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Mechthild of Magdeburg: Feminist Beguine

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

Mechthild realized early on that there might to more to life than what she was being offered. If we understand mystical to mean a sense of and understanding of God's presence, that which can be seen but must still remain partially hidden, then Mechthild had a mystical vision of God's presence and will for her life. Living at a time when creating a life as a nun, abbess, or anchoress in the Church was akin to a feminist shedding of the expected bonds of marriage and motherhood, Mechthild made a bold choice to move further into the margins of her society and adopted the life of a beguine. The beguines were a group of women that lived together independently. They took at vow of chastity but also were free to marry as they chose. They found ways to support themselves while dedicating themselves to serving the most vulnerable in their community. In the thirteenth century, they were unique in that they were accountable not to the patriarchy but to themselves, their community and to their God. In Mechthild's writing, Godhead of the Flowing Light, reveals a woman for whom the Divine's gender identity was fluid. Her understanding of God was located in flowing light that infused all creatures and all of Creation with its Divine Love. Perhaps you too are sensing the call of Divine Presence that is leading you deeper in the margins of your community to serve? What might your life, re-formed by living in the Way of Jesus Christ, look like? With the Godhead of Flowing Light guiding you on your path, trust that Divine Love will show you the Way and consider Mechthilde's words, "The fish in the water cannot drown. The bird in the air cannot fall. Gold is not destroyed by fire, but there receives its shine and glow. God has given all creatures the way to follow their own nature. How then could I resist my nature?"


O God of Flowing Light, thank you for revealing yourself on our soul's journey and guiding our footsteps on solid ground and right paths. It is not by our own strength but yours that we will find our way through the unknown. Instruct our hearts that we might be co-natured with you through Jesus Christ and loving serve our neighbors. Amen.

#godheadofflowinglight #Bethelight #Intothemargins

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