The Mystics Who Came to Dinner
By: Carmel Bendon
Catholic Media Association Award Winner
“I have often wondered what it would be like to share a meal with some of my favorite spiritual teachers from the past. Carmel Bendon has beautifully imagined such an evening, and her depiction of great mystics truly brings these figures to life. I laughed, I smiled, and I shed a tear or two of joy as I read this whimsical yet inspiring story.”—Carl McColman, author, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism
“Carmel Bendon invites us into the intimate company of six intriguing medieval mystics and leaves us as nourished and vivified by their wisdom as the mystics are by their gracious dinner party host. Both old friends of the mystics and those new to the mystical tradition will be captivated by this delightfully creative and profoundly insightful book.”—Michelle Jones, editor, Ruth Burrows: Essential Writings
"The six medieval mystics who engage in conversation at this imaginary dinner impart timeless wisdom and much-needed hope to our discordant world. Enjoy the feast!"—Veronica Mary Rolf, author, Julian's Gospel: Illuminating the Life & Revelations of Julian of Norwich
“A recipe of solace, contemplation and inspiration for our busy, jaded times. Carmel Bendon’s mediaeval diners share their insights and gifts not only with one another but with us, her readers, who are the true guests at her bountiful table.”—Michele Seminara, Managing Editor, VerityLa.com
The Mystics Who Came to Dinner brings Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, and the English mystics Julian of Norwich, The Cloud of Unknowing author, Richard Rolle, and Margery Kempe together for dinner and lively conversation in a modern home setting. The strange and sometimes alienating aspects of the medieval world are removed so that the mystics’ experiences and insights, and their resulting spiritual writings, are given fresh appeal and relevance to the lives of a twenty-first century reader.
The Mystics Who Came to Dinner offers a new “take” on the medieval mystics and their insights, filling a significant gap in the current range of books on the topic by providing an accurate and accessible account of the mystics that not only speaks to the spirit but also delivers their messages both authentically and accessibly in these difficult times.
Carmel Bendon is a writer and presenter on “all things medieval” to academic and general audiences. She has a PhD in Medieval Literature and has lectured in English Literature, Medieval Studies, and Spirituality. She is the author of Mysticism and Space. Her other academic publications include chapters and articles on St. Augustine, Julian of Norwich, and Hildegard of Bingen. Her works of fiction include the novel, Grasping at Water. She is the proud mother of three adult daughters and lives in Sydney with her husband, a faithful dog, and a wild garden.