A Christian Mystic, Part 3

Such a loaded and misunderstood term…Christian Mystic…people, especially Christian people heard the term “mystic” and immediately assume that it is an oxymoron…and most highly improper…a humanistic and New Age philosophies…it summons up images of a cult and
heathenism…so did my being in a cult skew my view of how I view God…I will explain and let you be the judge…

“Mysticism, according to its historical and psychological definitions, is the direct intuition or experience of God; and a mystic is a person who has, to a greater or less degree, such a direct experience — one whose religion and life are centered, not merely on an accepted belief or practice, but on that which the person regards as first hand personal knowledge.”  -Evelyn Underhill

My experiences within the cult, created an overwhelming desire to personally know the true God and my Creator…not just to swallow whatever religious dogma or a denomination biased definition of the what scripture turned out to be…the people within the cult I was raised just swallowed whatever they were spoon fed, believing that if the words came from the mouth of the leader..it was a direct communication from God…

It has been and continues to be a wonderful great and stirring daily adventure as I seek with love, humility and heartfelt yearning to know the true and living God…God cannot be captured by thought or logic…it is
trusting that God speaks to the heart of each person in a way and time of God’s choosing.

“The story of the Christian mystics is one of an all-consuming, passionate love affair between human beings and God. It speaks of the yearning, a burning desire for the contemplation and presence of the divine… This yearning is a candle by the fire of divine love itself, which moves the mystics in their search and leads him, often arduous journeys, to discover and proclaimed the all-encompassing love of God for humankind.”  – Ursula King

My journey has been long and arduous…traversing many religions and spiritual practices..but comes back to the basic Christian belief that
“Christian Mystic” is a person who wholly accepts the lordship of Jesus through humility and finds the biblical teachings, life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to present for them, the only way to grow in relationship with God.

I find that truth in the scriptures, but I have also found paths to knowing God more fully in readings of Church Fathers, Orthodox priests and other Christians…truth from many different Christian persuasions and teachers draw me…for they have traveled their own path in finding God…perhaps it is the explorer in me…

  C. S. Lewis came up with the term…  His definition of Christian Mysticism is simple: “the direct experience of God, immediate as a taste or color.”…and it is so true for me…God is felt in the most “real” of ways…as we feel the wind as it gently caresses our cheeks…we do not see the wind, yet feel the effects…there is a knowledge of the wind in the effects that are seen and felt…yet, it is more than that to me…there is a “knowing”…a deep heart and soul knowing of the reality of God…

“Mystic” is related to the New Testament Word, mysterion, which means “secret” or “mystery.”  Christianity, while built on rational faith and life in the real world, is supra-rational. Bruce Demarest, Professor of Theology at Denver Seminary, says, “Great Christian realities, such as intimacy with God, spiritual passion, and prayer, must be framed in the mind and experienced in the heart. Christian mysticism, simply put, is the believers direct experience of God in the heart.” (Satisfy Your Soul, 1999)

This quote from an article by Dr. Brad Strait said is the best…” For me, in essence, being a Christian Mystic means seeking the Center, Christ, more than the boundaries (who is in or out). It means living each moment expectantly focused on Jesus, open and broken, and waiting for him to guide and direct. It means concretely walking the journey toward Him, with Him, and in Him, too. It means I am resigned to not knowing all of the answers about God and faith. It recognizes that much of God’s work in our lives is a mystery. Richmond Graduate University Theology Professor David Benner concludes, “A mystic is simply a person who seeks, above all else, to know God in love. Mystics are, therefore, much more defined by their longing than by their experience. 

And that is how I want to live my life…to daily seek to know God’s love and be the conduit of that love to the world …

Author: Renée E.

Storytelling Photographer and Fine Art Conceptional Artist...Creating magic from the ordinary

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