I shared in a recent DM how writing my book The Pope’s War forced me to study Opus Dei and other extreme right organizations that invaded the Roman Catholic Church during the 34 years of the papacies of JPII and Benedict XVI and are still with us.
I found myself suffocating from spending so much time living with shadow that I had to put my manuscript down half-way through writing it. I told a friend I felt like Oscar the Grouch who lived in a garbage can on Sesame Street.
Putting the project down, I found refuge in writing a book on Christian Mystics which so filled me with joy that I was eventually able to return to the darker project and finish it after all.
So I want to pause for a moment as we necessarily meditate on the realities of our time such as three Supreme Court judges appointed to their positions by a president (and Senate leader) who explicitly said they were appointing them because they would end Roe vs Wade—and come up for air and light and wonders.
After all, this is the season of both Hanukkah and Advent/Christmas, and there is plenty of air, light and marvels (otherwise known as “miracles”) to ponder and celebrate at this time of the year.
I believe we all need to become camel-like in such dark times as we currently find ourselves in. A camel has a big hump to fill up with water before entering on a long journey into the desert. The via negativa can be a long and parched journey for our souls and prophets/spiritual warriors must make those unpleasant journeys more often than we would like. It is important we prepare ourselves well.
That means that we become camels, storing up our experiences of the Via Positiva—that wonder, awe, joy and beauty, that is ours to imbibe still on this stunning, unique planet we call our home.
The Via Positiva can serve as an oasis in a human desert of folly.
See Matthew Fox, The Pope’s War;
and Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics;
also Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 201f.
To read the transcript of Matthew F?ox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner image: Crossing the desert in shadow. Photo by Jakub Jacobsky on Unsplash
Queries for Contemplation
Are you a good camel? Or at least getting better at being a camel, buttressing yourself for journeys through the desert of the Via Negativa? Do you also find that the mystics bring joy to your soul when it is parched by bad news?
The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved
The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.” — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II