If you’ve read a spiritually inspiring book recently, you’ve probably wished you could share its insights – and the joy it has given you – with others.
From the beginning of the written word, the practice of reading together and sharing sacred texts has fostered a sense of community and mutual support amongst those striving to learn more and develop their personal closeness to God.
The modern world in which we live tends to find us more isolated, with far fewer opportunities to meet with spiritually like-minded people who want to share their insights and quest for learning.
If that’s you, then welcome to the “Carmelite Reading Circle,” a sanctuary for those seeking profound spiritual exploration and communal sharing of insights drawn from sacred texts.
Rooted in the rich Carmelite tradition of contemplation, this unique online reading club offers an immersive journey into the depths of spirituality, mysticism, and the human soul. Through a curated selection of texts from Carmelite mystics like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, and other luminaries, you can embark on a transformative quest to understand the inner workings of the spiritual life.
Each session of the Carmelite Reading Circle is an opportunity for participants to delve into timeless writings, exploring themes of prayer, solitude, divine intimacy, and the transformative power of love. Facilitated discussions foster an environment of shared inquiry, inviting diverse perspectives and personal reflections that enrich the collective understanding of these profound spiritual teachings.
The Carmelite Reading Circle serves as a space where individuals can share their spiritual journeys, struggles, and triumphs, finding solace and guidance in the collective wisdom of the group. Through this shared exploration of Carmelite spirituality, participants not only deepen their understanding of these timeless teachings but also cultivate a sense of connection, empathy, and spiritual growth.
The theme for this year’s Reading Circle is Enter the Narrow Gate: St Benedict’s Steps to Christian Maturity,which draws on the Gospel of Matthew (7:13-14), and Chapter 7 of the Rule of Saint Benedict in which he traces the twelve steps of humility.
Over the coming 12 months you can Join Dr Susan Muto, author of Enter the Narrow Gate, and the Carmelite Friars in Oxford and together learn what it means to evade the seductive claims of the wide road and enter the way described by Jesus as the path to heaven.
Susan is executive director of the Epiphany Association and dean of the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality. She holds a doctorate in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh and has been teaching the literature of ancient, medieval, and modern spirituality for more than 40 years.
A monthly subscription to the Carmelite Reading Circle costs just £10.99 per month or £99.99 for a full year. The Reading Circle meets on Zoom every last Tuesday of the month in 2024, but all sessions will be recorded so no one misses anything.
At the beginning of each month you’ll receive a guided reading programme on one of the twelve steps of humility as proposed by St. Benedict and which our author calls the Twelve Steps to Heaven! Accompanying each step will be questions for reflection. You may want to respond to them, perhaps by dialoguing with them in a meditative reading journal, kept over the year.
At the end of each month, we will assemble virtually on Zoom to respond to further questions people may have, sharing our thoughts. Each session will be a time for friendship and prayer.
If you would like to know more, and join in our growing Carmelite Reading Circle, please click this image …