We are meditating these days on returning to the source as we do very often in nature and creation.
The psalmist celebrates how “the Spirit of the Lord fills the whole universe” and the Hindu Scriptures says, “Although you are one, you spread throughout the sky and the planets and all space between.”
Again, “the Lord enters into every atom, every planet, and every living being.” And a Hindu scholar proclaims that “all creation is Brahman.” The Vedas tells us that “creation is not mechanical construction; It is a supreme spiritual act revealing divine splendor.”
The Benedictine monk Father Bede Griffith said this about his experience living in India for many years:
Perhaps this is the deepest impression left by life in India, the sense of the sacred as something pervading the whole order of nature. Every hill and tree and river is holy, and the simplest human acts of eating and drinking, still more of birth and marriage, have all retained their sacred character.
As we explore other planets, so many unable to sustain life, is that enough for us to reconnect to a sense of the sacred and of the gift (i.e. grace) that nature and creation bestow on us daily?
In contrast to this sense of the sacred in nature, Father Bede observes in our civilization:
In the West everything has become ‘profane;’ it has been deliberately emptied of all religious meaning…
What do we do?
It is there that the West needs to learn from the East the sense of the ‘holy, of a transcendent mystery which is immanent in everything and which gives an ultimate meaning to life.’
Can we rediscover the transcendent mystery that is within all things and which gives an ultimate meaning to our lives?
He believes this is what the West is desperate to learn anew.
That is what one finds in India; everything is sacred—eating or drinking or taking a bath; in any of the normal events of life there is always a sacred action….We have lost that awareness…this sacramentality of the universe. The whole creation is pervaded by God.
Is there a sacramentality to the universe? Is the universe the primary sacrament? Is it pervaded by God?
Perhaps it is because of this awareness that Father Bede recovered in India that he declared that “Creation spirituality is the spirituality of the future and his theology of the Cosmic Christ is the theology of the future” in his last visit to America before he died, when he and I dialogued together in my program at the Institute of Culture and Creation Spirituality at Oakland, California.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths, pp. 39f.
Father Bede Griffith words are from Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics: 365 Readings and Meditations, p. 252.
Banner image: “Spring Green Tree” Photographer unknown. From “Speak to the Trees – A Spiritual Perspective on Nature” by Jessie Klassen on WakeupWorld.com
Queries for Contemplation
Meditate on the psalmist’s words: “The Spirit of the Lord fills the whole universe.” Do you taste it? Feel it? What are the implications of that?
Do you sense how the universe is the primary sacrament? What flows from that?
Spirituality for a New Era – Audio Lectures with Bede Griffiths and Matthew Fox
Matthew Fox and Fr. Bede Griffiths each lecture for approximately 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes of dialogue. 91 minutes. 1990. You will receive a secure link to the file to download.
One River, Many Wells: Wisdom Springing from Global Faiths
Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.“Reading One River, Many Wells is like entering the rich silence of a masterfully directed retreat. As you read this text, you reflect, you pray, you embrace Divinity. Truly no words can fully express my respect and awe for this magnificent contribution to contemporary spirituality.” –Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit