of an Unnamed Future:
Spirituality for Women
in Times of Unprecedented Change
by Mary Ruth Broz, RSM and Barbara
is not a book to read; it is a book to experience. The authors,
both spiritual directors, have created a handbook
women who want to go deeper, for those who may struggle with
institutional religion or who simply want to explore how God
is present in their everyday lives. And they’ve made it
easy, with 16 chapters complete with suggested music, rituals,
and reflection questions that can be used by individuals or groups.
power of the book lies in its use of images and metaphors,
the overarching one being that of women as midwives, helping
one another to “birth” new
things in their lives, in their faith communities, and in the world. It is
circles of women, they assert, who are making a difference in this time of
unprecedented change. “As we have shared our common concerns and hope
for something more, we have begun to uncover new visions of the holy and
new experiences of the sacred that have sustained us through some of the
times in our personal lives, as well as through times of tremendous upheaval
in the church and the world around us,” they write.
women in book groups reading Anne Lamott, coffee klatches of
young mothers wanting to raise
their sons and daughters differently, women theologians
church workers imagining God in new and creative ways, or corporate women
networking with one another about a less masculine model of business.
and Flynn, who used to run a women’s spirituality center
in Chicago, offer plenty of wisdom not only to those needing
an introduction to feminine
spirituality but to women who have already tested the waters or jumped
right into this alternative way of seeking the Divine. Again,
the images that illustrate
each chapter’s theme bring in the concrete and the everyday: quilts
for fragmentation and wholeness; yeast and bread for the process of becoming;
for wellness. One section uses the four seasons to illustrate pieces
of the spiritual life: wonder, harvest, Sabbath, and growing pains.
some of the midwifery imagery may not resonate with women who have
never given birth, the meaty
reflections by Broz and Flynn provide universal wisdom
for women in all stages of life. Struggling with change?
Facing a threshold moment or waiting during “in between” time?
Whether birthing a baby or a new business, the need to trust the life-death-life
change becomes the norm and stability an illusion,” they write. “As
we move through our own birthings and endings, grievings and celebrations,
we come to recognize a larger mystery at work, calling us to trust
that life is changed, not taken away.”
the end, Broz and Flynn are talented midwives themselves, and
their book will help birth new
spiritual paths for women. So grab your journal,
yet, call up a few women friends and experience this book together.
purchase a copy of MIDWIVES
OF AN UNNAMED FUTURE,
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