Answering the Contemplative Call: First Steps on the Mystical Path

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9781571746771: Answering the Contemplative Call: First Steps on the Mystical Path
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The mystical path is not some sort of static experience for the select few, says Carl McColman, rather, it is a living tradition, a rich and many-layered dimension of spirituality that is in large measure a quest to find the mysteries at the heart of the universe, paradoxically nestled within the heart of your own soul.

McColman first introduced readers to Christianity's lost mystical roots in his popular book, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. Now McColman is back with Answering the Contemplative Call, to show readers how to apply the riches of the mystical tradition to daily living.

This book is organized in three sections:

  • "Recognizing the Call," Explores how each one of us is called to the mystical life, and what that might look like.
  • "Preparing for the Journey," shows what we need to do in response to the contemplative call.
  • "Embarking on the Adventure" considers what those first steps on the path might look like.

Along the way McColman quotes from the great mystics of the Christian tradition who have also traveled this path, including Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Evelyn Underhill and more.

In Answering the Contemplative Call, McColman offers a practice that will help readers come to a place meaning and purpose in their lives.

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About the Author:

Carl McColman is the author of several books, including The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, and writes for the Huffington Post and Patheos.com. He lives in Stone Mountain, GA. Visit him online at www.carlmccolman.com.

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McColman, a Christian layman who practices contemplative prayer and retreat, offers an accessible guide for those who feel the need to respond to a similar call. He divides his presentation into three stages: recognizing the contemplative call, preparing to follow it, and undertaking it. He writes for an audience that he assumes shares his interest, but he doesn’t claim contemplation as either a panacea for all spiritual needs or as specific to Christianity. Relying on historical examples of such famous contemplatives as Teresa of Ávila and Augustine of Hippo, McColman also acknowledges how contemplation now is contextualized by a social and scientific world far different from that of the Middle Ages. Ending with a discussion of the community aspects of contemplation, this is a complete handbook that can lend comfort and credence to the felt needs of latter day followers of Thomas Merton. Source notes provide a wealth of resources for interested readers to consult. --Francisca Goldsmith

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