Friday, May 1, 2015

" Education a Journey into Life, Away from Knowledge Factories toward Wisdom Schools"," The pure glory of God is in us", "the gate of heaven is everywhere."" Eckhart, Matthew Fox and Thomas Merton-Food for the Mystical Soul by Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP

"living offers the most noble kind of knowledge" Meister Eckhart

Many today, including the Dalai Lama, are sound warning bells that education around the world is in crisis. 

What can we learn from Meister Eckhart, a  medieval scholar and mystic, about living and loving in families, and inclusive communities today? How do we prepare future priests to be mystics?

"What is life? God's being is my life," Eckhart declares.  He believed that intuition was the "spark of the soul" and the highest faculty humans possessed. 

Matthew Fox, his book Meister Eckhart, A Mystic Warrior for Our Times argues that restoring intuiton to the core of education would involve a revolution  writes "All his work is a study of life and a study of God and our relation to both. 
Is education today a journey into life? 

Dr. Fox writes that we need to incorporate intuition and values.  "I am speaking of a sense of awe and wonder, of gratitude and reverence, I am speaking of an awareness of silence and emptiness and darkness and letting go. I am speaking of a relationship with the universe, of bringing psyche and cosmos together again....I am speaking of values that matter such as  justice and compassion and certainly creativity. ( Fox, Eckhart, pp. 252-255)

Living life fully, passionately and serving others generously and faithfully is one of the best preparation and ongoing education programs I know of for ministry. This is not to deny that academics play an appropriate  role, but a focus on a intellectual approach  devoid of  reflection on meaningful life experiences does not meet the needs of our contemporary world. 

There are lots of questions we can raise.  Here are a few to ask as we go deeper into the mystery of living and loving as mystical prophets and activists, channels of God's love in our world:

What are the values that we hold dear? 
Where do we see God in our lives and the lives of those we serve 
and what does this mean to us and to them?
Where is God when our/others hearts are breaking? 
How do we respond to the messes of life?
 How do we witness for justice and equality in the deep suffering, and global issues of violence, domination and abuse?
How can our movement help to transform patriarchal structures in the Roman Catholic Church?

Thomas Merton,  in Conjectures of a Guilt Bystander reflects Eckhart's mystical vision:
"At the center of our being is a point of nothingness which is untouched by sin and by illusion, a point of pure truth, a point or spark which belongs entirely to God...This little point ... is the pure glory of God in us. It is like a pure diamond blazing with the invisible light of heaven. It is in everybody, and if we could see it we would see billions of points of light coming together in the face and blaze of a sun that would make all the darkness and cruelty of life vanish completely. I have no program for this seeing. It is only given. But the gate of heaven is everywhere."

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