Jun 15 – Evelyn Underhill

June 15 - Evelyn Underhill

Evelyn Underhill
Writer + Mystic
15 June 1941

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Prayer

O God, Origin, Sustainer, and End of all your creatures: Grant that your Church, taught by your servant Evelyn Underhill, guarded evermore by your power, and guided by your Spirit into the light of truth, may continually offer to you all glory and thanksgiving, and attain with your saints to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have promised us by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever.


From the Satucket Lectionary

To go up alone into the mountains  and come back as an ambassador to the world,  has ever been the method of humanity’s best friends. 

The windows of Christ’s Mysteries split the [Light] up into many-coloured loveliness, disclose all of its hidden richness…make its beauty more accessible to us…And  within this place we too are bathed in the light transmitted by the windows, a light which is yet the very radiance of Eternity. Evelyn UnderhillEvelyn Underhill was born in 1875 and grew up in London. Her friends  included Laurence Housman (poet and brother of the poet A E  Housman) and Sarah Bernhardt (actress), and Baron Friedrich von Huegel, a writer on theology and mysticism. Largely under his guidance, she embarked on a life of reading, writing, meditation, and prayer. From her studies and experience she produced a series of books on contemplative prayer. The list includes the following (I have starred the ones that seem to be most widely read or highly regarded):

1902 The Bar-lamb’s Ballad (poetry)
1911 Mysticism **
1913 The Mystic Way *
1913 Immanence (poetry)
1927 Man and the Supernatural 
1936 Worship ***
1938 The Mystery of Sacrifice

Miss Underhill (Mrs. Hubert Stuart Moore) taught that the life of contemplative prayer is not just for monks and nuns, but can be the life of any Christian who is willing to undertake it. She also taught that modern psychological theory, far from being a threat to contemplation, can fruitfully be used to enhance it. In her later years, she spent a great deal of time as a lecturer and retreat director. She died on June 15, 1941.

by James Kiefer

 

 

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