Although Jesus was a man, the Christ is beyond gender, and so it should be expected that the Big Tradition would have found feminine ways, consciously or unconsciously, to symbolize the full Divine Incarnation. —Richard Rohr
Paul pictures the entire human race—people of all colors, all religions, all political and economic systems—as living, moving, and existing within the cosmic womb of the One God. —Virginia Mollenkott
Women interact with Jesus in mutual respect, support, comfort, and challenge, themselves being empowered to acts of compassion, thanksgiving, and boldness by Spirit-Sophia who draws near in him. —Elizabeth Johnson
All we have to lose are the false images of God that do not serve us and are too small. The foundational good news is that creation and humanity have been drawn into this loving flow! —Richard Rohr
I call Her the Sacred Black Feminine. She is the God who is with and for Black women because She is a Black woman. She is the God who definitively declares that Black women—who exist below Black men and white women at the bottom of the white male God’s social pecking order—not only matter but are sacred. And in doing so, She declares that all living beings are sacred.
The earth is at the same time mother, she is the mother of all that is natural, mother of all that is human. She is the mother of all, for contained in her are the seeds of all. —Hildegard of Bingen, interpreted by G. Uhlein
Praying to the Divine Feminine
Contemplative teacher and author Beverly Lanzetta encourages us to pray to the Divine Feminine, discovering and honoring the unique ways that female images of God have shaped us:
Reflect on your relationship to the Divine Feminine figures [such as Mary, Wisdom, Sophia, or Mother Earth]. . . .
Consider ways in which culture has responded to the idea of God as Female. How has (if at all) the Divine Feminine and feminine energy been violated, shamed, abused, silenced, and/or ridiculed in you? As a female, as a male. Reflect on the ways that the feminine is celebrated in your culture. . . .
Write a prayer or meditation to the Divine Mother or to any attribute of the divine nature that you find reflects the sacred feminine and ask (if you feel so called) to learn her way of compassion, mercy, and unconditional love. . . . Give yourself permission to see that the path of the Divine Feminine you follow is an immense liberation. By praying or meditating on this gift, you will break out of imposed constrictions or oppressions, and be able to celebrate your free expression.
Beverly Lanzetta, A New Silence: Spiritual Practices and Formation for the Monk Within (Sebastopol, CA: Blue Sapphire, 2020), 317.
Explore Further. . .
- Read Richard’s poem “It Can’t Be Carried Alone,” written in response to the suffering of the Ukrainian people.
- Read contemporary mystic Mirabai Starr on the Lady of Guadalupe.
- Learn more about this year’s theme Nothing Stands Alone.
- Meet the team behind the Daily Meditations.
Image credit: Toni Frisell, Nuns Clamming on Long Island (detail), 1957, photograph, New York, public domain. Jenna Keiper, Untitled Rose, (detail), 2020, photograph, used with permission. Annie Spratt, Women farming cassava in Sierra Leone (detail), 2017, photograph, Sierra Leone, Unsplash, free use. Jenna Keiper and Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States.
This week’s images appear in a form inspired by early Christian/Catholic triptych art: a threefold form that tells a unified story.
Image inspiration: Divine expression comes in many forms. The Divine Feminine meets, nurtures, and is in us all, regardless of gender. Like a rose in a forgotten window, She Is and continues to be, despite attempts to neutralize her fragrance.
Prayer for our community:
God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough, because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.