Evelyn Underhill

About Evelyn Underhill

A prolific writer, Evelyn Underhill lived from 1875 until 1941 and is known best as a spiritual guide and retreat leader at Pleshey in England. Denying the label mystic that others pinned on her, she taught that we are all created to experience the Holy directly, that the mystic way is the spiritual way open to us all.

In her superb biography, Evelyn Underhill: Artist of the Infinite Life, Dana Greene tells
us, “While clearly a Christian… her religious sense was of the broadest sort.” This echoes Evelyn’s wish as early as her seventeenth birthday, that “my mind will not grow tall to look down on things, but wide to embrace all sorts of things during the coming year.”

Our lives are filled with constant noise. Small talk, radio, TV... ensure that our ears, and perhaps our souls, never get a moment’s rest. Although the idea of periods of silence can be daunting or off-putting at best, many who have tried it for the first time find it healing, liberating and deeply satisfying. Some have even heard something in the silence which has changed their lives forever.


– Evelyn Underhill, The Retreat House, Pleshey

We come to prayer, she writes, "to recover, if we can, our spiritual poise. We do not come for spiritual information, but for spiritual food and air – to wait on the Lord and to renew our strength – not for our sakes, but for the sake of the world."


– Evelyn Underhill, Fruits of the Spirit

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