Join Cathleen in Spotting the Numinous

Et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt

‘And there is a light in the darkness, and the darkness could not comprehend it.’

Cathleen Falsani is a veteran, inveterate, and award-winning journalist who has specialized in the coverage of religion/faith/beliefs/spirituality for more than two decades. Her work has taken her all over the world, always with her cameras and notebooks in tow, searching for enduring, transformational stories of the extraordinary in the ordinary (and the transcendent in the temporal) to share with the world. She is an expert in her field and disciplines—contemporary religion and culture, grassroots spiritual trends, and public theology—bringing the eye of a trained observer to explorations of external adventure and internal geography. (See Cathleen’s full bio HERE.)

Cathleen is an accomplished columnist and memoirist in short and long form. She is able both to be calmly dispassionate and wildly vulnerable, depending on what is required to serve best the narrative in her storytelling. She aspires to be brave and honest with her audience, daring and kind with herself.

Spiritually focused and denominationally promiscuous, Cathleen is a lifelong seeker seemingly pilgrim-oriented from birth. She began her journey as a child steeped in the Roman Catholicism of her Irish and Italian ancestors, spent much of her teens and young adulthood inside big tent of American evangelical Christianity, before midlife drew her farther into the mystic, if you will, where she resists trying to trap or tame the wildly ineffable.

What started in a pew one night at the back of the oldest Catholic mission in California almost a decade ago, watching the light from the altar candles bounce around the sanctuary like so many fireflies, over time and without conscious or concerted effort, literally and figuratively looking for the light, grew to be Cathleen’s principle spiritual discipline.

A lifelong shutterbug, Cathleen studied photography as an undergraduate student, happily spending hours in the darkroom developing and printing black-and-white prints of her photographs in the days before digital cameras were ubiquitous and nearly everyone began carrying palm-sized dark-rooms around in their pocket. She loved then (and still does) the play of light and dark, trying to capture what she sees with her mind’s eye, experimenting with angles, getting the contrast just right, and occasionally glimpsing numinosity in nature, faces, and the quotidian.

Deliberately looking for the light (and often capturing it on film or in pixels) is part and parcel of Cathleen’s spiritual practice and fuels the ongoing evolution of her faith. The more attention she pays to where and how the light appears as she moves through the world, the more light—literal and metaphorical—she sees.

We live in the numinous world.

May you know it when you see it.



My intention is to share new work with you sporadically—monthly and maybe a bit more frequently than that, but maybe a bit less as the future unfolds. If these plague years have taught us anything, it’s that the best-laid plans are laughable when the world is on fire. But at least monthly is my goal as 2021 turns to 2022.

Some of the posts may be images or video alone. Some will be images and stories/essays of various length. There might even be an interview from time to time and occasionally I may dust off my reporter’s fedora to do some old-fashioned straight journalism.

Mostly, though, what you’ll find here are stories (made with words and light) about the exploration of, adventures in, and awe for This Numinous World of ours.

For the moment, anyone can access the entire This Numinous World archive, but that may change in the New Year, with special content offered exclusively to subscribers at different levels. So, ya know, if you like what you see and read here, you might want to get in on the ground floor, hit the subscribe button, or share This Numinous World with a friend (or two or a dozen).

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Thank you for your kind interest, which I will do my best to earn and to keep in the days to come.

Stay safe and well out there, fam. Be as brave and mighty, daring and kind as you can.

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