Wednesday, March 15, 2017

"Desperately seeking Sophia" The biblical Sophia is more than metaphor; she is an expression of the presence of God. By Joyce Rupp

Bridget Mary's Response: My experience was similar to Joyce Rupp's encounter with Sophia, Holy Wisdom. In the 1980's I worked in pastoral ministry and the priest with whom I worked had never heard of Sophia. After many spirited dialogues, I will never forget one very special occasion, my 25th jubilee liturgy, when Fr. Walt who was an army chaplain and a cowboy, preached about Sophia as if he had known her for many years! This breakthrough moment inspired me to share the good news with as many people as I could. I wrote three books on the Feminine Divine in scripture,  the Christian tradition as well as in contemporary authors. Exploring the Feminine Face of God, Delighting in the Feminine Divine and Heart Talks with Mother God.  

..."I knew that God was neither male nor female, yet I also knew God to be consistently described as male and referred to as “he” in Christian images and metaphors. Feminine pronouns and figures have rarely been used in speaking of God, even though, as I discovered, there are numerous references in the wisdom literature to Divine Wisdom as “she” and plenty of feminine qualities to describe “her.”
Many people think of wisdom as an “it” rather than a “she.” Actually, both of these approaches are accurate, because there are two types of wisdom in the Bible.
Some passages speak of wisdom as a quality or a truth to guide our lives. Here wisdom is presented as a “thing”—such as wise sayings, proverbs, and moral exhortations. There are many other passages, however, that refer to wisdom as a person. It is here that the feminine pronoun is always used and is consistently reflective of the divine presence. This wisdom is Holy Wisdom: Hagia Sophia.
Historically, the authors of the wisdom literature began this feminine reference to Sophia between 33 B.C. and 4–5 A.D. There are only four other figures who are mentioned more than Sophia in Jewish scripture (the Old Testament): Yahweh, Moses, David, and Job. Given this fact, it is quite incredible that so few know much about her. However, I do understand why she has not been recognized because I, too, had a difficult time discovering and claiming her..."

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