A Three-Part Lecture and Meditation Series on Christian Mysticism
“The Christian mystic,” observes William Johnson, S.J., “is one who lives the Christ-Mystery and is transformed by it.” With that working definition, the course will examine core themes in Christian mysticism. These include the Triune Godhead as the fount of mysticism, Christ as the revelation of man’s eternal unity with God, our common journey to God that re-lives the very Mysteries of Christ, the Eucharist as the great transformer of the soul, the way of silent contemplative prayer, and the omega of mystical transformation: everyman’s transformation into the one Christ of heavenly glory.
$10/lecture – we ask that all guests please RSVP by purchasing tickets below or by calling 323.663.2167 ext. 112
Part 1: Saturday, April 23rd, 2016, Hearing the Song of Christianity in a Mystic Key | 10:30am – 12:00pm 1 hour lecture; 10-15 min Q &A; 20 min meditation
Conventionally considered, Christianity appears to millions to be incoherent, counter-factual, superficial, un-holistic. This is especially puzzling and ironic, given the vivid figure of the enlightened Jesus. Yet, when Christianity is heard in a mystic key, then it verily fills the air with music. This lecture presents the essence of Christian mysticism, as well as guided meditation that will make the healing realities discovered by the Christian mystics experiential to the audience.
Part 2: Saturday, May 7th, 2016, The Ego: Not an Illusion, but Truly Oriented to God | 10:30am – 12:00pm1 hour lecture; 10-15 min Q & A; 20 min meditation
Tacking a sign that reads SWIMMING POOL next to swamp does not turn it into oasis. Likewise, the forced smile of egotism does not make for a happy life. But is the ego, in itself, an illusion, a misleading deception, a brittle defense mechanism? Or is the ego, truly oriented, a God-designed faculty by which we may know Divine Love and be transformed by It? Students of this lecture will be led to an experiential knowledge of the inner structure of the ego, and will learn the essential orientation of the will of Christian contemplatives down the ages: a radical orientation to the divine which vitally cooperates with God’s transformation of the soul, which might be termed the “Self-Release Prayer.”
Part 3: Saturday, May 28th, 2016, The Egoless, Unitive Life, and a Clue to Life Ahead: Mystical Ecstasy | 10:30am – 12:00pm 1 hour lecture; 10-15 min Q & A; 20 min meditation
Many have interpreted Jesus’ saying, “Follow me,” to mean, “Have faith in me.” Others have interpreted it as Jesus’ call to “Follow my commandments.” But there a vastly deeper, infinitely more sublime meaning to “Follow me”– and the Christian mystics know it. This lecture will explain the surprising contemplative meaning of these words of “Follow me,” and how they point to our transformation into Christ.
Please note that these lectures will be recorded. We kindly ask all participants to arrive prior to the start of each lecture, turn off all noise-making devices, and reserve all questions for the allotted Q & A time. Thank you!
Joseph Conti earned his Ph.D. in Religion and Ethics from the University of Southern California in 1993. He is the author of Holistic Christianity: The Vision of Catholic Mysticism (Paragon House, 2005). In addition to his teaching at the University of Philosophical Research, Conti is an instructor in Department of Comparative Religion at California State University at Fullerton. Dr. Conti’s research focus is Christian mysticism and the psychology of contemplative spirituality.