One of the last things we did at the seminar with Bernard McGinn this past weekend was read through and discuss Saint Francis of Assisi’s poem and religious song Canticle of the Sun. McGinn considers this to be a very mystical text from Francis, as Francis seems to see God powerfully in and throughout the whole of creation, including in the sun, moon, stars, Earth, etc. McGinn noted that it is a kind of nature mysticism. Francis wrote most of it in the year 1224, and the last few lines in 1226 just before his death. Continue reading ““Canticle of the Sun,” by St. Francis of Assisi, and Joseph Smith’s “Olive Leaf””
Many mystical paths in the world’s spiritual traditions claim to lead one to a conscious merging, union, and a direct identification with Deity, the Sacred, Reality, the Universe, the Transcendent, with a first-hand experience of being God. Continue reading “We are Already God, We’ve Just Forgotten”
How should I say what is infinitely ineffable? Continue reading “The Mystic’s Dilemma”
Deep within me a thousand sweet breaths of Silence
cover my lips and say—
“Be Still.” Continue reading ““A Thousand Sweet Breaths of Silence” by Rumi”
As I was studying the works of St. Teresa of Avila, I came across a poem that is attributed to her, but apparently is not found in her writings. It seems to be a modern pseudepigraph. (Update: the words may have been written by Methodist minister Mark Guy Pearse and Quaker medical missionary Sarah Elizabeth Rowntree. See this blog here.)
Even so, I thought it was exceptionally beautiful. It is called Christ Has No Body. It reminds me of Symeon the New Theologian’s We Awaken in Christ’s Body.
by Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022), Byzantine Christian monk and poet
English version by Stephen Mitchell
We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me. Continue reading “We Awaken in Christ’s Body, by Symeon”
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a Bengali author, poet, essayist, playwright, novelist, composer, and painter. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, the first non-European to do so.
He recounted the following experience that he had while in Calcutta, India: Continue reading “Rabindranath Tagore’s “First Vision” Account”