More Tinkering With The Holy Trinity Mystery

 My other post for this Sunday's Feast of The Holy Trinity is here.

The following is an extract on celebrating the Holy Trinity taken from here.

"Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM and the late Fr. John O’Donohue have both gifted us with meditative reflections on the Trinity in recent years. 


They speak of the Trinity in terms of rhythms and flow and surprise. 

Richard Rohr speaks of a “family resemblance” between the Trinity and all of creation, from the depths of the atom to the furthest extent of the universe, there is a similarity of pattern. 

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All are in movement, all are in relationship to each other, the power is in the “in between.” Life is in the movement, the flow.

Fr. Rohr notes that the Greek Fathers of the Church described the Trinity as a relationship of perichoresisa mutual interpenetration and indwelling.

 He explains that perichoresis can be translated as dance. 

God is the dance and we come to know God only from within the dance of the Trinity. 

As long as we remain open and allow ourselves to be pulled into the flow of mutuality, to the perfect giving and perfect receiving that is the life of God, we will experience the communion, intimacy and relationship characteristic of God’s life. 

Anything that stops the flow of loving – anger, resentment, judgement - cannot be part of who God is. 

To the extent that we harbor those blocks to love, we block the flow of God’s life/love in ourselves.

John O’Donohue, in a workshop for the Religious Education Congress of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2005, also spoke of the Trinity in terms of rhythm and flow, touching on many of the same themes described above.

 A poet and storyteller, he looks at the mystery of the Trinity through poetic images – the flow of a river, a dream of the divine, dance, music, between-ness. 

 He speaks of God as the “secret music of the heart and the universe… the primal music and dance of all that is.”

We most often experience the world in terms of dualities such as inside/outside, masculine/feminine, divine/human, light/dark and so forth. 

Yet O’Donohue points out that in reality we actually find ourselves at the threshold between those dualities most of the time. 

It’s a threshold that must be permeable if we and our relationships are to be healthy, so that the qualities of each side of the duality can pass between, refreshing, supporting and enlivening the other.

 As he points out, there’s the one side, the other side and the place in between. 

For O’Donohue, the place in between is where we find the Holy Spirit, holding “all the between-ness together.”

The insights of these two men are well worth hearing and pondering. There’s far more to what each has said than can be described in a short blog post. 


But the depth of the wisdom they bring resonates with the insights of the mystics from all the ages.

 As John O’Donohue notes, “Once you get a taste of God, nothing else tastes the same.” And again, “That’s what it’s about – coming fully alive to the dream of the Divine within you.”

May the dream of the Divine resonate within you and lead you ever more deeply into the life of the Trinity."


and from here a little more on perichoresis................ extract below....

"The Church fathers called the dynamic within God by the term perichoresis.  

It comes from two words. Peri means “around”, like peri-meter; and choreia means “to dance.” (If you were to write down the dance steps you would be a choreo-grapher.) 

So perichoresis means a “dance of love”, a mutual indwelling within the threefold nature of the Trinity, the circulation of love between the three persons of the Trinity. 

But it is the nature of love to give itself to the other – to ecstatically turn itself out toward the other, as parents do for their children, as a lover does for his beloved. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit turned themselves inside out to create other, non-divine beings, so there could be more love. 

Here’s a kind of gross image for the doctrine of creation. 

Did you know that a starfish eats by turning its stomach inside out? It projects its stomach outside its body so it can insert it inside a clam that it has pried open. Eventually, the stomach, along with the food it has been working on, is pulled back inside its body, where a second stomach completes the digestive process. 

Having imprinted that image on your mind, I now suggest that creation is an act of the Trinity turning itself inside out. Once there was nothing besides God; then God made something beside himself. 

It was an act of ecstasy –ek and stasis: to stand outside oneself. 

Creation happened when God was beside himself with love.

Into that creation God came. The act that paved the way from heaven to earth was called kenosis. 

You know the word from Philippians 2: “Have this mind among yourselves, that is yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he committed kenosis – emptied himself – taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness …”  

Kenosis means self-emptying, going forth, God coming down. And the act that paved the way for the return trip from earth to heaven is called the ascension. 

This is not just a convenient way for Christ to exist the earth, stage up. It is gathering up created being to return with it to the Creator. 

(This is why I am on a one-man campaign to restore consciousness of the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension: it is the completing pole of the incarnation, so I want to put up an ascension tree, and send ascension cards, and give ascension gifts.)"

 Click here for a reflection on the Holy Trinity aptly titled  A Trilogy of Blessing

and loads more on this site devoted to varied thoughts on The Trinity from here......

I particularly like this one:

Why do you balk at the doctrine of the Trinity – God the three in One – yet meekly acquiesce when Einstein tells you E=mc2? 
–Dorothy L. Sayers (1893 – 1957)

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