Winter Festivals, Virtue & the Sacred Masculine’s Return

I am struck by how values lie at the heart of the Kwanzaa celebration and all the December festivals and how they are named as community values. 

What are the values we want our society to demonstrate? Image by Matteo Paganelli on Unsplash

We put values into practice by way of virtues.  No society can survive without virtues. 

Virtues like truth-telling vs lying for example.  We witnessed on January 6, 2020, the power of lies to create outrage, havoc, mayhem, insurrection and death.  When lies get into the bloodstream of a people the result is on-going anger and violence—including the violence of passing laws that subvert the voting rights of people, especially minorities, and threaten to burn American democracy to the ground. 

Now we witness laws being enacted that turn vote counting over to sectarian legislators and vote counters who are no longer neutral.  A revelation emerges of the core values of legislators who stand by while these laws are enacted.

The background for our DMs this month has been the issue of the distorted masculine, since we seem to be living in a time of a culmination of patriarchal “values” and priorities where the reptilian brain reigns unabated.

A primary school in Pahang, Malaysia, reminds its students of desireable virtues on its playground fence. Photo by williamnyk on Flickr.

How address that?  With the healthy masculine — virtues.  Virtues reveal an inner strength that can be awakened in women as well as men. 

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word “virtue”, which comes from the word vir for man, is akin to “strength, manliness, moral excellence, conformity to a standard of right, morality, merit, valor, virility.”  To be virtueless is to be “devoid of excellence or worth, lacking in moral goodness.”

The ugly side of Patriarchy is coming to a head in our time.  Ecocide, Matricide, and the denial of climate change causing the killing of Mother Earth stares us in the face as does our own extinction along with that of many other species.  And, of course, the future of our children’s children.

Many are the in-denial politicians hungry for power but not for truth.

How precious is the need for a return of the sacred and sane and healthy masculine, that of values and virtues that secure them, to be found in both women and men.

See Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas, pp. 97-131, 153-158;

Also see Fox, Hildegard of Bingen: A Saint for Our Times, pp. 81-132.

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

Banner Image: The Four Cardinal Virtues: Justice, Temperance (by Domenico Gagini), Fortitude and Prudence – Detail of the triumphal arch of Alphonse of Aragon of Castel Nuovo in Naples – Architect Pietro di Martino (?-Naples 1473) – Years: 1453-1471. Photo by Carlo Raso on Flickr; Public domain.

Queries for Contemplation

What does it mean to you to learn from Webster’s Dictionary that virtue is manliness, valor, virility, etc?  Are we cultivating such inner strength in our schools both for children but also our professional schools for adults including politicians and bankers, media workers, business and decision makers?

Recommended Reading

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

Hildegard of Bingen, A Saint for Our Times: Unleashing Her Power in the 21st Century

Matthew Fox writes in Hildegard of Bingen about this amazing woman and what we can learn from her.
In an era when women were marginalized, Hildegard was an outspoken, controversial figure. Yet so visionary was her insight that she was sought out by kings, popes, abbots, and bishops for advice.
“This book gives strong, sterling, and unvarnished evidence that everything – everything – we ourselves become will affect what women after us may also become….This is a truly marvelous, useful, profound, and creative book.” ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

2 thoughts on “Winter Festivals, Virtue & the Sacred Masculine’s Return”

  1. Avatar

    Two lines from scripture arise, as I ponder today’s DM. The first words are, “Not by power, nor by might, but by the Spirit.” Secondly, “The Spirit shall teach you all things, regarding manifesting the Christ within.”

    The first words, speak to me of surrendering in trust, to the leadings, promptings, comfort, consolation and wisdom counsel offered; through the intimacey of a personal relationship of friendship and continuous companionship with the indwelling presence and essence of the Holy Spirit, regarding everything that we experience and encounter in our life journey, both interiorly and externally.

    The second words, speak to me of not only the value of this, but more importantly the necessity of this benevolent source, that willingly and freely offers to teach each one of us all, the virtues of our true divine nature, already seeded and sealed within the heart, mind and soul of our humanity.

    Through this Sacred union and communion, we learn to listen and respond, to nurture, to tend to, to cultivate, to give substance and form to the virtues of all that is inherently good… healing and manifesting the harmonious unity of our divine nature within our humanity. Although there be weeds… vices, there is also wheat… virtues, growing within the inner garden of our beingness. The key is to be able to discern the difference between the two, accepting that both are present, and yet becoming consciously aware of which one you choose to focus on and be attentive to.

    These are the courageous choices of the wounded healer and the spiritual warrior, whom know the importance and value of being honest, open and vulnerable; allowing one’s inner garden, one’s heart, mind and soul to be exposed to the presence and essence of the Holy Spirit of the Master Gardner and Her enfolding process of becoming Oned With… the inward journey of BEING LOVED TO LOVE, just as you are, a mix of weeds and wheat.

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: