Christian Prayer: – There is only one way forward for the serious searcher who wishes to be transformed into Christ in this life, and to share in something of the life and love that continually flows between Christ and his Father.
The theologian Karl Adam summed up early Christian Spirituality with the words, ‘Christ Our Brother’. Imagine a circle with Christ at its centre, radiating the infinite love that has been transposed into human loving, in his own risen and glorified body.
Back to The Future: – Writing at the beginning of the first century, St Justin delighted in boasting, “We have no temples, we have no altars,” for Jesus had introduced a new form of worship that needed none of them. For now, as he had promised to the Samaritan woman, the only form of worship that would be acceptable to God would be the new worship ‘in spirit and in truth’
A Mini History of Christian Spirituality: – Imagine it as a circle with Christ at its centre, radiating the infinite love that has been transposed into human loving in his own risen and glorified body. Those who choose to receive it are drawn back into him, to begin the journey back whence they came into the fullness of the Father’s love..
The Morning Offering: – We know for a fact that the early Christians prayed five times a day, just as Jesus had done with his early disciples. They would rise at midnight to meditate on Christ’s resurrection, so that they would never forget that he was still alive and with them, as he had promised, and that he would be with them to the end of time.
A Mystical Maelstrom: – When Christ came, it was to announce something that no other religion had ever taught, nor any other religion taught since. Namely that the ultimate power, the ultimate energy the infinite source of all creation, is not some impersonal super-power, but infinite love, no, infinite loving.
When I saw the Light: – Although my book –‘Wisdom from the Western Isles’, charting the journey from first beginnings to the heights of Mystical Contemplation was selling well, and had received such wonderful reviews, I couldn’t help wondering what it would mean to outsiders
An Act of Faith: – For the first Christians then faith did not mean primarily believing in a body of truths or defined dogmas, but in a body that was raised from the dead on the first Easter Day.
The Mystical Meaning of The Resurrection:- The Resurrection pinpoints the moment in time when Christ is so possessed by Love, that he is raised up outside of time into a new form of existence, beyond all the laws and limitations of the space-and-time world to which we belong…
Abandonment: – It took me a long time deciding whether or not to use such an uncompromising word, but frankly I have no choice. If we really believe in God and what he has planned to do for us, has already done for us, and is doing for us now to put his plan into operation, to unite our destiny with his, then there is only one way to respond.
Thanksgiving: -My earliest and happiest memories are of going to visit my grandfather. It wasn’t because he played games with me, gave me my favourite chocolate or even money to buy myself an ice cream on the way home, it was just because I loved him.
Reflections on the Resurrection, Cimabue’s Glorification: – I’d always been ready to poke fun at the culture-vultures who were bussed into Florence to ‘do the city’ in a single day until I found myself in a far worse predicament. I had but three hours in which ‘to do’ the same city while awaiting my connection for Rome.
Holy Communion: – The journey stretches from here to eternity where the traveller finally enters into a profound and ongoing Holy Communion with the One who dwells in the eternal ecstatic joy, that flows from the mystical vortex of loving that constitutes God’s very being.
The Empty Tomb – It was almost twenty years ago that I was offered my first free holiday. It came like a bolt from the blue. All I had to do was to meet up with a group of pilgrims from the Outer Hebrides, bundle them on to a plane at Luton airport, and deliver them in one piece to Fr Kenneth, a Franciscan priest in Tel Aviv. read on
An Examination of Conscience. When we begin to experience God making his home within us, we are beginning to experience the most momentous and the most moving moments possible on earth. They are not just moments of blissful happiness, but moments when we enable the love of God to surcharge our weak human loving, so that we can be more and more like Jesus… read on
Repentance: –On the feast of Pentecost the Jews celebrated the day on which God had given the Law to Moses. However the first Pentecost after the Resurrection was the day on which God gave his new law – the law of love. This law was not primarily a list of rules and regulations like the laws that were given to Moses, but the same personal love that God had showered on Jesus. …read on
Morning, Daily and Evening Prayer – The first prayer that Jesus would have learnt from his mother, like all other Jewish children, was called the ‘Shema Israel, part act of faith, part prayer. Its first words proclaimed belief in the One God who should be loved ‘with the whole heart and mind and with one’s whole strength’. This embodied the essence of Jewish wisdom that Jesus had come to bring to perfection. read on…
Throughout his life on earth Jesus made it clear that the Kingdom he promised had not yet come . The question is then, when would this kingdom come? St John gives us the answer, as an aside when Jesus was celebrating the feast of the Tabernacles. read on..
Mystical Marriage Some years ago I had lunch with friends in London. On my way out they introduced me to their father who was busy working in the garden. Without thinking I asked him what he was doing and he replied –“I do be digging the garden.” Some months later I met a nun who taught Irish in Dublin and I asked her about this expression that I’d never come across before. read on…
The Meaning of the Immaculate Conception Of course I can’t remember being conceived nor growing into a baby in my mother’s womb. Nor for that matter do I remember being baptised a week later. read on..
Liturgy In ancient Athens there was no such thing as taxation. There was no income tax, no capital gains tax, no value added tax, no inheritance tax – no tax at all, at least as we know it. I know it all sounds too good to be true, because even Utopians need roads and bridges, civic buildings and public amenities. read on ..
Mystical Premonition to Contemplation
Sometime ago I was speaking about what I called Mystical premonition or touches of God when one of the audience asked “Are we talking about something that is a particularly Christian experience, or does everyone experience God’s touch?” read on..
For many of us the first brief glimpses of God came through His creation. It might have been through a beautiful sunset, a breathtaking stretch of countryside. …. read on
The Cloud of Unknowing Everybody who prays seriously and consistently for any length of time will eventually find themselves on the other side of first fervour, at the threshold of the mystic way. This is the moment when the vast majority who come this far in prayer, usually pack it all in – I know I nearly did…. read on
Praying in The Dark Night For the last post I made a few suggestions from my own experience about how to pray in the Dark Night when the prayer once used can no longer help. I chose the prayer Jesus himself made upon the Cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’? ….read on
The Transforming Union or the Mystical Marriage The final stage in the mystic way is usually called the Transforming Union or the Mystical Marriage. Now it doesn’t suddenly begin because God does something other than what he’s been doing all along read on…
Normally the word contemplation is used to describe the mystical awareness of God’s action in a person, working through the Holy Spirit as they are being gradually transformed into the image and likeness of Christ. It begins not when we so choose, but when he chooses. read on..
I have never come across Christians, who belonged to ‘The World Community for Christian Meditation Movement’, inspired by Fr John Main, who have not been thoroughly good people.