Tozer and the Christian Mystics
Tozer’s hunger for God led him to study the Christian mystics. Their knowledge of God and absorbing love for Him profoundly attracted Tozer. He found in them kindred. "These people know God," he would say, "and I want to know what they know about God and how they came to know it." He so identified with their struggles and triumphs that people began referring to him, as a mystic, a designation of which he never objected.
His list of "friends of God" grew with the years. Nothing delighted him more than to uncover a long forgotten devotional writer. He eagerly introduced these newly discovered mystics to his friends and readers. Through his writing many of these writers were reintroduced, particularly among protestants, who for the most part avoided the "mystics".
In his daily life Tozer cultivated a sense of God that enveloped him in wonder, reverence and adoration. His one daily preoccupation was to practice the presence of God—a phrase popularized by the mystic Brother Lawrence whom Tozer found great delight in read.
Tozer sought to find in Christ a daily wonder, a recurring astonishment, a continual feast of love and grace.
It was through reading "the Pursuit of God" in 1980 that i was first introduced to the mystics. With pen in hand i eagerly jotted down each new name. I then worked my way through the list discovering the likes of Molinos, Fenelon, John of the Cross, Theresa of Aliva, Meister Eckhart, Guyon, Brother Lawrence and a plythora of others to long mention. My heart being exposed to concepts such as the dark night of the soul , practicing the presence and mystical union forever changed the direction of my spiritual journey. I am indebted to Tozer who for me became a mentor of sorts leading me along a path he had sought to chart through the great mystery which is the heart of God.
Photo: sacred heart the anchor Nashville, photo taken by BC.