Filling Up Like Camels with Good News from the Mystics

Yesterday we promised to take a short respite from our meditations on the dark side including the toxic masculine and the rise of authoritarianism that so dominate the news. 

Camels at an oasis, Thar Desert, Rajasthan, India. Photo by Michael Day on Wikimedia Commons.

Time to emerge from Oscar the Grouch’s garbage can for a short while to find the better news that mystics speak of.   They offer a kind of oasis or watering hole for our souls along the journey where we can pause like camels and fill our souls with the Via Positiva for the journey ahead.

Dorothy Day assures us that We are not expecting utopia here on this earth. But God meant things to be much easier than we have made them. A man has a natural right to food, clothing and shelter. A certain amount of goods is necessary to lead a good life. A family needs work as well as bread….We must keep repeating these things.

Sea-Watch Captain Carola Rackete rescued 53 Syrian refugees in the Mediterranean, and was subsequently arrested upon docking after a two-week standoff with Italian police. Photo by Paul Lovis Wagner / on Wikimedia Commons

Eternal life begins now, “all the way to heaven is heaven, because He said, ‘I am the Way.’” The Cross is there of course, but “in the Cross is joy of spirit.” And love makes all things easy.

Love is indeed a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, of each of us, but it is the only answer. . . . To the saints everyone is child and lover. Everyone is Christ.

Dorothy Day is speaking in paradox, as mystics must. She says, “love makes all things easy,” and then she warns us that love is “a harsh and dreadful thing.” Is it both? Apparently so. Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardinale tells us that

“How beautiful is life” – Thomas Merton. Baby foal cavorting with its mother, learning to run. Video from California Outdoor Aventures.

Nature is religious in its very essence. The star-studded firmament, for example, is one great supplication. The spirit of every landscape is a spirit of prayer, and so is the deep silence of solitary places.  The crickets and the stars speak to us of God.

The entire cosmos aspires to a union with that God from whom it has gone forth. . . . . The law of love is the supreme physical and biological law of the universe and also the one and only moral law (“I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you”).

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics, pp. 304, 334.

To read the transcript for Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner Image: Grasses and trees surround a remote lake. Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Day says that we are all lovers and all other Christs. What follows from that awareness?  Cardinale assures that the crickets and stars speak of God and there is only one moral law in the universe—that of love.  Do you agree?

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10 thoughts on “Filling Up Like Camels with Good News from the Mystics”

  1. Avatar

    It has been spoken, through many spiritual paths, that when one loses sight of the beauty, goodness and joy that is present in its presence, amidst all that attempts to polarize this, you then become unconscious, falling asleep to the reality of what just is. It is unrealistic and naive to expect utopia, as Dorothy Day has stated.

    As humans we have a tendency to want to attach ourselves to those things we label as positive and also to reject or deny that which we label as negative, or vice versa. We struggle to accept that both are apart of the reality of what just is, within the human experience of life. We often fail to see both the via positiva and the via negativa as being joined together at the fulcrum point of the human heart, which is directly grounded and yet also elevated in a Divine Love which is large enough to creatively transform all that appears as paradoxal. The life-long journey is really about learning to feel all of this, openly and vulnerably, without attachments, nor denial, nor rejection… from the fulcrum point of the heart of Divine Uncoditional Love, with compassion and understanding towards the reality of all that just is.

    As Dorothy Day has spoken, “Love makes all things easier, and yet, love is also a harsh and dreadfull thing.” Another way of saying this is every rose has its thorns, or if you haven’t experienced pain, you haven’t really loved… for both the via negativa and the via positiva are apart of the beauty and mystery of the vulcrum point of the human heart that is creatively transformed by both. If you take a moment to meditate and contemplate on the image of the San Damiano Cross, you’ll see what I mean in my comment.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Jeanette, I guess the key is balance. To be whole we need to walk along all four paths–not just the via positiva and the via negativa, and I was saying yesterday in a comment that what many feel is the via negativa for some is the via transformativa for others. I believe that Matthew, being a “mystic-prophet” says and does things that to some would see as via negativa, but in reality they were via transformativa in that he was saying what he was saying to help transform the way society looks at issues as well as what they do about them…

  2. Avatar

    Today’s DM, from Henri Nouwen seems fitting to add as a comment to Mathew Fox’s DM for today.

    “Joys are hidden in sorrows. We, as humans keep forgetting this truth, and we often become overwhelmed by our own darkness. We easily lose sight of our joys and speak of our sorrows, as the only reality there is. We need to remind each other that the cup of sorrow is also the cup of joy; that precisely what causes us sadness can become the ground for gladness. Indeed, we need to be (Saints or Bodhisattvas in the making) there for each other, to give each other strength and consolation. Because only when we fully realize that the cup of life is not only a cup of sorrow, but also a cup of joy, will we be able to drink deeply and fully from this cup.”

  3. Avatar

    A month ago I adopted a dog from a shelter. She had been found as a stray and was very fearful, having been through some kind of trauma. I’ll never know the mystery of her past but she is starting to come out of her shell now. I know of nothing more wonderful than loving and caring for somebody and seeing them blossom in the warmth of it. If I imagine that we would take care of Mother Earth with such a deep feeling of love, I think humanity as a whole would feel much more joy and satisfaction. We seem to always forget that the power of love is not in receiving it but in giving it.

  4. Avatar

    My son wrote a song a couple of decades ago that included these lyrics which may be relevant:

    The rose and the weed just
    won’t get along
    seems to me they sing a
    different song
    One will die and the
    Other will live but they
    both have a gift for us
    to give….

    His tune wasn’t a dirge – it was zesty and flowing….

  5. Avatar

    For me, the Spirit of the Divine Feminine is Loving, Compassionate, Mysterious, Beautiful.
    Joyful, Creative, Loving Oneness, and so much more…. We’re transformed by Her In our diversity….

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      Damian, A number of years ago when I met with a Goddess group–mostly women but myself and two other men–we use to sing of the Goddess: “Give me that ole’ time religion, given me that ole’ time religion, give me that ole’ time religion cause’ its good enough for me”–and by this we meant the Goddess religion! I have no problem in seeing the Divine Feminine in God, nor in personifying God as female. Eckhart even says, “From all eternity God lies on a maternity bed giving birth. The essence of God is birthing.”

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