Into the Mystic
In a way, this weekend brought me around full circle. When I joined St. Luke's in 1994, I began to learn about the wonderful mystics of the Christian tradition: Hildegard von Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Meister Eckhart, and others, including the anonymous authors of The Cloud of Unknowing and The Way of a Pilgrim. I was urged by one of the priests at St. Luke's to not just read the Christian mystics, but to read the Sufi mystics also. I also visited a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit on several occasions for spiritual direction, and he too urged me to read the Sufi mystics. Thus began my journey into the Sufi tradition. It was truly a blessing to be able to share that journey with my friends from St. Luke's, where the journey began.
I'll write more about that journey in the near future. I wrote about how these two traditions, the Episcopal and the Sufi, have helped to heal my image of Jesus, in a recently-published article called No Longer Judge: Jesus as Healer. You can read the article online at the Gay Spirituality & Culture Blog.
My friend Carl McColman (whose Website of Unknowing is a great introduction to the Christian mystics) has started an extended study of the mystics called 77 Mystics in 77 Months. I've already started reading Origen, the mystic for February, and plan to join the online discussion at Carl's blog. Feel free to join us!