Time for a Program to Develop Spiritual Leadership?

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?

Cover art of The Order of the Sacred Earth: original painting by Larry Jacobsen.

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.

Dr. Li Wenliang publicized the dangers of the coronavirus before Chinese authorities admitted the threat. After being censored and detained he returned to Wuhan Central Hospital to treat the victims, and died of the virus on 2/6/2020. Photo on Wikimedia Commons.

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. 

Thomas Merton (r) with Jesuit priest and anti-war activist Daniel Berrigan. Thomas Merton, a powerful voice for peace during the Vietnam War, died in suspicious circumstances that have now been proven to be murder. Photo by Jim Forest on Flickr.

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. 

For more information about the CSLP program, click HERE.

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?

Recommended Reading

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

Your Music Your Way Summit

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3 thoughts on “Time for a Program to Develop Spiritual Leadership?”

  1. Avatar

    I already know I want to do this! How do I get the particulars for registering for the whole course? How much does it cost financially speaking?? I hope I live long enough to do this, but in case I do not, I’ll transition with happy hopes and an idea of what I might be preparing for in my next existence. At least, I’m on the RIGHT PATH. I’ll be 87 on the 28th of February (this month), and I’m NOT a “Leap Year Baby” pushed forward for a birthday party!
    Thank you so much. I want to do this. If I don’t live long enough to complete it, I will have enjoyed this fascinating side-trip on my Journey. Also, I’d like to have the dates and times (EDT) of these classes/courses so I can adjust my life to complement this tempting venture presented to me this morning along with the other particulars.
    Peace and Blessings.
    Barbara M.

  2. Avatar

    I feel thecsame as Barbara and will be 88 on my Leo birthdate this year. Pkease send the same particulars she mentioned. I had just expressed feelings of fear, concern, hopelessness to another this very morning.

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