Saturday, May 14, 2016

Colleagues List, May 15th, 2016

Vol. XI.  No. 38



Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:

Colleagues List Web Site:

Dear Colleagues:

Enhancing your reading experience is very
important to me. I am currently involved in
up-grading the layout and presentation of
Colleagues List, so please bear with me.

I am attempting to reduce the length, but
not the content and quality, of each issue.

Please let me know how I'm doing.


This issue contains good commentary on
the Fort McMurray fire. I hope to share some
of my own reflections with you next week
in a column I wrote for the Anglican Journal.

This week's issue continues to provide feedback
on my upgraded blog and I thank those who
continue to share their thoughts.

Please scroll past this letter to read these
comments and the following items:

My Special Item - this week is a book notice
on a new volume by Matthew Fox entitled:
"A Way to God: Thomas Merton's Creation
Spirituality Journey" which I appreciate,
and hope you will too.

Colleagues contribute four special pieces -
so please read what Lorna, Jim, Ron and
Marty have to say this week.


I include 11 Net Notes from the world-wide
web for your interest.

This is followed by seven wisdom statements,
five historical notices from the archives of
the New York Times, and a closing comment.


Thanks again for joining me this week - along
with the 1,100 others who visited Colleagues
List this past seven days.




The Schroeders,
Winnipeg, MB

May 6th, 2016


You've set lofty goals for yourself ...
and our sense is that you're
Thanks again for stimulating and
provoking all of us 'colleagues.'
Elfrieda and Hardy
Pat Cashion,
Calgary, AB

May 8th, 2016

Re: Colleagues List, May 8th, 2016

Thanks Wayne.

An interesting and thought-

provoking collection, as always.

Funnily enough, my lousy typing
corrected my attempt to type
'interesting' to say 'intersecting'

A moment of grace, I think, as all
the different things we hear need
to intersect somehow in our minds
and more importantly our spirits,
it seems to me.




Book Notice -

Thomas Merton's
Creation Spirituality Journey
by Matthew Fox

New World Library
Release date Canada - May 20, 2016
Paper. 308 pp. $27.00CAD  $18.95US
ISBN #978-1-60868-420-5.

Publisher's Promo:

This powerful book was prompted by an
invitation Matthew Fox received to speak
on the centennial of Thomas Merton’s birth.

Fox says that much of the trouble he’s
gotten into — such as being expelled from
the Dominican Order in 1993, after thirty-
four years, by Cardinal Ratzinger (who later
became Pope Benedict) — was because of
Merton, who prompted Fox to attend the
Institut Catholique in Paris to undertake
a doctoral program in spirituality.

Fox reimmersed himself in Merton’s journals,

poetry, and religious writings, finding that
Merton’s marriage of mysticism and prophecy,
contemplation and action closely paralleled
that of Meister Eckhart, the thirteenth-century
mystic who inspired Fox’s own Creation

In A Way to God, Fox explores Merton’s
pioneering work in interfaith, his essential
teachings on mixing contemplation and
action, and how the vision of Meister Eckhart
profoundly influenced Merton in what Fox
calls his Creation Spirituality journey.

A Way to God creates a methodology for

understanding the vast contributions that
Merton made to the history of spirituality.
Readers will rediscover both the beauty
and the depth of Merton’s thinking and his
pioneering work in bridging the religions,
as well as discover a new dimension to
Merton: his journey as a Creation
Spirituality pilgrim.


Thomas Merton Wiki Bio:


Author's Words:

The publisher's interview summarized -

Merton was influential in my early vocation.
I read his autobiography when I was 16; and it
was he that recommended I take doctoral studies
in  Paris in 1967. Last year, I was asked to do a
presentation about Merton for a centennial
celebration of his birth and, while preparing it,
I discovered how we had traveled a quite similar
journey to creation spirituality.

Creation Spirituality is both a tradition and a
movement, celebrated by mystics and agents of
social change from every age and culture. It is
the oldest tradition in the Bible ("J" source) and
also the tradition of the historical Jesus. 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...

Merton told me that people today are looking for
"the way to God" and that is why spirituality is
so important - Merton discovered this in his own
journey and I did in my theological studies, and
teaching, writing and activism...

There are four paths of Creation Spirituality
through which to view Merton -

The Via Positiva is the path of delight, joy, awe,
wonder "astonishment".

The Via Negativa is the path of Silence and the
emptying of the mind; and also of grief, suffering
and nothingness...

The Via Creativa is the experience of God through
creativity and The Via Transformativa is experiencing
God via justice-making and compassion...

Merton is still widely respected today because of
how he spoke out in his own time (the 1950s-60s)
when it counted; about science, religion and social
justice - from a deeply contemplative practice and
spirit. Pope Francis spoke of Merton recently when
he visited America. This too was a recognition of
Merton's continuing relevance...

Young people are interested in Merton today. They
relate to his commitments to social and eco-justice
as well as activism.


Author's (brief Wiki) Bio:

Matthew Fox (born Timothy James Fox in 1940)
is an American priest and theologian.  Formerly
a member of the Dominican Order within the
Roman Catholic Church, he became a member of
the Episcopal Church (USA) following his expulsion
from the order in 1993. Fox was an early and
influential exponent of a movement that came to
be known as Creation Spirituality. The movement
draws inspiration from the mystical philosophies
of such medieval Catholic visionaries as Hildegard
of Bingen, Thomas Aquinas, Saint Francis of Assisi,
Julian of Norwich, Dante Alighieri, Meister Eckhart
and Nicholas of Cusa, as well as the wisdom
traditions of the Christian scriptures. Creation
Spirituality is also strongly aligned with ecological
and environmental movements of the late 20th
century and embraces numerous spiritual traditions
around the world, including Buddhism, Judaism,
Sufism, and Native American spirituality, with a
focus on "deep ecumenism."

See also:


My Thoughts:

Matthew Fox emerged during the 1970s/80s as
a creative thinking advocate of what would come
to be known as "creation-centered spirituality."

His new focus on the classic spiritual themes
of the "Four Vias" became well-known, and
particularly because he started his reflections
with "Via Creativa" and not "Via Negativa" -
implying a humanity focused on its "goodness"
and not its "evil" and "guilt."

I remember when the value of that insight
first struck me, and it has continued to guide
my spiritual quest ever since.

Many spiritual seekers today tend to ignore
completely the "negativa" part, and Fox
may well be to blame for some of that. But
it must be maintained that "evil" and "guilt"
were always part of Fox's formula.

Fox helped many people in our world to rejoice
in the fact that God created humans as good.
They were not "born in sin" as the liturgies of
the churches had so often emphasised.

Fox was outspoken in his views, and he didn't
hesitate to criticize his own Roman Catholicism,
including his Dominican Order, more than 25
years ago. It would not be hard to demonstrate
that, in an era of more conservative popes,
he brought rejection from his church upon
himself. While other creative Catholic thinkers
would have toned down their rhetoric to remain
within their faith community, Fox did not.

He has continued to write and press the envelope
of creation-based spirituality during the last
decades as an Episcopalian priest, based in
California, a heartland of spiritual questing
and diversity.

The book under consideration is a helpful
presentation - not only about Matthew Fox, but
also about its subject - Thomas Merton. In this
volume, Fox claims that Merton was a key mentor
in his spiritual formation and development over
the years. He gives many examples from Merton's
life and writings to demonstrate his debt to the
even more famous Merton.

There may be more objective presentations
of Thomas Merton, but probably not a better
one on the subject of Merton's influence on
Fox, and a whole generation of modern spiritual
seekers who may or may not be committed to
organized religion. 

The very fact that New World Library publishes
this attractive book, rather than a church-based
publisher, is indication that Fox seeks and appeals
to a broader base of spiritual seekers.

For Merton and Fox fans, this is a helpful study.


Buy the book from New World Library: (or)



Lorna Dueck,
Toronto, ON.

Globe and Mail
May 10th, 2016

"Shining a Spotlight
  on Religious Boundaries"


Jim Taylor,
Okanagan, BC

Personal Web Log
May 4th, 2016

"Anyone Can Be Broken"


Ron Rolheiser,
San Antonio, TX

Personal Web Site
May 9th, 2016

"The Ten Commandments of Mercy"


Martin Marty,
Chicago. IL

May 9th, 2016




Pakistan's Persecuted
Islamic Religious Minority

May 12th, 2016

Insights of a Fellow Albertan

Context With Lorna Dueck,
Toronto ON.
May 4th, 2016

"Trudeau at Fort McMurray"

New York Times Video
May 13th, 2016

Congregations Crave Substance

Alban Weekly
May 2nd, 2016


As Aids to Living Spiritually

Christian Week Online
May 8th, 2016

The Tablet, UK
May 14th, 1016

"Evangelicals Explore Catholic Spirituality"


"Reaping What We've Sown"

Religion News Service
May 8th, 2016


Evangelicals Take Up the Challenge

National Geographic
May, 2016


Christianity Today,
May 5th, 2016


71 Years Ago Last Week

Global News
May 5th, 2016



Religion News Service
May 12th, 2016

"Catholic Women Applaud Pope"

Women's Ordination Conference
May 12th, 2016


Fort McMurray Disaster is a Symptom

New York Times
May 10th, 2016

"After the Fort Mac Fire,
  A Frank Talk is Needed"

Globe and Mail
May 13th, 2016

Men Not Affected to the Same Degree

Assist News
May 10th, 2016


From Sojourners and the Bruderhof Online

We have to start teaching ourselves
not to be afraid.

- William Faulkner


None of us got where we are solely by
pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.

We got here because somebody - -
a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony,
or a few nuns — bent down and helped
us pick up our boots.

- Thurgood Marshal


We think we know a lot, but what we know
is very little. Even all those who have striven
all their life to bring progress to mankind
learned scientists and highly educated people -
all realize in the end that all their knowledge
is but a grain of sand on the seashore.

 All our achievements are insufficient.

- Thaddeus of Vitovnica


Those who love their dream of a Christian 
community more than they love the Christian 
community itself become destroyers of that 
Christian community even though their personal 
intentions may be ever so honest, earnest and 
sacrificial.., They enter the community of 
Christians with their demands set up by their 
own law, and judge one another and God 
accordingly. It is not we who build. 

Christ builds the church.  

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Just because so many things are in conflict
does not mean that we ourselves should be
divided. Yet time and time again one hears
it said that since we have been put into a
conflicting world, we have to adapt to it.

Oddly, this completely unchristian idea is
often espoused by so-called Christians,
of all people. How can we expect a
righteousness to prevail when there
is hardly anyone who will give himself
up undividedly to a righteous cause?

- Sophie Scholl


Is not the truth of the matter really this,
that we are just like a child who would
rather be free from being under his
parents’ eyes? Is not this what we want?

To be free from being under the eyes
of God? When Christ resolves to become
the Savior of the world, a lament goes
through all humanity. Sighing grievously
they ask: Why do you do this? You will
make us all unhappy. Simply because to
become a Christian is the greatest human
suffering. Christ, being an absolute,
explodes all the relativity whereby we
humans live. In order to live in the spirit
rather than the flesh, as he requires, one
must go through crisis after crisis, being
made thereby, from a human point of view,
as unhappy as it is possible to be.

- Søren Kierkegaard


It is not love in the abstract that counts.
We have loved the workers, the poor,
the oppressed, but we have not loved
“personally.” It is hard to love. It is the
hardest thing in the world, naturally

Have you ever read Tolstoy’s Resurrection?
He tells of political prisoners in a long prison
train, enduring chains and persecution for
the love of their brothers, ignoring those
same brothers on the long trek to Siberia.
It is never the brothers right next to us,
but the brothers in the abstract that are
easy to love.

- Dorothy Day



From the Archives of the New York Times:

"Axis Defeated in North Africa,
  during WWII"

"Germany Surrenders
  Unconditionally in WWII"

"Native Americans Occupy
  Wounded Knee"

"Nelson Mandela Named
  First Black S. African President"

"Daniel Ellsberg Cleared in
  Pentagon Papers Case"

"JPII Shot, Seriously Wounded
  by Turkish Assailant"


Johann Christoph Arnold

What so many people today fail to realize
is that forgiveness is a door to peace and
happiness. Forgiving is not ignoring
wrongdoing, but overcoming the evil
inside us and in our world with love.

To forgive is not just a command of Christ
but the key to reconciling all that is broken
in our lives and relationships. We get rid
of an enemy by getting rid of enmity



For Those Interested:

Beginning a New Program Year - 2016-17
Adult Spiritual Development/ACTS Ministry 
at St. David's United  Church, Calgary


The Planning Cycle Begins With a Question:

"Where Would You Like to Travel Next?"

Beginning our process to find a destination
for a trip somewhere in the world in 2017.


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