I am writing this DM on the winter solstice, 2023, which is also my 83rd birthday. Yesterday we introduced the topic of “grace” responding to a request by a reader.
I feel deeply, as an elder, human being, and a priest for 56 years, that life is a grace. A gift. Gratuitous. Glorious, that is filled with glory or doxa which is also a sign of the Cosmic Christ in our midst and in our minds, hearts, actions and in the universe at large. All two trillion galaxies of it, each with hundreds of billions of stars.
The Earth is a grace. And all its wonders and beauties, from coral reefs to wondrous fishes, from stunning mountains pointing to the stars, to bees and dragonflies, soaring eagles and flying hawks, multiple colors and shapes, sunlight and shade, dogs and bears, horses, giraffes, lions, tigers, elephants, whales and rainforests. So many gifts, so many graces.
“Nature is grace” said Meister Eckhart and he is right. To be, and to be alive, and to join this 13.8-billion-year caravan of history is a grace. “It has been a privilege” Rabbi Zalman Schachter said shortly before he died just short of his 90th birthday.
And the people—so many gifts and so many graces. My teachers from grade school to graduate school, with a special shout-out to Père Chenu, who named the creation spirituality tradition for me in Spring 1968, and about whom I am finishing a book.
Family, friends, fellow teachers–including indigenous teachers and leaders of ceremonies–and those I have worked with to make liturgy happen with Cosmic Masses in new, fresh, bodily, ancient and post-modern ways. Students and co-workers who rendered programs, schools, workshops to happen.
The wondrous exchange between teachers and students. A grace. And between mystic-prophets of old and seekers today.
So many gifts, so many graces.
See Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics: 365 Readings & Meditations
And Fox, Original Blessing.And Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.
Banner image: Matthew Fox joins ministers across traditions to celebrate the Eucharist at a Cosmic Mass. Photo by Katy Gaughan, National Cathedral. Published with permission.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you feel, with all its pain and sufferings, life is a grace and a privilege? How do you share that conviction with others? How do you see that mirrored in others’ lives?
Christian Mystics: 365 Readings & Meditations
As Matthew Fox notes, when an aging Albert Einstein was asked if he had any regrets, he replied, “I wish I had read more of the mystics earlier in my life.” The 365 writings in Christian Mystics represent a wide-ranging sampling of these readings for modern-day seekers of all faiths — or no faith. The visionaries quoted range from Julian of Norwich to Martin Luther King, Jr., from Thomas Merton to Dorothee Soelle and Thomas Berry.
“Our world is in crisis, and we need road maps that can ground us in wisdom, inspire us to action, and help us gather our talents in service of compassion and justice. This revolutionary book does just that. Matthew Fox takes some of the most profound spiritual teachings of the West and translates them into practical daily mediations. Study and practice these teachings. Take what’s in this book and teach it to the youth because the new generation cannot afford to suffer the spirit and ethical illiteracy of the past.” — Adam Bucko, spiritual activist and co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation for Homeless Youth.
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