Paths, Playing Cards with God, and Gregorian Voices

Welcome to our April newsletter!

We are happy to announce the publication of our latest title, Paths That Lead to the Same Summit, by Samuel Bendeck Sotillos, a collection of carefully selected reviews on spiritual literature, meant as “a guide to aid the seeker on a pilgrimage through the distinct religious and spiritual universes and to convey and remember what is at the heart of each of the revealed sapiential traditions, the one Truth hidden in all the forms.”

…those who read this book will in some way discover the road they are walking along, and the one they ought to follow if they want to reach the summit.

Paths cover

• Given the current renewed interest on all kinds of family games, we bring a very special insight into the mysticism of playing cards, through the writings of Portuguese Carmelite Mother Mariana da Purificação (1623–95), who in her autobiographical writings recorded some moving and thought-provoking scenes, from the heart of contemplative Christianity, and yet with a distinct echo of the Hindu and universal doctrine of lila, the divine play and playfulness.

“You, daughter of my heart, should play cards. If you win you may take Communion tomorrow.” At this, I broke out laughing, because I did not even know how to play, nor would the nuns let me go downstairs, as I was bleeding. I was sure that I would not be allowed to go to Communion, even if I were to win. “I shall teach you to win,” He said to me gracefully…

He became very happy, as if He were not the lord of everything. Fooling around with me, he said to me that, if I wanted to win, I should play again. And playing again, I won without knowing how to play.

• Finally, we present an introductory page and links to the Neumz Project, based at the Benedictine Abbey of Jouques, near Aix-en-Provence, where they are engaged in “the largest recording project ever undertaken: the complete Gregorian Chant”. We warmly encourage you to listen to their Holy Week liturgy, which is beyond description and a musical doorway to Paradise; sacred art at its very best.