New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

The Mystic in You

by Bruce Epperly

Who is a mystic?

Bruce Epperly says that anyone who sees the holiness in everyday life can be a mystic.

We can be mystics without leaving our families, disengaging from daily responsibilities, becoming a priest, or joining a monastic order. Epperly shows how we can experience the living God in the midst of daily life and never again take everyday events for granted.

Bruce Epperly introduces readers to 12 individuals or groups of mystics through the ages: St. Francis of Assisi, the desert mothers and fathers, Benedict of Nursia, the Celtic mystics, Hildegard of Bingen, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Brother Lawrence, the Baal Shem Tov, Howard Thurman, Etty Hillesum, Rumi, and Julian of Norwich.

Each chapter describes each mystic’s life, spiritual experiences and worldview, and provides spiritual exercises to help us experience the mystic firsthand. Through his conversational, down-to-earth approach, Epperly inspires us to realize that we can encounter God wherever we are, whatever we are doing.



About the Author

Bruce G. Epperly is a theologian, pastor, spiritual guide, author, and recognized leader in lay and pastoral faith formation. He serves as pastor at South Congregational Church, Centerville, Massachusetts. An ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ, Dr. Epperly has authored or coauthored more than 30 books on theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness.

Praise for The Mystic in You

This book is an invitation into the creative presence of God, encouraging readers to try on practices of foreparents in faith that might provide fruit and faith in our lives. Rooted in practical theology, The Mystic in You encourages readers to claim their mystic nature, trusting that like the giants of faith, our hearts can be quickened by the Spirit, and we can be connected to the Source of all life. The Mystic in You is a timely and profound book for those who long to be channels of divine love and healing grace in a hurting world.

Sandra K. Olewine, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Pasadena, CA

Bruce Epperly draws on his rich experience as pastor, scholar, theologian, and disciple in The Mystic in You and provides an accessible, practical guide for embarking on a path of everyday spirituality. In this artfully written book, Epperly distills the essence of an interreligious group of mystics from across the centuries and demonstrates their contemporary relevance. By drawing on the examples of these mystics, Epperly offers useful suggested practices and prayers that will help anyone thrive in ordinary life.

Edwin David Aponte, Executive Director, Louisville Institute

In The Mystic in You, Bruce Epperly describes how each one of us can be a mystic. We do not need to join a monastery. We do not need to immerse ourselves in stringent spiritual practices. Each of us can experience God’s loving presence within the mundanities of our everyday. Engaging in chores, running errands, playing with children, even doing our taxes can be gateways to heaven—spaces where we encounter God and God encounters us. Drawing from trusted guides and offering concrete suggestions, Epperly shows us how.

Frank Rogers, author of Practicing Compassion

In this down-to-earth, engaging, whimsical book, Bruce Epperly opens the path of mysticism to all.

Margaret Benefiel, author of Soul at Work and The Soul of a Leader, Executive Director, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation

Many people shy away from exploring the mystic’s path because they carry an image in their mind of who a mystic is and how a mystic lives, and this image is far removed from daily experience. Through giving us a glimpse of a wide variety of mystical paths, Bruce Epperly shatters the illusion that a mystic is only one kind of person. His book serves as a road map for spiritual explorers who desire to take their journey—and their experience of an ever-present God—to a new level.

Eric Elnes, author of Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers)

Those of us who have come to know and love the luminous voices of mystics such as St. Francis, Etty Hillesum, Rumi, and Julian of Norwich finally have a compilation that satisfies our thirst for refreshing theological vision blended with creative spiritual practices. Bruce Epperly’s holistic approach to the mystics speaks to a world wounded by violence, division, and climate change. A beautiful and timely work.

Patricia Adams Farmer, author of Embracing a Beautiful God and online contributor to Spirituality & Practice

Into a world that is raging and rushed comes a book to remind us of wonder and joy. The Mystic in You is a wise companion for such a time as this, and Bruce Epperly is the quintessential pastor as he gently points our harried hearts toward the presence of God, not for our own peace alone but for the healing of creation. A book for dreamers and activists, skeptics and scholars, and all of us who are seeking to attend more fully to life’s heartaches and holiness.

Rachel G. Hackenberg, author of Writing to God and Sacred Pause

The word mystic terrifies a lot of people. But in this beautifully written book, Bruce Epperly will help you discover that there's already a mystic inside you. I am so glad this book will help readers around the world discover a deeper and more joyful dimension to life. Highly recommended!

—Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration

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