In a time when the Earth is crying out for help and many young people are feeling the need to become activists on Earth’s behalf, and when more and more people seem to be abandoning institutional religions, it seems appropriate to ask: Where do we go from here?
One movement we have been discussing is that of the Order of the Sacred Earth (see the DMs for Feb 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14). One value we have held up (see DM Feb 9) is the development of the virtue of magnanimity (big-soul-ness) that we are all capable of and that leads us away from cowardliness (fear) and coldheartedness (not caring) and cynicism (giving up). That virtue is extolled by Thomas Aquinas who observes:
Magnanimous people do not expose themselves to dangers for trifles, nor are they lovers of danger, as it were exposing themselves to dangers hastily or lightly.
However, magnanimous people brave great dangers for great things because they put themselves in all kinds of danger for great things, for instance, the common welfare, justice, divine worship, and so forth.
It would seem, therefore, that the great movements needed to combat climate change and wake people up to their deeper selves will demand plenty of magnanimity. To reinvent education, religion, worship, politics, economics, media, engineering, agriculture, art will require magnanimity.
Learning is a necessary part of expanding our souls and to study a lineage that includes such great souls as Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Julian of Norwich and yes—Jesus—can move us forward.
The Creation Spirituality lineage combines the mysticism of nature (the Wisdom tradition of Israel) with the prophetic tradition of the prophets.
Both are found in the historical Jesus and both are found in great mystic-prophets of our time including Thomas Merton, Sister Dorothy Stang, Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, Howard Thurman, Mary Oliver and many more.
Why not a program to deepen our awareness of this tradition so it can feed our souls in this dark but important moment in history? And to turn out leaders truly grounded in a solid spirituality and world view that includes the new cosmology and an eco-based spirituality to sustain activists, artists and other leaders?
It is in response to these questions and the obvious need in our culture that we are launching a Creation Spirituality and Leadership on-line certificate program with the Global Ministries University.
GMU has long sponsored on-line programs to serve the greater community and we are happy to be joining forces with that school. The program follows the pedagogy of the previous programs of Creation Spirituality encouraging both left and right hemisphere courses, seminars and art as meditation classes, to ground one’s spiritual, intellectual and bodily work in the new creation story from science.
We will discuss the program further in subsequent DMs.
See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, p. 155.
Banner Image: “From this moment despair ends and tactics begin.” Banksy mural which appeared during London’s Extinction Rebellion protests, April 2019. Photo uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Andrew Davidson.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you see fear, cold-heartedness and giving up occurring today in our culture? What medicines do you see on the horizon? Is study one of them?
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times
A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book! Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit