This deep flow is then the pattern of the whole universe, and any idea of God’s “wrath” or of God withholding what is an infinitely outflowing love is theologically impossible.
Trinity is the very nature of God, and this God is a centrifugal force, flowing outward and then centripetally drawing all things back into the dance.
In the divine community, dancing symbolizes the creative, flowing movement of love-in-action among God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.… God invites us into the sacred space of divinity and urges us to join this mystical, eternal dance.
—Sharon L. Baker Putt
You are a part of the flow. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and you too—to the degree you say “yes”—are also a giving and a receiving, constituted by the same relationships of love that are the Trinity.
From generation to generation Spirit-Sophia enters into holy souls, and not so holy ones, to make them friends of God and prophets, thereby making human beings allies of God’s redeeming purpose. What we can say is this: Sophia-God dwells in the world at its center and at its edges, an active vitality crying out in labor, birthing the new creation.
—Elizabeth A. Johnson
What our tradition believes is that God is a fountain fullness of love, a water wheel flowing constantly in one direction: Father to Son, Son to Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit to Father—always outflowing, always outpoured, always giving, never taking, but only receiving what the other gives.
The Sign of the Cross
Richard invites us into a deeper experience of the Trinity through a conscious and embodied practice of the Sign of the Cross:
First place your right hand on your forehead and say, “In the name of the Father.” It’s funny because the Trinity is precisely that which we can’t understand and yet we begin with this attempt to understand by touching our forehead. Then make a vertical line down your body to your gut or belly, and say, “and the Son.” Jesus the Christ is the one who makes visible this eternal invisibility. That’s what we believe: that this invisible God became visible in the person of Jesus.
After you draw the vertical line down your body, something you can experience a little bit in your head, a little bit in your heart, and maybe mostly in your gut, then draw a horizontal line across, and say, “and the Holy Spirit.” Because the Holy Spirit is precisely that connection, that communion, that relationship, that flow of life and love that has created the whole universe. We never dared to give any personal form to the Holy Spirit because we knew it was talking about relationship itself. Instead, we have used many images—the dove, fire, wind, flowing water—all dynamic images of interaction, of relationship, of connection.
Let me put it this way: Whenever you feel connected, you’re in the Holy Spirit. Whenever you disconnect yourself through anger, judgment, hatred, cruelty in any form, you’re not in the Holy Spirit. You’re operating outside of that in which you were created.
Let the sign of the cross be a body prayer for the rest of your life. We can’t understand it, we can only allow it. We can only allow that flow, that communion, that energy, that dynamism, that vitality, that love. We’ll know when we’re there and I hope we can recognize when we’re not there. That’s how we’ll know when we’re living in the Trinity or acting as a separate you and me, standing on the side of life, instead of living it.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Feast of the Holy Trinity with the Dalai Lama,” homily, May 26, 2013, MP3 audio.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next— Jenna Keiper, Untitled. Jenna Keiper, Untitled. Izzy Spitz, Untitled. Watercolor. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image.
On retreat, the CAC staff used watercolors to connect to our collective grief. This is one of the watercolor paintings that came from that exercise.