"The heart is where the human soul and God meet. This is what teachings from Scripture and the mystics reveal: the heart is the temple of God within us and within the heart we hold the power to live a truly divine life. But how do we harness the tremendous love the heart is capable of generating? In Eternal Heart, Carl McColman, author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, invites us to create an optimistic, visionary, and imaginative path to personal happiness and fulfillment. Weaving together teachings from the biblical tradition, literature of the mystics, and Buddhism, McColman engages us in profound, practical exercises for cultivating fuller, more abundant, and more satisfying lives. The path of Christian Mysticism is a path of action. By unlocking the mysteries in our hearts, we discover a source of power deep within us: a power for spiritual growth, and for creating meaningful relationships and working together to change the world for the better."
Carl McColman is a contemplative writer, storyteller, podcaster, and spiritual director. He is a life-professed member of a Lay Cistercian community under the spiritual guidance of Trappist monks. He is the author of numerous books, including The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, and regularly speaks and leads retreats on topics related to Christian mysticism, Celtic spirituality, and interfaith dialogue. Carl and his wife, artist Fran McColman, live near Atlanta, Georgia.
Preface: Why the Eternal Heart? 1. The Human Heart and the Deep Mystery of God 2. Why is my Heart so Restless? Key Exercise #1: Learning to Read the "Sacred Stories" 3.Mystical Wisdom Key Exercise #2: the Daily Examen 4. The Secrets of the Heart -- the Key to a Joyful Life 5. The Temple of the Body -- Healing the divide between heaven and earth 6. The Inner Vision -- finding Christ within (and turning him loose) 7. Silence is wisdom, silence is praise 8. Entering the Christian Mysteries
"There is no better time than now to delve into the subject of the heart. Carl McColman takes us into a metaphysical and seamless journey to gather a kind of joy so immense we cannot grasp it. He expands the mind with questions of what might be beyond infinity, beyond eternal. He leads us further into our hearts as sleuths in the mystery of life. What joy! Eternal Heart is a wonderful offering." --Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, ordained Zen Buddhist priest and author of several books, including The Deepest Peace: Contemplations from a Season of Stillness "Carl McColman offers us another gift of contemplative insight and illumination. Eternal Heart invites the reader into various themes of the mystical life, deepening each one with wisdom from mystics of various traditions to reveal the way to oneness as one of unity rather than division. He encourages us to embrace in our own lives this mystical gift and vision for which our world is so hungry, and he charts the way through accessible practices. Reading it left my heart kindled by both joy and possibility." --Christine Valters Paintner, PhD, author of 15 books, including Breath Prayer: An Ancient Practice for the Everyday Sacred "For years, I have loved using a set of prayer beads that I made myself, moving my fingers along the strand to center my heart. Moving through the chapters of Eternal Heart is like praying with a string of smooth beads. Each one invites a sacred pause, and together they are a work of prayerful beauty." --The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham, Episcopal priest and author of The Heart of a Calling "Eternal Heart companions us tenderly through our restlessness and longing on a journey of presence and relationship with God. A seasoned spiritual author and guide, Carl McColman invites us to a place we already inhabit but haven't quite found. In these pages, we reencounter love, discernment, faith, silence, imagination, courage, renewal, and other gifts of the heart that engender sustaining hope and joy. You will be blessed by this book!" --Lisa Colon DeLay, host of the Spark My Muse podcast and author of The Wild Land Within "Eternal Heart is a sustained rhapsody on every aspect of the spiritual life, woven in a language full of insight, rich in reference, speaking directly to the love-hungry heart." --Paul Quenon, OCSO, poet, Cistercian monk, and author of Unquiet Vigil and In Praise of the Useless Life "Eternal Heart is a generous invitation to enter into the heart of the mystery. Carl McColman offers a lens of love through which to gaze upon eternal gifts hidden in the very center of all that is. Such sacred seeing transforms what it beholds." --Mirabai Starr, author of God of Love and Wild Mercy "There is likely in each of us a mystic within, waiting for us to open a door in the heart to release that hidden part of ourselves most in touch with the divine, and to embrace it and nurture it. Eternal Heart shows us how to unlock that door so that we can seek what is eternal and sacred in all things -- our conversations, walks, and all we see, taste and hear. It is a book whose 'heart practices' we will feel drawn to repeatedly over the different seasons of our lives." --Judith Valente, author of How To Be: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning and Community and Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith. "Eternal Heart is a work of humanly sung companionship... as timely as it is transcendent. The author reminds us that becoming more truly human is not only the first step toward the mystical vocation; it is the primary practical assignment of life on earth and the first step toward a fruitful and contemporary holiness." --Therese Schroeder-Sheker, musician and author of Transitus: A Blessed Death in the Modern World