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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 6/03/2012 -- MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF TRINITY  (Read 3088 times)
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« on: June 03, 2012, 01:38:21 AM »

June 3, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF TRINITY

   
In the name of the Holy One
In the name of the Son
In the name of the Spirit
We are made one

God for us, we call You Father
God alongside us, we call You Jesus,
God within us, we call You Holy Spirit.

You are the Eternal Mystery that enables and holds
and enlivens all things
—even us and even me.

Every name falls short of Your goodness and greatness.
We can only see who You are in what is.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Amen


Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 04:11:05 AM »

June 4, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

   
One reason so many theologians are interested in the Trinity now is that
we’re finding both physics (especially quantum physics) and cosmology
are at a level of development where human science, our understanding of
the atom and our understanding of galaxies, is affirming and confirming
our use of the old Trinitarian language—but with a whole new level of
appreciation. Reality is radically relational, and the power is in the
relationships themselves!

No good Christians would have denied the Trinitarian Mystery, but until
our generation none were prepared to see that the shape of God is the
shape of the whole universe!

Great science, which we once considered an “enemy” of religion, is
now helping us see that we’re standing in the middle of awesome
Mystery, and the only response before that Mystery is immense humility.
Astrophysicists are much more comfortable with darkness, emptiness,
non-explainability (dark matter, black holes), and living with
hypotheses than most Christians I know. Who could have imagined this?

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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Alan
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2012, 03:35:38 AM »

June 5, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

   
Our Franciscan Saint Bonaventure, who wrote a lot about the Trinity, was
influenced by a lesser-known figure called Richard of Saint Victor.
Richard said, “For God to be good, God can be one. For God to be
loving, God has to be two because love is always a relationship.” But
his real breakthrough was saying that “For God to be supreme joy and
happiness, God has to be three.” Lovers do not know full happiness
until they both delight in the same thing, like new parents with the
ecstasy of their first child.

When I was first becoming “known,” people wanted to get close to me
and be my friend or have a special relationship with me. I asked myself
how I would choose between all these friends and I realized that the
people I really found joy in were not always people who loved me nearly
as much as people who loved what I loved. That helped me understand what
I think Richard of St. Victor was trying to teach. The Holy Spirit is
the shared love of the Father and the Son, and shared love is always
happiness and joy. The Holy Spirit is whatever the Father and the Son
are excited about; She is that excitement—about everything in
creation!

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 03:49:14 AM »

June 5, 2012

...

The Holy Spirit is whatever the Father and the Son
are excited about; She is that excitement—about everything in
creation!

This week I'm not getting much out of Richard's letters.  It just doesn't inspire me the way he usually does.  This isn't really the complete problem, but frankly I find it distracting when he uses the female pronouns for God.  I understand what he's trying to do, and a few weeks ago I understood it better when he talked about it.  That said, I think using "she" makes the problem worse, not better.  Also, before he was talking about using God the father/mother to help people who didn't have a good father figure but do have a good mother figure.  I get that.  But now we're talking about the Holy Spirit which is sexless and afa I can tell its role does not require any sexed image.  I'd rather call the Holy Spirit "it" than "she."  

And it isn't about male ego.  It's about grammar and what's "normal."  Sure it's good to go beyond what is normal, but for what?  For something that is neither normal nor any closer to truth than what is normal?

The Holy Spirit is whatever the Father and the Son are excited about; She is that excitement—about everything in creation!

This particular observation I thought was brilliant, but marred by the "she" thing I found it uninspiring and it focused on the sex rather than the excitement.  Giving God a sex change isn't going to do away with the problem that he/she/it/they transcends sex.  God is no more female than male.

Sorry, Richard.  I owe you a great chunk of my spiritual progress.  I understand I can't expect every single day's email to be profound, but this use of female pronouns is distracting, and I don't see that it's doing anything other than fueling controversy in the exact area you're trying to open minds -- a tactic that I'm dubious of.  Not that you asked me to defend against your detractors, but based on how you come across to me, it helps me see that some of what they level against you, you are guilty as charged.  As of today, I officially have no spiritual interest even, in participating in your Mass where witnesses I deemed reliable told me some of the bizarre things you do with Communion and use of "mother/father God" and all.  I'd go given the chance, but out of curiosity more than expectations of being edified.  Sad

I don't diminish your ability as an SD, but I'm hoping for it to get better as a reason to keep reading your emails instead of someone else's, or nothing.   Undecided

Alan

« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 04:01:58 AM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
ncjohn
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 09:34:37 AM »

I have to agree that I've not been that excited about the current theme. That has been common though for as long as I've been following Richard; there are just some things that are the right thing at the right time while others, while admittedly valuable, aren't where my current journey lies.

I think his use of the female for the Holy Spirit stems primarily from the thought the the Spirit represents the "Wisdom of God" and Wisdom was traditionally portrayed as the female Sophia pretty much throughout scripture. I do admit though that it can be dsitracting to the points he is trying to make at times.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 08:28:56 AM by ncjohn » Logged

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
Alan
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 07:26:35 AM »

June 6, 2012




Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

   
In our attempts to explain the Trinitarian Mystery in the past we
overemphasized the individual qualities of the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, but not so much the relationships between them. That is where
all the power is! That is where all the meaning is!

The Mystery of God as Trinity invites us into a dynamism, a flow, a
relationship, a waterwheel of love. The Mystery says God is a verb much
more than a noun. God as Trinity invites us into a participatory
experience. Some of our Christian mystics went so far as to say that all
of creation is being taken back into this flow of eternal life, almost
as if we are a “Fourth Person” of the Eternal Flow of God or, as
Jesus put it, “so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3 [1]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:3&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 07:28:57 AM »

June 6, 2012




Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

    
In our attempts to explain the Trinitarian Mystery in the past we
overemphasized the individual qualities of the Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, but not so much the relationships between them. That is where
all the power is! That is where all the meaning is!

The Mystery of God as Trinity invites us into a dynamism, a flow, a
relationship, a waterwheel of love. The Mystery says God is a verb much
more than a noun. God as Trinity invites us into a participatory
experience. Some of our Christian mystics went so far as to say that all
of creation is being taken back into this flow of eternal life, almost
as if we are a “Fourth Person” of the Eternal Flow of God or, as
Jesus put it, “so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3 [1]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:3&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.


This is a bit more like it.  I totally see what he means about emphasizing the individual qualities of the members.  Again, it's the dualistic, calculus view of life that we can take something apart and discuss the parts individually in the hopes of gleaning meaning about the whole.

Of course I'm sure the idea is that we use the imagery of the three persons and that will help us understand the relationships, but not on this earth because we don't have the same kinds of fathers and sons as they are so the dynamics are quite a bit different.

Alan
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 09:24:09 AM »



This is a bit more like it.  I totally see what he means about emphasizing the individual qualities of the members.  Again, it's the dualistic, calculus view of life that we can take something apart and discuss the parts individually in the hopes of gleaning meaning about the whole.

Of course I'm sure the idea is that we use the imagery of the three persons and that will help us understand the relationships, but not on this earth because we don't have the same kinds of fathers and sons as they are so the dynamics are quite a bit different.

Alan


I share your resistance to taking things apart (if that is what I'm reading), but like you every time I do, I find something deeper that joins everything back together again.  The Muslim student living with us looked at me a little funny when I described the trinity to him, because it is hard to do without making God sound like Gods.  I have yet to read Rohr's take on the trinity, but I suppose I should.

In the mean time I have gone along just fine with the idea of ignoring trinitarian talk and sticking with the idea of God in everything, which just seems to make more sense.  I mean, what is the purpose of using language like "that is the work of the Holy Spirit" when I can just say "that is the work of God" other than to communicate to others in their own language?  I have no objection to communicating to others in their own language (and I am happy to do so), but theology is deeper than words.
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2012, 10:52:00 AM »


I share your resistance to taking things apart (if that is what I'm reading), but like you every time I do, I find something deeper that joins everything back together again.  The Muslim student living with us looked at me a little funny when I described the trinity to him, because it is hard to do without making God sound like Gods.  I have yet to read Rohr's take on the trinity, but I suppose I should.


I think you understand where I'm coming from.  It isn't precisely in the taking apart where I have the problem...

Taking things apart is fine, as long as we resist the notion that in analyzing the parts we can anal-yze the whole by taking the parts and sewing the back together like a quilt.  We can learn a lot that way, as long as we're not presumptuous about it.  When we are dealing with a curvy line in a math class, we can actually figure out how close our approximations are and using limits, for example, answer questions about things that can't be measured in context.  But it doesn't work that way with a flower.  If I had never ever seen a flower, and somebody brought specimens into the lab of roots, stems, leaves, and blooms, and even a box of dirt, I may have every piece of a living flower, but could never tell you even as much as a little kid playing in a field would know.  I could tell you its chemical makeup, how much it weighs, whether it dissolves in various things, but I could not tell you how it grows, or even that it grows, where it came from, where it normally would go, nor could I tell you of its beauty or of its impact on the human psyche -- it just isn't the same when it's cut up.

That reminds me ... I've been pretty sick lately but I'm going to have to buck up and get some lawn mowed and some brush cleared.  St. Julie is sick, Monica and Andrew are sick.  We are all taking prescriptions for our stuff.  I say, the family that stick together, sicks together.  Grin


In the mean time I have gone along just fine with the idea of ignoring trinitarian talk and sticking with the idea of God in everything, which just seems to make more sense.  I mean, what is the purpose of using language like "that is the work of the Holy Spirit" when I can just say "that is the work of God" other than to communicate to others in their own language?  I have no objection to communicating to others in their own language (and I am happy to do so), but theology is deeper than words.


I totally agree.  In fact, theology itself is a language and like you, I like to try to adapt how I speak of things to the language of the people I'm talking to.  That's why Jesus talked in parables.  If He tried to say that the mystical this or that will allow you brain waves to be more coherent if you forgive, they'd have stoned Him on the spot.

Alan
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« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 02:10:47 AM »

June 7,2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

    
Paul says, “God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1
Corinthians 1:25 [1]). That awesome line gives us a key into the Mystery
of Trinity. I would describe human strength as self-sufficiency or
autonomy. God’s weakness I would describe as Interbeing.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+1:25&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Human strength admires holding on. The Mystery of the Trinity is about
each One letting go into the Other. Human strength admires personal
independence. God’s Mystery is total mutual dependence. We like
control. God loves vulnerability. We admire needing no one. The Trinity
is total intercommunion with all things and all Being. We are practiced
at hiding and protecting ourselves. God seems to be in some kind of
total disclosure for the sake of the other.

Our strength, we think, is in asserting and protecting our boundaries.
God is into dissolving boundaries between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
yet finding them in that very outpouring! Take the rest of your life to
begin to unpackage such a total turnaround of Reality.

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 08:51:27 AM »

June 7,2012


Human strength admires holding on. The Mystery of the Trinity is about
each One letting go into the Other. Human strength admires personal
independence. God’s Mystery is total mutual dependence. We like
control. God loves vulnerability. We admire needing no one. The Trinity
is total intercommunion with all things and all Being. We are practiced
at hiding and protecting ourselves. God seems to be in some kind of
total disclosure for the sake of the other.

Our strength, we think, is in asserting and protecting our boundaries.
God is into dissolving boundaries between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
yet finding them in that very outpouring! Take the rest of your life to
begin to unpackage such a total turnaround of Reality.


This is so self-evident for those of us who have been on the journey a while, and it is spoken to so strongly in prayers, that I find it absolutely amazing that it still seems only a very few lucky ones can see this.

It's just groupthink.  It isn't even about what the group officially says; it's about what each member of the group thinks the group says.

Experiments in group conformity:

The Asch Experiment:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRh5qy09nNw

Candid Camera:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC_JfCWYnTQ

Alan
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2012, 11:26:24 AM »

I'm confused.  What is the "group think" you are referring to? 
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2012, 07:17:16 AM »

June 8, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

   
A Threefold God totally lets go of any boundaries for the sake of the
Other, and then receives them back from Another. It is a nonstop
waterwheel of Love. Each accepts that He is fully accepted by the Other,
and then passes on that total acceptance. Thus “God is Love.” It’s
the same spiritual journey for all of us, and it takes most of our life
to accept that we are accepted—and to accept everyone else. Most
can’t do this easily because internally there is so much
self-accusation (self-flagellation in many cases). Most are so convinced
that they are not the body of Christ, that they are unworthy, that we
are not in radical union with God.

The good news is that the question of union has already been resolved
once and for all. We cannot create our union with God from our side. It
is objectively already given to us by the Holy Spirit who dwells within
us (Romans 8:9 [1] —and all over the place!). Once we know we are that
grounded, founded, and home free, we can also stop defending ourselves
and move beyond our self-protectiveness, too.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8:9&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 04:22:07 PM »

June 9, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

MEDITATIONS ON THE MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY

   
Niels Bohr, the Danish physicist who was a major contributor to quantum
physics and nuclear fission, said the universe is “not only stranger
than we think, but stranger than we can think.” Our supposed logic has
to break down before we can comprehend the nature of the universe and
the bare beginnings of the nature of God.

I think the doctrine of the Trinity is saying the same thing. There is
something that can only be known experientially, and that is why we
teach contemplative prayer and quiet. Of all the religious rituals and
practices I know of, nothing will lead us to that place of nakedness and
vulnerability more than forms of solitude and silence, where our ego
identity falls away, where our explanations don’t mean anything, where
our superiority doesn’t matter and we have to sit there in our naked
“who-ness.” If God wants to get through to us, and the Trinity
experience wants to come alive in us, that’s when God has the best
chance. God is not only stranger than we think, but stranger than the
logical mind can think. Perhaps much of the weakness of the first 2000
years of reflection on the Trinity, and many of our doctrines and
dogmas, is that we’ve tried to do it with a logical mind instead of
with prayer.

Prayer:
God is a circle dance of communion.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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