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Mysticism – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

December 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Mystical Experience, Spiritual Dictionary

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MYSTICISM: The supernatural state of soul in which God is known in a way that no human effort or exertion could ever succeed in producing. There is an immediate, personal experience of God that is truly extraordinary, not only in intensity and degree, but in kind.  It is always the result of a special, totally unmerited grace of God.  Christian mysticism differs essentially from the non-Christian mysticism of the Oriental world.... Read More

I am with You Always: Encounters with the Risen Lord in Prayer

Angela da Foligno 3 copy

“Behold, I am with you always unto the end of time.”  (Matthew 28:20) These last words of the Risen Christ to the Apostles before He ascended into heaven are words that live in our ongoing encounters with the Son of God today.  Because He has not abandoned us and is at work in the world, He is able to open our prayer to a real conversation with Him and, in the tender but unexpected love He discloses, He constantly... Read More

Pope Benedict on Mystical Experiences

August 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Church Teaching, Dan Burke, Mystical Experience

Pope Benedict on Mystical Experiences

by Jimmy Akin Thursday, December 02, 2010 Right now in his weekly catecheses, Pope Benedict is giving a series of meditations on female saints from the Middle Ages. Many of them are mystics, and in the first meditation—on St. Hildegard of Bingen—he offers his thoughts on some of the marks of a genuine mystic. He states: During the years when she was superior of the Monastery of St Disibodenberg, Hildegard began to dictate the... Read More

Is “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit” the same as contemplative ecstasy?

February 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Consolation/Desolation, Dan Burke, Mystical Experience

Dear Dan, I have experienced what people call “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit.” It was amazing. The priest prayed for me and I fell to the floor as if I had passed out (no injuries as I was already praying on my knees facing the Altar). However, I was still aware of others around me but was lost in God’s love. I am curious if this experience is the same as “ecstasy”? Before I answer your question,... Read More

Can God speak to me in my dreams?

December 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Mystical Experience

I never had dreams like this before. Only now that I have grown closer to Him in recent months He has spoken to me in other ways like at prayer. And He often confirms what I heard in prayer by people, articles, etc. If these dreams bring me closer to Him then surely they are from Him right? They have been such wonderful sources of consolation for me! Oh please enlighten me! Surely “if these dreams bring you closer to Him” then,... Read More

Contemplation and Meditation… What is the difference?

Q. Dear Father John, How is contemplation different than meditation? A. Contemplative prayer consists of a more passive (and more sublime) experience of God. If Christian meditation is the soul’s inspired quest to discover God (our work of seeking God), contemplation is God’s lifting of the soul into himself (God’s work of embrace), so that it effortlessly basks in the divine light. The key distinction here is... Read More

Is it possible for the presence of God to be “distracting”?

February 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Fr. Bartunek, Mystical Experience, Prayer, PseudoSpirituality

Dear Father John, What do you do when the presence of God (I think that is what it is) is distracting? I have to continually reorient myself toward duties at hand. If He wants me to do X, Y or Z (as I believe He does), why does He make Himself so distracting throughout my work, so that simple things become laborious? This manifests internally – in the world it seems as if everyone thinks I’m just peachy in terms of... Read More