Posts Tagged ‘Creation Spirituality’


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?


…Jesus son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the next, and of those granted nearness to God.

-Sura 3:46

                The Crusades were a horrific time within the Empire phase of Christianity. It was about anti-Semitism (travelling to and from the Holy Land was a great excuse for the warriors to cull the Jewish in the lands) and to let blood run high in the Holy Land battling the “infidel”.

During one such crusade time a disgraced Crusader received a call to something different. Francis was a party animal, one of those wealthy ne’er do wells many towns and communities know of. He thought to increase his lot by bravery in the Crusades…suffice to say he was not a good Knight, and wound up injured in a burnt out church where Jesus spoke to him through the San Damiano cross calling him to rebuild his church. After stealing supplies from his father, and rebuilding 3 fine parishes he was once again revisited and redirected to actual community based around hope and loved. Even beaten and imprisoned by his own parents, just emboldened this man to cast of (literally) the clothes of wealth and walk naked into the world.

The Franciscan movement is what began. Part of the life lived that receives little mention outside of the international circles (as most just know Francis for his love of animals, not activism) so he has been reduced to the garden statue or fountain. Yet it was in the midst of crusade times this rabble rouser and friends upset the apple cart, and not just in the challenge for equity and justice for the poor. Nope, he also crossed treasonous lines by going back onto the Crusader path to meet with Sultan.

Why?

To pray together.

To talk.

To share bread.

To be community.

Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was ever inclined to God and obedient to Him, and he was not of those who associate gods with God.

-Sura 3:68

Francis and his community understood an eternal truth. God is the source of all that is, all that exists within and through and lived out of the Holy Mystery. The source-Love- was not to be confused with the manifestations. That is…the wells are not the river.

We want the labels to divide. Those in power hope that we allow the labels to divide. Yet, there is another way. A way where we acknowledge the One River, and sample one another’s well water in a safe place of community, sharing prayers, sharing discourse, sharing bread. Being like Francis and the Sultan. That piece of light in the darkness.

And he will teach them the Book, and The Wisdom, and The Torah and the Gospel.

-Sura 3: 49

This is why my family hosts an inter-faith Questing through the Qur’an; and a Brunch & Bible (where we travel the roads of the Gospel of Luke & Acts of the Apostles) on alternating weeks. To share the foundation stories. To see where we connect. To hear where we differ.

To know  we are still united in our diversity.

                Much like Francis’ call to bring the gifts of peace, hope, faith, joy and love to Sultan. But also to receive these same gifts from Sultan.

For, what are we in humanity,

if not neighbours….

francis

The Gospel story, the faith story has not ended. It is not sealed. Each of us in our journeys, our lives continue to write in the book of life about how we live within, through and out of the love that is the Holy Mystery. So what is the new chapter you are starting in this moment?


Progressive spirituality/Christianities within their current context I find tedious.  There is no scholarship building upon what has come before, rather it is a re-treading of old battles already fought. Why is this? I blame the regressive state of Western Culture. The loss of the ability to critically think, coupled with the conglomeration of media and the commodification of the human experience has led us down a rabbit hole. There is also the drowning with knowledge overload, and opinion as fact that has removed the ability to discourse, and discover wisdom.

It is a sad state on my journey as I look upon those writers that have shaped them, death, illness and retirement has stripped away those that have crafted cornerstones we should be building upon. The voice of progress, universal love and inclusion, liberation and social gospel is shrinking. Thinkers such as Marcus Borg, Desmond Tutu, Peter Maurin, Dorothy Day, Agnes MacPhail, Pierre Trudeau, Padre Pio, Leonardo Boff, meta-physicians; Dalai Lama, Pope Francis I, transcendentalists, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII, Multiple saints & mystics, Mother Teresa, Nikos Kazantzakis, Stuart A. Schlegel, John Dominic Crossan, Matthew Fox, Martin Luther King Jr., Tommy Douglas, J.S. Woodsworth and the list goes on and on. The voices of and for the marginalized have been relegated back to the beginning of a cycle still debating that which human rights and suffragettes should have dealt with.

Yet “Progressive Spirituality” much like “Conservative Theology” got subsumed by “Prosperity Gospels” and “Salvation/Sanctification” (look at a Joel Osteen for the epitome of the lost track of universal love for the progressives). This is why during my time of medical sabbatical I was excited to find out post-stroke Bishop Spong had written a new book, but saddened as I read his preamble to it that this was definitively his last. It is his call for reformation, for the work already done and grow upon it.

He touches on the different times the Christ experience has been mislaid. The Fourth century experience we had codified as “Christendom” which would be as unrecognizable for the original community as it is to us in this day. He also touches on the Reformation, which aside from the land and power grab of the princes/royals to break the state hold of the Vatican. It was possible as well do a shattering transformation of cultural understanding as the plagues had shown that even the “Holy” lost a 1/3. The peasant class was open.

We are in a time like this. Even if traditionalists keep fighting against it. Holding to outdated understandings. Science has revealed much on creation, maybe not the why, but the how. We are in a world where we are taking control over our own destinies. Where we can accept equal marriage, we can accept medicine, accept being able to transplant organs, understand different ways of experiencing life. We can see through new eyes, yet we bring the old eyes leaving our understanding of the intrinsic piece that makes us whole left out in the old patriarchal imperial cycle. And yes, progressive thinkers who are emerging today instead of referencing what came before and building, are trudging up the same mountain again.

This is where Unbelievable (2018) rises. It is still American-centric, but Spong roots his 12 Thesis firmly in what has come before, and lays out a path forward. A new starting point for dialogue and discourse, being able to let go of what is no longer working or that which is harming.

So as we seek to understand the love triangle of My Neighbour, I leave you with excerpts for this work to see if it is something you wish to purchase for your journey, or to explore within your community:

John Shelby Spong (2018) Unbelievable: Why Neither Ancient Creeds Nor the Reformation Can Produce a Living Faith Today (HarperOne).

“what we must do is find the meaning to which the word “God” points.” P. 31

“Is the denial of theism the same as atheism? Is there no other alternative?” p. 38-39

“That is the universal human experience that our ancestors once called “Original Sin”. The experience was real; the interpretation was false. We are not “fallen sinners”; rather, we are incomplete human beings. Our old theology is dead. The door begins to open on a new way to tell the old, old story.” P. 89

“Every Jew would know that to refer to a grown man in Jewish society as “the son of a woman” was to suggest that his paternity was unknown. … we might infer a covert reference to her being pregnant outside of marriage, for there was no estate more lowly in in first-century Judaism that that of an expectant mother with no male protector.” P.112

Atonement theology, especially in its most bizarre “substitutionary” form, presents us with a God who is barbaric, a Jesus who is victim and it turns human beings into little more than guilt-filled creatures. P.153

Bulletins during Lent in many churches look as if they might have been purchased in a local sadomasochism shop. They feature whips and nails, and if they elicit any emotion at all, it is guilt. P.162-163.

In Jewish worship, however, the lamb was a symbol, not of a sacrifice that an angry God required, but of a human yearning to achieve the fullness of human potential. P. 165

The Easter experience in the new Testament, contrary to what we have traditionally been taught over the year, is not about bodies walking out of graves. It is far more profound than that. It is about God being seen in human life. By “God” I do not mean a supernatural, invasive God, who violates the laws of nature in order to enter time and space. I mean a transcendent dimension of life into which all can enter, an experience in which life is expanded, love is unlimited and being is enhanced. P. 188

The ascension story is both powerful and real, but it is not, and was never intended to be, literally true. P.196

Before prayer can be made real, our understanding of God, coupled with our understanding of how the world works, must be newly defined. P. 249.

I have no use for life after death as a tool or method of behaviour control. P.258

We are called by this new faith into radial connectedness. P. 270

When I contemplate the meaning of Jesus I come back again and again to his image as the ultimate boundary-breaker, in whom what it means to be human is constantly being expanded. P.278


The journey has been completed, with a new one to start in 2018. That is the book journey through Levi’s Aquarian Gospel. Section XXI brought closure to the circle of the journey of Brother Jesus, and laying out what is known in sacred teachings from time immemorial (and even some science). It is a new age text of universalism, that I encourage group exploration of the work to see connections, and how similar we truly are as people. It also speaks to the idea of metaphysics, which for those who may not know is the simple study of being (our next sacred text study will explore the Qu’ran beginning in 2018).

Many good conversations came out of the discussion, but one piece of text struck me. It is a tie back by the writer to the foundation myths of Genesis 1-11. Yes, they are myths, not because they are false or fiction, but foundation meta-narratives that share the why of existence (how is and should be left to science, but the why discourse begins and continues with our foundation and trans-formative myths). Within these myths is the story of Noah’s Ark. It is the story of world wide destruction. Yet after this event a rainbow of promise is placed in the air as the new creation starts.

Through the original sin lens the event is punishment. From original blessing, it can be seen as something more. It is the transformation of life that happens within each one of us. That transformation of adolescence to young adulthood. Think of the changes that happen within your life as you move out of grade school into the world, whether it be post-secondary or work. Relationships that end, relationships that begin. Things that are seen for what they truly are warts and all.

Yet amid what be chaos and catastrophic world destruction, here is a blessing in the sky. A rainbow, a promise that life is not wiped out without love and love to come. The transformation of life. Here is how the Aquarian Gospel ties in:

  1. Brought immortality to light and painted on the walls of time a rainbow for the sons of men; and what I did all men shall do.

Chapter 176:14

For me it resonated with the line in the Apostle’s Creed of Jesus descending to the dead. Other early church writings point out this is a razing/releasing of the souls in hell. Yet hell for the early community was not what Dante or Milton would have the “enlightenment era” Christian believe it was as a place of torture. There was two-fold ways to be looked at:

  • The Gethsemane garbage where lost and “unclean” folks were discarded to. Could it be stating that a final place of inclusion is created and they were welcomed into belonging.
  • Metaphysically, the idea of Greco-Roman Hades was a storehouse of souls that stopped life after death from happening or in Ancient Hebrew Sheol, literally a warehouse. So the razing was the release of souls to new life, new energy, renewal. Something to hope for beyond the veil of death.

Both tie nicely into what Brother Jesus spoke of in the canonical Gospel of Mark 1:15:

“The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

(English Standard Version)

The unity of the holy breath (spark) breathed into us at creation. The Cosmic Christ/divinity that ties us into the Holy Mystery. It is the divine source of love within that when we acknowledge and live into it, we truly love the creator and then our self and our neighbour. The Shema, the Greatest Commandments.

The cascade of transformational love.

Beautiful unity in diversity reflected as light beyond darkness as a promise bow in the sky.

As the Kingdom being here and near.

The end of segregation by labels. The end of casting aside the neighbour. The understanding all are loved.

Whether physically or metaphysically. It is not a false dichotomy, or the false arguments of either-or. Rather it is the Holy Mystery literally showing us that it is both-and. We are not separately spirit and flesh, but rather blessedly both. The life and teachings of Brother Jesus laid the path for a just society, because it showed the blessings of the flesh and spirit as holistically one.

Look upon the rainbow and know one simple thing about the Holy Mystery when lived out is four simple letters:

L-O-V-E.

And simply ask yourself, will you live into and out of that love today.

______

End Notes-Apostle Creed Text:

creed

 


Ian Rankin (2016) Rather be the Devil was the latest delight of the Calgary Public Library hold shelf at their Village Square Location (and yes I have been around this community long enough that I remember the original library van when I was a kid). But why does this percolate a post even before I have cracked the cover on the newest Inspector John Rebus mystery. The roustabout musicphile of Scotland who is no longer an inspector in the last few outings.

You read that right, he was retired a few novels ago but brought back in a consulting role. Whether or not this was Rankin’s intent with a character he created back during his doctoral days or not is truly not the point of this reflection. For it is something that tickled my mind, coupled with a lasting image from a few nights ago when we popped over by the Community of Temple Fire Hall (okay it was the 7-11 for slurpees as a family, but still).

Next to the Fire Hall used to stand an Anglican Church, St. George’s, a parish that has roots going back almost 50 years in this area as well, but it did not start out as a building. It started out as a parish without walls in local Catholic School gymnasiums. How do I know that? I was the fist babe Christened on the baptismal roles in said gynnasium (even down to the pic with the priest and shamrock backboard behind the head).

Now it is simply an empty field (though the Altar Guild at my farewell gave me a banner of the Saint and Dragon as a reminder that still is displayed in my home), the building had become condemned, the amphitheater I used to host outside concerts and road hockey tourneys for the community just over a decade ago back filled in. The sign with pithy sayings to attract new comers–gone. Just the wild grass taking hold and rumours of one day it being the site of seniors housing, but so far no sign of ground breaking.

It was my last paid post in ministry, there was two other church postings to follow that were tent making for myself as I was paid to be apart of another. But it was that baptism in a school gym that shaped my spiritual DNA of the irrelevancy of labels, walls and barriers we tend to create in the world. Anglicans and Catholics working together. Then in pre-school, at an Alliance Church with the diversity that makes up NE Calgary (loved singing those kids hymns with my Sikh and Hindu neighbours), and a Presbyterian Vacation Bible School (that my own daughter still attends).

I am not going to get into my spiritual journey in Junior and Senior high school, or shaping in Indigenous, Pagan, Mystery or Eastern Traditions or digress into evangelical theological formation in Bible College and Seminary; while serving and practicing in mainline churches, or monastic formation with Anglican, Catholic and Ecumenical Franciscans. Some would say, that I have removed myself from the Progressive Christendom voice by act of, well, leaving the physical church buildings and to be honest becoming tired with the mundanity that Christianity has created for itself in its fear of becoming irrelevant.

Yet.

As I look upon this character who in retirement from his life passion is still pursuing truth and justice, and I look at the reclaiming by nature of the former site of the parish that sparked my journey.

I no longer wonder, I know.

A voice is only not relevant when it is not used.

An act of kindness is only not relevant when it is left undone.

A kingdom act is only not a kingdom act when the source is not the love that opens one soul to the Cosmic Christ, and out of that soul lives in unity with all that is.

The question is not whether or not I am Christian, Progressive, New Thought, Science of Mind, New Age (and yes the litany of the pieces that feed my spiritual piece of the medicine wheel, and by proxy my whole self can go on and on)…the question is whether or not is founded and lived out of Love?

And the name for this love for me is the Cosmic Christ, whose example is the Master Teacher, Brother Jesus, and that flowed from the Loving Creator.

So…all that remains to ask as a life is lived is simply:

What Would Love Do?

 

 


It has been a while since I have shared thoughts, musings of spiritual practices from the book study my family is a apart of with the Universal Church of the Master Alberta on the Aquarian Gospel. It is not because there have been no aha moments or things worthy of sharing, every two weeks we gather there is much discussed, learned and possibly shared, what happens unfortunately for you readers, if life gets busy and I am unable to prepare thoughts, so after this week I have intentionally taken some time to share quotes and thoughts throughout.

These readings comes from teachings of John, the Harbinger (colloquially in Christendom known as the Baptist, and elder cousin of Jesus, revealed in this work as a Nazarite, historically believed to be apart of the Essenes movement).

64: 15. And then the people asked, What must we do?
16. And John replied, Accept the ministry of helpfulness for all mankind; spend not upon your selfish selves all that you have.
17. Let him who has two coats give one to him who has no coat; give part of all the food you have to those in need.

Kindness. It is the first act of love, that even if we do not have the emotion behind it, the praxis will shape our soul to be prepared to welcome the Cosmic Christ.
18. And when the publicans came up and asked, What must we do? John answered them,
19. Be honest in your work; do not increase for selfish gain the tribute you collect; take nothing more than what your king demands.

Political leaders of the time. The Roman Empire was known deeply for its corruption, and a need to put the people first for they are called to service. To be a good publican is not about renouncing the Empire they serve, it is about serving justly, and again, back to the first praxis of faith and formatting one’s being: kindness, acting as one would want to be acted upon. Being honest, and working hard, not doing more that is demanded. For these civil servants would create wealth and power for themselves by adding on more tax, and brutally controlling the populations by whatever means necessary (and no, at no time is this saying that the Roman Empire was a nice Empire, they were like any occupying and colonial force of nature working an agenda of assimilation and extermination).


  1. And when the soldiers came and asked, What must we do? The harbinger replied,
    21.Do violence to none; exact no wrongful thing, and be contented with the wages you receive.

Think of being taken away from your family, brutalized mentally, emotionally, spiritually and sexually. This is the experience that awaited soldiers of the Roman Empire, and like many abused when given an opportunity to exert force over another they would ensure the same pain was passed on. Think of the historic times back then when even the conquered women were only seen as property to be used. Therefore, there is still a historic theory alive that Mary’s conception was due to Roman rape, and that the story of the Christ, is God’s redemption out of evil.

So yes, this was a throwing down of the gauntlet to an oppressor to once again go back to the beginning element. Kindness.

67: 12. But what a medley catch! a catch of crabs, and lobsters, sharks and creeping things, with now and then a fish of better kind.

Brother Jesus speaking about how good a fisher of men his cousin John was. But not just pointing out that the catch was what humanity deemed as clean, but rather, all those who moved in love were part of the same net. Labels, uncleanliness, saved/unsaved, whatever we can use to divide is irrelevant.

These are divides we still attempt to create in our world, and we are missing the point of what the Cosmic Christ’s love is about. The Kingdom is not other, or separate, it begins in each and everyone of us who choose compassion, live kindness, embrace and live out of divine love. This shatters the walls and barriers our labels create, and allow hope to reign in our world. The question is, are we ready to cast the nets, and let love embrace all? Or still create the false dichotomy’s that destroy?

68: 10. I am not sent to sit upon a throne to rule as Cæsar rules; and you may tell the ruler of the Jews that I am not a claimant for his throne.
11. Men call me Christ, and God has recognised the name; but Christ is not a man. The Christ is universal love, and Love is king.
12. This Jesus is but man who has been fitted by temptations overcome, by trials multiform, to be the temple through which Christ can manifest to men.

  1. Then hear, you men of Israel, hear! Look not upon the flesh; it is not king. Look to the Christ within, who shall be formed in every one of you, as he is formed in me.

Will you answer the call?

 


It appears as a mundane question, but it is not a broad scope question, but rather to a narrow cultural attache I ask it. It is directed at the Western Christian Empire, that is learning humility through such humblings as the end of colonialism; multi-culturalism; human rights spread out well equally among humans if you will. To name but a few, but there is still the hangar ons, and at least in mass media there is the appearance that the “Religious Right”- those fundamentalist ideologues are easier at replenishing their vocal ranks than the progressive Christian-Historical Jesus-Liberation Theology-Social Gospel-Creation Spirituality-Wisdom school types.

Most notably I could be a prime case example as to why, simply after years of fighting, simply deciding screw this, and moving into a more universalist setting for spiritual growth. Yet, like those who speak of losing their spirituality as inherent to their culture, their is something about us muckety-mucks who harken back to the United Kingdom for our ancestry that has something tied into Christendom.

But as John Dominic Crossan wrote in his 2014 work How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian we are not biblians, rather our name implies a tie to the humble labourer born in scandal and under threat of death, who for his non-violent resistance would be put to death (yes it was non-violent, as in the same work Crossan apptly points out if there was a threat of violence from Jesus’ crew they all would have been crucified).

Their is something about this master teacher that simply resonates in the soul. A Cosmic Christ that connects us all through the Holy Breath (cosmic dust) that gave us all life. Yet with knowing that it is love that we live in and out of, their is a deeper resonance to bring this lens to the stories that are apart of our journey. Those we told around campfires before the expansion of the labourer’s story, and those that are told after, but in the midst is a love of the story of the simple Jewish labourer that radically loved, and shook the empire to its core. So scared the powers that be they attempted to silence it by murdering him. Yet those that no one saw as people, the women, discovered through love the truth, that what made Brother Jesus such a lover of all, existed within us all, and stepping into and out of the tomb the darkness held no power over them to proclaim that love of self, Creator and others, all interconnected.

Or as another progressive voice, who recently suffered a stroke, Bishop John Shelby Spong has relayed that resonates, “I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply. But I also recognize that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence,”

Yes the story has been abused, power has been co-opted, and the book has blood on its covers. But that is not the story of Brother Jesus and the group, it is not the story of those who truly walk in the wisdom of old.

But the ability to communicate that outwards. The love, the joy, that this story bonds one too…those that know and lives this are aging, and the questions remains…whom shall continue?


I realize that there is a lack of vocal communities of this type in my home city, or is it simply they are flying under the radar. If you know of one in Calgary please let me know, if not, then I will continue my own contemplation upon direction.

What follows is from: http://www.matthewfox.org/what-is-creation-spirituality/

 

WHAT IS CREATION SPIRITUALITY?

Honoring all of creation as Original Blessing,Creation Spirituality integrates the wisdom of Eastern and Western spirituality and global indigenous cultures, with the emerging scientific understanding of the universe,and the passion of creativity. It is both a tradition and a movement, celebrated by mystics and agents of social change from every age and culture.It is also the tradition of the historical Jesus himself since it is the wisdom tradition of Israel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 –Matthew Fox


PRINCIPLES

1)The universe is fundamentally a blessing.
Our relationship with the Universe fills us with awe.

2) In Creation, God is both immanent and transcendent. This is panentheism which is not theism (God out there) and not atheism (no God anywhere).
We experience that the Divine is in all things & all things are in the Divine.

3) God is as much Mother as Father, as much Child as Parent, as much God in mystery as the God in history, as much beyond all words and images as in all forms and beings.
We are liberated from the need to cling to God in one form or one literal name.

4) In our lives, it is through the work of spiritual practice that we find our deep and true selves.
Through the arts of meditation and silence we cultivate a clarity of mind and move beyond fear into compassion and community.

5)  Our inner work can be understood as a four-fold journey involving:
– awe, delight, amazement (known as the Via Positiva)
– uncertainty, darkness, suffering, letting go (Via Negativa)
– birthing, creativity, passion (Via Creativa)
– justice, healing, celebration (Via Transformativa)

We weave through these paths like a spiral danced, not a ladder climbed.

6)  Every one of us is a mystic.
We can enter the mystical as much through beauty (Via Positiva) as through contemplation and suffering (Via Negativa). We are born full of wonder and can recover it at any age.

7) Every one of us is an artist.
Whatever the expression of our creativity, it is our prayer and praise (Via Creativa).

8) Every one of us is a prophet.
Our prophetic work is to interfere with all forms of injustice and that which interrupts authentic life (Via Transformativa).

9) Diversity is the nature of the Universe.
We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos and expressed among individuals and across multiple cultures, religions and ancestral traditions.

10) The basic work of God is compassion and we, who are all original blessings and sons and daughters of the Divine, are called to compassion.
We acknowledge our shared interdependence; we rejoice at one another’s joys and grieve at one another’s sorrows and labor to heal the causes of those sorrows.

11) There are many wells of faith and knowledge drawing from one underground river of Divine wisdom. The practice of honoring, learning and celebrating the wisdom collected from these wells is Deep Ecumenism.
We respect and embrace the wisdom and oneness that arises from the diverse wells of all the sacred traditions of the world.

12) Ecological justice is essential for the sustainability of life on Earth.
Ecology is the local expression of cosmology and so we commit to live in light of this value: to pass on the beauty and health of Creation to future generations.


Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

The Holy Spirit-breather of Theology

Bishop John Shelby Spong, Episcopal Diocese of...

Bishop John Shelby Spong

I’ll save you dear reader the joke when I was in the RCIA program as a lay minister in the RC church that my priest joked he didn’t have enough time in his week to take my first confession…na…this is not a musing on that confession, rather it is on the book: Confessions: Making of a Post-Denominational Priest by Matthew Fox.

His coming of enlightened into the creative spirituality movement of Christianity. I am only half way through but am enjoying it as I have other works by Fox, and other memoirs in the same vein (Hear I Stand by John Shelby Spong).  But during the reading he raised to good questions for a believer to contemplate:

1) What is prayer?

2) What is worship?

I would like to add a third, What is scripture?

I would like to further define Fox’s idea of prayer as life, prayer is essentially life with God.

Worship for me, is what we do with our life, each and everything is an act of worship.

What is scripture? That which we can come to with our life with God (prayer), our life lived our in ministry (worship) and the Holy Spirit flows into to breathe life and understanding of the nature of God in us, and us in God (panentheism) and how we are to transform this world (salvation) and ourselves.