Integral Relationships and The Trinity

Last Sunday Isaac Frank shared about the importance of the Trinity when we think about the nature of our own interdependent relationships with one another.

As it's written in the Book of Genesis, on the six day a very "plural" sounding God created God in their image.

Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”

God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.
— Genesis 1:26-27, Common English Bible

As the Catholic theologian Catherine LaCugna writes, in he powerful book God For Us: The Trinity And Christian Life: "The doctrine of the Trinity reminds us that in God there is neither hierarchy nor inequality, neither division nor competition, but only unity in diversity."

 Rublev's Trinity (Russia, 1411)

Rublev's Trinity (Russia, 1411)

With all things surrounding God-talk, or theological reflection, we reach for words, metaphors and more to speak of that which seems beyond words. When thinking about the very idea that the Divine is healthy, interdependent relationships, often remembered in the Christian household as Creator-Parent, Child and Spirit, there's something profound for us to think about how we might relate one one another in our ordinary lives in healthy, interdependent ways.

An old Russian Orthodox icon by Anton Rublev paints this story quite literally when it depicts the Trinity around table and a common cup. Reflecting on themes of the visitation of messengers of God to Abraham at the Oak of Mamre in Genesis 18:1-8, if you look closely at the bottom of the icon you see a square box and a place at the table for someone else. Richard Rohr and many others are helping us see this rectangular box may have been a place where a mirror was attached for those praying with the icon might see their own reflection.

Father Richard doesn't just see an old dusty theological doctrine in this old Russian icon. He sees a window into our everyday, ordinary lives. In his excellent book The Divine Dance: The Trinity And Your Transformation, Rohr writes:

We find the pattern of dynamic relationship in the very structure of the atom, in our families, in ecosystems and economies. It is a patter of mutual giving and receiving. In a word, love.
— Richard Rohr

If you'd like to go deeper with Richard Rohr on these themes, as an excellent introduction to his work and his reflections on the powerful image of the Divine as holy relationship, check out these video clips below! The first is a short introduction to the Divine Dance, and the second is a longer "Talk at Google."