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The Way of Paradox

A Book Study Brought to you

by Anam Cara

An Ongoing Women’s Group of Brigid’s Place, Houston


We will meet via Zoom

Monday evenings – August 3 – September 7, 2020

6:30 – 8:00 PM


What is paradox?  Webster says it’s an argument that apparently derives self-contradictory conclusions by valid deduction from acceptable premises; or a self-contradictory statement that at first seems true. Meister Eckhart refines the definition to simply ‘a tension between opposites.’

Over six Monday evenings, we will explore the ways in which we hold that tension between opposites within ourselves, our families, our communities and our world.

We hope you’ll join us on August 3rd, when we begin with a discussion of our understanding of paradox – what it is, and what it is not, and what role paradox plays in our lives.

Then, on the following five Monday evenings, we will discuss “The Way of Paradox, Spiritual Life, as Taught by Maister Eckhart” written by Cyprian Smith, OSB.

While there is a certain continuity to the book, each chapter does stand on its own.  So if you are unable to commit to the full six weeks in a row, it will be possible to miss a week and still fully participate.

from Cyprian Smith’s Introduction:

This is not a scholarly book … It aims rather at helping the modern spiritual seeker, by putting them in touch with the mind of Meister Eckhart, one of the greatest spiritual teachers of all time.

The first two chapters are introductory, dealing with the interest and value of this spiritual teaching of Eckhart’s in the contemporary world, and of his vision of the spiritual life as a tension of opposites.

The central chapters deal with the various elements in this tension, culminating in the figure of Christ, in whom the tension reaches its maximum point and achieves its reconciliation, both in history and in the human heart.

The final chapters deal with special problems of everyday living, and the implications of Eckhart’s teachings for the spirituality of today and tomorrow.  Forging of bridges, between Catholics and Protestants, Christians and non-Christians, science and religion, …

Following is the overview of topics to be discussed during these next six weeks:

August 3

Paradox – Introduction and Discussion

August 10

  • 1.  Light in the Darkness
    • The interest and value of Eckhart’s teaching at the present time; the nature of his spiritual path
  • 2.  The Eye of the Heart
    • The goal of the quest; spiritual knowledge; the role played by paradox and the clash of opposites

August 17

  • 3.  The Silent Desert
    • Transcendence.  The abyss of mystery, in God and in us.  Tension and interrelation between them.
  • 4.  Melting
    • Personality, in God and in us.  The Trinity, within the Godhead and in human life.  Stillness and dynamism, going out and remaining within.

August 24

  • 5.  The Voice of God
    • The creative Word, in God and in us.  God, Man and the universe.  What freedom and creativity mean, how they are to be achieved.  Language, art and science
  • 6.  The Incarnate Word
    • Christ as the focal point of the clash of contrasts.  The incarnation, in history, and in the depths of the soul.  The place of Christ in spiritual life; Christ-centredness and God-centredness

August 31

  • 7.  The Way and the Goal
    • Detachment and involvement, action and contemplation.  The role of evil and suffering, Ethical and moral life.
  • 8.  The Glory of the Kingdom
    • Life in Church, and in society.  Scripture and sacraments.  Historical change, transition and apocalypse.

September 7 (we would be open to changing this to the following Monday if too many of us have Labor Day plans)

  • 9.  Echoes
    • Implications of Eckhart’s teaching for spirituality of today and tomorrow.  Forging of bridges, between Catholics and Protestants, Christians and non-Christians, science and religion.
  • Open Discussion – Final Thoughts
    • Invitation to explore and embrace the paradoxes in our lives
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions or comments:
Janet Jordan
email:  brigidsplace@brigidsplace.org
phone: 713-303-8335

We will meet via Zoom

Monday evenings – August 3 – September 7, 2020

6:30 – 8:00 PM

Aug 3, Aug 10, Aug 17, Aug 24, Aug 31, Sep 7


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Password: anamcara


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