I’ll be back in north Florida for this two-day retreat/workshop on contemplative dimensions of lay ministry and lay leadership. While the focus of our time together will be how vital contemplative spirituality is for anyone who has a leadership role in their neighborhood church, I think it should be of interest to anyone who feels drawn to contemplative spirituality.

Read more about this retreat (and register for it) by clicking here: Lay Leadership Retreat with Carl McColman

Date: November 2, 2018—November 3, 2018
Event: A Vocation of Love: Prayer and Our Covenant in Christ: A Lay Leadership Retreat with Carl McColman
Topic: A Vocation of Love
Sponsor: Episcopal Diocese of Florida
Venue: Camp Weed & Cerveny Conference Center
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 Carl McColman to speak to your community, click here.

Two Complementary Guides to Mystical Devotion

Prayer and meditation — at least for people who believe in God, they go together like love and marriage (or a horse and a carriage). A few months ago The Little Book of Christian Mysticism was published. It’s a book I edited/curated, a collection of over 300 quotations from Christian mystics,…… Read more at Patheos

Leah Weiss: Silence at Work (Episode 30)

Unless you work in a library or a monastery, you may not intuitively associate “silence” and “work.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, our working lives have everything to gain if the workplace could become more hospitable to silence — and related mindfulness practices. Leah Weiss, PhD integrates Buddhist wisdom, mindfulness … Continue reading Leah Weiss: Silence at Work (Episode 30) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Discerning the Difference Between Healthy Self-Esteem and Toxic Selfishness

In response to my article The Self, Self-Esteem, and Dying to Self, one reader posted this question: So…I’m just curious but how do you suggest one can find a balance between the two? I agree with your article and I’m grateful that you mention how Christian culture can cause us…… Read more at Patheos

What To Do When Mystics Feel Like Misfits

In response to my recent article Why Are Mystics So… Weird?!?, one reader posted this comment/question: One thing I’d like to see some work on is reintegration. By this, I mean how to integrate with “polite Christian society” when you clearly don’t fit. … It’s one thing to be a Christian…… Read more at Patheos

A Miscellaneous List of Books I Like (And Recommend)

I love booklists. I find browsing someone’s list of recommended titles is a great way to find a new treasure. This is an admittedly idiosyncratic list of books that I recommend for your consideration. Obviously I lead off with books on contemplation/mysticism, since that’s the main focus of this blog. But I…… Read more at Patheos

The Self, Self-Esteem, and Dying to Self: Contemplative Spirituality and the Ego

A reader of this blog named John wrote to me a while back and asked this question: In your opinion, what role does self worth play in faith and from where does self worth come? Since it’s a broad question, I wrote back to him to get a bit of…… Read more at Patheos

To live prophetically, you’ve got to be questioning and looking at factors behind the facts. You’ve got to be aware that there are contradictions. In a certain sense, our prophetic vocation consists in hurting from the contradictions in society. This is a real cross in our lives today. For we ourselves are partly responsible.

Thomas Merton
Springs of Contemplation (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992), p. 157

Give Love, Receive the Kingdom: A New Treat for Lovers of English Spirituality

If you love the spirituality of the English people, a new treat awaits you, courtesy of Paraclete Press (and SLG Press in the UK). A collection of essays by Sr. Benedicta Ward, SLG, has just been published, called Give Love and Receive the Kingdom: Essential People and Themes of English…… Read more at Patheos

James Finley: Silence and Vulnerability (Episode 29)

Author, retreat leader, and psychologist James Finley brings his experience as a student and spiritual directee of Thomas Merton to his work guiding others into the mysteries of Christ and of silence. He is the author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God, and The Contemplative Heart. He has also created audio learning series, … Continue reading James Finley: Silence and Vulnerability (Episode 29) → … Read more at Encountering Silence

Saying Yes to “Prayer Without Ceasing”

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Saint Paul throws down the spiritual gauntlet. He instructs his readers to “pray without ceasing.” For almost two thousand years now, Christian saints, nuns, monks, and mystics have been trying to unpack that simple three-word verse (just two words in the original Greek). What, pray tell,…… Read more at Patheos

Sarah Coakley on Thomas Merton: The Climate of Monastic Prayer

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the last book Thomas Merton completed before his death, Liturgical Press has brought out a new edition. The book is The Climate of Monastic Prayer, which has also been published under the title Contemplative Prayer. The new edition features a foreword by noted Anglican theologian Sarah…… Read more at Patheos

On September 12, 2018 I’m leading a mid-week “day of reflection” at my favorite Jesuit Retreat Center, Ignatius House. Think of this as a “spiritual spa day” — a chance to spend most of your day in the serene silence of this prayerful oasis, just minutes from the Atlanta perimeter! Our theme will be the wisdom from three contemplative teachers: Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and Thomas Keating.

Hope to see you there!

Date: September 12, 2018
Time: 09:00 a.m.-03:00 p.m.
Event: "Living Contemplative Teachers" Day of Reflection at Ignatius House
Topic: Wisdom of Three Contemplative Teachers
Sponsor: Ignatius House
Venue: Ignatius House Retreat Center
Location: 6700 Riverside Drive NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.
More Info: Click here for more information.

To invite Carl McColman to speak to your community, click here.

Why Are the Mystics So… Weird?!?

One thing I love about the mystics is just how weird they are. Obviously, there are mystics who see visions, who hear voices, who smell beautiful aromas that no one else can smell, that sort of thing. There are also stories out there of mystics who levitate, who survived for who-knows-how-long…… Read more at Patheos

Close your eyes for a minute and think about “truth.” What kinds of images come to mind? For most people, truth is closely associated with solidity, finality, permanence, universality, and security. But Jesus used the metaphor of “living water” for truth. This is another of his outrageous teachings. While we tend to visualize truth as some kind of sacred rock, Jesus visualized it as water: amorphous, adaptable, and incapable of being grasped. The adjective “living” should not be neglected either. For truth is a living thing that grows in us and with us.

Kenneth S. Leong
The Zen Teachings of Jesus (New York: Crossroad, 2001), Kindle Location 4193.