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Center for Action and Contemplation

Converted to the Trinity

Monday, December 26, 2022

The 2022 Daily Meditations theme has been Nothing Stands Alone. Father Richard understands relationship as the very nature of God and reality, expressed through the doctrine of the Trinity.   

The genius of the Trinitarian doctrine has the power to rearrange our universe. We know nothing about this being called God, except that this God is perfect giving and perfect receiving. The very nature of this Being we call God is communion, receptivity, and generosity, one hundred percent unhindered dialogue between three. It all begins with three. This isn’t just an abstraction; it’s the foundational template of reality. Reality is total, continual givenness and perfect, humble receptivity; that is the very form and the shape of being as we know it. It is the very source, the very pattern, and the very goal of reality. 

The wonderful thing about living in our time is that scientists like astronomers and physicists say that this is true. Many looking through microscopes or telescopes see this same pattern of utter relationship. They are discovering that if reality is anything, it’s absolutely relational. It’s something we used to know, something our ancestors knew. But pretty much since the Enlightenment, at least in the West, we’ve dismissed the possibility. We’ve been producing individualists who try to save themselves by believing things intellectually. In this view of religion, it’s not a mystery of participation. It’s not a mystery of surrendering; no surrender is even necessary. Instead, it’s a quest to get the right information, which only makes us prouder and more self-centered. It makes community less possible, which is clearly evident from our politics and our international relations. Everyone is put back upon themselves, where the only question we’re able to ask is “How can I get to heaven?”  That’s not even a gospel question! It’s a question of the ego. It’s not the question of the Trinity within us. 

The conversion that’s needed right now is to this foundational definition of God as relationship. Only people who submit to that conversion can possibly be converted to Jesus and not have their faith distorted. When there isn’t a primary understanding of who Jesus is as part of the Trinity, Jesus will be used for our own nationalistic and egocentric purposes, as a means of power and a ticket to heaven. Can we all be converted, not to Jesus (as strange as that must sound) but to the Trinity, where Jesus Christ actually exists? Only inside the mystery of the Trinity can we begin to understand what Jesus is saying, and what the meaning of salvation is, and what the mystery is that he’s inviting us into. 

Reference:

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: Exploring the Mystery of Trinity (Albuquerque, NM: Center for Action and Contemplation, 2004). Available as CD and MP3 download.

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Benjamin Yazza, Untitled 05 (detail), United States, photograph, used with permission. Benjamin Yazza, Untitled 12 (detail), United States, photograph, used with permission. NASA, Galaxy NGC 4013 (detail), 2020, United States, photograph, public domain. Jenna Keiper & Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States. Click here to enlarge image.

Image inspiration: Infinitesimal. Massive. Incomprehensibly expansive. It is all connected: everything is a part of the whole, seen or unseen. Nothing stands alone.

Story from Our Community:

My wife died four years ago. Over that time, the CAC reflections have not given me the confidence that I will “see” her again—but something more valuable. I now have the understanding that someday both she and I will enjoy an intimacy together again. We, and the rest of creation will become connected in a state of being beyond material imagination. While I still grieve my wife’s death, I now have no fear of mine. —Mick H.

Prayer for our community:

God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough,  because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.

Listen to the prayer.

 

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