Week of 9/11-16/2023: Divinization, Creativity, Inner Nobility & a New Masculinity

September 11, 2023: Divinization and Creativity
We are so near Divinity. Even our breath–inspiration–is from the root “spirit.” According to Aquinas, the Holy Spirit, the same spirit that “hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation,” hovers over us when we create and give birth. Matthew reminds us that “It is a habit of the universe to be birthing all the time, so as we tune in to the cosmos within and among us, we necessarily become more attuned to our own birthing vocation.”

The Descent of the Holy Spirit. Stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany in St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Irvington, NY. Photo by Robert Fertitta. Wikimedia Commons.

September 12, 2023: Celebrating Our—and the Universe’s—Powers of Creativity
If God is Creator and he made us in his image, then we are also creators. This is one of Dorothy Day’s teachings. Meanwhile, Dag Hammarskjold, the second secretary general of the United Nations, asks this very important question: “Do you create or do you destroy?” Hildegard of Bingen said that “Divinity is aimed at humanity” and then she modeled the creativity of Divinity in countless ways–music, poetry, books, mandalas, etc.

September 13, 2023: Hildegard of Bingen on Our Divinization & the Cosmic Christ
Hildegard of Bingen said that “Every creature becomes illuminated by the brightness of his light.” And that, of course, includes us. Do you see the radiance in others? Other humans? Trees? Stones? Galaxies? Winged ones? Waters and waterfalls? Can we use our light to work together to save our planet and all of creation?

Photography and digital mandalas by contemplative artist, Stacy Wills, accompanied by “O Felix Anima” by Hildegard of Bingen. Inspired by The Abbey of the Arts. Stacy Wills.

September 14, 2023: Divinization, Radiance & Moving Beyond Anthropology
Hildegard says that just as we call every ray of sun the sun; so every ray of God we call God. Thus we, too, are God (not all of God but a ray of God). Matthew reminds us: The challenge is to act like it as best we can. Love. Joy. Compassion. Justice. Wisdom. All are names for the divine. When we don’t recognize our divinity, we become as Biblical scholar Krister Stendahl says—“more interested in ourselves than in God or in the fate of his creation.” When we remember our kinship with God and all of creation, we rise to the occasion and take better care of the Earth.

September 15, 2023: How Needy We Are for a New Masculinity
Masculinity has become so distorted. The reptilian brain of dysfunctional patriarchy is on display everywhere: wars, invasion, ecocide, mysogny…. The compassion and wisdom of the divine feminine has been sidelined. As Meister Eckhart said, “There is no love where there is no equality.” We need more “power with” as opposed to “power over.” We desperately need a new kind of masculinity.

President Barack Obama hugs Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., after his introduction during the event to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday and the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches. Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza). Wikimedia Commons.

September 16, 2023: Men and the Missing Nobility Inside
When Matthew teaches about his book The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine, he often gets powerful responses. One notable one was from a beautifully dressed Native American man. He said, “I have been working as a prison chaplain for over 12 years.  It is very difficult to get men in prison to look at themselves—they are always projecting onto others.  Yours is the first book I have ever used that got them to look and find the nobility inside.” This, then, is our challenge: to learn to look for and find our own inner nobility.

Banner image: Native American men in touch with their inner nobility. Photo cropped. Photographer unknown. Wikimedia Commons.

Recommended Reading

Creativity: Where the Divine and Human Meet

Because creativity is the key to both our genius and beauty as a species but also to our capacity for evil, we need to teach creativity and to teach ways of steering this God-like power in directions that promote love of life (biophilia) and not love of death (necrophilia). Pushing well beyond the bounds of conventional Christian doctrine, Fox’s focus on creativity attempts nothing less than to shape a new ethic.
“Matt Fox is a pilgrim who seeks a path into the church of tomorrow.  Countless numbers will be happy to follow his lead.” –Bishop John Shelby Spong, author, Rescuing the Bible from FundamentalismLiving in Sin

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

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3 thoughts on “Week of 9/11-16/2023: Divinization, Creativity, Inner Nobility & a New Masculinity”

  1. Avatar

    Another great week of spiritual DMs, this time on the importance of developing and balancing the Sacred Masculine as well as the Divine Feminine PRESENT within and among us! Blessings to all our sisters and brothers around the world, and to our Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth and all Her living creatures!

  2. Avatar

    At this time of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), which Jesus and his disciples would have honored, it’s fitting to mention that several of the creators of the original “superhero” comic books were Jewish men. They knew firsthand the results of hatred, prejudice and fascism. In their superheroes, they tried to make bold, appealing models of male behavior. While some of their attitudes toward women may seem dated by today’s standards, they still tried to make an impact by creating something of a role model for boys (and men…) to emulate.

    Contrast those hero-models with the comic-book Trumpworld images sold (in a profit-making scheme…of course…): Trump teaches revenge, encourages stockpiling assault rifles so as to be ready to “stand by”, threatens every member of the judicial system who thwarts his ambitions, praises fascist bullies and vicious dictators, and mocks handicapped people and victims of rape. He’s extremely popular with the “Christian” nationalists who say that “Jesus is too wimpy.”

    Is Jesus “not good enough” of a role model for Christians??

    1. Avatar

      Yes! And there are plenty of courageous men and women who continue to speak truth to power. The Rev. Dr. William Barber is retired co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and a Professor at Yale Divinity School. On Friday, he spoke at my church, First Presbyterian, in Tallahassee Fl, prior to leading a walk to the nearby Capital to deliver a strongly worded letter to the governor and his cronies to cease and desist the violent, racist rhetoric that was directly responsible for the murder of 3 black people in Jacksonville—or resign. Actually, he can barely walk and is visibly uncomfortable, but that did not stop him. He next day he led a rally in Jacksonville. Was either covered by the media? Not so that anyone would notice much. But he has been at this social justice work for a long time, powered by a deep faith, and he encourages us all to keep the faith and keep planting seeds.

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