Practical Mysticism: Contemplative Spirituality for a Joyful Life


Practical Mysticism: Contemplative Spirituality for a Joyful Life

Led By: Carl McColman
Suggested Donation: $350

Practical Mysticism: Contemplative Spirituality for a Joyful Life


May 31, 2024 - June 2, 2024    
6:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Holy Cross Monastery
1615 Route 9W, West Park, New York, 12493

Friday, 31 May – Sunday, 2 June 2024

The 20th century theologian Karl Rahner famously said “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or will not exist.” But what could he have meant by this? What is mysticism, and what does it have to do with ordinary people leading ordinary lives?

This retreat is for anyone who wants a deeper spirituality, and who suspects that the great mystics, visionaries, and contemplatives of the Christian tradition have something to share with us. From medieval saints like Julian of Norwich to more recent figures like Howard Thurman or Thomas Merton, every generation has produced people whose lives are steeped in prayer, silence, and a palpable spiritual joy.

We’ll bring mysticism down to earth and consider how the contemplative life is for everyone — not just saints or nuns and monks. We’ll reflect on what mysticism is, why it matters, and how we can draw on the wisdom of the mystics to find a deeper and more meaningful spiritual life, right here and right now.

Suggested reading for retreat: The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism

Carl McColman is a contemplative author, spiritual director and retreat leader based in Atlanta. He is a professed lay associate of a Trappist monastery in Georgia, a commissioned presenter of centering prayer introductory workshops, and a co-host of the “Encountering Silence” podcast. His books include Eternal Heart, Unteachable Lessons, and The Big Book of Christian Mysticism. You can find his blog at

To register, please contact our Guesthouse Office by phone (845-384-6660, ext. 3002) or email (