…. the holy spirit.
Last night I was invited to the new inquiry group at the cathedral to talk about my “faith story,” the journey I took that ended up in me being Catholic, and my favorite person was there, one of the major influences on my decision, giving her talk on God. I hadn’t seen her since the first time, two years ago, and she hadn’t changed at all, still with that thick curly white hair and that gentle face, those probing blue eyes and that soft voice. And she was as funny as ever, as self-deprecating and as smart.
I told you about her before, the nun who spoke for an hour about God without mentioning a pronoun? Last night one of the RCIA team leaders asked her about the challenge of a religion that shapes the higher power in the image of a father. “What if you have a bad relationship to your father, or no father at all?”
“Well,” she said. “God has no gender. God is neither man nor woman. I say you find an image that works for you, and it doesn’t matter what gender it is. Imagine God like a beloved aunt or sister. Whatever lets you feel a connection.”
“What,” one of the cheekier RCIA attendants asked, “if I were to cross myself and say, ‘in the name of the mother, the daughter, and the holy spirit.’ Would I be tarred and feathered and chased out of town with pitchforks?”
“It depends who you said it in front of,” Sister Catherine said. “Some might be shocked, some scandalized, some might reprimand you, and some would jump up and come to your rescue and say, ‘Yes, you’re right. You’re absolutely right!'”
Do you love this woman or what?