Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Communio Personarum: Trinity and Church

The title of my class today. I'm so glad to be back in class!! I was never meant to work full-time ;) and while my mind will take a few weeks to adjust (it always does), it's very happy to be working again.

So, the Trinity. What an ambitious topic. Our readings today were from Henri de Lubac, John Paul II, and Cardinal Ratzinger. Father began with "Man is desire to know" from Metaphysics. The human being is a web of relations. We are always being created, being generated... I cannot account for myself from within myself; my self comes from an Other. Who we are is formed by how we are generated and brought forth.

There is a similar dynamic in knowledge. Knowledge is a mysterious process, by which the self leaves itself, appropriates what is known, and returns to itself enriched and changed. In a way, after you view the Grand Canyon, the Grand Canyon dwells in you. The more you know something, the more you are one with it. The more you know a person, the more you are one with him. Love is leaving room in yourself so that the other may come in.

Unity and difference. We tend to deny one and affirm the other. The revelation of the mystery of the Trinity in Jesus Christ is the only hypothesis that puts the two together without destroying them. In Christ, we see that the nature of Being itself is communion-- loving friendship. Where there is greater communion, there is greater unity. In God is the recognition of Otherness. When we call something a Mystery, we do not simply mean it is something beyond our grasp. We mean that it is Otherness. Mystery is a noun; a subject.

Knowledge of God comes only through conversion. Understanding God requires purification. Arius was reluctant to let go of a Greek mind. Since God had to be ungenerated in the Greek conception, Arius had to see Christ, the Generated One; as not being God. The only way to approach studying the Trinity is to humble yourself in front of the mystery of God, and be drawn into it.

That about summarizes my first class on the Trinity. Any questions? I don't quite follow my notes myself, but Fr. Antonio never fails to say something striking. Like this: "Saying 'I love you' contains a lie, is not true, if it doesn't praise God." and this: "When mystery is taken out of reality, reality itself becomes opaque [incomprehensible]."

1 comment:

Devin Rose said...

I wish I could have taken classes like that in college (instead of all the math and science). Count your blessings, young girl!

Of course, if I can do math and science and provide for my family, I'd be happy for my wife to have taken such courses, so your future husband, God willing, will be blessed, too. :)