The Holy Trinity

Art and Religion

Art is man joining in with God’s beautiful and pointless act of creation. It is sheer gratuity. It is utterly free and frivolous. And in this frivolity, the artist rejoices and glorifies the Creator present within, whether or not the artist knows this. He joins with God in creating the universe out of himself. Therefore art is always essentially religious, even when not explicitly so, and even without the artist’s knowledge.

And to receive a work of art, is to be drawn into this new revelation/manifestation/apocalypse of the artist and of God Himself. We see something truly new, something that cannot be seen and cannot be unseen. If we allow it, we will be drawn into the artwork and so into God.

Art has no function, and if it is for the sake of function, it is not art. It is not there to do a job, to make a point, or to communicate a message. It is pure, frivolous, creation and expression. It is inside, waiting, desiring to come out and be born. It is a child, not a robot. It is the child born of the promise and of grace, not the child of slavery and the law.

When art falls away from this calling, it is no longer art, and will become something boring and all too often ugly. And our souls will be smaller, less bright, and less open as a result.

I feel this has happened within our culture and in the Church too, in our architecture, our music, our artworks, and even our liturgies. There is far too much that reeks of our own ideas and aims, rather than the inspiration and pointless beauty of true art/worship.

What is the solution? Adore God. And if He inspires you to some art, however amateur or fine, do it, and do it for its own sake.

God bless you!

Standing in a waterfall, looking up

He is a waterfall.

He empties Himself every moment,

and is superabundantly full.

He is high up above,

and He is drilling to the depths.

He is always in motion,

always a gift.

He falls down,

and He bursts out.

He is the living water.

Who are we?

We are standing in the waterfall

looking up

and losing ourselves,

drowned under the current.

The Experience Machine, the Nature of Reality, and God

Have you heard the thought experiment of The Experience Machine? If not, it’s roughly as follows:

Imagine there exists a machine, such that when you enter it, you experience a perfect universe. Everything you desire, is there. A personalised universe designed to make you as perfectly happy as it’s possible to be. Would you enter? Would you ever leave?

I think leaving would be the right choice. We ought to choose reality with suffering over happy illusions.

But I’m trying to pin down why the virtual reality of the machine is less real, and also less good, than the world outside it, and it’s not so clear to me. It feels real. Yes, it’s not physically real, but what’s the difference between our physical world and the virtual world, that behaves the same?

The best I’ve come up with so far, is this: reality doesn’t revolve around me. It lies outside of me, and isn’t dependent upon my will. It has a life of its own.

And this is infinitely better. Why? Because it makes communion, love and graciousness possible. The machine can provide every pleasure, but not these things, which make life life. The beauty of life is in being intruded on by the Other, giving ourselves to the Other, and both creating/becoming something new as a result. It’s sex, as opposed to masturbation. It’s the Trinity as opposed to the monad.

My questions seem to have found their answers ūüôā. Even my next question, which I will share anyway.

If reality is outside of my power, is nothing real for God? Is God alone in an experience machine?

The answer is, that God is Trinity. God is the Lover, the Beloved, and the Fountain of Love between the two, and all three exist only in and as this Love. They do not exist, then love, or exist, then be loved. They love and are beloved and conceive love, from all eternity, and this is what God is.

May God bless you, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit

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!

The Holy Trinity

According to a certain sociology model, in each person there exists an I, a Self and a Me. As I understand it, the I is the person, as they truly are, looking out on the world; the Self is their reflective self-image, their idea of who they are; and the Me is the person they present to the rest of the world. The Self originates from the I, and the Me comes from the Self and the I together. To help explain, I will use an example:

Say someone decides to take a selfie. The I takes the picture; the Self is captured/expressed within the picture, reflecting the I; and the Me posts the picture online, sharing the life of the person with others.

Now to talk Trinity.¬†God knows Himself perfectly, and cannot be deceived,¬†so God’s¬†Self is perfectly identical with God’s I, and so both are wholly God. God’s Me, by which God presents God to the world, is the fulness of God, because God is all good, and loves Himself perfectly, and so has no bad to hide and no good to forge. God’s Me, then, is the love of the I for the Self and the Self for the I, and proceeds from both the I and the Self. The Father corresponds to the I, the Son corresponds to the Self, and the Me corresponds to the Holy Spirit. They are perfectly united, and yet truly distinct. Three in One and One in Three.

The I, Self and Me model can also, I believe, help to explain how people come to be united, and so, by extension, how we come to be united with God. As the Me shares the person’s inner life, if it is accepted, those it is shared with begin to take part in this inner life; they spend more and more time with the person, talking more and more intimately. As this goes on, the outsider grows to be¬†ever¬†more closely identified with the person, entering into the person’s idea of their Self; they consider¬†each other as themselves (even to neglecting their own self), and take ever more joint selfies. And as they enter into the person’s Self, they are even drawn into the I, where they live and work as one, with a single¬†set of desires.

Between people, this process can be bumpy to say the least. Sin and the stain of sin place barriers between us at each point, and our own I, Self and Me are not perfectly united. But with God, He removes all such barriers along the way, and brings us to internal unity. And as a wonderful bonus, this removes the same barriers from our relationships with others, enabling true communion on earth also.

We see this growing into unity with God throughout the scriptures, and especially in the Blessed Virgin, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, whose flesh was made the flesh of the Word, who was united most profoundly to God and so made Queen of Heaven. The Holy Spirit is credited with making the Church the Body of Christ, and with consecrating the Holy Eucharist. It is by the Holy Spirit that we know God’s life, so that we are united to Jesus (especially on the cross), so that we are offered in perfect obedience to the Father.

May God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit bless you