Recently, I’ve been on an exploration of familiar prayers. I began with The Lords Prayer and continued with the Hail Mary. I then took up the Creed and tonight did the Glory Be… It is interesting what happens when you remove the gender and the patriarchy. When you begin to explore the greater concept that The Creator is not an old man on a throne somewhere in the clouds… or a suffering man on a cross… or a dove on the wing… or a tongue of fire… but all of these things… and all of us… and all of everything! When you look at the very essence of The Eternal and Almighty Creator, you suddenly see not a God out there, but an essence of all and everything starting somewhere within. And when we see it that way, it changes the nature of Faith.
When we see God as a bearded old man — the Father… and then as an often misrepresented, Anglican looking younger man — The Son. And again, a too often misrepresented figure of a Woman, ever virgin, who is the Mother of God…. With all that personification and corporealization of God we expatriate the Creator from Its creation — and from within us to somewhere outside of us — and outside of all of what The Creator created.. It places “God” somewhere out there. Somewhere other than in us. And as someone, or something, other than any part of us, let alone as us.
In many, maybe most, Eastern Religions, it all begins that whatever more there is, it is within us…around us… and in all things. After all, God created the heavens and the earth, right? God created Man… and and then created Woman, right? And then God became Man… and visited men (and women, by the way) as man and then as The Spirit… We recognize that God is three and one, so why is it any more difficult or abstract to simply understand that God, or The Creator is the very essence of all that is and in as much, is all things including, and perhaps especially, us.
The Great Mystics of The Church understood. St. Francis’ Canticle to Brother Sun and Sister Moon and all the animals, rocks, water, fire, forest and all living and inanimate things shows how all things were not just created by God but of God. He begins by proclaiming, “Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord, All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessings.” The Creator.
The Alpha and The Omega, As the Creed states, “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. What greater definition of The Creator — The one true, eternal God — was there ever a better more definitive, inarguable statement of The One True God — The Creator of us all — ever spoken?
So, as Brother Francis of Assisi said so well, ” Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks, And serve Him with great humility.” Except, remove the human and gender references and what you have left is the Eternal Creator, The One True and Eternal – In Truth.