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Mary and God as Mother

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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/18 12:02:26 (permalink)
Thank you for explaining your idea .  I agree with the Old and New Testament that the Feminine is Wisdom.  This is Christian and Jewish traditionally and biblically.  It is Greek language translations too and Latin.  One has to have the necessary Wisdom to provide and nurture properly, the Wisest parent, Wisdom.  Both male and female are parents and both loving parents provide.  It is vital we get away from this false restricting notion that only women parent.  Men do too.  Thanks for your idea!  God bless. Leonard
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/18 12:07:15 (permalink)
  Here is why I think we must not restrict women to "motherhood " only role in the church.  Jesus made women apostles as necessary and important as the men apostles.  Women must also be ordained priests in the church.  Men also parent .  Women have Wisdom and so do men.  Saying women are providence sounds too much to me like restricting them to just "motherhood" role.  Priestly role is for women too.  That is why I disagree and say the Sophia, the Feminine Divine Wisdom is authentic and that's why it is in the Bible and in Jewish books too.   Good to think about this.  Thanks from Leonard.
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/18 16:32:27 (permalink)
God (the first person of the Blessed Trinity) we call Father. Yet this divine person represents both Father and Mother. This is most profoundly revealed in the story of the Prodigal Son.
 
I love the story of the Prodigal Son so much because it teaches the compassion of God as a parent. In the story the father represents God and yet it always seemed to me this character behaved more like our stereotype of a loving mother than an overbearing punishing father.
 
When the Prodigal Son returns, the father is so happy to see his son that he runs to greet him even before the son acknowledges he was wrong. The father then wants to clothe and feed his child just as a mother is most likely to do for a child returning home.
 
So when I contemplate this story, the message I get from Jesus is two fold. First that God is indeed both Father and Mother and second that such perceived “feminine” qualities as unconditional love, compassion and forgiveness serve as a behavioral model for men also. Nurturance is not an aberration of maleness but a normal part of what it is to be a man and spiritually connected to the Love that is God.
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/21 02:17:46 (permalink)
That is a beautiful way of expressing it.
 
The artist Rembrandt would, I think, agree with your view.  In his famous painting called The Return of the Prodigal Son, he portrays the father's two hands resting on the back of the son:  one hand is masculine and one hand is feminine.
 
It was a feature pointed out to me by a Dutch priest, Henri Nowen, who either before or after a 'break down' had occasion to sit in a chair right in front of the painting where it hangs in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg.  The museum curators let Nowen sit... and he reflected/contemplated/soaked in the meaning of the painting. 
 
Although I have always loved the story of the Prodigal Son, I admit, I find it quite challenging.  It challenges my own notions of 'justice' seem to flounder in the more human realm than in the Godly...
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/21 02:20:10 (permalink)

 
I can't see it too well here but I think it is that
when one faces the painting, the left hand of the father
is more feminine (thereby representing whether consciously
or on unconsiciously on the part of Rembrandt the
feminine aspect of God) and the right hand is more
masculine.
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/21 02:28:53 (permalink)
what I meant to say is that the father's hand that is on left hand side of the painting is feminine.
 
the hand on the right hand side of the painting is masculine.
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/21 04:18:13 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

Although I have always loved the story of the Prodigal Son, I admit, I find it quite challenging.  It challenges my own notions of 'justice' seem to flounder in the more human realm than in the Godly...

 
I think God’s justice is revealed in the story when the father tells the good son, “You are with me always. Everything I have is yours.”
 
To be with God always and to have everything that God has is far better than to live without God.
 
Also I think overall the story shows us that it is possible to be both merciful and just. You can forgive someone who has hurt you and at the same time continue to fully love and cherish those who have supported you. Love has no limits.
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/21 04:55:08 (permalink)
How does one put that into the context of a 'corporate' entity ...such as 'Rome'? or even within the Church to the people who propogate bad laws, bad teachings, and through fear/intimidation have people believing things that are not of God?  How do we encourage ourselves to be forgiving while pressing for justice?  Is it possible to be forgiving while pressing for justice?  Or is it wrong to press for justice while at the same time not being forgiving?
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/10/21 22:30:58 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Guest

How does one put that into the context of a 'corporate' entity ...such as 'Rome'? or even within the Church to the people who propogate bad laws, bad teachings, and through fear/intimidation have people believing things that are not of God?  How do we encourage ourselves to be forgiving while pressing for justice?  Is it possible to be forgiving while pressing for justice?  Or is it wrong to press for justice while at the same time not being forgiving?

 
We can consider what Jesus taught us; love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you, forgive seventy times seven, turn the other cheek. The Gospel is a handbook of love.
 
I believe it not only possible but important to steadfastly strive for justice and equality in the Church and still be forgiving of those who support sexist policies. Many times people act out of ignorance or brainwashed conditioning. However, even if the intention was to deliberately hurt or destroy the spirit, how could one retaliate? It would make you no better than those who oppose you.
 
We need to be true to all the teachings of Christ. We need to continue to pursue equality and justice and an end to sexism in the Church but at the same time never forget that we are all part of the same human family.
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2007/12/31 03:40:51 (permalink)
Mary may not be God.  But obviously in the way that people relate to her, many people treat her as though she were the feminine version of God.
 
This says that people intuitively understand a feminine face of God and not just a masculine one.
 
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2008/07/25 02:19:46 (permalink)
Balanced notions of deity
By RITA LARIVEE
The National Catholic Reporter
July 25, 2008
Section: B. Editor's Box


Sr. Rita Larivee, SSA

Staff writer Rich Heffern, in his portrait of Catholic artist Meinrad Craighead, writes: “As the sun rises, a slight, gray-haired woman emerges onto the worn plank porch of her house and pours half a glass of water out onto the sandy soil, lifts the cup to the sun, then drinks the rest of it.

“In this daily ritual, artist Meinrad Craighead rebaptizes herself, making a short prayer to God as Mother: ‘You have given me this life. This is my daily prayer. You’re going to take care of me.’

One cannot imagine Craighead’s morning ritual -- her morning prayer -- without being touched by her sense of the presence of God throughout her surroundings and in and out of her being.

On our front cover we call it: “Weaving images in the soul.”

It’s a very Catholic thing to do -- and a Catholic way to think.

Craighead is not just any Catholic artist. She is one who is helping us reimagine our image of God, offering a more feminine vision.

For years, our traditional notion of God has been almost exclusively masculine, or as theologian Elizabeth Johnson has said, people often think of the Trinity as “two men and a bird.”

No longer. In recent decades more feminine notions of God, of Spirit, have been emerging and energizing our Catholic imagination.

Johnson and other theologians believe oppression begins in language, the very language we use for Divine Mystery. When God is referred to exclusively and literally as a male, women are reduced -- and their roles within Christianity are reduced as well.

So, many women and men are seeking to use new imagery and metaphors for speech about God, in order to emancipate women and on a wider plateau to expand our imaginations of God’s nurturing love of us and for creation.

Through the writings of feminist theologians and artists such as Craighead, we are moving forward into more balanced and energized notions of deity. And none too soon.

Going forward, we go backward as well. As Craighead told Heffern: “Both art and anthropology show that for hundreds of thousands of years our Paleolithic ancestors venerated female deities.”

As Heffern writes: “Though the Christian Godhead lacks a strong female aspect, Craighead believes that anyone who has grown up in the womb of the Catholic church is given an early understanding of the sanctity of the Great Mother in Mary, the Mother of God.”

Craighead and others are pointing out the way our church over the centuries has used the energy of the divine feminine symbolically.

Craighead notes, “The church is called the Mother, the womb, the source.”

Ecofeminists in particular link the degradation of nature with the oppression of women in our culture, which goes hand in hand with the dearth of female divine images. But maybe, praise be the Spirit, this might be changing.

National Catholic Reporter July 25, 2008
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2008/07/25 02:19:53 (permalink)
Art and Spirituality: In the name of the mother
By RICH HEFFERN
The National Catholic Reporter
July 25, 2008

Section: A. Cover Story



-- Art by Meinrad Craighead: "Tree Mother," 1982

Crows gather in cottonwoods by the Rio Grande River, down from the nearby Sandia Mountains that tower a mile above the city of Albuquerque. A community-operated irrigation canal, or acequia, threads its way from the riverbanks where the crows chatter into a neighborhood of low adobe abodes. As the sun rises, a slight, gray-haired woman emerges onto the worn plank porch of her house and pours half a glass of water out onto the sandy soil, lifts the cup to the sun, then drinks the rest of it.

In this daily ritual, artist Meinrad Craighead rebaptizes herself, making a short prayer to God as Mother: “You have given me this life. This is my daily prayer. You’re going to take care of me.”

Craighead, 72, has spent her life exploring in art the human-divine relationship, particularly in images of God as the Great Mother. Her published work -- books of her art with accompanying text by the artist -- includes The Litany of the Great River (Paulist Press), The Mother’s Songs: Images of God the Mother (Paulist Press), Sacred Marriage: The Wisdom of the Song of Songs (Continuum) and Meinrad Craighead: Crow Mother and Dog God. The latter is a 340-page retrospective published in 2003 by Pomegranate Communications. She has been the subject of a number of documentaries filmed by Italian, British and U.S. television.

Her work portrays in vivid color both an active visual dialogue with God and a keen sense of the brooding, watching, beckoning power she finds in the land around her, in the sky above, the earth below, in the animals, in our dreams.


"Mother and Daughter," 1981

One critic called her art “vast landscapes of interconnectedness.” Another wrote: “Her detailed pieces teem with images and concepts from Catholic spirituality and ancient mythologies, blended in visceral lunges or relentless flows. All art for Meinrad is prayer, a continual supplication for vision.”

Religious art portrays in tangible form the awe, wonder and mystery of our human encounter with the divine. Within this realm some artists stand out: in music, composer Arvo Pärt. In poetry, Rainer Maria Rilke and Gerard Manley Hopkins. In Craighead’s work in the visual arts, nature, myth and the Catholic spiritual tradition all mix in a body of work that is enigmatic, illuminating and deeply nourishing, especially for women.

NCR spent a day with her in mid-June at her home here.

The walls of the studio that stands behind her house are fitted with several altars, on which stand kachina figures and pottery decorated with elaborate abstract designs from the nearby Native American pueblos, statues of saints, a jar stuffed with hawk feathers. Photos of Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Carl Jung stand by portraits of dogs, both alive and dead, before which burning candles flicker. A Navajo rug hangs on the back wall. A note below an elegant drawing of a crow reminds her of the two principles of thermodynamics: energy is neither created nor destroyed but merely changes form; things fall apart. A big yellow dog sleeps next to the wood stove at the studio’s center.

Other altars can be found in her house, in her bedroom, and on the grounds, one built on the site where a crow died shortly after Craighead moved in, all filled with art that honors the divine.

Her great-great-uncle was a saintly German Benedictine hermit-monk, Meinrad Eügster, revered in Switzerland in the early 1900s. She took her name from him. On her father’s side her ancestors include members of the Chickasaw tribe.


"Her Face," 1983

As a young girl, Craighead was always drawing. Christened Charlene, she was the first of three sisters born to a Catholic family in Arkansas. Growing up there and in Chicago during the Depression, she made do with sidewalks and scraps of paper, sketching incidents from the plots of radio serials. “I was ecstatic when my father gave me a tray containing three sticks of charcoal, then later a drawing table. By the time I was a teenager I spent hours drawing every day.”

Her Catholic upbringing, she said, nourished her imagination through its ritual and ceremonies, its candles, incense, psalms and litanies. “From the beginning, I had a safe container in which to dream, inside the arms of my mother and my grandmother and then out into the imagery of the Catholic church.”

For her, Catholic schools didn’t so much impart knowledge as they conveyed beauty. “Friday afternoons we would put away our books and draw, make images then put them up on the board on Mondays. It was an ideal way to grow as an artist.”


"The Sound of the Rio Grande," 1988

Yet her first real religious experience, at the age of 7, was not in the church but in nature, with her dog, she said. She had retreated from the heat of a summer day to the shade of some hydrangea bushes. Under the flowers’ blue dome, she found herself gazing into her dog’s eyes. “They were as deep, as bewildering, as unattainable as a night sky,” she said of the eyes, and as she stared she felt a rush of water coming from deep within her.

“I listened to the sound of water inside, saw a woman’s face, and understood: This is God. Soon after this I came upon a photo in a book of a statue of a woman. The recognition was immediate, certain: I knew this was the woman I’d heard in the water and whose face I had seen in the dog’s eyes. This discovery brought a sense of well-being and gratitude, which has never diminished. Because she was a force living within me, she was more real, more powerful than the remote ‘Father’ I was educated to have faith in.”

She believed in her because she had experienced her, she said. “God the Mother came to me and, as children will do, I kept her a secret. We hid together inside the structures of institutional Catholicism. Through half a lifetime of Catholic liturgies, during school years, in my professional work as an educator, for 14 years in a monastery, she lived at my inmost center, the groundsill of my spirituality.”

Rather than threatening her certainty that the woman was, for her, the truer image of divine Spirit, the Catholic church offered reflections of the feminine deity in Mary as the Great Mother.

As a teen, Craighead fell under the spell of Dorothy Day, she said, even writing to her an impassioned letter asking how she could join up with the Catholic Worker to feed the hungry. “Dorothy kindly answered me saying that my calling was to be an artist and as such I could feed the hungry.”

Seeing in the dark
 
In 1960, Craighead received a scholarship to study art at the University of Wisconsin. After teaching for two years in Albuquerque, she took a year off to study and then teach art in Florence, Italy. She returned to the United States 21 years later.

In 1966, she entered Benedictine Stanbrook Abbey in England, where for the next 14 years she continued her work, publishing her first book, The Sign of the Tree, and becoming the subject of a number of television documentaries.


"Stars," 1984

It wasn’t a conflict of ideology that spurred her finally leaving her contemplative nun’s life in 1980. “The same spiritual energies which guided me into the monastery were now calling for me to leave the abbey,” she said. “There was something I was supposed to do that I couldn’t do in the monastery. I loved monastic living and, at 44 years old, it would be hard to start a new life but I had to trust my calling. It was only after I left that I began to understand that I was supposed to concentrate on images of God the Mother.”

With a grant from the British Arts Council, Craighead produced her second book, The Mother’s Songs. This collection of paintings and prose was the first outpouring of her personal vision of God the Mother, who had “guided me as an artist, illuminating my imagination. Eventually she erupted directly into my imagery.”

In 1983 she returned to the United States to set up her studio in New Mexico, where she still lives and works, devoting herself to imaging God as feminine.

“Both art and anthropology show that for hundreds of thousands of years our Paleolithic ancestors venerated female deities,” she said.

The ancient world had strong goddesses -- Isis, Tiamat, Cybele, Demeter.
Buddhists honor Kuan Yin and Tara while Hindus revere Kali and Durga.

Though the Christian Godhead lacks a strong female aspect, Craighead believes that anyone who has grown up in the womb of the Catholic church is given an early understanding of the sanctity of the Great Mother in Mary, the Mother of God. “In the history of art, she takes over where the early images of the Great Mother were pushed aside.”

Craighead points out the way the church over the centuries has used the energy of the divine feminine symbolically. “The church is called the Mother, the womb, the source.”

Feminist theologians like Rosemary Radford Ruether, Carol Christ and Mary E. Hunt have explored the role of the divine feminine in the history of religion and introduced multigendered language to describe God.

Ecofeminists in particular assert that the degradation of nature is related to the oppression of women in our culture, which goes hand in hand with the dearth of female images of the divine.

An image that comes out of the Catholic tradition that particularly inspired and informed Craighead’s work is that of the Black Madonna (see related story).

Subjects in her work range from the visions of Catholic mystic St. Hildegard of Bingen, to images of the Rio Grande, scenes from the psalms and the Song of Songs, figures from Greek and Norse mythology, Native American animal and divine spirits, wise grandmothers, angels clicking castanets, otherworldly beings. There are also women giving birth in a variety of ways, self-portraits, menstrual blood, icon-like scenes featuring dogs, crows, flickers, coyotes, magpies, turtles and owls.

One of her most memorable images, “The Sound of the Rio Grande,” depicts an elderly woman with braided hair playing a cello on a moonlit night with a coyote yipping beside her and water rushing beneath her.

Beside the feminine divine, animals are a key element in her art. “They see in the dark,” she said. “That’s seeing into mystery, and that leap into the dark is the realm of creativity, so animals are sacred emissaries of divine messages. They are other, manifestly magic, splendid in their beauty, terrifying in their physical power, dangerous, yet giving.

“Looking into the animals’ eyes, the ancient artists, like those who painted 10,000 years ago in the caves of southern France, saw into the divine.

Watching the animals, they learned of the beauty of God’s immanent presence. In all animal epiphanies, God is the teacher. Animals are guides into the underworld of prayer and sleep.

“Philosopher Gaston Bachelard called them the ‘origin of the human imagination.’ ”

Her work is also influenced by the Native American art of her beloved Southwest and by the landscape there. “When I came to New Mexico in 1960, I found the land that matched my interior landscape.”


-- NCR photo/Rich Heffern:
 Meinrad Craighead with her dog, Loge

She studied the Native American art she found there. “What moved them to fashion their magnificent abstract designs? Their art and religions were a great mystery I took with me to Europe and kept with me in the monastery, especially the spirit called Crow Mother, who comes from the Hopi tradition.”

The techniques she has used include charcoal sketches and scratchboard abraded with steel wool or sandpaper on which paints are introduced and layered. The physical effort of that technique over time finally wore out her shoulder. She was forced to move to watercolors for a time, then to painting with acrylics.

She continues the principles of a monastic life. “I still identify with some of the vows I took as a nun, that of poverty for example. My understanding of poverty is not to have what you don’t need, so I live a simple life. I’m still following my commitment to obedience, heeding the same spirit that drove me into and out of a monastery, that drives me in my creative vocation.”

Fertile emptiness
 
Craighead has done workshops and retreats with women in recent years, using images for prayer and healing. She sees spirituality and her artwork as seamless.

“The artist is one who needs to behold, then lets that beholding enter her, lets it inhabit her and then moves it back out into the world. What artists express are the mysteries they have pondered inside them. Artists live a spirituality of epiphanies. Our work too is sexual: the work of conception, gestation and birth.”


"Black Madonna," 1991

Craighead said she spent one whole summer as a child digging a hole in her backyard. “Finally I found I couldn’t get out, and had to borrow a ladder from my grandpa. Summer looms before a child as a time of emptiness, yet within that emptiness children always find an amazing world of creativity,” she said. “The experience that that emptiness is full of fertility is a basic human religious experience. Everything comes from that.”

“Meinrad’s work perfectly links the ecology movement, Catholic incarnational spirituality and the ascetic life,” said artist and Mercy Sr. Donna Ryan. “We readily acknowledge Catholic women novelists like Mary Gordon, Anne Rice or Flannery O’Connor but have neglected visual artists like Meinrad.”

Virginia Beane Rutter, who uses Craighead’s art in her psychotherapy practice with women, wrote: “The great gift of Meinrad’s work to women is that it speaks directly to the heart and soul, the innermost place of the feminine interior garden, the wellspring of life. ... The Great Mother presides over the thresholds of life and death. ... The Black Madonna lends the gravitas of earth and sorrowful energy, and St. Hildegard inspires with her fiery visions of God. Crow Mother broods over aspects of them all. Through them, Meinrad devotes her life to creating and worshiping at the fountainhead, the source.”

Craighead’s mother recalled to her once that she was always burbling and humming as a young child but then stopped when she began to draw.

“She was not quite right. The humming stayed inside, the watery sounds collected around the place in my soul where imagery was to gather and focus in memories, in paintings. It was water that first told me I was an artist, and I believed the water.”

Rich Heffern is an NCR staff writer. 
National Catholic Reporter July 25, 2008
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2009/02/04 00:42:06 (permalink)
Motherliness should be included in the Godhead
by Stafford Betty
National Catholic Reporter
February 6, 2009


Stafford Betty

At the Council of Nicaea in 325, over 300 church leaders heard Arius and Athanasius debate Jesus’ relation to God the Father. Arius was sure Jesus was subordinate to the Father, Athanasius that he was coequal and coeternal. Three more ecumenical councils would follow over the next 126 years, until the doctrine of the Trinity took its final shape.

Not one of the participants at any of these councils was a woman, and not once did anyone bring up the question of God’s motherhood. Thus the Catholic church ended up with a Father, a Son and a sexless Holy Spirit.

The patriarchal bias inherited from Judaism had made a clean sweep, and the natural human instinct to reach out to a mother for comfort, consolation and forgiveness was frustrated.

It wouldn’t be long before Mary, Jesus’ mother, would be erected as a kind of surrogate deity for Christians, and for centuries she was the chief focus of their piety. But her popularity, at least among modern Christians, has waned. After all, as it has often been pointed out, she is not God. Why not go to God with your heart’s deepest yearnings rather than a second-stringer like Mary? Protestants all but terminated prayer to Mary, and many Catholics followed suit.

That attitude has cost Christianity dearly. Even recent popes have admitted as much. When in 1854 Mary was officially declared immaculately conceived, this led, according to Pope Pius XII in his 1953 Marian Year encyclical, “to a great improvement in Christian morality.” We all know that Mexican Catholicism, or indeed the Catholicism of our grandparents, would be impoverished without Mary to prop us up in our sorrows.

Recent popes have gone so far as to invite the faithful to think of God as feminine. In 1978, John Paul I remarked that God “is the Father, but also the Mother.” In 1999 John Paul II, known for his devotion to Mary, told a crowd in St. Peter’s Square that the hands of God “are the hands of a father and a mother at the same time … they give us comfort, they console and caress us.”

But the official teaching of the church makes no provision for God’s motherhood. Is there some reason to think it might someday?

The prophetic voice of Rosemary Ruether and other Catholic feminists encourages us to think so. Ruether tells us that God is much more than a masculine being “removed from creation … in the manner of a patriarchal ruler” but is also “the Primal Matrix, the womb within which all things are generated.” She refers to God in her writings as “God/ess.”

Many of us are listening, but is the Vatican? As an overseer ready to pounce, they no doubt are. But perhaps I am being too cynical about those earnest, sometimes holy men with funny hats. After all, there is nothing about the Trinitarian formula that prohibits a codicil. Nowhere in the creed does it say, “And God is not a Mother.”

So why not embed motherliness in the very granite of the Godhead? Would it seem sacrilegious to pray, “I believe in God the Father and Mother”? I can’t see why. And both Pope John Pauls have dignified such a formula. It might require an ecumenical council, but what could be more invigorating to the church than such an alteration in the creed?

For once the church would actually seem progressive to the world at large. New talent would be attracted to it. The world’s contempt for one of the most arrogant assemblages of males on the planet would greatly diminish.

Of course, conservatives would complain. They would warn that if God became a Mother in the eyes of the faithful, then the next thing you could expect is that women would become priests. And someday that might even lead to a female pope, heaven help us.

One of the hoped-for outcomes of such a codicil is that women would be elevated -- and no doubt they would in fact. If that led in due course to female priests, sexists would get used to them in a hurry, just as racists are getting used to President Obama. The sky would not fall. All that would happen is that the church would experience new life and millions of conversions.

But the ramifications of Rome’s adopting such a codicil to the central doctrine of Christianity should not be allowed to influence the decision. The real issue, ultimately the only issue, should be: “Is it true that God is as much our Mother as our Father?” If s/he is, then let’s hope the church will have the courage to say so and rule accordingly.

Many of our Hindu brothers and sisters believe that Shiva is the god of the universe: eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, creator, destroyer, ultimate.

Shiva, viewed as male, has his female consort, Parvati, and is powerless without her. She is his shakti, or divine power. Together they are god almighty, apart they are incomplete.

A favorite sculpture of Shiva and Parvati is known as Ardhanarishvara, “the Lord who is half woman.” The sculpture’s right half shows a male with strong arms (Shiva has four arms), hand holding a rod or trident, flat-chested. The left shows a woman with a prominent breast, curvaceous hip, hand holding a mirror or cooking pot. Most Hindus do not think of one half as dominating the other. Both are equally necessary for god to be complete. Hindus have a hard time with our Trinity: a God who has a son, but no wife.

They have a point.

Stafford Betty is professor of religious studies at California State University, Bakersfield.
National Catholic Reporter February 6, 2009
 
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2009/02/14 01:20:51 (permalink)
Brilliant ideas on the Motherhood of God by Professor Stafford Betty.  I like his prayer version:
 
"I believe in God, the father and the mother
Creator of heaven and earth
And the son of God, Jesus.... "
 
Perfect, God as both Mother and Father, true wholeness and balance.  True community.
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2009/02/15 19:57:04 (permalink)
Our Father and Mother Who Art In  Heaven
Hallowed Be They Name
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done,
On Earth As It Is In Heaven
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation.....                       
 
 Perfect as Professor Stafford Betty suggests to realize the Motherhood of God too.
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2009/02/16 01:16:25 (permalink)

For once the church would actually seem progressive to the world at large. New talent would be attracted to it. The world’s contempt for one of the most arrogant assemblages of males on the planet would greatly diminish.

The arrogant assemblage of males is forever whining over the fact that they don't get more male help, support, members, priests.  Rather than take a serious hard look at themselves and ask themselves and the community why is it that they just somehow fail to attract more male help, support, members, priests, they incessantly turn to mothers and teachers to help coerce impressionable male children into joining their ranks.  Mothers and teachers just aren't doing their job properly and pushing vocations!  Somehow the arrogant assemblage of males just never seems to ask what's wrong with this picture and how this system could be so completely disfunctional that it has to rely on the coercion of children in order to prop it up.
 
A friend's son, raised Catholic from day one, educated by Catholic schools from day one, is about to graduate from the Catholic university with his advanced degree in theology this spring.  He is not joining the priesthood.  He is marrying and becoming a minister elsewhere, where church constitutes a healthy assemblage of families, including his own future family.  I'm sure his talent won't be wasted.
 
woman who votes with feet
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2009/03/16 02:33:49 (permalink)
I was reading this dialogue and it struck me that we are all called to be Mother of God.
 
If we are following Christian calling, we are all -- men and women -- helping to birth Christ into the world.
 
We all have a part in being the Mother of God in the world!
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RE: Mary and God as Mother 2009/03/16 04:13:08 (permalink)
True, and God encompasses both Mother and Father.   The Lord's Prayer and other prayers and creeds should reflect, Mother and Father God.
 
We are sons and daughters of God,  both God the Father and Mother.
 
Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Jesus.   God is a parent too, of us and of Jesus too.
 
 I believe in God, the Father and Mother Almighty,  Creator of Heaven and Earth,  And God's Son, Jesus
 
Adam and Eve are in the image of God, so that is Father and Mother, male and female.
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