The incarnation has made mystics of us all. What if we read the gospels as if that were true? In his book Contemplating Christ, Vincent Pizzuto offers an exploration of the interior life for modern contemplatives that is as beautiful as it is compelling. With an emphasis on the gospels and Christian mystical tradition, his book explores ancient themes in new and surprising ways. Drawing on his rich experience as an academic and priest, Pizzuto gradually unfolds the Christian mystery of deification to which the whole of biblical revelation and the Christian contemplative life are ordered: through the incarnation, we have all been made "other Christs" in the world.
The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, PhD, is a professor of New Testament and Christian mysticism at the Jesuit University of San Francisco. As an Episcopal priest, Fr. Pizzuto serves as vicar of St. Columba's Episcopal Church and Retreat House in the beautiful environs of Inverness, California. Having founded the contemplative Christian community New Skellig in 2006, both communities now coexist under his leadership for the advancement of contemplative Christianity. He lives in Marin County with his partner, Fernando, and their pup, Forrest-who loves to fetch sticks.
"Denizens of the land of silence owe a debt of gratitude to Vincent Pizzuto for the gift of this book. Clearly written and based on solid scholarship, grounded in Scripture itself, the author clarifies the simplest of truths: to become a contemplative is quite simply a matter of becoming fully normal. Paradoxically our becoming natural involves a lifetime of loves soul-sifting. As Meister Eckhart puts it: `The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.' One seeing, one loving, one knowing."
Martin Laird, OSA, Professor of Early Christian Studies, Villanova University
"General readership will find both gentle scholarly engagement with Christian scripture, contemplative traditions, and mysticism, as well as personal observations about how this way of life has deepened the author's own meditative practices. For readers who wish to take a deeper dive in to the topics Pizzuto introduces, he provides a helpful appendix on the origins of Christian mysticism and an annotated glossary of terms that appear throughout the text."
"Until the Christian world begins to read its own sources with the contemplative mind that is offered here, I see little hope for its in depth renewal. The argumentative mind that has dominated so much of our recent past has not served history well. Vincent Pizzuto is offering us both inspiration and very readable scholarship here. This is the Great Tradition!"
Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico
"Pizzuto demonstrates a wide expanse and great depth of knowledge regarding contemplative spirituality."
Catholic Book Review
"A remarkable book."
"This book, with a focus on the incarnate Christ, seeks to introduce readers both to modern methods of interpreting Scripture and to the ancient and integral contemplative tradition within Christianity."
New Testament Abstracts
"A magnificent, nutritious book of spiritual counsel, both visionary and compassionate! Contemplating Christ patiently trains us to rethink familiar texts, feelings, and attitudes by recovering the grandeur of the cosmic Christ from the Gospels, the hymn of Colossians 1, and the teachers of ancient Christianity. This work of mystagogy grasps anew the `transgressive' power of the Incarnation that `has made mystics of us all,' and offers practical ways to live into our wondrous `divinized' identity after baptism. At the same time, it performs microsurgery upon our spiritual practices and predilections (its rethinking of asceticism and of demonic power is particularly fine). Like an ancient painting restored, vivid colors burst anew from the countercultural beauty of the Gospel. A feast for the spirit!"
Michael Cameron, Professor of Historical Theology, University of Portland