Week of 12/12-12/17: Advent, Repose, the Divine Feminine, Wildness and Creativity

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.

“Solitude, Ranca Upas, Indonesia.” Photo by kilarov zaneit on Unsplash

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.

“Homeless Christ” Icon by Kelly Latimore, Commissioned by Alex Spenik. Used with permission.

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.

Tonantzin, the Aztec goddess called “divine mother” who is associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe. Painting by James Roderick. Used with permission of artist.

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.”

Banner image: New birth, new hope. Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash.

Recommended Reading

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.  

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4 thoughts on “Week of 12/12-12/17: Advent, Repose, the Divine Feminine, Wildness and Creativity”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    December 15, 2022. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Remembering Our Cosmic Mother.
    This week we celebrated 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.) And so, poet Rafael Jesús González offered a poem fitting for that occasion that Matthew was happy to share. He says, “It, too, speaks of the goddess and cosmic mother, the Mother of us all.” Rafael writes this poem to the brave woman who consented to be the Mother of God in Mexico and; Central America associated with Mother Earth, Tonantzin, originally an Aztec Goddess but now is regarded as the Virgin Mary. He writes in part:
    Mother of all
    that of you lives,
    be, dwells, inhabits, is;
    Mother of all the gods
    the goddesses
    Mother of us all…
    Grant us, mother, justice.
    Grant us, mother, peace.
    Rafael’s poem awakes in me a need for the Divine Mother as a balance to the Father God. I have read this in a number of the comments over the past two days. And don’t you think that, that is the reason that the Church had the need to exalt Mary–to balance their whole patriarchal God and its all male priesthood? Matthew ask us: “What prayer or poem do you want to address to the Cosmic Mother at this time in human history and Gaia’s history?” I’ve already done it, in that I have written a book titled, “THE WAY OF THE EARTH”–written with the thought, “What if when the Christ came, she was a woman, and how would that change the way she went about her ministry and how would that influence her teachings?”

  2. Avatar

    I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to Mathew, the DM team and those whom added to this in their comments, throughout this week’s DM’s. This week’s messages have been profoundly beautiful, powerfully transformative as well as creatively inspirational. I am grateful for the many blessings I receive, in being apart of this spiritual community, as well as for the opportunities to share and give of myself, hopefully being a blessing to others as well.

    Participating in this sacred space that the DM’s provide, while also being able to engage with my fellow sisters and brothers means alot to me… as I have often felt lonely on my spiritual journey… being the wild mystical woman that I am, whom lives in the mysterious enchantments of the northern Canadain forest, wandering amongst the lands of many lakes. Once again, thank you my beloved friends… blessings upon you all!

  3. Avatar

    I love the concept of wildness simply to mean being in one’s natural state with inner integrity and healthy boundaries, and this is not confined to any gender, although it first refers to the feminine. Thank you for providing such a rich bounty of words and images.

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