Surrendering to the “Glory of Existence”– Celtic Spirituality, II

Celebrating the Celtic poetry and teachings regarding the sacredness of nature and the cosmos on St. Patrick’s day yesterday, I was driven today to return to my book Original Blessing to seek out more wisdom from Celtic and other poets that are gathered there.  A cornucopia of riches followed and I share some of them here.

Glorious Ireland: “Looking out over the Glens of Antrim from Fair Head” Photo by K Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Dylan Thomas:
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower drives my green age
The force that drives the water through the rocks drives my red blood.

Gerard Manley Hopkins:
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies as couple-colour as brindled cows;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim

Chief Seattle:
The earth does not belong to people; people belong to the earth….This earth is precious to the Creator and to harm the earth is to heap contempt upon its Creator…Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red people.  We are part of the earth and it is part of us.

Cows of Ireland. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

Teilhard de Chardin: 
Humanity has reached the biological point where it must either lose all belief in the universe or quite resolutely worship it.  This is where we must look for the origin of the present crisis in morality….Henceforth the world will only kneel before the organic center of its evolution.

Thomas Berry: 
This new language is primarily the language of the earth, a language of living relationships that extend throughout the universe.

“Earth’s greenings” in Skye, UK. Photo by Robert Lukeman on Unsplash

Hildegard of Bingen:
Glance at the sun.  See the moon and the stars. Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings. Now, think. What delight God gives to human kind with all these things….

Albert Einstein:
“The most important function of art and science is to awaken the cosmic religious feeling and keep it alive.” 

Simone Weil: “One should identify with the Universe itself.”

Biblical scholar Gerhard Von Rad: 
Creation not only exists, it also discharges truth….Wisdom requires a surrender, verging on the mystical, of  a person to the glory of existence.

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pp. 35, 42, 58, 68, 66.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: The Glory of Ireland (Glendalough Upper lake, Wicklow, Ireland) Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

Which of these meditations speaks most deeply to you at this time?  Why do you think that is?  Do you surrender regularly to “the glory of existence?”  Is that your prayer?

Recommended Reading

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox lays out a whole new direction for Christianity—a direction that is in fact very ancient and very grounded in Jewish thinking (the fact that Jesus was a Jew is often neglected by Christian theology): the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality, the Vias Positiva, Negativa, Creativa and Transformativa in an extended and deeply developed way.
Original Blessing makes available to the Christian world and to the human community a radical cure for all dark and derogatory views of the natural world wherever these may have originated.” –Thomas Berry, author, The Dream of the Earth; The Great Work; co-author, The Universe Story

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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10 thoughts on “Surrendering to the “Glory of Existence”– Celtic Spirituality, II”

  1. Avatar

    Worth a look is the beautiful poem, “ I see His blood upon the rose”, by Irish poet, Joseph Plunkett, poet, patriot assassinated during the Easter Rising 1916.

  2. Avatar
    Jeanette Metler

    It is this meditation that speaks most deeply to me… “Creation not only exists, it also discharges truth… (a mystic surrenders to this reality and therefore partakes of the wisdom being offered.)” I offer a story that speaks to this.

    The other day I saw a fox, seeking for something hidden deeply beneath the snow. She sat still, deeply listening, then slowly began to walk with her head up, as if intuitively sensing something through her paws. She repeated these movements circling an area… sitting still, deeply listening, slowly walking, intuitively sensing that which she was seeking, that which was hidden beneath the layers. Then suddenly she pounced with her paws and dove into the snow with her head, grabbing hold of and bringing to the surface that which she had found… there hidden in the depths… that provision offered her, that sustained her… a mole.

    I meditated upon this blessed encounter for quite sometime… as many truths and words of wisdom mystically arose to the surface of my conscious awareness. Through this experience with this fox, I was being offered a valuable teaching about the souls journey. Can you hear it too and surrender to trusting in the truth, the wisdom being offered… through this mystical experience… this sacred encounter with Creation?

    1. Avatar

      The four paths of creation spirituality is the way to pursue the study of Life’s relationship with living and lifeless matter, in the Tree of Life. The sin of the world is the consciousness of lifeless hydrogen, in its self importance and power over all matter. Death and destruction is the wealth it obtained by killing Life, in the big bang and the injustice of only one blue planet. We all participate in the systemic, global injustice, as the sin of the world. The Tree of Life is the via positive. The via negative is the injustice that is with us. The via Creative is the many global movements of people and all living species to creatively enter the via transformative. our daily living of our interdependence, of suffering and joy of death, without which, we could not, enjoy living. Life never dies, it needs lifeless matter transformed as interdependent with Life, like H2O and lifeless soil that never dies, to keep the Life, in living things, alive.

  3. Avatar

    I now begin prayerfully in awe and love for my body, mind, heart, and soul. Trace it back to the fluids and foods that have been provided for me the few weeks. Choose a favorite beverage, plant, a creature of the sea, and a creature of earth that have contributed to me living past my 40 days. Okay, I choose orange juice, raspberries, shrimp, and milk. Now what contributed to their lives, then those lives, then those lives, all the way back to an element of the sun. I suppose I and all the others have been cared for and loved. Each of all these is creation. They remind me of my creator’s love for all these.

  4. Avatar

    Most mystics, like the ones quoted in today’s DM, emphasize the ‘Glory, Compassion, Wisdom, Peace, Beauty, Joy… of Existence/the Universe’ being found/experienced within our hearts~eternal souls, and among us in our ongoing co-Creation~Incarnation~Evolution of the Cosmos in the Sacrament of the Present Moment of God’s Spirit of Loving Diverse Oneness….

  5. Avatar

    I so appreciate the DM. Since early December 2022 I’ve been going through a series of sorrows, illnesses, disappointments, and assaults of spirit; but the DM is an anchor and brings my thoughts out of myself and my thoughts to many things (as the Walrus said). When I’m able, I can go out in the back yard and look at the mountains; when I’m unable to get out there, I can close my eyes and walk on the beach of my childhood, hear the surf and the gulls, smell the salt, feel the spray, . . .
    And lose myself in the Creation in either place.

    1. Avatar

      Nature soothes and brings peace to me also. Like you, if I cannot be outside, memory of ranging in the woods, lying down in the midst of wild strawberries and raspberries with the warm sun and prickly straw around, and walking into the ocean that was so cold that it felt almost hot on my legs, and other beautiful memories with their sights and sounds and smells nourish and sustain me. (my legs stopped working at age 12 from polio). I am a panentheist through and through. God is in everything. I am glad that you can also lose yourself in Creation and find some solace from the griefs and losses you have suffered.

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