Sunday, May 18, 2008

Trinity Sunday

interesting bits for a Trinity Sunday...

Trinity: They took poetry and made it into a rule.

Karl Barth: The Word became flesh, and theologians made it words again.

God Is Not A Problem
by Killian McDonnell in Swift Lord, You are Not.

God is not a problem
I need to solve, not an
algebraic polynomial equation
I find complete before me,

with positive and negative numbers
I can add, subtract, multiply.
God is not a fortress
I can lay siege to and reduce.

God is not a confusion
I can place in order by my logic.
God's boundaries cannot be set,
like marking trees to fell.

God is the presence in which
I live, where the line between
what is in me and what
before me is real, but only God

can draw it. God is the mystery
I meet on the street, but cannot
lay hold of from the outside,
for God is my situation,

the condition I cannot stand
beyond, cannot view from a distance,
the presence I cannot make an object,
only enter on my knees.

Batter My Heart
by John Donne

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Father, part of his double interest
Unto thy kingdom, thy Son gives to me,
His jointure in the knotty Trinity
He keeps, and gives to me his death's conquest.
This Lamb, whose death with life the world hath blest,
Was from the world's beginning slain, and he
Hath made two Wills which with the Legacy
Of his and thy kingdom do thy Sons invest.
Yet such are thy laws that men argue yet
Whether a man those statutes can fulfil;
None doth; but all-healing grace and spirit
Revive again what law and letter kill.
Thy law's abridgement, and thy last command
Is all but love; Oh let this last Will stand!

And notes from last Trinity Sunday here


Kate Morningstar said...

Thank you, Ann. I love the two statements about Trinity and Poetry, and the one from Karl Barth. I'd never read the McDonnell poem before. And I'd forgotten the John Donne.

I have wanted so much in the last year to be swept up and tossed around, broken, blown and bent, burnt and made new. I can see that a lot of that HAS happened -- even though it's been a lot in a relatively short period of time, it still feels day-by-day, and I'm impatient with my process. It's good to be reminded I'm not the only one. Thank you.

johnieb said...

The Barth is "cherce" (from "Pat and Mike")coming from someone who was so profoundly, compulsively verbal. (I was very attracted to KB in seminary)

And any citation of Donne is unfair advantage; the Holy Sonnets so outshine anything else (save a very select few: Bible, BCP, and Shakespeare: stuff like that) that other discourse tends to fade.


kitty said...

The Celtic art angle on the Trinity occurred to me as well. My eyes follow the lines around although it seems that there is no beginning and no ending points to the design.