Letters From a Modern Mystic

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ON FRANK LAUBACH’S LETTERS FROM A MODERN MYSTIC

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Frank C. Laubach wrote hundreds of letters to his father while serving as a missionary to Muslims on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. These letters are really Laubach’s journal, a faithful recording of his walk with God. In these pages he pours out his heart and soul.
He speaks of emotional low points: “I have been so desperately lonesome that it was unbearable save by talking with God” (page 17).

He speaks of spiritual low points: “If this record of a soul struggle to find God is to be complete, it must not omit the story of difficulty and failure” (page 25).

He cries out in lament: “Ah, God, what is all this wreckage for?” (page 43).

He speaks of victory: “This concentration upon God is strenuous, but everything else has ceased to be so. I think more clearly, I forget less frequently” (page 33). “…what happens when I do succeed – is so successful that it makes up for the failure…” (page 35).

He muses over theological mysteries: “God, how can we reconcile this need of pain with our effort to abolish all misery?” (page 63), and “Why do we not always hear Thy voice…?” (page 65).

But Laubach was foremost a teacher. He was compelled to share what he was learning. “And
talk I shall while there is anybody to listen” (page 7). But he also longed for other people to share their knowledge. “And I hunger – O how I hunger! For others to tell me their soul adventures” (page 7). “How I wish, wish, wish that a dozen or more persons who are trying the experiment of holding God endlessly in mind would write their experiences so that each would know what the other was finding as a result” (page 56). “You cannot keep God unless you give Him to others” (page 99).

His contemplative methods are useful for intercession. He describes a process of “…holding them one by one steadily before the mind and willing that God may have his will with them…” (page 73).

He practiced stealth soul friendship: “I must learn a continuous silent conversation of heart to heart with God while looking into other eyes and listening to other voices” (page 72). From the section “While in Conversation” from his booklet The Game With Minutes, he gives us a good tip for soul friendship:“Keep whispering inside ‘Lord, put Thy thoughts in my mind. Tell me what to say’” (page 98).

What a gift to be allowed entrance into this intimate place between a man and God!