Saturday, January 22, 2011
The Big Book of Christian Mysticism
I continue to read and pray over Carl McColman's The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality and I will share some more thoughts from it today. Here is a quote from Meister Eckhart that is one that opens Chapter 11 on "The Path of Holiness":
Do not think to found holiness upon doing; holiness must be founded upon being. Works do not make us holy. It is we who must make works holy. For no matter how holy works may be, they do not make us holy because we do them, but in so far as we within ourselves are as we should be, we make holy all that we do, whether it be eating, or sleeping, or working, or what it may. Meister Eckhard
The fact is that we are all called to holiness. John Ruusbroec (this mystic has many spellings of his name but I am using McColman's book) said: "You are as holy as you want to be." That is a quote worth reflecting on today and everyday!
Later McColman will say: "When you stop judging others and start loving them instead, you create space in your heart for the Holy Spirit to enter and lead you into holiness. Likewise, take care to stop judging yourself, thereby creating space in your heart for a healthy self-love--not a narcissistic pleasure-seeking love, but a mature love that is inspired by and seeks to imitate the love God has for you." And so our prayer should be to ask God to teach us how to love the way God does. This might be the first step to living a holy life and it is, at least for most of us, according to McColman, "a lifelong assignment." But remember that it is only possible with the grace of God! And that, too, is a reason for joy!