Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mysticism, Monasticism, and the New Evangelization

The following comes from the Catholic World Report:

“If God exists, He must be felt. If He is Love, it must be experienced and become the fact of one's inmost life. Without spiritual enlightenment, all is an idle talk, like a bubble which vanishes under the least pressure. Without the awakening of the religious sense or faculty, God is a shadow, the soul a ghost, and life a dream.” — Soyen Shaku, Zen For Americans
“Put out into deep water, and lower your nets for a catch.” — Luke 5:4

The first two topics of this article are not often associated with the third. Many people think of Christian mysticism and monasticism as strictly “in-house” matters, too remote and esoteric to have any bearing on the Church’s re-evangelization of the post-Christian West.

While Catholics generally respect the contemplative vocation, they may see it as peripheral to supposedly more urgent concerns, such as improving catechesis and the liturgy, or bearing witness to faith and morality in public life.

Those concerns are critical. But we believe the New Evangelization of historically Christian countries also requires a rediscovery of Christian mysticism, and a revival of the monastic setting which is its natural home.

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