In reading Wisdom from the Christian Mystics, by David Torkington, I learned a great deal about how I might go about having a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Torkington begins this book by informing the reader of the Church history of mysticism and how its reception by the faithful has changed over time, due to the course of human events. As a result, today, we do not know Jesus as we well as we could, because we do not communicate with Him in the same manner as the early Christians.
Find God in Prayer
To know God, we must come to experience Him in prayer; a prayer that begins with vocal prayer, moves to meditation and culminates in contemplation. It is impossible to love someone that we do not know. Torkington tells us that prayer is the answer, if we want to get to know Jesus better. Therefore, we must first come to know Jesus, via the Scriptures. Yet, Torkington tells us that the Jesus of 2,000 years ago is not the same Jesus that we yearn to know today. Our circumstances differ from that of the early Christians. Therefore, we search for the Jesus of today, acting in our lives. From reading about the historical Jesus, to entering an intimate relationship with Jesus today, we have a gap. How do we bridge that gap, so that we might come to know and love Jesus, experientially?
Throughout Wisdom from the Christian Mystics,
…Torkington takes us on a journey to help us bridge that gap. My first “golden nugget” came early in the book, when I read this passage: “The word mystic derives from this word ‘Mysterion’, to denote a person who gives their whole life over to responding to God’s plan” (p. 47). Apparently, I am a mystic, because I have given my whole life over to responding to God’s will for me. If you have done the same, then you, too, are a mystic!
My second “golden nugget:” Torkington taught me how important it is to start each day with a simple morning offering, dedicating my efforts for the day to God; that my actions be done according to God’s will. Since reading this book, I have done just that. As each day progresses, I routinely recall that prayer and act as I believe God would want me to act. This simple prayer, said daily, has completely altered my perspective, as well as my actions. As a result, I am seeing positive outcomes, for the glory of God. It’s been awesome!
These two “golden nuggets” appeared early on in Torkington’s masterpiece. As I read through the remaining chapters, I garnered so much more insight on how I might have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. For example, I learned to continue praying, even during those times of aridity, when I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall. God is hearing me. He is working on my behalf behind the scenes. Torkington informs the reader that the feeling of God’s absence can be a source of purification. His analysis of purification rang true to me, as I have been praying for years for God to help me be humbler. To do that, He needs to rid me of self-pride. It is only once I rid myself of pride (with God’s help), that I will truly be able to love Him as I ought. Torkington sums it up nicely:
The spiritual life is a journey from selfishness to selflessness, because only a selfless person can become one with the utterly Selfless One, who is all pure, undiluted loving (p. 132).
Get Your Copy of Wisdom from the Christian Mystics
I could go on, and share many more “golden nuggets,” but I think you get the point. If you want to grow spiritually, and develop a more intimate relationship with Jesus, then learning the Wisdom from the Christian Mystics is your first step. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to know and love Jesus more intimately.
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