Answering the Contemplative Call.

Author:Senger, John
Position:Book review

Carl McColman (author); ANSWERING THE CONTEMPLATIVE CALL; Hampton Roads Publishing, Inc. (Nonfiction: Body, Mind & Spirit) 16.95 ISBN: 9781571746771

Byline: John Senger

Buddy Holly put forth truth concisely in his song "It's So Easy (to Fall in Love)." Equally adept at making the mystical real and attainable, Carl McColman, in Answering the Contemplative Call: First Steps on the Mystical Path, sets out how easy it is to begin a serious search for a relationship with God.

McColman likens the spiritual quest to a journey -- a metaphor, he notes, often used by writers in the Christian tradition. Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, McColman shares: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Essentially, McColman has written a readily understandable travel guide that may be referred to at any time along the way, and that will lead the traveler to a deeper understanding of his or her journey.

The book is organized into three parts. The first, "Recognizing the Call," describes how the traveler becomes aware that the journey has begun. McColman assumes that a person who picks up this book has a desire for "something more" in their life. He calls this desire, in the broadest sense, a longing for God. This portion of the book explores the various ways in which a person is awakened to a deeper understanding of life's mysteries, giving examples of how others, such as Thomas Aquinas, have experienced the moment in their own lives. The second section of the book, "Preparing for the Journey," explains that the territory to be traversed is interior to the traveler. One particularly helpful chapter, "Do Your Research," introduces the traveler to the writings of several...

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