The Night School for Deeper Learning (Series IX, Session III) with Meister Eckhart
November 16 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Johannes Eckhart entered the Dominican Order at the age of 15, when the influence of the brilliant and saintly St. Thomas Aquinas, OP (died in March 1274 CE) was comprehensively felt throughout the Order and in Europe. Eventually he became a Master of Theology at the University of Paris. But his main interest was to create a Christian philosophy that could best describe the soul’s ascent to God, into Unity with the divine Source of all things. One great scholar of Eckhart speaks of his “profound and daring teaching”. He was above all a preacher – a communicator – in the classic Dominican mode, who exemplified their Moto: “Pass on to others what your contemplation [of God, of the divine mysteries] has revealed to you.” Our particular concern will be with Eckhart’s understanding of the journey into God, with his distinctly “mystical” writings. One gains the impression that Eckhart had one experience of God so profound that he spent the rest of his life trying to express it, seeking ways to dispose his hearers to want to experience what he had experienced.
The overarching theme of Series 9 of The Night School for Deeper Learning is: “To live in a manner worthy of the call that you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). We will learn from the early Christian author of that Letter (1st century); from an Italian (St. Bonaventure, OFM, 13th century), from a German (Meister Eckhart, OP, 13th century), and from the current Pope, Francis I (since 2013, 21st century), who is an Argentinian. So, we will meet a near Apostle, a Franciscan, a Dominican, and a Jesuit.
The Night School is an experience of deep thought. This spiritual exercise activates in those who attend a longing for more depth of life and cultivates in them a greater capacity to explore with intellect and feeling the profound riches of the deep Tradition. In each class, the group is introduced to a new “guest” who were/are profound thinkers or missionaries or musicians or architects or philosophers or painters or poets or theologians or mystics. In sum, The Night School is meant to be enjoyable, even startling at times (surprised by the wisdom and beauty we have available to us when given a chance to experience it), and most of all to be an experience of God.