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Practical Mystics

john heid
On Heritage (July 2016)

Dear Editor: We Quakers have been called practical mystics. The title of our handbook makes it plain: Faith and Practice. Our prayer and our witness are a tightly woven fabric. Inseparable yet unique. The warp and woof of our witness. We cannot have one without the other. This is our charism. And our challenge.

In “Quaker Witness As Sacrament,” Pendle Hill Pamphlet #397, Daniel O. Synder writes: “The sacramental life, a life so grounded in inward Presence that its outward dimensions are a transparent witness to Spirit, is a vision I have only glimpsed. Far more often, I neglect either the inward or the outward work. Then I become divided, at odds with myself, and being so divided, I am rendered unable to find common ground with others. In my experience, Grace attends these periods of division, not with comfort or solace but with profound restlessness.”

Testimonies are our beliefs with feet. They are at once terra firma and vision. At times the Light-Within stirs in us a creative tension. A Holy Tempest. Our Testimonies can attend these periods of restlessness with Inward Grace and Outward Action. As practical mystics we are challenged to live faithfully within this tension. And step by step, Grace will lead us on.

 – john heid, Pima Meeting (IMYM)


Mysticism Grace Spirit Integrity Lifestyle

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