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A Love Story

Bible, word of God, love story

I’m currently taking an online course on ecclesiology, the study of the Church. Each week of the course, I will be posting one of my assignments here. This first unit is on the Church as a Mystery, and one of the assignment questions centered on the great Mystery of God that has always befuddled me–and I guess everyone–the Trinity. So, naturally, that’s the one I chose for my essay.


Frankly, the Mystery of One God in Three Divine Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—cannot be grasped by our limited human brains. But that’s a good thing, because God cannot be fully understood by us as His creatures. Saint Augustine said that if you think you understand God, then you have failed.[1] What we can understand better, however, is love. The Holy Trinity is a Mysterious way of Mysteriously understanding that infinite and eternal God is love, and that the story of our creation and redemption—the reality of our lives—is a love story.

The Trinity:

We know that true love cannot be solitary. Love must be given, so there must be a beloved, and love must be received in order to be fulfilled: pure and perfect love has fulfillment. If God is pure and perfect love, therefore, God cannot be solitary. God is infinitely and eternally a communion of personal loving and of personally being loved, in perfect personal fulfillment.

Creation:

God chose to create the whole world as a free act of love, choosing to give the gift of existence to all of Creation, and the particular gift of freely receiving and giving love to human beings. This gift to humankind is intimate, eternal participation in divine love—in the very life of God—and why Scripture tells us that we are made in God’s image. With our gift of freewill we nearly destroyed God’s loving plan through sin, but God planned our rescue. Through the ages, God wills to gather a people unto Himself to be restored to Him through Christ, first in anticipation of His Divine Word being made flesh, and then through completion of the Word of God’s mission. This is God’s will. In the language of the Trinity, we say that it is the Father’s plan.

Redemption:

“In [Christ] it pleased the Father to re-establish all things.”[2] The Word of God assumes human nature in order to conform us to His divine likeness, restoring humans to images of God. In the language of the Trinity, we say that God the Father sent His Son as expiation for sin. As we are created by God through His gift of love, we are also restored by God through the same gift of limitless love, now made manifest by the Son of God pouring out His life for us on the Cross.

Sanctification:

Resurrected and glorified, the Son of God returns to the Father, and our renewed human nature is lifted up with Him. God pours out His Power, the transformative power of divine love, to each and every one of us who is willing to receive it through Christ. In the language of the Trinity, this living power who makes us holy and dispenses the gifts of God’s love, our salvation, is the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit we are united to God the Father through Christ, and in Christ to one another, in the fulfillment of love with its eternally blessed goodness.

This is the Church: the bond of divinity and humankind, the action of God’s love uniting our lives with His eternal life, experienced now in limited beauty and fulfilled forever in pure glory. The Church is willed, instituted, and sanctified by God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— to draw us ever more closely and deeply to Himself, to indestructible love.

©  2019 Christina Chase


Photo by Brody Childs on Unsplash

[1] “God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand you have failed.”

[2] Lumen Gentium paragraph 3

Christina Chase View All

I don't call myself a poet — but the beating of my heart is poetry. I don't call myself a theologian — but the light of my mind seeks the Divine. Who I am is a Child of God, a Divine Creation, a person devoted to being fully human, fully alive.

9 thoughts on “A Love Story Leave a comment

  1. Dear Christina,
    I’ve been thinking of you as I’ve spent much of the day editing (Did I really write that sentence???) But I also found myself correcting someone else’s typos that I had deliberately left in to illustrate a point.

    But to get to my point on this essay. You are talking mystery, and using words beyond their capacity. However, I think the Franciscans Franciscans have a point when they say that The Word would have come and dwelt among us as part of the Plan of Salvation, sin or no sin. Like a computer game inventor, he had to try out his creation. A feeble comparison, from one who does not play anything sophisticated beyond solitaire!

    Keep up the good work!

    Will.

    Like

    • Aargh, don’t talk to me about editing! 🙂 My prayers are with you.

      As for The Word coming to dwell within Creation sin or no sin, I like to think that too. God created all of this beauty to be particularly enjoyed, though He may experience some of that particular joy through us, why not come down and experience it Himself? It’s an interesting thought. Then again, there’s the question of “sin or sin.” Was our sin inevitable? If so, did God create us specifically with the plan of salvation always being part of the plan? Maybe like the Eternal Now… But maybe different… Like God knew what we would do with freewill, knew how He could remedy that and what the remedy would look like, and decided that we were totally worth it. The full experience (which includes sharing) of God’s love is worth everything.

      I enjoy this kind of reflecting, pondering…Thank you! Mysteries are inexhaustible!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Christina, good on you for setting out on this adventure! Looking forward to following along.

    About editing and words, I was talking with my brother about poetry this morning when he brought up the sentence, “In the in the beginning was the Word . . .,” wondering whether language might not be somehow sacred. What this has to with love I’m not sure (yet), except that talking is meaningless without a listener (even talking to ourselves, as sometimes happens to me) just as you suggested that in our understanding no one can love, perhaps even God, without another person or persons present, at least in mind, or in spirit.

    Heavy stuff. Heady. But real, and important. Lucky for. Us it’s also inspiring. I havent found many persons who like talking this way. So the internet can be a blessing too.

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    • Ditto on the not finding many people who like talking this way. I’m grateful that I found you and so many others here on the internet!
      What you said about language being sacred, “the Word,” is deeply worth reflection. Thank you. It reminded me of something. In the course of this class that I’m taking, the facilitator brought forward this understanding of the Holy Trinity: “The Father is the idea, the Son is the Word by which the Idea becomes known and the HS is the breath which effects the the Word.”
      But those are just words…?… The Mystery of God is still and always will be a Mystery. I guess the prayer is that we will be taken up into the Mystery one day, right?
      Peace and blessings to you, Albert!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Christina:
    Beautifully put. Your words resonate with me and I can appreciate the depth of each word.
    Look forward to reading more.
    Patty Ann

    Like

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