The Fate of a Mystic

The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me. Meister Eckhart

On March 27, 1329, Pope John XXII accused Johannes Eckhart of heresy and condemned him to death. Why was Meister Eckhart condemned as a heretic? He dared to make the startling declaration that God and human beings are already bonded together, already in intimate contact. The only obstacle is our consciousness and the construction of dualism that constricts our ongoing divinization. His experience led him to believe that in the secret recess of the soul is the spark of the divine, which is participating in the timeless existence of God. This mystical understanding got him in trouble with the Catholic church and condemned to die as a heretic.

The "myticism" of Meister Eckhart:

To be full of things is to be empty of the divine. To be empty of things is to be full of the divine.

God is a great underground river that no one can dam up and no one can stop.

God is creating the entire universe, fully and totally, in the present now.

There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence.

On this anniversary of his death, his cogent and soul-stretching words, are invigorating. They nourish me and challenge me to step into the spiritual adventure in which he lived.


World Water Day

Each year more than one billion of our fellow human beings have little choice but to resort to using potentially harmful sources of water. This causes a silent humanitarian crisis that kills some 3,900 children every day.

Nearly two in ten people in the world have no source of safe drinking water.

• One billion people worldwide have no access to clean water within a 15-minute walk of their homes.

• 25 million people die each year from contaminated water (that's the equivalent of the entire population of Canada.)

• 1.4 billion people lack access to clean drinking water.

• Americans empty 2.5 million plastic water bottles an hour. Each one takes 500 years to decompose if not recycled.

• The average American home uses 293 gallons of water a day, the average African family used 5 gallons of water a day.

(Troubled Water, Anita Roddick)

Water is symbolic of our relationship with the divine, carrying the image of renewal, promise and hope. We are called to live in right relationship with the rest of the world and with creation, and our lives should reflect that. "We need to be careful that our vineyards aren't watered with the water of those living in poverty around the world. The wine of the body of Christ is meant to be enjoyed by all. "


A Two-Faced Divinity

January, a month named after an ancient Latin divinity, Janus. It is believed that Janus had two faces, back to back, so that he could look ahead toward the future and back at the past. He was said to be the god of doors and journeys, endings and beginnings, transition and change... an appropriate personification for the start of a new year.

It often seems that as I enter a New Year I begin to feel an upsurge of spirit; a sense of new beginnings, doors to be opened. I'm not so good at resolutions, but I do fairly well at reflection. As I make my way into 2010 I can value the symbols of Janus. I will will take moments to think quietly on my personal journey, the continuum of life, of doors opened and closed, transitions and the miracle of self-renewal.