About Carl McColman
Carl McColman is a contemplative writer, speaker, teacher, soul friend, and storyteller.
He is the author of numerous books, including The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, An Invitation to Celtic Wisdom and Unteachable Lessons. His latest book, Eternal Heart, will be published in the summer of 2021.
Several of Carl’s books have won awards or recognition, notably Befriending Silence which won the 2015 “Georgia Author of the Year” award in the field of inspirational/religious writing. His work has been warmly endorsed by many leading voices in the field of Christian spirituality, such as bestselling author Brian D. McLaren who said, “If you don’t know about Carl McColman and his work, you should.”
Carl studied at James Madison University (BA, English) and George Mason University (MA, Professional Writing and Editing). His formation in the spiritual life includes training with the Shalem Institute in Washington, DC; the Institute for Pastoral Studies in Atlanta; and the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, GA; where Carl is a Life-Professed Lay Cistercian: a layperson under formal spiritual guidance with the Trappist monks.
After a career as a humble bookseller, he entered into full-time lay ministry as a retreat director, writer and speaker. Since 2016 he and his wife have served as adult catechists, co-directing the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation) process at their parish. He is a commissioned Centering Prayer presenter with Contemplative Outreach of North Georgia, and a spiritual director serving individuals both in metro Atlanta and online.
Carl’s writing appears on numerous websites, including Patheos, the Huffington Post, Day One, Contemplative Life, and Medium. He regularly posts new content to his personal blog at www.anamchara.com/blog on topics such as Christian mysticism, contemplative practice, Celtic spirituality, and interspirituality (interreligious dialogue).
Carl co-hosts the Encountering Silence podcast with filmmaker Cassidy Hall and theologian Kevin Johnson. He also creates video and audio content for his website.
Carl and his wife, artist Fran McColman, live near Atlanta in a small house filled with cats, books, icons and love. Their daughter, Rhiannon, passed away after a long illness at age 29 in 2014. When they take a break from the work they so enjoy, you may find Carl and Fran wandering around the mountains of western North Carolina or taking long walks along the Emerald Coast of Florida.
The Mystics show us a new way of being...
Silence. Love. Joy.
“Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God…”
Latest Blog Posts
The following question arrived in my email inbox the other day… Why is there such a condemnation in the Christian churches for esotericism/occultism? I have my entire adult life ( …
A reader, who chooses to remain anonymous, posed the following question: “a world shaped by peace and harmony among the people of all positive paths.” Are they all the way …
Friends, as you can see from this photo, I have a new bookmark and I’d love to send a couple of them to you. While one side of the bookmark …
Julian of Norwich was a 14th century mystic and author who, even in her own lifetime, was renowned as a visionary and spiritual director. She was the first woman to …
Four times a year I offer an online Quiet Day/Day of Reflection for the generous patrons who support the Anamchara website/blog/knowledge base through Patreon. The next such quiet day will …
Last night, I had the following dream. I woke up and wrote the dream down, and here is the unedited transcript of what I wrote: Dream 1/31/21-2/1/21 I was back …
Most people think of contemplation and mysticism in terms of prayer and meditation — and rightly so. But there is still an impressive body of wisdom literature to explore — what Thomas Cranmer said about the Bible applies also to mystical literature: these are teachings to “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.” You can take your study of the mystics so much further if you tap into a program as powerful as Verbum or Logos.
SDI now is an educational nonprofit, serving over 6,000 members in 42 countries around the world. Although it began as a gathering of Christian spiritual companions, today the organization is interfaith in scope and supports spiritual guides of any faith tradition.
I think I understand how many people — including many people with a genuine interest in the mystics — find church to be the last place they want to be, on Sunday or any other time during the week.
There are many reasons for this. Many people have been hurt by churches.
I have a wonderful and affectionate regard for Washington, DC’s Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. It may not be as widely known as Contemplative Outreach International or the Center for Action and Contemplation, but Shalem still has a global reach, offers a distinctive and beautiful approach to contemplative spirituality, and — most significant for me — was the setting where I was introduced to contemplative practice and to the ministry of spiritual direction.
When I was studying journalism in school, I learned that a good reporter seeks to ask some or all of these simply questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? So when I began to work on the articles for this website — for exploring the mystical life — it only seemed reasonable to begin with those same six questions.
So much of the language of the New Testament, and of so many of the mystics (at least in the Christian tradition), is language of love. God is love (or as I like to say, “Love-with-a-capital-L”). We love because God first loved us. God’s love is poured into our hearts.
In every heart there is a place of infinite longing.
— Carl McColman