Eckhart warns us about what kills our work—and what enlivens it– when he says:
In the just, nothing should work except God alone. For all works are surely dead if anything from the outside compels you to work. Even If God were to compel you to work from the outside, then such works would surely all be dead. If your works are to live, then God must move you inwardly, in that innermost part of the soul, if they are really to live. There is your life and there alone you live.
We come alive and render our work alive when we work from “the innermost part of the soul.” We co-create with God who is justice and compassion. Remember what we learned two DM’s past—that the soul is compassion; compassion happens and compassion fills us when we do our work of compassion and justice.
In doing so, we also make God rejoice. God rejoices… especially at every work of the just person, however small it is. Elsewhere Eckhart says that “God is the most just—justissimus.” Again “God is, as it were, justice itself.” Therefore to be in God is to be both in compassion and in justice. Indeed “compassion means justice.”
Because “God and justice are completely one,” Eckhart can say that whoever is in justice is in God and is God. So convinced is Eckhart that to be in justice is to be in God and to be in God is to be in justice that he can say elsewhere: “If God were not just, the just person could not consider God.” And again, “Since God is justice you must embrace justice as it is in itself, as it is in God.”
If the Word of God by nature is the “Son of Justice,” then we who are the adopted words—the bywords—and adopted sons of God must also be sons and daughters of justice by means of which justice declares and manifests itself. “The just person is the offspring and son of justice.”
When our work is without a why, it is a work of love, for love has no why. If I had a friend and loved him because good and all I wished came to me though him, I wouldn’t love my friend but myself. I ought to love my friend for his own goodness and for his own virtue and for everything he is in himself.
Just as we are to live without a why and be just without a why, so are we to work without a why. Such work is a work of love, for “Whoever is born of God as a son of God loves God for his sake, that is to say, he loves God for the sake of loving God and does all his work for the sake of working.”
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Passion For Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp. 467f.
Also see: Matthew Fox, A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice.
Banner Image: Young Adult eco-justice activists protesting on behalf of the planet. Photo by Callum Shaw on Unsplash.
Do you see yourself as an offspring and a son or daughter of Justice? Does that help name and energize your work in the world?
Did you realize you were “tickling God through and through” by your passion and work for justice? What follows from that?