Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, don't come back to us saying you've figured out the Trinity!

I'm taking a class this summer on the Blessed Trinity. I shared that with a priest in an interview a few weeks ago. I recently signed contract and will be teaching there in the fall.

The priest leaned back in his seat and chuckled. "Well don't come back to us saying that you've figured out the Trinity!"

I laughed. I knew where the priest was coming from. The Trinity is a mystery. And with all of the mysteries of God, we study, we ponder, we get it in dribs and drabs, and then we sit back and marvel at the mystery that remains mysterious. And we are filled with a desire to study and ponder even more - though, ironically, we realize with more certainty that we will never fully understand.

There is a story about St. Augustine and the Trinity. It's worth retelling.

The story is told of St Augustine of Hippo, a great philosopher and theologian. He was preoccupied with the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity. He wanted so much to understand the doctrine of one God in three persons and to be able to explain it logically. One day he was walking along the sea shore and reflecting on this matter. Suddenly, he saw a little child all alone on the shore. The child made a hole in the sand, ran to the sea with a little cup, filled her cup with sea water, ran up and emptied the cup into the hole she had made in the sand. Back and forth she went to the sea, filled her cup and came and poured it into the hole. Augustine drew up and said to her, “Little child, what are you doing?” 
She replied, “I am trying to empty the sea into this hole.” 
“How do you think,” Augustine asked her, “that you can empty this immense sea into this tiny hole and with this tiny cup?” 
She answered back, “And you, how do you suppose that with your small head you can comprehend the immensity of God?” With that the child disappeared.

About a year ago, I had a dream. I dreamed that Jesus told me that the Trinity was like the number one to the third power.

1x1x1 still equals 1.

It is the closest I've come to getting it. One God. Three Persons. 
Father. Son. Holy Spirit. >God

1 comment:

  1. Quite a dream.
    Maybe the grace comes just with the pondering.If we "got" it , we would move on to something else.The wrestling keeps us focused.And reminds me just who I am and who they are.They don't need dreams to "get" me.