Is Mary the incarnation of the Holy Spirit?


If there are aspects of God’s care that could be called motherly, then how can there not be femininity (receptivity) in God?


It goes a lot too far… not a little


[quote=“Mintaka, post:39, topic:458962, full:true”]

Human masculinity and fatherhood derives from the Father and the Son, and in a different way from the Holy Spirit. Human femininity is something created and invented by God, as totally new, although also as a perfect counterpart to masculinity. (“You have left the good wine until now” - ha!)

In is written in Genesis 1: 27: God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Both sexes, male and female, are created in the image and likeness of God and not only as to their spiritual souls with the spiritual powers of intellect and will but also in their distinction as male and female as the text appears to imply. Everything in creation resembles God in some manner for it is a philosophical axiom that every effect is like its cause in some manner. Masculinity and femininity have their source in God in some manner even though God as the CCC says is neither male or female (cf. #370, #239). So, if as you say human femininity is something created and invented by God, we would have to say the same about masculinity since God “transcends the human distinction between the sexes. He is neither man or woman, he is God” (CCC#239).

Men and women are created equally in the image of God. "Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity ‘in the image of God’ (CCC#369). It cannot be said that men who are the sons of God resemble God more than women who are the daughters of God. Nor can it be said that the Blessed Virgin Mary who is a woman resembles God less
than any other pure creature, man or angel.

We do have paternity and filiation in the Trinity, that is, God the Father and God the Son. Among human relationships, we associate paternity and sonship with the male sex of course and God the Son became incarnate as a man which is fitting in that he is the Son of the Father. The Holy Spirit is more of a mystery in a way, theologically, his property is procession. The Holy Spirit is also called Love and Gift.

St Maximillian Kolbe’s theological insight throws light on the person of the Holy Spirit as well as of Mary. He sees the Holy Spirit as the divine maternity of Love in the Trinity, the prototype of all maternal love which among human relations comes from women for maternal love is obviously associated with women. Among creatures, the divine maternity of Love in the Trinity, i.e., the Holy Spirit is best represented in the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit among creatures involving her whole being, her soul and body, her being a woman and mother. As Fr. Kolbe says, when we love Mary we are loving the Holy Spirit. If we want to understand the mystery of the Holy Spirit in the bosom of the Trinity, contemplate Mary, the quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit. By the words ‘quasi-incarnation’, St Maximillian is trying to express his thought concerning the mystery of Mary and the Holy Spirit and their union as far as human language is able. I think it is a very beautiful teaching and biblical.


Women were made in the image of God. Femininity, not so much. That doesn’t make femininity bad; it’s part of God’s design. It’s just different. It’s the necessary shadow cast by God’s sunlight. “I am dark but beautiful,” as the Bride says in the Song of Songs.

Now, obviously, as you contemplate God and what He does, you can see some things that He does that are sort of like feminine qualities. But in general, God is the bridegroom and the Church or Israel (or the Sabbath or the Torah) is the bride, and God is the father and his people are the mother. The only major exception is the poetic imagery with the figure of Wisdom. Catholics today tend to identify this with the Holy Spirit, but the early Church almost always used her as a figure of the Son (because of Wisdom’s doing Creation, and because Wisdom is a teacher and is associated with Eucharistic stuff). But when people want to meditate on Wisdom’s femininity, they usually end up thinking about how Wisdom compares to Mary, or to other virgin female saints. (Both in early Christian times and today.)

(If I were a theology major, this would probably be the point where I’d talk about the I/Thou thing between humans and God. But I don’t really know what that’s about, so I won’t!)

On the other hand, both man and woman constitute humanity, and neither one really expresses the species by itself. And so, both masculinity and femininity are necessary qualities to human-ness, and neither one alone is complete. But either a woman or a man, a feminine person or a masculine person, is fully a human being.

Pope St. John Paul II’s “Letter to Women”:

"The creation of woman is thus marked from the outset by the principle of help: a help which is not one-sided but mutual. Woman complements man, just as man complements woman: men and women are complementary. Womanhood expresses the “human” as much as manhood does, but in a different and complementary way.

“When the Book of Genesis speaks of “help”, it is not referring merely to acting, but also to being. Womanhood and manhood are complementary not only from the physical and psychological points of view, but also from the ontological. It is only through the duality of the “masculine” and the “feminine” that the “human” finds full realization.”

The whole point of Mary is that she isn’t divine. She is human, and yet she managed to do God’s will and follow His commands faithfully. She is the daughter of Zion, the Israel who didn’t go astray. If she were divine or an incarnation of God, she would not be making that same point for God.

So yes, she’s especially linked with God, and particularly with the Holy Spirit. But being a woman and a human is what makes her herself.


In Orthodoxy Virgin Mary is always represented with three stars: on each of her shoulder and on her forehead - it stands for “three times a Virgin” - before birth of Jesus, during birth of Jesus and after birth of Jesus. Any other picture of her without this sign is not considered a representation of her. So I think here is the same case, another representation of her triple virginity since the crown also represents virginity.
She is daughter two times - “daughter of the Father” (before birth she respected God’s will regarding her), the Mother of the Son (virgin during birth, she gave birth to the Son of God not gave birth to her own son), “Spouse and Temple of the Holy Spirit” (virgin after Jesus’s birth, she preserved herself to respect God’s will).


Hm, good point. 16 character limit


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