Week of 3/25-31: Aquinas, Holy Week & Easter

March 25, 2024: Aquinas on Spirit as Feminine, Creativity, & God as ‘Artist of Artists’
Matthew tells us that Aquinas’s teachings on the Via Creativa are “without parallel” and influenced a number of mystics, including Dante. Aquinas spoke these beautiful words: “The same Spirit who hovered over the waters at the beginning of creation, hovers over the mind of the artist at work.” Aquinas recognized God as Artist—and by extension we, born in God’s image and likeness, are also artists. He also said: All artists love what they give birth to—parents love their children; poets love their poems; craftspeople love their handiwork. How then could God hate a single thing since God is the artist of everything?  

The Banksy Tunnel in the UK showcases the work of urban street artists. Photo by Chris Kelly on Flickr.

March 26, 2024: Aquinas and the Via Creativa, continued
In his book book Creativity: Where the Divine and the Human Meet, Matthew proposes that creativity is the very definition employed by anthropologists for our species. We are bipeds who make things. According to Aquinas, the human intellect can “conceive an infinite number of things in order to make for ourselves an infinite number of instruments” because we are endowed with both reason and hands. However, we must be on guard because our creativity can also be used for evil. As Matthew says, “We are not pre-programmed to do the good.” Thus our creativity is a double-edged sword.

March 27, 2024: Aquinas on the Marriage of Imagination & Our Prophetic Vocation
Continuing to explore Thomas Aquinas, we note that he was very aware of the relationship between the Via Creativa and the Via Transformativa, of art as meditation, and of the prophetic vocation we all are called to. He cites the prophet Joel: “I will pour out my spirit over all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy.” The prophet Jeremiah shows his compassion when he says, ‘I have pain in my belly,’ meaning that his feelings are afflicted; and ‘the sense of my heart,’ meaning his mind is perturbed. 

March 28, 2024: The Four Paths and Holy Week: A Meditation
Today is Holy Thursday. Biblical scholars tell us that Holy Week is more of a liturgical art form to remind us of the events surrounding Jesus’s last days than it is a literal chronology of the week. Matthew suggests that it useful to look at the week in light of the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality. Palm Sunday, for instance, is triumphant and jubilant—very much an example of the Via Positiva. The Passover meal/Last Supper is a time of love and communion and another example of the Via Positiva. But then things changed. The Via Negativa enters amidst betrayal and anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. And then, thank God, the Via Creativa and Transformativa on Easter morning. Halleluia!

Oil painting depicting the crucifixion of Christ at Calvary (Golgotha) outside the city walls of Jerusalem by Pietro Sassi, circa 1870. Wikimedia Commons.

March 29, 2024: Good Friday 2024: A Meditation on Death
Death is always around us. Illness, accidents, violence, and war take their toll. Jesus’s crucifixion and death is a reminder that none of us escape this reality. Even stars, galaxies, and planets die. Buddhists tells us that all things are impermanent. Jesus was killed by the reigning powers of the Roman empire. He was viewed as a troublemaker and enemy of the empire who dared to preach about compassion and the dignity of the poor. He also questioned authority figures of the day. All of this contributed to bringing about his martyrdom.

March 30, 2024: What is Death? Lessons in the Via Negativa from Holy Week
It seems that human beings are the only creatures that preoccupy themselves with death. Others simply “carry on the work of their species.” Matthew says: I see death as a reminder that our work is finished on this Earth.  Our time…is finite, it has a beginning and an end, an alpha and an omega. In a powerful interview on PBS this week, a man who had lived a full and adventurous life as a reporter in wars and conflict situations was diagnosed with a brain condition. He is not expected to last the year. He said he has learned more this year than in all the rest of his life combined—more about love and forgiveness and what life is for. Few of us want to die, but when the time comes we get to practice that great Letting Go lesson. Eckhart says, “We sink eternally from letting go, to letting go into the One.” 

March 31, 2024: Easter & Resurrection: Hope and Promise in Dark Times
Resurrection is an archetype filled with meaning and promise that can move us beyond fear and doubt to joyful action and the building of a “new creation” and a renewed humanity. Christ’s resurrection is meant to be a model for us. Can we “rise spiritually from the soul’s death, to that life of justice” as Aquinas encourages? Scripture tells us: Let us not put off rising until our death, but do so now, since Christ arose on the third day. (Eccles. 5:8) Now, says Paul, we can “walk in the newness of life.” The world is hungry for hope these days. Resurrection brings a spirit of hope!

“He is not here, he is risen.” The Three Marys at the Sepulchre by Giovanni Battista Gaulli, circa 1685. Wikimedia Commons.

Banner image: The Resurrection, by Andrea Mantegna. Wikimedia Commons.


Recommended Reading

Stations of the Cosmic Christ
By Matthew Fox and Bishop Marc Andrus.

This is a book of meditations on the Cosmic Christ, accompanying the images of 16 wonderful clay tablets by Javier Ullrrich Lemus and M.C. Richards. Together, these images and meditations go far beyond the traditional Stations of the Cross to inspire a spirit awakening and understanding of the cosmic Christ Consciousness, Buddha consciousness, and consciousness of the image of God in all beings, so needed in our times.
“A divinely inspired book that must be read by every human being devoted to spiritual and global survival. It is cosmically brilliant.” — Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit

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

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







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2 thoughts on “Week of 3/25-31: Aquinas, Holy Week & Easter”

  1. Avatar

    Blessings to All Our sisters & brothers & creatures around Our Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth, and to All Spirit Beings in Our Beautiful Sacred Evolving COSMOS in LOVING DIVERSE ONENESS — every day, Every SACRED PRESENT MOMENT! … Amen

  2. Avatar

    Thank you Matthew and DM team for a beautiful Holy week of enlightening meditations!!! I hope we put the Spirit of these wise Reflections into compassionate and creative action in our own lives.

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