patreon circle the other day. We talked about the kinds of challenges people face when it comes to learning about contemplation and mystical spirituality. We talked about how so many people have had bad experiences with churches, or have a hard time relating to God, or have bought into the idea that Christianity is just a religion of judgment and...

Contemplative Leadership with Saints Benedict and Ignatius of Loyola


In recent months I have become very interested in the topic of leadership. Which might seem silly, since I do not manage people, or lead a congregation, or hold a military command position. But I’ve come to recognize that “leadership” is a topic that has broad implications, broader than just our job descriptions. And for those of us who embrace contemplative spirituality...



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