Contemplation begins with Wonder.
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Latest Posts

Why Do Mystics Talk About “Purgation” or “Purification”?

Traditionally, the mystical (or contemplative) life within Christian spirituality has been understood as involving three developmental stages: Purgation, Illumination, and Union. This three-step model of the mystical life goes all the way back to the earliest centuries of Christian history.

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Walter Hilton: The Scale of Perfection

The Scale of Perfection is, in essence, a book of spiritual guidance or direction, written by an elder contemplative for a younger reader.

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Mysticism and Faith: How Do They Relate?

Mysticism is important because it implies an experimental spirituality — it’s not something you learn from a book, but it’s a reality that we live, in our own heart and minds and bodies. But does this mean that there is no room for doctrine and faith in the mystical life?

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Howard Thurman

When we consider also the rich mystical sensibility that characterizes Howard Thurman’s sermons and writings, it is clear that he is one of the great twentieth-century Christian contemplatives.

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Reclaiming the Bible as a Mystical Masterpiece

Part of the process of reclaiming mystical Christianity in our day will be the equally important task of reclaiming a mystical understanding of the Bible.

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The Problem with Christianity in a Nutshell

We all know that so many people today prefer to remain spiritually independent, intentional about cultivating their interior life but unencumbered by affiliation to a faith community. In other words: …

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How Do Contemplatives Make a Difference?

Consider these teachings from Jesus, all taken from just one Gospel (Matthew): “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.” “Sell your possessions, and give (the …

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Online Day of Reflection for Patrons: October 2, 2021

Four times a year I offer an online Quiet Day/Day of Reflection for the generous patrons who support the Anamchara website/blog/knowledge base through Patreon. The next such quiet day will …

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Even Your Breath Can Be Your “Sacred Word”

A reader of this blog submitted this question: How explicitly Christian does the prayer word need to be in contemplative prayer (e.g., Centering Prayer)? My quiet-time practice is a hybrid …

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Online Course: Wisdom of the Desert (September 27-October 22, 2021)

Explore the wisdom, wit, and spiritual insight of the Desert Mothers and Fathers in this four-week online course, sponsored by Columbia Theological Seminary’s Center for Lifelong Learning. The course counts …

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