Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mysticism is Not Scary

When you hear the word "mysticism," what does that conjure up in your hear? Unfortunately, for many there is a dark picture with rolling fog and frightening chanting and a foreboding. In reality, mysticism is something that is quite the opposite and very much needed in the Church today.  As the 500th anniversary of the birth of one of the Catholic Church's greatest mystics approaches, it is a good time to discuss mysticism.

St. Teresa was fortunate enough to develop a very close relationship with God in Christ.  The relationship became a friendship and this friendship allowed Teresa to experience the knowledge that God was within her and she was within God.  And there is the basis for mysticism--that ability to know that God is within us and we are within God.  Can you imagine a real and true friendship with God.  I am not talking about that warm, fuzzy feeling you get after a particualrly good homily or when you did something nice for someone (although, these are wonderful feelings).  I mean the feeling to know that you know that God is your friend.  The closeness that St. Teresa felt is something we may all want to aspire to!

But, there is more to mysticism than feeling good.  Mysticism allows us to come close to God and make a difference in our own lives and the lives of everyone in the world.  I grew up with the impression that mystics were hermit-like creatures who were "in it for themselves." I had that feeling for years growing up.  For me this whole idea of mysticism seemed very selfish. But, to the contrary! The mystic is impelled by the very closeness of God to seek God's Will for the world! The mystic is responsibile for praying for the world and for peace and justice in all corners of the world.  Mystics are needed to introduce the One, True God to a hurting world in need of healing!

Mystics are not scary, they are in demand! 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Stay Focused!

One thousand apologies to my readers. I have been away from blogging for too long again. It seems between summer vacation, a new dog that required much of my attention (she is a beautiful golden retriever that we rescued) and taking a class at the local university to stay current with my job... I have let the blog slip! Oh my, yes! I have many, many excuses. And that is all they are, EXCUSES!

I am not sure why, but excuses seem to make us feel better about failing to do what we set out to do. Perhaps it is best to have a list of excuses in our pockets before we begin a project so that we are ready when we don't live up to our goals. The fact of the matter is, I just let the blog go fallow like a field that just had finished a crop of corn.

Here's the deal... I began this blog with the intention of reaching out to anyone who was returning to the Catholic Church and needed some encouragement, or someone who wanted to reach out to someone who was thinking of returning to the Catholic Church. I am also finding a great joy in my faith while exploring the great wealth of spirituality within this grand Church! In doing that, I sometimes can go off on a tangent and find all new blogs to start.
Now, I return (yes, a returning Returning Catholic). But with the return to this blog, I have discovered so many rich possibilities for anyone wishing to return to their Catholic roots--be you a person who physically left the Church or be you someone who wants to return to the excitement and joy that made your faith alive and exciting!

And so, here is my alteration to this blog--- This is for Returning Catholics in the broadest sense of the word. I am inviting anyone who wants to return to the Catholic Church with its many spiritual growth opportunities. And that is what I want to explore with all of you! So, in the motto of my own Benedictine yearnings: "Let us begin again!"