Christian Mysticism


Christian mysticism is a spiritual tradition that emphasizes a direct and intimate relationship with God. It's a form of spiritual practice that seeks to experience union with the divine, beyond the limits of language, reason, and intellect. Throughout history, mystics from various Christian traditions, including Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant, have sought to cultivate a deeper connection with the divine, through prayer, contemplation, and other spiritual exercises.

History of Christian Mysticism

The roots of Christian mysticism can be traced back to the early Church, where mystics like St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila practiced spiritual disciplines and sought union with God. However, the tradition of mysticism in Christianity reached its height in the medieval period, when mystics like Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, and St. John of the Cross became renowned for their mystical writings and teachings.

During the Reformation, mysticism was often suppressed, as reformers sought to distance themselves from the perceived excesses of the medieval Church. However, the tradition continued to thrive, and in the modern era, figures like Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating have revitalized the practice of Christian mysticism for a new generation.

How to Practice Christian Mysticism

  • Prayer and Contemplation: The core of Christian mysticism is a deep and personal relationship with God. This can be cultivated through regular prayer and contemplation, which involve setting aside time to focus on God and to reflect on his presence in your life.
  • Study and Reflection: Reading the works of Christian mystics, both past and present, can be a powerful way to deepen your understanding of the tradition and to gain inspiration for your own spiritual journey.
  • Simplicity and Stillness: Mystics often emphasize the importance of living a simple, uncluttered life, free from distractions, as a way of fostering a deeper connection with God. Practicing stillness and silence can also be a helpful tool for developing inner peace and for cultivating a greater awareness of God's presence in your life.
  • Service and Love: Christian mystics believe that union with God requires more than just personal spiritual practices. It also requires living a life of service and love, reaching out to others in need and sharing God's love with the world.

In summary, Christian mysticism offers a rich and deeply meaningful way to connect with God and to experience his presence in our lives. Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or just beginning your spiritual journey, the practices of prayer, contemplation, study, simplicity, stillness, and service can be a powerful tool for cultivating a deeper relationship with the divine.