Welcome and Introduction

PCS 310: Celebrating the Sacred Feminine in Your Life

with Dr. Bridget Mary Meehan


Join me on a journey into the beauty, power,

strength of the Sacred Feminine- God's Inclusive All-Embracing Love-

in our world.

Contemplate the depths of divine mystery and holy wisdom in ancient

biblical, mystical writings and in your spiritual journey.

Today there is a new awareness that sexual equality and mutuality are

the relational order presented by Jesus and the writers of the New Testament.

This vision reintroduces the feminine face of God pre­sented in Scripture, 

tradition and in mystical writings throughout the ages.

There is a growing contemporary phenomenon evident in the widespread

interest of the feminist movement in spirituality and in the actuality of women

affirming their worth and dignity as divine images created in the divine image.

The process of naming and re-imaging God, using feminine images in addition

to the tradi­tional masculine ones, gives us endless possibilities for growth

in wholeness and holiness. It challenges us to discover our self-image and

our identity in the cosmos as human persons called to equality and mutuality, 

sharing a sacred connectedness with creation. All genders

symbolize the divine and thus, are spiritual equals. This means that the full equality

of women in an inclusive church for everyone must include ordained ministries.

One can assert that if the symbol system that patriarchy has given us of a

male God is changed, our worldview could be radically altered.  

As we reimagine our divine beginning, we can incorporate a symbol system

that reflects the liberating energy of the feminine at

work in our lives guiding us toward a more balanced, integrated approach

to spirituality and ministry.

Beyond our wildest imagination is divine mystery beyond the Beyond.

Every metaphor strikes our intuitive awareness-level as, amazingly,

both true and false of God. Yes, it is true that

God's love for me is like a mother's warm, unconditional embrace.  

But, God is so much more, and this image is limited in the

face of divinity's presence within, around and beyond us. 

Yet, the Judaeo-Christian tradition of the West has always ex­pressed its

experience of God in human images and concepts. It has used language,

images and concepts to describe the Divine Presence that include

both masculine and feminine qualities.

However, the masculine metaphors have been in preponderance, due to the

world's overtly male orientation.

Praying with feminine images of God introduces us into a wonderful variety of

new possibilities for prayer that will not only expand our consciousness of

divine presence, but also will help to transform political, social and economic

systems that oppress us.

The Bible uses a variety of masculine and feminine images to describe

the experiences of God's people with the Holy One in their midst:

God is like a loving father, a courageous warrior, a good shepherd, a mighty king,

a passionate lover.

But, God is also described as a mother eagle, a woman in labor, a midwife

delivering a baby, a nurturing mother feeding her suckling infant at the breast.

The Wisdom of God in the Hebrew Scriptures is the feminine personifi­cation,


Unfortunately these feminine metaphors have been relatively unexplored,

until recently. 

The women's movement and the publications of feminist

theologians have only begun to catch the public's ear, and the richness

contained in prayerfully exploring these feminine metaphors

is only in its initial stage of sparking the imagination and raising consciousness.

The impact of a fuller im­aging of God and the naming of this experience

empowers, trans­forms and heals all genders.

"As women reimagine that which is feminine as being inclusive of strength,

purpose, and per­sonhood," Bernice Marie-Daly observes,

"men conversely are reimagining that which is masculine as being inclusive of

intimacy, vulnerability, and interdependence. No longer must women create only

with their bodies; no longer must men create only with their minds.

As this evolving convergence comes to term, human con­sciousness revisions

and reimagines itself as whole and healthy­ indeed, as blessing."

Sandra Schneider goes further than this in her perception of the "healing of

wounds"inherent in meditation on God from the per­spective of feminine images.

In her 1986 Madeleva lecture she warned that "religious imaginations must be

healed of wounds in­flicted by the distorted males-only image of a

patriarchal God."

In Women at Prayer, Mary Collins suggests a cure for our one­ sided focus on a

God-in-masculine-metaphor which has for centuries deprived human beings

of an immense richness.

She speaks of a needed "therapy of the imagination" and advises a tapping of

the charisma of the "imaginatively gifted, who may have the resources

for healing the psychic damage which is blocking living faith."

This is one basis for the growth in our time of the apaphatic mode of prayer,

which abandons any attempt of the intellect to grapple with the divine through images

and adopts an imageless stance, centering and resting in the Divine Presence.

Theologian Georgia Masters Keightley writes: "Steadfast, uncompromising love

and fidelity, patience, gentleness, the task of healer, welcoming hostess,

birth giver, devoted parent and tireless nurturer- all of these are things that have

long been considered by patriarchal society as being inferior and betraying

weakness. Yet in being identified with God's own nature, these attributes

are affirmed not only for their exquisite humanness. They are also being

expressive of, as pertaining to the divine's own essence.

Thus, they become something to celebrate, something to value and treasure.

As a new generation become accustomed to imaging and speaking about God in

feminine terms, the church and its theology will have profited much."

(Preface- Delighting in the Feminine Divine, Bridget Mary Meehan)

This course opens a new encounter with Sacred Mystery into what will be for some

uncharted waters, to plumb the depths of divine presence revealed in feminine images of God.

Suggested Approaches:

This course provides an imaginative hands-on ap­proach of "praying with" and

"reflecting on" different images of the Sacred Feminine in Scriptures,

the mystics , contemporary writ­ings and in your life.

I invite you to trust your own experience as a contemporary mystic and

become a participator in a process in any way that feels comfortable for you.

I invite you to artic­ulate the wisdom of your spiritual experiences through

a variety of creative approaches- story, poetry, song, dance and journaling

or in anyway that is meaningful for you.

Each session begins with a quote from scripture, the mystics or a contemporary

author which presents God from a feminine perspective.

After each reflection a series of meditative steps is provided to help you

enter into a mode of prayerful engagement with the image.  

You may choose to use material in order, or to skip around as your preference 

dictates, reflecting on one that interests or challenges you.

Be open and receptive to any opportunity for the spiritual growth your

reflections may bring.

You may find wonderful surprises in store for you as you explore

the Sacred Feminine in your life.

This course also provides food for thought for spiri­tual development groups

and inclusive communities interested in developing liturgies and worship aids

that integrate the rich legacy of the Divine Feminine in their rituals and

prayerful sharing as a basis for mutual sharing and enrichment.

 Before coming together to discuss the material as a group,

I suggest that each participant 

reflect on an image(s) of God selected for the discussion. 

You can then choose to share your reflection on Teachable

or participate in a group exercise in person or on Zoom.

 It is in the sharing phase that each member has the opportunity to be enriched 

by the in­sights of other participants.  By exploring together the Sacred Feminine,

the group creates a fuller corporate imag­ing of God.

As communities reimagine the Sacred Feminine I believe our church and world will

discover new ways to internalize a feminine consciousness in 

power­ful images that reveal our cosmic connectedness and cosmic


For in the beginning, heaven and earth were one and we were one.

And so it is now and ever shall be- we are one- in the All-Embracing Love around,

within and beyond us!

Blessings to you, companions on the journey,

Bridget Mary Meehan



Ancient Mother by Jan Novotka

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