A God of Relationships
A diseased bird was sold in the market place and months later every country in the world is suffering. If ever we needed to be reminded that everything in this world is related to everything else, we’ve got the message. Nine hundred years ago a mystical nun, Hildegard of Bingen, wrote that God arranged everything in this world in consideration of everything else. Forget this inter-relatedness and we get global warming threatening the very life of the planet.
The development of Quantum Physics has increased awareness among scientists that no single unit in the universe exists on its own but is part of a whole. A growing number of scientists who previously dismissed any idea of God are now intrigued by the notion of God as an inter-related Trinity of Persons. It makes sense to them.
Our God is not an abstract philosophical concept, nor a mysterious remote control, but a community of intimate relationships in giving, receiving and returning. What is given is life and love.
In everyday conversation we use many small words to express the relationship between persons or objects. We call them pre-positions … on, under, beside, through, over, etc. See how these little words express different relationships. “I worked with John for many years.” “I worked under John”. “I worked at John!” “I got the tickets for the final through John.”
Pay attention to the great prayers of the Church’s liturgy and it will deepen your understanding of the Blessed Trinity. The Eucharist Prayer, at the centre of Mass, ends with this beautiful prayer. “Through him (Jesus), and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.” The direction of worship is to the Father. The way is through Jesus as our mediator, with him as our brother in human nature, and in him as members of his body. By the Holy Spirit expresses the power of divine love dwelling in us.
Saint Patrick is reputed to have used the shamrock as a symbol of the Blessed Three-in-One.
We can think of the one God as three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God is Creator, Saviour and Sanctifier.
God is life/love given, received and returned.
Julian of Norwich was absorbed in God as my Maker, my Upholder and my Lover.
From one diseased bird a dreadful pandemic spread to every country. Yet some good has emerged. Our society had become excessively me-centered. We have rediscovered our responsibility for the good of others in being caring neighbours, protecting others by social distancing, fund-raising for them. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are Trinitarian, people who are not isolated individuals but deeply inter-related in life and love.
Br Silvester OFlynn OFM Cap