I should be further along on the spiritual journey.
Why don't I see any progress?
What am I doing wrong?
Do you ever feel like you are walking in spiritual circles? While we might think it would be different for a Franciscan priest, Father Albert Haase shares the same struggles. And yet he also affirms that we are all called to be ordinary mystics, who, in the words of his own spiritual director, are "ordinary Christians who do what we are all called to do: respond to grace."
Learning to be a mystic is about cultivating a life with God in which we draw close, listen, and respond moment to moment. We know we will fail at times, but we can also be certain that we follow a God who never stops reaching out to us. This book offers a daily path to making the connection.
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About the Author
Albert Haase, OFM, is a preacher, teacher, and spiritual director. A former missionary to mainland China for over eleven years, he is the award-winning author of ten books on popular spirituality and the presenter on five bestselling DVDs. He holds a PhD in historical theology from Fordham University and an MDiv from Catholic Theological Union. He is currently serving as chaplain at Cedarbrake Retreat Center near Austin, Texas.
Table of Contents
1. Right Here, Right Now: Mindfulness Breeds Mysticism
2. What’s Missing? Self-Awareness Sabotages Sin
3. Jesus the Electrician: The Practical Mysticism of the Sermon on the Mount
4. Cardiac Spirituality: The Fruit of Mysticism
5. Insides Out: The Invitation to Transparency
6. A Finicky God: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
7. Groping in the Dark: Walking by Faith, Not Sight
8. Challenging the Ego: Forgiving God, Myself, and Others
9. Inspired by Jesus: Rediscovering God
10. Life, Words, Silence, and Action: The Surprise of Mystical Prayer
11. Ears to the Ground: Listening to God
12. Practical Practices: Responding to God
13. Staying Awake: Mindful Living
What People are Saying About This
"A deeply personal and intimate look at what it means to be a mystic. Father Albert invites us to dive deep and unlock the mysteries of our faith. If we are willing to make the descent, Fr. Albert guides all of us on an adventure rooted in the depths of our heart. It is simple, insightful, and life giving.
He successfully helps us merge the secular with the sacred and turns a life on autopilot into a mystical adventure all in the hands of God. His ingenious look at the Beatitudes turns a sometimes perplexing mystery into a life-changing, life-giving freedom that unlocks the past of who we are and why we do what we do. He gives us the keys to help us open what might be a creaky doorway into our faith and shows us how we can discover what it means to be happy.
Even if we remotely yearn to live a life as an ordinary mystic, Fr. Albert tells us that we can do it. It is about staying awake, listening to our lives, and taking some risks to let God's will be done. He says it all comes down to one question we should be asking ourselves every day: What is God up to in my life? When you ask that question and begin to search for an answer, you are on the road to becoming an ordinary mystic. Be careful though! The road and the adventure in front of you may very well change your life."
"Belief does not come as naturally for many of us as it did for our parents and grandparents. A world without God seems a live option. So if we are to believe, we will need to be people who have experienced a living God, people who are ordinary mystics. With lucidity, candor, and warmth, Father Haase helps us understand that while being an ordinary mystic isn't necessarily easy, it is simple, and he shows us how to become one."
"In Becoming an Ordinary Mystic, Father Haase has painted a sublimely practical picture of what it might look like to pursue life with Christ in the details of commonplace living. This book is an encouragement to live in the now, reflect on the why, and live purposefully in his presence."
"We are mystics because we are called to a relationship with God and to live that intimacy God desires with every person. So this is the book many folks have been waiting for. In ordinary language with great examples and stories of real people, Father Haase leads us to understand the spiritual journey in ways that truly touch the heart. Each chapter concludes with an exercise to practice, reflect, and ponder, which I found very helpful. Surely most of us want to become ordinary mystics and this work encourages us to continue seeking the deeper life with God."
"With scriptural insights and practical exercises, Albert Haase reminds us that God has an ardent longing for a deeper and deeper relationship with each of us. The disciple's journey is a mystical journey that leads to a deeper experience of the ordinary and mundane. To plumb the depths of the secular is to scale the heights of the sacred. An authentic expression of the Franciscan vision of the world!"
"Albert Haase holds keen insight for the subtleties of the spiritual journey. His guidance gently leads us along the path that makes meaning out of our life."
"Want to be a mystic? I didn't, until I read what Father Albert has to say about this surprisingly accessible way of perceiving the road we're traveling. In this short book, you'll find yourself reading along with some of the greatest minds of the church. You'll recognize yourself in the stories, grow through the training exercises, and be inspired by the invitation to claim your inner mystic. And will you become, in the end, one of those blessed ones? That's up to you."
"Franciscan Albert Haase is a master storyteller. Throughout Becoming an Ordinary Mystic his pithy, down-to-earth anecdotes draw a reader in. But these tales have a decided plumb line. Into them he skillfully weaves insights from Christian wisdom figuresfrom Job to Teresa of Ávila to Thomas Merton. What emerges is a surprisingly accessible guide to a mature Christian life saturated with the divine presence. The author gives thoughtful attention to classic spiritual arts of awareness, listening, attentiveness, forgiveness, apophatic and kataphatic prayer as well as experiences of dark night, sin, fear, doubt, and mercy, all while grounding enduring truths in real life using arresting allusions to Haase's own struggles and the struggles of those he ministered to."