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These three forces could also be called pushing, resisting, neutralizing or one, two, three, or active, passive, reconciling, but again all are necessary morally neutral forces from which a totally new fourth arises. The identities reveal themselves situationally.

24 Best Visionary Women images | Badass women, Women, Half the sky

The forces are assigned according to the roles that they are actually playing, not according to preformed judgements or expectations. The second force denying, passive, resisting is never an obstacle to be overcome but is always a legitimate and essential component of the new manifestation. The third force reconciling, neutralizing emerges when it is spotted. It is always present in every situation but is often hidden. The fourth force new arising is a new phenomenon, a new world, a new outcome, a new possibility.

New manifestations arise out of old ones along a very specific path of interaction. Having identified an example of the Law of Three working in my own life, I would like to try to apply the Law of Three to some of the twenty women presented in Praying with Visionary Women. In some instances I will have to make a leap and assume what is not directly stated. In others, the Law of Three is clear to me. In many of the cases, the denying force appears to be a man, but men also appear to be the affirming force in several instances. The Law of Three was clearly at work in St. Brigit was ordained a bishop by Bishop Mel.

In this instance, he was the affirming or pushing force. It would seem that the bishop and his assistant were also filled with the Holy Spirit as the objection was overcome and Brigit functioned as a valid bishop in the church. The new arising? Margaret of Scotland herself seemed to be the reconciling force in her story. With the weakened faith community pushing force and a complacent clergy and hierarchy resisting force , Margaret herself was the agent for change reconciling or neutralizing force.

Medieval women's mysticism

She called for synods and councils, a transformation of the church. The affirming force in this instance is the mystical visions themselves. The fact that Hildegard fell ill following her visions is the denying force. She was incapable of action.

Hildegard saw a close connectedness between the spiritual and the physical. Once she wrote her visions down, Hildegard recovered from her illness, so the act of writing could be called the reconciling force. The new arising would become Scivias, her book recounting her visions for all to see. As an aside, the Ogala Sioux Black Elk also fell ill after a powerful vision.

Clare desired to live a life of poverty dedicated to Christ. This would be the affirming force in her entire life. Clare sneaked out of her house and was received by Francis into the life she wished to live. When her male relatives tried to force her to return home, she clung to the altar and could not be moved.

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The reconciling force seemed to come from on high. Likewise, Catherine of Sienna. She, too, desired to dedicate her life to Christ.

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Again, this would be the affirming force. The denying force came from both mother and father. They insisted that Catherine marry and tried all sorts of coercion to change her mind. The reconciling force appeared as a white dove above her head as she was praying. He supported her in almsgiving and allowed her to give from the family resources new arising. The affirming force in her life was the desire for intimacy with God that she felt she could or should find in religious life.

However, she was distracted by the lax lifestyle of religious life at the time, the denying force. Her desire to educate these children was the affirming force. As an aside, the Ogala Sioux Black Elk also fell ill after a powerful vision. Clare desired to live a life of poverty dedicated to Christ.

Women's prayer according to Qur'an and Sunnah

This would be the affirming force in her entire life. Clare sneaked out of her house and was received by Francis into the life she wished to live. When her male relatives tried to force her to return home, she clung to the altar and could not be moved. The reconciling force seemed to come from on high.

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Likewise, Catherine of Sienna. She, too, desired to dedicate her life to Christ.


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Again, this would be the affirming force. The denying force came from both mother and father. They insisted that Catherine marry and tried all sorts of coercion to change her mind. The reconciling force appeared as a white dove above her head as she was praying. He supported her in almsgiving and allowed her to give from the family resources new arising. The affirming force in her life was the desire for intimacy with God that she felt she could or should find in religious life.

However, she was distracted by the lax lifestyle of religious life at the time, the denying force. Her desire to educate these children was the affirming force. The denying force was the prevailing attitude of the time that it was useless to educate colored children. The reconciling force came in the guise of Fr.

James Joubert who received support from the archbishop for the project. As a result, a new religious community was established, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, dedicated to the Christian education of colored children. This despite the fact that many people good Catholics objected to seeing colored women as religious sisters. Not too long after Lange, Frances Cabrini also felt a calling to be a missionary sister.

The denying force came when once they had arrived, Archbishop Corrigan, the one who promised the sisters a house, had made no provisions for them and wanted to send them back to Italy. The Jesuits came to the sisters rescue n a sense by agreeing to sell them a large estate.


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This was the reconciling force, and the new arising was the founding of schools, orphanages, and a hospital to serve the Italian immigrant population. Again, this was in the face of prejudice, this time to Italian immigrants. The life of Dorothy Day is a good example of the law of three at work.

The affirming force was her zeal for social justice and human rights and dignity which she saw exemplified in the communist movement. The denying force was her conversion to Catholicism and, therefore, the basic philosophical differences with Communism. Her meeting and joining with Peter Maurin who taught her the social teachings of the Catholic faith was the reconciling force. Together they brought forward the Catholic Worker Movement. Julian of Norwich in the fourteenth century speaks of the Trinity in very much the same way that Cynthia Bourgeault speaks today.