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This site is focused on reflecting on the spirituality of the Christian tradition from a woman’s point of view.
After sitting through a Catholic liturgy one day, I came home and went through the missal, the wording of the hymns, and the readings for the day. I was counting the number of times God was referred to as male. I was astonished to learn that by the time we had been participating in the liturgy for only ten minutes, we had already heard God referred to as “male” over forty times! I don’t think that number changes much from week to week. What does this barrage of male images do to our image of God? It influences us in very serious ways. Most Christians – the vast majority – think of God in male images like Lord, King, Father, Son of the Father and so on and almost never imagine God in female images.
In my religion – Catholicism – almost all homilies are prepared and delivered by male clergy. Although many people reflect on biblical readings through the lens of their own experience, the priest’s reflections on Scripture are those we hear when we are gathered with our community. So, not only are our images of God primarily male, but our interpretations of God’s Word from Scripture are filtered through the experience of males as well.
I have been privileged to participate in many communities where women’s experience of God is freely shared. Women sometimes bring new things to the table when reflecting on their lives and faith. In the Catholic tradition, dialogue on women’s experience is sometimes difficult to sustain. Very often, trying to give voice to our perspective we are confronted and silenced. Promoting issues of equality in the Catholic tradition has been an uphill and often frustrating mission.
She Hears The Word is a place where readers can encounter a woman’s reflections on experience, culture, faith and spirituality. If what you find here inspires you, please share it with your friends.