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I am pleased to announce the publication of my book, DeepLight: A Memoir of the Soul.

DeepLight: A Memoir of the Soul is a rich narrative of a contemporary woman’s spiritual quest. Within the context of her extensive study of religious and mystical traditions, and her experiences as a woman, a monastic, and an Episcopal priest, Susan Creighton weaves a spiral tapestry of memories, journal entries, and poetry. Her search for an authentic practice of contemplative prayer led across cultural, historical, and religious boundaries, but is most significantly shaped and enriched by the teachings of mystics like St. John of the Cross and the ancient tradition of Orthodox ascetical theology and spiritual practice. Now living under vows as an anchorite, her memoir shares with the reader ways in which the Jesus Prayer and other spiritual practices lead to deeper contemplative prayer as well as helping us develop greater discrimination and compassion for ourselves and others.

Endorsements:

“Creighton’s fascinating memoir, which reminds me of Thomas Merton’s Seven-Storey Mountain, explores how a brain disorder can affect, even intensify, spirituality.”
Eve LaPlante, author of Seized

“If anyone can speak truly about a personal pilgrimage into an ‘anchorhold’ of profound faith, it is Susan Creighton. . . . Her story will speak to any seeking soul as it has to mine.”
–Luci Shaw Author of Thumbprints in the Clay

“To write about the soul, you have to know it, yours, and in some deeper ways, the souls of others. When I visited Susan’s anchorhold, and sat with her there, I knew I was with someone who did.”
Gregory H. Rickel, VIII Bishop of Olympia (Washington)

“This is not a book to be read hastily. It should be savored, wrestled with, confronted as the reader walks with [Creighton] the spiral labyrinth to the heart of all being.”
Linda Maloney, OblSB

“DeepLight is an uncommon invitation to observe a long, rich, and difficult Christian spiritual life. Seldom is such a life uncovered with such brutal honesty, courage, and love.”
–Kathryn Rickert, School of Theology and Ministry, Seattle University

“DeepLight testifies about a lifelong intensive search for the “essence” of faith in deep prayer and union with God . . . Reading the book . . . may open up a deep inner response, allowing the gentle voice of one’s own soul to be heard in the midst of a hurrying, noisy and violent world.”
Ingrid Schirmer, University of Hamburg

 

DeepLight: A Memoir of the Soul may be ordered from Wipf and Stock Publishers http://wipfandstock.com
Resource Publications
ISBN 13: 978-1-5326-4540-2
Retail: $25.00     Web price: $20.00
Pub. Date: 4/11/2018
Available on Amazon, Ingram, and Kindle by mid-May.

 

Susan Creighton is an anchorite in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. Ordained a priest in 1981, she has served in monastic, parish, and campus settings. She now fulfills her vocation under vows of silence, solitude, and simplicity, focusing her prayer and study around the ascetical and mystical teachings of the Prayer of the Heart. Her blog may be found at www.holydwelling.com, and she lives in Bellingham, Washington. Her email is anchorite@holydwelling.com

 

 

Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ (Matthew 27:54)

The Centurion

The others said He was dead,
To be sure, I drove my spear into His side.

His Blood splashed down upon me
And I felt a chill to my spine.

The sun is setting; the women have gone.
Some old man has come to claim His naked Body.

We have divided his garments among us.
I won His tunic with a throw of the dice.

I will keep watch where they have laid Him.
It is the least I can do.

Perhaps this Robe of His will warm my flesh.
Indeed, my heart seems strangely warm.

Good Friday 2018     (c) Susan Creighton

Tradition holds that Longinus was the Roman centurion who was in charge of the men guarding the Cross with Christ crucified on it at Golgotha. Later, he was baptized and began preaching the Gospel himself. He died a martyr’s death for his beliefs, and was later canonized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SILENCE of the WORD

How does one make a gift of words
to the ONE who is the WORD?

How can silence be heard in a cacophony of words
when only in SILENCE can the WORD be heard?

How can a noisy world receive a breath of silence
When the ONE who made the world is SILENCE?

Blessed Mary said “Yes” to the WORD
carrying the SILENCE of ONE in her womb.

The hermits of old said “Yes” to the WORD
listening to the ONE of SILENCE in solitude.

The poets of today say “Yes” to the WORD
bringing the SILENCE of ONE to our hearts.

Susan Creighton © 2018

 


The Wailing of the Wood
Good Friday, 2017

Many sunrises ago, my mother seed,
plucked by a hungry dove,
and nourished in its belly,
fell upon rocky soil, was trod
deep by a wandering sheep’s hoof,
then thirstily drank the droplets
from a summer’s rain.

Seasons passed, and many more;
my cells swelled and grew,
ever stretching toward the Light.
Then one late autumn day, sharp steel
axes cut deep into my flesh, and I fell hard
upon the rocks that had been my cradle.

In the dim months of winter, I was carried,
pulled, tugged, and flipped, with steel teeth
cutting deep into my flesh again,
until shaped square and planed smooth.
The spring-time moon shone brightly overhead,
when once again I was hauled about,
cut into two pieces, and sent upon my way.

My longest part reached the Hill first;
then came my shorter portion,
carried upon a poor Man’s bleeding shoulders;
He could barely walk beneath my weight.
My parts were joined, and then His flesh was
laid upon my own, and hammered in.

They lifted us together, and as His sinews were torn
and joints were pulled, my own flesh stretched
to hold him close, secure. A last breath sighed,
“Forgive them all,” and I knew my work was done.
His Mother wept; his friends fled, as all around
the mountains echoed the eternal cry:
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

© 2017 Susan Creighton

 

Palm Sunday, 2017

The Donkey speaks:
What’s that you say?
The Lord has need of me? And my foal as well?
To carry Him to Jerusalem this day?
Ah, well, that is my lot in life, is it not?
To carry burdens upon my shoulders, like the Cross I bear.
Oh, my—I wonder if He will notice the Cross upon my back?
Will he see the Cross again very soon?
In five short days, they say.
And then I will not be there to carry Him.
For He will bear His own Cross,
And be a beast of burden for all the world.
He may ride upon my back this day.

Susan Creighton, April 9, 2017

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