On the dual Nature of God

*God has traditionally been viewed and presented as masculine—some of the words describe Him are king, lord and master.  The feminine has been suppressed except in our carefully controlled female saints and mystics. Even Mary, the most powerful feminine figure in Christianity, is robbed and made ‘a handmaid of the Lord’. This is not to say that she and other female saints have not imparted a sense of a sense of the sacred; it is just that they are over shadowed by the patriarchal god of power and might. –  Galen Gillotte

 

*If you’ve never consciously thought of the dual nature of Divinity—the feminine as well as masculine—could you be open to viewing ancient truth with fresh eyes? 

 *Spirit is greater than gender and the ineffable is, quite frankly, meant to be Unknowable. What gave me a sense of peace in my searching was not choosing between them but praying to both the Lord and Lady of Life, the Great Father and Mother, the God and Goddess or God/dess. Each aspect of Divinity is an equal partner in a healthy, happy, holy mystical marriage. Both Forces watch over the world and each of us, no matter what we may call them or how we envision them. –Sarah Ban Breathnacht

romancing the ordinary

my joy, my pain, my love

Hear our humble prayer, O God,
For our friends the animals,
Especially for animals who are
Suffering; for any that are
Hunted or lost or deserted or
Frightened or hungry; for all
That must be put to death. We
Entreat for them all Thy mercy
And pity, and for those who
Deal with them we ask a heart
Of compassion and gentle hands
And kindly words. Make us,
Ourselves, to be true friends to
Animals and so to share the
Blessings of the merciful.
-Albert Schweitzer

 

Finally, I come to the end of my journey through motherly love, both human and Divine. It is fitting that the last two quotes would be about animals. That is where I can express my own maternal instincts. My cats are my babies—not in the sense that I treat them like human children by giving them birthday parties or dressing them up in clothes (seriously, do you really think your dog or cat enjoys that?)—but in the sense that I am fiercely protective of them, won’t let them outside without being on a leash, cuddle with them, talk to them (which includes fussing at them when they are bad), and loving on them.

The wonderful cats who share my home are as dependent on me as I on them. I provide them with food, shelter, clean litter and love. They provide me with unconditional love and affection – but only when it suits them, they are cats after all. I don’t mind them being indifferent to me at times. There are days where I am not able to even handle their needs or affection – which is why I could never be a dog caretaker. Dogs are way too needy and I abhor neediness, whether human or animal. Doesn’t say much for me does it? But I am who I am and I know some of my limitations.

The cats in my life are my joy and my pain. I accept that as a fact of life and as a gift from God. I care for them, I love them and will grieve for them when they move on. And when that time comes, if God sends another lost cat my way, I will love and care for that one as well.

 

 

all the animals gathered around the christ child

 

God heals animals as well as people

Please bless this wee one, dear God,
And keep her safe from harm
And when she suffers in the night
Let her feel Your loving arms.

She gives such love and joy
To us, on Your earth below,
And we show her care and kindness
In the only ways we know.

She does not speak of pain,
Only curiosity and delight,
And to help her feel her best
We turn her over to Your might.

Please bless this wee one, dear God,
And help her feel better soon.
This our prayer we send to you,
On light of sun, stars, and moon.
–Lydia Barrett, on behalf of her pet mouse Niblick (whose ears healed)

 

Isn’t it wonderful that the same God who can heal us in countless ways can also heal animals? Like Lydia Barrett, I have prayed for the healing of my cats, only not so eloquently. And like Ms Barrett’s mouse, Niblick, my babies recovered. Did they recover because of pray or because the illness was naturally beaten back by their immune systems? Does it matter? Why question God on the small, yet important, things?

 

It does matter – if my faith isn’t strong. If they had succumbed to their illness and I hadn’t trusted and believed they were going back to God (yes, I do believe pets go back to God when they die and I know it’s not in the Bible-blah, blah, blah- I’ve heard the arguments before and I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I believe it, I trust in it and for me, that’s that)—anyway if I didn’t believe my cat babies went back to God, it would be one more thing I might hold against Him and it would separate me from God. And I don’t want that. It might also prevent me from opening up my heart to another cat-baby when one comes along to take the previous one’s place. (That is how all but one of my current cats came to be with me, as well as most of the ones who have gone ahead. I generally don’t go looking for a replacement cat. They find me!).

I know of people who loved their cat or dog so much that when they passed they couldn’t bear the thought of going through the pain of loss again so they rarely, if ever, allowed that love into their lives again. That seems so sad to me. I have said goodbye to nine cats in my life and it is true that I wept more over some than others but I would never trade the years of joy those cats provided me for the pain I suffered, nor the pain I will suffer when my current babies move forward out of my life.

 

For me the pain is worth the joy, for without pain there can be no joy. Without the knowledge that we all will one day go back from whence we came, how will we ever truly enjoy our time and the fleeting moments we spend with our loved ones while we and they are here? To not love because one day the object of our love will die is a most selfish act; and more than that, it is a truly desolate existence and a vacuous life that only God Herself would be able to fill.

 

Grimm Brothers: The Cat & Mouse In Partnership by ruralpearl, via Flickr

(click on image for link to artist)