Monday, November 03, 2008

Mother God, Part I

1. "God is spirit" [Jn 4:24] and has all the perfections of a father and a mother. Today I went to the two most controversial classes of the semester thus far. In the first, Introduction to Sociology, we finished watching The Laramie Project and then discussed Focault's 1988 History of Sexuality. People on both sides of the debate had good points but both sides also had flaws from a methodological perspective, at least. I was upset that the kid who had the last word before class was over got away with blaspheming the God of the Bible (esp. with regard to His punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah) and bashing organized religion as "brainwashing." More on that impious venom later. I pray for the conversion of my classmate because he is otherwise very cool and has such good insights on other matters! A man of his intelligence should know better.

2. The next class is Faith and Critical Reason; I'm mostly enjoying the class so far and the professor is a very interesting character. She is a feminist theologian with numerous doctorates and she is kind, good-humored, and patient. The chapter from her book on feminist theology was very thought-provoking, and I plan to offer comments on her powerful arguments about Jesus as the Wisdom of the sublimely beautiful Proverbs of King St. Solomon; Wisdom is described with feminine attributes and pronouns.

3. About feminist theology in general, however, I can't help but think that it puts fallible sentiments and passions above the way the impassible God infallibly revealed Himself as a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. One very positive aspect of feminist theology as expounded by my professor is its emphasis that men and women are created equally in the image of God. But as we enter this dangerous turf I insist that we keep in mind the following:
1. God is King of kings and Lord of lords; He is not said to be Queen of queens and Lady of ladies.
2. God is the King of Heaven; Mary is the Queen of Heaven.
3. God is the Father of Jesus; Mary is the mother of Jesus. No human is the father of Jesus. God is not the Mother of Jesus.
4. No one addresses God as "God the Mother;" the Biblical saints only address the First Person of the Trinity as "God the Father." Jesus does not address God as His Mother; Jesus addressed the First Person of the Trinity as His Father.
5. When we consider the relation of the transcendent God to His creation, a mother is not analogous to God as the One Who creates ex nihilo and is not analogous to God as the initiating principle of creation, while a father is analogous in these ways. Both are metaphorically fitting but only fatherhood is analogically fitting in this sense.
6. The Church is the Bride, not the Husband, of Jesus Christ, Who is fully God in addition to being fully human.
7. Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.
I love the above painting because it shows all three Persons of the Trinity on the same level, and, by showing the Father and the Son as identical in appearance, bears witness to the fact that the Son is not posterior in time to the Father. It faithfully portrays the Holy Spirit, since He appears visibly as a dove, and it fittingly shows Mary to be Queen of Heaven. The painting also shows Christ's sacrifice which we must always remember and cherish for it brings about the salvation of humanity. Amen.

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