We have been meditating on Grace lately. Such meditations are very worthwhile, especially when ongoing wars in the Ukraine, Middle East, Sudan—display not our “better angels” but our darkest ones.
We considered the grace of a 70-year-old fish seller in a market in Iran who invited people to sing and dance, and initially paid a price for it (along with young men who sang and danced in response to him). The fish seller was eventually released from police custody, because so many of his countrymen and women joined in the dance and joyful protest.
We have shared a letter from Kurt Vonnegut encouraging young people to practice art as meditation, in order to get to know themselves more deeply. We all have creativity and powers of self-expression within us—and art allows us to get in touch with and share grace that way.
We heard Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner equate grace and Christmas, the Incarnation story being a story of pure Grace. And we heard Dominican theologian M. D. Chenu celebrate a “continuous creation” and a “continuous incarnation”, all of it filled with grace.
Rahner reminds us that Grace “divinizes the essence, powers and activity of humans.” Is that a possibility—still—for our species, as we enter a New Year fraught with many challenges, including the ongoing wars alluded to above; the ultimate war against Mother Earth; and so much else?
Maybe as a New Year resolution we can all commit to calling in Grace, and awakening one another to the divinity lurking in all of us.
In the midst of many troubles, our species is also achieving a new understanding of creation and this unique planet that has birthed us into this graced universe of two trillion galaxies, all of which we learn more about daily.
Let us begin this New Year with that perspective and move forward from it. The universe is a blessing and bestower of grace. An Original Blessing, an Original Grace. It is a privilege to be here.
See Matthew Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality.
For the video, see: Oversized Ancient Galaxy Isn’t What Astronomers First Thought
Banner Image: Art as Meditation, as depicted in the “Kingdom of the Shades” scene from Marius Petipa’s La Bayadère. A hypnotic vision of a peaceful nirvana, dance critics have written, “it seems to go on forever, and very nearly does.” Photo of the Polish National Ballet by Ewa Krasucka. Wikimedia Commons.
Te read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s Monday video teaching above, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you recognize your existence and the universe and Earth as an Original Blessing and an Original Grace? What follows from that? How can that perspective alter the way we humans interact with one another and Mother Earth and future generations?
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