Who are the Christian mystics and what can they teach us about love of God, service to the poor, and the life of discipleship? Our contributors help us to explore the mystics' invitation "to walk into the world and be unleashed to care unselfishly."
Emilie Griffin addresses our wariness about mysticism. "Why are we sometimes afraid?" she asks. "Do we find mystics rare and strange because they give themselves completely to God?"
Mystical experience is not an accomplishment, but a gift from God; yet we may adopt some of the mystics' practices. They can teach us spiritually transforming ways of reading Scripture and repair our love for other people and the world. In this "age of uncollectedness and mindlessness," urges Glenn Hinson, spiritual "contemplation can help us recover our attentiveness which is essential to serving God."
The study guides and lesson plans integrate Bible study, prayer, and worship to help us explore the rich tradition of Christian mysticism. The guides can be used in a series or individually. You may download and reproduce them for personal or group use.
Download the entire Mysticism issue and the set of six Study Guides. Or, download individual pieces by clicking the titles below.
- "Toward a Deeper and Godlier Love," by Emilie Griffin
- "How Mystics Hear the Song," by W. Dennis Tucker, Jr.
- "Loosening Our Grip," by Frederick C. Bauerschmidt
- "Prophetic Mysticism," by Alex Nava
- "The Mystic and the Church," by Dana Greene
- "Improving Our Seeing and Listening," by E. Glenn Hinson
- "Radiant with Great Splendor," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Giovanni Bellini's St. Francis in Ecstasy
- "Surrounded by Witnesses," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Leah Rene Gregoire's The Death of St. Clare
- "Yearning for God," by Heidi J. Hornik, on Gianlorenzo Bernini's The Ecstasy of St. Teresa
Hymn and Worship Service
- "Our Deepest Prayer," by Burt L. Burleson and Kurt Kaiser
- Worship Service by Burt L. Burleson
- "Do You Love Me?" by Brent Beasley
- "The Transparent Self," by Betty W. Talbert
- "Meeting Christian Mystics," by Yolanda Robles
- Ursula King, Christian Mystics: Their Lives and Legacies Throughout the Ages
- Bernard McGinn and Patricia Ferris McGinn, Early Christian Mystics: The Divine Visions of the Spiritual Masters
- Louis Dupre and James A. Wiseman, eds., Light from Light: An Anthology of Christian Mysticism
- "Why the Mystics Matter," by Michael D. Sciretti, Jr.
- Emilie Griffin, Wonderful and Dark is This Road: Discovering the Mystic Path
- Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance
- Frederick C. Bauerschmidt, Why the Mystics Matter