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Deacon’s Column: Shake the Dust

By May 18, 2023No Comments

This Easter season has burst upon with so much more intensity than over the past 3 years…  I attribute that to our Covid experience, our time apart, and now our increasing courage and desire be together, to shake the dust, and to be creative and imaginative.

The Holy Spirit, she, has captured my attention.

Diarmuid O’Murchu, writes the following in his book When the Disciple Comes of Age: Christian Identity in the Twenty-first Century.

When you are confronted by evidence that the faith in which you were brought up no longer provides an adequate explanation for the nature, meaning and purpose of your life, you have three choices.

You can refuse to accept the evidence and continue as before.

You can abandon the faith you grew up with because it has proved to be inadequate.

Or, third, you can accept the new knowledge and use it to develop a more mature understanding of what lies at the core of your beliefs.

The first response is intellectually dishonest.

The second is intellectual laziness.

The third is a stance of critical acceptance, leading to a reinterpretation of core concepts.

It requires courage and a plethora of other virtues that have been gathering dust in your spirit.

Matthew Fox is known for his work on creation spirituality and the intersection of spirituality and social justice.  Fox’s core teachings is practicing the discipline of Via Negativia, Via Positiva, and Via Transformative, which are three paths to connect with the Divine.

Via Negativia is a path of negation, also known as apophatic spirituality, letting go of our preconceived human historical arguments, ideas and images of God, instead focusing on what God is not. This approach emphasizes the transcendence and mystery of the Divine and encourages us to release our limited human understanding of the Divine.

Via Positiva, is the path of affirmation, also known as kataphatic spirituality, celebrating the Divine through experience. Affirming the blessing, goodness and beauty of creation, recognizing the Divine in all things: the natural world, art, music, and human relationships.

Via Transformative is a path of integration, which seeks to unite the wisdom of Via Negativia and Via Positiva emphasizing human need to move beyond dualistic thinking and find unity in diversity. It encourages us to embrace paradox and mystery as we deepen our connection with the Divine.

Overall, Fox’s teachings offer us a holistic inclusive approach to spirituality, inviting us to explore and connect with the Divine in multiple ways, anywhere, everywhere and all at once.

Diarmuid councils us:

Ours is a different time. We are witnessing transformative leaps of quantum possibility, the likes of which we have not seen for several centuries.  It takes the discerning wisdom of age and maturity—first to read what is transpiring, and then to determine how best to appropriate and internalize the new evolutionary momentum.

I suggest the following meditative questions as a beginning:

Where might I shake the dust in my own channels of experience with the Divine?

Where do I experience connection with the Divine here and now?

How might I internalize this new evolutionary transformative movement? How might I accept, and transform a more mature understanding of what lies at the core of my beliefs?

If you want, share them.

I close with the closing of the Anis Mojgani poem, Shake the Dust:

walk into it breath it in let it crash through the halls of your arms like the millions of years of millions poets coursing like blood pumping, pushing and making you live, shaking the dust!

So when the world knocks at your front door clutch the knob and open on up, running forward into its wide spread greeting arms with your hands before you your fingertips trembling, though they may be.

Blessings, Rex