Tag Archives: Trinity

The Dancing God


Do you want to know what goes on in the core of the Trinity?
I will tell you.

In the core of the Trinity
the Father laughs
and gives birth to the Son.
The Son laughs back at the Father
and gives birth to the Spirit.
The whole Trinity laughs
and gives birth to us.       Meister Eckhart

Western Christianity used the Latin word circuminsessio to describe the activity of the Trinity. In contrast Eastern Christianity used the Greek word, perichoresis. Circuminsessio means broadly to sit around in a circle. Perichoresis means to dance in a circle.

 Needless to say, I prefer dancing.


 O Most Holy Trinity
Undivided Unity,
teach us the gentle deference
of your dance of surrendered love
how with infinite tenderness
and utmost esteem
you so gently
are present
to one another.

Teach us your perichoresis,
your grand circle dance,
where you eternally birth joy
from the womb of reverence.

Teach us your unending,
enfolding regard
for the pure holiness
you hold and behold.

sweet breath and the lungs of creation,
eternally giving,
and eternally receiving
are filled.

You release and bind,
but never push nor pull.
You hold accountable,
but never blame.

You incline yourselves to one another
as a grove of green willows
bending in the breeze
bowing to each other’s grace
known and cherished
on the broad plain of mutuality.

Deepen our trust, O Blest Community,
that we may enter such intimacy.

                                                                Loretta F. Ross

Once a group of Western theologians traveled to the East to speak with a group of Buddhist monks, and asked, Will you tell us how you do theology?

 The monks thought for a while and then responded, I do not think we do theology.

 We dance.

Here is another post from The Praying Life on the Trinity: https://theprayinglife.com/2010/05/30/a-god-who-dances/

There’s a Limit and It’s Good

“There’s a limit!” Mom yells up the stairs. My brother and I are throwing plastic race cars at each other. It is bedtime, and we have been arguing and annoying each other for half an hour. Mom yells again. “If you kids don’t settle down, I am coming up there with a stick with a bee on the end of it.”

That usually did it. The thought of the miraculous power of our mother, who could coax a bee, stinger and all, onto the end of a stick, and stride up the steps, wielding the buzzing weapon, aiming it  at our bottoms,

sobered us right up.

Mom, ninety eight, now lives at Pleasant Manor Care Center and chuckles when I remind of her ability to settle us down.

Her words, there’s a limit, have been coming back to me lately. As I watch the news, listen to the pundits and politicians, and observe my own little world, I hear her saying in that no nonsense way, “There’s a limit!”

There is a limit – to what people can stand, when their boundaries are violated. There is a limit to what people can bear, when their basic needs are unmet, or they are unable to meet them themselves. There is a limit to the foolishness, whining, blaming, and fighting people can take. There is a limit to what the seas, rivers, forests, and the creatures that make their homes in them can survive. There is a limit to human ability to repair, mend, and change. There is a limit to how much suffering, how much trauma a person can endure before he loses hope, meaning, and his mind.

There is a limit. And limits are good.

There are places in creation which dare not be plundered, usurped, or penetrated. These virgin territories of purity and goodness, by definition need to remain separate, apart, and whole in themselves. There is a holiness, which dwells in the core of individuals, communities, and the creation itself. Respect for the singular distinctions of creation lies at the heart of reverence for life itself.


Glory be to God
for bounds and limits.
Thanks be for fences
and for barbed wire
pad locks, bolts
and abrupt unmoving
dead ends

for stop signs
split rails
margin, hedge and rim
shore, bank and brow.

Blessed art Thou
for shalts
and for shalt nots
for oughts and shoulds
for prohibition
and command.

I praise Thee

for enclosure
circumference, courtyard
croft, crib
corral and coop
pen, balustrade
and fold
for chamber
hutch and manger
paddock, cote and stall
for palisade and parapet
trellis, enclave, wall.

“To be properly bound
is to be properly free,”
said Luther of his God.

So blessed be Thee
for bindings, wraps
and swaddling cloths
for all quilts, covers,
comforter and counterpane
for lids, roofs, tents
hulls, shell, and pod
and all that partitions
holy from profane.

Thank you,
kind and gentle God
for edges, parameters,
and the delicate beauty
of borders thin
that separate this
from that
yes from no
the skin
from the juice
and Thou, sweet Trinity,
from me.

Oh Mighty Fortress,
glad hosannas raise to Thee
for the secret custody
of houses, stable,
shrine and temple
for garden locked
and fountain sealed
where Love tabernacles
under Thy bright wing
in shielded sanctuary.

Praise and laud
forever unto Thee.
Oh Thou art
a most exalted Canopy!
In thy strong shelter
sleeps the virgin
safe and free.


 All creatures great and small,
be wary!

A God Who Dances

A honey suckle vine extends herself into space in a graceful flourish. Reaching into nothingness, she dangles from hope and her own inner nature for making a connection to something beyond herself.
I have been reaching out into cyber space with The Praying Life blog for over a year now of weekly posts. Time for a bit of review and evaluation.
This time of year many churches celebrate the Trinity, a notion that makes a lot of people scratch their heads and squint.  English historian Edward Gibbon, famously called the Trinity, “perhaps the deepest and darkest corner of the whole theological abyss.”
Undaunted, some pastors will boldly attempt to explain how a God can be one, and three. The scholarly ones will use the ancient words of the church to describe the Trinitarian nature of God:  circumincessio, Latin for sits in a circle, and (my favorite) perichoresis, Greek for dances in a circle. Both words refer to the relationship of the inner parts of God, a relationship of intimacy, reciprocity, and circularity.
If I were preaching about the Trinity, I would pass on what Meister Eckhart says. “Do you want to know what goes on in the core of Trinity?  I will tell you. The Father laughs and gives birth to the Son. The Son laughs back at the Father and the gives birth to the Spirit. The whole Trinity laughs and gives birth to us.”
The Trinity speaks of a dynamic hilarity and self giving in the heart of God’s nature.
God is a community, an interactive exchange of love. As creatures made in God’s image, we also are profoundly connected and communal. I just wish we could laugh more about it.
Blogging has heightened and deepened my awareness of the bounty of community in the shared experience of our life in God together. The opportunity for exchange and conversation has shaped, formed, and reformed me.
For me personally, the past year of the praying life has been the slow and only work of conversion, of turning and re-turning my heart to the One who summons beauty, justice, and truth from our souls, bids us to love, and marries us to Mercy. A life focused in prayer keeps revealing those things in me which struggle against God’s Spirit. You know – the pride, selfishness, envy, fear, doubt, ambition.
Internet ministry is ripe for all these sins to distract and flourish. Who commented on what? How many viewers did I get? Does my blog have “authority”? Oh look at how good his blog is…. I wish I could write like her. Blah, blah, blah. God, set me free of me!
Blogging has invited me to loosen up, to be more present – in this world of fleeting impressions, and swiftly passing fancies. Instead of trying to grasp, preserve, and set in stone, as print media encourages, I have been invited to tune into the streaming presence of God and to become more streaming myself, more open and influenced and shaped by this dance.  
Twelve months out, reaching for a handhold, streaming a life in God, I hope you are stretching into the unknown. I hope you are laughing and giving birth to joy from your branch on the vine.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reaching out, reading and commenting, for sharing the blog with others, for praying and sharing your own praying life.

For such delight we have been created.
Shall we dance?

Read more about prayer at www.fromholyground.org
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