Monday, May 8, 2017

Is God our Mother?

Is God our mother? This question comes up every year about Dame Julian of Norwich, who uses, quite appropriately, motherly language to speak about our Lord.

As Bp. Stanley Atkins pointed out to us, some 30 years ago, in our course in English Spirituality, this does not mean that we refer to God as our mother. God as God, not having "body, parts, or passions" does not have biological sex either. However, as the creator and not a creature he is masculine in relation to us, his living creatures, because he acts on his creation from outside to cause it to bring forth life, as* a father begets children by the mother.

In the Incarnation God shows a father's love for us in adopting us as his children when we are united in Baptism to his Son (the incarnate Word of God). God the incarnate Son is the bridegroom of the Church, by which he begets new children. And, while as God, he remains masculine in relation to us, God the Father shows us a mother's love in giving us the mother of his son (the highest of all creatures) to be our mother.

*to be technical, as="analagous to the way in which"

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