posted Dec 11, 2015, 4:41 AM by C Hamlin-Krout   [ updated Dec 11, 2015, 8:20 AM ]
"My work on the other hand is more subtle than that - trying to discover the spirit in historical events, bodily events, the signs of our times, the movements of our times - and to connect this with our heritage, tradition, past, and future."  Matthew Fox, pp.324, Confessions.

Reading Matthew Fox's updated book Confessions not only gives insight into his early life and influences, but to the evolution of his work against challenges from the religious community he committed his life to and later from the educational institution he founded.  He is unstoppable in his commitment to helping others and bringing a new teaching into our world.  Matthew continued on to create the Y.E.L.L.A.W.E. program while building a solid platform for his teachings on the Cosmic Christ and creative worship in the Cosmic Mass.  His updated book not only gives insight into his journey as a priest and a teacher, but how it is intricately woven into his true nature in becoming both a priest and a poet in our world.

Matthew heeds the call to the great need in our world for us to become "Sacred Activists," that is to be fully present in the brokenness of our world, and to take sacred action to restore balance and help others in need.  He also writes about the influence in his work from Thomas Aquinas' teaching on magnanimity or "Great Soul" of being virtuous is being in truth.  In being in truth one then  enters into one's own power, drawing strength from the inner truth to become empowered and act from this core.  This is the Matthew I know, a priest, poet, and teacher who is the embodiment and activist of his core truth, his core being.  This truth makes up the unshakable foundation for his action and is his very breath of life in our world. 

We met several years ago through the seven "I Am" tablets created by M.C. Richards.  In the exhibition catalog for her final show, Imagine Inventing Yellow, M.C. wrote about the creation of these tablets beginning with the "I Am the Door" tablet.  How refreshing it is to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary found in our daily lives - the door as an opening, a pathway, and a guide.  In making all seven of the "I Am" tablets M.C. wrote that she found it interesting to think of these statements as names for the self.  I Am the Door, I Am the Light of the World, I Am the Vine, I Am the Living Bread, I Am the Good Shepherd, I Am the Resurrection and the Life, I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life - if we thought of these statements as our names we might live in a different way and follow a different path in life, creating a new world for our future generations to follow.

I think of the "I Am" statements as "openings or portals" to awaken the truth within our core being.  To me they are names for the "infinite self" that lives within us all.  We can awaken this magnificent force within through the daily discipline of making our mark in some fashion, whether on paper, clay, gardening, or movement - this process opens the door to the extraordinary that lives within the ordinary; and from there awakens us to a new richness in life, truth in our core being our authentic self, and embracing our beautiful divine nature within.

The "I Am" tablets created by M.C. Richards are photographed with a series of new tablets created by the South American artist, Javier Lemus in Matthew and Bishop Mark Andrus' upcoming book, Stations of the Cosmic Christ.  This book is both a practicum and spiritual guidebook, giving seekers a touchstone to deepen their awareness and daily practice.  Thank you Matthew, it is a great honor to write about your work, your life, to walk with you, and listen to your truth.  Through our work and presence among us you open the door widely for all who want to enter into a newness in life.

I leave with a poem M.C. Richards wrote for Matthew after he was silenced for a year by the Catholic Church....

demanded the Pope.
Silence! echoed
the judges
Silence! pleaded
the teachers.  Silence murmured
the clergy
and still the UPROAR
continued...of the free and
passionate spirit.

-for Matthew Fox, Equinox, 1993, BRAVO!
"Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story." - Elie Wiesel
"The purpose of life is not to be happy.  the purpose of life is to matter, to have it make a difference that you lived at all." - Leo Rosten