We have proposed a new Hail Mary prayer that is also a more ancient one:
Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with you, untroubled maiden.
You are blessed among women,
you who brought forth peace to people
and glory to the angels.
Blessed too is the fruit of your womb,
who by grace made it possible for us to be his heirs.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us heirs
and co-workers of God at the hour of our creativity.
Also in yesterday’s DM, I alluded to the important study by Jean Delumeau on the emergence of a Guilt Culture in the West that culminated in the 16th century. He believes Protestantism upped the ante on despair:
In its sixteenth-century form, the doctrine of justification by faith thus represents the logical (although extreme) end of the long and desolate road through pessimism. Incessantly repeated for more than a thousand years, the affirmation of the world’s fragility, of its vice and its vanity, reached a vast audience. Man was but ‘dung’ and ‘filth’—no wonder the result was despair.
John Calvin says, “Life in this world is…. totally wretched. Nowhere is happiness to be found.” An “infinite misery” abounds. Instead of blessing in the cosmos, Calvin sees only curse.
No matter where we look, high or low, we can see only a curse that, spreading over all creatures and embracing the earth and the sky, ought to burden our souls with horrible despair.
Creation Spirituality resists that despair and cautions against it.
A new cosmology can liberate us from this guilt culture—even John Calvin confessed to that, “if God had formed us of the stuff of the sun or the stars…then we might have said that our beginning was honorable.”
Yes, today’s science with its new cosmology can lift our souls, open our hearts, return us to the primal message homo sapiens needs to learn before it is too late: The goodness of creation. (See Gen 1.)
See Matthew Fox, Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality.
And Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society, pp. 163-173.
And Fox, Confessions: The Making of a Post-denominational Priest, p. 206.
Banner Image: “Queen of the May.” Photo of Our Lady of Cana in the Rosary Garden at the Rosary Shrine in London. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP, on Flickr.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you see the new cosmology and the wonder and awe it evokes including the Webb Telescope banishing despair and awakening humanity like the revised “Hail Mary” prayer can do?
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
Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society
Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them.
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science. A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics
Confessions: The Making of a Post-Denominational Priest (Revised/Updated Edition)
Matthew Fox’s stirring autobiography, Confessions, reveals his personal, intellectual, and spiritual journey from altar boy, to Dominican priest, to his eventual break with the Vatican. Five new chapters in this revised and updated edition bring added perspective in light of the author’s continued journey, and his reflections on the current changes taking place in church, society and the environment.
“The unfolding story of this irrepressible spiritual revolutionary enlivens the mind and emboldens the heart — must reading for anyone interested in courage, creativity, and the future of religion.”
—Joanna Macy, author of World as Lover, World as Self