I was out riding around in my car tonight and listening to John Michael Talbot. He’s not the only musician I listen to. I enjoy a diversity of music including jazz, classical, new age, and Gregorian Chant. Nonetheless I got to thinking about my earlier post and I’ve forgotten that in the past several years I’ve come to know that I’m a mystic. I’m not a swami, but I am a mystical person. For a number of years I’d go to Mass and just feel lost. I couldn’t relate. I read Seven Storey Mountain, by Thomas Merton over 27 years ago. Ever since that time there had and has been an awareness of a longing for mystical union with Christ.

Soon after reading Seven Storey Mountain I visited a Trappist Monastery in Piffard, New York. I regularily visit there. In the ensuing twenty plus years I was searching and couldn’t put my finger on what was missing for me when I attended Mass. Then after a long absence I visited Mount Irenaeus, a Franciscan retreat about 30 miles from where I live. Soon after attending Mass and a Holy Week observance in 2000 I began to realize that I was finally home. Here was a group of Friars who lived and celebrated mysticism. I began an exploration of centering prayer, liturgy of the hours, stillness, quietness, reflection, contemplation and work.

I remember as a little boy how much I loved those times in our church that were mystical. Holy Thursday night and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The smell of incense during Eucharistic Adoration on First Fridays. I used to just visit the church when there was nobody else there and sit quietly and listen. I felt a closeness and a peace that I could never really describe or replicate during other liturgical ceremonies and events.

In the last six years I’ve come to really find a home with other folks drawn to the intimacy of the Mystical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To me the Eucharist is deeply personal and mystical. Because of this mystical presence my heart is softer, my eyes, ears and soul more attentive to the cry of the poor, the disenfranchised and the those who just hurt. I can’t watch movies like Patton anymore without wincing.

In my earlier post today I spoke of the fallacy of just war. My views on wars, violence and killing have been deeply steeped and strengthened by the recognition and acceptance of my mystical union with Christ. I am not a pious person. In fact I can be very profane, but I am also deeply mystical and religious.

Shalom, Pace, Pax et Bonum.

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