Teachings of the Christian Mystics [NOOK Book]

Overview

The
Christian mystics are the treasure of Western civilization—yet they remain
little known among those of us who are potentially their spiritual heirs.
Andrew Harvey's anthology confronts us with the mystics in their own words, to
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Teachings of the Christian Mystics

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Overview

The
Christian mystics are the treasure of Western civilization—yet they remain
little known among those of us who are potentially their spiritual heirs.
Andrew Harvey's anthology confronts us with the mystics in their own words, to
show us how well they serve, even now, as guides for the spiritual life—and to
challenge our preconceived ideas about the path of Christianity. He has chosen
selections that represent all eras of the Christian tradition, as well as the
amazing range of people who have embodied it, people like Francis of Assisi,
Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Bede
Griffiths, and many others.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The selections in this excellent anthology include writings from the New Testament, the Gospel of James, Francis of Assisi, Meister Eckhart, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Merton, Teilhard de Chardin, and many others. . . . Teachings of the Christian Mystics affirms the sacred feminine and proclaims gratitude, imagination, humility, compassion, and justice as core spiritual practices."—SFrederic A. Brussat, Values & Visions
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780834826823
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 601,972
  • File size: 333 KB

Meet the Author

Andrew Harvey is the author of Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ and more than thirty other books. He has also published several other collections of Rumi, including The Way of Passion.

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Read an Excerpt

From
the Introduction

There
is nothing more important, I believe, for the future of the mystical
renaissance that is struggling to be born everywhere in the West—and thus for
the future of the planet—than an authentic and unsparing recovery of the full
range, power, and glory of the Christian mystical tradition. Without such a
recovery the spiritual life of the West will continue to be a superficial,
narcissistic and sometimes lethal mixture of a watered down or fanatical
pseudo-Christianity, hardly understood "eastern" metaphysics and
regressive Occultism—and the great radical potential of such a renaissance
will go unlived and unenacted, with disastrous consequences

for
every human being and for all of nature.

What
is needed is the flaming-out, on a global scale, of an unstoppable force of
Divine-human love wise enough to stay in permanent humble contact with the
Divine and brave enough to call for, risk, and implement change at every level
and in every arena before time runs out and we destroy ourselves. Such a love
has to spring from an awakened mystical consciousness and must be rooted in
habits of fervent meditation, adoration of the Divine, and prayer; for only
then will it be illuminated enough to act at all times with healing courage,
and strong enough to withstand the ordeals and torments that are inevitable.
Teilhard de Chardin wrote, "Some day, after we have mastered the winds,
the waves, the tides and gravity, . . . we shall harness the energies of love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered
fire." Unless humankind discovers this fire, and uses it to burn away
everything that blocks the changes that must come in order to transform the
planet into the mirror of divine beauty it is meant to be, it will die out and
take most of nature with it.

At
the core of Christ's enterprise is an experience of this fire and the
revolutionary passion of charity that blazes from it. This passion, as Christ
knew and lived it, cannot rest until it has burnt down all the divisions that
separate one human heart from another and so from reality. No authority except
that of the Divine, is sacred to it; no dogma, however hallowed, that keeps
oppression of any kind alive can withstand the onslaught of its flame. All of
human experience, personal and political, is arraigned and exposed by it. It
demands of everyone who approaches it a loving and humble submission to its
fierce, mind and heart shattering power and a commitment to enact its laws of
radical compassion and hunger for justice in every arena. Its aim is the
irradiation of all of life with holy and vibrant energy and truth, so that as
many beings as possible can live, here on earth and in the body, in a direct
relationship with God, each other, and nature, in what Saint Paul unforgettably
calls "the glorious liberty of the Children of God."

Many
forces, even within the "Christian" world, block the unleashing of
this "glorious liberty." Anyone who comes to feel even a small spark
of the heat of this fire may look in vain to find any of its truth in the
churches that claim to keep it alive. Fundamentalism of any kind is alien to
its adoration of freedom and its all-embracing love of all beings and all
creation; the narrow judgmental ethics that disfigure all denominations of
Christianity represent precisely that separation that Christ himself wanted to
end forever. Most Western seekers are refugees from hypocritical, patriarchal,
misogynistic, and homophobic versions of Christ's message that are tantamount
to perverse, even demonic, betrayals of it. The great mystical treasures of all
the Christian traditions have been largely ignored for centuries even in the
monastic institutions that might have kept them alive. With such a grim
prospect, it is hardly surprising that many seekers continue to project onto
Christ and his teachings only what they learned from suffering the mutilation
of both by the churches. The majority of Westerners interested in spiritual
transformation and aware of its necessity know very little about the Christian
mystics; they know more about the Hindu or Sufi or Buddhist mystical traditions
than about the one that is the hidden and glorious secret of their own
civilization. Many more have read the Bhagavad Gita or Rumi than have read
Ruusbroec or Jacopone da Todi or Saint John of the Cross; many more have
practiced
vipassana
or
bhakti
yoga than have attempted the spiritual exercises of Ignatius of Loyola or than
have prayed the Jesus Prayer with Symeon the New Theologian and Nicephorus the
Solitary. The result is that the explosive force of Christ's subversion of all
forms of authority and all forms of worldly power goes largely unnoticed, and a
vast power for fundamental change on every level goes unused.

This
is a tragedy because, of all the mystic pioneers of humanity, Christ is in
almost every way the most daring and demanding and the most concerned with the
brutal facts of this world. His living out of his enlightenment and his
realization of his fundamental unity with God has an unique urgency, a
poignantly wild passion, and a hunger for justice that make him the hero of
love in the human race. Christ came not to found a new religion or to
inaugurate a new set of dogmas but to open up a fierce and shattering new path
of love-in-action, a path that seems now, with the hindsight of history the one
that could have saved—and still could save—humanity from its course of
suicidal self-destruction.

At
the moment when the patriarchy was beginning its long, dark triumph in the form
of the Roman Empire, Christ revealed and enacted a way of being completely
subversive to all of its beliefs and "truths." To a world obsessed by
power, he offered a vision of the radiance of powerlessness and the powerful
vulnerability of love; to a culture riddled with authoritarianism, false pomp,
and greed he gave a vision of the holiness of inner and outer poverty and a
critique of the vanity and horror of all forms of worldly achievement so
scalding that most of his own followers have contrived every means imaginable
to ignore it. To a society arranged at every level into oppressive
hierarchies—sexual, religious, racial, and political—he presented in his own
life, a vision of a radical and all-embracing egalitarianism designed to end
forever those dogmas and institutions that keep women enslaved, the poor
starving, and the rich rotting in a prison of selfish luxury. In his own life,
he showed what the new life this path would open up to everyone who risked its
rigors would be like—how free and tender and brave and charged with healing
ecstatic power. Faithful always to the humble egalitarianism of his
understanding of divine love, he refused all the glamour of sagedom, constantly
undermining all of the fantasies that others tried to project onto him, and he
finally embraced horrible and humiliating suffering on the Cross to break
through into that dimension of Resurrection and cosmic life from which he
continues to guide, enflame, and inspire all who turn to him.



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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xix
Introduction xxi

The
Kingdom of Heaven
1
Matthew
13:31–33, 44–46

The
Sermon on the Mount
2
Matthew
5:1–16

Be
Ye Therefore Perfect
4
Matthew
5:38–48

Seek
Ye First the Kingdom of God
6
Matthew
6:19–22, 24–33

Ask
and It Shall Be Given
8
Matthew
7:7–12

I
Was Thirsty and You Gave Me Drink
9
Matthew
25:31–45

Take
Up Your Cross
11
Mark
8:34–36

Be
as a Little Child
12
Mark
10:13–15

More
Than All Burnt Offerings and Sacrifices
13
Mark
12:28–34

Ye
Must Be Born Again
15
John
3:5–8

The
Coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter
16
John
14:15–21, 25–27

The
Vine
18
John
15:1–11

I
in Them and Thou in Me
20
John
17:1–6, 20–26

If
You Will Not Know Yourselves
22
Gospel
of Thomas

The
Sign of the Father
23
Gospel
of Thomas

Into
a Single One
24
Gospel
of
Thomas

We
Are the Children of God
25
Romans
8:16–23

Be
Ye Transformed
27
Romans
12:19

When
I Am Weak, Then I Am Strong
29
II
Corinthians
12:2–10

The
Foolishness of God Is Wiser Than Men
31
II
Corinthians 1:18–29, 3:18–23

I
Count Not Myself to Have Apprehended
33
Philippians
3:7–15

The
Glory of Charity
35
I
Corinthians 13:1–13

A
New Heaven and a New Earth
37
Revelation
21:1–6

All
Eyes, All Light, All Face, All Glory, and All Spirit 38

Saint
Macarius of Egypt

My
Sins Are Running Out Behind Me
40
Sayings
of the
Desert
Fathers

To
His Last Breath
41

Sayings
of the Desert
Fathers

Take
Care of the Sick
42
Sayings
of the Desert Fathers

Why
Not Be Utterly Changed into Fire?
43
Sayings
of the
Desert
Fathers

Entering
the Dark Cloud
44
Gregory
of Nyssa

The
Doctrine of Infinite Growth
46
Gregory
of Nyssa

Unity
in Diversity
49
Gregory
of Nyssa

The
Radiance of the Divine Darkness
50
Dionysius
the Areopagite

Entering
into Joy
52
Saint
Augustine

She
Leads Us All to Divine Knowledge
54
Romanus
the Melodist

Healing
of My Body and Salvation of My Soul
56
Romanus
the Melodist

An
Invocation to the Holy Spirit
57
Saint
Symeon the New Theologian

Beyond
Nature, Thought, or Conception
59
Saint
Symeon the New Theologian

Guard
the Heart
60
Saint
Symeon the New Theologian

Take
the Poor Man In
61
Saint
Symeon the New Theologian

A
Charitable Heart
62
Saint
Isaac the Syrian

Constant
Prayer
63
Saint
Isaac the
Syrian

How
Best to Say the Jesus Prayer
64
Nicephorus
the
Solitary

And
the Faithful Shall Abide with Him
66
Hesychius
of Jerusalem

God's
Word Is in All Creation
67
Hildegard
of Bingen

To
the Virgin
68
Hildegard
of Bingen

On
the Assumption
69
Saint
Bernard
of
Clairvaux

Mary
Star of the Sea
71
Saint
Bernard
of
Clairvaux

The
Four Degrees of Passionate Clarity
73
Richard
of Saint Victor

Lord,
Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace
77
Saint
Francis of Assisi

The
Song of the Sun
78
Saint
Francis of Assisi

How
the Soul through the Senses Finds God in All Creatures
80
Jacopone
da Todi

God
Speaks to the Soul
82
Mechthild
of Magdeburg

To
Live Out What I Am
84
Hadewijch
of Antwerp

Subject
to That Great Power
86
Hadewijch
of Antwerp

Behold
My Humility
88
Angela
of Foligno

Seeing
God in and with Darkness
89
Angela
of Foligno

The
Divine Birth
92
Meister
Eckhart

The
Spark and the Ground
93
Meister
Eckhart

Sermon
Nineteen:
Surrexit
Autem Saulus De Terra
Apertisque
Oculis
Nihil Videbat
94
Meister
Eckhart

Vision
of God
97
Dante
Alighieri

The
Path of Pain
101
Johann
Tauler

My
Sufferings Are the Door
103
Heinrich
Suso

How
Steadfastly One Must Fight Who Would Attain the Spiritual Prize
104
Heinrich
Suso

Jesus,
Are You Not My

Mother? 107
Marguerite
of Oingt

Christ
the Mother
108
Julian
of Norwich

Every
Sort of Thing Will Be All Right
110
Julian
of Norwich

The
Soul as a Living Mirror
112
John
Ruusbroec

Deified
Souls
116
John
Ruusbroec

Both
Work and Rest, Action and Fruition
118
John
Ruusbroec

Me
in You and You in Me
121
Saint
Catherine of Siena

The
Spiritual Marriage
123
Saint
Teresa
of Avila

Mary
and Martha Must Combine
125

Saint
Teresa of Avila

Dark
Night
127
Saint
John of the Cross

The
Purification of the Fire
130
Saint
John of the Cross

The
Elixir
133
George
Herbert

The
House of God
135
Thomas
Traherne

The
Knot

Henry
Vaughan

I
Must Be the Virgin and Give Birth to God
138
Angelus
Silesius

Dearest
and Holiest and Most Beloved Mother 140

Saint
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Mary
and the Second Coming of Christ
142
Saint
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

The
Treasure
145
Jean
Pierre de Caussade

His
Work Is Perfect
146
Jean
Pierre de Caussade

To
the Christians
148
William
Blake

The
Divine Image
151
William
Blake

Auguries
of Innocence
153
William
Blake

The
Holy Conversation between Saint Seraphim of Sarov and Motovilov
155
N.A.
Motovilov

The
Magic of the Name of Jesus
161
From
The
Way of a Pilgrim

True
Christianity
163
Vladimir
Soloviev

God's
Grandeur
165
Gerard
Manley Hopkins

The
Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe 166

Gerard
Manley Hopkins

The
Little Way
168
Saint
Thérèse of Lisieux

Love's
Vision
170
Edward
Carpenter

The
Cosmic Christ
171
Teilhard
de Chardin

A
New Identity and a New Mode of Action
173
Thomas
Merton

Mary,
the First Christian Revolutionary
175
Leonardo
Boff

The
Tradition of Praise
178
Matthew
Fox

Being
Happy with Him Now
180
Mother
Teresa

The
New Creation
181
Bede
Griffiths

Envoi:
You Are Christ's Hands
183
Saint
Teresa of Avila

Sources 187



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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    Highly recommend

    This is an excellent book for contemplative theologists. I highly recommend it!

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