"My Job is to Love": Contemplative Spirituality Part 2: Carl McColman

After a life of spiritual wandering, Carl McColman found a home among the Trappist monks of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit outside Atlanta. Now a practicing Lay Cistercian, McColman balances family life with contemplative practices inherited from these ancient traditions. McColman is the author of a dozen books, including Answering the Contemplative Call: First Steps on the Mystical Path, and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality.

Also on the show, Katy Scrogin reviews Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude.

You can listen to part 1 of this interview here.

It's been quite a long, strange trip for author and spiritual director Carl McColman.

When he was younger, he was caught up in what he refers to as a "carefree life." But in 1992, he had a near brush with death in a serious automobile accident. This event profoundly changed his perspective and his priorities.

"I hungered for intimacy with God," McColman explains, "an intimacy I knew could be fostered by prayer, meditation, and contemplation."

He studied Christian meditation at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, and received additional training in the art of spiritual direction from the Institute for Pastoral Studies in Atlanta. He is a professed member of the Lay Cistercians of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit, a community under the spiritual guidance of the Trappist monks of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit.

As a Lay Cistercian, his spirituality is ordered toward what Walter Hilton called "the mixed life" — devoted to the practice of contemplation within the context of marriage and family, outside of a traditional monastery.

"Many people, both inside and outside the boundaries of the institutional church, hunger for that intimacy with God that the wisdom of the mystics points us to," says McColman. "The more I meet people who share my hunger for the God who comes to us in mystery and silence, the more convinced I am that contemplation is not just for monks, or nuns, or the especially holy. It’s for all of us."

Also on the Show

Katy Scrogin reviews Occupy Religion: Theology of the Multitude.

From the Booklist description:

"The Occupy Wall Street movement, as it pertains to theology, is examined here. The authors communicate clearly and compellingly as they offer examples from the Occupy events that provoke religious consideration and illustrate Occupy’s possible influences in the religious theater. The volume also looks back at Liberation theology and how some of the events of the 1960s had religious overtones. The Occupy theology concept, as delineated here, seems to offer new ways to define justice, opportunities to discover the divine through human diversity (including religious diversity), and pathways to authentically participative religion. The text’s discussion of historic underpinnings will assist the reader new to this field, while those familiar with the work of Hans Küng and Paulo Freire will appreciate grappling with this new focus."

The Vulnerable Edge of Caring Part 1: Lia Claire Scholl

"My Job is to Love": Contemplative Spirituality Part 1: Carl McColman

"My Job is to Love": Contemplative Spirituality Part 1: Carl McColman