By Frank E. Henrich June 1, 2009 Evelyn
Underhill is one of my major silent tutors. She was an English author of many books on Christian mysticism, which is
the search for God through recollection and contemplation. She was born in 1875 in England and died in 1941. I never met her.
When I realized that God is spirit and was searching through the Bible for understanding; of
course prayer and times of contemplation followed. In 1980 I found Evelyn’s books and they helped me to grow in God
and so I thank God for her life and her written thoughts. In 1991, when in England visiting my daughter, I visited the site
where she conducted her Christian retreats. Christian mysticism or contemplation differs from its oriental counterpart. Evelyn
was very orthodox in her Christian beliefs and attended church services regularly. The Bible tells us that Jesus said the
Holy Spirit will come and dwell with each of us. Christian mysticism is a searching for God with this focus.
In her book Practical Mysticism, I will quote below from pages 155-57. I have added by ( ) marks to the quote below
to help you understand some of her terms as we use them today. This book was first published in 1915 and still is
being reprinted today.
“To “bring Eternity (here she means the spiritual control
of the world by God) into time (here she means our present world ), the “invisible into concrete expression”;
to “be to the Eternal Goodness (God) what his own hand is to the man” – these are the plainly expressed
desires of all the great mystics. One and all, they demand earnest and deliberate action, the insertion of the purified and
ardent will into the world of things. The mystics are artists; and the stuff in which they work is most often human life.
They want to heal the disharmony between the actual and the real; and since, in the white-hot radiance of that faith, hope,
and charity which burns in them, they discern such a reconciliation to be possible, they are able to work for it with a singleness
of purpose and an invincible optimism denied to other men. This was the instinct which drove St. Francis of Assisi to the
practical experience of that poverty which he recognized as the highest wisdom; St. Catherine of Siena from contemplation
to politics; Joan of Arc to the salvation of France; St. Teresa to the formation of an ideal religious family; Fox to the
proclaiming of a world-religion in which all men should be guided by the Inner Light; Florence Nightingale to battle with
officials, vermin, dirt and disease in the soldiers’ hospitals; Octavia Hill to make in London slums something a little
nearer “the shadows of the angels’ houses” than that which the practical landlord usually provides.
All these mystics have felt sure that a great part in the drama of creation has been given to the
free spirit of man; that bit by bit, through and by him, the scattered worlds of love and thought and action shall be realized
again as one. It is for those who have found the thread on which world are strung to bring this knowledge out of the hiddenness;
to use it.
So here is your vocation set out; a vocation so various in its opportunities
that you can hardly fail to find something to do. It is your business to actualize within the world of time and space –
perhaps by great endeavors in the field of heroic action, perhaps only by small ones in field and market, tram and tube, office
and drawing-room, in the perpetual give-and-take of common life – that more real life, that holy creative energy, which
this world manifests as a whole but indifferently. You shall work for mercy, order, beauty, significance; shall mend where
you find things broken, make where you find the need.” (end of quotation)
describes above, in a clearer way than I could express as the reason why I write poems and devotional writings and the focus
of my Christian work. What Evelyn wrote 90 years ago describes me and my Christian work so perfectly even though I am too
small a fry to call myself a mystic. She also wrote the quotation in the column to the right.
EVELYN UNDERHILL, ONE OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTICS, WROTE
A BOOK ABOUT ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY MYSTICISM CALLED PRACTICAL MYSTICISM. IT IS A MOST EXCELLENT BOOK.
another poem or article from the column, click on title and read
CLICK HERE FOR FREE POEM WALK IN LIGHT OF THE REDEEMER, GUIDE ME REDEEMER CHRIST JESUS (WALK IN LIGHT, THE REDEEMER, GUIDE
ME REDEEMER CHRIST JESUS)
Chick here for page on insightful precepts to live by.
Click here for page, Holy Spirit come visit me
Christian mysticism is a charismatic walk in the spirit seeking in contempation direct divine spiration. We seek God
as did St. Francis and Evelyn Underhill in spiritual Christianity using the mystic walk or way knowing that god is spirit
aa we want love. Yes we walk in the spirit.
Image used with permission from Rare Book Department, Free Library of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA USA Manuscript Lewis
E Mo74:12-13 f. 74:12
FIND GOD, KINGDOM OF GOD, ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY MYSTICISM,
EVELYN UNDERHILL, MYSTICS
Evelyn Underhill like St. Francis gave us examples of Christian Mysticism when they spoke of the walk in spirit with
a God who is spirit. In contemplation thru spiritual christianity we have a mystic walk where we seek God in a charismatic
way seeking direct divine inspiration. Yes, we want love.
KINGDOM OF GOD, ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY MYSTICISM,
EVELYN UNDERHILL, MYSTICS, FIND GOD.
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