Saturday, May 25, 2013

Trinity, Communities and ATD

The western liturgical tradition celebrates Trinity Sunday this weekend. In a well known image, The Holy Trinity by St. Andrei Rublev, uses the theme of the "Hospitality of Abraham." The three angels symbolize the Trinity, which is rarely depicted directly in Orthodox art.
The Trinity is central to the early development of Christian belief in God as Creator, Redeemer, Unifier. In the early Christian centuries, the community of faith struggled to understand how God was one, yet manifold. The formula of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit came to be understood as central to the Christian faith, being discussed at church councils that gathered mystics and prophets, who were lay and ordained theologians.

Elizabeth of the Trinity, a modern mystic prays this way:
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me forget myself entirely so to establish myself in you, unmovable and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing be able to trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my unchanging God, but may each minute bring me more deeply into your mystery! Grant my soul peace. Make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and the place of your rest. May I never abandon you there, but may I be there, whole and entire, completely vigilant in my faith, entirely adoring, and wholly given over to your creative action.
The Trinity finds a modern expression in the three prongs of the ATD movement: working to bring forth an
  • environmentally sustainable, 
  • spiritually fulfilling,
  • socially just 
human presence on this planet.
ATD describes and promotes a movement that is made up of hundreds of thousands of individuals and groups that are each working in their own neighborhoods, in their own circles. Each of these individuals and groups subscribe to this trinity of values, while focusing its attention on one or the other of them in a more particular way.

  • There are communities that gather to live and promote environmental sustainability, both for themselves, and for the broader human community as well as for the broader community of creation. 
  • There are communities that gather around spiritual values, for example those that gather to live the gospel deliberately and radically.
  • There are communities that work for justice in so many different ways in society.
It seems this triad of communities is an in-breaking of the Trinity of Love into our world. May this Trinity Sunday be an impetus to re-commit to living these Trinitarian values and weaving them into the fabric of our lives and communities.


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