Christian Mysticism

Part 8 of 12 in the series Spiritual History

However quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us: we need no wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.
St. Teresa of Avila

 

Christian mysticism is the peaceful and grounded constant within the history of Christianity.

Mystical theology, especially in the Roman Catholic and Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Christianity reflects the inner wisdom which is always present in silence. Jesus Christ was a mystic, so embedded in the whole of the divine that he called himself “I am”!

The attributes and means by which Christian mysticism is studied and practiced are varied. They range from silent meditation falling into, experiencing ecstatic visions of the soul’s mystical union with God to simple prayerful contemplation of Holy Scripture (e.g. Lectio Divina, in which relevance appears as a result of openness).

Christian Doctor Ken R Vincent says “All true mystical experiences serve to reinforce what Jesus taught about God’s love for us. Mystics through the ages have reminded us to stay the true course, reject dogma, and not let mechanical ritual substitute for good works and kindness. Like Jesus, Christian mystics have often been at odds with the church leaders when those leaders have put authority, church business, and theological interpretation above the compassion of God.”

So who are the Christian mystics?

Currently there are many, including Fr Richard Rohr, Fr. Bede Griffiths, Thomas Berry, Bruce Chilton, Marcus J Borg, Ernesto Cardenal, and Br David Steindl-Rast.

The historical Christian lineage is significant, including  Paul of Tarsus, St. John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, Blaise Pascal, Theresa of Avila, Saint Francis of Assisi, Padre Pio, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, John Wesley, Thomas Aquinas, Catherine of Genoa, Miguel de Molinos, Nana Veary and more recently Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King and Thomas Merton.

“I was answered in spiritual understanding, and it was said: What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing? Know it well, love was his meaning.
Who reveals it to you? Love.
What did he reveal you? Love.
Why does he reveal it to you? For Love….
So I was taught that love is our Lord’s meaning.”

Julian of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love)

See if any of the following are how you see Christian spirituality:

“Deep down, each one of us is a mystic. When we tap into that energy we become alive again and we give birth.”
Matthew Fox – ‘Christian Mystics

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