Week of 1/30-2/03/2023: Heroes and Martyrs for Love and Justice

January 30, 2023. Happy (Belated) Feast Day to Thomas Aquinas!
In this DM, Matthew shares with us a poem, of sorts, created with the words of Thomas Aquinas. This poem, these words, were translated by Matthew from some of Aquinas’ major works. They include such gems as: The greatness of the human person consists in this: that we are capable of the universe. And Joy is the human’s noblest act. And The same Spirit who hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation hovers over the mind  of the artist at work. 

“Saint Thomas Aquinas, Protector of the University of Cusco.” Artist unknown. Wikimedia Commons.

January 31, 2023. The Tao of Fierce Wisdom by Thomas Aquinas, Part II.
Matthew shares the second half of a “poem” created by Matthew using Aquinas’s own words. Here are some excerpts: Every truth without exception— –and whoever may utter it— is from the Holy Spirit. And Compassion is the fire that Jesus came to set on the earth. And Conscience is more to be obeyed than authority imposed from the outside. And Angels carry thoughts from prophet to prophet. And It is impossible that anyone hide the words of God, when their heart is inflamed by love. Amen.

February 1, 2023. A Brief History of Love, Dedicated to Teilhard.
We continue the theme of love with a poem by the poet/activist Rafael Jesús González, who dedicates this work to Teilhard de Chardin. Some excerpts are as follows: …through eons & eons of Cosmic turmoil was born Earth who in union with the Sun through eons & eons of gestationgave birth to Life. Through more eons & eons of calamity, catastrophe & trial, Life grew sentient…. Awaking to what is, now we must defend the Earth from ourselves with a fierce love.

Indigenous Waorani, protesting ‘rushed’ hearing against the Ecuadoran government selling tribal land, shut down court with song. Photo by Sophie Pinchetti for Amazon Frontlines. Mongabay News.

February 2, 2023. Speaking of Love, a Word from Oscar Romero.
Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, now a saint, knew that his impassioned work on behalf of the poor was not endearing him to those in power. He knew that his life was in danger and he said thus: You can tell the people that if they proceed in killing me, that I forgive and bless those who do it. Hopefully, they will realize that they are wasting their time. A bishop will die, but the church of God, which is the people, will never perish. And: When the church hears the cry of the oppressed it cannot but denounce the social structures that give rise to and perpetuate the misery from which the cry arises. Shortly after this speech, he was gunned down while celebrating Mass.

February 3, 2023. Speaking of Love, continued: Sister Dorothy Stang.
Sister Dorothy Stang is yet another martyr for love and justice. Sister Dot was an alumna of our Institute in Culture and Creation Spirituality. She fought for justice for the peasant farmers of the Amazon and was therefore a target by those, like the Bolsanero regime of Brazil, who wanted to exploit the Amazon. Part of her heartbreaking testamony to the State Senate was: “Have you ever heard a monkey sobbing in pain as his trees are being burned?” In February of 2005, assassins intercepted her as she walked through the forest alone. She pulled out her Bible and began to read to them the Beatitudes. They gunned her down.

Sister Dorothy Stang, Memorial, photo by Roberto de Vasconcelos on WikiMedia Commons.

February 4, 2023. Words from Sister Dorothy and Those Who Knew Her.
Dorothy’s brother said the following about his sister: I miss this warrior very much! She felt and touched the divine in the poor, in the forest, in herself, and all around her. Meanwhile, Sister Dorothy said: We must help the people recapture a relationship with Mother Earth that is tender and kind. We must make great efforts to save our planet.  Earth is not able to provide anymore.  Her water and air are poisoned and her soul is dying of exaggerated use of chemicals. She was committed to the struggle for justice until her dying day.

Banner image: Love and Justice 4 All. Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.

Recommended Reading

Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth

Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.

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6 thoughts on “Week of 1/30-2/03/2023: Heroes and Martyrs for Love and Justice”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Today I want to comment on two points which are made in the poem Matthew shared with us on January 30 & 31st. This poem, of sorts, was created by Matthew with the words of Thomas Aquinas.
    First, “The same Spirit who hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation
    hovers over the mind of the artist at work.” I am an artist. I paint, I have written over twenty books, and I’m a singer-songwriter and have written over a hundred songs. And I have been doing these things from a young age. But now that I am approaching my seventieth year, without having achieved either fame or fortune, I still feel that the same Spirit “who hovered over the waters” has hovered over me as my Muse.
    Second, “Every truth without exception—–and whoever may utter it—is from the Holy Spirit.
    Revelation has been made to many pagans.
    The old pagan virtues were from God.” These words were so redemptive to me when I first came upon Matthew just before he was silenced. He was the only Christian voice who included “Neopagans” such as Wiccans and those you followed the Goddess, in what he named, “Deep Ecumenism.” I say “he named” it because, up to that time ecumenism was seen as only for Christians in terms of their interdenominational relations. And Matthew didn’t just talk it, he practiced it when he had Starhawk work with him at Holy Names College. If you would like to see Matthew speaking about these things, he is included in the film: “Women and Spirituality: The Goddess Trilogy” by Donna Read. If you watch it you’ll see Matthew, the Feminist theologian!

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    The indwelling presence and essence of the Holy Spirit is deeply ecumenical, for She embodies and reveals the truth, the spiritual reality; of the goodness, beauty, creativity, imagination, and transformation, of the unfolding, evolving and continuously emerging mysterious power of the unconditional love, compassion and mercy of the Great Mystery, the Great Spirit, the God/Goddess… who constantly and continously gives birth to all that exists in life, in both the natural and spiritual realm… whom will never be bound as a possession… to any one religion or spiritual path… but rather freely flows like “One River into Many Wells”, as Mathew has written of, taught and lived… along with others.

    Some within the family of humanity are beginning to see this, if only dimly as if looking through a darkened glass, stained by centuries of smokey illusions and delusions that tempt to seperate ALL that which is joined as “Oned With”, which can never be torn asunder.

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    God is indeed gender neutral and can be both masculine and feminine but beyond gender. I feel drawn to the creation spirituality of Fr. Matthew as I was born in India and now am retired in Costa Rica where nature is lush with the tropical reminder of God’s generosity, grandeur, and greatness. I lived in Oakland, CA, for some time (where Holy Names College is located), substitute taught at St. Elizabeth’s High School in Oakland, and did a MA in Theology from the University of San Francisco (2000). I am also drawn to the awareness spirituality of the Jesuit Tony de Mello who challenges us like Fr. Matthew and Teilhard to look beyond the beauty of creation to the divine spark in all of the cosmos.

  4. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Jeanette, Today you write that the Great Mystery, the Great Spirit, the God/Goddess “will never be bound as a possession… to any one religion or spiritual path… but rather freely flows like ‘One River into Many Wells,’ as Mathew has written of, taught and lived… along with others.” Then you conclude with: “Some within the family of humanity are beginning to see this, if only dimly as if looking through a darkened glass, stained by centuries of smokey illusions and delusions that tempt to separate ALL that which is joined as ‘Oned With,’ which can never be torn asunder.” Thank you for sharing these words of hope. Hans Kung once wrote that “Peace among the religions is the prerequisite for peace among the nations.” So, in this sense, “Deep Ecumenism” is one of our only hopes…

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    God bless All our sisters and brothers in Christ, past and present, in this earthly space and time dimension, and in All dimensions on our eternal loving spiritual journeys with one another in our co-Creation~Evolution, in our beautiful Sacred Mother Nature/Earth, and within our mysterious sacred multidimensional-multiverse Cosmos with other spiritual beings in God’s Loving Diverse Oneness….

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