God as a Woman?
I have heard it said that God could be a woman. I think, as a Catholic believing in Jesus, that this is an absurd comment to make. Jesus taught us to pray to Our Father, and all Christians repeat this prayer. Since when is it possible for a father to be a woman?
God is the one, infinite, eternal and all powerful, self-sufficient, spiritual being, beyond human comprehension and a mystery to us.
When he created us and revealed something of himself in the Old Testament to Abraham and the prophets, he was called, among other names,the loving Father of his people.
This is the first thing to bear in mind. God revealed himself using the human example that is so familiar to us, namely, as a father. Furthermore, in the New Testament, Christ reinforced this concept when he spoke of God as his and as our Father.
He told us of God being one in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Nowhere in the Bible is God ever referred to as a mother. He is our Father, a strong, reliable and loving protector of his people. The Church cannot change this.
We may not therefore call our Father our mother without perverting God’s word, the faith and the creeds.
The second thing to bear in mind is the ancient maxim that one cannot give what one has not got. Applying this to God, we see that if we experience the strong, protective love of an earthly father and the tender, nurturing love of an earthly mother, these distinct nuances in human loving must have their source in God.
This is not to suggest that God has female or male characteristics as we know them, but that parental love in both its proper expressions is a reflection of God who, having made us in his image, shares with us some of the dynamic love that unites the three divine Persons into one God.
Is it wrong, then, to say that God has motherly qualities? No. Even Pope John Paul II, referring to the parable of the Prodigal Son in 1999, said that the father in the story represents God who, in embracing the son, shows the profile of a mother.
But, remember, such language merely reaffirms that love, as we experience it in our parents, comes from God alone, who is the source of all love in the world.