We speak of nature and cosmos and all within them as “words of God,” Logos or “other Christs.”  This is the consciousness of creation spirituality. 

Whale biologist Nan Hauser dedicated her life to protecting whales…and was saved from a tiger shark by a humpback whale. Video by Did You Know Animals.

Meister Eckhart says simply, “every creature is a word of God and a book about God.”  Thus to study creatures is to study God and interact with divinity.  Surely this is where human awe derives from, being struck by something so much bigger than ourselves, something sacred therefore, which is nature with all its elements and all its beings and birthings, humanity included.  Any part of it can strike us with awe.  And reverence.  And gratitude.

There is nothing neutral about nature or the cosmos.  Yes, we have to have a certain amount of objectivity if we are putting nature’s pieces under a microscope or measuring distances of stars and supernovas and the rest, that effort at objectivity is what feeds scientific explorations after all. 

“Dome of Creation” in the Basilica di San Marco, Venice. Photo by Slices of Light on Flickr.

But objectivity is not the bottom line, it is far from the whole story.  This is why Genesis one, which is after all, a creation story entirely about cosmology and how certain people of old told the story of creation to their children, is not just about facts.  It is about wonder and the goodness that creation bathes in. 

The term “God saw that it was good” is repeated all along the way as each story relates the unfolding of new dimensions to creation beginning with “the waters and dry land, the “earth” and the “seas.”  This goodness extends to “vegetation, seed-bearing plants, and fruit trees bearing fruit with the seed inside.”  And the “two great lights, “one to govern the day, the smaller light to govern the night and the stars.”  And the waters “teeming with living creatures” and “birds flying within the vault of heaven,” and the great creatures of the sea.  And the earth that produced “every kind of living creature—cattle, reptiles and wild beasts.” 

Mother Earth – Beautiful Nature Around The World. Video by PRIMAL EARTH SOUNDS.

And, after humans came along, “God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.” (1: 31)  All the parts are good, but the whole is very good.

Creation does not just exist.  It teems with goodness in all its corners and places.  It evokes awe and wonder and gratitude therefore.  And joy.  For love and joy are our response to goodness and beauty.

This is what not only the first chapter of the Bible tells us, the J source.  It is also what the mystics are singing about.  It is Julian of Norwich saying:

“God is “unending goodness” and an “endless goodness.”

Ancient trees tower over an ocean inlet in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Photo by Brad Ralph on Unsplash

“God is the same thing as nature” and God is “the very essence of nature.”

“The goodness in nature is God.”

“The first good thing is the goodness of nature.”

We are all born into a “birthright of never-ending joy.”

All we encounter in creation is “everything that God loves” also.

“To behold God in all things is to live in complete joy.”

A “reverent awe is the proper response to the supreme beauty of the divine.”

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, p. 101. 

And Matthew Fox, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, pp. 12-14.

Banner Image: Herd of elephants on the African savannah. Photo by Will Shirley on Unsplash

Have you tasted the “goodness” and “very goodness” of creation?  Has religion assisted that experience for you?  Or been an obstacle along the way?

Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.
“What an utterly magnificent book. The work of Julian of Norwich, lovingly supported by the genius of Matthew Fox, is a roadmap into the heart of the eco-spiritual truth that all life breathes together.”  –Caroline Myss
Now also available as an audiobook HERE.

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.  

Upcoming Events

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4 thoughts on “Goodness, Love, Joy, from God and Nature”

  1. Avatar

    How fitting that today’s meditation should be named: Goodness, Love, Joy from God and Nature, this being the anniversary of the death of Thomas Berry, June 1, 2009.
    As we well know, Thomas Berry for a great admirer of Matthew and his work. A quote from Thomas Berry: “Matthew Fox might well be the most creative, the most comprehensive, surely the most challenging religious-spiritual teacher in America. He has the scholarship, the imagination, the courage, the writing skill to fulfill this role at a time when the more official Christian theological traditions are having difficulty in establishing any vital contact with either the spiritual possibilities of the present or with their own most creative spiritual traditions of the past….he has, it seems, created a new mythic context for leading us out of our contemporary religious and spiritual confusion into a new clarity of mind and peace of soul, by affirming rather than abandoning any of our traditional beliefs.”
    St. Thomas Berry, pray for us.

  2. Avatar

    Thank you, Joan, for reminding us (and me) of this special occasion of the passing of this great eco-prophet and mystic in our midst, Thomas Berry, on this day, June 1. And for observing the fitness of today’s DM to his message. I love the man and his message and it rings so true and so important as the years go on and the time for Earth’s recovery ticks away.

  3. Avatar

    Today’s DM is the most awe-filled meditation I’ve experienced in a long, long time!
    Thank you Matthew FOX

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