In the Western spiritual tradition, the images of God are decidedly masculine. Let us not forget that importance of remembering that the Divine is its feminine form, hence giving honor to the feminine within ourselves as well.
One of the things I love about having grown up Catholic is the devotion offered to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. In the Catholic tradition, Mary has been given many titles including: Co-Redemtrix, Mediatrix of Peace, Mother of God, Immaculate Conception, Queen of Heaven, Theotokos (God-bearer). In her human incarnation, Mary played the important role of saying yes to the invitation to birth the Divine (through Jesus) into the world. She bore and raised the man that would bring God’s word of love into the world and she bore witness to her son’s suffering and death and to her word of the resurrection was delivered. In Catholic practice and doctrine, Mary has been elevated far beyond the simply human role of mother. She is considered to be co-redemtrix with her son in freeing us of the false perception of separation from God, thus providing for us the pathway to contentment, love and joy…in this world and in the next.
Waking up to Mary
I was first inspired to give honor to our “Divine Mother” when I awakened this morning to images of Mary in my mind. It has been a restless night of chaotic and anxious dreams, so I found comfort in remembering that Mary is available to us as a source of healing and comfort. Instead of jumping out of bed to tend to my daily journaling practice, I stayed in bed, placed my hands over my heart and offered prayers of surrender to Mary and her healing love. A few Hail-Marys even found their way into my prayer. In this time with Mary, I found my anxieties calmed and my mind quieted. Thanks Mary!
There are NO Coincidences
After spending 20 minutes with Mary in prayerful repose, I got up, tended to my journaling and got about the business of my morning. Then I picked up the daily scripture…….and I was forced to LAUGH!!!! It just so happens that TODAY, May 13th is the Catholic feast of Our Lady of Fatima. From May 13 – October 13, 1917, Mary appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima Portugal and revealed herself as Our Lady of the Rosary. Mary reminded the world, through these children the importance of turning our attention to God, to allowing our hearts to be opened to and by Divine love, (giving her own Immaculate Heart as an example) and to the value of prayer (including the rosary).
Why does any of this matter?
Whether or not you were raised Catholic, Mary provides an important example of human witness. She has been portrayed as a woman of prayer, of obedience to the path that she discerned God had in mind for her and followed the counsel of her heart as led by God. In a western tradition that tends to favor the masculine, Mary reminds us that the Divine can be revealed in feminine form and what those feminine attributes of the Divine might be: gentleness, an open and listening heart, tenderness, vulnerability and a calming presence. As we grow spiritually, we are invited to explore, discover and embrace all the infinite experiences of God, including masculine, feminine (and other)…AND we are invited to integrate ALL of these qualities within ourselves. Today, I invite you to explore the Feminine Divine in all its forms….most importantly….that which lies within.
Just for fun
And just for fun, and because sometimes I enjoy the oldy-moldy Catholic devotions, here is the Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary which is part of the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima:
Novena Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially …(special intention).
We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever.