We are meditating on Teresa of Avila and Jesus and other mystics speaking out about truth. And speaking truth to power in a time when falsehoods are everywhere in the culture and being heavily financed by very powerful forces in our society.
Another truth-teller who has much to tell us today is the late Sister Dorothy Stang, born and raised in a large family in Ohio and a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
Two weeks ago there was a commemorative ceremony of the 18th anniversary of her martyrdom. Yes, she died a martyr in the Amazon having worked there for over forty years helping peasant farmers and their families to create schools and eke out a living while defending the rainforest against powerful forces wanting to tear it down.*
I was invited to be part of that event since I knew Sister Dorothy from her having studied in my ICCS program at Holy Names College before she returned to the Amazon. I share my talk (each speaker was limited to six minutes) with you here and in the two DM’s that follow:
A number of years ago I received this important dream: “There is only one thing wrong with the human species today.” Really? The rise of fascism? Destruction of the Rainforest and disappearance of millions of species? The killings of indigenous peoples and peasant farmers and those who defend the rainforest such as Chico Mendez and Sr. Dorothy Stang? Omnipresent greed, hatred, racism and economic injustice? And there is only one thing wrong with us?
The dream said “Only one thing.” I am all ears. We all should be. What is that “one thing”?
Said the dream: “You have forgotten the sense of the Sacred.”
We have forgotten the sense of the sacred. That is the one thing wrong with us today. Get the sense of the sacred back and we are on our way.
The message of the dream is echoed by eco prophet Thomas Berry when he teaches, “It has been said, ‘We will not save what we do not love.’ It is also true that we will neither love nor save what we do not experience as sacred….Eventually, only our sense of the sacred will save us.” To be continued.
*See Roseanne Murphy, Martyr of the Amazon: The Life of Sister Dorothy Stang. Sister Roseanne was one of the speakers at the event and was a member of Sister Dorothy’s community.
See Matthew Fox, Confessions: The Making of a Post-denominational Priest, pp. 341-343, 433, 448.
And Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Sister Dorothy Stang, Memorial, photo by Roberto de Vasconcelos on WikiMedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
What does Dorothy Stang’s martyrdom mean to you? What does her standing up to powerful powers of our day mean to you and your life, work and spiritual development?
Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (Revised/Updated Edition)
Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography, Confessions, reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in church, society and the environment.
“The unfolding story of this irrepressible spiritual revolutionary enlivens the mind and emboldens the heart — must reading for anyone interested in courage, creativity, and the future of religion.”
—Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self
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.