On Trinity Sunday

If all the world is a stage in this magnificent Earth the Lord God almighty has created for us, then what have we to fear? He wrote the script, we know it ends well when Jesus Christ will come again. It’s only the world that tells us to be afraid. 

We need only to look to our triune God – He’s all that matters. They created us in His image and likeness, male and female we’re created, to enjoy the Earth and all that is in it; to tend the garden of the Tree of Life, and to enjoy all that is good. He’s given us dominion once again as adopted sons and daughters filled with His Spirit, to master His creation in His name, to glorify Him through the might and wonder He works in our lives and to ever reach new heights of glory, power, humility, meekness, greatness. 

The world will tell us to be afraid, to feel shame, to be depressed. The world tries to teach us to compromise, to hate, to isolate – that there’s something wrong with us. The father of lies lives boldly, with many willing servants to do his bidding 

Ezra Pound in his Canto #1 recounts the story of Odysseus descending to the underworld and making his way back up into the light. He ends the story with a colon ( : ) that most take in a literary sense. 

But a Canto is a song, in music that colon is a repeat sign – meaning the story is repeated. Odysseus becomes Everyman, who’s journey in life takes on the dramatic arc we will all call our own. 

We each journey into the world, listen to the world, peer deeply into the mysteries of life. Ultimately, find God anew in all things, always filling our sails, guiding our path, shining His light before our steps, filling us with His Spirit.

O eternal Trinity, Thou art my maker and I am Thy creation. Illuminated by Thee, I have learned that Thou hast made me a new creation through the Blood of Thine Only-begotten Son because Thou art captivated by love at the beauty of Thy creation.

O eternal Trinity, O Divinity, O unfathomable abyss, O deepest sea, what greater gift could Thou givest me then Thy very Self? Thou art a fire that burns eternally yet never consumed, a fire that consumes with Thy heat my self-love. Again and again Thou art the fire who taketh away all cold heartedness and illuminateth the mind by Thy light, the light with which Thou hast made me to know Thy truth.

By this mirrored light I know Thou are the highest good, a good above all good, a fortunate good, an incomprehensible good, an unmeasurable good, a beauty above all beauty, a wisdom above all wisdom, for Thou art wisdom itself, the food of angels, the fire of love that Thou givest to man.

Thou art the garment covering our nakedness. Thou feedest our family with Thy sweetness, a sweetness Thou art from which there is no trace of bitterness. O Eternal Trinity! Amen.

Act of Thanksgiving to the Trinity, 
by St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), Doctor of the Church
from her Dialogue on Divine Providence

Most blessed Trinity, Father Son, and Holy Ghost, we praise you, we adore you, we glorify you.

We worship you now and forever.

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Doxology Revisited

This post first appeared in June, 2009. I hope you enjoy it. If you’re a part of my devoted readership that has already read it before, call me and let’s do lunch. It’s been awhile!

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Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen

When I think upon the doxology I think upon many things.

The Trinity is a mysterious revelation; Father, Son, Holy Spirit, a community of divine persons so richly complex and unfathomable that I’m humbled merely contemplating them.

Then too come the whole idea of a personal God, a God of three persons. I had lived my life after ‘growing up’, so often trying to transcend everything, trying to thinking of God as an abstract energy in the universe running through all things…. that God has a personal nature, and reaches out to me specifically in a broken world still humbles me. It’s hard to accept sometimes, and gives me pause.

Created in the image and likeness of God, we are called also to communion of persons. So I often find myself in this short prayer that I often say throughout the day, thinking of all the people that I know, that I have known.

I think about my parents who have gone before me, my grandparents. I think about my immediate family and our ongoing dramas. I think about my friends and loved ones and wonder about how they are doing. I think about my enemies, the ‘hands of all who hate us’ (because let’s face it, not everyone gets along in the world…)holy_trinity

I think upon all of those people, and of those who’ve gone before and of those who will come after and how we are all somehow interconnected as children of God, as unique and beautiful creations more marvelous than the lilies of the field, created little lower than the angels, whose nature now sits at the right hand of God himself. And that’s a very beautiful image of all of humanity, struggling as it were through darkness and through light.

I think of all those others during the last part of the prayer especially; “as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, world without end.”

Looking around the world and seeing the sun rise and set, feeling the wind, noting how beautiful all things are, all of the problems of life fade away, even momentarily. All of this has existed for ages, it will exist for ages… God was the same then, God will be the same in the future, God is the same now.

And it boils down to ‘Now’. God is a communion of persons, and in all of the created glory of the universe every moment is created to be filled with His glory. All persons throughout history can share in the glory that is always present, always given in every moment, every day, throughout all of eternity.

God is reaching out in a personal way to me, calling me to forgiveness and to repentance, calling me to love, calling me to at least try to live for the glory of eternity. God is calling out to all of us in a manner filled with a deep and personal love beyond description.

Praying the Doxology I am rooted in time and in space, connected to past and to future, becoming an anchor of God’s love wherever I am, reaching out to my Creator for understanding, knowledge, wisdom, strength, joy…

No wonder it takes me so long to get through my prayers.

Doxology

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen

When I think upon the doxology I think upon many things.

The Trinity is a mysterious revelation; Father, Son, Holy Spirit, a community of divine persons so richly complex and unfathomable that I’m humbled merely contemplating them.

Then too come the whole idea of a personal God, a God of three persons. I had lived my life after ‘growing up’, so often trying to transcend everything, trying to thinking of God as an abstract energy in the universe running through all things…. that God has a personal nature, and reaches out to me specifically in a broken world still humbles me. It’s hard to accept sometimes, and gives me pause.

Created in the image and likeness of God, we are called also to communion of persons. So I often find myself in this short prayer that I often say throughout the day, thinking of all the people that I know, that I have known.

I think about my parents who have gone before me, my grandparents. I think about my immediate family and our ongoing dramas. I think about my friends and loved ones and wonder about how they are doing. I think about my enemies, the ‘hands of all who hate us’ (because let’s face it, not everyone gets along in the world…)holy_trinity

I think upon all of those people, and of those who’ve gone before and of those who will come after and how we are all somehow interconnected as children of God, as unique and beautiful creations more marvelous than the lilies of the field, created little lower than the angels, whose nature now sits at the right hand of God himself. And that’s a very beautiful image of all of humanity, struggling as it were through darkness and through light.

I think of all those others during the last part of the prayer especially; “as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, world without end.”

Looking around the world and seeing the sun rise and set, feeling the wind, noting how beautiful all things are, all of the problems of life fade away, even momentarily. All of this has existed for ages, it will exist for ages… God was the same then, God will be the same in the future, God is the same now.

And it boils down to ‘Now’. God is a communion of persons, and in all of the created glory of the universe every moment is created to be filled with His glory. All persons throughout history can share in the glory that is always present, always given in every moment, every day, throughout all of eternity.

God is reaching out in a personal way to me, calling me to forgiveness and to repentance, calling me to love, calling me to at least try to live for the glory of eternity. God is calling out to all of us in a manner filled with a deep and personal love beyond description.

Praying the Doxology I am rooted in time and in space, connected to past and to future, becoming an anchor of God’s love wherever I am, reaching out to my Creator for understanding, knowledge, wisdom, strength, joy…

No wonder it takes me so long to get through my prayers.

For Trinity Sunday…

The Holy Trinity appears in this beautiful music book, by Father Athanasius Kircher, Musurgia Universalis, in the University of Glasgow’s collection. afx9_front

The triangle at the top is the symbol of the Holy Trinity and sheds its rays over the whole of the top of the picture. Kircher held to the medieval idea that music is a reflection of the essential mathematics and proportions inherent in all Creation so the Trinity was not only a symbol but a real dogma.

Under the Trinity we find the nine angelic, four-voice choirs, singing a 36-part canon by Romano Micheli.

The canon is properly described as “canoni sopra le vocali di piu parole” (“on the vowels of a few words”) although in the present case the words ascribed are those of the angelic choirs in the Trishagion – “Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus“, as described in Revelation.

The strip of text reads: “Angelic choir of 36 voices” (then the Sanctus music notated in staff notation) “distributed in 9 choirs”.

The middle section is dominated by a globe of the World, on which is seated Musica, holding the lyre of Apollo and the panpipes of Marsyas. The globe is encircled by the Zodiac, and Musica holds also a streamer bearing the legend “Of Athanasius Kircher of the Society of Jesus, Universal Musicmaking or the Art …” (being the beginning of the full title of the work).

Round the last part of the streamer is displayed the dedication “To His Serene Highness Leopold William, Archduke of Austria.” Other symbols in this section include rings of dancing mermaids on the shore, a shepherd trying out the echo and the winged horse of the Muses, Pegasus.

The lowest part of the picture shows blacksmiths in a cave: the sound of blacksmiths hammering had led Pythagoras to important conclusions about the nature of pitch and the blacksmiths are acknowledged in the picture by being pointed out by Pythagoras, who also holds an illustration of his theorem, also using triangles, and hence referring obliquely once again to the top of the picture.

The muse on the right may be Polymnia who appears in standard pose surrounded by musical instruments of various kinds.

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