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Praying with the Women Mystics
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These prayer- poems were written in an attempt to make the writings of Christian women, most, but not all of them, mystics, accessible to the contemporary believing community, and to women in particular. The thematic content of this spiritual writing can often differ quite dramatically from male spiritual writing, and these poems are primarily focused on these differences. The themes include: the gendered naming of God (Mother, Lady-Love, Lady Wisdom, Sophia, as well as the more usual Lord, Father, King), the sense of immediate access to God claimed by women who were generally deemed, in traditional religious understanding, to be daughters of Eve and the cause of sin, and the courage to speak the things of God publicly even though almost all Christian teaching mandated the silencing of women. An essential ingredient in these mystical prayers was a new sense of the full humanity of women rooted, perhaps primarily, in their experience of the Eucharistic humanity of Jesus. The poems are placed in contemporary settings, using contemporary language, and sometimes addressing contemporary issues, in an effort to communicate the radical nature of the writing of the women mystics. Each poem is rooted in these mystical themes and is liberally sprinkled with words and phrases from the named woman mystic. It is the writer???s hope that the courteous and homely nature of the divine-human encounter, as illustrated by these women often hundreds of years ago, will be communicated to a contemporary readership.
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