Swirling shards of kaleidoscopic memories, the breath and the birthing of who I am as human, of family and friends, of teachers and lovers, of supporters and enemies, of breath-taking discovery and heart-stopping losses, the books and the poetry, gazing at the stars, the seas, and the mountains; this is the ever-expanding who that I am! Yet in all these moments of fool that I am, it is only in the mother’s heart that I have discovered sufficient expanse to hold the cosmos.
Economics, slavery, and indigenous genocide tell us something of the dark heart of what we have embraced as being human, the footprints our species and its cultural institutions have made on mother earth and in on our very souls. We are all still suffering from the trauma of slavery and of colonialism, whether we be black and descendants of blacks or whether we be white and descendants, not necessarily of slaveholders, but of the privileges that came our way because our ancestors were not slaves. As Broderick Rodell said recently, “Whether you are black or white, you carry inherited trauma from slavery.”
God makes a promise, God proclaims it, and Holy Scripture, God’s Word affirms it: it is the woman who will crush the head of evil and deceit that brings disintegration and death.
This is God’s choice and so today Mary, the daughter of Eve, the Theotokos, the God-Bearer, affirms God’s promise coming to fruition in her great gospel prophecy and Fiat: the Empire of the God of War, the Death Bringer, is to be thrown down from its’ throne of power, together with their great dynasties in all their pride; the moguls, the tycoons, and the captains of industry, all the victors of war. These are the followers of Mars, the oppressive victors who have made themselves into gods and the vanquished they have forced into the slavery of need. This is the great prophecy of the God-bearer, that Love will vanquish evil; a mother’s Love will replace domination and death.
Today we celebrate the great feast of this daughter of Eve, the chosen spouse of the Holy Spirit, and the God-Bearer, being assumed into heaven, into the Godhead itself. This gives us a new perspective of that matrix of life; reflecting the Love of God, the Love of Christ, and the Love of the Holy Spirit through the lens of a mother’s heart. This is the new matrix proclaimed by Jesus. This is the transformation of consciousness, the founding of God’s kingdom, a new order based on justice, mercy, inclusivity, and Love. We are born of Love. Love is our mother.
A new understanding that Jesus himself noted is beyond the comprehension of the powerful and the clever. This is a wisdom that cannot be made apparent through the warrior nature of death, through our drive to succeed and to win, or even through our quest for knowledge. This is the new understanding given to children who gaze into a mother’s eyes and know Love through their needing and their trust.
In describing the special treasure of woman, Pope St John Paul II wrote of their ‘unique feminine genius of Love’, “Thank you, women! You are present and active in every area of life-social, economic, cultural, artistic, and political. In this way, you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of ‘mystery’, to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.” It is thus that we call the church ‘Mother’, and rightly so!”
Why have we silenced their voices in the gatherings of the community? Why then have we excluded these women from their role as God-bearers at the table of the Lord? How much of God remains veiled because of these exclusions? We are called to choose another way. We, the great religions and churches of the world must become part of the new way or we will become irrelevant. We are not doomed to live with a self-identity that enshrines a domination neurosis and patriarchal ‘value,’ as our definition of what it means to be human.
When the feminine guides the masculine, masculinity’s actions become more moderated, softer and more humane, and far more trustworthy. Without this feminine guidance, our male anxiety and fear of losing control lead us into those compulsive actions that must always seek to dominate. For this reason, feminine guidance must be applied as we seek new solutions in the crisis facing our stumbling church and our suffering earth.
The Dalai Lama recently stated that it is only Love can save our world from the crisis of global warming. We must, therefore, turn to those that we affirm as genius in this field, those who abide in the genius of Love.
For this Love to grow and flourish, we must recognise the hidden potential in weakness and vulnerability. With this genius of Love, we are able to touch wisdom that is both mysterious and multi-dimensional. This is the awareness of the sacredness of the other, the sacredness of relationships as well as an experience of Earth’s sacredness. This is the awareness of Love that grasps our interconnectedness.
As in heaven, so on earth! Our patriarchal deity has led us to an earthly culture of batterers enforcing what we want through will and power of redundant roles; all those ‘holy’ intentions that continue to tear our lives and world apart.
Our move to new structures must embrace this Love to replace power, freedom to replace control, and liberation to replace exclusion and oppression. Any continued denial of the feminine within the patriarchal Deity will only lead to further dysfunction, wrath, judgment, ignorance, jealousy, division, and segregation, all of which feed the darkness of evil that both craves and canonises death and annihilation. We are approaching the time of the triumph of the heart of the Mother.
Mary, our mother, assumed into heaven,
Give us the necessary courage to divest ourselves of those privileges and those exclusive rights that separate and dominate. Help us, your priests to forego the benefices, the rights, and the pomp associated with those separated and ‘raised to the dignity of the priesthood’.
Give us a taste of that wondrous beauty that is the intrinsic dignity of each and every man and woman and in every child made in your image from the ages under the ages.
Give us a taste of that wondrous beauty that is intrinsic to all of creation, intrinsic to every animal, to all the rivers and mountains, to the forests and the seas.
Give us the courage at this time to kneel with our black brothers and sisters, those whose history and whose lives have been discarded as dangerous and worthless.
Friar at Order of Friars Minor. Studied Spirituality and Psychology at St Augustine College of South Africa. Studied Theology at the University of Wales. Studied Franciscanism, Canterbury.
Latest posts by Fr John Allen Green OFM (see all)
All copyrights for this article are reserved to this source