A thought for Trinity Sunday

by Edward Leigh

Today was Trinity Sunday, an opportunity for much intellectual religious positing on the nature of three-in-one. Perhaps we should be content with thought of God, not a lovely old man but a loving combination.

The Trinity can be a suitable excuse for a very boring theological disputation. And what has always particularly irritated me about it is the way that priests particularly state it to be true. How do they know? Faith, of course, authority. But for something as mathematical as this, how can faith be enough?

As I was thinking this, the concept seemed to chime in with my own doubts about our absolute individuality, as I lay awake I musing on this feeling that we are other people, were other people when younger, will be when older. And is not the Trinity a similar feeling? That God cannot be an absolute singleness.

This led me on Tuesday to wonder on whether a many-sidedness didn’t actually make survival after death of a single body more believable. A river does not die and nor do we.

I was in Eton College Lower Chapel for the first time on Wednesday. The chaplain reminded us that all this of which he was so proud would eventually fall into dust and only love would remain, for God is love and love not being a corporeal or even a spiritual being cannot have a beginning or an end. It is eternal.

At Mass on Thursday I had one of those moments during a reading that something gives one an immediate sense of confidence. It passes for a moment and then is gone but for the moment one has the confidence to speak one’s truth.

On Friday and Saturday I ran along the lane to our little medieval Anglican church in Lincolnshire. I decided to read through the Psalms, a new different one for every day. I was doing this, starting with Psalm 1 which I suppose is a hymn of the godly to Psalm 2 which is a denial of evil. You have to read through them in the King James Prayer Book for them to be anymore than arresting poetry but the truth sinks in or floats to the top.

This article originally appeared on Sir Edward’s blog, Another Country, on the 2nd June

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