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?
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.
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.
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.