On The Subject of God as Him/Her

Back in December 2010 my friend Battle Beads had a post on which I commented, but only saw last night that she had requested some more information about what I had said (sorry about that, Battle Beads!).  Since I was ferreting out my research anyway, and it was too much for a combox, I decided just to post it here.  You can read Battle Beads’ original post and our comments as background to what I am talking about here.

Re Pope John Paul II:  I have a newspaper clipping I saved from our local paper from September 11, 1999 (I don’t have the author’s name though).  The headline reads:  Pope’s “God the Mother” views hailed by churches.  Here are a few excerpts:

Officials in many of Canada’s mainstream Christian churches have reacted supportively to Pope John Paul II’s recent descriptions of God’s “feminine side” and his reference to “God the Mother.”  “What the Holy Father is saying has been the traditional teaching of the church for centuries,” said [then] Ottawa Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Gervais.  “There is no sexuality in God, who is neither male nor female.  He is described in the entire Bible in male terms.  But he is given female characteristics in many, many parts.  So it is legitimate to say God is Father.  But God is also Mother.”….

[the Pope said, to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square the previous Wednesday]:  “The hands of God hold us up, they hold us tight, they give us strength.  But at the same time they give us comfort, they console and caress us.  They are the hands of a father and a mother at the same time.”….

Father Gervais suggested that the Pope’s revelation might come as a surprise to some because it is not a subject that is often addressed and they may not have heard about it.  “Most people realize God is beyond sexuality.  Everything we say about God is by analogy, and every analogy is partly true, partly false.  It doesn’t matter what word we use for God, it’s inadequate.”

Julian of NorwichFrom:  Revelation of Love

Chapter 48 (pg. 95)  “For I beheld the property of mercy, and I beheld the property of grace.  And these have two ways of working in one same love.  Now mercy has the property of pity, for it belongs to the Motherhood in tender love…” [and the footnote says, re Motherhood:  the first reference to God’s Motherhood, which Julian later develops and appropriates to Christ.]

Chapter 52 (pg. 113)  “And thus it was I saw that God rejoices that he is our Father, God rejoices that he is our Mother, and God rejoices that he is our true Spouse and our soul his beloved wife.  And Christ rejoices that he is our brother, and Jesus rejoices that he is our Saviour.”

Chapter 54  (pg. 120)  “For the almighty truth of the Trinity is our Father, for he made us and keeps us in him; and the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother in whom we are all enclosed…”

Chapter 57  (pg. 127)  “For Christ, having knit to himself all those men and women that shall be saved, is the perfection of humankind.  So is our Lady our Mother in whom we are all enclosed and of her born in Christ; for she who is mother of the Saviour is mother too of all who will be saved in our Saviour.  And our Saviour is our true Mother in whom we are endlessly born yet we will never come out of him.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church  (#370):  “In no way is God in man’s image.  He is neither man nor woman.  God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes.  But the respective “perfections” of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God:  those of a mother and those of a father and husband.”

From Holy Scripture:  [I’m too tired to look them up, but you must know some of the ones, about God nourishing us with milk as from a mother’s breast, and there are others.  Help me out here if you like!]

St. Faustina (Her Diary, # 230):  Although I didn’t mention it in my original comment at Battle Beads’ blog, there is also St. Faustina [no coincidence, is it, that Julian of Norwich sees God as Mother in the same vision as she sees mercy, and St. Faustina is God’s secretary of Divine Mercy]:

Jesus, living Host, You are my Mother, You are my all!  It is with simplicity and love, with faith and trust that I will always come to You, O Jesus!  I will share everything with You, as a child with its loving mother, my joys and sorrows – in a word, everything.

Because of the way most of us were raised, because of the “Our Father”, because Jesus took a male body when He incarnated and because of our day-to-day exposure to the masculine-gender words used for God, many of us really do relate to God primarily as if God were male. But as we can see from the actual teachings of the Church and through the revelations of the mystics (only two of which I have quoted here; no, wait, three – JPII was certainly a mystic) there is no reason why we cannot relate to God by knowing and imitating God’s female characteristics and attributes as well. I classified this post under the category of “mysticism” because one of the things that likely inhibits people’s understanding/knowing in this regard is the mind. Perhaps only direct experience of the Divine Feminine will alter a person’s perception.

38 thoughts on “On The Subject of God as Him/Her

  1. I agree with you here Gab. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and I must say I didn’t really like BB’s response. Does she not realize that there are many aspects of the faith that are currently being studied from every angle…but the theologians can hardly be accused of relativism just because they do that.

    The first time I discovered the female attributes of God, was when I went to the shrine of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother, here in Abruzzo, with a group of children from our parish. There is a huge mosaic depicting the return of the prodigal son, with the father and son running towards each other, and a beautiful generously “mediterranean” female figure is in the background, embracing them both. The young priest who was explaining the mosaic asked the children who they thought the woman was…They replied everything from the blessed mother to aunt, to friendly neighbor, until he explained it was “mercy”, one of the female attributes of God.

  2. Is 49:15, too. “Though a mother forget, I will not forget you.”

    I recall a long ago pastor addressing the RCIA group with a talk on the Holy Spirit (“Ruah” – breath) and I believe he mentioned also “Sophia” (wisdom and hence God’s feminine side, all while not mentioning Mary our Mother). All in all, my bearded God (Father) and my bearded walking Saviour (Son) and His priests, did not for me immediately point to God’s femininity in the Person of the Holy Spirit! Plus, it kinda left Mary out in the cold. I have thought perhaps Mary is MIA in especially the church in America.

    When I read, “The Shack,” albeit not written by a Catholic but by someone who thought he knew the religions well enough to try to tackle it, the Holy Spirit was a feminine Person and quite hippie-ish and realized I can’t get into God as Mother or femme at all. I guess the greater fact is, I don’t want to. Indeed, an experience of the Divine Feminine would be needed before I could embrace it, but nonetheless, we can (read and) intuit God’s motherliness, as you’ve pointed out so well. If He bore none, we would not have had Eve, let alone Mary!

    It is funny the arguments that pour forth about God’s maleness; indeed, one would think He patterned Himself on man, rather than the other way around.

  3. Another of the experiences I’ve had regarding readings which touched on the Divine Femminine is the book I translated for my spiritual healing blog in Italian. I did not have an easy time with the concept, but I could understand why the writer (a Catholic nun) tackled the subject. She said that most sexual abuse victims have been abused by men, and for this reason, many of them (both male and female) have a very hard time reconciling with the God the Father image, and even with Jesus for the same reason. So she helps people discover these female attributes of God, and although I personally shy away from referring to God as “She”, I have thought about it more and more in recent years.

  4. I can understand that, MPD.

    By the way, I haven’t read BB’s post/comments yet. I may do that tonight, after I hopefully craft a resume for a certain fellow, but certainly my curiosity is piqued.

  5. Oh, for pique’s sake, I peeked, and there goes the resume-building. And I may end up biting someone.

    a) Michael Voris is the latest Amerikan hammer of heretics who loves to bait vulnerable folks who are thinking they should take their confirmation as a soldier of Christ more seriously, and he knows how to work a camera as well as a dramatic gasp; as such, he is to be avoided like the measles, or at least taken with a grain of Salt (this restricts the poison).

    b) Abp. Dolan, was that who was attacked by Voris the Impaler? Man, I love these self-appointed Bishop-Police. (Especially in tartar sauce.) The good Archbishop can handle the Church AND gay folks just fine. I won’t worry.

    c) I have noticed that Catholic people who post a little too often may find themselves becoming intolerant of opinions that are nonetheless indeed within the buds of doctrinal Catholicism as flowered by the popes of hermeneutic continuity — as always — who aren’t the ones whispering in the loggia or anywhere else, and who need not explain what the prayer really says. Uber-posters should take the day off now and then and soak their feet in Epsom salts (it may leach up to their agape center and level things out again).

    Gosh! They blame Vatican II for everything but their anti-commandmental insularity.

  6. Well, now that I’m semi-recovered from Gypsy-Ji’s pique I’m back.🙂

    Pia, I think if we had had more images over the centuries like the one you describe at the shrine in Abruzzo, we wouldn’t have such difficulty in recognizing and relating to God’s feminine attributes. You know, St. Faustina says in her diary that God revealed to her (or she came to understand) that mercy is God’s greatest attribute, and from what I have in the post about mercy and what you said in your comment, I was thinking about this: they say that we have been living in the Age of Mercy (which many believe is now or soon drawing to a close), so that means we have been living in a time when God was manifesting the greatest of the divine feminine attributes, to draw us close with love, forgiveness, calling for repentance and conversion of hearts…

    Gypsy, I find the whole Sophia thing very confusing. I know she is feminine, but some Bible studies say that Sophia (Wisdom) is the Holy Spirit, and some say she is a foreshadowing of Mary, and I just don’t know what to make of it all. But regarding Mary, of course she is our model of the feminine, but she was a created being – albeit, because of her perfect unity with God she was the most completely divinized of human creatures, and can only reflect the Holy Trinity so completely is she at one with God, still, her divinized state shouldn’t be confused with the Divine Feminine of our uncreated God, and I think that’s where alot of people get all confused. And then they get all upset because they think that Divine Feminine is all New Age, etc., because they don’t know it’s even in our Catholic tradition, etc.

    Pia, I understand about the abuse issue too, and I think that’s a very valid point she’s making, as well as an Inspired way of helping people through the healing process. Re terminology, I’m not in favour of changing all the gender words, etc. It doesn’t bother me a bit and I think we have far greater things to worry about…

    Gypsy-Ji, have mercy. You’re killing me softly, with a, b and c. omg, when oh when are you going to publish. Oh, and by the way, many thanks for that wonderful Bible verse.

  7. Claiming absolutely no expertise either Biblical or catechetical, I have always been intrigued by the attribution of the feminine to Wisdom in the OT. And many of the characteristics of Wisdom seem only attributable to God himself. I certainly have no brilliant insights into this but it seems to me that this was done for a reason. Take from it what you will, I guess.

  8. Who is this Michael Voris and why should we avoid him?

    I like the divine feminine. I have trouble with feminine metaphors directed at me as contemplative. What I am interested in is how women relate to the divine masculine. MPD mentioned an excellent perspective.

  9. Well, JT, we all filter everything through our own personal lens, so I guess I’d have to say that I like the Divine Masculine just fine, now, but that wasn’t so at all times — there was the odd priest who was too rough on 50s kids in the confessional, and there was that stretch when I was absolutely petrified of God; and yet, I’d have been 100% baffled if anyone mentioned the Divine Feminine to me back then –it wouldn’t have helped at all. At any rate, I didn’t have much of an earthly father, and my uncle was very nice and he laid down his life for us, but he was my cousin’s (the Princess) father, not mine. It was nice to have God step in; in whatever capacity that was, it seemed Masculine.

  10. Gab, to quote my oddest heroine, Dorothy Parker, “Every morning after I wake up, I brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” (I’ll bet she wasn’t proud of it, either.) You scared me, by the way– I wondered if I had published something and kept it from myself. Good heavens, one article in one book, and two poems in another? That’s the equivalent of half a freckle, or a tiny dice of onion found in the relish on the hot dog cart at the fair– but thank you.

  11. I have a theory that when we split with the Orthodox we lost something of the divine feminine. After the split one tends to distance themselves from the estranged. You and the X used to drink champagne and listen to Ella every anniversary, suddenly not only is Ella and champagne out of your life, but the whole category of jazz is gone and seldom do we drink at all. As a matter of fact with X gone we run a lot and take up marathoning. We have a new muscular focus, and avoid anything that smacks of lounging with champagne and jazz.

    We tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We lose something in the rebellion.

    I’ve shared this with Gab before, but I tend to look at my relationship with God, esp Jesus, as one of the guys on the team. Perhaps He is the team captain. I am very uncomfortable in the place of St John at the last supper. However, I am completely comfortable in the place of Simon of Cyrene. There is a type of union there, but it is a bit too late to really think about it.

    I am not entirely comfortable with a totally masculine God. It does not seem right. I wish that there was more feminine attributes. It is very difficult to “love” God for this reason. It’s more like profound respect. The lack of the feminine, I believe, is why I have trouble with divine intimacy. I cringe when I hear men singing about how much they love Jesus.

    Too late to continue. Maybe more tomorrow.

  12. Interesting points, JT, and not least of all the one about the thousand-year split. I had never considered its impact or ramifications for me — it’s just a done deal that I am more Roman than Eastern, ‘though I truly like the Syriac-Maronite rite. I was ticked off that the Orthodox would not host our beloved JPII in Russia and accused him (and those they call “uniates”) of trying to steal away their brethren when he had prayed so unhiddenly, worked so hard, and suffered so much for the two lungs to breathe together. To tell you the truth, I have quite understood the feminine complaints against too patristic a Church, but only because of what I think of as the severe Orthodox. I really don’t know much more of it all than what I’ve read online.

    It’s not odd that you are uncomfortable with the Divine Masculine.. I myself was and am uncomfortable with those who assign themselves the spiritual role of being His bride. The whole Church is indeed His bride, but John Michael Talbot’s first book unnerved me for he responded to God’s love as the feminine, and I quickly skipped over his spiritual father’s own admonition to his brothers (Franciscans) to take turns being mothers to the Lord. I understood the concept, but it was way too deep and too great a stretch to be comfortable for this female-gendered hunk of clay.

  13. I associate mystery with the feminine aspect of God. I don’t know if that is theologically correct, but I do. Contemplation and mysticism provides a means to understand that aspect. I feel the longing for it because there is something missing in us all that needs to be completed which is this divine union.

    On the other hand, one fulfills the requirements of the divine masculine in the shoes of Simon helping Christ carry the cross. I need to choose my words more carefully perhaps, but I think it captures something of the male perspective.

    I think the East has a better grasp of the mystery, or at least it places the focus there. In the west, I think we’re more about getting the cross across the goal line than focusing. My point the schism was bad theologically, but probably worse spiritually. We need both lungs to breath perfectly. I have trouble listening to Catholic radio because it’s always about fighting the dominant culture. Where if you listen to Easter Orthodox radio its about prayer and worship. You will almost never hear about fighting abortion or the culture of death on EO radio.

    I am attracted to the East because I need the mystery. Hence the divine feminine. I think they took with them the lion’s share.

    Sorry don’t mean to stray into personal opinion here.

  14. This is a really great discussion!

    A more masculine and feminine character of God, the East and West, mystery and mission … the division of East and West and the condition of marriage in Christian society …

    There is a sense of the reason why, for a while in the Church, Jesus was associated with Justice and Mary with Mercy…

    It seems to me, for whatever it’s worth, that everyone is picking up on something here.

    Personally, I think it’s in the Holy Trinity, where the Father and the Son are in eternal relationship through the Holy Spirit, and this triune nature of relationship reveals something of God’s femininity. The Trinity is revealed by God’s mercy, no? The Trinity was unknown until His mercy was fully revealed. (OK, I’m using “His”, but this will always be a mystery – we’ll never “figure” it all out!)

    I think masculinity and femininity exist to reveal relationship, to reveal the triune God, and this is revealed in one way in His relation with people. In the scripture I think, man and woman are images of God and human, and when God became human, maybe we could say in some way that He became feminine, or rather revealed that feminine aspect to us, that aspect of Mercy that is associated in Hebrew scripture with a mother’s womb. (And the humanity of Jesus – the fullness of the revelation of God – is entirely from a woman.) Maybe we could say that He chose Mary to personify it to us. St. Maximilian Kolbe described Mary as the quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit.

    But I think that there is a fundamental masculinity in His fundamental identity as Creator, which doesn’t exclude the feminine of course, but the masculine is the initiator, the active, while the feminine is the receptive. A priest friend was saying last night how a man really contributes only a tiny thing – one little sperm cell – to new life, while the mother does everything else! It is similar in that Christ is the first seed of the Church, and Mary is entrusted with the rest of the growth of the members.

    But Christ does say, “Follow Me”, and He refers to God always as His Father, and He Himself taught the Our Father. Our invitation is to enter into His relationship. I think we will find an understanding of the femininity of God by accepting Mary “into our things” as our spiritual mother as the beloved disciple did, and she can point the way. In whatever mystery way this happens with each of us …

    Or, maybe we are using masculine and feminine when we really mean generosity and receptivity, or something like that? A receiving aspect of God we might call the feminine, the generous aspect masculine? God receives us in Mercy, as the Prodigal Son story shows, and then is generous towards us in adorning us… The Trinity reveals that both the Father and the Son must have both generosity and receptivity to give and receive love in their union … so God is not just independent generosity, which many heady – and single – theologians can like to tend toward … but He can receive from us, too, when we are united with the Son …

    I am rambling with thoughts because I’m short on time, but it’s an interesting discussion!

  15. Pia, thanks very much for that link. I think it is a very good response to the question indeed. When the Catechism says that God is pure Spirit and neither male nor female, it never entered my mind that some people might then think God was “neutral”, so I appreciate the way the author explained that God “transcends” the sexuality of male/female and the roles of father/mother.

    JT, really wonderful points. I do know your overall feelings about this whole area since we’ve talked about it more than once, but I think this is the first time (perhaps) that you mention the East/West separation and the effects that may have produced. Definitely gives us much food for thought. Actually, it sounds like thesis material to me!

    Jerome? Do you have to write a thesis in seminary??? 🙂 As you say, I think this has much to do with the Holy Trinity and relationship. And when you speak of receptivity and generosity, that is of course totally aligned with what I was quoting in the post about the attributes of God, and how some of them are what we think of as masculine attributes and some feminine. But I truly believe that, although this is certainly the stuff of reflection and meditation [and theses], it’s something that has to be directly experienced. I alway find myself coming back to “God is Love”, and how can anyone put a gender, either gender, on Divine Love. I am perfectly at ease living with/in this mystery.

    Terry, I agree with you about Wisdom and femininity and the OT. It’s just that every time I explore it, it gets me more confused, so I don’t pursue it anymore…

    Gypsy and everyone, I think our relationship to God as masculine/feminine really does have a strong basis in our upbringing, the experiences we’ve had in life, our role models, etc., as Gypsy describes. I can say that in contemplative prayer, I can make no distinction between male or female of the God that I am with. Outside of contemplative prayer, I relate far more to God as a male, but that is just my personal way of relating just as you each have your own. But as [then, in 1999 in Ottawa] Archbishop Gervais said, any word we use for God is inadequate. I think just as Jesus “meets us where we are” wherever we are on the path of holiness, God meets us in our need for a relationship with a mother, father, male, female and that can change anytime our needs change over the course of our lives. I just want to live the mystery. And since, as Julian of Norwich says, ” God rejoices that he is our Father, God rejoices that he is our Mother”, let’s rejoice in both as well!

  16. Hi Gabrielle,
    I really should be going to bed, but this last thought (from my side): Picking up on your thoughts that our understanding of God is formed by our relationships and upbringing, and also that Jesus meets us where we are at, I have believed for a while that, the meaning of entering the Kingdom of God is that we are developing real human relationships with Jesus and the members of His body. The saints and living members of His body manifest different aspects of Jesus’ Person, and Him and His body taken together will reveal the whole Christ. My thought is that our encounter with Jesus Himself is an encounter with the masculinity of Christ, and our encounter with the members of the body – the Church – is an encounter with the femininity. So He can meet us where we are at through the saints and living members of His body. We and the saints and those who respond to His grace give Him His adaptability. So based on the particular wounds of our upbringing, Jesus places the people – men or women – that manifest the right aspects of His Person to draw us closer to Him and experience more healing, especially through the wounds of those sent people, which present His own. So I’m thinking of a process of growth in relationship, and entering the Kingdom. So, some people start out with devotions to particular saints, some Christ Himself, the Blessed Virgin, and so forth. Some have wounds from father or mother, etc., but God has the humanity of Jesus through the sacraments, us and saints – through the Church – that “fits” any human condition. And then we all are called to grow deeper in encounter with Christ and with all the saints and members of the body, and the more we do the more we are entering the Kingdom, though each in their own way, through the way that fits their humanity. Ultimately, we each will be in this full encounter in eternity, and this is our end.

    So I think all this personal adaptability to the uniqueness of each person comes from the feminine quality of Christ, I think, from the body, the Church, which has a feminine identity (and of course many feminine members). We experience God’s maternity through the Church, through the multitude of people. But the single head, Jesus, is masculine, and so the male priesthood. It is a mystery!

    OK, end of thesis, time for bed. We all leave the seminary for the March for Life in DC at 5:30am tomorrow morning!

  17. GeezLouise, I hope Jerome will dress warm — we’ve got that arctic air upon us, now, and DC isnt going to be any better.

    Maybe I should not say this, but not having an experience of God’s femininity is just one of the reasons I think maybe I’m not a contemplative. Although my personal experiences of God have been through the Holy Spirit, He seemed present as Father (twice, if you also count a centering prayer I once did with the RCIA folks and ended up addressing Him quite unexpectedly as “Abba” for the first time ever), and as Brother to Whom I was restored after a absence that was absence only on my part. There was that embrace in spirit I received long ago, and it was genderless but I recall only wondering whose warmth had gathered me up — the Lord? Mary? A saint? My angel? I only knew his/her Source. Is that what you mean by an experience of the feminine? I mean, fathers can be soft.. Our Father certainly can be. I just know that when I lay my back up against Jesus’ shins as I listen to Him in Bethany (at Mass), or pray with my forehead or shoulder against His in the Garden (in Adoration) while He holds my one hand in His two, He certainly seems male/masculine only.

    Indeed, though, the Lord is beyond the two genders, but since there are two genders and we’re made in His image (and someday, in His likeness, too), and He will indeed be someone we’ll one day know as we are known, it would seem only likely that He would incorporate and exceed attributes of the two genders. Oh gosh, I guess I’d better get to bed, too, lol.

    Wow.. this turned into quite the thread, Gab. Pia, I will check out that link tomorrow!

  18. alivingmonstrance: “while the mother does everything else!”

    Let’s expand that a bit. The father beyond the donation is supposed to provide a zone of safety for the woman so the new life can grow inside her. This idea may break against the Juggernaut of modernity, but I think there is still some truth there. In my opinion the male priesthood provides that protection to Mother Church as we all grow inside her.

    On a slightly different subject, yesterday I was listening to some of the Walk for Life coverage on EWTN. One of the women who is an abortion survivor was saying that each child’s cells from each pregnancy are carried with the mother for the rest of her life. In essence she was saying that her child remains physically part of her. They really stressed that this was a scientific fact. This of what that means for Our Lady.

  19. Let’s not forget that as human beings, we too have both feminine and masculine qualities…, that help us respond to certain situations and/or stimuli appropriately. Maybe this happens in our spiritual lives as well…and maybe this explains the language of male mystics, when they say they are in love with Jesus.

  20. JT, I’ve never heard that women carry cells of their aborted children. What I’ve read is that the child takes nothing of the mother beyond the pregnancy — his/her afterbirth was a temporary organ that leaves when the child does. I’d really like some scientific corroboration of this carrying one’s children’s cells, because that (if a fallacy) is dangerous, i.e., “I didn’t kill my child, I simply decided to carry him/her forever.”

  21. Hi Gypsy

    I totally I agree. I just found this by googling around. I am certain what I heard yesterday on EWTN. I don’t think the speaker meant just women who suffered through an abortion, but all women who’ve been mothers. As of now the last two glorious mysteries now make sense to me. So does consecration. This is amazing. I hope I am not misunderstanding.

    “In 1996, Diana Bianchi, a geneticist at Tufts Medical Center, found male fetal cells in a mother’s blood 27 years after she had given birth.”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fetal-cells-microchimerism

  22. Well, I’m glad you found something positive in it, JT. What I see in this article which is “CAN remain” in the mother’s body, not necessarily WILL, is also this and a leaning toward saying these cells have been found in tumours: “Scientists increasingly think these silent signals from the fetus may influence a mother’s risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases, even decades after she has given birth.” Did Oprah write this?? Let us pray that this is guestimating bs science or a once in a million occurrence, otherwise, young women will be even more undazzled by conception and very determined radical elements will overrun the globe with their own progeny..

  23. I worked in a research center for many years, and I can assure you that Scientific American is not on the list of top medical journals, but The New England Journal of Medicine is. This concept is not an invention, C, as you can see in this wikipedia link, that links to several articles taken from NEJM, although I don’t see why young (or even older) women would be undazzled by conception because of it. I think it’s amazing…

  24. JT, I’d never heard of “eucatastrophe”. Before I read the definition I was thinking maybe it meant what a catastrophe our lives would be without the Eucharist.

    Pia, I read what was at your link. I had to read the section “Microchimerism and disease within the context of a tripartite conflict” three times before I finally realized it was no use. I’m totally lost. [Like my life would be without the Eucharist].

  25. Well, Pia, I had wondered initially (as this article suggests) if male cells could’ve come from elsewhere — like a blood transfusion as mentioned, or perhaps from one’s twin back in the womb, or even from bodily fluids. I tried to get through the whole article but fell down the mountainside of it and am feet-up in a lake of “Huh?”

    It was from there that I read your link, JT. I can only say that my inklings are quite different from those of the Inklings!

  26. The sign of a well written scientific article is that it should be incomprehensible to anyone but experts, and there is a rating of these publications, of which NEJM is one of the most respected. But the Scientific American article is for the general public, and offers a summary of the gibberish written in dry scientific articles. What I mean to say is that this discovery is considered fact, and it has become one of the building blocks contributing to the the pyramid of scientific knowledge. And God’s handiwork shines through.

  27. We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    Through the unknown, unremembered gate
    When the last of earth left to discover
    Is that which was the beginning;
    At the source of the longest river
    The voice of the hidden waterfall
    And the children in the apple-tree
    Not known, because not looked for
    But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
    Between two waves of the sea.
    Quick now, here, now, always—
    A condition of complete simplicity
    (Costing not less than everything)
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of thing shall be well
    When the tongues of flame are in-folded
    Into the crowned knot of fire
    And the fire and the rose are one.

  28. I am pretty sure that Tolkien would reject the notion of “Happy Ending” as synonymous. I think it is more closely aligned with hope overcoming despair. The person who put that in the wiki is misinformed. It is a great word.

  29. It’s simply a translation of the greek… “He formed the word by affixing the Greek prefix eu, meaning good, to catastrophe, the word traditionally used in classically-inspired literary criticism to refer to the “unraveling” or conclusion of a drama’s plot

  30. Pingback: On the path towards consecration « Beyond the Horizon

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