Hanukkah is often celebrated as a time of miracles for the story tells us that following the expulsion of an invading army from the Temple, oil that was enough for one day burned for eight days. Hanukkah, often called a “Festival of Lights,” honors that miracle.
The human species today is so threatened by human folly–whether it be wars, as in Ukraine, or destruction of the Earth from climate change, or chasing after conspiracy theories, or hating on people different from ourselves. We could surely use some “miracles” and arrival of Lights to ensure our survival and that of Holy Mother Earth.
We, too, need light that burns incessantly and does not go out. Maybe the light of the ancilla animae or spark of the soul that we all carry within us that needs constant tending. Or the light of tselem, the image of God in us all. Or the light of Christ. Or the light of the Buddha.
Or the light of creativity itself which includes our powers of music and art and dance and celebration and remembrance and solving problems by inventing solutions.
We have been talking of Advent and winter as the time of repose and the Divine Feminine and the Godhead. It is also the time of creativity, for the motherly side of us and of divinity is always creative.
Says Meister Eckhart, “What does God do all day? God lies on a maternity bed giving birth.” Divinity and maternity go together. As Carl Jung puts it, “creativity comes from the land of the mothers.”
What are we giving birth to this season? This end of year 2022? What are our birthing plans for 2023?
There is some good news in the news these days. There is the story of small homes for the homeless. And there is the story of advances in fusion which, if humanity found a way to implement such power in our daily lives, would mean clean and sustainable energy for all that would set back climate change forever.
Do not count humanity out quite yet. We are a resilient and amazingly creative species. Marvelously so, miraculously so (for a miracle is a marvel).
This is the truth that stories like Hanukkah and Christmas are telling us: A divine spark is in all humans and all communities and this spark can light bonfires of hope and of healing—
provided we make choices that are
compassionate and not destructive.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, pp. 102f.
And Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, pp. 189-199.
To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
What marvels or miracles or light-bringing surprises from the Holy Spirit are you eager for this season?
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