Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Desiring the Sacred Feminine" Homily: Rev. Mary Sue Barnett,ARCWP

Isaiah 58: 6
Book of Wisdom 6: 12-16
Mark 5: 41-43

Psychiatrist and internationally known author Jean Bolen says that

there is a call in the world today from the Sacred Feminine to bring the

feminine principle into consciousness.

The message of the Sacred Feminine today, she says, comes from

a Maternal Voice and this voice is calling out saying,

"Gather the women, Save the world!"

"Gather the women, Save the world!"

And all around the world~~~~

Women are hearing it . . .

Men are hearing it . . .

Children are hearing it . . .

And most importantly, little girls are hearing it.

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, both New York Times journalists,

have co-written a book titled, HALF THE SKY: Turning Oppression Into

Opportunity For Women Worldwide---in the book they assert that the

paramount moral challenge of the 21st century is the

struggle for gender equality around the world.

In the world today, girls are burned with acid and shot for going to


In every country of the world today, girls and women are trafficked into


All over the world today, women are murdered by husbands-----

In many places of the world today, little girls are forced into marriage----

In this country, colleges can be hostile places for young women;

Dartmouth College has been in the news lately for a campus website that has

a rape guide. A young woman's name and photo can be posted and she is

suddenly made a target for sexual assault on campus.

This last week, the Women's Center and the Dean's Office at the Louisville

Presbyterian Seminary hosted a screening of the film "Girl Rising."

One of the stories featured in the film is about a little girl from Haiti

named Wadley.

Wadley is a bright and determined little girl.

Although she and her mother are poor, she is able to attend school.

Wadley loves going to school!

But the earthquake of 2010 changed everything.

She was ripped from her home and from her beloved school.

Death was all around.

The storyteller repeats the words, "ashes to ashes, dust to dust,

ashes to ashes, dust to dust" as the camera shows Wadley

walking along the debris.

The teacher at the makeshift schoolhouse that was set up

amidst the rubble refused Wadley as a student

because her mother did not have the money.

But Wadley, the bright and determined little girl that she is,

told the teacher that she was going to show up at the school every

day until the teacher decides to let her stay.

Wadley is a little GIRL RISING from the dust of poverty and devastation.

Wadley is a little girl who hears something in the secret recesses

of her soul a message about her immense worth.

Many scholars, mystics and pastors today are hearing the voice of the

Sacred Feminine. There has been brilliant work done in the uncovering

of the Sacred Feminine in our Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.

When first century Christians reflected on the saving significance

of Jesus of Nazareth, they turned to Female Personified Wisdom in the Old

Testament. What Judaism said of Sophia, early Christian hymn-makers

and Gospel and epistle writers said of Jesus. The early Christians presented

Jesus as Sophia Herself, even though Jesus was biologically male.

Carmelite Sister Constance Fitzgerald explains the impact of Jesus Christ

Sophia in the soul of 16th century Spanish mystic John of the Cross-----

"After the silence and suffering of a long dark night, secret Wisdom

awakens" him. And John of the Cross writes,

"How gently and lovingly you wake in my heart,

where in secret you dwell alone;

and in your sweet breathing,

filled with good and glory,

how tenderly you swell my heart with love."

The Christ Sophia Who dwells deeply in the secret recesses of the heart

of this mystic is the Jesus Sophia Who walks into the room of the little

girl in today's Gospel. In this room of deep, dark despair where

the parents are grief-stricken,  where the little girl lay lifeless,

there was a touch of hands, and words spoken,

"Little girl, get up."

The little girl hears the words of Jesus Sophia, the words of the

Sacred Feminine, and the Girl Rises.

During this season of Lent we can make a conscious decision of the heart

to desire the Sacred Feminine.

We can pray to hear Her as She summons us to Her table, to wait at Her


Like John of the Cross, we can be desire that She enter into the secret

recesses of our soul for our own healing and nourishment.

In the context of a Catholic Woman Priest movement and in the context

of a world where hatred of the feminine disparages so many,

we can ask that She breathe and whirl through our collective,

communal soul.

We can ask Her to energize us to prophetic living where we,

like Isaiah and Jesus Sophia,

insist that every yoke be broken and the oppressed

are set free~~~

And together we can joyfully say those holy words, "Little girl, get up."

Saturday, March 15, 2014
Christ Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community

Louisville, Kentucky

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