The Way of the Mystics: Ancient Wisdom for Experiencing God Today
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In The Way of the Mystics we are invited to take a journey to the heart of our faith by examining the stories of thirteen of Christian history's most revered mystics. These spiritual pioneers devoted their lives to exploring a deeper communion with God and through their examples show us how we can apply spiritual wisdom to our own lives. The mystics featured in this book are from different centuries, countries, and Christian traditions but all have been divinely blessed to transcend the limitations of worldly concerns and fully enter the spiritual realm¾a place that so often seems closed off to us. The Way of the Mystics offers insights into the lives of such familiar figures as St. Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, Thomas Merton, and others. The authors explore these spiritual giants' experiences, the movements they founded or influenced, and the controversies they generated, offering nuggets of truth distilled from their voluminous and often enigmatic writings. In addition, the book offers practical suggestions for applying the mystics' wisdom to our lives, enabling us to better pursue a deeper relationship with God.


John Michael Talbot is the founder of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, a creative Franciscan community that is helping to revitalize ancient contemplative and monastic traditions in the twenty-first century. Known as the "Troubadour for the Lord," Talbot is Catholic music's number one recording artist with over thirty albums to his credit and sales topping four million copies.

Steve Rabey is a prolific writer who has written numerous books and hundreds of articles about religion, spirituality, history, and popular culture for magazines, newspapers, and Web sites. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Christianity Today, New Age, and Publishers Weekly.


Introduction: A Journey to the Heart of Our Faith 1

The Way of the Desert: Antony and the Desert Fathers 13

The Way of Love: Bernard of Clairvaux 31

The Way of Visions: Hildegard of Bingen 47

The Way of Joy: Francis of Assisi 63

The Way of Suffering: Catherine of Siena 81

The Way of Service: Ignatius of Loyola 97

The Way of Union: Teresa of Avila 115

The Way of Darkness: John of the Cross 133

The Way of the Artist: John Donne and England's Metaphysical Poets 151

The Way of the Inner Light: George Fox 167

The Way of the Pilgrim: Lessons on Prayer from an Unknown Seeker 185

The Way of Childlike Love: Thérèse of Lisieux 203

The Way of the Modern Mystic: Thomas Merton 217

The Authors 233