Today is Trinity Sunday, that day when preachers fear to preach.
Words always fail us, and when they fail us most, we humans turn to poetry or to silence, where mystery can dwell in greater comfort and we can contemplate it more truly. Music and image speak where our speeches cannot.
Still, words ancient and new can offer a way into contemplation of holy mysteries. Today I offer a few words from Julian of Norwich, 14th century woman, whose feast day we celebrated a few weeks ago.
This paragraph is the reading for the day in the book Silent Voices, Sacred Lives: Women's Readings for the Liturgical Year, edited by Barbara Bowe, RSCJ, Kathleen Hughes, RSCJ, Sharon Karam, RSCJ, and Carolyn Osiek, RSCJ.* (Paulist Press, 1992, in paperback)
* For those of you not familiar with Catholic religious orders, this means all four are members of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a vowed community of women with a strong vocation to education. Barbara and Lyn are both biblical scholars of some repute, Kathleen is a liturgical scholar, and I don't know Sharon, but I'm sure she has equal claims to fame :-).
I saw no difference between God and our substance, but, as it were, all God; and still my undersanding acepted that our substance is in God, that is to say that God is God, and our substance is a creature in God. For the almighty truth of the Trinity is our Father, for he made us and keeps us in him. And the deep wisdom of the Trinity is our Mother, in whom we are enclosed. And the high goodness of the Trinity is our Lord, and in him we are enclosed and he in us. We are enclosed in the Father, and we are enclosed in the Son, and we are enclosed in the Holy Spirit. And the Father is enclosed in us, the Son is enclosed in us, and the Holy Spirit is enclosed in us, almighty, all wisdom and all goodness, one God, one Lord.
***************--Julian of Norwich, Showings 54
Coming later today: Ivone Gebara on the Trinity from an ecofeminist perspective.