One participant mentioned that she was raised Catholic and she thinks many of the greatest saints understood God as Lover. I was dubious/surprised and asked whom she would list.
St. Francis of Assisi
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Thomas Aquinas (I might be remembering this one wrong -- could be another Thomas)
St. Catherine of Siena
The facilitator mentioned Milton.
In conversation today, bff listed:
Gregory of Nyssa
Teresa of Ávila
I'm now really curious whom else people might list -- and they don't have to be canonized saints (or even operating within the Christian tradition -- we discussed Sufi mystics a bit last night).
Feel free also to just discuss the concept of God as Lover -- historically, personally, whatever (bff and I discussed nuns as Brides of Christ, for example, which moved into discussion of women's sexuality and self-understandings thereof).