To me, one of the greatest gifts from science in our time is its bestowing us with the news of the universe and its 13.8 billion year journey.  It is so important to highlight our journey as a species arriving so late on the scene but so amazingly equipped to love the universe, to undergo awe in its presence, to learn about it, and to share what we learn.

“Webb: Revealing the First Galaxies” James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)

Of course these same powers of our species can also be put to evil use: To think only of ourselves, to rape and exploit the Earth and other species (recent studies suggest that thousands of fish species will go extinct in this century as humans continue to warm the planet and to fish excessively). 

Still, the universe is astonishing.  Our Earth is astonishing.  And our existence is astonishing.  As Rabbi Heschel put it:

The world is too incredible, too meaningful for us.  The existence of the world is the most unlikely, the most unbelievable fact.  Even our ability for surprise is beyond expectation…. Who could believe it?  Who could conceive it? …The existence of the universe is contrary to all reasonable expectations. 

The Webb Telescope is part of that learning and sharing as is so much of recent science’s discoveries of the sacred journey our Earth has taken.  All of it can—and must—feed our powers of praise. 

A video meditation on The Great Work by Thomas Berry. Bruce Weaver

The implications of the teaching from Thomas Berry that “ecology is functional cosmology” are staggering.  Thomas Berry, like his mentors Thomas Aquinas and Teilhard de Chardin, is a cosmic mystic and prophet who urges us not to get stuck in our grief but to enter a “Great Work” of saving the Earth from ourselves. 

Julian of Norwich was no starry-eyed optimist—after all, she lived through the worst pandemic in European recorded history, one that was so severe that Thomas Berry says it killed creation spirituality and the trust in nature’s holiness that was so ancient a trust.  

Yet Julian was a champion of praise and nature. “God is the goodness in nature,” she declared.  And she knew about awe and the Via Positiva and the energy it bestows on us all when she wrote: “Charged with the quality of reverence and loving awe, we turn ourselves with all our might toward the actions” to which we are guided.”  

One such action is to save Mother Earth.  From ourselves.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A  Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, p. 20. 
And Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond, p. 102.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner image: Photo by Aldebaran S on Unsplash.

Queries for Contemplation

Are you “charged by the quality of reverence and loving awe to turn to action to which you are guided?”  Are we?  How is it going?

Recommended Reading

Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time

While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward

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

14 thoughts on “Praising the Earth, Father Sky and the Cosmos”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you quote Rabbi Heschel as saying: “The world is too incredible, too meaningful for us. The existence of the world is the most unlikely, the most unbelievable fact. Even our ability for surprise is beyond expectation…. Who could believe it? Who could conceive it? …The existence of the universe is contrary to all reasonable expectations.” Then you mention the Webb Telescope, and what it is showing us about the universe, and then, Thomas Berry, who writes that “ecology is functional cosmology.” You also mention Teilhard and Aquinas. As in your book on Julian of Norwich, you point out that though she lived through the worst pandemic ever recorded in European history, yet Julian was a champion of praise and nature. “God is the goodness in nature.” And yes, I’m “charged by the quality of reverence and loving awe to turn to action to which I am guided?” “How is it going?” I’d need more space. Lol

  2. Avatar

    Gaia’s immune ecologies (households) are feminine, our protection, our mother’s womb. Auto-immune disorders, in our vital organ “dis-eases”. 3 out of 4 of us will develop cancer. Breast cancer in women,(the source of first nourishment) has increased tremendously. Our patriarchal societies (Out of control Yang (action) mirrors the absences of the feminine Yin ( silent reflection before and after every action) The pendulum has been extreme for too long. Quiet center again. Equanimity of the feminine, particularly in we males, are all the same need to change our attitude/actions towards Mother Earth, her immune systems within our bodies, women’s bodies, Is it any wonder now that Covid, Monkey Pox, immune system dis-eases, so many feminine avidya (spiritual ignorance) imbalances, now, are mirroring/manifesting in the mutations of the 60 trillion cells that make up our bodies, every body, everywhere in all of Mother Gaia’s living bodies, plants, microbes, bacteria included???

  3. Avatar

    As I marvel at the potentiality and the sheer awesomeness of new discoveries, I wonder too what it is within this body, this mind, this soul that draws me deeper to connection through expansion and extension? Expansion and contraction. Is there such a thing as an end, or is an end nothing but a new beginning? I expand by plunging ever deeper and excavating who I am as an individual…and finding there is layer beyond layer to unpeel. Mirror work… from the macro to the micro…and vice versa. Thank you for today’s contemplation.

  4. Avatar

    Renee Descartes had it backwards, as does all human thought, perception, and consciousness which hasn’t expanded (transformed) into cosmic consciousness. Devoid of cosmic or Christ-consciousness, the philosopher put “De Carte” before “de horse,” or thinking before being. Putting de carte where it belongs, after de cosmic horse, he otherwise would have said, “I AM, therefore I think” – see, feel, choose, create, act, etc. Only in cosmic consciousness does the drop return to the ocean, the spark the flame, or the soul to the Spirit that forms it. Only then can one see things as God sees them, as they are, with an eye toward embracing rather than controlling them, asking how they might school or change us. Unseen truth, perception and thought have no obligation to conform themselves to us, but we must conform to them. All other considerations, like changing things, pivot on cosmic consciousness (right being/seeing) and are therefore secondary.

  5. Avatar

    I saw something important within the query itself, regarding action to take in response to the spark of reverence, awe and loving… that being the word “guidance.” We must listen deeply for this guidance, as to that which is being revealed, which is unique for each one of us to act upon. In our passionate desire, we often feel compelled to do something big, rather than be accepting and responsive to small things that matter in our guided response. Perhaps an appropriate response of guidance is to act within your immediate circle of influence… for example, with your grandchildren; mentoring them in creative and playful ways in which they learn to awaken within themselves their connection to Mother Earth, Father Sky and the Cosmos, through not only engaging with their senses, but their intuition and creative imagination as well. You just might be surprised what they can teach you about all of this!

  6. Avatar

    Thank you for helping to moderate the readers’ comments by limiting the comments to 200 words on the day’s meditation. I enjoy reading a well thought-out, conscience piece.
    I would like to suggest that responses from readers be limited to one response per person per day.
    Joan Doyle

      1. Phila Hoopes

        Dear Joan and Sue,

        Thank you for this suggestion…that was our intent in placing a limitation on the length of comments, to give equal airtime to all. We have now set a limit on the number of comments to one per person per day.

        That said, we are also developing other ways for our readers to build this evolving community and connect and communicate in deeper ways. Watch for an announcement, coming soon!

        Phila Hoopes
        Blog Coordinator

  7. Avatar

    The reality which is hard to admit for most people to realize (and therefore different levels of denial) is that our global industrial civilization, our sustainable earth environment, most species, and possibly our own, are predicted by realistic experts and scientists to be be imminently coming to an end in the next 10~20yrs (if not sooner). I am still in shock and grieving myself, but here is some of that evidence summarized by environmental experts and researchers:
    1) Robert Hunziker, environmental journalist, (see his summary of world research in Conversations, post
    2) Michael Dowd, “Ten Inevitibles: Post Doom, No Gloom)” (under tab of Resources in
    3) Documentary “Planet of the Humans”, 2020 (available on YouTube and Prime Video).
    Our daily contemplative/meditative faith and prayers with-in our selves, others, and Mother Nature will become increasingly essential to maintain our human dignity, and compassion….
    Blessings ?❤️??

  8. Avatar

    Not only reverence for the things seen, heard, used, etc, but also for the gift of senses that enable the experiences: sight, hearing, etc. So much we take for granted, participating in the beauty of glorious sights, majestic sounds, joyful movement. But those abilities are not universal and are often impermanent. I, like most people, took those things for granted until I lost most of my hearing due to an autoimmune disease. It is a devastating loss. So now I tell people to take time to sometimes fully immerse themselves in music (and similarly other casually taken for granted senses), to go deep into the experience,, to grab hold of every moment of it with total gratitude, because that hearing and that music are BOTH the amazing gifts of the human body and soul. We must also give thanks for all the amazing abilities we CAN do. With gratitude, we must try to bring our whole self into these moments, as often as possible.

    1. Avatar

      Dear Melinda ,
      For every sense limited or taken,a gift in other modalities develops. Beethoven was going deaf and composed music after his complete hearing loss. He said “Music is the mediator between the Spiritual and the senses.” Thank you for reminding us of being grateful for all matters!!!

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: