Matthew Fox’s above memoir entails his journey from boyhood to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, to his expulsion from the Church, and to his
second ordination with the Episcopal Church.  And, that’s as far as I’ve read.

The style of writing is personal and informative of the turmoil and chaos of the Church during Matthew Fox’s life, and how that influenced how he viewed religion. I am especially appreciative for the personal sharing – events as well as thoughts and feelings. It makes him human – having ups and downs, struggling with his inner conflicts, standing up to the institution for what he felt was right. What a tremendous role model in how to be a vulnerable and joyful human being! It gives me permission to be human also. I can have doubts. I can question.  I can pick myself up after a trauma.  I can let myself know that I have something to offer the world.

Reading “Confessions” was particularly meaningful to me at this time. I have been and am still dealing with a rare form of cancer and its recurrence, in just these last 4 years.  It has been very difficult physically.  I can no longer do the things I used to, i.e., work – I was a psychotherapist and qigong healer* – counseling trauma survivors.  Yet, I am grateful that my spiritual life has developed more depth and expansion. The questions that Matthew Fox asked of himself are the same ones I ask, only now there is an intense urgency that didn’t exist before the cancer.  Who am I?  What does God want of me now? Will I have the strength and courage to do God’s work when I am called? I still don’t know. I suppose that this is a test of faith. And, perhaps, that’s what it’s all about. Do I have faith when everything I’ve known about myself is leaving, when all my dreams and plans have been taken away with the illness? At times, I don’t feel so hopeful. Then, at other times, I know deep down that cancer is a blessing, that it has brought me to my knees to see how I will respond and grow.

It is so clear to me that Matthew Fox is one of the ones chosen to bring a sustainable worship into the new millennium, something we sorely need.  Creation spirituality, he calls it, the melding of offering diverse ancient religious traditions and applying them to create a world of justice, healing, inclusion, community, and freedom of worship in the world. And, with the understanding that we’re all in this together or we may not survive the destruction of our resources.

I am hopeful of the world and of myself, that I can still contribute  to others whether the cancer is cured or not. Reading “Confessions” came at a crossroads in my life, and I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity.

Thank you.

Gayook Wong

Ancient Chinese healing art that is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which also includes acupuncture and herbal medicine.