Eckhart talks about joy and justice frequently. First, we render Divinity joyful by our work for justice. When our “work is done through justice and results in justice, God will rejoice at it. Indeed, God will rejoice through and through, for nothing remains in the divine ground which does not tickle God through and through out of joy.” We tickle God by our works of justice-making and healing of self and others.
This is important and practical news in a time of patriarchal pessimism and raucous resentments filling the air waves with bile and hostility. It reinforces the importance of our work for healing and balance-making and truth-telling and reminds us of how joy flows through all good work.
Through our work we bring joy into the world, we bring Christ or Buddha or Love or the Image of God into our world. When we birth Christ, we birth joy. When we birth ourselves as other Christs, we birth joy.
There is some joy today in the streets because a 79-year-old woman had the courage and steadfastness to go to court because a man in a very powerful position had sexually abused her several decades ago and denied it and defamed her for daring to speak her truth. The jury of six men and three women believed her and not him and he was convicted and ordered to pay a $5 million fine. This result will hopefully give encouragement to other women in similar circumstances to be truth tellers as well.
Joy and courage and fortitude are considered among the “gifts or fruits of the spirit” and as Aquinas says, the fruits are fruits of our work. E. Jean Carroll certainly worked hard and steadfastly to tell her truth.
Meister Eckhart tells us that the way to God is a blessing, not a burden when he says “the path is beautiful and pleasant and joyful and familiar.” Joy is to be found in both our inner work and outer work and we are invited to bring our inner work to the outer work while deriving joy from both. It is all a fruit of the Spirit. And, whatever other burdens we carry, the Spirit is present in our work.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times, p. 225.
And Fox, Passion for Creation: The Earth-Honoring Spirituality of Meister Eckhart, p. 165.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Composite of the six images tracing the growth of personified Justice, from being guided as a small child by “Conscience” and followed by “Joy,” to receiving the palm of victory from “Virtue” and passing the scales over to “Concord.” St Georges Hall, Liverpool. Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you find joy in your work? And others’ work such as that of E. Jean Carroll? Do you recognize a presence of Spirit in such work, yours and hers?