In our culture, mysticism is sadly misunderstood and maligned as disconnected with reality: impractical at best and dangerously irresponsible at worst. Even those who may admire mysticism often regard it as the special capacity of a few spiritually gifted people, almost all of whom lived in the Middle Ages. . . . Mysticism is not an escape from reality, but the opposite. It is a prayerful penetration of reality. — Ellen F. Davis