Today the church remembers Evelyn Underhill, 1941.A leading Christian mystical theologian of the twentieth century, Evelyn Underhill was a married lay person, the daughter of a prominent English barrister. She was a keen scholar and her two best known books, Mysticism and Worship, are still widely read and regarded as authoritative in the field of Christian mystical teaching and practice. However, she not only wrote about the great Christian mystical tradition, she practiced it and became one of the foremost spiritual directors of her time. She was a close friend of Baron Friedrich von Hügel and she had a significant influence on Charles Williams, T. S. Eliot, and Dorothy Sayers. Evelyn Underhill successfully reminded us that adoration is the soul at prayer, both common and private. She helped liberate Anglicans from the sterile rationalism, pedagogy, and exhortation that often went under the name of worship. She revived the church"s appreciation of the way of the mystics, reminding us that the true Christian mystic"s life is not “withdrawn from common duties into some rapturous dreamland…The hard and devoted life of the great mystics of the church at once contradicts this view. It is a life inspired by a vivid and definite aim; the life of a dedicated will moving steadily in one direction, towards a perfect and unbroken union with God.” Almighty God, lead us through our worship into perfect and unbroken union with you. Amen.
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O God, Origin, Sustainer, and End of all creatures: Grant that your Church, taught by thy servant Evelyn Underhill, guarded evermore by your power and guided by your Spirit into the light of truth, may continually offer to you all glory and thanksgiving, and attain with your saints to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have promised us by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and forever. Amen.