Aquinas on Resurrecting in this Lifetime, continued

I speak in my book, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, of the need to fall in love at least three times per day.  Of course such falling in love is not an anthropocentric falling in love—it is falling in love with creation itself and its many expressions of beauty, of the Divine.  Why not fall in love with galaxies and supernovas, sun and moon, wild flowers and elephants, trees and soil, rivers, oceans and lakes as well as music and poetry, pottery and films, dance, engineering feats and the rest? 

Love for a new day. Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash.

When we fall in love with life we live this life fully both as mystics and as prophets.  Then we are awake and risen and have undergone our first Resurrection.  Upon dying, the second resurrection takes care of itself. 

Aquinas believes that Christ explicitly calls us to both the first and second resurrection:

Our Lord promises both resurrections, for he says: ‘Amen, Amen, I say to you that the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live.’  And this seems to pertain to the spiritual resurrection of souls….But later, it is the bodily resurrection he expresses, saying: ‘The hour is coming when all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God’ (John 5:25, 28). For, clearly souls are not in the graves, but bodies.  Therefore, this foretells the bodily resurrection. 

Nor is resurrection restricted to believers, but a “new creation “and a “common resurrection” happens to all and has already begun. 

“Rising above the Norm” Photo by Harnoor dhaliwal on Unsplash.

On that day on which the resurrection took place a kind of new creation, as it were, began.  As the psalmist says (104:30) ‘Send forth your Spirit, and they will be created, and you will renew the face of the earth.’  And as Galatians puts it (6:15): ‘In Christ Jesus neither does circumcision nor uncircumcision have any value, but a new creation does.’….The life of the risen Christ is spread to all humanity in common resurrection.  Christ’s resurrection is the cause of newness of life which comes through grace or justice. 

As humans awaken a new creation emerges. 

This is the teaching from Bruce Chilton as well—that history cannot tell us about resurrection as such, but history can tells us about the effect that people transformed by resurrection experiences have brought to history.  Consider the prophets we admire such as Dr. MLK, jr; or Dorothy Stang; or Thomas Merton; or Dorothy Day; or Howard Thurman; or John Lewis: They underwent deep awakenings and as a result society itself was awakened and transformed.  That is resurrection at work.  We find such examples in all cultures and all traditions.  Or, as Aquinas put it, “Every truth without exception—and whoever may utter it—is from the Holy Spirit.”  And, “the old pagan virtues were from God.”  And, “Revelation has been made to any pagans.”  And all cultures have their prophets.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 168-170. 

And Matthew Fox, Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality, p. 31. 

And Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, p. 19.

Banner Image: Falling in love with the setting sun. Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash.

What effects of resurrection experiences do you note in history?  In your own personal history?

Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox renders Thomas Aquinas accessible by interviewing him and thus descholasticizing him.  He also translated many of his works such as Biblical commentaries never before in English (or Italian or German of French).  He  gives Aquinas a forum so that he can be heard in our own time. He presents Thomas Aquinas entirely in his own words, but in a form designed to allow late 20th-century minds and hearts to hear him in a fresh way. 
“The teaching of Aquinas comes through will a fullness and an insight that has never been present in English before and [with] a vital message for the world today.” ~ Fr. Bede Griffiths (Afterword).
Foreword by Rupert Sheldrake

Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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9 thoughts on “Aquinas on Resurrecting in this Lifetime, continued”

  1. Avatar

    Dear Matthew, beautiful tally of awesome. Thankyou for including engineering. My late husband, Phil, an awesome M.E. designer, was in awe of bridge builders. He would gaze at a huge bridge and ask “how did they (the builders) dare do that!” It was the daring and ingenuity that he respected and it was lovely to see.
    Thanks always, Margaret

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Yes Margaret, engineering must be included. And bless your husband for all he was to you and to the world !!!

  2. Avatar

    I figure that every time I come back to the present moment I’m resurrecting; as is the case of being aware that I’m not the thought or the feeling, but the awareness that is seeing; reminding myself daily of Christ’s great love and and forever presence in my life, as well as loving myself and enjoying life no matter what happens, is also feeling resurrected; and reveling in the beauty all around me in nature and the people I meet and animals I love is living and loving in a resurrected life.
    I’d never thought of this before . . . so I thank you for giving me this “present!” Namaste!

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Vivian, you are so welcome for “receiving” this present moment–for each time you come back to it you are resurrected !!!

  3. Avatar

    Greetings! I never met Matthew but my wife, Mary Ann Hurtubise, typed the manuscript of “Magical Mystical Bear” for him when we were both undergraduates at Loyola University in Chicago. I have read “Original Blessing” and I appreciate the difference between Creation Spirituality and Fall/Redemption Spirituality but I am left with a question that I cannot answer : If I reject Fall/Redemption Spirituality and embrace Creation Spirituality, how am I to make sense of the crucifixion? Any light you can shed will be appreciated. Thank you very much.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jonathan, we are glad to hear from you! And “Hi” to your wife, and much thanks for her typing up the manuscript for MAGICAL MYSTICAL BEAR! As to your question concerning Fall/Redemption theology and the crucifixion… The best answer I can give you is t o point you in the direction of Matthew’s book, THE COMING OF THE COSMIC CHRIST. In this book he begins by telling of his “Big Dream.” Then he shares the different things that have been crucified in our time, such as: Mother Earth, The Mystical Brain, Creativity, Wisdom, the Youth, Native Peoples, Mother church, Mother Love/Compassion, and Our Mother is Dying, but Not Dead. In other words, Matthew feels there are a lot of things that have been crucified in our time, with the crucifixion being one of the most blatant acts of cruelty…

  4. Avatar

    Dear Richard,
    Thank you for your speedy reply. I have ordered my copy of the Cosmic Christ, but I am not optimistic that it will answer my question. Youth, Native Peoples, Mother Earth, etc. are all very valuable but they are finite and temporal and none of them are as worthy as the son of God.
    Yours truly,
    Jon Venn

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jonathan, because we are “originally blessed” rather than stained with “original sin” we ARE worthy to be sons and daughters of God. Good luck on your search for answers You might also look up the Daily Meditation for April 2nd which is titled, “Crucifixion and the Cosmic Christ.”

  5. Avatar
    Ruth (Granner) Storer

    Dear Matthew, You taught at Barat college while I was there and there I picked up some crumbs which I believe were left for me to follow. How grateful I am at age 83 to have found a way to hear your voice again. I am married to a Native American and have discovered how very much I have to learn from him and his people.I also found your wonderful books on Aquinas and Eckhart. I Admire your very creative work, joined with a blessed community. I first found the love of God, for which I prayed as a teenager, In an AA group. Then with a South Indian friend in some years in India. I moved to the Southwest and was introduced Richard Rohr and, when reading his book, Things Hidden, I was astonished to see that of all the books he mentioned having read, I had read at least 75% of them! I knew then (real my heart)God’s hand had been on me my whole life. Thank you for your scholaly work, and especially for the Creation spirituality you connect us to. I am in heaven on our land as I reacquaint myself with every living thing here. I also saw Jesus in Ilia Delio at a Conspire Conference in Albuquerque. I love to read the physics which describes the energy relationships of all that exists and know the Source.

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