I recently read a headline that caught my attention:
“Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13. The consecration will take place as part of a pilgrimage that will bring thousands of members of groups promoting Marian piety to the Vatican.” – Catholic Herald
Hmmmm? Marian Piety? What does that mean exactly and why does Pope Francis think the world is in need of it? Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church is finally beginning to understand that in minimizing the role of the Divine Feminine from scripture and liturgy, it has severed the umbilical cord of humanity. Ok, maybe I’m being too optimistic. Can’t blame a girl for hoping.
However, I would like to take a look at one of the Catholic Church’s most famously documented apparitions of the Holy Mother to perhaps challenge what Christianity has spoon fed us all these years. Bernadette Soubirous, at the tender age of 14, was visited by a beautiful, nameless, lady in a grotto in Lourdes. Her sightings were challenged over and over again until she was finally able to give the local parish priest the name of the lady. “I am the Immaculate Conception.” She was then taken seriously, because according to the priest, an uneducated girl of her up bringing would have no idea what that meant.
I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION…this is big stuff to ponder, but at the same time it simplifies every misconception of the Holy Spirit. First of all, She used the I AM to define Her Divinity. Just as God said to Moses that His name was/is I AM THAT I AM, the apparition stated, I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. The Catholic Church also believes that the Holy Spirit is the creative, life-giving aspect of the Holy Trinity. That being said, the Holy Spirit caused Mary to become pregnant with Jesus while being a virgin. So far, nothing I’ve stated contradicts church teachings. Now, hold on, this could be a bumpy ride…
If you agree with religious tradition, you understand that the Holy Trinity is three aspects of God in one. I don’t disagree with that. The disconnect arises when we use the masculine pronoun to describe it. The Holy Spirit is always referred to in the masculine, and that “He proceeds from the Father and the Son.” How can this be? This goes against everything in nature, which is also a creation of God. If you change the equation slightly it makes more sense. The Son proceeds from the Father (God/Logos) and the Mother (Holy Spirit/Sophia).
Some saintly scholars such as St. Maximilian Kolbe have taken this masculine principle so far they will state that the Holy Spirit is the Spouse of the Virgin Mary. What? Yes, the masculine principle impregnates, but it does not conceive. The Holy Mother did not declare that She was “immaculately conceived.” She clearly stated that She is/was THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.
I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION was the Feminine Aspect of God declaring at the top of Her lungs, I AM THE DIVINE FEMININE! I am woman, hear me roar! Ok, I admit I’m a little fired up right now, but only because if you do something as simple as change a pronoun, EVERYTHING changes.
I believe that Mother/Father God created us in Their Image and intended for men and women to live in balance and harmony respecting, revering, and cherishing each gender’s different qualities. And also acknowledging the delicate balance of masculine and feminine that resides in each gender. Somewhere in the course of human history the balance shifted. I will go out on a limb and speculate that perhaps females disrupted this balance in an effort to shift the balance in their favor; a crude image of the Garden of Eden story comes to mind. Needless to say, woman have been paying the price since then.
If Pope Francis sees a need for society to devote itself to the Holy Mother through ritual and devotion, perhaps this Pope (whose namesake also revered and respected the role of women in the church) is finally realizing that a church of motherless orphans is crying for it’s mama to hold and comfort it. Can’t blame a girl for hoping…