Reclaiming the Feminine

God as PatriarchIt is the Sunday before the beginning of Lent. As children, we were encouraged to “give up something” in recognition of  the Lenten season and Jesus’ sacrifices. Newer theology has encouraged us to “give to” rather than to “give up.”

My best Catholic growing-up friend wrote to me this morning and said that she was going to use Lent as a time to “reconnect.” I love this idea and am going to borrow it. But, my re-connection is going to focus on reclaiming the feminine in my own Catholic faith tradition.

I am starting by contemplating this beautiful piece — bravely and boldly — written by Sandra Cisneros titled “Guadalupe the Sex Goddess.” Cisneros writes:

“My Virgen de Guadalupe is not the mother of God. She is God. She is a face for a god without a face, an indigena for a god without ethnicity, a female deity for a god who is genderless, but I also understand that for her to approach me, for me to finally open the door and accept her, she had to be a woman like me.”

I love this idea that God is wise enough to knock on our hearts — not as some old white patriarch — but in our own personal image. Growing up, we were always told that we are formed in God’s image, and then we are shown images of an old white, authorative man looming above us. I’m sure that I was not alone in thinking: “I was not formed in God’s image.” When we reclaim the feminine, we reassert our right to be spiritually present in our physical bodies.

Here is a link to another blog that shares the entire Cisnero’s essay.


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