December 12, 2022. Merton on Repose, Silence, and Advent, continued.
Merton said that churches should provide places of silence and solitude. He said, Let there always be quiet, dark places in which people can take refuge. Places where they can kneel in silence. Merton also spoke of the precious silence of nighttime. He said, I live in the woods out of necessity. I get out of bed in the middle of the night because it is imperative that I hear the silence of the night alone, and, with my face on the floor, say psalms, alone, in the silence of the night.
December 13, 2022. Merton on Advent, Night and Repose as Feminine.
Merton talks about Hagia Sofia or Holy Wisdom. He says, Hagia Sofia is the dark, nameless Ousia [being] of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, the incomprehensible, ‘primordial’ darkness which is infinite light….Hence Sophia is the feminine, dark yielding, tender part of the power, justice, creative dynamism of the Father. Merton also talks about the tenderness of the night. The shadows fall. The stars appear. The birds begin to sleep. Night embraces the silent half of the earth. A vagrant and destitute wanderer with dusty feet, finds his way down a new road. A homeless God, lost in the night, without papers, without identification, without even a number, a frail expendable exile lies down in desolation under the sweet stars of the world and entrusts Himself to sleep.
December 14, 2022. Advent and the Coming of the Godhead.
In this meditation we explore the difference between God and the Godhead. Meister Eckhart says that God is masculine in both German and Latin, whereas Godhead is feminine. Meanwhile Matthew tells us that God is about action while the Godhead is about mystery. We are born from the Godhead and to her we return when we die. In between, we live in the world of God.
December 15, 2022. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Remembering Our Cosmic Mother.
This week we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe and we are gifted with a poem by Rafael Jesus Gonzales about Tonantzin. (Tonantzin is the sacred Aztec goddess who was once worshipped on the very hill from which Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in 1531.) The last stanza of the poem is: Blessed are you/ cradle of life, grave of death/ fount of delight, rock of pain./ Grant us, Mother, justice./ Grant us, Mother, peace.
December 16, 2022. Creativity and the Time of Advent, Hannukah and Christmas.
In this meditation we explore how the feminine is intricately connected to birth and therefore creation/creativity and Advent. As Carl Jung said, “Creativity comes from the land of the mothers.” Then we ask ourselves the question, “What are we giving birth to this season and in the coming year?” And finally we recognize that good things are happening in our world. There is hope.
December 17, 2022. With Pregnancy Comes the Wild: Clarissa Estes, Thomas Berry.
We delve into the power of Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book Women Who Run with the Wolves. Estes tells us that often pregnancy and nursing are doorways into wildness, but not in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life—one in which the criatura, creature, has innate integrity and healthy boundaries. Thomas Berry, meanwhile, tells us that “Wildness we might consider as the root of the authentic spontaneity of any being.” He tells us that wildness is “the wellspring of creativity.”
A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey
In A Way to God, Fox explores Merton’s pioneering work in interfaith, his essential teachings on mixing contemplation and action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox calls his Creation Spirituality journey.
“This wise and marvelous book will profoundly inspire all those who love Merton and want to know him more deeply.” — Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart
Matthew Fox’s comprehensive translation of Meister Eckhart’s sermons is a meeting of true prophets across centuries, resulting in a spirituality for the new millennium. The holiness of creation, the divine life in each person and the divine power of our creativity, our call to do justice and practice compassion–these are among Eckhart’s themes, brilliantly interpreted and explained for today’s reader.
“The most important book on mysticism in 500 years.” — Madonna Kolbenschlag, author of Kissing Sleeping Beauty Goodbye.