With the help of Howard Thurman and Thomas Aquinas, we are continuing our meditations on the events of January 6, as mirrored in the moving testimony of four police officers testifying to congress and the nation on Tuesday, July 27.
Let us remember that over 140 officers were wounded, one died, and among these officers were women as well as men. The Sacred Masculine is not restricted to men, just as the sacred feminine is not restricted to women.
The question of the healthy masculine is without doubt one of the most pressing questions of our time. We live at the tail end of a reptilian-brain-driven patriarchy with a philosophy of control and domination, distorting what masculinity really means. Hildegard of Bingen actually equates patriarchy and the reptilian brain to the devil himself in her paintings and commentary on them. It is the demonic element to empire building, war mongering, authoritarianism, fear and spreading of fear and, of course, falsehoods. That “Satan is the father of lies” is evident in today’s news in need to invent a new word, “misinformation.”
Yesterday we celebrated the four men, representing 140 other policemen and women who stood up to those who terrorized the capitol and congress and nation on January 6, at great personal cost to themselves both bodily and mentally.
In their brave response, we thank them for demonstrating, at long last, what authentic masculinity is all about. So much pseudo-masculinity fills the air these days (and air waves). We talked about the virtue of magnanimity elucidated so beautifully by Thomas Aquinas, who says that “magnanimity is the expansion of the soul to great things [that] strengthens a person to take on good tasks.” And that “courage strengthens a person against evil.”
Howard Thurman also addresses the sacred masculine and the policemen’s work on January 6 when he reminds us that a surrender to serve the common good carries one beyond our personal agendas to being prophets (he uses the word “martyr”) on behalf of social transformation. One’s generous response to one’s vocation (the Via Creativa leading to the Via Transformativa) leads to greatness or a “miracle” of courage:
The place where the imagination shows its greatest powers as the angelos, the messenger, of God is in the miracle which it creates when one man, standing in his place, is able, while remaining there, to put himself in another man’s place. To send his imagination forth to establish a beachhead in another man’s spirit, and from that vantage point so to blend with the other’s landscape that what he sees and feels is authentic—this is the great adventure in human relations.
Doesn’t this name what transpired on January 6 in the nation’s capitol?
Thurman is defining beautifully the truth of compassion. And here lies salvation, for
…to be to another human being what is needed at the time that the need is most urgent and most acutely felt, this is to participate in the precise act of redemption.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, “Howard Thurman: A Creation-Centered Mystic.” Creation Spirituality, March/April 1991, p. 9.
And from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas, pp. 153-156.
Also see Matthew Fox, Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen, plate 20, pp. 132-135.
Banner Image: Metropolitan Police attempt to hold back the insurrectionist mob, January 6, 2021. Photo by BlinkO’Fanaye on Flickr.
Do you recognize an “act of redemption” that brave policemen and women provided on the day of the capitol insurrection? Do you find their courage and magnanimity nurturing your own?
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times
A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book! Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit
Illuminations of Hildegard of Bingen
An introduction to the life and work of Hildegard of Bingen, Illuminations reveals the life and teachings of one of the greatest female artists and intellectuals of the Western Mystical Tradition. At the age of 42, she began to have visions; these were captured as 36 illuminations–24 of which are recorded in this book along with her commentaries on them.
“If one person deserves credit for the great Hildegard renaissance in our time, it is Matthew Fox.” – Dr Mary Ford-Grabowsky, author of Sacred Voices.
Join Matthew Fox for a thought-provoking 7-week course: Answer the Call for an Uncommon Life Through the Mystical Teachings of St. Hildegard, Tuesdays, 6/15 to 7/27. While the course is finished, recordings of past classes are available. Learn more HERE.
Join us for a Virtual Teach-in with Isa Gucciardi and Matthew Fox, hosted by Rev. Cameron Trimble.
August 13-14, 2021 (Fri-Sat)
Shamanism in Buddhism and Christianity
Session 1: Friday, August 13 at 4pm-6pm PT
Session 2: Saturday, August 14 at 9am-12pm PT
Session 3: Saturday, August 14 at 12:30pm-2:30pm PT