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Laughter, Liking, Delighting, Loving

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Trinity: Week 3

Laughter, Liking, Delighting, Loving
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Let me share an astounding bit of poetry from Meister Eckhart, the wonderful fourteenth-century German Dominican mystic:

Do you want to know
what goes on in the core of the Trinity?
I will tell you.
In the core of the Trinity
the Father laughs
and gives birth to the Son.
The Son laughs back at the Father
and gives birth to the Spirit.
The whole Trinity laughs
and gives birth to us. [1]

God has done only one constant thing since the beginning of time: God has always, forever, and without hesitation loved “the Son”—and yes, you can equally and fittingly use “the Daughter”—understood in this sense as creation, the material universe, you, and me. The quality of the relationship toward the other is the point, not gender or even species.

God cannot not love God’s self in you (see 2 Timothy 2:13)! The “you” that holds the indwelling Spirit, which many of us call the soul, is always considered eternal and intrinsically good because of its inherent connection to God.

This flow of love goes full circle. The “Son” also creates the “Father” precisely as Father—as any parent can attest. A parent is not truly a parent until the child returns the flow. Watch the joy and tears on a mother or father’s face when their little one first says “Mama!” or “Dada!”

Anything less than such divine laughter, liking, delighting, and loving we do not have time for anymore! Fear will never build a “new creation” (Galatians 6:15); threat is an entirely worn out and false story line. The lowest level of motivation is guilt, shame, reward, and punishment; and it has not moved us anywhere close to a civilization of love.

The Trinity beautifully undoes all negativity by a totally positive movement that never reverses its direction. God is always giving, even in those moments when we experience the inaccessibility of love as if it were divine anger.

When you find yourself drawing these conclusions, look deeply inside yourself and you will probably find that you are angry and projecting your anger onto God. This very human pattern is illustrated throughout the Bible, as the text mirrors both the growth and resistance of the human soul. I call it three steps forward and two steps back. References to the “wrath” of God are an example of the two steps back. But the whole text moves slowly and inexorably toward inclusivity, mercy, unconditional love, and forgiveness. [2]

I do not believe there is any wrath in God whatsoever—it’s theologically impossible when God is Trinity.

Gateway to Silence:
Dance with Us.

[1] Meister Eckhart, Meditations with Meister Eckhart, trans. and ed. Matthew Fox (Bear and Company: 1983), 129.
[2] See my book Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2007) for more on how the biblical text mirrors human development, both the growth and resistance of the soul.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 136-140, 166-167.

Image Credit: Dancers (detail), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), 1899. Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio.
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