A memorable moment for me some time ago was stopping by Marshfield, Massachusetts, where the ocean had kept me in the order nineteen years earlier.  I asked the ocean for a dream that night to help guide my way—something I very seldom do—and a special dream did indeed emerge. 

It was that same ocean, I was on that same beach, and it was nighttime.  A silver moon shone from a silver sky on the all-silver ocean.  And out of the ocean there emerged Adrienne Rich in a silver wet suit.  She said nothing but she pointed at her knee. 

It was a very transcendent dream, still, quiet, and totally bathed in silver.  Clarissa Pinkola Estes says that silver represents an archaeological layer in the old wild feminine and the color bespeaks the spirit world and the moon.  The knee represents prayer (genou—while rhymes with Chenu—is the French word for “knee,” and from it we get the word genuflection).  In addition, the knee connects us to the earth, pulls us down, and is also part of our flexibility.  Flexibility was one of the lessons this same sea had instructed me in years ago. 

Adrienne Rich, of course, is one of the premier feminist poets and thinkers of our day and certainly one of the most important poets in my life.  Emerging from the sea as she did, she represented the Magna Mater, the great mother of the sea, the return to our origins in la mere, la mer (mother, sea).  Sophia, lady wisdom, also seemed to be speaking in the dream.  The beauty of the dream and its simple message seemed to be encouraging me not to abandon my work in bringing the feminine and the mystical back to religion and culture.  The dream healed.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Confessions: The Making of a  Post-Denominational Priest, pp. 200-201.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina, or “Divine Reading,” is the ancient practice of meditatively and prayerfully reading the words of Scripture or other sacred texts, asking Spirit what your proper response might be to the truths they lay bare.

In this spirit, take a phrase or word from this meditation and be still with it, letting it wash over you and through and through you.  Repeat it as a mantra.  Be with the silence that follows.  Be with, be with…. 

Recommended Reading

Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography, Confessions, reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in church, society and the environment.

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