mysticism

Joan Chittister 4-26-2017

THE OLDEST mystics that we have in organized religious expression ... all have similar parabolic insights into contemplation. There is a story about the master saying to the disciples, “Tell me how you know when it is dawn.” And one disciple says, “Master, is it when we can tell the fig tree from the lemon tree at 100 paces?” And the master says to the disciple, “No, that is not how you will know it is dawn.”

So a second disciple says, “Well then, master, is it when you can tell the sheep from the goats at 50 paces?” And the master says, “No, that is not how we shall know when it is dawn.” Then the third disciple says, “Well then, master, how do we know that we have seen the dawn?” And the master says, “We will know that we have seen the dawn when we can see the face of Christ in the face of any brother or sister, no matter how near or how far.”

That’s contemplation. That’s the fruit of the contemplative life.

And unless you’re putting on the mind of Christ, I don’t know if you’ll ever see the face of the Christ in the other, or the face of the cosmic, or the face of the people of God in the other. You may be a highly efficient social worker or a marvelously compassionate do-gooder, but you will not necessarily be a Christian contemplative.

This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared in the June 1987 issue of Sojourners. Read the full article here.

Robert Hirschfield 12-12-2013

Yehoshua November

The rabbi recognized poetry as November's calling and inveighed against his betrayal of it.

Elaina Ramsey 7-08-2013

Live Simply by Franciscan Media / Who is Dayani Crystal? by Pulse Films / Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice by Christine Valers / Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk by Heather Kopp

Min-Ah Cho 3-14-2013

From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart: Rekindling My Love for Catholicism. Ave Maria Press

Francisco X. Stork

Betsy Shirley talks to author Francisco X. Stork about helping young adults ask the hard questions.

Stained glass Virgin Mary with Jesus, CURAphotography / Shutterstock.com

Stained glass Virgin Mary with Jesus, CURAphotography / Shutterstock.com

The Vatican has published rules to evaluate the authenticity of the dozens of apparitions of the Virgin Mary reported each year.

The “Norms Regarding the Manner of Proceeding in the Discernment of Presumed Apparitions or Revelations” have been in use since 1978, but until now had been available only in Latin, never officially published and only circulated among bishops and specialists.

The Vatican document has now been translated into English and other languages to aid bishops in the “difficult task of discerning presumed apparitions, revelations, messages or ... extraordinary phenomena of presumed supernatural origin,” Cardinal William Levada, the head of the Vatican doctrinal office, wrote in a companion letter last December that was published only recently on the Vatican website.

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