Creation

Trinity Time!

Yesterday, I had two thoughts about the Holy Trinity. The first concerns the three words that characterise Mary’s life in the Bible: Ecce- Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; Fiat- Let it be done to me, according to the word of the Lord; Magnificat- My soul magnifies the Lord.

What I noted is, that Ecce relates to the Father, who we all belong to by our very existence. Fiat relates to he Son, the Word of the Lord, who acts in all creation and is to act in fullness in us. And Magnificat relates to the Holy Spirit, in who we go out, bringing Christ to the world and bring Him glory!

We have received all from the Father. We live and must live fully, in the Son. We must live out, and so be united to, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit.

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This is pretty…

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Not how I imagined the Trinity…

The second thought follows on from this: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, also correspond to the past, present and future. The Father is the firm foundation of all existence, from whom we receive all things. The Son is the revelation and presence of God in the world, through whom we have all things. The Spirit is the revealing of God, Father and Son, by whose power God is being conceived and brought forth in creation, in whom all things are.

The past, the present, and the future are intimate united and interwoven (and I’d argue, not as linear as we might suppose). Each is fully present within the others two. The past is revealed not in itself, by in the future, as time passes and the past bears its fruit. It is by the present that we know time (or anything in it) at all. The future is the power of motion within the past and the present, it is the motion and life of them, and the world of possibilities.

To be united with God the Father, who is the source and origin of all Being, all life, all everything, we must be united His Son, the Word of God, the Divine Wisdom, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is the ever present expression of God the Father throughout creation. And to be united to the Son and the Father, we must be subject to the Holy Spirit, the divine breath of life, the one moving all creation forwards in God, bringing forth God, forming matter into the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

Well, what do you think?

Thanks for reading, and God bless you!

Earth Day Thoughts

The Earth is my home and my favourite place in the universe. I can’t imagine a better place to live. Astronomy has found some wonders, but nothing to rival the Earth. The Earth has allowed us to live for billions of years, to get to our modern human life today. She deserves our love and gratitude.

Maybe you roll your eyes at me personifying a planet. But when science considers people/life as material, spirituality must consider all matter as personal/living.

For too long, we’ve viewed the earth as a dead object to be exploited for private profit. For too long, some (our rich and powerful) have thought they have a right to damage our common home.

‘You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.’
-St. Ambrose of Milan (4th Century Bishop and Doctor of the Church)

God bless you

 

Life, choice, and freedom

Here are some thoughts, looking at two ways of understanding freedom, and so viewing the world. The two ways are life and choice (do you see where I’m going here?).

The freedom of life, is when the thing in question, be it a seed, a goat, a mother or an unborn child, is given the space and opportunity to go out of itself, growing, giving itself away, revealing the secret of its nature. To be free, is to be youwith all that that entails; to live out your gifts, talents, hopes, dreams, strengths, and weakness too. To not be free, is to have not-you imposed upon you, whether by violence or deception.

Freedom of choice on the other hand, considers matters as external to an individual you which is an abstract notion of an arbitrary will. It looks at all things as essentially separate from you, and with no inherently correct choice. Freedom, then, is to have as many options as possible, or equivalently, to have as much subject to your own arbitrary dominion as possible. To not be free is to have fewer choices. (Note that freedom here is always finite, with the constraints of nature an obstacle to your freedom.)

Freedom of life views the world around us as wonderful and bursting with life, each part valuable and dignified in and of itself, in intimate relationship with ourselves, and deserving of our care and respect. It sees it as our freedom to coexist joyfully with all others, sharing freedom as we ourselves are free. My freedom complements yours and yours complements mine.

Freedom of choice views the world around me, including my own body and being, as an obstacle to be conquered by my will, with no value besides what I myself assign to it at each moment. Everything and everyone is fundamentally cut off from me, and their freedom of choice naturally competes with my own. Everything is objectified.

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Where eyes of life see a great jungle, with a cacophony that’s a symphony that’s a theophany, eyes of choice see a menu, with various prices and deals for various products for consumption.

Paradoxically, this “freedom of life” makes demands on us. But each of these demands, is not coming from outside of us, but from the truth itself, the truth of our reality within each situation. The demand comes from our deepest depths, and not from outside. In each situation, the demand is always to live as fully as possible, to be what and who you truly are within that situation. From time to time, this means heroism and sacrifice: that is life.

And as a far greater contradiction, the “freedom of choice” that tries to demand so much from the world, always ultimately enslaves me, because it makes my desires of the world, and so I am made subject to the world. In considering a matter as a mere choice, I am putting its options up for sale. Perhaps not to people, but at least to circumstances. And in the end, what am I selling but myself?

 

We have a real and inherent obligation to every creature, from algae to giant redwoods, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope, from the beggar to the prisoner, from the newly conceived zygote to the terminally ill, and to ourselves too. And we are asked to fulfil this obligation insofar as each one is our neighbour, that is, as each is within our reach. It is the obligation to live and to give life, or equivalently, to love.

God bless you

Me and the ladybug

Yesterday, as I walked to campus, a ladybug flew straight towards me, and landed gently on my finger. I wouldn’t have even felt it if I hadn’t seen it. I decided to let it stay, and move my hands to give it more places to go. Sometimes it took up my offer, and sometimes it stayed still or turned around. Eventually, it took out its wings, geared up and left me to continue my walk in peace.

In that brief moment, we were not competitors, colleagues, or obstacles to each other. We were not threats or opportunities for gain. We were just two living things together, two simple creatures on a short journey, enjoying each other’s existence. We were playmates. We were equals. We served no greater good, but existed for our own sake. The goodness that we were was more than enough.

By our existence, by our play, we were giving glory to our common creator. Because we served nothing, not even ourselves, we served God.

God bless you!

Why did God create?- God’s plan

Why would God, who is infinitely and definitively good, create? No quantity or quality of creation will ever increase the total amount of good that exists, since He is infinitely good already. Why should there be creation, if creation adds nothing to its creator?

Because of the nature of good itself. Truly, good is not like mere human desires and pleasure. It is not something to hoard, and seek for yourself. God’s goodness is not His being perpetually pleased with Himself. God is not the perfect drug.

Rather, it is in the nature of good to give itself. Goodness is inherently diffusive. At all times, the good desires to give itself, and to be united to others. Consider how a flower’s scent gives itself to those nearby, and is especially good as we are united with it by breathing it in, and how the flower advertises itself with beautiful colours, and invites in the butterfly, to drink of its sweet nectar, and so be even more perfectly united by nourishing the butterfly’s flesh.flutterby

Goodness entails a thing pouring itself out, into the other. Consider how the Sun doesn’t only illuminate itself, but all of creation. And consider how Brother Sun is actually destroying his own mass, at a rate of about 4 billion kilograms per second, to provide heat and light for the cosmos, and how the Earth receives this energy, and turns it to life! The Sun gives itself, and so is united with and internalised by Earth, and the Earth, filled with the Sun, leaps and hops and sings and rejoices!

So God did not create seeking goodness, but expressing and sharing and pouring out His goodness. And this gift is everything, because God created from nothing, ex nihilo, giving all things even their very being. God creates because He is good, not because He wants good. God made all creation, in order to share His goodness.

But God’s goodness is not content to stop at creation of the universe, but desires this universe to be bursting with God Himself. He is determined to share His very person, His very self, with us.

To this end, God sent His Son to us, as one of us. Jesus was in the heart of the earth three days and three nights, that the eternal life in him who is the resurrection and the life, might fertilise even the dirt of death, that life may burst forth. The only begotten Son of God comes to us as the Bread of Life, giving himself completely in the Paschal sacrifice, to unite himself to us, to fill us with his own life, that we may live because of him, even as he lives because of the Father (Jn 6:57).

God created the whole world, that He could give Himself to it. God gathers the whole universe under Christ Jesus, the head of all things for the Church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills all in all (Eph1:22-23). God’s plan is for all creation, in the fulness of time, to rejoice with the children of God, perfectly united with Him, and unveiled in the glory of the children of God (Ro 8:21-22, 1Jn 3:2).

What is this incredible, self-giving, diffusive, unifying good? It is none other than love.

‘God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.’ 1 John 4:16

It is love that is good. Love is always in motion, always giving itself away. If God is love, and love is self-giving, what exactly is God giving? Doesn’t there have to be something existing itself before it can give itself? But God’s existence itself is not something passive, but His gift of Being. This is a great mystery, but I know, through and through, God is love. God is the ultimate giver, and all He asks is to be received!

We are to be thoroughly transformed by God’s love, through and through. We are to be full of God to overflowing, and we shall share in His glory, and rejoice with all creation, to all eternity.

‘God has placed you in this world not because he needs you in any way–you are altogether useless to him–but only to exercise his goodness in you by giving you his grace and glory.’ St. Francis de Sales

God bless you!

P.S. I just want to acknowledge that so much of this is informed by the wonderful book, ‘The Humility of God’ by Sr Ilia Delio. This book is quite incredible, and revealed a great deal to me, although there are parts I find myself disagreeing with still, and many times had to pause and check how what she wrote aligns with Church teaching, only to find she makes this clear on the next page. It was difficult but incredibly rewarding.