Thursday Reflection — May 19, 2016

Jesus said to the disciples, "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you."  John 16:12-15

As the Church prepares to celebrate Trinity Sunday, I share with you the (slightly dated) words of theologian Frederick Buechner on the Trinity in his book Wishful Thinking:

The much-maligned doctrine of the Trinity is an assertion that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, there is only one God.

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit mean that the mystery beyond us, the mystery among us, and the mystery within us are all the same mystery.  Thus the Trinity is a way of saying something about us and the way we experience God.

The Trinity is also a way of saying something about God and the way he (sic) is within himself, i.e., God does not need the Creation in order to have something to love because within himself love happens.  In other words, the love God is is love not as a noun but as a verb.  This verb is reflexive as well as transitive.

If the idea of God as both Three and One seems far-fetched and obfuscating, look in the mirror some day.

There is (a) the interior life known only to yourself and those you choose to communicate it to (the Father).  There is (b) the visible face which in some measure reflects that inner life (the Son).  And there is (c) the invisible power you have in order to communicate that interior life in such a way that others do not merely know about it, but know it in the sense of its becoming part of who they are (the Holy Spirit).  Yet what you are looking at in the mirror is clearly and indivisibly the one and only You.

‘Kinda makes my brain cramp, but I like it…  I need practice living with mystery; it is uncomfortable for me.

So here are some things I am wondering today:

  • What is the relationship between mystery and truth in my life?
  • What things does Jesus know I am not yet ready to bear?
  • How in my life do I express relationship with this triune God?

Let’s talk.