The depth and scope of Christian mysticism is so vast that it is not possible to cover its history and development, or the many mystic scholars and practitioners in any systematic way in a short period. Instead, my intention in this lecture is to speak about the implications Christian mysticism has for our individual lives and longing to know God. My hope is that by enlisting the spiritual foundation that gave rise to Christian mysticism, you will find in your own life something of the passion the mystics had to grow closer and more intimate with the divine nature.
The Christian mystics had a vision that compelled them, that drove them from the cities out into the desert to be in silence and solitude. This vision of oneness was that each one of us was in some way participating in God’s incarnation in this world. The efficacy of the mystic notion that the mystical dwells within us, that the very things we do every day are a reflection of divinity, is paramount in reuniting with God. Even though we may not know it, even though we fear the divine is not within us, or have given up hope, or lost faith, the Christian mystics are one voice in the wilderness saying, “Come with me, come with us.”
Beverly Lanzetta, “The Longing Heart” series, lecture 1 “Christian Mysticism”. Series conducted at St. Benedict’s Monastery, June 2003.