Why I Wrote a Book About Christian Mystics

Or, What Trent Reznor and John O'Donohue Have in Common

When Peter Gabriel came to Atlanta in 2003, my wife Fran and I were able to get tickets to the concert through a friend who works in the music business. Not only did we have the best seats in the house (right behind and above the soundboard), but we were seated next to a row […]

Returning to one of my favorite retreat centers — the Rock Hill Oratory — for a four day retreat on “Learning to Pray with the Saints and Mystics.” See you there!

Date: June 12, 2017—June 15, 2017
Event: Learning to Pray with the Saints and Mystics
Topic: Learning to Pray with the Saints and Mystics
Sponsor: The Rock Hill Oratory
Venue: The Rock Hill Oratory
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Public: Public

I’ll be returning to the Charlotte Spirituality Center for another day devoted to prayer and reflection. See you there!

Date: June 11, 2017
Time: 09:00 AM-03:00 PM
Event: Celtic Day of Reflection
Topic: Celtic Spirituality
Sponsor: Charlotte Spirituality Center
Venue: Charlotte Spirituality Center
Location: Charlotte, NC
Public: Public

I’ll be leading a “Contemplative Spirituality Weekend” at 2nd Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA. Hope to see you there!

Date: April 28, 2017—April 29, 2017
Event: Contemplative Spirituality Weekend
Topic: Contemplative Prayer
Sponsor: 2nd Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA
Venue: 2nd Presbyterian Church
Location: Roanoke, VA
Public: Public

New for 2017: I will be blogging exclusively at Patheos!

Please be sure to visit me there

Dear friends, Happy new year (and here it is February already)! I’m sorry that I have been so inattentive to this blog. I’ve been finishing up the manuscript for my next book, which hopefully will be called The Little Book of Christian Mysticism (after all, since I wrote a Big Book of Christian Mysticism, it only […]

This eight-week class will feature exploration into the lives and teachings of great mystics out of the Jesuit tradition, including St. Ignatius of Loyola, Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and more! We’ll look at a different Jesuit mystic each week, and focus on how their teachings can be integrated into our lives today.

Date: January 12, 2017—March 2, 2017
Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Event: Finding God in All Things: Spiritual Wisdom from the Jesuit Mystics
Topic: The Jesuit Mystics
Sponsor: Ignatius House
Venue: Ignatius House
404.255.0503
Location: 6700 Riverside Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Registration: Click here to register.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

God does not offer himself to our finite beings as a thing all complete and ready to be embraced. For us he is eternal discovery and eternal growth. The more we think we understand him, the more he reveals himself as otherwise. The more we think we hold him, the further he withdraws, drawing us into the depths of himself.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The Divine Milieu (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), p. 114.

Has it ever occurred to you that Jesus, the master in the art of prayer, would take the trouble to walk up a hill in order to pray? Like all great contemplatives he was aware that the place in which we pray has an influence on the quality of our prayer.

Anthony de Mello S.J.
Sadhana (New York: Image Books, 1978), p. 68

I am leading a retreat at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit on the weekend of November 11-13 — my last retreat there for 2016! Our theme will be “Praying in a Busy Life.” Here’s the description of the retreat from the monastery’s website:

Life in the 21st century seems busier than ever! We work longer hours, juggle various personal, family, and professional commitments, and it often seems like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. This retreat is an invitation to take a deep breath, relax, and be still before the presence of God, acknowledging that God is present even when life seems to get in the way. The conferences will include practical tips on how to deepen your prayer life, even in the midst of all the demands and obligations that life throws your way.

Hope to see you there!

Date: November 11, 2016—November 13, 2016
Event: Retreat at Holy Spirit Monastery: "Praying in a Busy Life"
Topic: Praying in a Busy Life
Sponsor: Monastery of the Holy Spirit
770-760-0959
Venue: Monastery of the Holy Spirit Guesthouse
770-760-0959
Location: Conyers, GA 30094
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

Notice how sharp is the hearing and the sense of touch of a blind man. He has lost his faculty of seeing and this has forced him to develop his other faculties of perception. Something similar happens in the mystical world. If we could go mentally blind, so to speak, if we could put a bandage over our mind while we are communicating with God, we would be forced to develop some other faculty for communicating with him—that faculty which, according to a number of mystics, is already straining to move out to him anyway if it were given a chance to develop: the Heart.

Anthony de Mello S.J.
Sadhana: A Way to God (New York: Image Books, 1978), pp. 30-31.

Instructions on Prayer from a Trappist Monk

Brother Elias Offers Wisdom on Silence, Compassion, and Inner Transformation

“I’m speechless,” remarked Brother Elias Marechal, OCSO, after a congregation of several hundred young evangelicals vigorously applauded his visit to their worship service last month. But then he quipped, “We don’t talk in the monastery much.” Grace Fellowship in Athens, GA (home of the University of Georgia) recently invited this deeply contemplative Trappist monk to come and speak […]

The Flicker of the Screen

Is the Biggest Threat to Contemplation Hiding in Our Pockets?

For if there is no dark night of the soul anymore that isn’t lit with the flicker of the screen, then there is no morning of hopefulness either. The above quotation comes from a fascinating, and I believe vitally important, article by Andrew Sullivan, called I Used to Be A Human Being. Originally published in New […]

I’m happy to be returning to the Episcopal Diocese of Florida’s Camp Weed, November 18-19, 2016. Our theme this year will be Celtic Spirituality: the Wisdom of Ireland, Scotland and Northern England. We will celebrate the poetry, prayer, and insight from the great saints of old, like Saint Columba, Saint Brigid, and Saint Kevin, considering how their wit and wisdom can inspire us to live more spiritually meaningful lives today. This retreat is for both clergy and laity, and is open not only to Episcopalians but to all Christians and indeed anyone sincerely interested in Celtic wisdom. Camp Weed is a wonderful conference center, conducive to deep prayer and restful relaxation. Hope to see you there!

Date: November 18, 2016—November 19, 2016
Event: Celtic Spirituality Retreat in Live Oak Florida (near Jacksonville)
Topic: Celtic Spiritualituy
Sponsor: The Bishop's Institute for Ministry and Leadership
Venue: Camp Weed Conference Center
386-364-5250
Location: 11057 Camp Weed Place
Live Oak FL
32060
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite me to speak to your community, click here.

One of my editors recently introduced me to Deacon Chris Anderson, a Catholic author from the other side of the country. Deacon Chris is an English professor, a poet, and a spiritual guide. He has a book coming out later this fall on the spirituality of the Examen, called Light When It Comes: Trusting Joy, Facing Darkness, and Seeing God in Everything. Plus he has this delightful video called “Why We Talk About the Weather.” Watch it; you’ll be glad you did.

Who’s Your Favorite Christian Mystic?

Here's a Book to Help You Find Out

I’m happy to announce that my latest book — Christian Mystics: 108 Seers, Saints and Sages — has been published. The first printing has been delivered to my publisher’s warehouse, and they are now in the process of being shipped out to bookstores (both online and brick & mortar). So your favorite bookseller should have stock […]