Rev. Matthew Fox’s life has been a prophetic journey for any that have been called or deemed “odd” in structured religious life. Regardless of religious affiliation. His journey is one of standing in prophetic/mystic voice- creativity, imagination, justice, creation and scriptures synthesized with reason and the drive for belonging. Freely admitting and illustrating the Biblical calling within his 37 books the need to shatter the patriarchy and religious binary of command and control.

Yes, take time with those thoughts. The most powerful image in the early days with this dialogue partner for me (during my more structured spiritual formation as a Franciscan), was the one of shattering Jacob’s Ladder, to dance Sarah’s circle. The resounding connection to inclusion, belonging for all, affirmation and alignment with the other sacred text of our spiritual life so easily ignored in the drive for dominion over, not care taking of– creation (nature) that is part of the dialogue with scriptures’ and our lived experience to shape our individual, interdependent life. The second sacred text revealed through mystics/monastics like Aquinas, Francis, Clare, Eckhart, to name but a few (and continually throughout history being re-aligned with). This shift from the holistic and communal journey with the Holy Mystery, has created the world we exist in now. With the binary-dualistic chasms that separate and feed algorithms that continue the separation. The blind loyalty and living the black and white found in doctrines, political planforms, doctrinal stamens. Not in contemplation, living into the silence to hear, but rather constantly reacting, trying to prove holiness and affirming “truth”iness instead of understanding and living out of the values that truly exist under the rhetoric. It is in the inability to realize that life with the Spirit exists in varying degrees of gray as an intimate love relationship is.

This is the state of our world, a creation in sins of the spirit (a term from Aquinas and Fox), those things that take us away from God.

Want to reflect on a moment what those are?

These are snaps hots and my reflections of some of the dialogues in Fox’s works within my walk. Which brings us to his newest work, The Tao of Thomas Aquinas: Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times (2020). A work that can either be a prologue to Fox’s thought process for a new reader, or an epilogue for those that have been on the journey with Fox. The foundation work is his soon to be re-released Sheer Joy: Conversations with Thomas Aquinas on Creation Spirituality.

It can be read in one or two sittings as a fill up. But for practice I would recommend a daily reading over 31 days (if you wish to use the introductions and afterword’s as separate readings, then closer to 35 and I do encourage not skipping these, as Delio and Maynard have packed quite a bit of reflective-pragmatism into their words).

See the source image

Each short chapter provides new insights and reflection from Fox’s works, coupled with exploration of some key scriptures from John, Matthew, Corinthians, Jeremiah, and Isaiah, as well as other ecumenical thought leaders within Creation Spirituality. Regardless, of where you fall on the religious spectrum this can be a beneficial daily read, as one shifts outside the box of ticking the box of institutional existence for being “right and holy” to living and experiencing with the Holy Mystery.

As a sojourner, are we ready to enter into the circle dance?

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