Over the exactly 500 years since the birth at Florence of Philip Neri, each age has fashioned a portrait of the saint in colours suggested by its own needs, fashions, tastes. There is an Italian baroque Philip, for example, all miracles and raptures and surprises. The Enlightenment gave us Goethe’s anti-establishment, sceptical Philip, while 19th-century Catholic romanticism proposed a pious “reformer from within” for veneration.

Published in Arts News

Mysticism is an exotic word. Few of us connect mysticism with ordinary experience, especially with our own experience. Mysticism is generally seen as an exotic thing, a paranormal thing, a special kind of consciousness given only to the most elite within the spiritual life.

But mysticism isn’t extraordinary, paranormal or weird, but an important, ordinary experience.

British Carmelite Ruth Burrows defines mysticism this way: Mysticism is being touched by God in a way that is deeper than language, thought, imagination and feeling. It’s knowing God and ourselves beyond explicit thought and feeling.

Published in Fr. Ron Rolheiser