| 1.20.19 Although the words mystic and contemplative have developed bad connotations in conservative Christian circles, there is a rich Christian mystical tradition from the earliest generations of Jesus followers. And though today contemplation and mysticism are often equated with occult practices, Christians have used the terms to mean the practice of experiencing God non-verbally and non-rationally, to be completely in God’s presence and present to God as opposed to thinking about God intellectually. Under this definition, from New Testament evidence, Jesus and Paul, among others, show both contemplative practice and mystical experiences. Of course the goal of Christian mystics was to forge a balance between the experiential and intellectual, and that is what we are after in a contemplative setting.
To better understand the contemplative practices of the mystics we are continuing our ongoing series of presenting outstanding Christian mystics, and here Doug Fanney presents Meister Eckhart, a 14th century German priest, scholar, educator, and mystic who defied the church of his time to work, write, and teach his people, bringing them into direct contact with their God to experience the love that would transform everything about their lives.