Week of 5/01–5/06/2023: Pleasure, Pleasure, Pleasure! Promoting Health & Wellness

May 1, 2023. Pleasure & Holiness, Continued
Matthew continues the theme he launched the earlier week, that contrasted the punitive, judgmental God of patriarchy, with a holier imaginative and prescient of Creation as God’s expression of Pleasure. Not simply life right here on Earth, however your entire universe with all its trillions of galaxies, are a celebration of Pleasure. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that we people are enjoined to really feel that Pleasure, and unfold it round, in companionship.

Mother and son at play. Photo by Saradhi Photography on Unsplash

May 2, 2023. Joy, Love, & Consciousness Among All Creatures
Thomas Aquinas tells us that “God is supremely joyful and therefore supremely conscious,” but what about when times get hard? Here is where effective ceremonies and rituals, performed in community, become necessary for our survival, as explained by African ritualist Malidoma Some. We can also learn from the joy of animals, because Thomas Merton says, “every non-two-legged creature is a saint.”

May 3, 2023. Julian of Norwich on Joy
“Holiness” may seem like a tall order for us mere humans, but Julian of Norwich — the first woman to author a book in English — shows us how joy is essential to practicing a holy life. Not only did she invent the English word “enjoy,” she found that joy while 14th-century Europe was deep in the throes of the bubonic plague. She was surrounded by death, but she found that joy is deeper than grief.

“Dance, then, wherever you may be, I am the Lord of the Dance said He…” Audio performance by Jo Olivia.

May 4, 2023. Julian of Norwich: The Fullness of Joy is our Birthright
Julian continues the theme of the Five Supreme Joys, by showing the Three Faces of Jesus, and concluding that he showed his “third face” — the face of joy — more frequently, and for longer, than his other two faces of suffering and compassion. She adapted Jesus’ teaching, to show how to stay in joy even through “the well and the woe.”

May 5, 2023. Sadness & Acedia: Julian, Hildegard, Aquinas on the Opposites of Joy
Matthew contrasts the previous teachings on Joy, with its opposite, a concept called “Acedia,” which encompasses sadness, depression, numbness, indifference, and a sense of helplessness to do anything about the evils in the world — all rolled into one. Joy is a medicine and an antidote to all of this. We are called to awaken our inner fire, so that we may live and work fully. Hildegard of Bingen, especially, invoked sacred vibrations in her musical compositions, to stoke this fire.

Isolating. Photo by Mike T. on Flickr.

May 6, 2023. Joy and the Cosmos: Brian Swimme’s Invitation to Cosmogenesis
To end the week’s meditations on Joy, Matthew vaults forward from the wisdom of our Medieval and Renaissance teachers, to the latest astonishing findings from the JWST. The images of our universe inspire awe and joy, cold-stopping acedia and all its debilitating effects. Matthew shares the excitement that pervades his friend Brian Swimme’s book, Cosmogenesis: An Unveiling of the Expanding Universe, and reflects upon Thomas Berry, who was a mentor to both Matthew and Brian.

Stunning images from the Webb telescope. V101 Space.

Banner image: The Tribu-Basakanon are a group of passionate devotees of the Santo Niño de Cebu, offering their dance of thanksgiving in the spirit of the Sinulog Festival in the Philippines. Photo by Jumelito Capilot. Wikimedia Commons

Recommended Reading

Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.
“What an utterly magnificent book. The work of Julian of Norwich, lovingly supported by the genius of Matthew Fox, is a roadmap into the heart of the eco-spiritual truth that all life breathes together.”  –Caroline Myss
Now also available as an audiobook HERE.

Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality

Matthew Fox renders Thomas Aquinas accessible by interviewing him and thus descholasticizing him.  He also translated many of his works such as Biblical commentaries never before in English (or Italian or German of French).  He  gives Aquinas a forum so that he can be heard in our own time. He presents Thomas Aquinas entirely in his own words, but in a form designed to allow late 20th-century minds and hearts to hear him in a fresh way. 
“The teaching of Aquinas comes through will a fullness and an insight that has never been present in English before and [with] a vital message for the world today.” ~ Fr. Bede Griffiths (Afterword).

Recommended Reading

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2 thoughts on “Week of 5/01–5/06/2023: Pleasure, Pleasure, Pleasure! Promoting Health & Wellness”

  1. Avatar

    I synchronistically left out an important presenter in my comment list yesterday of presenters at the recent, May 1-5, 2023, Online Global Event: “Cosmic Truth – Remembrance – Experiencing Our Galactic Self.” (thecosmictruth.com) :

    4) Rebecca Dawson, “The Masters Creators of the Cosmos,” (rebeccadawson.net). Her recent recommended book is titled “The Agreement” (2020). I have just started reading it. The back cover of the book gives a good introduction to Rebecca:

    “Rebecca Dawson is an international teacher and author who has been sharing channeled wisdom for over 25 years, delivering current leading edge information about humanity’s paradigm shift to multidimensional experience, the mechanics of reality, and the human blueprint. Together with aspects of Source known as ‘The Masters’, Rebecca offers knowledge and perspectives that usher humanity into a new era of consciousness.”

  2. Avatar

    Thank you for another week of inspiration, especially the “Lord of the Dance” and the Webb images. We need these reminders in such dark times.

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