Thomas Aquinas teaches that there are two resurrections: The first is waking up in this lifetime; If we do this, the second will take care of itself.
His brother Meister Eckhart speaks in a similar fashion. Citing the risen Christ in John’s Gospel who said to Mary Magdalene: “Do not touch me. I have not yet gone to my father!” Eckhart concludes that Christ has not yet gone to the father because “he had never left the Father! He meant ‘I have not yet truly arisen in you.’”
Christ is meant to “truly arise in us.” Is Easter meant to be about our resurrections?
Paul talks about his “resurrection” or deep transformation experience, and says “it is not I who live, but Christ who lives within me.”
Eckhart invokes Paul (Col 3:1) who says, “If you are then raised up with Christ, then seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right of his Father and do not savour the things that are on earth.” For “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” We undergo both Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
What are the “things above” that we should seek after? Eckhart tells us: St Paul says: ‘Seek those things that are above.’ But where and in what way? King David says: ‘Seek the face of God” (Ps 105.4).
St. Paul tells us to be “raised up with Christ.” What does “raised up with Christ” mean? For Eckhart and Aquinas, it is living a virtuous life. Eckhart: Some are half raised up: they practice one virtue but not another …Though a person may incline to the practice of one virtue rather than the others, yet they are all interconnected. Some people are fully raised up, but are not raised up with Christ.
We find some people who rise with Christ for good and all; but we must be very wise who experience a true resurrection with Christ.
In Matthew’s Resurrection story, the two women encounter an angel, who said to the women: ‘Whom do you seek? If you seek Jesus who was crucified, he is not here.’” (Mt 28: 1ff) Says Eckhart: For God is nowhere….God is not here or there, not in time or place.
Furthermore, “One who is fully risen with Christ is known by his seeking for God above time.…Not only above time, but hidden in God.” There is a hiddenness, a mystery, in our interactions with the Divine, “all the future and the past are there in one Now. That we may attain to this Now, so help us God.”
Adapted from Matthew Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 167-172.
And from M. O’C Walshe, transl, Meister Eckhart: Sermons & Treatises, Vol I (London: Watkins, 1979), pp. 251, 247f.
See also: Resurrection: Conversations with Matthew Fox and Bruce Chilton, An Easter Program with Matthew Fox and Bruce Chilton
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Is it your experience that Christ has “truly arisen in you”? What signs are there of that?
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