October 3-8: Honoring Animals and Creating an Order of the Sacred Earth

Each Sunday, we are offering a brief summary of the meditations from the previous week, as a kind of “index” inviting you to return to a previous meditation which may call to you.

One of the white lions of South Africa, considered extremely sacred. Find out more HERE. Photo by Arleen wiese on Unsplash.

October 3, 2022. Animals as Spiritual Teachers in Christianity. In this meditation we explore Jesus’ relationship with animals plus quotations about animals from the mystics, Hildegard of Bingen and Meister Eckhart. Eckhart says that “every creature is a word of God and a book about God.”

October 4, 2022. Spiritual Lessons Animals Teach Us. This day marks the feast day of St. Francis, and many churches around the world offer a special blessing of the animals on this day. Matthew Fox describes one memorable time at St. John’s Episcipal Cathedral in New York. Also, Matthew begins to delineate some of the ways that animals are teachers for us.

October 6, 2022. Spiritual Lessons from Animals, continued. In this meditation, we look at a few more spiritual principals that animals embody for us so beautifully. And Hildegard of Bingen reminds us that “there is no being that lacks an interior life.” 

Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Listug, and Matthew Fox, co-authors of Order of the Sacred Earth.

October 7, 2022. Why an Order of the Sacred Earth? In this inspiring meditation, Matthew Fox shares the powerful impetus behind the creation of the book Order of the Sacred Earth, which he co-authored with two young leaders and activists, Jennifer Berit Listug and Skylar Wilson.

October 8, 2022. Cosmologist Brian Swimme on the Order of the Sacred Earth. Brian Swimme, when asked his thoughts about Order of the Sacred Earth, tells us that hydrogen atoms attain, essentially, superpowers when they are within the community of a star. He says that an individual atom then becomes “a gateway” to something much bigger.

Banner Image: What better way to represent animals and a sacred Earth? “Peaceable Kingdom.” Painting by Edward Hicks – National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., online collection, Public Domain.

Recommended Reading

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

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2 thoughts on “October 3-8: Honoring Animals and Creating an Order of the Sacred Earth”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, I wanted to comment on the DM for October 4, the feast day for St. Francis of Assisi. You mentioned a number of lessons that animals can teach us and the ones that were most important to me were in the lesson for this day. First, Ecstasy without guilt. Animals can truly let go and let be and even celebrate without guilt feelings. Indeed, they instruct us in realizing that intensity of living is more important than duration. Play is is another thing you mention, and that play is an adult thing to do that needs no justification. And finally you say animals are experts at the non-verbal—their language is mime, tone of voice and dance–like a dog expressing its joy by wagging its tail, or a bird by singing its song.” I have learned from the animals to experience ecstasy without guilt, but not to play without guilt. I had a strong work ethic drummed into me growing up, which made me feel guilty when I wasn’t working–I guess I was focusing on the ants. And I am a reader of body language and speech because I have to read lips to aid me in my hearing. Being a singer-songwriter; after years of performing–my ears have suffered.

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