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Several years into my ministry as a pastor I stopped praying. It wasn’t something I planned or intentionally decided to do; it just happened- slowly and almost imperceptibly. I live in the Northwest where is it rainy and wet much of the time and where, without my noticing, moss grows very slowly on my concrete driveway. For quite a while I don’t even see it, and then suddenly it is there. That is how it happened with my prayer life. It slowly eroded without my awareness until one day I realized I had completely stopped praying (the exception, of course, was in
A fellow I know once sent me virtual chocolates via email on Valentines Day. Quite unsatisfying—images of luscious dark truffles on a computer screen. I replied, “What kind of guy gives fake chocolate?” A few days later there was a box of honest-to-goodness chocolates in my real mailbox; I enjoyed every bite.
Although union with God has been the major project of most Christian mystics through the ages, no two mystics have ever shared identical views about what “union” means, what it looks like, or how it is achieved. As instigator of the sixteenth-century reform of the Carmelite monastic order, Teresa of Avila articulated her understanding of mystical union for the benefit of her cloistered sisters in several written volumes, but most notably in The Interior Castle, her mature work.
Last November, we featured an article called The Fear of God: Learning to Trust the Holy Spirit by Caleb Henry. Much conversation followed in the comment section, and several of our readers asked for a follow-up article on the subject.