The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he or she will not exist at all It is these words written by the Theologian Karl Rahner that were the inspiration for this book.
It is intended as an introduction to the life and teachings of four great Christian mystics; Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross and Meister Eckhart. By reading and reflecting on passages from their writings a desire to study them in more depth may arise in the reader. Accepting that each of us is different, it is clear from their writings that the mystics can act as guides for us as we make our own unique journey to God. They can through their teachings inspire us to emulate their courage and faith thus allowing us to participate here and now in the real and eternal life.
The book offers the reader an opportunity to discover what a mystic is and to take time to reflect on short passages from their teachings. These mystics have left us a map, as it were, of their spiritual journey to union with God. Although written many centuries ago, their step by step directions are as relevant now as they were then.
Annetta Maguire a lay woman with a family that includes eight grandchildren has had a lifetime interest in philosophy, religion and spirituality. Desiring to come to a fuller understand of the Christian mystical tradition she began to study for an MA in Applied Christian Spirituality at the Milltown Institute in Dublin, here she was introduced to the lives and works of some of the Christian mystics. Their names were vaguely familiar but she knew little or nothing about their lives or teachings.
During this time she discovered that a complete guide to a spiritual path leading to union with God was available through their writings. She also came to appreciate that mysticism as Rahner wrote was not limited to those who are technically called mystics in the Christian tradition. There is a mysticism of everyday life; and this is available to all Gods people. Her thesis for the MA degree was Platonic influences on Christian Spirituality. Annetta has written a course An Introduction to Christian Mystics and has given talks in retreat centres across Ireland and in London on the writings of Julian of Norwich, St Teresa of Avila, St. John of The Cross and Meister Eckhart.