Fr. Dale Matson
I do not believe that one chooses to be a mystic nor do I believe that identifying oneself in this way increases one’s credibility with those who do not see themselves as mystics. This may be why the Anglican layperson Evelyn Underhill never discussed mysticism as someone on the inside yet I believe her insightful writings on the topic betray the fact that she should be included in this group. Are mystic’s special people? Are they the saints and holy people of the church? One characteristic of mystics is humility. I do not believe that the canonized mystics of the church generally saw themselves as saints. St. Paul, the most famous of the Christian mystics saw himself as “chief of sinners.” (1st Timothy 1:15)
This book is as much a personal story as it is a difficult attempt to communicate a mystical journey that is now in its seventh decade for me. I have attempted to offer citations within the text to credit the ideas of others and for the reader that may wish to read further on a particular area. This is not intended to be a research book but a narrative description of the mystical experience in general and my own experiences in particular as examples. For those interested in the general topic of mysticism, I do not recommend this book since this book is limited to Christian mysticism.
The photograph on the cover of this book is of a much younger Dale Matson grading fill on a vacant lot in winter in1980. At that time I was a Journeyman Plumber, Soil Tester and Heavy Equipment Operator working for a general contractor in Southeastern Wisconsin. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. There is something rather bleak and basic yet very real about the photograph. At heart I am still blue collar.
“And now, Father, send us out to do the work You have given us to do, to love and serve You as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.” (Book of Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist II, p.366)
Fr. Dale Matson
Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul 2012