Sunday, May 08, 2005

God the Mother

My relationship for the past 49 years has been with God the Father, but I have no problem with God the Mother (both metaphors).

Isaiah 66:12-13 then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.


gratefulbear said...

Julian of Norwich, the great medieval English mystic, said, "As truly as God is our Father, so as truly God is our Mother." Both images are found in the Bible, but the Father image has been over-emphasized over the years.

One of the most healing experiences of my life was learning this prayer and repeating it, like a mantra, coordinated with my breath, letting the prayer penetrate the center of my heart:

Gentle loving God,
Mother of my soul,
hold me as your own.

Larry said...

Thanks, Bear for that wonderful tip and witness. I looked up Julian and found this site for our readers.

The idea certainly merits further discussion, which I hope will come forth.

Speaking personally I was convinced of the love of "my Heavenly Father" in 1956 and since then have always prayed to him as Jesus said we should do.

Many people obviously have had other experiences leading to God getting to them through other means.

It is wonderful that we can use the internet to share our particular light and be thereby further enlightened.

Thanks again for your comment.

Jon said...

I've heard that Pope John Paul I said, "God is both Father and Mother, but more Mother than Father."

Larry said...

This is great, Jon. I want to emphasize that God is nothing- and everything. God is beyond any possible categorization. God made fatherhood- and motherhood.

I believe we need a personal relationship with God, although that is a logical impossibility. God cannot be a person, having created personness.

God has made metaphors we can use to reach toward, worship and love him/her/whatever.

gratefulbear said...

God is indeed beyond all categorization. All our many images of God are useful, but they are all imperfect representations of the experience of God which is ultimately beyond words.

Great post and discussion, Larry!

dance2morn said...

I am enjoying your posts a great deal. Another thought on God the Mother--as a mother, I am disenfranchised--dependent upon work that will fit into family life--the first to stay home if children are sick. The one to move because my career isn't as important (i.e. financially lucrative). I think that Jesus emphais on relationship and on the importance of giving is more of a female model than a male one.

Larry said...

Thank you, my dear; I appreciate very much what you have said. You certainly remind me of my wife; she drove 30 miles up the mountain one year carrying our last (unborn) to get her teacher's certificate, but we soon moved out of the state.

She is 10 times the Christian I am and also a tremendously supporting and self sacrificing wife.

I retired at 62 and wanted to go south (from D.C.); she was only 51 and had a much better job than I left, but she resigned to go with me (children grown). We have been very happy.

I would say without hesitation that she fits the model of Jesus much better than I do.

But of course Jesus lived in a very patriarchal culture, and he introduced us to God the Father. That has been my God since 1956.

Father -- Mother -- are simply two of many metaphors attempting to point toward God, the ineffable, undescribable. But my love of the father is paramount and inspires me to love everyone as best I can.

I would like to affirm the shape of your faith responding to your experience and thank God for it.

Your friend in Christ.