We are meditating on the “12 days of Christmas” and moving from the “Old Normal” to a “New Normal.” Today, at the half-way mark of the 12 days of Christmas, there cometh the leaving of the year 2020 and the arrival of the year 2021. Might 2021 usher in a New Normal? One can hope and pray and work for that.
The past year has been a challenging one. Even before coronavirus struck, there was anguish about climate change and the future of Mother Earth and her inhabitants for those who were not in denial about a world larger than just the human world. One hopes that in 2021 we will move beyond our narcissism as a species and learn to re-connect to our common home–to nature. To earth. To creation. To the holiness of it all. To sacred creation.
One hopes that we, in the the New Year, will grasp that the suffering and losses of 2020 might be a portal : to use Indian author Arundhati Roy’s apt phrasing, a portal to a worldview that is more inclusive and expansive. One that puts the sacredness of creation and the earth to the forefront. If humans do not do this, there will be countless more viruses to match this one in all its woundings and losses.
Roy names how this virus has changed so much: “Who can think of kissing a stranger, jumping on to a bus or sending their child to school without feeling real fear?” Surely it is a time for learning and relearning not to take for granted. A very mystical lesson to have learned and coming at a very high price—in America alone a price thus far of over 340,000 deaths.
The year 2020 drew off the mask around America’s unjust health care system, exposing like never before its inequalities among classes and races. Will politicians continue their evil denials of the need for health care for all Americans? (All who have bodies anyway.)
A person with a body needs or will need health care all life long. Is that a radical statement? Why do members of congress get first class health care paid for by me and you yet shout and make political noise about “socialized medicine” when it is proposed that all citizens deserve to have health care? Let’s just say that citizens (with a body) need health care. It is part of being a human being. Maybe acknowledging that fact and doing something about it might be part of a New Normal in 2021.
Roy also names the impact of the virus on our economic system, pointing out that it struck hardest “In the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism” to a shrieking halt. She wonders whether we might, during the pause, “examine its parts, make an assessment and decide whether we want to help fix it, or look for a better engine.” Might a New Normal create a more just economic engine in 2021? Just asking. And hoping.
See Arundhati Roy: “The Pandemic is a portal.” See https://www.ft.com/content/10d8f5e8-74eb-11ea-95fe-fcd274e920ca
See Matthew Fox, “Warriors for Ecological and Economic Justice,” in Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Spiritual Warrior for Our Times, pp. 221-250.
Banner Image: Stepping into the New Year 2021. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
What New Normals are you working and praying for in 2021? And what Old Normals of 2020 are you ready to leave behind?
Blessed New Year to all!
Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time
While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward
A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality & The Transformation of Christianity
A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.
“This is a deep and forceful book….With prophetic insight, Matthew Fox reveals what has corrupted religion in the West and the therapy for its healing.” ~Bruce Chilton, author of Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography