Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Quotes on the Trinity

Sketch by William Blake

Some quotes I've collected on the Trinity:

1. “[The doctrine of the Trinity] is the ‘least worst’ language we have found for talking about something very disturbing and inexhaustible.”
– Rowan Williams, Living the Questions (the Converging Worlds of Rowan Williams),
The Christian Century, Apr 24, 2002, David S. Cunningham

2. “Trinitarian theology, in so far as it is concerned with what ‘kind’ of God Christians worship, is far from being a luxury indulged in solely by remote and ineffectual dons; it is of cardinal importance for spirituality and liturgy, for ethics, for the whole of Christian self-understanding.”
– Rowan Williams, Wrestling with Angels: Conversations in Modern Theology,

3. “A doctrine like that of the Trinity tells us that the very life of God is a yielding or giving-over into the life of an Other, a 'negation' in the sense of refusing to settle for the idea that normative life or personal identity is to be conceived in terms of self-enclosed and self-sufficient units. The negative is associated with the 'ek-static', the discovery of identity in self-transcending relation. And accordingly, theology itself has to speak in a mode that encourages us to question ourselves, to deny ourselves, in the sense of denying systems and concepts that are the comfortable possession of individual minds.”
–  Rowan Williams, Wrestling With Angels: Conversations In Modern Theology

Icon of the Trinity by Andrei Rublev

4. “Because the Christian God is not a lonely God, but rather a communion of three persons, faith leads human beings into the divine communion. One cannot, however, have a self-enclosed communion with the Triune God―a "foursome," as it were―for the Christian God is not a private deity. Communion with this God is at once also communion with those others who have entrusted themselves in faith to the same God. Hence one and the same act of faith places a person into a new relationship both with God and with all others who stand in communion with God.”
― Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity

5. “In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, we find another resource for hospitality. The trinity shows God in relationships with Himself. our Three-in-one God has welcomed us into Himself and invited us to participate in divine life. And so the invitation that we as Christians extend to one another is not simply an invitation into our homes or to our tables; what we ask of other people it that hey enter into our lives.”
― Lauren F. Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath

Vision of the Trinity, Hildegard of Bingen

6. “Christians, then, do not believe in just any Trinity but in the Trinity of these three Persons–the Christ who does not grasp at equality but humbles himself, even to death on a cross, the One he called Abba or father, outpouring love, challenging human assumptions about hierarchy, the Holy Spirit of love, truth, and freedom, all one God glorifying each other.”
– William Placher, Narratives of a Vulnerable God

7. “When the invisible working of the Persons of the trinity incorporates us, our relations with the Father in virtue of our union with Christ take on the more external form of fellowship, not co-inherence, in a way that continues to respect the creature’s finite boundedness. So incorporate, our lives as ministers of divine benefit have a Trinitarian shape: united with Christ, we are called to distribute the good gifts of the father in the power of the Spirit. Rather than look for some more direct parallel to the relations of Father, Son, and Spirit, this just is the shape the trinity takes on the human level.”
– Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity, and the Trinity

8. The mystery of God, indeed, the mystery of existence, is the mystery of communion of god with all, all with god. The heart of Christian life is the encounter with a personal god who makes possible both our union with God and communion with each other. The mystery of God is revealed to be a matter of invitation and incorporation into divine life through Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit; at the same time it is also invitation and incorporation into new relationship with each other, as we are gathered together by the Spirit into the body of Christ.”
– Catherine Mowry LaCugna, God for Us


9. “I have not even begun to think of unity when the Trinity bathes me in its splendor. I have not even begun to think of the Trinity when unity grasps me.” – Gregory Nazianzus, Orations

1o. “Suddenly the Trinity filled my heart full of the greatest joy, and I understood that it will be so in heaven without end to all who will come there. For the Trinity is God, God is the Trinity. The Trinity is our maker, the Trinity is our protector, the Trinity is our everlasting lover, the Trinity is our endless joy and our bliss, by our Lord Jesus Christ and in our Lord Jesus Christ. . . for where Jesus appears the Trinity is understood.”
– Julian of Norwich, Showings


11. “When I pray, when I breathe with God, I become part of the intimacy of God’s life.  The Spirit of God who breathes within me draws me into the circle of love between the Father and Son.  Through prayer I am drawn into the dance of the Trinity.” 
– Ilia Delio

12. The Threefold all-kindly
My walk this day with God,
My walk this day with Christ,
My walk this day with Spirit,
The Threefold all-kindly
Hō! Hō! Hō! The Threefold all-kindly

My shielding this day from ill,
My shielding this night from harm,
Hō! Hō! Both my soul and my body,
Be by Father, by Son, by Holy Spirit:
By Father, by Son, by Holy Spirit.

Be the Father shielding me,
Be the Son shielding me,
Be the Spirit shielding me,
As Three and as One:
Hō! Hō! Hō! as Three and as One.
– From The Celtic Vision by Esther De Waal,



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