Home > Life, etcetera > On the Question of Connecting: White systems, religious ideals, and God the Father wrapped up on Medieval Prayers

On the Question of Connecting: White systems, religious ideals, and God the Father wrapped up on Medieval Prayers

Wednesday, 29 November 2006 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have my issues with the ways in which our faith traditions are dominated by the masculine Symbolic, males, and now more aptly: whiteness. I have difficulty in conceiving of a Spirituality or theology that is not dominated by the masculine or the hegemony of the phallocentric symbolic. Is there a way to connect with oneself and the world around us without succumbing to the systems that purport the faith of whiteness, the ongoing colonization of peoples, and misogynist practices/rituals? Where is love? Is it in the mode or practice of connecting? If so, what is that? What is love? What does it mean to connect? Love and connection might be related, but I am not convinced just yet.

Written almost six hundred years ago Julian of Norwich tried to express her sense of the love of God: The love that God most high has for our soul is so great that it surpasses understanding. No created being can comprehend how much, and how sweetly, and how tenderly our maker loves us. As truly as God is our father, so just as truly is he our mother. In our father God Almighty, we have our being; in our merciful mother we are remade and restored. Our fragmented lives are knit together and made perfect man. And by giving and yielding ourselves, through grace, to the Holy Spirit, we are made whole.

I have found myself drawn into the text of Julian of Norwich. I admit it! I’m a sucker for beauty and for narratives/texts. In Julian’s prayer, I find myself drawn to the emotion of the text, though feelings might verywell be absurd. I don’t necessarily feel emotion with the text. I am speaking more about how the text is evocative and thus I name it as having emotion in the text. So, is my feeling of being drawn a type of connection? Have I been manipulated by the white systems of religion to respond to this type of evocation? Am I able to pray this prayer? That is, am I able to embody the attitude of something so close to me is guiding me and protecting me–even if that protection is protecting me from myslef?

What is your sense?

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