The Mystics Reinforcing the Via Positiva

We began the week meditating on the Solar Eclipse that many experienced as a mystical experience.  Mystics—including all of us—are people in touch with the Via Positiva which invites us to stretch and grow our soul.

“Solar eclipse, New Zealnad, 2012.” By Monday’s Socks on Flickr.

We are meant to fall in love at least three times per day.  With creation.

If mystics are lovers, no doubt they have plenty to say about the lovability of the world we live in.  Teilhard de Chardin put it this way: The cosmic sense must have been born as soon as humanity found itself facing the frost, the sea and the stars.  And since then we find evidence of it in all our experiences of the great and unbounded: in art, in poetry , and in religion.

Teilhard recalls that we used to say, “God is love.”  But we should also learn to say, “the world is love.” 

This photo shows a ritual “where you take water in your hands and you say ‘Thank you for the Divine Energy through the water for all my body and the whole Humanity on planet Earth with Gratitude, Love and Light and so it is.'” By iezalel williams on Flickr.

Meister Eckhart: “God is delighted to watch our souls enlarge.”  Thomas Aquinas reminds us that “Joy expands the heart.”  Growth and Joy go together and so does consciousness, for “God is supremely conscious and therefore supremely joyful.”  There is a link between joy and consciousness.  If we or our culture lacks joy, our consciousness is shrinking.

Is humanity’s consciousness enlarging?  And Joy?  Is that the task of the Via Positiva?

Ernesto Cardinale: We can argue about the reason for the universe, and we can argue about the purpose of the universe, but we cannot argue about the beauty of the universe.  Is he right? 

This beautiful Universe. Pictured here: the Pelican Nebula. Photo by Aldebaran S on Unsplash

Has Webb Telescope reminded us of the beauty of the universe with its powerful ways of beaming the beauty and time of the universe into our living rooms and our computers?  Did the solar eclipse do the same?

Julian of Norwich reports her experience with a hazelnut.  God showed me in my palm a little thing round as a ball about the size of a hazelnut.  I looked at it with the eye of my understanding and asked myself: ‘What is this thing?’  And I was answered: ‘It is everything that is created.’  I wondered how it could survive, since it seemed so little it could suddenly disintegrate into nothing.  The answer came: ‘It endures and ever will endure, because God loves it.’  And so everything has being because of God’s love. 

Adapted from Matthew Fox, Christian Mystics, p. 224.

And Fox, Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic—and Beyond, p. 40.

And Fox, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times, pp. 33-44.

Banner image: Mystical scene. Photo by Pascal Debrunner on Unsplash

Queries for Contemplation

How do you reinforce your experience of the Via Positiva?

Recommended Reading

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.

Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic–and Beyond

Julian of Norwich lived through the dreadful bubonic plague that killed close to 50% of Europeans. Being an anchoress, she ‘sheltered in place’ and developed a deep wisdom that she shared in her book, Showings, which was the first book in English by a woman. A theologian way ahead of her time, Julian develops a feminist understanding of God as mother at the heart of nature’s goodness. Fox shares her teachings in this powerful and timely and inspiring book.
“What an utterly magnificent book. The work of Julian of Norwich, lovingly supported by the genius of Matthew Fox, is a roadmap into the heart of the eco-spiritual truth that all life breathes together.”  –Caroline Myss
Now also available as an audiobook HERE.

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

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

Share this meditation


Daily Meditations with Matthew Fox is made possible through the generosity of donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation

Search Meditations





Receive our daily meditations

6 thoughts on “The Mystics Reinforcing the Via Positiva”

  1. Avatar

    Love and Truth and Suffering.

    Sifting through and embracing what we consider to be the good and the bad, and find that God & Life, the ‘one truth’, emerges out of the messiness of our lives. — BB.

  2. Avatar
    Joyce M Wilding

    Todays meditation rreminds me o John Muir quote:
    Everybdy needs beaity – places to play in pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.

  3. Avatar
    Martina Nicholson

    I saw a “60 minutes” piece on the images from the Webb. The infrared spectrum is invisible to our eyes, so these wonderful artistic-scientists translated the images from infrared into our visible color spectrum. That is why we can now see them, and how they are so immensely gorgeous, all the gold along with indigo and red and green. Translating what is unseen is what I find fabulous. Recognizing grace, as well as billions of galaxies in the grand expanse of immensity which is our universe, is transformative. What is unseen but known. I am glad you put the hazelnut story from Julian here, too. It is a hologram for the interdependent connections of everything, and how with time, things evolve; from a small seed to the beautiful tree. From the baby to the adult human. Endless food for wonder, awe, and gratitude!

  4. Avatar

    COMPASSION~LOVING DIVERSE ONENESS… within, through, and among Us in our physical and non-physical spiritual realms in the Sacred Process of the ETERNAL PRESENT MOMENT….

  5. Avatar

    If you love someone, make time every day to show them/tell them/be there for them when they need you. Every day is an invitation to share your goodness with other people and with the world, just as every day can also close on a missed opportunity for kindness that you were too busy, too preoccupied with yourself to bother with, Don’t miss that chance.

    Slow down. Slow down some more. Then stop and be still. Now look around. Let your senses expand and deepen. See the world like a child: with wonder and curiosity, all around you. Look closely at the things you never usually notice. Drop your inner shields and open up. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing, right in front of you. In you. Forget all the categorizing: concepts don’t belong in this sacred space, so let them slide away.

    Listen to the symphony of the world around you. Deeply immerse yourself in it, and don’t take those sounds for granted. Bathe yourself in sounds you never paid attention to before. They’re a gift.

    Do the same for all your other senses and body’s movements. You are act-ing God’s universe into new motion: be there in that emerging!

    And read the mystics. They touched the electric, living Now-Eternal One, and dared to tell about it.

  6. Avatar

    My children and their families joined us for the eclipse. My son and his wife live in Utah, and my daughter and her family live in Southern California. Her oldest son is six, and he was so excited to come to New Hampshire to “see the snow”. He wanted to see the snow fall from the sky, because he never had seen that before. Something I always took for granted was magical to him. I’m not sure what he loved most: the eclipse or sledding, making a snowman and a snow cave, shoveling…just being with him was a mystical experience!

Leave a Comment

To help moderate the volume of responses, the Comment field is limited to 1500 characters (roughly 300 words), with one comment per person per day.

Please keep your comments focused on the topic of the day's Meditation.

As always, we look forward to your comments!!
The Daily Meditation Team

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join us in meditation that supports your compassionate action

Receive Matthew Fox's Daily Meditation by subscribing below: