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Brother Gilbert Joseph
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    Shekhinah is often seen as an equivalent to the Presence (Face) of God by many Jews and Christians. However the Shekhinah is feminine, the male is Shekhen. This word means ‘dwelling’ and is linked to the term mishkan for the Tabernacle or Temple. In a sense the Shekhinah is the vessel or dwelling (temple/ ark/ mishkan) that the Dwelling (shekhen) Presence or filling or Blessing dwells in. We could say that the female Dwelling (Shekhinah) is the noun and the male Dwelling (Shekhen YHVH) is the verb. Of course human words are inadequate to fully explain these divine mysteries and the use of the terms male and female in regards to God should not be read in a literalistic, vertical or ontological manner.

    The terminology used to describe these mysteries should be understood in a mystical, lateral and metaphysical manner, as much, if not more so, with the heart as with the head. Levinas’ concept of ‘ethical transcendence’ of a face to face encounter with the other can open one up to the theology of intimacy which is at the heart of all true mystical theology. The mystical ‘male’ and ‘female’ intimate encounter and cleaving is at the heart of all authentic mysticism. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” is one example where many coming from an ontological approach misunderstand its full thrust and purpose centred in intimate encounter with the Divinity.

    Jesus in his divinity is the uncreated ‘male’ Presence (Face), Wisdom (Hokhmah) and Shekhen (Dwelling) of God and the Spirit is the uncreated ‘female’ Presence (Face), Wisdom (Binah) and Shekhinah (dwelling). Jesus in his humanity is the created icon of his divinity (Divine Son) as created male presence (face), wisdom and shekhen (dwelling) as the Son of Man. This distinction between created and uncreated draws on Holy Scriptures teachings on Wisdom (Sophia) and St Augustine’s use of the terms uncreated and created Sophia.

    St Joseph as the icon of the Father is also a created male presence (face), wisdom (Hokhmah) and shekhen (dwelling). Mary is the created icon of the Spirit and of God’s Womb or Divinity (Essence/ Ousia) as created female presence (face), wisdom (Binah/ Sophia) and shekhinah (dwelling). She is a dwelling or vessel full of Grace (God) and is God-like. She is not of the essence of God but she is the true icon of that essence (ousia or atzmut). Ousia and atzmut are in the feminine form in both Greek and Hebrew.

    The ousia /atzmut (essence) of God is the Divine Will which within the Godhead is Pure Act or the One Act. That Act in the movement of descending is the Divine Volition- the Father manifesting in Creation in the Son through the Spirit united to Our Lady and St Joseph in Eternity. St Maximillian Kolbe spoke of the Holy Spirit and Our Lady being in synergy. Our Lady is God’s created blueprint (umanuta) for all creation and St Joseph is God’s created Template (komah) for creation.

    The God-man Messiah is thus Son of Mary (from the essence or flesh of Mary) and Son of Joseph (from the concept or spirit of Joseph). They are the created and conceptual image and likeness united in Jesus that Adam (male and female) was made in. Our Lady is the created mystical Voice (Bat Kol) that brings forth or bears the Word (creative act) into Creation, St Joseph is the created mystical tone of that Voice and Luisa is the created mystical sound of the united voice and tone of the Word. That Word is also a Song and Our Lady is the created mystical melody and tune of that Song, St Joseph is the created rhythm or tempo of the Song and Luisa Piccarreta (and in her are united all the souls who live in Divine Will) is the created mystical harmony in all creation.

    The four faces of Genesis 1 – the face over the deep (tahom), the face over the waters (mayim), the face over the expanse (rakia) and the face over the earth (aretz)- are these four faces who ”sing” together in the beginning (bereshit) bringing forth the unfolding of all Creation as a beautiful and harmonious Song. With the fall of the angels and the fall of man the song becomes distorted and in need of restoration and renewal by these same four faces (Jesus, Mary, Joseph and Luisa) moving in the unity of the Holy Spirit for the glory of the Father. This restoration will bring back the balance of male and female, masculine and feminine into perfect harmony.

    Will we see a time when we have a Jesus-like Great Monarch (Davidic King), a Mary-like Queen-Empress, a Joseph-like Pope and a Luisa-like prophetess working in harmony for the coming of the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth as it is in Heaven?