Justice and holiness go together. How could it be otherwise, since Justice is a well-recognized name for God or Divinity.
“God is as it were Justice itself” and “God and justice are completely one” declares Meister Eckhart. Furthermore, “compassion means justice,” and compassion is the secret name for God according to the Jewish and Biblical tradition. Jesus: “Be you compassionate as your Creator is heaven is compassionate.”
The prophets of Israel made clear that compassion, love, and justice are interchangeable. Latin American theologian Jose Miranda says that the biggest mistake in Christianity has been to attempt to separate justice from love. That opens the door to sentimentalism which invariably becomes a front for violence. Including institutional violence.
“Compassion is where peace and justice kiss,” declares Meister Eckhart. The teaching that “God is Justice” is found in Thomas Aquinas and Julian of Norwich. Says Eckhart, “For the just person as such to act justly is to live; indeed, justice is her life, her being alive, her being insofar as she is just.”
When we speak of justice, we are speaking of eco-justice, which lies at the very heart of whether our species and millions of other species far older than ours—elephants for example—will survive. And whether Earth as we know her, so beautiful and amazing, will survive.
We are speaking of gender justice. The rights of women are under attack today, by blind forces that think it is their right to control women’s bodies.
We are speaking of economic and social and racial justice, which so often come wrapped together in the United States. Here, from 1619 onwards, our country welcomed slave ship after slave ship after slave ship to its lands, to bolster its economic prosperity. What’s there not to like about free labor? (Unless one believes that all people are born equal and all are equally beloved and beautiful and worthy in the eyes of the Creator.)
The constitution counted black people as 3/5 of a human being. A civil war was fought to break that burden. Three constitutional amendments followed but they were thwarted through 150 years of Jim Crow, KKK, etc. It took a mass civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s, and the death of many spiritual warriors, to rectify such advances.
And now, new Supreme Court decisions based on the spurious notion of “color-blindness.” Would it were true. History says otherwise. To be continued.
Adapted from Matthew Fox, Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God…Including the Unnameable God, p. 50.
See also Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic…and Beyond, p. 103.
And Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 109-112.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE
Banner Image: An unknown artist’s impression the Lady Justice statue on London’s Old Bailey. Wikimedia Commons.
Queries for Contemplation
What does it mean in the practical realm to say that “God is Justice” and “God and Justice are completely one”? How translate that to courts and education and to the law and to politics and those who make laws?
The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine
To awaken what Fox calls “the sacred masculine,” he unearths ten metaphors, or archetypes, ranging from the Green Man, an ancient pagan symbol of our fundamental relationship with nature, to the Spiritual Warrior….These timeless archetypes can inspire men to pursue their higher calling to connect to their deepest selves and to reinvent the world.
“Every man on this planet should read this book — not to mention every woman who wants to understand the struggles, often unconscious, that shape the men they know.” — Rabbi Michael Lerner, author of The Left Hand of God
Naming the Unnameable: 89 Wonderful and Useful Names for God …Including the Unnameable God
Too often, notions of God have been used as a means to control and to promote a narrow worldview. In Naming the Unnameable, renowned theologian and author Matthew Fox ignites our imaginations by offering a colorful range of Divine Names gathered from scientists and poets and mystics past and present, inviting us to always begin where true spirituality begins: from experience.
“This book is timely, important and admirably brief; it is also open ended—there are always more names to come, and none can exhaust God’s nature.” -Rupert Sheldrake, PhD, author of Science Set Free and The Presence of the Past
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.
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times
A stunning spiritual handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of Aquinas’ mystical/prophetic genius, offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
Foreword by Ilia Delio.
“What a wonderful book! Only Matt Fox could bring to life the wisdom and brilliance of Aquinas with so much creativity. The Tao of Thomas Aquinas is a masterpiece.”
–Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit