Friday, August 19, 2016

Infinity Trinity

Fr Anthony Chadwick has accused this blogling as being highbrow.  ☺ It isn’t meant to be, just rather the crazed meanderings of my mind. I am grateful to those who read it and find sympathy with what I write and who perhaps find some words from the mouth of God on this page. I am His instrument, but my thoughts are very fallible, so I am merely a leaky pot seeking transformation and repair by my Creator.

One of the things on my mind is the worry if this country were to succumb to a fundamentalist Islamic Caliphate. Would I be denounced as a polytheist, or as a person of the book? The question is purely academic. I don’t seek to die as God’s goodness is great to me, but I would truly wish that, should I need to, that I be able to lay down my life for my God, family and friends. I doubt that any of my arguments would sway the executioner’s knife, but I am no polytheist. I believe in One God in Three Persons, the Blessed Trinity.

This does cause non-Christians a major struggle. It’s meant to. The search for God is not an academic exercise – it’s not that sort of knowledge we should be seeking. To know God is to encounter Him on the level of persons. We are capable of reflecting on the beauty of infinity and are thus so drawn to awe and wonder about God’s being.
Infinity has many fascinating and counter-intuitive properties. Consider the Banach-Tarski Paradox.

Yes, I know. It’s maths! Well, don’t be afraid of it because it’s all numbers. Think about what it says. It is mathematically possible to break up a perfect sphere into pieces and reassemble them into two spheres the same size and shape as the original. If you don’t understand, don’t worry. You don’t NEED to understand it. Just think about what it means.

Infinite objects have peculiar properties. I can talk about a thing called V which is the collection of all sets. You probably know what a set is, but it can be proved logically that V is not a set. However, when we talk of V, we seem to be able to talk about it like a set. This infinite collection is neither a one, nor a many, but both a one and a many.

My point? It is mathematically feasible for something to be essentially a one and a many.

God, being God, is responsible for the existence of mathematics and if He of all beings cannot be thought of as both a one and a many simultaneously, then surely He is smaller in conceivability than His Creation. It is entirely possible that God is more than a Trinity, but He has revealed Himself as a Trinity. Do we have the whole revelation? As far as our Salvation goes, we have enough, and anything more is part of this gradual coming to know God on the level of persons. As Olivier Clement says, our destiny is to become one human being in a multiplicity of persons.

What is really needed is for us to stop looking for God intellectually and look to recover Him spiritually. If our Church exists only as an intellectual construct based on theoretical theological and philosophical premises, then that isn’t a Church – it’s another form of Gnosticism. The Faith exists so that even the most intellectually disadvantaged person is not just able to be saved, but also cherished for being who he is and further can know God.

Our real need Is, at times, to put down the books and the scrolls, and the annals, and get to know God. As I’ve said before, the Creeds help us know something of the God we seek. In our prayer lives and in our spiritual being we encounter many spirits whom we must test. If the “god” we meet is not the one in the Creed, then we know that we’re on the wrong path. However, once we know we’re on the right path, we need to learn more, to become more Holy, and to relate to the One Who created us.

As this world grows darker, our inward lives need care, our spirits need nourishment, and the light needs to burn brighter. However, let us not fall into the trap of an inward looking, introspective faith. Let us remember to turn our gaze outward to those folk with dead eyes and sad faces, remembering that we must stand with them and bring them the care, light and nourishment too. Not by brow-beating, nor intellectual argument, but by good, old-fashioned loving-kindness. Let us help them to approach God in awe and wonder, not by trying to understand infinity but by just being with Him.

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