In the summer of 2004 I published a book of meditations on the Virgin Mary, celebrating my own spiritual journey connecting with the Divine through nature. (The Foreword to this work was written by my friend Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees). Ten years later, surrounded by animals and plants and immersed in the earth’s rhythm of days and seasons at Three Graces Farm, I find this connection not only renewed but profoundly deepened. I want to again share what inspired me ten years ago and continues to reveal itself in ever expanding fullness. Today is August fifteenth, a major feast day in the Roman Catholic Church celebrating the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven, so I thought it an appropriate moment to post the introduction to the prayers and meditations in this book. (You can find the Amazon link here.) I would love to see any thoughts and comments that you care to share!
“This book is an expression of praise and adoration to the Sacred Feminine as she is manifested in the person of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. Her appearance as the Holy Mother of the Christian tradition, a faith which has in large part shaped Western civilization, has provided throughout two millennia our only culturally sanctioned access to the ancient archetype of the Great Mother. As Mother of God, Mary holds an exclusive place in our collective psyche, as has the Goddess throughout thousands of years of human history. In recognizing her role as an image of the Divine Feminine in our culture, the message of Christ is not threatened or diminished in power, but emerges with fresh meaning and renewed energy for a world in desperate need.
The Mary of this book is a re-imagined Mary, who asks to be held in a new light. She asks us to consciously acknowledge the Sacred Feminine in our midst and to open ourselves to its deep healing. She wants us to wake up from the unconsciousness of a culture which for thousands of years has lived radically out of balance, and is therefore blind to its own abundance. This Mary calls us to recognize what we can accomplish within ourselves, to rediscover the power of compassion and inclusion, to recognize the sanctity of creation, to embrace the Mystery.
The historical Mary of the New Testament answers Divine guidance to initiate one of the most radical shifts in the story of humankind. She crosses the carefully drawn lines of her belief system and society to birth a new era.
The re-imagined Mary of these prayers is playing a similar role in our world today. She is asking us to look at the story of Jesus Christ in new ways, to look beyond the dictates of dogma in a passionate response to the message of unconditional love, forgiveness, and tolerance that Christ brought to the world two thousand years ago. She is telling us that Christ’s incarnation, the Divine in matter, has implications for our relationships to the earth and to our own bodies that we have neglected to recognize in our faith traditions. The Divine is immanent not only in the person of Jesus, but in all life, all matter, all of Creation. God is ever present.
When we allow Mary as an expression of the Sacred Feminine, our concept of the Divine is made whole. As Mother of Christ she is Mother of all, Co-Creator of All That Is. God becomes Godde. To seek wholeness is the way of All Creation. Let us give our Mother back to ourselves and be healed.”
From Prayers and Seven Contemplations of the Sacred Mother (Woven Word Press, 2004)