mystics2015group

 

Shalom House, 20 miles north of Richmond, Virginia hosted a weekend retreat in early April, 2015, entitled “Minding the Mystics”, led and coordinated by Retreats LLC, Lynne Larson and Phil Stone. Thirty people attended, experienced the mystics, nice weather and good food. The Celtic mystics were covered first, followed by European mainland mystics Meister Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila.  British mystics Evelyn Underhill, Julian of Norwich and Bede Griffiths (India) followed. Mystic presentations included verbal talks, prayers of mystic and films. And finally modern day mystics from the United States, Joel Goldsmith and Thomas Merton were investigated.

 

 

So, What is a Mystic?

 

A person that has sought and experienced God through an event or deep prayer/meditation where God is one with all ( a personal experience, not through studying dogma ).shalomsign

“To see every woman and every man as sister and brother is to participate in the faith vision of the mystic, whose central intuition is the unity and oneness of ALL  in God.” Too Deep for Words, Thelma Hall

“The Christian of the future will be a mystic, or he will not be a Christian at all.”  Says Karl  Rahner

Evelyn Underhill – All mysticism, at least all Christian mysticism, is spiritual, but not all spirituality is mystical. Underhill defines the spiritual life as “soaked through and through by a sense of His reality and claim, and self- given to the great movement of His will.” In other words, spirituality can be anchored in faith rather than in the necessity of experience, and it is oriented toward conformity with God’s will rather than communion with God’s nature.

 

“Karl Rahner may have been right when he insisted that the Christian of

the future must be a mystic in order to exist, but I think in the economy of God’s love, many Christians will choose to walk a lowly path of spirituality before being called to the higher mountains of mysticism. By orienting herself toward spirituality in her maturity, Underhill did not repudiate the important work she did in making mysticism accessible and attractive to a modern audience; rather, she continued to support mysticism by inviting her readers to take the

all-important first steps of embracing spirituality in a broad and general sense.”

 

A Book for All Times: Why Underhill’s Mysticism Still Matters

By Carl McColman

St. Bart’s, Atlanta

 

Teresa of Avila used metaphors to explain the Soul’s Journey to God (Interior Castle) as well as the Soul’s Journey to this Indwelling Presence (Interior Garden). Retreatants used art to experience the Interior Garden. Guided Meditation, Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer, Chanting and Prayer were other methods of experiencing God similar to what the mystics did. A modern Day Mystic, Father William Meninger from Snow mass, Colorado will be giving a retreat in October, 2015. Email Lynne Larson for more information.

lynnephil