God as mother?


Since God has no gender, why and how is He properly spoken of as “Father”? Can God be just as well spoken of as the Eternal Mother or the Eternal Existence? Why is Fatherhood the only claim on Who God is from all eternity? Why did Christ use it? Can’t the ontological understanding of God be given primacy. Is Father the gender distinction that we have applied to God?


Dear PDR,

God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are pure spirit. God the Son took on human flesh as a man. He is our only way to the Father. He has revealed the Father not only as “Father,” but as “Abba” or “Daddy”. Why has Jesus revealed the Father as “Father”? Why has He revealed Him at all? Who are we to question God? We can surmise that God is spirit and therefore has no gender. However, God CONNOT be just as well spoken of as mother because He has revealed Himself as “Father”. Does not His prerogative matter more to us than our surmising?

Our ontological understanding has no primacy in the face of Divine Revelation! Our ontological understanding is so miniscule in the face of the Author of all created being that in itself it is laughable. “Father” is not the gender distinction WE have applied to God; it is the gender distinction GOD has applied to Himself!

But it is only in the stance of humble adoration that we understand this.

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord; we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.

To be uncomfortable with these words of the ancient canticle, “Te Deum” is to be in the process of losing one’s faith—or to have already lost it. Sadly, some women, including woman religious, have….

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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