This Lenten season, I have been finding spiritual nourishment through a book called The Love of Eternal Wisdom: A Revisioning of Saint Louis DeMontfort's Contemplation on Divine Wisdom by Rabbi Rami Shapiro. Yes, you read that right--by a Rabbi.
As someone who studied the French language for many years, it has always made sense to me that certain words are masculine and others are feminine--and they have nothing to do with physical gender. In the French language, Wisdom is feminine.
I love the language that Rabbi Shapiro evokes in his "revisioning"--not a translation, but a sharing of what the Rabbi hears when he reads the text itself. As Rabbi Shapiro says in his introduction (page vii):
I remain true to the original. Wisdom is a "woman," God's Daughter, the feminine divine so clearly revealed in the bibilical books of Proverbs, Sirach, and the Wisdom of Solomon. I also remain true to De Montfort's love of Jesus as the human incarnation of Wisdom, and to his devotion to Mary as the ever-recurring presence of Wisdom on earth and in heaven.It reminds me of Dame Julian of Norwich, whose Divine Revelations proclaim that Jesus is Mother. This thin tome bridges the Old Testament Wisdom and the New Testament Jesus in a refreshing way:
156. Second, Jesus died not for saints but for sinners.
Wisdom incarnated not on behalf of the powerful,
but on behalf of the powerless.
I recommend this book as a way to expand your mind and heart about the nature of Jesus and of Wisdom. One does not have to believe in a "goddess" or go outside of Christian tradition to explore the divine feminine--it can be found in a male body, in the form of Jesus. I find this a fascinating realization--and one that resonates with me.
The book is available for a $5 donation, postage paid, from Wisdom House, 229 E. Litchfield Road, Litchfield, CT 06759. You can email Sister Rosemarie Greco at firstname.lastname@example.org to order and send a check.