How to Become a Mystic
You are called to be a mystic.
That can be a shock to many of us. We tend to imagine mystics as these unapproachable figures: Monks and Nuns and holy Priests spending hours every day in ecstatic prayer. We look at ourselves, working regular jobs in the exceptionally noisy world, and we think that we could not possibly achieve that goal. Then, because we feel it is impossible, we tell ourselves God wouldn’t want us to achieve it anyway, either because we aren’t worthy, or because it’s unnecessary.
The problem is this: all of the above is untrue.
To be a mystic is not to have constant extreme experiences in prayer, despite what we have led ourselves to believe. Rather, it is to be someone who experiences God in all things, and receives Him in all things. This will include prayer, of course, but God is not so limited that He can only reach us when we manage to make our way to an adoration chapel.
This being the case, we can confidently say that all of us, even you and me, are called to live the life of a mystic. Furthermore (and this is the good news), we can say that we are not only called, it is eminently possible for this life to be achieved.
What wonderful news! We are not only able, but invited to experience the Creator of all in our small, noisy, ordinary lives. He wishes to enter into them every day, just as He entered into our world two-thousand-plus years ago in the Incarnation. The question now is not “Am I able to experience God and His love”, but “how do I go about this”.
The answer can be frustratingly simple: We have to start looking for Him. Now, this is easier said than done, and I am certainly no further on this process than those who read this blog (in fact, I am probably behind), but the point stands that if we wish to see God, we have only to begin looking.
Fortunately, we have a Saint who paved the way for this. St. Simeon, who was told by God that he would not die before seeing the Messiah, shows us not only how to look for God, but how to react when we find Him.
Simeon, like us, had been promised that he would see the Messiah, his savior. Likewise, Christ tells us that He will never abandon us, that he is with us always. The first step, then, is to trust Him, and to look for Him. We will never find Him if we do not believe He is present to us, or if we are unwilling to look.
Equally important, though, is the way Simeon shows us to react to an encounter with Christ. Simeon holds the child and “blesses God” singing this prayer:
“Now, Master, you let your servant go in peace. You have fulfilled your promise.
My own eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples.
A light to bring the Gentiles from darkness; the glory of your people Israel.”
When we do find God, when we are able to recognize that He has been with us all along, the response is to praise Him and give thanks. We ought to live in a mindset of gratitude, remembering that our God is a God who keeps His promises.
Once we start looking, it will become impossible to stop finding Him. So look, give thanks, and embrace the vocation of Prayer that God has given all of us.