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Song playing before and during break: Ave Maria 

Body Prayer by Heather Ruce

You can find a video of the prayer here

Here I am, as I am
(W)Holy, Human
In this world, as it is
Sacred, Profane
Ever connected, in this wondrous luminous web
Ever abiding, in the Heart of God

Chant: slowly blooms the rose within

Breath Prayer: inhale “Hail Mary,” exhale “full of Grace”


Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its Being.
We all remain

― Hafiz

“When I was first taught the concept, I was taught to capitalize it. The Incarnation happened just once, in one person, a very long time ago. In Jesus alone was God’s Word Made Flesh. As his follower, my job was to trust that was true, and to persuade others that it was true as well. The Incarnation was presented to me as an article of faith. It was a unique event that involved Jesus and no one else, and the fate of my own flesh depended on my acceptance of that fact.

Relatively late in life, I have decided that incarnation is less a doctrine than a practice, which Jesus did not come to do once and for all but to show any who were willing how God’s word might become flesh in their own lives too.” — Barbara Brown Taylor

“We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.” — Meister Eckhart 

The Body is Like Mary by Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi

The body is like Mary, and each of us has a Jesus inside.
Who is not in labour, holy labour? Every creature is.

See the value of true art, when the earth or a soul is in
the mood to create beauty;

for the witness might then for a moment know, beyond
any doubt, God is really there within,

so innocently drawing life from us with Her umbilical
universe – infinite existence …

though also needing to be born. Yes, God also needs
to be born!

Birth from a hand’s loving touch. Birth from a song,
from a dance, breathing life into this world.

The body is like Mary, and each of us, each of us has
a Christ within.

“There are as many paths to God as the children of God have breaths, but of all the paths to God, the Way of Mary, the Divine Mother, is the sweetest and most gentle.” — Hajja Muhibba, 14th century female Sufi

Mary’s Song

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; My spirit rejoices in you oh God my savior. For you have looked upon your handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. You the Mighty One have done great things for me, and holy is your name. Your mercy is from age to age to those who fear [God conscious] you. You have shown might with your arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. You have thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry you have filled with good things; the rich you have sent away empty. You have helped Israel your servant, remembering your mercy, according to your promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to your descendants forever.” Amen. — The Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55)

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” — Luke 2:19

“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.” — Luke 1:38

“God became man, and even became food for man, so that man might become God.” — Saint Maximus the Confessor 

“Know me in my simplicity and awake to my love and my justice” — Andrew Harvey, The Return of the Mother 

The Blessed Virgin Compared to the Air We Breathe by Gerald Manley Hopkins

Wild air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,
That each eyelash or hair
Girdles; goes home betwixt
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed
Snowflake; that’s fairly mixed
With, riddles, and is rife
In every least thing’s life;
This needful, never spent,
And nursing element;
My more than meat and drink,
My meal at every wink;
This air, which, by life’s law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race—
Mary Immaculate,
Merely a woman, yet
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess’s
Was deemèd, dreamèd; who
This one work has to do—
Let all God’s glory through,
God’s glory which would go
Through her and from her flow
Off, and no way but so.


I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe,
Since God has let dispense
Her prayers his providence:
Nay, more than almoner,
The sweet alms’ self is her
And men are meant to share
Her life as life does air.
If I have understood,
She holds high motherhood
Towards all our ghostly good
And plays in grace her part
About man’s beating heart,
Laying, like air’s fine flood,
The death dance in his blood;
Yet no part but what will
Be Christ our Saviour still.
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn
Bethlehem or Nazareth,
Men here may draw like breath
More Christ and baffle death;
Who, born so, comes to be
New self and nobler me
In each one and each one
More makes, when all is done,
Both God’s and Mary’s Son.
Again, look overhead
How air is azurèd;
O how! nay do but stand
Where you can lift your hand
Skywards: rich, rich it laps
Round the four fingergaps.
Yet such a sapphire-shot,
Charged, steepèd sky will not
Stain light.   Yea, mark you this:
It does no prejudice.
The glass-blue days are those
When every colour glows,
Each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it: this blue heaven
The seven or seven times seven
Hued sunbeam will transmit
Perfect, not alter it.
Or if there does some soft,
On things aloof, aloft,
Bloom breathe, that one breath more
Earth is the fairer for.
Whereas did air not make
This bath of blue and slake
His fire, the sun would shake,
A blear and blinding ball
With blackness bound, and all
The thick stars round him roll
Flashing like flecks of coal,
Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt,
In grimy vasty vault.
So God was god of old:
A mother came to mould
Those limbs like ours which are
What must make our daystar
Much dearer to mankind;
Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man’s mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
And her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our sight.
Be thou then, thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
To wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round me lie
Fronting my froward eye
With sweet and scarless sky;
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God’s love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.

“The Black Madonna is the transcendent Kali-Mother, the black womb of light out of which all of the worlds are always arising and into which they fall, the presence behind all things, the darkness of love and the loving unknowing into which the child of the Mother goes when his or her illumination is perfect.” “[She is] the blackness of divine mystery, that mystery celebrated by the great Aphophatic mystics, such as Dionysisus Areopagite, who see the divine as forever unknowable, mysterious, beyond all our concepts, hidden from all our senses in a light so dazzling it registers on them as darkness.” — Andrew Harvey, The Return of the Mother 

Hagia Sophia by Thomas Merton


The Life of the Virgin by St. Maximus the Confessor

The Way of the Rose: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary by Clark Strand & Perdita Finn

The Return of the Mother by Andrew Harvey

Missing Mary: The Queen of Heaven and Her Re-Emergence in the Modern Church by Charlene Spretnak

Mary by Sarah Jane Boss

The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature by Rami M. Shapiro

The Wisdom of God: An Outline of Sophiology by Sergei Bulgakov

The Secret Magdalene: A Novel by Ki Longfellow

The Gospel of Phillip translation by Leloup or Cynthia Bourgeault and Ward Baumann in The Luminous Gospels

The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity by Cynthia Bourgeault