Putin’s Hyper-Masculinity, the Irish Fishing Fleet & St. Brigid

I wrote this DM two days ago and now it seems the Irish fishermen won. I am sharing it as I wrote it then since the story is still the same: David and Goliath; courage and spiritual warriorhood; healthy vs. unhealthy masculine; St. Brigid’s feast day.

Yesterday we meditated on Joy as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh and Thomas Aquinas.  One reason we are held back from the joy of life is a patriarchal prejudice in favor of pessimism and cynicism that derives from power-over/power-under dynamics.  Vengeance, hatred, anger that morphs into violence, can dominate if we let it.  It begins in the human heart and culminates in war and a compulsion to dominate.

Russia To Face Pressure At UN Meeting, But Putin Shows No Signs Of Backing Down. Video by NBC News, Today.

In the past few days we learned of a pope who lied about moving pedophile priests from parish to parish as a bishop; of a gang rape of a woman in India who was afterward paraded around the city of New Delhi; of an authoritarian leader in Russia surrounding a sovereign country with 135,000 troops threatening to make war on it.  Plenty of news of the unholy and toxic masculine on the march.

But we have also learned of the passing of a truly holy man, Thich Naht Hanh, a man of deep virtue, who, as Thomas Aquinas teaches, is greater than a miracle and whose truths he taught were “revelations” of truth we call God.  A man committed to the best in humanity, our capacity for truth and for healing and being healed and for compassion.  For living out the Buddha and/or the Christ within us.

The Russian military, which had announced naval drills off the coast of Ireland, agreed to move them further away after fishermen vowed to disrupt them. Report from CNN.

And today a fleet of Irish fishermen are heading out to fish in the sea where Putin’s hyper-masculinity wants to do war games instead.  These fishermen and spiritual warriors, speaking straightly and directly, dare to take on the forces of Putin’s imperial navy with no weapons other than their courage and commitment to continue their vocations to fish for the sake of their families’ survival. 

In doing so, they are creating a story being seen and heard around the world of David vs. Goliath in our times, of the power of good hearts vs. the power of bad hearts.

It is no coincidence that the Irish fishermen are embarking on their dangerous and brave act on the day of St. Brigid, a champion of the Divine Feminine, of the Healthy Masculine, of the alterative to patriarchal empires and the threats and fear and lies that sustain them.*

*John Philip Newell, Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul: Celtic Wisdom for Reawakening to What Our Souls Know and Healing the World, pp. 45-70.

See Matthew Fox, The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.

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

Banner Image: “Brigid’s Well.” Mariners are just one of the groups under St. Brigid’s protection. Photo by Annie Gormlie on Flickr.

Queries for Contemplation

What are you learning from the on-going story of the Irish fishermen setting out to fish and daring to interfere with Putin’s distorted masculine expressed in bullying of smaller countries?

The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine

To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature,  to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God

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8 thoughts on “Putin’s Hyper-Masculinity, the Irish Fishing Fleet & St. Brigid”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, You ask us the question today, “What are you learning from the on-going story of the Irish fishermen setting out to fish and daring to interfere with Putin’s distorted masculine expressed in bullying of smaller countries? You voiced, what immediately came to mind for me: A modern day David and Goliath. But what also comes to me is, “right over might,” “the meek shall inherit the earth,” and “blessed are the peacemakers.” All those saying may sound trite, but their truth still holds true–and thank you for teaching us truth!

  2. Avatar

    What I see, is the essence and presence of the Spirit of Saint Brigid, in the hearts, minds and souls of the Irish people. This is a beautiful reflection of the truth within the words, as Richard has also mentioned within his comment, that being… “Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit.”

    I add to this comment the Prayer of Saint Brigid.

    You were a woman of peace.
    You brought harmony, where there was conflict.
    You brought light to the darkness.
    You brought hope to the downcast.
    May the mantle of your peace,
    cover those whom are troubled and anxious.
    May peace be firmly rooted,
    in our hearts and in our world.
    Inspire us to act justly, and to
    reverence all God has made.
    Brigid, you were a voice,
    for the wounded and weary.
    Strengthen what is weak within us.
    Calm us into a quietness,
    that heals and listens.
    May we grow each day into greater
    wholeness in mind, heart and soul.
    May we kindle the Divine fire,
    of the light of Love,
    in ourselves and each other.


  3. Avatar

    Thank you, so very much Mathew, for leading me to Phillip Newells book,
    SACRED EARTH, SACRED SOUL. I’ve just begun reading it, discovering things I wasn’t aware of, regarding the hidden and denounced evolutionary history within the Christian faith. Like Phillip says, our souls recognize a truth we’ve always known, that we’ve always been searching to find and reconnect with… within ourselves, others and the all and the everything of creation.

    Yet, at the same time, there is a deep sense of sadness and dare I say anger, about the injustices, the many ways in which the church has attempted to deface and defigure the beauty, goodness, wisdom and light of these eternal truths… which has resulted in deep soul wounding of so many throughout the generations. This book, is a healing balm for the souls of those many, of which I am one.

    1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
      Richard Reich-Kuykendall

      AMEN! Jeanette, You are right, Phillip Newell’s book, SACRED EARTH, SACRED SOUL is a healing balm for our souls…

  4. Avatar

    Quiet acts of moral courage rarely receive attention, but each one is a triumph of the human soul over the sickness of cruelty and power. Heroes pop up in our backyard, disguised as ordinary people.

  5. Avatar

    Here is another good interview on “The Davos Man” this is a good piece for the Divine Masculine vis-à-vis elitism which is much more hidden issue than Trump and Putin.

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