Contemplation begins with Wonder.
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Latest Articles

Spiritual Directors International (SDI)

SDI now is an educational nonprofit, serving over 6,000 members in 42 countries around the world. Although it began as a gathering of Christian spiritual companions, today the organization is interfaith in scope and supports spiritual guides of any faith tradition.

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Do I Have to be a Member of a Church to be a Christian Mystic?

I think I understand how many people — including many people with a genuine interest in the mystics — find church to be the last place they want to be, on Sunday or any other time during the week.

There are many reasons for this. Many people have been hurt by churches.

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Praying with Icons

Praying with icons is no longer just something eastern Christians do. Recognizing that the image can be a powerful window into heaven, Christians across the entire Body of Christ have found meaning and spiritual sustenance in the prayerful contemplation of icons.

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Theosis

Theosis comes from the Greek θέωσις and literally means “divine state” — Theo (God, divinity) + osis (state or condition). Think of words like theology (God-talk) and gnosis (a state of knowledge) to understand how the word is constructed.

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Centering Prayer

Centering Prayer is a contemporary method of Christian spiritual practice that is based on teachings from ancient Christian mystics. It recognizes silence and stillness as doorways into prayer and intimacy with God.

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Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

I have a wonderful and affectionate regard for Washington, DC’s Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. It may not be as widely known as Contemplative Outreach International or the Center for Action and Contemplation, but Shalem still has a global reach, offers a distinctive and beautiful approach to contemplative spirituality, and — most significant for me — was the setting where I was introduced to contemplative practice and to the ministry of spiritual direction.

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mountains, sunset, clouds

And Where, Exactly, Does Mysticism “Happen”?

When I was studying journalism in school, I learned that a good reporter seeks to ask some or all of these simply questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? So when I began to work on the articles for this website — for exploring the mystical life — it only seemed reasonable to begin with those same six questions.

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christ, statue, flash

Do We Lose Our Identity When We Become One with God?

So much of the language of the New Testament, and of so many of the mystics (at least in the Christian tradition), is language of love. God is love (or as I like to say, “Love-with-a-capital-L”). We love because God first loved us. God’s love is poured into our hearts.

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candle, light, church

Contemplation

So contemplation, mystically speaking, is one type of prayer. And the Catechism definition gives us a pretty good way of understanding this unique dimension of communication with God.

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Latest Blog Posts

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 …

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Come to the Eternal Heart Publication Day Celebration — June 29, 2021!

Friends, you are invited to a special virtual event: the Eternal Heart Book Launch Celebration! We will gather via Zoom on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 from 7:30 – 8:45 PM (Eastern …

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What I look for when I read contemplative books

I often get asked to recommend “the best” contemplative books. I’m happy to do so (see this post for a recent attempt to list some of the better books), but …

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Take This One-Question Survey: Your Favorite Way(s) to Explore Contemplative Spirituality

Friends, could you take a half a minute and fill out this 1-question survey? I’m planning my calendar for the rest of the year, and I’m trying to gauge how …

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When You Pre-order a Book, It Makes a Difference (Here’s Why)

Please click on the button of your preferred retailer to pre-order Eternal Heart: If you have already pre-ordered Eternal Heart, I thank you. If you haven’t, please do so. I’m not …

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Why Julian of Norwich Matters to Me

I first “met” Julian of Norwich through reading Evelyn Underhill’s magisterial book Mysticism: The Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness. Underhill’s book changed my life, for a number of reasons: it …

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book, read, old

So Many Books, So Little Time…

Lately I’ve been posting on social media a “book of the day.” It’s a combination of new books that I find interesting (which I may or may not have read), …

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Even More (!) Advance Praise for “Eternal Heart”

In February I published the first words of endorsement that my forthcoming book, Eternal Heart, received, and then in March I published more words of support from authors like Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, …

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A “Top Ten” List of Christian Contemplative Books

A reader writes, Wondering if you have an updated list of top ten books about Christian contemplation? Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a fondness for publishing …

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