Deepen Your Connection to God: Learning from the Christian Mystics will be a six week series of lectures led by PhD candidate Janna Gosselin at La Canada Presbyterian Church on consecutive Wednesdays, beginning June 26. Gosselin, a long time student of the mystics, is writing a book on Julian of Norwich. There is no fee, and all are welcome.
The following is the schedule:
June 26: Julian of Norwich: Although Julian of Norwich is known for her visions, few people know that she actually wished for a deeper connection to God early in her life. In fact, Julian made three wishes which brought her closer to God. In this class, we will learn what these three wishes were and how we can create our own wishes (or set of intentions) to deepen our connection with God.
July 3: Margery Kemp: Margery is a controversial character. Many then and now think that Margery was difficult, obnoxious and maybe even crazy. But, there is no doubt about two things: Margery had a deep connection to God, and Margery was bold about it. In this class, we will learn the two bold strategies Margery developed to draw closer to God and learn how you can apply them to your life to deepen her connection to God.
July 10: Therese of Lisieux: Therese is a little known 19th Century mystic with a big message. In her book, The Story of a Soul, Therese details her strategy for finding God in little things. Although Therese had a very short life, she was beloved by all who knew her for her humble connection to God. Come to this class to learn Therese’s three humble ways and how you can apply them to your life to deepen your connection to God.
July 17: Hildegard of Bingen: Hildegard of Bingen was an abbess of a monastery and mystic as well as a painter, musician, composer, herbalist and writer. Multi-talented as she was, many thought she was so gifted because of her deep connection to God, but I propose that Hildegard used her talents to facilitate her connection to God. In this class, we will look at Hildegard’s artistic output and examine our own artistic interests as ways to deepen our connection to God.
July 24: John of the Cross: St. John of the Cross is famous for writing about his “dark night of the soul” in which he felt such anguish over his brutal imprisonment his questioning his connection to God. But, by going deeper into the dark, I will assert that John found that God was there all along. In this class, we will look at ways John entered into his darkness and consider how our own darkness can bring us closer to God.
July 31: Teresa of Avila: Made famous recently by the Da Vinci Code and Dan Brown’s references to Bernini’s sculpture of her, Teresa was an author, mystic, nun and reformer who accomplished much in her relatively short life. She founded many convents and helped to reform the Catholic Church. Yet, despite her active life, Teresa nevertheless maintained a deep connection to God through prayer. In this class, we will examine Teresa’s four stages of prayer, and learn how we can apply these stages to our own life to deepen our connection to God.
While there is no charge, the organizers would appreciate registrations so that the numbers of attendees can be estimated in advance. Only registration is necessary no matter how many evenings you plan to attend.