We are examining the meaning of Christmas and of Advent in our time and from an adult perspective.
“This is the fullness of time, when the Son of God is begotten in you,” Eckhart teaches. “When the time was fulfilled, grace was born.” The end time, the Messianic time, is as near as our rebirth in God which Eckhart calls our breakthrough. “There the Father begets his only begotten Son in a present now, and the soul is born again in God.” We have “immediate knowledge of the eternal life” in this life, when a person “recovers the eternal being that he was, now is, and will eternally remain.”
Eckhart recognizes Mary, the mother of Jesus, as one who has shown all of us how to be mothers of God. She knew how to let go and let be and thereby give birth to the divine.
“What help is it to me that Mary is full of grace, if I am not also full of grace? And what help is it to me that the Father gives birth to his Son unless I too give birth to him? It is for this reason that God gives birth to his Son in a perfect soul and lies in the maternity bed so that he can give birth to him again in all his works.” All our works can birth divinity.
Divinity is born of our emptiness according to Eckhart: “I once had a dream. Even though I am a man, I dreamt I was pregnant. Pregnant with nothingness; and out of this nothingness God was born.” By our imitation of Mary, we ourselves become mothers of the child God in human history. When we are so fruitful, it is a sign of our being children of God ourselves. Mary shows all of us how we too can give birth to God.
“If you have sorrow in your heart, you are not yet a mother–you are still on the way to giving birth, you are near the time of birth.” The child is born when divine joy is born in you. And this takes determination on our part. For as “the Scriptures say, ‘the greatest gift is that we should be God’s children and that he should beget his Son in us.”
Once again, Christmas and advent are reminders of our birth and rebirth as the daughters and sons of the Divine. And our bringing the Divine into life and history through out work. It also calls on us to act like it—to imitate God and Christ who are about healing and justice-making and compassion.
“God does this: He begets his only begotten Son in the highest part of the soul. At the same time he begets his only begotten Son in me, I beget him again in the Father.”
The good news this week that scientists, by their dogged work, have given birth to two anti-coronavirus vaccines in record time is an excellent example of what Eckhart is talking about: it is birthing the healing Christ.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, pp.324-326, 331, 333, 337.
Can you see yourself as being like Mary, giving birth to Divinity in all its aspects?
Does this meaning of Christmas speak to you and to the work you feel called to do in your time on earth?
Meditations with Meister Eckhart: A Centering Book
A centering book by Matthew Fox. This book of simple but rich meditations exemplifies the deep yet playful creation-centered spirituality of Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart was a 13th-century Dominican preacher who was a mystic, prophet, feminist, activist, defender of the poor, and advocate of creation-centered spirituality, who was condemned shortly after he died.
“These quiet presentations of spirituality are remarkable for their immediacy and clarity.” –Publishers Weekly.